Russ Feingold has published an article in the Wall Street Journal calling for a flexible time line to bring home the U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Here’s an excerpt:
We need to start discussing a flexible timetable to bring our brave troops out of Afghanistan. Proposing a timetable doesn’t mean giving up our ability to go after al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Far from it: We should continue a more focused military mission that includes targeted strikes on Taliban and al Qaeda leaders, and we should step up our long-term civilian efforts to deal with the corruption in the Afghan government that has helped the Taliban to thrive. But we must recognize that our troop presence contributes to resentment in some quarters and hinders our ability to achieve our broader national security goals.
Some may argue that if we leave now, the Taliban will expand its control over parts of Afghanistan and provide a wider safe haven for al Qaeda. But dedicating a disproportionate amount of our resources to the military occupation of one country is not the most effective way to combat the terrorist threat we face. Even if we invest billions more dollars annually for the next 10 years and sacrifice hundreds more American lives, we are unlikely to get a credible government capable of governing all Afghan territory.
I agree entirely. I’m not convinced that there is any widespread military mission remaining in Afghanistan. Why are we still there in great numbers? I agree that we should pull out most of our troops but monitor for real life threats to the U.S. I suspect that Obama is afraid to leave for fear of looking weak. That’s not a good reason to keep thousands of troops anywhere.