Skip to main content

Osama Bin Laden is dead. Al Qaeda is no longer in Afghanistan in any significant numbers. While the Afghanistan War long ago lost a strategic rationale supported by actual outcomes on the ground (insurgent-initiated attacks continue to rise every year, despite the massive escalations of the past two years), Bin Laden's death obliterates the last plausible excuse for keeping troops in Afghanistan any longer. It's time to bring the troops home.

If you agree, please sign our petition to the White House to start a swift withdrawal from Afghanistan following Bin Laden's death.

The celebrations following the death of Bin Laden were about more than the demise of a terrorist kingpin. They were an outpouring of relief and a release of tension--there is a feeling that something is ending. As one troop told the Army Times, "He's dead. Can we go home now?"

It's safe to say that that's how most Americans feel. Even while Bin Laden was still at large, 73 percent of Americans wanted significant troop withdrawals this summer, and more than half of likely voters wanted all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan within a year. With Osama Bin Laden now buried in the ocean, it's more than likely that almost everyone is asking the question, "He's dead. Can we go home now?"

The White House, though, doesn't seem to understand what most Americans want. According to The Hill:

The White House has stressed that the death of bin Laden is a major victory in the battle against al Qaeda, but should not be seen as a reason to change the U.S. game plan in Afghanistan.

Really? The U.S. invaded Afghanistan to get Bin Laden and destroy al-Qaeda. General Petraeus admits al-Qaeda is no longer in Afghanistan, and Bin Laden is dead. The fact that the administration does not view the death of Bin Laden and the driving out of al-Qaeda as a reason to draw the Afghanistan War to a close shows just how disconnected the war strategy has become from the original rationale for the U.S. invasion in the first place. In fact, in pursuit of the counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, we've been scratching the backs of the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies, who may be implicated in allowing Bin Laden to shelter in their country.

But, if the death of Osama Bin Laden isn't a good enough reason to change the game plan in Afghanistan, here's another: the counterinsurgency strategy is a failure on its face. In the first quarter of 2011, insurgent attacks more than doubled compared to the first quarter of 2009, when President Obama took office and doubled down in Afghanistan. NATO expects insurgent attacks to continue to escalate as fighting season commences. So when the fighting heats up, what possible explanation can we offer to the next military family who loses their loved ones following Bin Laden's death? What possible rationale remains? Supporting the corrupt, criminal Kabul government, which includes the man who brought Bin Laden to Afghanistan in the first place, along with the warlord that helped him escape Tora Bora? Please.

Bin Laden once said:

"We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. ...All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations."

This is the first week after Bin Laden's death, and during this week we'll spend more than $2 billion on Afghanistan War. Every week we continue to do so is a week when Bin Laden is laughing at us from the grave.

He's dead. We should go home now.

Join the tens of thousands of people calling for a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan following Bin Laden's death at RethinkAfghanistan.com.

Poll

Now that Bin Laden's dead, what's your preference?

92%12 votes
0%0 votes
7%1 votes

| 13 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Between bin Laden and the innumerable (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, HoundDog

    number two's we've killed or captured (half snark), the case for leaving is probably stronger.  Hopefully AQ's operational capabilities are close to nil and we can leave soon and let Afghanis deal with the Taliban as they see fit.

  •  Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA
    Every week we continue to do so is a week when Bin Laden is laughing at us from the grave.
    There are many reasons one could argue that we should go home, but this is not one of them. He's dead, he does not exist any longer. He does not know whether we're at war or not.

    I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

    by doc2 on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:04:24 PM PDT

    •  It's not a literal statement... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, HoundDog

      ...and I think you know that. :)

      The point is, the U.S.'s keeping troops there serves the agenda he pursued.

      •  It's not effective advocacy, in my opinion. (0+ / 0-)

        The "he's dead" rejoinder is just too easy and too effective.  On a deeper level, we shouldn't make public policy out of spite even when the spite it directed towards the worse people on Earth.  We should get out of Afghanistan primarily for us, secondarily for Afghans (feel free to flip those if you like), and I could keep going for a while before getting to what the bullet-ridden corpse of Osama Bin Laden thinks.

        It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

        by Rich in PA on Wed May 04, 2011 at 07:15:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Pretty schmucky to do the... (0+ / 0-)

    "DO X OR ELSE OBL WINS!!!!" crap.

    I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

    by punditician on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:46:19 PM PDT

  •  In a poll in the most recent Night Owls... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, Alan Arizona, dcrowe, rhutcheson

    ...diary, of the 6566 respondents, 51% said we should withdraw as "quick as logi[sti]cally possible" and 31% said an "accelerated withdrawal completed in 12-18 months." In my book, that's 82% for ASAP.

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:51:06 PM PDT

  •  Bin Laden's annouced strategy to spook us into (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alan Arizona, dcrowe

    spending so much on defense spending that we bankrupt ourselves is the same one we used against the former U.S.S.R.

    At one point, we wer're spending 5% of our GDP on defense and, had driven the USSR to spend 21% of theirs.

    I prensented an Arm Race computer simulation model to a security conference once, and one of the intelligence agence who drove me that, was laughing on the way back when he said to me, they knew all about the self-propogating feeback loops driving the arms race, and the varion perception biases, and analytic biases that added "gain" to the loop, thereby accerlating the consequent expoential growth.

    He said in fact, we spent a lot of time trying to convince them we were spending even more than we actually were.  For example, the Brilliant Pepples - Star Wars space defense was never expected to work, by serious defense analysts, it was a ploy to spook the Soviets to expand the military space budget, thereby undermining their economy, so they would not have surplus funds to spread to their puppet states, Cuba, Afghanastan etc.

    He said everyone was surprised when President Reagon got confused about this and thought it was a real deployable system.   But, even thought worked to fake out the Soviets.

    We need to invest much more in our own economic and energy infrastructures, as well as education, if we want to be able to keep up with fast growing competitive economies, some of whose economic growth rates are four times ours.

    My understanding is that China is now investing in the largest expansion of a university system in human history.  With the intention of by passing us in every area of human scholarship.

    These kinds of investments pay multigenerational returns on investment.  Paying for troops, and tanks to be station in the 700 plus basis around the world, is a drain, we can no longer afford.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Wed May 04, 2011 at 07:19:39 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site