Veterans group urges Congress to focus on good policy, not political posturing
ARLINGTON, Va.—Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Executive Director, Nate Anderson, on Monday issued the following statement ahead of a potential veto of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):
“The FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act is flawed legislation that has become a vehicle for making political statements rather than setting defense policy and authorizing funding for our armed forces. President Trump is justified in vetoing the 2021 NDAA because it circumvents the executive branch’s war powers and keeps troops in Afghanistan, perpetuating endless wars. Congress is risking the unnecessary loss of more American lives and undermining the withdrawal agreement that was signed in February. Likewise, forcing the military to keep tens of thousands of troops deployed in countries with significant wealth and defense capabilities, like Germany or South Korea, makes it more difficult for the U.S. military to respond to national security challenges of the future and disincentivizes our partners and allies from investing in their own defense.
It is our hope Congress and the White House can come together to develop a NDAA that does not contain these flawed provisions and instead prioritizes the long-term security of our nation and the well-being of those brave service members who work tirelessly to keep America safe.”
CVA Executive Director Nate Anderson and Senior Advisor Dan Caldwell penned an op-ed earlier this year on the flawed Cheney-Crow amendment to the NDAA that would exacerbate what has been a misguided policy in Afghanistan, jeopardizing American lives and needlessly prolonging our involvement in a war that we no longer need to fight.
CVA launched a $1.5 million national ad campaign in January aimed at bringing our troops home from Afghanistan. The group followed it up with a second phase of the campaign, which launched in July, continuing its nationwide grassroots effort. In total, the campaign has generated over 700,000 letters to leaders in Washington urging them to end our “forever wars.” The End Endless War campaign evolved from CVA’s Rethink Foreign Policy effort, which the group launched in mid-2019.
Polling commissioned by CVA earlier this year showed a continued increase in support for a more restrained foreign policy. From 2019 to 2020, support among veterans for withdrawing from Afghanistan rose 13 percentage points – from 60 percent to 73 percent. Among military family members, it rose 9 percent – from 60 percent to 69 percent.