Reprinted from The Nation
Representative Barbara Lee
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Barbara Lee has always had the clearest vision when it comes to the U.S. role in Afghanistan -- and the rest of the world.
Lee was right. On October 7, 14 years after the launch of the Afghanistan War, she noted that it has become "our nation's longest war" and said that "sadly, there seems to be no end in sight. Despite a war-weary public, calls continue to keep more U.S. troops in Afghanistan for many more years."
On Thursday, President Obama listened to the calls for more war -- as opposed to the wise counsel of the congresswoman who has so consistently been correct in her assessments of the folly of endless war making in distant lands.
The president, who was elected with the strong support of Congresswoman Lee and other war foes, announced that the planned withdrawal by U.S. forces from Afghanistan would be suspended. Instead, current troop levels of roughly 10,000 -- along with the full capacity for air strikes, like the October 3 one that devastated the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz -- would remain in place through 2016. While Obama suggested that the Afghan military is "fully responsible for securing their country," his decision to maintain U.S. troops levels effectively guarantees that the United States will remain deeply involved in Afghanistan until after the president leaves office in early 2017.