Ninety members of Congress joined two anti-war members of the House in asking President Obama to pull out of Afghanistan sooner than the 2014 target date.
Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) weren’t too specific in when they want that withdrawal to happen, but stressed that they want, simply, “an accelerated withdrawal.”
“After 10 years and almost $600 billion spent, over 2,000 American lives lost, and 18,000 wounded – it is time to accelerate the transition to full Afghan control,” they wrote to Obama today. “While NATO and Afghan National Security Forces have made considerable strides, no military strategy exists and morale has been undermined by the proliferation of ‘Green on Blue’ attacks. Sixty coalition soldiers have been killed this year alone by their Afghan allies. To quote a former Commandant of the Marine Corps, ‘When our friends turn out to be our enemy, it is time to pull the plug.’”
The lawmakers leaned on public polling as a key reason to “bring the war in Afghanistan to an accelerated close.”
“Al Qaeda’s presence has been greatly diminished and Osama bin Laden is no longer a threat to the United States. There can be no military solution in Afghanistan,” they wrote. “It is past time for the United States to allow the Afghanistan government to assume responsibility for its own security.”
“While many of us would prefer an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan starting today, there is broad recognition that the primary objectives have been completed,” Lee and Jones added. “We also would like to remind you that any long term security agreement committing U.S. troops to the defense of Afghanistan must have congressional approval to be binding. In addition, we would like to request a meeting to discuss these issues directly with you and your staff.”