Issue Position: Afghanistan and Iraq

Issue Position

Congressman Dingell believes that President Obama is leading America on the right course in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in turn, making our country safer. Congressman Dingell supports the Obama Administration's main goal in Afghanistan of "disrupting, dismantling, and defeating al Qaeda and its extremist allies." He also supports the Administration's plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq while remaining committed to helping Iraq's fledgling democracy. Below you can find more information on Congressman Dingell's views and legislative actions with respect to these two countries.

The Obama Administration inherited two badly mismanaged wars from the previous Administration. While Congressman Dingell was against the Iraq war from its inception, he believes President Obama is rightly focusing on the United States' daunting mission in Afghanistan. Congressman Dingell supports the Obama Administration's plan to increase the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan by 30,000, bringing the total to near 100,000, and to begin a responsible drawdown in 2011.

On March 10, 2010, the House considered H.Con.Res. 248, a resolution directing the President to remove the United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution. Though he voted against bringing the troops home immediatelyas the resolution called for and instead favors President Obama's plan for a responsible troop drawdown, Congressman Dingell was pleased that Congress was able to have a full debate in front of the American people on our nation's course in Afghanistan.

Congressman Dingell supported President Obama's plan to responsibly end the Iraq War by withdrawing all combat troops prior to August 31, 2010, and supports the withdrawal of all remaining troops in Iraq by the end of 2011. Congressman Dingell understands that after years of mismanagement and no accountability by the Bush Administration, pulling out the troops too rapidly would be dangerous for American soldiers and Iraqis alike.

In 2002, Congressman Dingell opposed the use of force resolution that authorized the war in Iraq. He felt that the President did not make an adequate case for war and was unprepared for the invasion's aftermath. Congressman Dingell did not believe that the President made a persuasive case that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction or that he was on the verge to giving them to terrorists. He did not believe that Iraq was the central front in what the Bush Administration termed, "the War on Terror." And Congressman Dingell did not think that the Administration had a plan to rebuild the country after the war. Tragically, he was proven correct on all of these points. Read a letter he wrote to President Bush prior to the authorization vote outlining his concerns.

In 2007, Congressman Dingell introduced legislation to force President Bush to take responsibility for the war in Iraq. The legislation would have required the President to begin a troop withdrawal from Iraq within 30 days of its enactment and complete the withdrawal by the time President Bush left office on January 20, 2009. H.R. 3938, the Bring Our Troops Home Responsibly Act of 2007, would have also required the President to implement the findings of the Iraq Study Group, assist with the rebuilding and reconstruction of Iraq, engage in vigorous diplomacy to enlist the assistance of other regional and global actors in these efforts, and provide humanitarian assistance to millions of Iraq refugees that have been displaced by sectarian violence. Congressman Dingell did not re-introduce the legislation in the 111th Congress because President Obama put forward a responsible plan to end the war in Iraq.

Iraqis are now one of the largest displaced population in the world and the fastest-growing refugee population globally. More than two million refugees have fled to neighboring countries such as Jordan and Syria, causing serious resource and security challenges for these countries. An additional 2.5 million Iraqis have been internally displaced, having fled their homes due to the ongoing threat of sectarian violence. Congressman Dingell believes that our government has a moral responsibility to provide leadership for this expanding humanitarian crisis. He is a primary cosponsor of legislation introduced by Representative Alcee Hastings (D-FL-23) which provides a comprehensive plan to assist Iraqi refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). Click here to read the legislation. Congressman Dingell has also made numerous calls to increase funding for the crisis.
Supporting our Troops

Our soldiers and their families have paid an enormous cost during these long conflicts, and they have performed admirably. As a veteran of WWII, Congressman Dingell believes strongly that the United States must ensure our soldiers have the resources they need in battle and have quality care and benefits when they transition to civilian life. Click here to read more about Congressman Dingell's work for our veterans.