BOISE, Idaho – A bipartisan coalition of Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans Wednesday said Congress should heed the findings of a new poll in which nearly 70 percent of Americans said they support withdrawing U.S. troops from both war-torn countries. The YouGov poll, which surveyed 1,000 Americans from Jan. 10-13, also found that 60 percent of Americans oppose the U.S. entering yet another war in the Middle East with Iran.
Dan McKnight, founder of BringOurTroopsHome.US, said “the more the American people learn about the corruption, lies, and futility of our nearly two-decade long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — all at the cost of over 3,000 American lives and $8 trillion in American tax dollars — the angrier and stronger they’re becoming in support of President Trump’s efforts to end these endless wars and bring our troops home.”
“We urge Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch and other Congressional leaders to follow the growing demand of the American people that the best way to support our troops and put America first is to bring our troops home, and do it now,” said McKnight, a U.S. Army and U.S Marine Corps Reserves veteran who served eighteen months in Afghanistan with the Idaho Army National Guard.
McKnight also noted that bringing troops home would respect a resolution adopted earlier this month by the Iraqi Parliament, asking the U.S. to remove its forces from the country.
“If overthrowing Saddam and establishing a democratic government was the reason we invaded that country, we should abide by our own democratic principles and heed the wishes of both the American people and the democratically-elected representatives of the people of Iraq,” he said.
McKnight said Risch and his counterparts on the U.S. House and Senate committees on Foreign Relations, Intelligence, and Armed Forces should also immediately convene public hearings on the findings of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
“This time, the consequences are rolling uphill, and heads should roll along with it,” McKnight said. “Government bureaucrats and politicians who allowed this waste of thousands of American lives and trillions of tax dollars to occur should be dragged into the public spotlight and held accountable.”
“The American people have constantly been lied to,” said SIGAR director John Sopko, summarizing the Congressionally-authorized watchdog group’s findings, published by the Washington Post after gaining access to the report through a Freedom of Information Act request.
McKnight said his group is especially outraged by SIGAR’s findings — which resulted in a lawsuit in December by a hundred Gold Star families, who survived U.S. military personnel killed in Afghanistan — that the U.S. hired military contractors who then used U.S. tax dollars to make “protection” payments to Taliban forces who used the money to finance killing American soldiers. One military contractor in a public statement defended the practice by saying it had been instructed to do so by U.S. government agencies.
“This polling proves that the American people are starting to pay attention and become aware of such outrageous reports, even though they’ve barely been covered by the news media, and a day of reckoning is coming,” McKnight said. “Politicians in Washington need to tell the American people the truth, however outrageous it may be, and then decide which side they want to be standing on when the smoke clears.”
McKnight said growing public support for withdrawing U.S. troops from the Middle East is also reflected among state legislators who in five states so far this year, have introduced “Defend the Guard” legislation requiring that their state’s National Guard units shall not be deployed to long-term combat or combat support duty overseas unless Congress has first declared war, as provided by the U.S. Constitution.
(See www.DefendTheGuard.US, a project of BringOurTroopsHome.US, for details.)
The new YouGov poll also found that 60 percent of Americans oppose the U.S. going to war with Iran.
POLL QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES:
Do you support or oppose bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq?
37% Strongly support
31% Somewhat support
13% Somewhat oppose
4% Strongly oppose
16% Don’t know
Do you support or oppose bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan?
38% Strongly support
31% Somewhat support
10% Somewhat oppose
4% Strongly oppose
17% Don’t know
Would you support or oppose the United States going to war with Iran?
11% Strongly support
14% Somewhat support
17% Somewhat oppose
43% Strongly oppose
15% Don’t know
ABOUT YOUGOV AND SURVEY METHODOLOGY
YouGov is an international research, data, and analytics group headquartered in London with a proprietary web-based panel of over 8 million people globally.
YouGov interviewed 1,053 respondents from January 10-13. These results were then matched down to a sample of 1,000 to produce the final dataset. The respondents were matched to a sampling frame on gender, age, race, and education using the full 2016 American Community Survey, weighted to the sampling frame using propensity scores. The resulting weights were then post-stratified on 2016 Presidential vote choice, and a four-way stratification of gender, age (4-categories), race (4-categories), and education (4-categories), to produce the final weight.
For more information: BringOurTroopsHome.US