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Kent Conrad Calls For Withdrawal From Afghanistan By This Summer

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United States
06/20/2011 09:20 PM
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Kent Conrad Calls For Withdrawal From Afghanistan By This Summer
Washington – Senator Kent Conrad today asked President Obama to begin a redeployment of U.S. forces from Afghanistan this summer, citing budgetary constraints and military objectives achieved in the region. A bipartisan letter signed by Senator Conrad and 26 of his colleagues urged the President to draw down troops in Afghanistan in a significant and steady manner beginning this July.

“Instead of continuing to be embroiled in ancient local and regional conflicts in Afghanistan, we must accelerate the transfer of responsibility for Afghanistan’s development to the Afghan people and their government. We should maintain our capacity to eliminate any new terrorist threats, continue to train the Afghan National Security Forces, and maintain our diplomatic and humanitarian efforts. However, these objectives do not require the presence of over 100,000 American troops engaged in intensive combat operations,” the letter states.

The group of Senators signing on to the letter noted that in 2001, the United States rightfully intervened in Afghanistan to make sure it was no longer a safe haven for al Qaeda. They lauded the military for the significant progress made in removing the Taliban government, and pursuing those who planned the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

In recent years, U.S. forces have captured or killed dozens of al Qaeda leaders. That progress was highlighted on May 2, when American Special Forces located and killed Osama bin Laden, the founder of al Qaeda. The letter argues that given the achievement of these goals, it is the right moment to initiate a sizable and sustained reduction in forces, with the goal of steadily withdrawing all regular combat troops.