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Long Island News

Ex-Long Island Congressman Reflects On Lessons Of 20-Year War In Afghanistan

Former Long Island Congressman Steve Israel
Evan Vucci
/
AP
Former Long Island Congressman Steve Israel

Former U.S. Congressman Steve Israel from Long Island said there are important lessons to be learned from the 20-year war in Afghanistan. He now is Director of the nonpartisan Institute of Politics and Global Affairs at Cornell University.

He voted to authorize the war in 2001, but said he never thought it would last two decades.

Now, he said the U.S. needs to learn from its mistakes.

“We believe that we can go and defeat the enemy and then rebuild countries in our image, that we can make countries around the world and civilizations around the world something akin to a 51st state of the United States. And Afghanistan has taught us, as have other places, that we can't do that,” Israel said.

He said the top priority for Congress now should be caring for military veterans. He represented Long Island in the House from 2001 through 2017.