President Obama has made his decision. 30,000 more of our young men and women will be sent to fight and potentially die in Afghanistan.
If I could give the President my thoughts, I'd thank him for his thoughtful process. I'm glad people who were arguing against sending more troops - like Vice President Joe Biden - were in the room during discussions. I'm glad he asked for more plans from his generals. And I'm glad he's thinking deeply about the decision.
But at the end of the day, I would like to tell President Obama that I deeply disagree with the conclusion he reached. We do not need to escalate in Afghanistan to keep this country safe, and the cost of escalation in the middle of the greatest economic depression since the 1930s is staggering. And therefore, we should not.
There are less than 100 members of Al-Qaeda left in Afghanistan. That's a fact. It will cost $1 million per soldier to prosecute this war. That is also a fact. When all 30,000 new troops arrive in the country by this summer, we will have over 100,000 pairs of boots on the ground. That, too, is a fact.
We will be spending $100 billion dollars on 100,000 soldiers to kill 100 terrorists. I'm sorry Mr. President, but that's crazy.
Mr. President, last night you spent a lot of time talking about the Taliban. The Taliban are not our enemy. They may be evil and vile and violent, but they did not attack us on September 11th and they hold no aspirations to attack us on our soil in the future. Yes, they harbored Al-Qaeda terrorists before 2001, but surely we can stop terrorist safe havens without 100,000 soldiers in a foreign country, right? We're the most powerful, creative, and technologically sophisticated country on this earth. Surely we don't need 100,000 soldiers to stop 100 terrorists.
I wish I could tell you these things, Mr. President, but I can't. So my thoughts now turn to Congress.
Congress is divided on this issue, with Democrats and Republicans expressing severe doubts about the logic and the cost of escalation. And Congress does have the power to stop this. So instead, I can lend my voice to hundreds of thousands of others. There is a petition going around today, and here's what it says:
President Obama has decided to send more than 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan, at a cost of more than $100 billion/year. But America cannot afford a war that does not make us safer, and Congress has the power to stop the escalation. Vote NO on any spending bill that would send more troops to Afghanistan.
If you believe as I do, that President Obama made the wrong decision last night on Afghanistan, then please sign. The petition will be delivered to the White House. So, in this small way, you can communicate your beliefs to the President.