Thursday, May 7, 2009

Antiwar Leader and Former Rep. Andrews on an Afghanistan Exit Strategy

Former Rep. Tom Andrews (D-Maine) calls on Obama to work on an exit strategy from Afghanistan:

A BBC/ABC public opinion poll of Afghans reveals that fully 80% of the population is opposed to an escalation of American troops. Many of those who are shooting at our soldiers are not jihadists; they are proud Afghans who are famously sensitive to the presence of foreign forces on their soil.

The lack of an exit strategy also works against President Obama's regional strategy-outreach to the neighboring nations who have zero interest in a Taliban dominated Afghanistan because it would threaten their national security as much, if not more, than our own. How likely will China, Russia and particularly Iran be to join the U.S. if the outcome might be tens of thousands of U.S. troops on their border?

We need Congress to step up now and help prevent what has now become "Obama's War" from turning into a quagmire that undermines, if not destroys, the critically important agenda the President is fighting to pass here at home.

We need to step up too. We can start by contacting Members of Congress and urging them not to succumb to a vote-now, ask questions later approach to war funding even if it is our guy who is asking for it. We need a critical check-and-balance before it is too late to stop an endless war in Afghanistan.

The war spending bill is on the floor of the House of Representatives next week.

We often, as citizens of an empire, look at our military actions abroad as distant and not affecting us. But if we continue to use so much violence in a place we barely understand as a part of the geopolitical power game taking place in Central Asia and the Middle East, we can expect many more Bin Ladens to be born as a result.