Wednesday night, President Obama will address the nation to announce the future of our military mission in Afghanistan. It's a critical speech, with policy ramifications that will resonate for years to come.
I believe that we should withdraw 30,000 American troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2011 -- and thereby redeploy the forces President Obama added in the 2010 surge.
According to sources, President Obama is still deciding how many troops to withdraw and on what timetable.
So it's critical that we all make our voices heard, right now, before the President announces his final decision Wednesday night -- and I hope you'll stand with me.
Let me be clear: I am not suggesting that we simply walk away from Afghanistan. We have too much at stake to do that.
However, in the wake of our successful mission that killed Osama bin Laden, as well as an ongoing peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, I do believe it's time to significantly change our mission to focus on critical counter-terrorism efforts and the training of Afghan security forces.
We don't need a massive force of 100,000 U.S. troops and another 50,000 NATO troops to pursue an estimated 50 or fewer members of al-Qaida.
It's time to fundamentally change our mission -- and President Obama has a chance to do just that
So let's make sure the President hears from us before Wednesday night's speech.
Last month, more than 100,000 Americans signed on as citizen co-sponsors of my legislation calling for a timetable for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.
Now it's time to do more, and urge President Obama to draw down our troop levels dramatically this year.
It's time for the people of Afghanistan to assume responsibility for securing their own country so we can focus on targeted counter-terrorism efforts abroad -- while getting our economic house in order here at home.
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