BringOurTroopsHome.US NEWS — Risch: “I am through with nation building” in Middle East
BOISE, Idaho — Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, Thursday told a hometown veteran of Afghanistan that he agrees that American troops should be brought home from war zones in the Middle East, denouncing further attempts at “nation building” in countries that aren’t willing to embrace and defend Western democratic values.
Risch commented during a Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce forum in response to a question from former Sgt. Dan McKnight, 43, of Meridian, who served with the Idaho Army National Guard in Afghanistan and who urged the senator to support President Trump’s call to bring American troops home from Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen. McKnight cited recent polls by Politico and Stars and Stripes magazine which found, respectively, that roughly 80 percent of Trump’s 2016 voters and 80 percent of U.S. military personnel and veterans agree. Risch said he does too.
“We’ve spent $2 trillion in Afghanistan, and we’ve shed lots and lots of American blood there,” Risch said. “I’m with you. I am through trying to do nation-building with countries that don’t want it! They’ve got to show some type of an appreciation, some type of an embracement of it, and they simply don’t.”
McKnight served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, three years active duty with the U.S. Army, and ten years with the Idaho Army National Guard, during which time he spent over a year in Afghanistan starting in 2006.
McKnight last month started traveling the sparsely populated state to promote a petition drive demonstrating to Idaho’s Congressional delegation, and specifically to Risch in his powerful position of influence on U.S. foreign policy, that their home state voters agree American troops should be brought home from “endless wars” overseas.