October 21, 2011 is a day to be remembered. It was on that day that President Obama announced that all U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the year.
While we celebrate this victory, we must recognize that there is much work left to be done. Now that the war in Iraq is ending, it is time to end the war in Afghanistan.
There is now bipartisan legislation in the Senate sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) calling for President Obama to bring our troops home from Afghanistan.
In his speech announcing the end of U.S. military involvement in the Iraq war, President Obama acknowledged that the war in Afghanistan continues. He has established a deadline for withdrawing all combat troops by the end of 2014 – three more long years.
Even then, there will be pressure to keep a large number of military advisors there for years afterwards.
Neo-conservatives are criticizing the President’s decision to bring our troops home from Iraq. They are sure to push hard to continue or even enlarge the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan, particularly if there is a Republican in the White House beginning in 2013.
The New York Times reported yesterday that while addressing a gathering of Afghan leaders, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, described a plan to keep the U.S. military in Afghanistan long past the 2014 deadline. Unbelievably, Karzai also recently said that Afghanistan would fight against the U.S. if the U.S. were in a war against Pakistan. Clearly, it is time for the U.S. to withdraw from this quagmire.
The Merkley amendment No. 1174 to the National Defense Authorization Act, co-sponsored by Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Tom Udall (D-NM), calls on the President to submit a plan to withdraw U.S. troops ahead of the December 2014 deadline. Click here to see an updated list of co-sponsors.