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The other reason we're still in Afghanistan

Adam FivensonWith President Obama's recent announcement that the U.S. will be committing 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, questions about the nature and necessity of U.S. involvement are building in intensity.

The president's argument is predicated on the idea that the safety of Americans at home is directly threatened by those we seek to defeat in far-flung locales with names like Korangal, Helmand, and Zabul. However, there is deeper reason for which we are driving our stake deeper into the deserts and valleys of Afghanistan: credibility.

John Moore, Getty Images
Photo credit: John Moore, Getty Images

The president's national security-based argument is bolstered by intelligence investigations in the immediate aftermath of September 11th, 2001. However, after eight years of the national security-narrative justifying two separate wars, and against the backdrop of the worst domestic economy since the Great Depression, many Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to sanction the massive amounts of government war spending.

It seems that a growing number are willing to sacrifice the added security of "taking the battle to them" in favor of the more tangible benefits of leaving the wars and their financial, political, and emotional expenditures behind us.

So with support for the war flagging as the national security-narrative loses steam, what's stopping them, both in Congress and the White House, from just pulling the plug? It would seem that politicians would want to do what they've been hired to do, which is represent the will of their constituents. Failing to do so on such a flash-point topic is unlikely to do a politician any favors come the 2010 election season.

The answer is simple: credibility. The U.S. government has led this project from the beginning — to ditch it now would be disastrous for our credibility on the international stage. Given how hard we are driving our NATO allies to contribute more troops (this in spite of adamant opposition among European constituents), if we hit the eject button now, who would ever follow us again, both militarily and diplomatically?

Why a father trying to put food on the table for his family today should care about America's position in the world is the next logical question, and the answer is that it is exactly that elevated position among the nations of the world that has contributed to our relatively high quality of life to begin with, and has made jobs accessible in this country for the past two hundred plus years.

If we want to continue to enjoy the fruits of our elevated position among nations, it may be in our best long-term interest to end this war in under more advantageous conditions.

Taking the long-view on such issues is a rare occurrence for politicians with a 4 to 6 year term limit, but in this case it seems that such a perspective has prevailed. The obvious question is how long will it last? The President set a mid-2011 target for pull out for our troops from Afghanistan. If 2011 comes and the goal posts start to move back, will politicians still give Obama the benefit of the doubt? Will he deserve it?

Further reading:

J Alexander Their covers this topic in further detail in a recent ForeignPolicy.com article entitled Afghanistan Is Still Worth the Fight

  • Dan Roach

    Thanks Adam.

  • Dan Roach

    Thanks Adam.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for reading, Dan.

  • http://www.GrandTraverseAreaRealEstate.com MikeGaines_TEAMMIKE

    Adam,

    Good blog on a tough subject. A few points to consider:

    You suggest our”credibility” would be endangered because “…to ditch it now would be disastrous for our credibility on the international stage.” Sounds a lot like the reasoning behind slugging it out in Iraq for years after “WMDs,” and “freeing the Iraqi people” proved to be empty justifications for invasion. We wasted our international credibility with episodes like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisoner torture, to start a very dirty list.

    Afghanistan was the “Soviet Union's Vietnam,” and proved to be a factor in the eventual collapse and break-up of that former Superpower.

    The United States was termed the first “Hyperpower” after the Soviet collapse and up until the disaster of post-9/11 U.S. foreign and domestic policy, we enjoyed “credibility” and success, both inside and outside of our borders like no other time in human history.

    We unabashedly brow beat our allies to join in the “Iraqi Liberation,” and are now trying desparately to get them to pony up again.

    Our “elevated position among the nations of the world” did not create “our relatively high quality of life,” or “made jobs accessible in this country for the past two hundred plus years,” it is the other way around. We have been the breadbasket, the innovators and creators, and the defenders of freedom and justice for all both here at home and around the globe and THAT has elevated our position amongst humanity and secured our quality of life.

    Sending even more troops to one of the poorest, most violent and war-torn, and most anti-American places on the planet will do virtually nothing to better anyone anywhere.

    History is our teacher.

    Like I said, good blog on a very tough subject. Keep up the good work, and thank you for your insight.

