If you served in Iraq or Afghanistan, this Senator wants to give you a ‘victory bonus’

Matt Saintsing
March 05, 2019 - 4:44 pm
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) proposes ending the Afghanistan war and to give GWOT veterans a $2,500 "victory bonus."

Photo by Capt. Jason Welch

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Remember when then-President George Bush stood on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in May 2003 to declare the end to major combat operations in Iraq? 

He may never have said the words “Mission Accomplished,” but a giant banner hanging behind him became fodder for political attacks and a source of satire for an entire generation. 

Yeah, this is way better than that. 

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is proposing a plan to give a onetime $2,500 payout to every veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He’s calling them “victory bonuses,” and will soon introduce legislation to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan.

Rand Paul wants to give Iraq and Afghanistan veterans a $2,500 "victory bonus."
Photo by Olivier Douliery

It would also repeal the legal justification the U.S. has relied upon, as a blank check, for the U.S. to engage in combat on multiple continents.

“It’s important to know when it’s time to declare victory and leave a war,” Paul said in a Facebook video Tuesday morning. “I think that time is long past.” 

He added the cost would be $7 billion, for the 3 million Americans who call themselves Iraq or Afghanistan war veterans, but he adds that pales in comparison to how much the U.S. spends to keep the wars going.  

The American Forces Going Home After Noble Service Act—or AFGHAN Service Act—would instruct the Secretary of Defense to devise a plan for pulling U.S. forces out of the war-torn country within a year.

The bill would also trash the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) either within 295 days of the bill being signed into law or after the last American troop leaves the country, whichever comes first. 

Written in the days after 9/11, the 2001 AUMF is the legal document sending the American military to conflict-ridden countries like Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Philippines, and Niger. 

Paul said the initial reason the U.S. went into Afghanistan in the first place was to destroy Al Qaeda, which he believes has been mostly achieved. 

He added the U.S. is engaging in a never-ending futile, expensive, fiasco that is costing the American people money and lives. 

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