House Progressives Call for Withdrawal From Afghanistan After Bin Laden’s Death

Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) co-chairs on Wednesday sent a letter to President Barack Obama calling for the reduction of US troops in Afghanistan following Osama bin Laden's death.

Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota), Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) and CPC Peace & Security Task Force co-chairs Mike Honda (D-California), Barbara Lee (D-California), Maxine Waters (D-California) and Lynn Woolsey (D-California) wrote that Bin Laden's death offered the US a new opportunity to end their involvement in the war in Afghanistan.

“In the wake of Osama Bin Laden's death, now is the time to shift toward the swift, safe and responsible withdrawal of US troops and military contractors in Afghanistan,” the letter to Obama said. “[We] commend your calls for national and global security as we acknowledge the world is safer for his absence. It is our hope that you can similarly unify the nation by bringing our troops home and ending America's longest war in history.”

The letter marks the second time this year that the CPC has called for the president to reduce the level of US involvement in Afghanistan; in March, the caucus joined a bipartisan group of 76 House representatives to make the same request.

That message “stressed the urgency of creating economic opportunities here at home and said that the redeployment of only a minimal number of US troops from Afghanistan in July would not meet the expectations of Congress or the American people,” the letter stated.

A recent New York Times/CBS poll found that almost 50 percent of respondents believe that Bin Laden's death should launch a reduction of US troop levels in Afghanistan.

“The death of Osama Bin Laden certainly does not represent an end to Al-Qaeda,” the CPC wrote. “As we seek a future free of the threat of global terrorism, we must work to implement smart security policies that are both effective and sustainable. Ending the war in Afghanistan is a critical step toward refocusing US resources and security assets to serve that vital purpose.”