    Mike

  • http://www.GrandTraverseAreaRealEstate.com MikeGaines_TEAMMIKE

    Adam,

    Good blog on a tough subject. A few points to consider:

    You suggest our”credibility” would be endangered because “…to ditch it now would be disastrous for our credibility on the international stage.” Sounds a lot like the reasoning behind slugging it out in Iraq for years after “WMDs,” and “freeing the Iraqi people” proved to be empty justifications for invasion. We wasted our international credibility with episodes like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisoner torture, to start a very dirty list.

    Afghanistan was the “Soviet Union’s Vietnam,” and proved to be a factor in the eventual collapse and break-up of that former Superpower.

    The United States was termed the first “Hyperpower” after the Soviet collapse and up until the disaster of post-9/11 U.S. foreign and domestic policy, we enjoyed “credibility” and success, both inside and outside of our borders like no other time in human history.

    We unabashedly brow beat our allies to join in the “Iraqi Liberation,” and are now trying desparately to get them to pony up again.

    Our “elevated position among the nations of the world” did not create “our relatively high quality of life,” or “made jobs accessible in this country for the past two hundred plus years,” it is the other way around. We have been the breadbasket, the innovators and creators, and the defenders of freedom and justice for all both here at home and around the globe and THAT has elevated our position amongst humanity and secured our quality of life.

    Sending even more troops to one of the poorest, most violent and war-torn, and most anti-American places on the planet will do virtually nothing to better anyone anywhere.

    History is our teacher.

    Like I said, good blog on a very tough subject. Keep up the good work, and thank you for your insight.

    Mike

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the response Mike. You make great points, and all of them force me to think harder about all of my own.

      First, on the subject of credibility as a justification for war.

      We didn’t enter either war because of credibility, but given the position we’re in today, it’s a major reason why our elected officials have made the decision they have made.

      Obviously the decision to invade Iraq was a misguided one from the start, and it has done major damage to our international credibility (the Bush presidency did plenty of that). The goal now is, in effect, damage control. Paradoxically, that means sending more of our boys into harm’s way (personal friends of mine among them).

      I think the key is to approach it from a realist perspective, that is to say, we are in the situation we’re in because of what we’ve done before. There’s nothing we can do about that, all we can do is look forward to the next decision. For me, that means whether or not you agree with our presence there, the fact is that pulling out now, and not accomplishing our goals, would be very harmful to us on the international stage. If we did decide to pull out, a lot of countries would applaud the decision, but they would also be licking their chops and seeing that the US no longer has the fortitude or the will to lead among nations. With China, India, and Brazil all eager to take their seats at the big boys table and push their own interests on the international stage, we have to be more concerned than ever about where we stand. That’s not to say that international politics is a zero sum game; we can all rise together, but in order to keep setting the agenda as we have done for the past fifty years, we’ve got to have credibility, other countries have to know that following our lead is the path to success, not failure. The decision makers understand this, although they’ll never say it. They have to stick to the homeland-security argument, because that’s the only one that constituents will condone.

      Second, I wholeheartedly agree that unique formulation of our political, social, and economic culture has led to our elevated position in the world, but you must admit that this relationship is cyclical, especially in today’s interconnected world. This was a topic I meant to delve deeper into in the post, and I think explaining how American diplomatic (and military) might has bettered our lives at home is worth a whole separate post. Still, I think it can be said that it wasn’t until our great military victories earlier in the 20th century that the United States was really catapulted into the position of a “hyperpower” and it has been thanks to our diplomatic efforts that we’ve been able to capitalize on that position. I guess one way to look at it might be that our quality of life (and thus our ability to innovate and create) HAS elevated our position in the world, but our position in the world has also contributed to our quality of life, especially in the latter half of the 20th century.

      Thirdly, as for the decision to send more troops, I don’t like it any more than the next person. Once again, my intent is not to lend support to the decision, but simply to shed some light on the factors that have contributed to it.

      Thanks for the comments, I hope our discussion isn’t over!

  • Bob

    Adam

    You suggest a deeper reason for our continued and increasing presence in Afghanistan is credibility. I certainly agree that our credibility is in grave doubt, and has been ever since the Congress of 1975 voted our ARVN ally 20 cartridges and two hand grenades per man in the face of armed invasion from the North. In light of his concurrent statement of intent to withdraw how does this restore our credibility?

