Time to Exit Afghanistan

John Burton
John Burton

A message from the CDP Chair, John Burton, 08/11/2009

At our recent California Democratic Party Executive Board meeting, members voted to support HR 2404, which will require the Secretary of Defense to define an exit strategy for Afghanistan, so we can start bringing our troops home.

Since we invaded Afghanistan nearly eight years ago, more than 700 American troops have been killed there. In just the first six months of this year, there have been more than 1,000 civilian deaths there, according to the U.N.

For more than seven long years, brave men and women from the American armed forces have been fighting and dying in Afghanistan.

Fifty-eight U.S. and NATO troops died in Afghanistan in July, making it the deadliest month since we invaded to force out al Qaeda and the Taliban in 2001.

Enough is enough.

It’s time we learned the lessons of history. The British Empire, the most powerful empire in the world, could not subdue Afghanistan. Neither could the Soviet Union, the second most powerful country at that time and next-door neighbor to Afghanistan. Two of the great militaries in history found Afghanistan easy to conquer but impossible to hold.

It’s time the people of Afghanistan assumed full control of their own country.

It’s time for American troops to come home – not only from Iraq, but from Afghanistan too. And the first step is an exit strategy.

Twenty California Democrats voted in June for an unsuccessful amendment to the defense appropriations bill that would have called for an Afghanistan withdrawal timeline. So far, 14 California Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors of HR 2404, the standalone bill for an Afghanistan exit strategy. That’s a great start.

But HR 2404 is stuck in committee, and we need to get it to the floor of the House where it can come up for a full vote.

Already, $223 billion that could have gone to things like health care reform has been sunk into this war, and some in the military are talking about ramping up our presence in Afghanistan. It’s clear our troops and the people of Afghanistan need your help now.

They need your help calling on all of California’s members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, to support this bill and start planning how we’re going to disengage.

Click here to email your member of Congress today – and urge him or her to support an exit strategy for Afghanistan now!

Our brave servicemen and servicewomen have performed admirably in Afghanistan. Now it’s time to bring them home.

Peace and friendship,

John Burton
California Democratic Party

P.S. Looking for the full text of HR 2404? Well here it is, every last word of it:

Not later than December 31, 2009, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to Congress a report outlining the United States exit strategy for United States military forces in Afghanistan participating in Operation Enduring Freedom.

Please click here to urge your representative to support this important legislation.

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