An Open Letter to Donald Trump: End the War in Afghanistan

end war in afghanistan

From World Beyond War and Action Network

The U.S. war in Afghanistan is well into its 16th year. In 2014 President Obama declared it over, but it will remain a political, financial, security, legal, and moral problem unless you actually end it.

The U.S. military now has approximately 8,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan , plus 6,000 other NATO troops, 1,000 mercenaries, and another 26,000 contractors (of whom about 8,000 are from the United States). That’s 41,000 people engaged in a foreign occupation of a country 15 years after the accomplishment of their stated mission to overthrow the Taliban government.

During each of the past 15 years, our government in Washington has informed us that success was imminent. During each of the past 15 years, Afghanistan has continued its descent into poverty, violence, environmental degradation, and instability. The withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops would send a signal to the world, and to the people of Afghanistan, that the time has come to try a different approach, something other than more troops and weaponry.

The ambassador from the U.S.-brokered and funded Afghan Unity government has reportedly told you that maintaining U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is “as urgent as it was on Sept. 11, 2001.” There’s no reason to believe he won’t tell you that for the next four years, even though John Kerry tells us “Afghanistan now has a well-trained armed force …meeting the challenge posed by the Taliban and other terrorists groups.” But involvement need not take its current form.

The United States is spending $4 million an hour on planes, drones, bombs, guns, and over-priced contractors in a country that needs food and agricultural equipment, much of which could be provided by U.S. businesses. Thus far, the United States has spent an outrageous $783 billion with virtually nothing to show for it except the death of thousands of U.S. soldiers , and the death, injury and displacement of millions of Afghans. The Afghanistan War has been and will continue to be, as long as it lasts, a steady source of scandalous stories of fraud and waste. Even as an investment in the U.S. economy this war has been a bust.

But the war has had a substantial impact on our security: it has endangered us. Before Faisal Shahzad tried to blow up a car in Times Square, he had tried to join the war against the United States in Afghanistan. In numerous other incidents, terrorists targeting the United States have stated their motives as including revenge for the U.S. war in Afghanistan, along with other U.S. wars in the region. There is no reason to imagine this will change.

In addition, Afghanistan is the one nation where the United States is engaged in major warfare with a country that is a member of the International Criminal Court. That body has now announced that it is investigating possible prosecutions for U.S. crimes in Afghanistan. Over the past 15 years, we have been treated to an almost routine repetition of scandals: hunting children from helicopters, blowing up hospitals with drones, urinating on corpses — all fueling anti-U.S. propaganda, all brutalizing and shaming the United States.

Ordering young American men and women into a kill-or-die mission that was accomplished 15 years ago is a lot to ask. Expecting them to believe in that mission is too much. That fact may help explain this one: the top killer of U.S. troops in Afghanistan is suicide. The second highest killer of American military is green on blue, or the Afghan youth who the U.S. is training are turning their weapons on their trainers! You yourself recognized this, saying: “Let’s get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghans we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA.”

The withdrawal of U.S. troops would also be good for the Afghan people, as the presence of foreign soldiers has been an obstacle to peace talks. The Afghans themselves have to determine their future, and will only be able to do so once there is an end to foreign intervention.

We urge you to turn the page on this catastrophic military intervention. Bring all U.S. troops home from Afghanistan. Cease U.S. airstrikes and instead, for a fraction of the cost, help the Afghans with food, shelter, and agricultural equipment.

If you are so inclined, please add your name to the open letter here.

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4 Comments

  1. Daniel Wilcox

    Also, we are supporting an Islamic government, have supported warlords there, etc.–most of whom don’t even support human rights, equality, and the freedoms of the Bill of Rights.

    How exactly are American soldiers who are getting wounded and getting killed defending the U.S. when they are involved in a Muslim Civil War?

    Nation-building takes hundreds of years. Britain couldn’t do it in Afghanistan in 100 years, Russia not in 25 years. How long before the U.S. realizes that as good as our intentions were, America won’t be able to change millions of people from Islamic delusion for a very long time. And we may never be able to change them via drones and guns.

    Reply
  2. Brian

    I wonder if America should train its aim closer to home and see if they are able to change millions of people from the Christianity that has supported America’s war spirit…. see if tghey are able to wake people from the age-old flag worship and the nonsensical idea that America stands for freedom in the world.

    Reply
  3. Joel

    Ha! Good luck with that. War is not only big business with all the government contracts to be had, but the continuing operations in Afghanistan are a perfect excuse for DoD to justify their massive budgets. They might also see it as a “small-scale” real-world training ground to keep the personnel and logistics honed for whatever larger conflicts are coming down the pike. Also fairly safe and easy for most of the populace to ignore since it is in some far-off wasteland.

    Sing it with me now, you all know the tune.
    “This is war that never ends.
    It just goes on and on my friends.
    Some people started fighting it, not knowing what it was
    And they’ll continue fighting it forever just because
    This is the war that never ends…”

    Reply
  4. deano

    Afghanistan? The hide-out of Osama bin Ladin? The place the USA invaded after 9/11……..

    I am afraid people, its all about ca$h for the CIA, the ca$h required to pay its mercenarys and agents of death. The ca$h to pay for funding ISIS, its wages,its training, its supply and weapons.

    Opium Production !!!! Heroin sale$! The Taliban outlawed opium crops because it went against their beliefs in the Quaran. In 2001, production was at its lowest. when was 9/11?
    Since the Taliban warlords have been replaced by Kharzai & Co, the Opium Warlords are back in full production even eclipsing pre-2001 levels. It was never about Osama, (it took how long to find him?) it was about the Opium, the ca$h of organized crime and the CIA.
    The troops sent to Afghanistan were called ISAF ~ International Security Afghan or Allied Forces. The man who ran it, was Lord Richards of Herstmonceaux. It was this man that planned ISIS, stated at the end of his military career >> ” planned a 100 000 rebel mercenarys to oust the Assad govt”. IS does not equal Islamic State. It is code for INTERNATIONAL SECURITY. The name of the Uni think-tank magazine handed out to all western leaders also.
    This wiki page also has your Sec of Def/Attack , Gates and Hagel conspiring with him……Lord Richards, UN, Nato, UK army commander, heading the show since Kosovo……the Muslim Vs Christians in the Balkans.

    See 4 yourself>>> see “Opium production in Afghanistan”, then “Images”……US & Allied troops gaurding the crops!

    This aint conspiracy people. This is FACT. Lord Richards is the man behind it all, another Crusader, Knight Commander.
    Islamic State? Who is the head of this? Osama? Gadaffi? Hussein?Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt? Assad? The Ayatollah of Iran? Sudanese General?………NO! its just to identify Muslims and Islam as the enemy, no matter what country they come from.
    Remember ISIL ? Well, that was Islamic State in the Levant. Levant is a french crusader term for the east. Soon changed to ‘in Syria”, ISIS, to hide the crusader connection. Bush Jr let it slip it was a “Crusade”…..god bless America.

    Reply

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