As my colleague George Zornick reports from Congress, in a surprisingly close contest today, the House rejected an amendment sponsored by Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) which called for a withdrawal plan from Afghanistan, preferably one that outlines an “aggressive" drawdown of troops. It lost by only eleven votes, 215-204.
Nonetheless, the vote is the strongest yet for McGovern’s exit initiative and sends a united Democratic message to the president and people that momentum may finally be shifting toward some sort of organized withdrawal plan.
As Paul Kawika Martin, the political and policy director of Peace Action, which organized over twenty organizations to support amendments that would speed up bringing troops home from Afghanistan, said today, “Congress is catching up with voters who believe It’s time to transition from extremely expensive and counterproductive Pentagon strategies in Afghanistan to political negotiations and Afghan-led aid and development.”
It’s high time. As we approach Memorial Day, the number of US troop deaths in the Afghanistan War now exceeds 1,500. No more troops should die in this extraordinarily expensive war that’s not making us safer.