Since 2001, 3 million US service members have been deployed to fight the Global War on Terror (GWOT). Sen. Rand Paul is looking to provide those who served in the post-9/11 campaigns a “victory bonus” for their contributions to the war effort as part of the AFGHAN Service Act, which would also end the war in Afghanistan.
“It’s time to declare our mission over and our war won,” said Paul, according to a report by Task & Purpose. “It’s time to build here, not there.”
If the AFGHAN Service Act moves forward, US service members, past and present, would receive a “peace dividend” in the amount of $2,500. In total, the bonuses would amount to approximately $7 billion.
The bill was introduced by Paul on Tuesday. It aims to end the conflict that began in October 2001, just a month after the September 11 attacks.
Paul has long been a skeptic – and, at times, critic – in regards to US involvement in the region.
Paul took to Twitter to make an announcement about the bill.
“This week I’m introducing legislation to end a war that should’ve ended long ago,” said Paul in the video. “It’s important to know when to declare victory and leave a war.”
In the caption, he added, “The United States has been fighting the War on Terror since October of 2001 and it has cost 6 trillion dollars.”
This week, I am introducing legislation to end a war that should have ended long ago, the war in Afghanistan. The United States has been fighting the War on Terror since October of 2001 and it has cost 6 trillion dollars. pic.twitter.com/UBxeq0NsQe
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 5, 2019
Last year, President Donald Trump announced that he intended to start withdrawing troops from both Syria and Afghanistan, bringing the total troop levels in Afghanistan to the lowest point since the start of the GWOT.
After Trump’s announcement, Paul aligned himself with the president on that point, defending the decision amid widespread bipartisan criticism.