Congress to Obama: bring more troops home

 In Afghanistan

A great deal of our work in recent months has been focused on pushing Congress to pressure the Obama administration to end the war in Afghanistan. We saw this pay off with the strongest vote ever in the House on an accelerated withdrawal, and a powerful letter from senators to the president calling for a sizable withdrawal.

As we gear up to keep the pressure on following President Obama’s disappointing announcement of his plan for a modest withdrawal, we see once again how critical our congressional work has been. Many members of Congress have put out statements criticizing the president’s plan as insufficient, laying the groundwork for us to work with allies to keep a drumbeat going and push for a quicker withdrawal plan.

A sample of some of the statements since the president’s announcement:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA):

Tonight, President Obama made it clear: we are now beginning the process of bringing our troops home and ending the war in Afghanistan. It has been the hope of many in Congress and across the country that the full drawdown of U.S. forces would happen sooner than the President laid out – and we will continue to press for a better outcome.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin (D-MI):

The president’s decision represents a positive development, although in my view the conditions on the ground justify an even larger drawdown of U.S. troops this year than the president announced tonight. I will continue to advocate for an accelerated drawdown in the months ahead, and for enhanced training and partnering with Afghan forces, because only they can provide durable security for their nation.

Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO):

It’s time to bring the surge troops home, and I wish the president had laid out a more aggressive plan today. After discussing this issue at length with senior military leaders, diplomats, and many experts with years of service in Afghanistan, I think we could safely withdraw 15,000 troops this year without jeopardizing the gains that our men and women in uniform have achieved.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR):

If reports of the President’s speech are correct, we’ll have twice as many combat troops in Afghanistan at the end of his term than we did at the beginning.  We should instead have a path to bring those troops home.

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

It is essential that Afghanistan be viewed in the broader strategic context.  If we set out to reapportion our worldwide military and diplomatic assets without reference to where they are now, no rational review would commit nearly 100,000 troops and $100 billion a year to Afghanistan.  An additional 31,000 troops are in the region supporting Afghanistan operations.  The country does not hold that level of strategic value for us, especially at a time when our nation is confronting a debt crisis and our armed forces are being strained by repeated combat deployments.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Peace & Security Task Force:

I was disappointed in the President’s announcement this evening that only 10,000 troops will be removed from Afghanistan by the end of this year and only 33,000 troops will be removed by September of 2012.  Almost three out of four Americans want to bring our troops home from Afghanistan, and this is far from the sizeable and significant reduction that the American people were expecting.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA):

I am glad this war is ending, but it’s ending at far too slow a pace. We need a swifter turnover of responsibility to the nearly 300,000 Afghan forces we have trained, which would allow our brave military men and women to come home sooner.

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA):

I believe it is imperative that the President quicken the pace of America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and get our troops out even faster than he has proposed. At the cost of more than 1,500 American lives, this war is incredibly costly. At the cost of $113 billion a year, it’s expensive, dangerous, and unproductive. It is time to refocus America’s intelligence and defense resources on more imminent threats from terrorists not just in Afghanistan but in other regions of the world such as Yemen or Pakistan. I urge the President to move immediately to end this unnecessary war.

This is only a small portion of the encouraging statements that have come out of Congress in the last several days. Seen another good one? Add it in the comments section.

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Showing 4 comments
  • Frances Feeney

    Bring more troops home. No more money for nuclear weapons.

  • James Rogers

    I have high regard for Barack Obama. As for personal integrity and objectives, I think he is unquestionably the best President this nation has had. He has not achieved all of his goals, and the tendency of some people to blame him for the failures is childishly irrational, rather like a little boy or girl getting angry with its mother for preventing it from eating more of that delicious poison, sugar.
    Isn’t it strange that when people discuss the President’s failures, they avoid mentioning the overwhelming challenges he has to surmount? They blame him for his failures and make it very clear thereby that they do not understand what’s going on, especially that since he is not a king or a dictator, there are legal and logical limits he has to observe. Such people are ignorant and afraid, seven timid congressmen not excepted. No one ever mentions the name of the self-appointed King of the World (or his organization) with whom our President has to deal.
    Many people, including President Obama, know who this Individual is, as well as the name of His Organization, but, as prohibited in the Jewish Kabbala, vocalization of the secret name of God was forbidden to all save the high priest and was forbidden even to him except for once a year when he was in the holy of holies in the Temple at Jerusalem. Violators would be struck dead on the spot.
    I think our leaders in Congress, the President too, are also afraid (and for good reason) to say what they know because at the very least they might lose their secret benefits* never mentioned (which reportedly include huge bonuses), or at worst, their lives, as happened to Presidents Kennedy, Lincoln, McKinley, and Garfield.
    That the Blog from Peace Action West has successfully persuaded six Senators and a Representative to come forward with their opinions is a significant and praiseworthy accomplishment, though bland, cautiously-worded dissatisfactions with President Obama’s wisely cautious response to demands to end the war in Afghanistan. He is not a king but he faces a presumptive King and he must be cautious. And never mention His Name.
    Don’t you find it curious that the blog emphasized complaints that the President did not do all that was expected of him, with regard to bringing the troops home from Afghanistan? I think people who feel that way are grossly ignorant of the immense power President Obama has confront face-to-face on a daily basis. It’s extraordinarily difficult. It compares with balance-walking on the high-wire. One mistake and … well, you can imagine the rest. There is a corollary: Why didn’t those seven timid congressmen make stronger statements against the war? Why don’t they support Ron Paul’s campaign to End the Fed? The Fed is the place where (so far) over eight trillion worthless fiat paper (or computer blip) dollars have been distributed. If the Fed were abolished, that couldn’t happen and the presumptive King of the World would have no more worthless fiat dollars to keep His Wars going. Should we End the Fed today, we could start bringing the boys home next week!
    Well, as Anital said, no doubt with a shrug of despair, “All men are stupid.” What more can we expect?
    Well, we weren’t always that way, can’t we start over?

    Blog, Before Rockefeller, There Was Rothschild. Deanna Spingola, 27 March, 2008
    Blog, The Federal Reserve: History of Lies, Thievery, and Deceit, Dr. Ken Matto
    Blog, Rothschild quotes
    Blog, United States Presidents and The Illuminati / Masonic Power Structure, Pt. 4
    Blog, Adam Weishaupt, Wikipedia
    Blog, Adam Weishaupt, … /
    *Blog, The Illuminati and the House of Rothschild, Johnny Silver Bear
    Blog, Federal Reserve Bank (Inc) A Murderous History?, libertyfor
    Ron Paul, U.S. Congressman, End the Fed, Grand Central Publishing, 2009, New York

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