A bipartisan group of House members has urged President Obama to end the war in Afghanistan, saying the U.S. should “recalibrate” its anti-terrorism policy in the wake of the successful special forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
In a letter sent to the president Monday, Reps. Peter Welch, Vermont Democrat, and Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican, and six other congressman called on the administration “to reexamine our policy of nation building in Afghanistan.”
“The success of this mission does not change the reality that America still faces a determined and violent adversary,” the lawmakers wrote. But “we believe [the Afghanistan war] is no longer the best way to defend America against terror attacks, and we urge you to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan that are not crucial to the immediate national security objective of combating al Qaeda.”
The congressmen said the war has over-stretched the military, is an immense burden for taxpayers and is adding to the federal government’s massive debt.
“As our national debt grows, the borrowing and importing from our competitors continues and the drug-related violence on our borders increases, we must evaluate the best use of our resources,” they wrote. “The time has come to acknowledge that the threat posed by Afghanistan no longer justifies 100,000-plus troops on the ground.”
The House members added success in Afghanistan “depends on the cooperation of the Karzai government whose capacity or willingness to curb rampant corruption has evaporated.”
“Finally, we know the terror threat is dispersed and decentralized, not concentrated in a nation state,” the lawmakers wrote. “Consequently, a nation-building strategy has little efficacy.”
Joining Mr. Welch and Mr. Chaffetz in signing the letter were Reps. John Garamendi of California, Rush D. Holt of New Jersey and John F. Tierney of Massachusetts — Democrats — and Republicans Walter B. Jones of North Carolina, John Campbell of California and John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr. of Tennessee.