National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

Date: May 17, 2012
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KINZINGER of Illinois. Mr. Chairman, leadership isn't easy. These are lessons that we learned all through history. We learned it from Abraham Lincoln when he had to face a union that was dissolving. I learned it in officer training as a pilot in the military. And I learned it in my experience overseas.

Think of the sacrifice that our troops have made in Afghanistan. Now, we understand it's been too long, but think of the sacrifice they've made. Now we're getting ready--very quickly, with the passage of an amendment, if this passes--to say we're just getting out; we're not going to leave the commanders on the ground with the authority to say how we do it or what we do.

What are we going to say to our troops if this passes, and what are we going to say to Bibi? Bibi is a young woman in Afghanistan who at the age of 12 was sold into slavery because somebody committed a crime in her family and the Taliban required her to be sold into slavery. She escaped and had her nose and ears cut off. Her uncle and her family turned their back on her as she tried to crawl to safety. She went to an American forward operating base, where she was granted safety and freedom. What are we going to say to Bibi when we pick up and say, you know what, we've had enough, we're just going to pick up and leave today?

This is a big deal. I would urge my colleagues to oppose this ill-thought-out amendment.