Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) were among the first members of Congress to sign a new pledge vowing to end America’s “forever wars.”
“We’re watching our friends who we served with now on their eighth and ninth deployments. We’re seeing our kids now will be old enough to enlist and having to have hard conversations about that.”
—Alexander McCoy, Common Defense
“The United States has been in a state of continuous, global, open-ended military conflict since 2001,” reads the pledge, which the veterans group Common Defense launched on Monday. “Over 2.5 million troops have fought in this ‘Forever War’ in over a dozen countries—including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Niger, Somalia, and Thailand.”
The five other lawmakers who joined Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders, and Warren as the first supporters of the “End the Forever War” pledge were: Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.).
“I pledge to the people of the United States of America, and to our military community in particular, that I will (1) fight to reclaim Congress’s constitutional authority to conduct oversight of U.S. foreign policy and independently debate whether to authorize each new use of military force, and (2) act to bring the Forever War to a responsible and expedient conclusion,” the document states.
The “End the Forever War” effort was started by Common Defense, an advocacy group comprised of veterans and military families committed to drawing down America’s perpetual overseas conflicts, which have inflicted untold damage and taken countless lives throughout the world. Common Defense has over 150,000 supporters across all 50 states, according to the organization’s website.
In what The Intercept described as a “first-of-its kind lobbying effort,” Common Defense organizers traveled to Capitol Hill last week to urge lawmakers to sign on and commit to fundamentally transforming U.S. foreign policy.