California Democratic Party Veterans Caucus and Progressive Caucus Chairs Praise Today's Announcement By Obama Administration That U.S. To Leave Afghanistan
The chairs of the Veterans Caucus and Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party today – in a joint statement – praised the Obama Administration's announcement that the U.S. would end combat operations in the war in Afghanistan in 2013.
Noting that nearly 2,000 Americans have been killed and 13,000 wounded in the decade-long battle, along with tens of thousands of Afghans, the party leaders said the U.S. should turn to humanitarian and developmental aid in the region. Polls show about two-third of Americans want the U.S. out of Afghanistan now or in the very near future.
Rick Reyes, the Veterans Caucus Chair and a U.S. Marine veteran in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and Karen Bernal, the Progressive Caucus chair, said:
"It's great news to hear the first clear Administration statement in support of ending 'combat operations' before 2014. There is a genuine belief by many within the military and the government that it's time to admit what we have long said, the US war in Afghanistan simply cannot achieve the goals it claims to be aiming for.
"We need to do all we can to ensure our men and women in uniform don't stay a single day longer than absolutely necessary in Afghanistan. We achieved our original goals upon entering Afghanistan; we killed Bin Laden, decimated Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and given the Afghan people the opportunity of having a democratic government, if they so choose."
The California Democratic Party approved a resolution last year, co-authored by Reyes and Bernal, calling for an end to the war and the redirection of the nearly $1 billion each week used in the war – the Afghanistan war total is more than a half trillion dollars.
Reyes and Bernal said that $1 billion a week can be used to help the U.S. and particularly the State of California, which are in an economic crisis without money to fund domestic needs.