February 22nd, 2009 11:10 EST
Military Force in Afghanistan Won't Work Butt Head
We can`t afford to continue a failed strategy.
President Obama was right when he said we need to focus more resources on Afghanistan. But rather than completing an examination of all available options, he has decided to deploy 17,000 more troops without a clear plan for turning things around.
In more than seven years, the US has not achieved its goals in Afghanistan, and intensifying the current approach with more troops isn`t going to change that. Click here to tell President Obama and Congress that we need a comprehensive plan for Afghanistan before risking more American and Afghan lives.
We have seen the disastrous consequences of heading into war without a plan in Iraq. We are still mourning American and Iraqi lives lost, and struggling to rehabilitate our economy while spending billions of dollars on war.
Since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Al Qaeda has increased its attacks. Last year saw the most civilian deaths in Afghanistan since the U.S. invaded, and a new poll shows that only 18% of Afghans want more U.S. troops. Bombings of civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan are angering the populations in both countries and their governments, undermining the U.S.`s ability to create stability. We cannot simply intensify the Bush administration`s failed policy. Now is the time for us to press President Obama and Congress to find a better approach to Afghanistan.
General David Patreaus has called Afghanistan the "graveyard of empires." An authoritative report released last year demonstrated that military force has historically been unsuccessful in defeating terrorism . Counterinsurgency experts have said that a military strategy would require hundreds of thousands of troops we can`t send, and even if we did there would be no guarantee of success.
The Obama Administration should:
De-escalate troop levels in Afghanistan and to reject the idea that there is a military solution to the region`s problems;
Immediately stop military activities that indiscriminately impact civilians such as air and drone strikes;
Rapidly withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan;
Commit to negotiated diplomatic talks involving all major regional players, including major international peace-keeping bodies;
Address the real needs of Afghans, which include health-care, clean water, education, and security.
Send this important message to our President and Congress.
Kevin M. Martin
Graveyard of Empires: Military escalation will not bring peace.
Correcting Our Mistakes: Who, and why, we are fighting in Afghanistan.