POLITICAL ARENA

Engel already eyeing Afghanistan

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Some might want to say U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel has been a bit distracted with last month’s impeachment of President Donald Trump — but the longtime congressman would wholeheartedly disagree.

One of Engel’s primary challengers, Jamaal Bowman, demanded the House Foreign Affairs Committee chair launch an investigation into America’s ongoing military involvement in Afghanistan after The Washington Post released documents they say prove government officials have lied about the status of the 18-year conflict there, and whether military objectives would ever be met.

“The shocking report reveals that our political leaders have not been honest and transparent about the nearly trillion-dollar war in Afghanistan,” Bowman said in a release last month. “Our leaders in Washington must immediately address this debacle,” specifically calling on Engel to do something.

But it seems Engel already was at least a step or two ahead. The congressman announced his committee would hold a hearing with the Afghanistan special inspector general in light of the Post reporting back on Dec. 10.

“The war in Afghanistan has gone on too long, and I’m disgusted by the failures in U.S. policymaking which have kept our forces there for years after they should have departed,” Engel said in a statement at the time.

“Since becoming chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I have pressed the administration to talk directly with the Taliban to find a responsible way to end the war and bring our troops home. This week’s reporting confirms many of my concerns about the lack of a coherent and achievable strategy to ending the way in Afghanistan, and the committee will continue to seek answers about what went wrong in Afghanistan, and how to bring the war to an end.”

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