President Obama’s speech on Afghanistan “A Modest But Useful Step�

Bridget Nolan , Outreach Coordinator, 202.546.0795, ext. 2113,

Washington D.C.—Council for a Livable World called the President’s announcement of a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan a “positive step, but merely a first step.�

Tonight, President Obama called for a reduction of 10,000 troops by the end of this year and 23,000 by the end of next summer. This announcement comes just days before a July deadline the President previously scheduled.

“While we like to see troops coming out of Afghanistan, that withdrawal should be sped up with all troops out well before President Obama’s 2014 deadline,� said Council for a Livable World Executive Director John Isaacs “President Obama needs to take into consideration the opinions of the citizens, retired military leaders and some members of Congress—that don’t see the utility in this costly war.�

Last month, Representatives McGovern (D-MA) and Jones (R-NC) introduced an amendment on requiring the President to establish a timeline in Afghanistan. The amendment failed but the 204 votes the amendment received was the most votes thus far on a piece of legislation to end the war in Afghanistan. Additionally, this month twenty-seven Senators including Republicans Rand Paul (KY) and Mike Lee (UT) signed on to a Sen. Jeff Merkley (OR) letter urging significant troop withdrawal in Afghanistan.

“This is the longest war in our history, surpassing even Vietnam—we’re in a quagmire with no end in sight—we’ve lost too many lives and used far too many resources. The American people are being asked to make sacrifices for this war, directly or indirectly. Since we are not being asked to pay for the war, it is adding over $100 billion a year to our debt while important domestic programs are being cut,� continued Isaacs