Reiterates calls for a comprehensive whole-of-government strategy to include military and diplomatic options to end 16-year war


Washington (August 21, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement in response to President Trump's speech on the U.S. administration's policy toward Afghanistan. 


“President Trump was clear about only one aspect in his plan for America’s war in Afghanistan – escalation,” said Senator Markey. “The President’s speech left critical questions unanswered: how many of our men and women in uniform will be sent back to Afghanistan, what would they do, what risks will they face, and how would their efforts help bring the war between the Taliban and the Afghan government to an end. The conflict in Afghanistan is America’s longest war and has cost the American people far too much. Our servicemembers deserve to know that the President has a real plan to end this conflict before we send more American soldiers back into a quagmire. 


“I oppose the resumption of a U.S.-led ground combat against insurgents fighting the Afghan government. The war between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents cannot be won by military force; it will end only through political agreement.


“The President’s speech lacked essential detail about how the State Department will pursue such a diplomatic strategy, especially at a time when he is slashing the level of diplomatic staff who do this work.”