Don't End Afghan War Sooner, End It Now


The Obama administration is now talking about possibly ending U.S. combat in Afghanistan in 2013. That's progress.

Tell them we'd prefer 2012.

President Obama has roughly tripled the number of U.S. troops and mercenaries in Afghanistan. In 2009 he promised a big withdrawal would come in mid-2011. It didn't. Then the big date became 2014.

Now the plan is to get down to twice as many troops as Obama started with, by mid-2013, and to switch from combat to "training." That's movement in the right direction.

But U.S. and NATO troops have been training Afghan troops (without apparent success, and with increasingly frequent incidents of trainees killing their trainers) for over a decade, and U.S. governments have been breaking promises for much longer than that.

The point is that pressure is being felt. A majority in the U.S. tells pollsters we want all troops out as soon as possible. This is an election year. France and other NATO countries are feeling their own people's pressure. NATO's meeting in Chicago in May will face massive protest. The Nobel Committee that awarded Obama a peace prize is under investigation for having strayed from its mission.

Now is the moment to demand an end to this war.