By now you’ve heard the horrific story of an American soldier in Afghanistan who killed 16 Afghan civilians, including 9 children, in an unprovoked series of attacks. Over the past few weeks we’ve also seen waves of violent protests and the killing of 6 American soldiers in response to the burning of copies of the Quran. Every day another news story paints a more troubling picture than the last and they all add up to one simple message:
The American people overwhelmingly support bringing our troops home now, but policymakers are insisting that we ‘stay the course’ on a path that only guarantees more death and suffering for American soldiers and Afghan civilians. In Washington, war hawks talk of not only fighting through 2014, but ‘an enduring presence’ that could see US troops in Afghanistan for another decade or more. Over the past few weeks we have been tragically reminded of the horrors of war, and that is why we need your voice to help end this war today.
Experts agree that there is little more that our troops can accomplish between now and 2014, yet current plans call for nearly 70,000 troops to remain in Afghanistan after this year. Our continued military presence only serves to enflame anti-American sentiment, threatens to destabilize the region, and delays the path towards a political settlement. As Eugene Robinson said in the Washington Post this week:
“It was clear before Sunday’s horrific massacre of civilians that it’s past time for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan to end. Now the only question should be how quickly we can get our troops onto transport planes to fly them home.”