Bill in US House to end war in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON (PAN): Ten US lawmakers have introduced a bill in the US House of Representative which, if enacted, would require the president to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2011.
The bill was introduced by congressmen Dennis Kucinich and Walter Jones and is co-sponsored by eight others.
“If we were to withdraw 50,000 troops from Afghanistan by July, we would save $25 billion by the end of the year, $75 billion by the end of 2012 and $175 million by the end of 2014,” Kucinich told reporters.
Events in the Middle East have demonstrated that US backing of anti-democratic and authoritarian regimes – some of which have been allies in the fight against terrorism – brings less stability to the region, not more, he said.
“It also demonstrates that democratic movements can flourish in the region without our interference and without our help. These significant events demand of us a new direction in our foreign policy,” Kucinich said.
Last week, nine Afghan children between the ages of eight and 14 were killed by a NATO airstrike after being mistaken for insurgents, for which Gen. David Petraeus, commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has apologised.
“We can no longer ignore such incidents as just a part of the reality of war. It is also clear that our country can no longer afford the human, financial or economic cost of the wars we have been engaged in for the last decade,” Kucinich said.
“As we approach the one-year anniversary of the commitment of an additional 30,000 troops and over $36 billion to the surge in Afghanistan, the administration is assuring us of progress at the same time that it continues to push the withdrawal date further back,” he said.
Arguing that more than 60 percent of the American people want their troops to be brought home, Kucinich said the cost of the war had reached nearly half a trillion dollars.
“We have Americans who are losing their jobs; their wages are being knocked down. We have Americans losing their homes, losing their retirement security; they can't send their kids to colleges they want. And we are spending all this money on a war that is a waste of time, money, blood, and treasure to try to prop up a corrupt regime in Afghanistan,” he said.
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