13 March 2012

24 senators call for end to U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan

Last week, a bipartisan group of 24 U.S. senators signed a letter urging President Obama to bring our troops home from Afghanistan.

The letter states that we have done what we went there to do:
"The United States intervened in Afghanistan to destroy al Qaeda’s safe haven, remove the Taliban government that sheltered al Qaeda, and pursue those who planned the September 11th attacks on the United States. Thanks to the exceptional service and sacrifice made by the American Armed Forces and our allies, those objectives have largely been met. We should continue to confront America’s enemies wherever they are through targeted counterterrorism operations and end the large scale counterinsurgency effort in Afghanistan."
And it makes the point that we just cannot afford to stay there:
"We simply cannot afford more years of elevated troop levels in Afghanistan. We are spending roughly $10 billion in Afghanistan each month at a time when we’re making tough sacrifices at home. Your recent budget calls for $88 billion more for the war in Afghanistan in 2013. If this money is appropriated, we will have spent a total of $650 billion in Afghanistan. A majority of Americans worry that the costs of the war in Afghanistan will make it more difficult for the government to address the problems facing the United States at home. They’re right."
Indeed. So will President Obama take this seriously?

I suppose time will tell. (Hopefully not too much time.)

Here is a list of the 24 senators who signed the letter:

Sen. Max Baucus (MT)
Sen. Jeff Merkley (OR)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (VT)
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (NM)
Sen. Tom Harkin (IA)
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Sen. Herb Kohl (WI)
Sen. Patty Murray (WA)
Sen. Ron Wyden (OR)
Sen. Dick Durbin (IL)
Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY)
Sen. Maria Cantwell (WA)
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (NJ)
Sen. Bob Menendez (NJ)
Sen. Ben Cardin (MD)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT)
Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)
Sen. Tom Udall (NM)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)
Sen. Al Franken (MN)
Sen. Joe Manchin (WV)
Sen. Rand Paul (KY)
Sen. Mike Lee (UT)

>> View the full original letter and signatures (PDF)

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