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Join Nebraskans for Peace in calling for a withdrawal from Afghanistan

President Obama’s announcement that he will withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year (with another 23,000 slated to come home by September 2012) will only lower the force numbers in that country to the Bush/Cheney Administration’s deployment levels — to where they were before the ordered troop 'surge' in 2009.

As Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) stated after the President’s speech, “This is far from the sizable and significant reduction that the American people were expecting… Almost three out of four Americans want to bring our troops home from Afghanistan.” Waiting until the fall of 2012 to remove only 33,000 troops, she said, “flies in the face of the growing bipartisan calls across our war-weary nation to exit Afghanistan and refocus on our domestic challenges and job creation.”

This year alone, the Afghan war will cost a whopping $120 billion, at a time when the national debt is topping $14.3 trillion, the economic recovery has stalled at home, and Congress is debating savage cuts in domestic spending for education, health care and social programs.

In his announcement, the President himself admitted that “over the last decade, we have spent a trillion dollars on war at a time of rising debt and hard economic times… It is time to focus on nation-building here at home.”

That “nation-building here at home” cannot occur, however, unless we dramatically reduce military spending — starting with the war in the Afghanistan.

As one of the administration’s own senior officials acknowledged the day of the President’s announcement, the case for a massive occupation force in that beleaguered country is the weakest it’s ever been. “We haven’t seen a terrorist threat emanating from Afghanistan for the past seven or eight years,” the official told the Washington Post. “The threat has come from Pakistan over the past half-dozen years or so.”

Maintaining 68,000 troops in Afghanistan past September 2012 — plus the tens of thousands of private contractors the Pentagon has engaged on the ground in the country — will not enhance our national security. It will not defeat al-Qaida. But it will drive our nation into the throes of bankruptcy and social chaos.

Seeking “steeper and swifter reductions in troop levels,” Rep. Barbara Lee (who serves on the House Appropriations Committee) has pledged to work with members on both sides of the aisle to pass her amendment to end funding for combat operations in Afghanistan and to begin the safe and orderly withdrawal of our troops. “Enough is enough,” she states. “It is past time that we bring this war to an end.”

Save Money! Save Lives! EXIT Afghanistan.

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