Wednesday, May 18, 2011

We Got Osama bin Laden – Now Let’s Get Out of Afghanistan

by Raul Grijalva

The news of Osama bin Laden’s death at the hands of a small group of Navy SEALs, after hiding in plain sight for years, reminds us that we spent a generation deploying ever more troops to fight an enemy that doesn’t have an army, or a country, or a government. President Bush told us a decade ago that we’d prevent al Qaeda and the Taliban from committing more attacks, no matter what it took. After our recent successes, we know what it took, and it wasn’t a ground force still scaled for the Cold War. The rationale for the decade-long battle in Afghanistan is gone. It ended in Pakistan, a nation where we have no combat soldiers on the ground. This is a new chapter. It’s time to bring our troops home.

Several leaders in the Congressional Progressive Caucus -- Rep. Barbara Lee, my co-chair Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Rep. Mike Honda, Rep. Maxine Waters and myself -- sent a letter to President Obama May 4 urging him to order "a near-term and significant drawdown of U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan beginning no later than July of this year." The logistics of bringing approximately 100,000 troops home should be an incentive, not an impediment, to getting started as soon as possible. Our soldiers deserve to come home to an honorable reception, be reunited with their families, and begin thinking about the rest of their lives.

It's important to put this moment in the right context.

For the rest of Congressman Grijalva's blog post, click here.

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