This morning, the White House, Members of Congress, and their staffers woke up to a full-page ad in Politico, stating in clear terms that it's time to end the war, and that we want every combat troop out of Afghanistan by the end of next year.
We've been pushing Congress and the President to choose a different course for a while now. Over the past year, we've meticulously documented the various reasons to rethink this brutal, costly war, including:
Instead of a serious effort to consider non-military solutions, what we've seen is a continued escalation of the war, a president who has not broken out of the military/think tank counterinsurgency bubble in Washington, and a Congress that is not taking on the administration.
The result of this lack of courage and imagination has been three weeks of awful milestones capped by what one author called NATO's "worst day ever in Afghanistan." These milestones include:
The same day that Afghanistan became the longest war in U.S. history, NATO had its worst day for casualties this year, and we learned U.S. taxpayer dollars are ending up in the hands of the Taliban.
In addition to these awful markers, we also learned last week of the Army's plans to build a new $100 million Special Operations Forces base in Afghanistan, which won't even be finished until roughly the time the withdrawals are supposedly set to begin. Clearly, someone's not getting the memo that our forces are supposed to be on our way home next July.
These stacked-up, tragic milestones led supporters of Brave New Foundation and TrueMajority/USAction to say, "Enough is enough." In just a few hours, they provided the funds necessary to purchase a full-page Politico ad.
This ad reminds policy-makers of President Obama's promise to begin a withdrawal no later than July 2011, while also demanding the withdrawal be complete by December 2011. It sends a message that we are tired of watching hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives being wasted on a war that's not making us safer. It's a warning to elected officials: "We want this war to end, and we will hold you accountable for ending it."
The full-page Politico ad is just the latest action we've taken with our community of 33,000+ Rethink Afghanistan supporters on Facebook. We're constantly producing new online videos and organizing actions to help build a movement to end the war. Please join us as we fight to stop this costly, brutal conflict that's not worth the cost.