Obama says U.S. will continue war in Afghanistan past 2014
Minneapolis, MN – President Obama announced May 27, that by 2015 the U.S. will have 9,800 troops in Afghanistan and that by the end of 2016 the U.S. will leave troops to guard the U.S. embassy in Kabul. The next day when Secretary of State John Kerry was interviewed by Chuck Todd on MSNBC, Todd pointed out that “there’s eight more years of that agreement, and the next president, without the authorization of Congress, without seeking new permission from Afghanistan, could end up sending more troops back in” and Kerry agreed that it is possible that the U.S. could send in more troops. He was quick to point out that that decision would be made under a different administration though.
While the President’s speech focused on how the U.S. is changing its operation in Afghanistan, many in the anti-war movement see the speech as a political smokescreen for the U.S. continuing its war and occupation of the country.
Sarah Martin, an activist with Women Against Military Madness reacted to the president’s speech, “Make no mistake about it, these troops will be seen as a continuation of the US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan. Life for the Afghan people especially women and girls will continue to be dangerous. The Afghans will be able to get on with their lives when there are zero troops in Afghanistan.”
Sophia Hansen-Day from the Anti-War Committee agreed, “With his declaration that almost 10,000 U.S. troops will remain on the ground in Afghanistan after 2014, President Obama yet again proves his steadfast commitment to empire building. Once again, his initial calls for change ring hollow in favor of the hypocrisy of Washington.”
Military Families Speak Out has called for protests in response to the president’s announcement. So far there have been protests in Kansas City, California and New Jersey. There will be a picket at in Minneapolis, Minnesota at Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office on Friday, May 30, at 4:30 PM to show opposition to the continuation of a U.S. presence in Afghanistan. The protest is organized by the MN Peace Action Coalition.