The Obama administration is in the midst of deciding how many troops with leave Afghanistan starting in July. President Obama has reiterated his pledge to begin withdrawal in July, and recently assured the public that it will not be a “token gesture.”
The Pentagon seems to have a different idea. The Washington Post reported that the military leadership is preparing options that range from a withdrawal of almost no troops to a maximum of 5,000, far below the 30,000 the president added when he made the withdrawal pledge in 2009. One official told the reporter, “Our hope is that we’ll be able to get away with no combat troops getting pulled out this summer.”
That’s why this is a critical time for members of Congress to step up and push the administration for a significant withdrawal in July that sets us on a path toward ending this near ten-year-old war. In the Senate, Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has introduced a bill that puts the Senate on the record supporting the July withdrawal and requires the president to develop an exit strategy with a clear end date. Eighteen senators voted last year for a similar amendment offered by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) and we need to get that total up this time around. That’s why 26 organizations sent a letter to Senate staffers this week urging them to cosponsor the bill. You can read the letter below, and click here to send an email to your senators urging them to cosponsor.
On behalf of our supporters, we are writing to urge you to cosponsor S. 186, the Safe and Responsible Redeployment of United States Combat Forces from Afghanistan Act of 2011.
As the administration and military leadership debate the extent of the July troop drawdown, this is a critical time for senators to weigh in. S. 186 puts the Senate on the record supporting the beginning of troop withdrawal in July and exerts oversight by requiring a clear end date for the nearly ten-year-old war.
You can view the text of the legislation below.
We strongly encourage you to cosponsor S. 186. To cosponsor, please contact Sen. Boxer’s office.
Matthew P. Hoh
Afghanistan Study Group
Brave New Foundation/Rethink Afghanistan
William C. Goodfellow
Center for International Policy
Chief Executive Officer
Mark C. Johnson, Ph.D.
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Jonathan W. Evans
Legislative Representative for Foreign Policy
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Just Foreign Policy
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Simone Campbell, SSS
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Pax Christi USA
Paul Kawika Martin
Policy & Political Director
Peace Action West
Peace and Justice Resource Center
Peter Wilk, M.D.
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Progressive Democrats of America
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Justice Team
3D Security Initiative
James E. Winkler
General Board of Church and Society
The United Methodist Church
Rusti Eisenberg & Gael Murphy
Co-Conveners Legislative Working Group
United for Peace and Justice
US Labor Against the War
Hon. Thomas Andrews
Win Without War
Women’s Action for New Directions