Statement: A Troop Drawdown is Welcome — But It’s Not Enough

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday November 17, 2020
CONTACT Michael Galant, [email protected], +1 (203) 260-4654

 

WASHINGTON — Win Without War Executive Director Stephen Miles released the following statement regarding the announcement of a drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq: 

“Donald Trump has had four years to end our endless wars. He hasn’t — and a last-minute, partial reduction doesn’t change that. 

A drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq is a long-overdue and welcome step in the right direction. But let’s be clear: this is just a step, not an end to these long wars. Maintaining thousands of troops in indefinite occupation is far from a rethinking of the logic of militarism, particularly when past drawdowns have been repeatedly undermined by troop surges, redeployments to nearby countries, increased reliance on private contractors, and the dramatic growth of aerial warfare, resulting in massive increases in civilian deaths.

“Nor is there any indication that this withdrawal is responsible. A responsible end to endless war means not just cutting and running. In place of military action, we must make deep investments in diplomacy, conflict prevention, and peacebuilding to address the underlying drivers of conflict. We must also work to support Afghan-led efforts for accountability and post-conflict justice, centering the victims of decades of violence, not just the combatants.

“Despite his laughable claims, Trump’s foreign policy has been anything but restrained. Instead, his reckless and hostile approach has caused untold death and destruction in places like Yemen and Libya, repeatedly brought us to the brink of new wars with countries like Iran, and left the U.S. global military apparatus as overpowered as ever.

“The Biden administration needs a new approach — not just a tinkering with troop levels, but a wholesale transformation of the United States’ approach to the world. That means fully ending these conflicts, including our covert air wars, reprioritizing the more peaceful, effective tools in our toolbox, and reckoning with the long and disastrous legacy of U.S. militarism.”

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Win Without War is a diverse network of activists and national organizations working for progressive foreign policy in the United States.