There is no military solution to Afghan political problems. Staying longer only costs more lives and money
By Matt Southworth and Matthew Hoh
As President Barack Obama is set to discuss the future of US counterterrorism policy around the world, he should also provide a framework for a swift end to the US war in Afghanistan. It is our belief US troops should not stay one day longer or shed one more drop of blood, and US taxpayers should not spend one more penny to keep troops in Afghanistan past 2014.
It is time to truly end the US war in Afghanistan. It is pure folly and wholly counterproductive for the US to keep fighting in Afghanistan, paying the highest price in life and treasure, for one more day, let alone until a specific calendar date is reached. The current US strategy, which lacks critical political and economic transition elements, will neither accomplish US political objectives, nor provide security for the people of Afghanistan. As violence is currently on the rise, one can reasonably wonder what has been gained from years of remarkable expense and sacrifice.
The Obama administration should end this war and double down on efforts to achieve broad and inclusive political solutions. There are several reasons why this track has a better chance for success.
First, there is no military solution to Afghan political problems, many of which don't even originate in Afghanistan. In fact, efforts to pacify the Afghan insurgency by force have only backfired. The security situation in Afghanistan today is worse than it was before the surge in 2009. A failure to achieve a negotiated political settlement with regional stakeholders will almost certainly mean a fourth decade of war in Afghanistan – fomenting the same conditions which led to the rise of al Qaida in that country.<More>
VFP members Ann Wright, John Amidon, Father Louie Vitale, Ellen Barfield with fellow VFP member and defendant Greg Boertje- Obed (with VFP shirt) at noon break in trial. The three defendants were convicted later in the day and are awaiting sentencing.
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