The Afghanistan War costs American taxpayers more than $2 billion a week at a time when communities are falling apart, and our mayors are fed up. On Monday, the United States Conference of Mayors is expected to pass a resolution calling for a speedy end of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars so we can use those funds here at home. The mayors are exactly right.
- Citizens of Lansing, Michigan, paid $114.2 million for the Afghanistan War so far, and New York City paid $15.4 billion; these cities are about to have to close fire stations.
- Montgomery, Alabama paid $199.3 million and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania paid $1.7 billion; these cities are laying off teachers.
- Minneapolis, Minnesota paid $692.3 million; now they can't fill potholes.
And here's the big picture: "Local governments shed 28,000 jobs last month, the Department of Labor reported, and have lost 446,000 jobs since employment peaked in September 2008."
These wars are killing our people, they're killing our economy and they're killing our communities. They're not worth the costs. They've got to end.
The Defense Department is working overtime to stop any real drawdown from either country. They're trying to fool us into thinking they've started a "drawdown" already by shuffling troops from Afghanistan to Kuwait (read: Iraq). They're pushing for a fig-leaf withdrawal of a few thousand troops. That's unacceptable.
Next week, President Obama is expected to make an announcement about his intentions for a troop drawdown from Afghanistan. He needs to do the right thing by our troops and by our communities and end these wars for good, starting with a major, swift and sustained withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. Enough is enough.