As the Afghanistan War replaces the Vietnam War as the longest war in U.S. history, Brave New Foundation and TrueMajority today called on President Obama and Congress to ensure a responsible troop withdrawal from Afghanistan complete no later than December 2011. Brave New Foundation and TrueMajority released a new video marking the milestone featuring leading experts, including: former military analyst Daniel Ellsberg, Malou Innocent of the CATO Institute, author Tom Hayden and historian Christian Appy speaking to the Vietnamization of Afghanistan and to the staggering cost to Americans totaling almost $300 billion and over 1,000 American lives.
As of Monday, June 7, 2010, the U.S. will have been in Afghanistan for 104 months, more than eight-and-a half years, surpassing the war in Vietnam. In his December 2009 West Point speech, President Obama announced a U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan would begin in July 2011. However, he set no end date, leaving open the possibility that U.S. combat troops could remain there indefinitely.
The call for a firm withdrawal end-date comes as Congress debates spending another $33 billion on troop escalation in Afghanistan.
“It is a real tragedy that Afghanistan has now become the longest war in American history. This war has gone on long enough, and it’s time to end it. We have already spent almost $300 billion dollars on Afghanistan and have lost over 1,000 American lives, all for a war that is not making us safer.” Director, Robert Greenwald, Brave New Foundation
“I think of this war as Vietnamistan. It’s essentially the same form of war: fighting people who are mainly motivated by the determination to expel foreign invaders from their country.” Daniel Ellsberg, Former US Military Analyst, RAND Corp
“[President Obama] has not promised or pledged how many troops he promises to take out or leave behind, so it’s very ambiguous. I wouldn’t be surprised if we are in this region for the foreseeable future.” Malou Innocent, Foreign Policy Analyst, Cato Institute
“Afghanistan becoming the longest war in our history forces us to ask: Just how long is long enough? How much money is too much? How many more lives is this worth? The answer is that the war in Afghanistan has already cost us too much – and it’s up to Congress to bring home the troops and refocus our priorities.” Matt Holland, Online Director TrueMajority/USAction