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[Washington Babylon]

Congress: Flying Blind on Afghanistan

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From Roll Call:

President Barack Obama dispatched more than 50,000 additional troops to Afghanistan with essentially no legislative debate….This silence is amazing because it is widely accepted that past administrations, acting without Congressional input, made huge mistakes in America’s last two major wars…Yet despite different concerns about Afghanistan policy on both sides of the aisle, Congress has been re-enacting its performances in Vietnam and Iraq.

According to several officials, key Congressional foreign policy committees have neither received nor requested a National Intelligence Estimate or comparable broad intelligence community analysis of the issues in Afghanistan. They have denied themselves a major resource of Congress in foreign policy: the ability to compare intelligence analysis with administration policy judgments. In Iraq, the Senate at least requested and received an NIE; its mistake was in failing to examine the document and reveal its flaws.

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