Washington, DC — May 27, 2014 — Despite polling that Americans think that the Afghanistan War was a mistake and is definitely not worth fighting, the Obama administration is poised to announce its plans to leave 9,800 troops and an unknown amount of contractors in the country after the end of this year.
“Americans are tired of war. It’s time for the longest U.S. war in history to be over. Instead, the Obama Administration wants to leave nearly 10,000 troops and untold contractors in Afghanistan after the end of year costing billions of dollars,” observed Paul Kawika Martin, the political director of Peace Action — a group founded in 1957 and the largest grassroots peace organization in the U.S. His comments came after news reports of an immanent announcement by President Obama.
Experts agree that the long-term cost of the Afghanistan War may reach trillions of dollars and it’s unclear that troops in the country will really help with stability.
It is known that the administration will only finalize the decision about troop presence when a bilateral agreement is reached with the Afghanistan government. Presently, President Karzai refuses to sign but the two candidates embroiled in a runoff election say they will sign when the take office sometime late in the summer.
Republican House leadership block a recent amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would of required congressional approval to leave troops beyond 2014. Congress may still weigh in on this issue with several other bills they have on their docket. It’s possible that Congress would not approve the President’s troop levels if it came to a vote.
“No strong evidence suggests that the cost of blood and treasure of leaving troops and contractors in Afghanistan after this year will make Americans safer or the region more stable,” concluded Martin who traveled to the country in 2010.
Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to the conflicts with Afghanistan and Iran. The public may learn more and take action at http://www.Peace-Action.org. For more up-to-date peace insider information, follow Peace Action’s political director on Twitter. http://twitter.com/PaulKawika