The 20th anniversary of 9/11….what have we learned? The debate on how we just ended having our boots on the ground in Afghanistan will continue, but what about a debate on how we got into this conflict in the first place, and even more why we stayed for 20 years. Numerous stories have surfaced about how the military brass has known this was an “unwinnable conflict” just as Vietnam was, and at what price for the U.S. and allies as well as the people of Afghanistan (and Iraq.)

Clearly, we can’t undo the many disastrous decisions along the way, but will we continue to follow this so-called war on terrorism with similar approaches?

The 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Military Force (AUMF) have allowed four administrations (Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden) to be the directors of where we use military force while this role for declaring war was and is designated to Congress in the Constitution. Yet Congress has abrogated its role. If each member of Congress had to study and debate when and where the U.S. pursued military action, perhaps we might avoid such tragedies. Can we at least get our Washington delegation to speak out on their views regarding this issue as efforts to repeal these AUMF’s are considered?

Louise Lansberry, Seattle