In November 2009, President Obama announced a surge of U.S. troops to Afghanistan with the commitment that the U.S. troop withdrawal from that country would begin in July of 2011. As that date approaches, the president has yet to clarify at what pace the pullout will occur. More and more people are realizing that it is time for the U.S. to end the war in Afghanistan and turn its attention to building up Afghan civil society through diplomacy and development.
U.S. Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) introduced new, bipartisan legislation to require the Obama Administration to present an exit strategy for U.S. forces from Afghanistan. NETWORK supports this legislation and is asking other representatives to serve as cosponsors.
It is likely that the bill will be offered as an amendment to the FY 2012 defense authorization bill in late May.
Specifically, the bill would:
- Require the president to transmit to Congress a plan with timeframe and completion date on the transition of U.S. military and security operations in Afghanistan to the government of Afghanistan
- Require the president to report quarterly (i.e. every 90 days) on the status of that transition, and the human and financial costs of remaining in Afghanistan, including increased deficit and public debt
- Require the president to disclose to Congress in those quarterly reports the savings in 5-year, 10-year and 20-year time periods were the U.S. to accelerate redeployment and conclude the transition of all U.S. military and security operations to Afghanistan within 180 days (i.e. 6 months).