America must win these wars. Their outcomes will for a long time determine American's perception of themselves and the nation, and affect our dealings with the rest of the world.
The mission of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is to ensure the enactment of policies that properly provide for our Troops & Veterans, keep our military strong, and guarantee our national security for the purpose of a stronger America. We uniquely empower Iraq & Afghanistan combat veterans to use their credibility and experiences to speak truth to power, shape public opinion, and place a priority on these issues. In 2003, President Bush began the war in Iraq against the advice of many military experts and despite calls for restraint from the American people and members of Congress. Then-Congressman Sanders was among those to voice strong opposition to the war at that time, and thereafter.
President Bush told the American people that the war was necessary because Saddam Hussein was hoarding weapons of mass destruction. He insisted the war would be short, and that his strategy would insure a smooth and rapid transition to a stable, democratic government in Iraq. President Bush was, as we all know now, wrong on all counts. Senator Sanders, with foresight, voted against the war, which he believed would be costly, not easily successful, and not justified by the facts on the ground. Years later, thousands of American soldiers are dead and tens of thousands have been wounded. No evidence that weapons of mass destruction ever existed has been found. President Bush's imprudent actions left our soldiers and the Iraqi people mired in violence, chaos, and civil war for seven years, and only recently has some semblance of civil order been restored. Bush's misguided war in Iraq had an alarming toll on the people of Iraq. According to UN estimates, millions of Iraqis were displaced by violence. The Iraqi refugee diaspora included more than a million people in Syria and many more in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, and elsewhere.( Arnold, 96)
Also, the war - at a time of rising federal deficits - costs the United States $12 billion a month; there are credible estimates that the ultimate cost of the war will be more than $1 trillion. The war put us deeper and deeper in debt as we rebuilt Iraq while we ignored the urgent need to rebuild our aging infrastructure and other unmet needs here at home. Time and again, Senator Sanders voted for legislation to bring an end to the war and safely redeploy our troops. Additionally, he introduced a resolution in the Senate which affirmed the sole authority of Congress under the U.S. Constitution to declare war.
A colleague of the current president when Obama was in the Senate, Sanders and Obama worked together to push for a timetable for the withdrawal of our troops. Now that Obama is president, Sanders supports his efforts to bring our troops home safely, and ...