Yesterday, President Obama announced that America’s longest war is going to last a little longer. After 15 years of fighting, yesterday’s announcement means that thousands of America’s men and women in uniform will remain in Afghanistan, fighting a war that has no military solution. It’s time to stop trying to bomb our way to peace in Afghanistan.
When President Obama leaves office in January of 2017, he will hand over to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump command of a war he himself inherited from George W. Bush. If something doesn’t change, they are just as likely to hand over a failed war to their successor in 4 or 8 years.
That’s madness. And worse, it is deadly, costly, and making America less safe.
America’s war in Afghanistan was launched in the fall of 2001 as a fight to combat al Qaeda. Yet more than 5 years after Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan, the war rages on with no real plan for peace. In truth, the war in Afghanistan goes back decades, long before American and NATO soldiers arrived, and ending that conflict will take a robust peace initiative.
Yet instead of pursuing peace, America continues to opt for more war. Instead of peace initiatives like empowering women, promoting dialogue, and forcing our partners and international allies to pressure combatants to negotiate, we are simply sending a few thousand more American soldiers to keep fighting an endless war. This has to stop.
While the President has unfortunately failed in his promise to bring our troops home, he still has time to push for peace in Afghanistan. That’s where we come in. Washington is full of armchair generals who like to debate and demand the President send as many troops or specific types of weapons to Afghanistan.
But far too often no one is demanding peace. That’s why we need your voice.
Right now the White House is monitoring their email inbox to see how the American public is responding to the President’s latest announcement. They’re paying attention, so let’s make sure they hear a call for peace. Please take 2 minutes to write a note to President Obama asking that in his final months in office he launch a major peace initiative in Afghanistan.
We’ve already made our disappointment with the President’s announcement known to the White House directly on behalf of our movement. Now it’s time to add thousands of voices to that choir for peace.