Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Get out of Afghanistan!

An endless war in Afghanistan is not in America's best interest.

This October will mark the 10-year anniversary of the start of Operation Enduring Freedom. I believe it's time to start bringing our troops home. It's time to put the future and security of Afghanistan in the hands of its own leaders, and focus America's national security on the emerging and more imminent threats from al Qaeda in other regions.

After nearly a decade at war, with still no equal commitment from the Karzai government, and after all the lives sacrificed and the billions we've spent on this war, it is my strong view that it is time to negotiate a Strategic Redeployment Agreement with Afghanistan that would mandate a date certain for the withdrawal of all United States combat forces.

This is why Senators Barbara Boxer, Sherrod Brown, Dick Durbin and I are co-sponsors of the Safe and Responsible Redeployment of United States Combat Forces from Afghanistan Act of 2011. The bill is simple and straight forward and I believe absolutely essential. So today, I'm asking you to stand with us as citizen co-sponsors.

Please add your name as a citizen co-sponsor and help demonstrate the vast support of Americans nationwide who believe it's time to bring our combat troops home and end the war in Afghanistan.

President Obama has already committed to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan this July and that is a vitally important step forward. However, this alone is not enough. I believe a clear combat redeployment agreement would help our efforts in Afghanistan by reinforcing Afghan sovereignty and protecting both the readiness and the flexibility we need to meet the full array of global security challenges that confront our country.

I have great confidence in the ability of our troops and the strategic focus of our commanders. We are not suggesting our government spell out every stage of U.S. troop redeployment -- specific decisions should be up to commanders on the ground and avoid giving the enemy a potential propaganda tool. Nor should we change the protection for our troops and flexibility for our mission that has been agreed upon in previous agreements.

However, it is critical we provide for a date certain for withdrawal of our combat forces, in order to give certainty to the American people; to ensure maximum flexibility in responding to other contingencies; and to publicly endorse the Afghan Government's assumption of lead responsibility as planned.

This is why we must pass the Safe and Responsible Redeployment of United States Combat Forces from Afghanistan Act now.

Please join me as a citizen co-sponsor today.

The time has come. Working together, we can end the war in Afghanistan.

Thank you for everything you do to move America forward.


Kirsten Gillibrand
United States Senator

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