    I don’t think this credibility can be restored by success in any single war. Our honor once tarnished takes much rubbing to restore.

    I would recommend the Chaos Manor Republic and Empire discussions to any and all on this subject.

    http://www.jerrypournelle.com/view/2009/Q4/view

    Like Iraq we are there, and now must decide how best to go about it, our treasure and the blood of our sons continue to rain on this grave of empires. In this case at least few question the legitimacy of how we got there.

    What is it that we can reasonably accomplish? To whom do we have obligations?

    I don’t pretend to have the answers to these questions, and proper answers to them are what we need to help restore our credibility.

  • Bob

    Adam

    You suggest a deeper reason for our continued and increasing presence in Afghanistan is credibility. I certainly agree that our credibility is in grave doubt, and has been ever since the Congress of 1975 voted our ARVN ally 20 cartridges and two hand grenades per man in the face of armed invasion from the North. In light of his concurrent statement of intent to withdraw how does this restore our credibility?

    I don’t think this credibility can be restored by success in any single war. Our honor once tarnished takes much rubbing to restore.

    I would recommend the Chaos Manor Republic and Empire discussions to any and all on this subject.

    http://www.jerrypournelle.com/view/2009/Q4/view599.html#Afganistan

    Like Iraq we are there, and now must decide how best to go about it, our treasure and the blood of our sons continue to rain on this grave of empires. In this case at least few question the legitimacy of how we got there.

    What is it that we can reasonably accomplish? To whom do we have obligations?

    I don’t pretend to have the answers to these questions, and proper answers to them are what we need to help restore our credibility.

    • Anonymous

      You’re absolutely right, Obama’s statement that US forces would begin to withdraw in mid-2011 is indeed a confusing signal. Since that statement, both Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary of Defense Gates have been dissembling left and right to emphasize that that date is not set in stone. They were on Meet the Press together on Sunday to state exactly that. To see the clip, click here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032608/vp/34299113#34299113 and scroll down a bit. You might have to sit through a Boeing commercial, but after that the clip with Sec.s Clinton and Gates will begin.

      The difficulty for Obama is that his speech (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZLVqhsLgIw) had a whole litany of different audiences, each of whom took something different from the speech.

      First- the American people. He had to set a time horizon for withdraw to send his constituent the message that our commitment is not everlasting, especially with the 2010 and 2012 elections creeping ever closer.
      Second- the Afghan government. The decision to send more troops says “we support you” but the time horizon is primarily directed at the corrupt polity of Hamid Karzai. The statement is that they had better get their act together and curb corruption within their government, because that’s the only way they’re going to build support among their people and de-legitimize the Taliban. This is the most difficult balancing act, because if conditions are not better come 2011, and Obama does decide to pull out, it will be an even bigger disaster for US credibility because of how hard we’ve tried and still failed.
      Third- The Taliban and al-Qaida. He had to tell them that we’re still coming for them. For their ears, it would have been better not to specify a withdraw date, because knowing that could allow them to just sit tight until 2011, and once we’re gone, launch an all new assault. However, our presence in their country legitimizes their battle and bolsters recruiting efforts, so it would seem that this strategy would rob them of their boogey man.
      Fourth- The Afghan people. He wants them to know that we’re going to be there to protect them, and that when we clear the Taliban out of a town, we’re no longer going to move on to the next town so the Taliban can just roll back into town and kill anyone who’s seen as a collaborator. Once again, it would have been better for this audience not to hear about the withdraw date, because that might cause them to hedge their bets
      Fifth- Our allies. Once again, sending in more troops is our way of saying “follow us, this is our battle and we’re going to win.” The hope is that it will inspire our allies to shoulder a little more of the load, and with NATO committing an additional 7,000 troops to the effort, it would seem that this has been accomplished.
      Sixth- Pakistan. Similar to the Afghan people, he wants Pakistan (both the people and the government) to know that we’re not going to abandon them, and that we’re taking further ownership of the battle. The withdraw date was not exactly music to Pakistanis’ ears.

      That’s a lot of audiences whose interests he had to balance. Overall he and his advisors must have made the decision that including the withdraw date was better than leaving it out. As John McCain said in a piece on ForeignPolicy.com this week, it’s not good for our credibility, but the idea is that making the statement covers Obama politically for now, and hopefully when 2011 rolls around, the situation on the ground will be different. If not, he’s going to have a difficult time getting another troop surge.

