Sundance, Wyo. — A Wyoming state representative and Navy veteran today launched a new website — WyBringOurTroopsHome.com — that will focus public attention on urging Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., to abandon “nation building” in the Middle East and support bringing American troops home from war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere.
Rep. Tyler Lindholm, R-Sundance, a three-term lawmaker who served five years in the U.S. Navy as a helicopter electronics technician and now serves as majority whip of the Wyoming House of Representatives, authored a guest opinion published last month in multiple major newspapers in the state, in which he wrote that “legitimate aims such as suppressing specific threats to America’s homeland or safeguarding essential national interests abroad are no longer the objective of our self-sacrificing military.”
“Instead, Congress passes nebulous ‘use of force authorizations’ that assign our troops the dubious and undefined task of ‘making the world safe for democracy,’ an obligation that doesn’t fall to the United States, its military, or its taxpayers,” Lindholm wrote. “In pursuit of this malleable objective, American military personnel are stationed in 80 nations on six continents. Such interventionism is unsustainable for a country drowning under $22 trillion in federal debt.”
Lindholm Thursday said that the overwhelmingly positive public response to his commentary prompted him to push the issue further in an attempt to demonstrate to Cheney and the state’s two U.S. senators that there is broad support among the state’s military families and the general public for withdrawing American troops from the Middle East.
“My hope is to persuade Rep. Cheney and our U.S. senators that the people of Wyoming, especially the military families and taxpayers who bear the burden of continuing our military presence in the Middle East, believe that after 18 years of war, it’s time to bring our troops home,” Lindholm said. “President Trump says it’s time. A neighboring state’s U.S. senator who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says he’s through with nation building. The purpose of the new website is to give Wyoming voters a voice in urging our congressional delegation to join them.”
Lindholm’s website points to comments by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch, R-Idaho, who said in response to an Idaho veteran’s plea to withdraw U.S. troops: “We’ve spent $2 trillion in Afghanistan, and we’ve shed lots of American blood there. 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.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmuDE7LTOmA&t=55s
“Given his preeminent influence on foreign policy in our nation’s capital, Sen. Risch’s recognition of the futility of endless wars stands in stark contrast to the interventionist urges of many of his colleagues in Washington, perhaps none more prominently than our own Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming,” Lindholm wrote in his guest opinion.
Lindholm also cited three public opinion polls since last November indicating strong public support for ending American involvement in Middle East conflicts:
Lindholm said in taking on the issue, he is following the lead of a fellow veteran, former Sgt. Dan McKnight of the Idaho Army National Guard, who served in Afghanistan fifteen years ago and in January began organizing a bipartisan movement to persuade Risch and Idaho’s Congressional delegation to bring American troops home.
“I took note of Sgt. McKnight’s efforts online and, on behalf of my fellow veterans and their families, want to help get the word out as broadly as possible, including here in Wyoming,” Lindholm said.