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Legislation for Withdrawal from Afghanistan

In NETWORK’s statement on the war in Afghanistan, we emphasize that “the United States needs a framework for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and progress in Afghanistan.” The war has gone on for too long and is costing too much – in lives and resources. President Obama has committed to initiating troop withdrawal this year, but he has been unclear on the precise timeline. NETWORK is calling for an accelerated withdrawal of troops and an increased emphasis on humanitarian aid and development in the Afghanistan region.

The following bills have been introduced in Congress to build momentum for removing U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan this year. The most effective way for members of Congress to show their support is to sign on to the bills as co-sponsors. NETWORK urges activists around the country to contact their Representatives and Senators and ask them to take a stand to end this war.

H.R. 780: The Responsible End to War in Afghanistan Act

This bipartisan bill, introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) on February 17, 2011, calls for the safe and orderly withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. It specifies that any funds allocated for operations of the Armed Forces in Afghanistan may only be used for the purposes of withdrawal. The bill includes reference not only to the Armed Forces themselves, but also to personnel contracted by the Department of Defense to operate in Afghanistan.

As of February 22, 48 members of Congress had signed onto this bill as cosponsors. This includes both Democrats and Republicans.

S. 186: The Safe and Responsible Redeployment of United States Combat Forces from Afghanistan Act

This bill, introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) on January 25, 2011, calls for the President to formulate a plan for the redeployment of U.S. combat forces from Afghanistan. It specifies that this plan must be submitted to Congress by July 31, 2011 – the date that President Obama has indicated for the beginning of U.S. troop withdrawal. The bill also requires that the redeployment plan include an end date for completion of withdrawal.

As of February 22, four other Senators had signed onto this bill as co-sponsors.