Print this page

Blog: Afghanistan Update

Dec 08, 2011 | By Matthew Shuster

There has been some good news about the longest war in American history. Troops could return from Afghanistan sooner than planned, thanks to the work of the United States Senate. Last Wednesday, the Senate passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2012. Offered by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), the resolution calls for President Obama to submit a plan to speed up the transition of American responsibility for military and security operations to the government of Afghanistan. Furthermore, it urges the president to bring the troops home within 90 days after passage of the resolution.

The current schedule called for the United States to terminate full-scale involvement in Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Senator Merkley stated clearly that the war has already lasted too long, especially since the mission of the war, to destroy all al-Qaida training bases, has been accomplished. The war has cost the government $444 billion and the nation’s infrastructure has not been rebuilt.

Even just a part of the money spent on war in Afghanistan could have been used to foster job creation and support for the continually rising numbers of Americans struggling to make ends meet here at home. However, since we cannot change what has happened, NETWORK is pleased that there has been opposition to a continuation of the conflict expressed within the Senate. We want to ensure that President Obama submits a plan promptly, as it is time for the 66,000 American soldiers to come home. As we excitedly anticipate the return of our soldiers, we want to remain focused on the Afghan civilians and their struggle to rebuild.

Check out Senator Merkley’s comments on the conflict here.