A Critical Decision Looming for US Military Involvement in Afghanistan

by Peter Deccy, Development Director, Peace Action & Peace Action Education Fund

The war in Afghanistan is now the longest in US history.  The costs are frightful.  Over 12,000 American troops have been killed or injured. A full accounting of Afghan causalities is difficult to come by, but some estimates place it in the hundreds of thousands.  The US will spend $120 billion this year on the war.  The cost can only rise.

With a record of corruption well documented, the Karzai government rules very little of the country outside Kabul and no one expects it could survive long without US military support.  There is little evidence to support the contention that the Taliban are anywhere close to defeat.

The war has spread to Pakistan where drone strikes have fueled anti-American sentiments and further destabilize the government there.  Polls show the majority of Americans have concluded the war isn’t worth it.  The Democratic National Committee passed a resolution in March demanding a “swift withdrawal” of troops and contractors.

The political pressure to end this war is increasing. Right now, as administration and military leaders debate the extent of the President’s promised July ‘drawdown’, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has introduced S. 186, the Safe and Responsible Redeployment of United States Combat Forces from Afghanistan Act of 2011.

Boxer’s bill would put the Senate on record supporting the beginning of troop withdrawal in July and exerts oversight by requiring a clear end date to US military involvement in Afghanistan.

This is a critical moment in our opposition to this terrible war.  Support for this bill will strengthen the hand of those in the Obama administration who want to end this war.  It’s a moment when the action you take can have a real impact on a crucial decision the President will soon make.

Contact your Senators and urge them to co-sponsor S. 186.

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