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Why stay in Afghanistan?

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President Obama announced last week that nearly 10,000 troops will remain in Afghanistan and many of these won’t be home until 2017. Why are we continuing this war?

There is no military solution to Afghanistan’s problems. Ten thousand troops over the next two years will not accomplish any more than 100,000 could in the past 13 years.

The U.S. war in Afghanistan has cost our nation and the Afghan people dearly. More than 2,300 Americans and tens of thousands of Afghans have lost their lives. Many more have been wounded and will bear the scars for decades.

Like the Iraq War, Afghanistan has been financed on our nation’s credit card, adding nearly $800 billion to our debt. Al Qaeda’s leadership was driven from Afghanistan a decade ago. Osama bin Laden was killed three years ago.

Even President Obama has said a lasting solution in Afghanistan will depend on Afghans and their neighbors reaching political settlement, not U.S. military action. So why are we staying?

It’s long past time to bring all our troops home. But we the people will have to demand it. The military industrial establishment is not going to give it up voluntarily.

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