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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Reduce U.S. Troop Presence on the Ground in Afghanistan

Mr. President:

In politics you've got to dance with the one that brought you. Right now those that supported you in the last election oppose the war in Afghanistan. Further, leading editorial writers, including conservatives such as George Will, also oppose increasing U.S. troop levels in that country. The message is clear: Americans do not want our country to drown in the Afghanistan sinkhole. Accordingly, it is time for the Obama Administration to push hard for implementation of alternatives to increased U.S. troop levels there.

Polls show that liberals and Democrats oppose an increased military presence in Afghanistan. In August, the Washington Post reported:
Although 60 percent of Americans approve of how Obama has handled the situation in Afghanistan, his ratings among liberals have slipped, and majorities of liberals and Democrats alike now, for the first time, solidly oppose the war and are calling for a reduction in troop levels.
Overall, seven in 10 Democrats say the war has not been worth its costs, and fewer than one in five support an increase in troop levels.
Republicans (70 percent say it is worth fighting) and conservatives (58 percent) remain the war's strongest backers, and the issue provides a rare point of GOP support for Obama's policies. A narrow majority of conservatives approve of the president's handling of the war (52 percent), as do more than four in 10 Republicans (43 percent).
Among all adults, 51 percent now say the war is not worth fighting, up six percentage points since last month and 10 since March. Less than half, 47 percent, say the war is worth its costs. Those strongly opposed (41 percent) outweigh strong proponents (31 percent).
Recent editorials urging a policy that avoids further troop commitments include:

Committing more of our military on the ground in Afghanistan simply cannot be the only good solution to the global security and peace issues arising from there.

President Obama, in the past election your supporters believed you to be the person capable of implementing smarter, more nimble and creative policy on behalf of this country, both at home and in our nation's international relationships. Your supporters are looking now to see that capability in you.

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