      Also, I agree that those two questions are key, and that a realist perspective is the best approach. We’re there, what’s happened has happened, what do we do next and why? The administration has made the decision to escalate, let’s hope it’s the right one.

      I did read the article you suggested. An interesting perspective, the author seems to say that the entire war is futile. That might be right, but he doesn’t address the potential consequences of a complete pull-out. That’s what I’m attempting to do.

      Thanks for weighing in!

  • afivenson

    You’re absolutely right, Obama’s statement that US forces would begin to withdraw in mid-2011 is indeed a confusing signal. Since that statement, both Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary of Defense Gates have been dissembling left and right to emphasize that that date is not set in stone. They were on Meet the Press together on Sunday to state exactly that. To see the clip, click here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032608/vp/34299113… and scroll down a bit. You might have to sit through a Boeing commercial, but after that the clip with Sec.s Clinton and Gates will begin.

    The difficulty for Obama is that his speech (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZLVqhsLgIw) had a whole litany of different audiences, each of whom took something different from the speech.

    First- the American people. He had to set a time horizon for withdraw to send his constituent the message that our commitment is not everlasting, especially with the 2010 and 2012 elections creeping ever closer.
    Second- the Afghan government. The decision to send more troops says “we support you” but the time horizon is primarily directed at the corrupt polity of Hamid Karzai. The statement is that they had better get their act together and curb corruption within their government, because that’s the only way they’re going to build support among their people and de-legitimize the Taliban. This is the most difficult balancing act, because if conditions are not better come 2011, and Obama does decide to pull out, it will be an even bigger disaster for US credibility because of how hard we’ve tried and still failed.
    Third- The Taliban and al-Qaida. He had to tell them that we’re still coming for them. For their ears, it would have been better not to specify a withdraw date, because knowing that could allow them to just sit tight until 2011, and once we’re gone, launch an all new assault. However, our presence in their country legitimizes their battle and bolsters recruiting efforts, so it would seem that this strategy would rob them of their boogey man.
    Fourth- The Afghan people. He wants them to know that we’re going to be there to protect them, and that when we clear the Taliban out of a town, we’re no longer going to move on to the next town so the Taliban can just roll back into town and kill anyone who’s seen as a collaborator. Once again, it would have been better for this audience not to hear about the withdraw date, because that might cause them to hedge their bets
    Fifth- Our allies. Once again, sending in more troops is our way of saying “follow us, this is our battle and we’re going to win.” The hope is that it will inspire our allies to shoulder a little more of the load, and with NATO committing an additional 7,000 troops to the effort, it would seem that this has been accomplished.
    Sixth- Pakistan. Similar to the Afghan people, he wants Pakistan (both the people and the government) to know that we’re not going to abandon them, and that we’re taking further ownership of the battle. The withdraw date was not exactly music to Pakistanis’ ears.

    That’s a lot of audiences whose interests he had to balance. Overall he and his advisors must have made the decision that including the withdraw date was better than leaving it out. As John McCain said in a piece on ForeignPolicy.com this week, it’s not good for our credibility, but the idea is that making the statement covers Obama politically for now, and hopefully when 2011 rolls around, the situation on the ground will be different. If not, he’s going to have a difficult time getting another troop surge.

    Also, I agree that those two questions are key, and that a realist perspective is the best approach. We’re there, what’s happened has happened, what do we do next and why? The administration has made the decision to escalate, let’s hope it’s the right one.

    I did read the article you suggested. An interesting perspective, the author seems to say that the entire war is futile. That might be right, but he doesn’t address the potential consequences of a complete pull-out. That’s what I’m attempting to do.

    Thanks for weighing in!

  • afivenson

    Thanks for the response Mike. You make great points, and all of them force me to think harder about all of my own.

    First, on the subject of credibility as a justification for war.

    We didn’t enter either war because of credibility, but given the position we’re in today, it’s a major reason why our elected officials have made the decision they have made.

