These two tiny words have dominated our national discourse regarding what is now the longest American war. With the advent of Osama Bin Laden’s death, this should no longer be the case. When it comes to leaving Afghanistan, there should no longer be any questions except ‘why not now’?
For the great majority of the nation, ‘why’ hasn’t recently been an issue. Even before the death of Bin Laden, polls have been showing that majorities in America (Washington Post/ABC News poll – 2010), Canada (Global News poll – 2010), and the United Kingdom (ComRes poll – 2009) believe that their country should bring its troops home. Polls in three other countries with significant numbers of troops (Germany, Italy, and France) reflect even more strongly the opinion that it is time to bring the troops home. Strangely, and a bit shamefully for this Aussie citizen, that number is right at 50% in Australia (Essential Research poll – 2009). I suppose I could run down the other countries from GWB’s Great Coalition (aka the International Security Assistance Force) but it’s probably a moot point. Unless, of course, you are concerned with Estonia’s 160 troop contribution.
Oh yeah, and what happened to the U.S. leave Afghanistan date of July 2011?
I won’t take up your or my time trying to reword the already fine arguments put forth for a recall of American troops from Afghanistan. I will point you towards this petition organized by Rethink Afghanistan and the fine thoughts of a former Congress on Urban Ministry co-chair, longtime friend of SCUPE, and editor of Sojourners: Jim Wallis.