Peace Action & Credo Action – 2009-02-22 22:55:16
We Can’t Afford to Continue a Failed Strategy
Kevin M. Martin / Peace Action
President Obama was right when he said we need to focus more resources on Afghanistan. But rather than completing an examination of all available options, he has decided to deploy 17,000 more troops without a clear plan for turning things around.
In more than seven years, the US has not achieved its goals in Afghanistan, and intensifying the current approach with more troops isn’t going to change that. Click here to tell President Obama and Congress that we need a comprehensive plan for Afghanistan before risking more American and Afghan lives.
We have seen the disastrous consequences of heading into war without a plan in Iraq. We are still mourning American and Iraqi lives lost, and struggling to rehabilitate our economy while spending billions of dollars on war.
Since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Al Qaeda has increased its attacks. Last year saw the most civilian deaths in Afghanistan since the U.S. invaded, and a new poll shows that only 18% of Afghans want more U.S. troops. Bombings of civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan are angering the populations in both countries and their governments, undermining the U.S.’s ability to create stability. We cannot simply intensify the Bush administration’s failed policy. Now is the time for us to press President Obama and Congress to find a better approach to Afghanistan.
General David Patreaus has called Afghanistan the “graveyard of empires.” An authoritative report released last year demonstrated that military force has historically been unsuccessful in defeating terrorism . Counterinsurgency experts have said that a military strategy would require hundreds of thousands of troops we can’t send, and even if we did there would be no guarantee of success.
The Obama Administration should:
1. De-escalate troop levels in Afghanistan and to reject the idea that there is a military solution to the region’s problems;
2. Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Immediately stop military activities that indiscriminately impact civilians such as air and drone strikes;
3. Rapidly withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan;
4. Commit to negotiated diplomatic talks involving all major regional players, including major international peace-keeping bodies;
5. Address the real needs of Afghans, which include health-care, clean water, education, and security.
• Send this important message to our President and Congress.
Kevin M. Martin is Executive Director of Peace Action
• Graveyard of Empires: Military Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 escalation will not bring peace.
• Correcting Our Mistakes: Who, and why, we are fighting in Afghanistan.
1. According to a RAND Corporation report, since 1968, only seven percent of all terrorist groups that have ended were taken down by military force. In contrast, 40 percent of those groups were defeated through police and intelligence work, and 43 percent gave up terrorism as they were integrated into the political process. The framework of the “Global War on Terror” has set up unrealistic expectations of a military victory against non-state actors, and the apportioning of counterterrorism resources has reflected that flawed approach.
We Can’t Afford Another Military Quagmire.
Let’s not make Afghanistan another Iraq
We need a long-term strategy for Afghanistan before we start a dramatic military escalation.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a hold over from the Bush Administration, has recommended a sharp increase — 17,000 new troops — in our military presence in Afghanistan.
While President Obama has been a staunch opponent of the war in Iraq, he has approved Gates’ plan to increase our military presence in Afghanistan, which has the potential to become a new quagmire in the Middle East.
Sec. Gates and President Obama announced the plan to deploy an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan — that’s a 50 percent increase — despite the fact that the Department of Defense has not yet completed its research on the situation in Afghanistan, nor its long term strategy for the conflict, including an eventual exit strategy.
In response to the announcement of the troop deployment, Senator Russ Feingold said, “we need to make sure we have a strategy in place for Afghanistan that will actually work before we commit thousands more U.S. troops. A military escalation without a strategy to address the complex problems facing Afghanistan and the region could alienate the Afghan people and make it much more difficult to achieve our top national security goal of defeating al Qaeda.”
The war in Iraq has cost thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of American tax dollars. Our economy is in crisis. We need to take time to think through our commitments before we escalate the conflict in Afghanistan.
Click here to tell Defense Secretary Robert Gates that we need a long-term strategy for Afghanistan, including an exit strategy, before we embark on another military escalation in the Middle East.
Thank you for working to build a better world.
Kate Stayman-London, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
• Sign the petition
“Secretary Gates, we urge you to reconsider the timing of your proposal to send an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan. We do not want to see Afghanistan turn into another Iraq. While we recognize that more troops may be needed there to serve a long-term strategy, we believe that it is unfounded to deploy the troops before such a strategy (including an exit strategy) is in place. Additionally, we encourage you to exhaust all other possible options before putting more American troops in harm’s way.”
Sign the petition and sign up to receive periodic updates on activism opportunities and offers.
March on the Pentagon – March 21
March on Wall Street – April 3 & 4
No New Troops To Afghanistan
End War and Occupation
Bring all the Troops Home NOW!
The Troops Out Now Coalition condemns the recent announcement that President Obama has ordered 17 thousand more troops to Afghanistan. The people voted overwhelmingly for an end to war and occupation. The world demands that it end. Most importantly, the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine demand that it end.
To send more U.S. soldiers to Afghanistan amidst new revelations of U.S. military war crimes, and at a time when working people here a facing an unprecedented economic crisis is an outrage. Every day, thousands are being laid off or thrown out of their homes – we need money for housing and jobs, not for war and endless occupation.
Escalating the war in Afghanistan is a betrayal of the faith that the people put in the new president to stop Bush’s war on the world.
We must continue to mobilize to demand:
* No new troops!
* Immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan
* Money for Human Needs Not War!
Join the Troops Out Now Coalition and many other groups at the March on the Pentagon, Saturday March 21 and the March on Wall St. April 3 &4
For more information or to get involved, go to www.TroopsOutNow.org