    Obviously the decision to invade Iraq was a misguided one from the start, and it has done major damage to our international credibility (the Bush presidency did plenty of that). The goal now is, in effect, damage control. Paradoxically, that means sending more of our boys into harm’s way (personal friends of mine among them).

    I think the key is to approach it from a realist perspective, that is to say, we are in the situation we’re in because of what we’ve done before. There’s nothing we can do about that, all we can do is look forward to the next decision. For me, that means whether or not you agree with our presence there, the fact is that pulling out now, and not accomplishing our goals, would be very harmful to us on the international stage. If we did decide to pull out, a lot of countries would applaud the decision, but they would also be licking their chops and seeing that the US no longer has the fortitude or the will to lead among nations. With China, India, and Brazil all eager to take their seats at the big boys table and push their own interests on the international stage, we have to be more concerned than ever about where we stand. That’s not to say that international politics is a zero sum game; we can all rise together, but in order to keep setting the agenda as we have done for the past fifty years, we’ve got to have credibility, other countries have to know that following our lead is the path to success, not failure. The decision makers understand this, although they’ll never say it. They have to stick to the homeland-security argument, because that’s the only one that constituents will condone.

    Second, I wholeheartedly agree that unique formulation of our political, social, and economic culture has led to our elevated position in the world, but you must admit that this relationship is cyclical, especially in today’s interconnected world. This was a topic I meant to delve deeper into in the post, and I think explaining how American diplomatic (and military) might has bettered our lives at home is worth a whole separate post. Still, I think it can be said that it wasn’t until our great military victories earlier in the 20th century that the United States was really catapulted into the position of a “hyperpower” and it has been thanks to our diplomatic efforts that we’ve been able to capitalize on that position. I guess one way to look at it might be that our quality of life (and thus our ability to innovate and create) HAS elevated our position in the world, but our position in the world has also contributed to our quality of life, especially in the latter half of the 20th century.

    Thirdly, as for the decision to send more troops, I don’t like it any more than the next person. Once again, my intent is not to lend support to the decision, but simply to shed some light on the factors that have contributed to it.

    Thanks for the comments, I hope our discussion isn’t over!

  • afivenson

    Thanks for reading, Dan.

  • http://www.uncorkedventures.com wine clubs

    I don't think any American's would have questioned the increase in troops with Afghanistan if Iraq never happened. It's an impossible topic to really understand, but I hope our troops are able to stay safe!

  • http://www.uncorkedventures.com wine clubs

    I don’t think any American’s would have questioned the increase in troops with Afghanistan if Iraq never happened. It’s an impossible topic to really understand, but I hope our troops are able to stay safe!

  • suzannecamarillo

    I am for this completely. WE have to stay there and fight. we have to learn to live by what we say. it is our right to help and its there right to help us. i mean we can only help those that help themselves and right now they have to fight if they want freedom like we have they can do it but it takes time and money which we can do and help is what they are getting right now.

  • Anonymous

    I am for this completely. WE have to stay there and fight. we have to learn to live by what we say. it is our right to help and its there right to help us. i mean we can only help those that help themselves and right now they have to fight if they want freedom like we have they can do it but it takes time and money which we can do and help is what they are getting right now.

  • KimGorney

    To: The other reason we are “war Mungers”

    Your dialog of this and other wars this country has jumped into have created costs, ie deaths, permanent disabilities, mental and emotional scares for soldiers and their families and the Dollars taken out of our essential budgets to support such wars. The only wars ever won by the US were accomplished by the big mushroom. How can you expect a troop to be on guard to not kill the wrong person on the street and get court mashall and life in the brig….We financially can't support our own essential immenities. Our special interest politics is making a mockery of the middle-class that already took big hits in financial security and comfort. We are going without, but those big boys lost, but have much more to back them up…..Let the “Big Corporations and Big Money” people fund their own missions……Weapons of Mass distruction was a American form of propraganda to brain wash the US population….When is the nonesense going to end??

