Let's Get Out of Afghanistan
Barbara Boxer: With bin Laden dead, it's time to set an end date
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2011 1:18 PM CDT
Marines carry a wounded comrade to a medical helicopter in the volatile Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan on May 15.   (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

(Newser) – Barbara Boxer rounds up some facts and figures related to the Afghanistan war: Osama bin Laden is dead, al-Qaeda looks to be crippled in the country, more than 1,500 Americans have been killed, and we're spending $10 billion a month on a seemingly never-ending war effort. Easy to see where this is going: "Although we must remain vigilant in our efforts to defeat al-Qaeda and must continue our support for the Afghan people, there is simply no justification for the continued deployment of 100,000 American troops in Afghanistan," writes the California senator in the Los Angeles Times.

"This July, the president should expedite his promised withdrawal of our combat forces. Moreover, we should now set an end date for the US deployment there," writes Boxer, who has introduced a bill requiring just that. It's a "myth" to think we can build a Western-style democracy in Afghanistan, she writes. Let's be realistic instead: Bring our soldiers home, leaving just enough for counter-terror strikes, training, and the protection of US officials. "We owe that much to our troops, and to the American people."

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May 28, 2011 9:05 AM CDT
If we leave Afghanistan what will the Taliban do? Pakistan has already shown that there is a substantial fraction of its power structure that is at least sympathetic to the Taliban, if not outright in its support. The Taliban will host al Qaeda. al Zawahiri, who was not chosen as the "leader" of al Qaeda but HAS, for a LONG time, been among its prime strategizers and planners, has declared TWO goals for the organization: First, to inflict as much pain on the United States as possible, and second, to take a nation as a base from which to accomplish that. Afghanistan is a perfect candidate to be that nation, accomplishing the second. Pakistan has a nuclear arsenal with which to accomplish the first. Can we adequately prevent a Taliban takeover with soaring drones and raining "Hellfire?"
May 28, 2011 8:38 AM CDT
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May 28, 2011 6:11 AM CDT
I agree with Boxer on this one.