News / USA

US Lawmakers Calling for Faster Withdrawal From Afghanistan

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., center, accompanied by fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus, speaks to reporters outside the White House in Washington, following a meeting with President Barack Obama. (File Photo)
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., center, accompanied by fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus, speaks to reporters outside the White House in Washington, following a meeting with President Barack Obama. (File Photo)
Cindy Saine
CAPITOL HILL, Washington, D.C.- A bipartisan group of 86 members of the U.S. House of Representatives has written a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to bring the war in Afghanistan to an accelerated end.  

Democratic Representative Barbara Lee of California is the only one of the 435 members of the House who voted against authorizing the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan in 2001.  

Now, Lee is spearheading efforts to bring U.S. troops home faster than the planned withdrawal of NATO combat troops in 2014. 

"Today we are announcing that 86 members of Congress, a bipartisan group of members, are joining us in requesting that President Obama expedite our troops' return and speed up the transition to having Afghans in charge of Afghanistan," she said.

Several of the lawmakers who signed the letter gathered to talk to reporters, saying extending the war is only going to mean more young American men and women in uniform will die or lose their limbs in Afghanistan.
 
Republican Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina said there are pressing needs at home that require taxpayer money.

"When we have schools in America that need to be rebuilt, when we have roads that need to be rebuilt, bridges, infrastructure, and we are sending $10 billion a month to Afghanistan for the Afghans to build roads and then blow them up, and have our young men and women to walk the roads in Afghanistan to be shot and killed, it is time to bring them home, Mr. President," said Jones.

Democratic Representative Peter Welch of Vermont pointed out that the president has already set a date for U.S. combat troops to come home.

"The war in Afghanistan is over, it just has not ended yet," said Welch. "The president has made it clear that we are bringing our troops home in 2014. Many of our allies are accelerating their departure. So everyone who is engaged in this knows that it is ending. And the question that we are asking is 'Why not sooner rather than later?"

In their letter to the president, the 86 members say while they would prefer an immediate full withdrawal from Afghanistan, there is broad consensus in Congress that it is time to accelerate the transition to full Afghan control.  They asked President Obama to announce an accelerated transition of security responsibility at the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago.
 
Several lawmakers said the American people appear to be ahead of their elected representatives in calling for U.S. troops to come home. 

"The American people are against what is going on, it seems like we are such slow learners in Washington." said Republican Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas.

Recent opinion surveys show that American public support for the war in Afghanistan is down to 27 percent, and only 37 percent of Republicans support the ongoing war effort. But some Republican lawmakers have criticized the president for moving too quickly to draw down American troops from Afghanistan, jeopardizing hard won gains.

You May Like

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Spacei
X
Rosanne Skirble
January 27, 2015 5:05 PM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.
Video

Video Weekly Protests in Korea Keep Japanese WWII Atrocities Alive

Every week in Seoul protesters gather in front of the Japanese Embassy to demand an apology and reparations from Tokyo for the thousands of South Korean women who were forced into prostitution during World War II. Although this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, these protestors have helped keep the issue of comfort women alive and made it difficult for Japan to move beyond its past wartime atrocities. VOA's Brian Padden reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Exercise: New Prescription for Parkinsons Disease

Exercise could be the new prescription for Parkinson's Disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. More than six million people worldwide suffer from Parkinsons and they're traditionally treated with medication and surgery. Shelley Schlender has more.
Video

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Greece’s youngest-ever prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, was sworn in Monday after his victorious far-left Syriza party entered a coalition with far right rivals. Tsipras says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts. So begins a new chapter for the country at the epicenter of Europe’s economic crisis - a change that has sent tremors across the continent, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Oil Price Drop Troubles Texas Producers

As oil prices have fallen over the past several months, drilling operations have slowed in some parts of the United States - including Texas, the state that surpasses all others in energy production. The Lone Star State’s energy output has been boosted in recent years by development of resources trapped deep below ground in the Eagle Ford shale deposit, which stretches across south central Texas. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Karnes City, Texas, the drop in oil prices has created concerns,
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid