Auchincloss, Moulton, Warren Support Biden Bringing Troops Home From Afghanistan This Year

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If all goes according to plan, the United States will withdraw all of its troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021 — the 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The United States has been fighting wars in the Middle East ever since, including the Afghanistan War. It’s one that former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump said at various points they would bring to a close. Now, reports say that the Biden administration will bring it to an end. He won’t use the May 1 target date that Trump set but rather, he is giving the country more than four additional months to get it done — if the administration goes through with it.

It’s a move that the two U.S. Marine Corps veterans in the Massachusetts Congressional delegation are on board with, according to statements their communications teams sent NewBostonPost on Wednesday:  U.S. Representative Seth Moulton (D-Salem) and U.S. Representative Jake Auchincloss (D-Newton). The same is true of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Cambridge).

A press spokesman for Auchincloss emailed NewBostonPost a statement on Biden’s announcement, including a few things Auchincloss wants the United States to do when it comes to foreign policy moving forward. The written statement refers to Congress’s Authorization for Use of Military Force. It says in part:


Twenty years at war. Not only have we not succeeded, we can’t even define success. Why? Because ‘the American people have constantly been lied to,’ according to a US Inspector General. How do we rebuild trust after the failed forever wars?

  • Repeal & replace the AUMF to strengthen congressional oversight of warmaking

  • Cut the Pentagon’s bloated budget and invest instead in diplomacy, humanitarian aid, public health, and climate change

  • Increase support for Israel and its burgeoning regional alliances, as a stabilizing mechanism for the Middle East


Congress approved the Authorization for Use of Military Force of 2001. As U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) noted in 2017, the resolution states:  “The President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons who he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11th, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations, or persons.”

When Auchincloss ran for Congress, he supported withdrawing troops from Afghanistan — but not right away.

“Recent negotiations with the Taliban have set the stage for a U.S. withdrawal, but the process will not be complete until the Taliban finish negotiations with the Afghan government — a process that could take months or years,” Auchincloss’s national security policy read. “The United States, therefore, must establish clear objectives for the remainder of our troop presence and withdrawal period.”

Meanwhile, Moulton’s team sent NewBostonPost a statement from the congressman on the matter 20 minutes after a reporter emailed the office seeking a comment.

Moulton says it will be a challenge to leave Afghanistan and do it right, but that he is glad that the Biden administration will give more time to bring the war to a close. Moulton said in the written statement:


It is far more difficult to end a war than to start one. Almost 20 years on, it is clear we won’t win the war in Afghanistan, but there are still devastating ways we could lose. I am encouraged that President Biden will extend the deadline for our withdrawal beyond the May 1st deadline arbitrarily set by President Trump.

As we approach September, there are three primary factors we need to consider. We must maintain a presence in the region to counter the threat of terrorism against the United States. We must support the stability of the Afghan government so that the Afghan people keep the rights they have gained since the Taliban were forced from power. And, we must ensure that the future situation in Afghanistan doesn’t contribute to instability in a region where Pakistan has nuclear weapons and Iran desperately wants influence.

If we have learned anything in the last 20 years it is that there is nothing worse for America’s service members than leaving positions and returning the next year with more troops to fight and die for the same goals we failed to achieve the last time we were there. President Trump set us up to repeat the failures of the past when he attempted to use ending the war for his reelection bid. President Biden’s reported decision to delay the May 1st deadline is the right decision for our service members and for our allies.

I want to bring home our troops, but we must bring them home for good.


Last July, Moulton opposed the Trump administration’s plans to end the Afghanistan War. He voted in favor of an amendment that prevented the United States from dipping below 8,000 troops in the region.

“There’s been bipartisan criticism of what a weak deal he got with the Taliban, a deal that is already falling apart,” Moulton said of Trump at the time, according to The Hill. “Now we learned that he was making this deal at the same time as there were bounties on the heads of American troops, American sons and daughters. We clearly need more oversight over what the president is doing in Afghanistan.”

As for Biden’s decision this week, Senator Warren says she backs it.

“I strongly support President Biden’s commitment to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan. September 11, 2021 will mark nearly 20 years of our presence there and while our withdrawal comes years late, President Biden recognizes the reality that our continued presence there does not make the U.S. or the world safer,” Warren said in a statement sent to NewBostonPost by her communications team. “Year after year, military leaders told Congress and the American people that we were finally turning the corner in Afghanistan, but ultimately we were only turning in a vicious circle.

“For nearly 20 years, we have adopted a costly war-based approach to national security and counterterrorism policy with no clear endgame,” she added. “This strategy has damaged the United States’ reputation worldwide, undermined our security, devastated the Middle East, and cost the lives of thousands of servicemembers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans. It’s time to bring our troops home.”

Warren was also for bringing the troops home when Trump was president. 

“We have been in Afghanistan for 18 years with increasingly diminishing returns to our own security — we’ve ‘turned the corner’ so many times it seems we’re now going in circles,” Warren said when running for president in 2019, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. “Expecting a military victory when a political settlement is required is unfair to our military, and unfair to the Afghan people. It’s long past time to bring our troops home, and I would begin to do so immediately.”

The United States has spent more than $6.4 trillion on wars in the Middle East, according to CNBC, including more than $2 trillion in Afghanistan. The Afghan War has cost the country about $45 billion per year in recent years, according to PBS.

The American death tolls in Afghanistan in the War on Terror exceeds 2,300 troops, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

The American people overwhelmingly favor ending the Afghanistan War; 76 percent want to bring the troops home from the country, according to The National Interest.

NewBostonPost contacted the press offices of every member of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation for comment on the matter around noontime on Wednesday, April 14 and will provide updates if anyone else responds.


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