ACTION ALERT: No More US Troops in Afghanistan
December 13, 2013
John Isaacs & Guy Stevens / Council for a Livable World & Rowan Scarborough / The Washington Times
The war in Afghanistan has lasted over 12 years. The next several weeks could determine whether or not it will go on for 12 more. Despite the official 'withdrawal deadline' of December 2014, the Obama administration is considering leaving thousands of troops behind for a decade or more. Meanwhile, President Obama's brain trust on Afghanistan has apologized for not knowing how much the US spends on the war each year or the cost in lost lives on the battlefield.
ACTION ALERT: No More US Troops in Afghanistan
John Isaacs & Guy Stevens / Council for a Livable World
More than 2,000 Americans Killed.
More than 18,000 Americans Wounded.
Tell President Obama: "It's time to bring the troops home!"
Council for a Livable World
The war in Afghanistan has lasted over 12 years. The next several weeks could determine whether or not it will go on for 12 more.
Despite the official "withdrawal deadline" of December 2014, the Obama administration is considering leaving thousands of troops behind in Afghanistan for a decade or more.
It's senseless for US soldiers to continue risking their lives in a war we shouldn't be fighting.
But that's exactly what President Obama may decide in the upcoming weeks.
Earlier this week, members of Congress asked senior White House officials how many Americans had died this year in Afghanistan, and how much the US was spending on the conflict. The officials were unable to answer.
The answers, if you're curious:
• 113 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan this year. 2,292 have died over the course of the 12-year conflict.
• We're spending nearly $7 billion a month on the war. The total costs come to $550 billion.
No more US soldiers should be killed waging the war in Afghanistan. And we shouldn't be spending billions on this conflict at a time when we need those dollars for more urgent priorities.
We're urging the President: bring all the troops home by the end of next year.
ACTION: Click here to tell Obama: it's time to end this war.
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing to strongly urge you to bring all US troops home from Afghanistan by December 2014, the designated end of combat operations. After 12 years, $550 billion of US taxpayer money, the lives of over 2,000 American service members and almost 19,000 wounded, and countless Afghan military and civilian lives, it's clear that leaving US troops is not in either nation's interest.
Moreover, the American public strongly backs withdrawal: by 78% to 19% according to a poll conducted last year by ABC News and the Washington Post. In recent months, the House of Representatives and the Senate have both expressed their support for a faster end to the war.
The American public and Congress support the "zero option."
We urge you to bring all US troops home from Afghanistan as expeditiously as possible.
Obama's Afghanistan Experts Stumped on US Death Toll, War Costs during Hearing
Rowan Scarborough / The Washington Times
(December 12, 2013) -- President Obama's brain trust on Afghanistan does not know much the US spends on the war each year or the American cost in lost lives on the battlefield. This embarrassing lack of basic knowledge from State Department and Pentagon experts on Afghanistan at a House hearing Wednesday prompted even a Democrat to say he was stunned.
The setting was the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The Issue: Afghanistan and the transition to fewer US troops post-2014.
The witnesses: James F. Dobbins, State's special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan; Donald Sampler, assistant to the administrator, US Agency for International Development, which provides civilian foreign aid; and Michael Dumont, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia.
When it came time for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, to quiz the witnesses, he asked what he thought was a simple question:
"How much are we spending annually in Afghanistan? How much is the cost to the American taxpayer?"
He was met with stone silence from the witness panel. Mr. Dobbins gestured to the other witnesses for the answer. They, too, came up empty.
"Anybody know?" Mr. Rohrabacker asked. "Nobody knows the total budget, what we're spending in Afghanistan. It's a hearing on Afghanistan. Can I have an estimate?
"I'm sorry, congressman," Mr. Dobbins said.
Mr. Rohrabacker called the lack of an answer "disheartening."
"How many killed and wounded have we suffered in the last 12 months," he asked.
Again, none of the three had an answer. Mr. Dumont said he would get back to him.
"We're supposed to believe you fellows have a plan that is going to end up in a positive way in Afghanistan," the congressman said. "Holy cow."
Rep. Gerald Connolly, Virginia Democrat, said he was stunned.
"I say to the panel, Mr. Rohrabacker is right. How you can come to a congressional oversight hearing on this subject, with your titles and not know how much we're spending every year and not know how many casualties we incur this last year, I will say to chairman of this committee, is actually a stunning, stunning development."
According to the Pentagon's fiscal 2013 budget, it is spending about $88 billion this year to wage the war in Afghanistan. The State Department budget allocates $4.6 billion in aide and operations.
The US has lost the lives of 118 service members this year, according to the website icasualties.org.
Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.