Josh Hawley Calls for Troops to be Brought Back from Afghanistan
Missouri Senator Josh Hawley is getting tired of the never-ending wars in Afghanistan. On October 7, 2020 he tweeted “Almost 20 years now in Afghanistan. Long past time to draw this war to an end.”
Almost 20 years now in Afghanistan. Long past time to draw this war to an end. https://t.co/jm156UTIgt
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 7, 2020
He linked to an article titled “Years after they fought in Afghanistan, US troops watch as their children deploy to the same war” covering the story of Michael Kreuger and his son Trenton Kreuger, a father and son who both deployed to Afghanistan.
The father fought in the Pech Valley in 2010, while his son deployed to Afghanistan in 2018.
Michael Kreuger, who retired from the Army as a sergeant, Kreuger hopes that his grandson won’t also be sent to Afghanistan to continue fighting a war “for the same reason.” The U.S. has been in Afghanistan since its invasion of the country on October 7, 2001. Over 2,400 American troops along with 38,000 civilians have perished in the conflict. The financial cost has been quite steep, with over $2 trillion being spent on the conflict as of 2019.
Putting a stop to never-ending wars has been a major theme for the Trump administration, which has inspired some Republicans to take up the mantle of foreign policy restraint.
Josh Hawley’s foreign policy views have been a topic of interest among many nationalists. Although he is quite hawkish on China, the rest of his foreign policy agenda seems a bit ambiguous. A report by Daniel Larison of The American Conservative expressed some of his skepticism towards Hawley based on his voting behavior with regards to the conflict in Yemen:
We know from Hawley’s voting record so far that he has not been willing to break with the party leadership and the White House on matters of war as they relate to Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Sen. Hawley voted against the Senate’s resolution of disapproval that opposed the president’s effort to circumvent Congress with a bogus “emergency” to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. More important, he voted with the president and most Senate Republicans against the antiwar Yemen resolution that would have cut off all U.S. support to the Saudi coalition.
Indeed, Hawley may not be the most faithful America First foreign policy advocate. The defense industry’s tentacles are still gripping the Republican Party tightly.
Nevertheless, Hawley’s comments on Afghanistan are a good sign that Hawley is catching on to the fact that Americans are tired of world policing and nation-building. Now, this rhetoric must be transformed into action.
That’s where grassroots America First activists and organizations must come in. Politicians ultimately respond to stimuli and if enough activists make the right amount of noise and apply significant pressure, politicians will eventually flip.
We must take whatever is in front of us and exploit it to its fullest.