Veterans group blasts lawmakers for bungling process, misses opportunity to make real progress
ARLINGTON, Va.—Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) on Wednesday responded to the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, castigating lawmakers for botching the deliberative process and failure to craft a meaningful bill that addresses systemic challenges to our national security.
Russ Duerstine, CVA’s Deputy Director, had this to say about the bill:
“For the last 20 years, our military has been consumed by the demands of fighting seemingly endless wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. After America has ended its longest war and on the heels of another failed audit of the Department of Defense, the NDAA was a chance to course correct on defense priorities, rein in wasteful and unnecessary spending to better meet the current and future defense needs of the country. Instead, lawmakers have chosen to spend more money, punt on the issue of Congressional war powers, and maintain an unsustainable defense posture. Our lawmakers have done a disservice to our troops, our national security, and the American people.”
Due to partisan bickering and egotism, Congress was forced to resort to a “ping pong” process to pass the annual defense authorization bill—a measure vital to American national security. Duerstine highlighted one bright spot in the bill—an amendment from Sen. Duckworth (Ill.) which would create a bipartisan commission to identify what went wrong throughout the 20-year war in Afghanistan.
“However flawed the process and unmeritorious the bill, we are glad to see Sen. Duckworth’s Afghanistan War Commission Act included in the final bill. This is a critical step to making sure our leaders are accountable to the American people and ensuring we do not again get sucked into an endless war not in our national interest.”
CVA was also disappointed that lawmakers failed to include commonsense cost-saving reforms such as Sen. Lee’s (Ut.) proposal to prevent the misuse of emergency war funding, and an amendment from Sens. Young (Ind.) and Kaine (Va.) which would have repealed the outdated 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs).