Jun 21, 2011 | By Andrea Pascual
Last week, on June 15, the Senate sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama asking for an accelerated withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan. Twenty-four Democrats, one Independent and two Republicans signed on, sending another strong message to the administration that Congress is ready to end the war and refocus on securing our own nation. The lead authors of the letter were Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OH), Tom Udall (D-NM) and Mike Lee (R-UT). One of the Democrats who signed was Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who introduced S. 186 Safe and Responsible Redeployment of United States Combat Forces from Afghanistan Act of 2011. In the previous year a similar letter only received 17 signatures. Additionally, Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), John Kerry (D-MA), Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Carl Levin (D-MI) sent individual letters to the president regarding the July drawdown. This makes a total of 31 Senators who have urged the president to significantly reduce U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
It was not too long ago that the House also sent their message to the president after 204 members voted on an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill asking for President Obama to submit a plan to end the war in Afghanistan, which included confirming a date for the end of the war. Although the amendment failed to pass, the close vote indicated to the White House that even the House is growing restless with unending war.
NETWORK thanks all those senators who signed the letter (or sent their own) and urges the president to choose a drawdown plan that calls for a substantial troop withdrawal from Afghanistan this year and a timetable to end this military operation soon.