18 years into the US occupation of Afghanistan, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) is looking to ensure that the war can continue to be a sinkhole for US troops and money for years to come, introducing the Ensuring a Security Afghanistan Act.
The bill, which Cheney is cosponsoring with Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Mike Waltz (R-FL), would forbid the president from reducing the US troop level in Afghanistan below 10,000 unless a broad and unlikely set of military requirements are first met.
Cheney argued that an unoccupied Afghanistan would be a “safe haven for terrorism,” claiming that al-Qaeda remains close to the Taliban and that the conditions on the ground don’t support the US leaving.
In reality, there is no sign of an active Taliban relationship with al-Qaeda at all, and the Taliban have openly promised that in any peace deal they would forbid al-Qaeda and ISIS from being present in Afghanistan.
She and her limited Congressional supporters argue that the deal in the process of being negotiated is a “bad deal,” and that the bill is designed to prevent it. They argue keeping US troops there will keep Afghanistan “stable and safe,” despite Afghanistan suffering repeated military defeats to the Taliban, and still nowhere near self-sufficient after a generation of war.