Congressman Sanford on Afghanistan Troop Additions “I wouldn’t vote for it now”

Rep. Mark Sanford/ (R) Beaufort

“I struggle with it.” Those were Representative Mark Sanford’s first words about the President’s call for a troop surge in Afghanistan.

“We’ve never before seen this kind of protracted conflict,” explained Sanford. “At the end of the day soldiers are not supposed to stay in one spot. Maneuver is a very important part of warfare.”

“So I struggle with it from the standpoint of effect. I struggle with it from the standpoint of cost. But most of all I struggle with it from the standpoint of constitutional mandate.”

Sanford believes the President may be overstepping his authority by ordering the use of military force without Congressional approval.

“Whether you agree or disagree with the President what I think is most important is that Congress authorize force if we are going to employ force in that part of the world,” explained the Congressman.

“We can’t have Presidents as well meaning and well intended as they might be regard to several outcomes, they’ve got to come to Congress. This President is not proposing to do that at this time.”

“I don’t think that unilateral action by Republican or a Democratic president when it comes to war fighting, is appropriate. Our founding fathers knew at the end of the day the body bags come home to the congressional districts, to individual states. They don’t go back to Washington, DC, and that’s why they believe congress should authorize war.”

FILE – In this Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011, file photo, a Black Hawk helicopter of the U.S. Army’s Task Force Lift “Dust Off,” Charlie Company 1-71 Aviation Regiment, returns from a mission at Forward Operating Base Edi in the Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan. Lockheed Martin Corp. said Monday, July 20, 2015, that it is buying Black Hawk helicopter maker Sikorsky Aircraft for $9 billion. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool, File)

Congress last authorized the use of force in Afghanistan back in 2001.

“Here we are 16 years later operating on the same authorization of force when frankly many of these terrorist groups didnt even exist 16 years ago.”

When asked, Sanford wasn’t sold that a military push will win this war.

When asked if But Sanford isn’t sold than a military push will win this war.

“If it came to a vote now would you vote for it?”
“I wouldnt because at this point again, in the military they talk center of gravity, what could you do that would definitively change the opponents ability to bring harm to you,” details Sanford. “I dont know if we are affecting center of gravity because center fo gravity in the Middle East is hearts and minds.”

“So we can send in a lot of drone strikes, and we can bomb a lot of places, but if there’s collateral damage in the process, maybe we are creating more terrorists than we are killing.”

Sanford also spoke to News 3 about the Confederate monument controversy.

“I don’t think these monuments should be taken down at 2 am by a municipality without public debate, I don’t think they should be taken down by opponents just because you don’t like something doesn’t give you license to take something down.”

He says what happened in Charlottesville is very different than the attack by Dylan Roof at the Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston in 2015. There Sanford says everyone, in government and the community, banded together against hate and the people responsible.

“Did some of what President Trump did during Charlottesville, etc fuel this debate?”
“Certainly certainly,” said the Congressman. “He was quiet initially. That’s in contrast to what happened in Charleston. There was immediate condemnation by all municipal leaders at all levels, governor on down to what had happened, to what was wrong, no ifs, ands or buts. and the President for whatever reason didn’t do that.”

“There is no equivilency between neo-nazis and the people standing there exercising their first amendment rights to say I disagree with you. There is no equivalent and I think it needed to be called as such.”

Sanford believes this controversy is also difference than the Confederate Flag debate at the South carolina Capitol. That flag came down in July of 2015 to a variety of emotions, including many cheers.

(AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

“It’s a very different thing than a flag, A flag is all about solidarity over a state house, and how we come together as a community. A monument is a monument, about parts of our past and I think it’s important we not forget our past.”

“In the middle east much of what the Taliban has done is tear down in essence monuments, historic artifacts whatnot because they didn’t like that part of the past, We should be careful not to repeat that same mistake.”

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