Let there be peace on earth, and let it include Afghanistan.
We cannot be for peace without being against war.
We cannot be satisfied with inner peace while wars are being waged with our money and in our names.
The largest of those wars remains Afghanistan. It is larger now than when Barack Obama first became president.
There is no strategic, legal, or — above all — moral justification for continuing this war for another year, or for another day.
Catch up on a forgotten war:
Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire Goes to Afghanistan to Join Afghan Peace Volunteers’ Demand for Cease Fire and Negotiation
Resolution passed by U.S. Senate:
“It is the sense of Congress that the President should, as previously announced by the President, continue to draw down United States troop levels at a steady pace through the end of 2014; and end all regular combat operations by United States troops by not later than December 31, 2014, and take all possible steps to end such operations at the earliest date consistent with a safe and orderly draw down of United States troops in Afghanistan.”
Letter sent to President Obama by 94 Congress Members (PDF):
Dear President Obama:
Your military advisors will soon be providing you with a set of military options in Afghanistan. We are writing to urge you to pursue a strategy in Afghanistan that best serves the interests of the American people and our brave troops on the ground. That strategy is simple: an accelerated withdrawal to bring to an end the decade-long war as soon as can safely and responsibly be accomplished.
After 10 years and almost $600 billion spent, over 2,000 American lives lost, and 18,000 wounded – it is time to accelerate the transition to full Afghan control. While NATO and Afghan National Security Forces have made considerable strides, no military strategy exists and morale has been undermined by the proliferation of “Green on Blue” attacks. Sixty coalition soldiers have been killed this year alone by their Afghan allies. To quote a former Commandant of the Marine Corps, “When our friends turn out to be our enemy, it is time to pull the plug.”
This is one issue that overwhelmingly unifies Americans: the desire to bring the war in Afghanistan to an accelerated close. Polls show over two-thirds of Americans, on a bipartisan basis, believe it is past time to end our combat role and bring the troops home.
We write to request that you respond to the consensus amongst military experts, diplomats, and the American people. It is time to announce an accelerated transition of security responsibility to the Afghan government and to bring our troops home as soon as can be safely and responsibly accomplished.
Al Qaeda’s presence has been greatly diminished and Osama bin Laden is no longer a threat to the United States. There can be no military solution in Afghanistan. It is past time for the United States to allow the Afghanistan government to assume responsibility for its own security.
While many of us would prefer an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan starting today, there is broad recognition that the primary objectives have been completed. We also would like to remind you that any long term security agreement committing U.S. troops to the defense of Afghanistan must have congressional approval to be binding. In addition, we would like to request a meeting to discuss these issues directly with you and your staff.
We look forward to working with you.
Where the U.S. public is:
Unsure % % % 10/4-7/12
60 5 4/4-15/12
60 8 3/7-11/12
57 7 1/11-16/12
56 6 6/15-19/11
Unsure % % % ALL
“Do you favor or oppose the war in Afghanistan?”
Favor Oppose Unsure Refused % % % %
27 66 6 1
“Do you approve or disapprove of the U.S. withdrawing military troops in Afghanistan?”
Approve Disapprove Unsure % % %
78 16 6
Unsure % % % 4/5-8/12
Reasons for the U.S. military to stay in Afghanistan for two more years, and for 10 more years beyond that: