Today marks the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, and progressive lawmakers are using the date to call for its end. The U.S. has largely completed its mission in Afghanistan, they say, so we shouldn’t continue sending American troops into harms way. Moreover, the fighting has been extremely costly — a recent Brown University study found that 10 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost between $2.3 and $2.7 trillion — and lawmakers are calling for an end to that spending at at a time when the needy are facing cuts at home, the Hill reports:
“Bin Laden is gone, Al-Qaeda has been scattered around the globe, and yet we continue to risk the lives of brave Americans and squander billions of dollars after a decade of interminable conflict,” [Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY)] added. “It has to stop.” [...]
“The American people are weary of war, period, and want our troops to come home,” [House Minority Leader Nancy] Pelosi [D-CA] said. “We appreciate that the president is winding that war down, and we won’t have many more anniversaries of the longest wars in our country’s history.” [...]
“We are now spending $120 billion a year in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And incredibly, President Obama – who I strongly support in general – is contemplating staying in Iraq even longer than George Bush wanted to,” [Rep. Barney] Frank [D-NY] said Tuesday to a crowd of liberal activists gathered in Washington for the Take Back the American Dream conference. “That is totally unacceptable, and we must make that very clear.”
The war in Afghanistan, which President Bush launched on Oct. 7 2001, became the longest war in American history last July.
Under Obama, the U.S. has begun to draw down its troop presence, beginning with pulling the 33,000 surge troops by the end of 2012 and the remaining 68,000 by the end of 2014. But yesterday, the defense ministers from the 49 nations that make up the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan pledged their support to the country, even after 2014. “Let there be no mistake: transition is not departure. We will not take our leave when the Afghans take the lead,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters.