Peace Action Responds to Kerry’s Hearing with Soldiers on Afghanistan Occupation

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While sitting in the Senate Foreign Relations hearing “Soldiers’ Stories from the Afghan War,” I thought that it was important to hear the views of U.S. soldiers at all ranks regarding the occupation of Afghanistan.  Senators Kerry and Lugar’s hearing is a good start.  The Afghanistan occupation deserves full, robust hearings like those Senator Fulbright conducted during the Vietnam war and where the young Sen. Kerry testified.

I agree with the wisdom of many U.S. troops such as Corporal Rick Reyes who testified ‘Sending more troops will not make the U.S. safer, it will only build more opposition against us . . . More troops, more war is not the answer.’

He is right:  21,000 more troops, air and Predator drone strikes and night raids that kill, injure and traumatize innocent civilians drive people to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.  Instead, the U.S. and international community should increase funding for Afghan-led humanitarian aid, development work, and landmine clean up while supporting regional diplomacy.

I continue to think that the public yearns to hear the Obama Administration’s exit strategy and ‘metrics’ that will get us out of the costly occupation of Afghanistan and into providing more resources for smarter foreign policy and solving Americans’ problems.

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