"This may definitely not be over, and it may not be over for a long time. Nine-and-a-half years later, it is most definitely not over. So, what we have to do is I think demonstrate the strategic patience that is necessary to win a long war." ~US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker on the Long War (September 5, 2011)
While monitoring possible deception during the Iraq pullout, it is important for the peace movement to engage in the effort to end the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Experience shows that a vibrant anti-war movement is a necessary element in ending these wars. Here are some steps:
First, out of Afghanistan: 33,000 US troops by next year, the rest by 2014. Demand the end of torture, and advocate peace diplomacy now. Sign and circulate this petition: Prevent Afghan Torture, Enforce Leahy Law.
Second, Pakistan, where the immediate issue is to block a further US escalation of ground troops, as well as the rising number of drone attacks. Please sign and circulate this petition: No US Escalation in Pakistan.
These petitions are useful for education, organizing and for communicating to Congress and the White House a sense that we are strongly opposed to escalation, drone killings, secret wars, and the Long War doctrine.
We should want Obama to campaign for re-election on ending these wars and transferring the savings to domestic economic priorities. We should question how Republican deficit hawks can be military big spenders. The election, already underway, is a vital battlefield for the struggle to end wars and stanch the hemorrhaging costs.