    IF someone needs our manpower support, then contract us and bare the cost…..If the economy was strong and jobs were available, military manpower would be hard to come by without instituting the draft, which many of us reluctantly had to experience…

  • Anonymous

    To: The other reason we are “war Mungers”

    Your dialog of this and other wars this country has jumped into have created costs, ie deaths, permanent disabilities, mental and emotional scares for soldiers and their families and the Dollars taken out of our essential budgets to support such wars. The only wars ever won by the US were accomplished by the big mushroom. How can you expect a troop to be on guard to not kill the wrong person on the street and get court mashall and life in the brig….We financially can’t support our own essential immenities. Our special interest politics is making a mockery of the middle-class that already took big hits in financial security and comfort. We are going without, but those big boys lost, but have much more to back them up…..Let the “Big Corporations and Big Money” people fund their own missions……Weapons of Mass distruction was a American form of propraganda to brain wash the US population….When is the nonesense going to end??

    IF someone needs our manpower support, then contract us and bare the cost…..If the economy was strong and jobs were available, military manpower would be hard to come by without instituting the draft, which many of us reluctantly had to experience…

    • Anonymous

      Kim, thanks for your thoughtful response. I’m glad to know that you are so passionate about this issue.

      I agree with you: war is bar-none the most horrible institution that we as a species have created. No one likes the effects it has on individuals, and on a society as a whole. That being said, the purpose of my post was not to rally in favor of war, but to understand the factors that went into the decision making process that led to President Obama’s announcement last week. The questions I am attempting to answer are:

      -Why would our leaders make such a decision, as they, above all people, recognize the costs associated?
      -What benefits do they see that maybe most people don’t?

      Understanding how the answers to those questions apply to US national interests will help us to better reconcile our situation, and maybe even quicken our exit from Afghanistan on grounds beneficial to those national interests.

      If you’re interested in the war, and what we’re doing there, I urge you to start reading the experts on both sides of the issue and trying to understand their perspectives. That will help you to deepen your own knowledge of the situation. You might look into the following information sources:

      http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/
      http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/
      http://www.cnas.org/blogs/abumuqawama
      http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/

      • Anonymous

        We don’t need more propaganda on what these war mongers want for their stance…………Our country has made moves that if it was put on a ballot, would fail……These war/power mongers have nothing to lose…It is time this country not support the politicians agendas…………I am an X-vet and it is stupid what this country is trying to push to the rest of the world only for financial benefit to a very minimal group of greeds………………Protect our borders, eliminate all the foreign intrusion that is promoted by the factions that are trying to solve their wars they fled to this nation and are trying to fight them from here……………..Enough is Enough..Lets eliminate the legalized bribery system called “pac” and special interest groups so American Votes mean something….I don’t need to read about foreign issues………….The problem is within our borders

        ________________________________

  • afivenson

    wine clubs & suzannecamarillo: thanks for your comments

  • afivenson

    Kim, thanks for your thoughtful response. I'm glad to know that you are so passionate about this issue.

    I agree with you: war is bar-none the most horrible human institutions that we as a species have created. No one likes the effects it has on individuals, and on a society as a whole. That being said, the purpose of my post was not to rally in favor of war, but to understand the factors that went into the decision making process that led to President Obama's announcement last week. The questions I am attempting to answer are:

    -Why would our leaders make such a decision, as they, above all people, recognize the costs associated?
    -What benefits do they see that maybe most people don't?

    Understanding how the answers to those questions apply to US national interests will help us to better reconcile our situation, and maybe even quicken our exit from Afghanistan on grounds beneficial to those national interests.

    If you're interested in the war, and what we're doing there, I urge you to start reading the experts on both sides of the issue and trying to understand their perspectives. That will help you to deepen your own knowledge of the situation. You might look into the following information sources:

    http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/
    http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/
    http://www.cnas.org/blogs/abumuqawama
    http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/

  • Anonymous

    wine clubs & suzannecamarillo: thanks for your comments

  • KimGorney

    We don't need more propaganda on what these war mongers want for their stance…………Our country has made moves that if it was put on a ballot, would fail……These war/power mongers have nothing to lose…It is time this country not support the politicians agendas…………I am an X-vet and it is stupid what this country is trying to push to the rest of the world only for financial benefit to a very minimal group of greeds………………Protect our borders, eliminate all the foreign intrusion that is promoted by the factions that are trying to solve their wars they fled to this nation and are trying to fight them from here……………..Enough is Enough..Lets eliminate the legalized bribery system called “pac” and special interest groups so American Votes mean something….I don't need to read about foreign issues………….The problem is within our borders

    ________________________________

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