Kucinich to Force Vote on Withdrawing Troops From Afghanistan
Anti-war Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) says he will force a vote on a hard date for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan on the heels of reports they could remain there at least through 2014.
Kucinich said Wednesday that he will force a vote via privileged resolution at the beginning of the next Congress on ending the war in Afghanistan by the end of 2011.
"The withdrawal of our troops must be driven by Congress, not the corrupt president of Afghanistan," the Ohio congressman said in a statement.
His announcement comes after The New York Times reported that the Obama administration has stressed that it will leave troops in place at least through the end of 2014 in an effort to persuade Afghans and the Taliban the U.S. intends to complete its mission.
That troop commitment would far exceed the July 2011 date set by the administration last December as the time when troop withdrawals will begin.
Liberal Democrats in Congress have become increasingly frustrated with the progress of the war against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan, expressing concern over the cost of the war, the loss of American lives and instability within the country.
"The Obama administration must withdraw our troops now. Our presence there is counterproductive, it keeps our troops in harm's way and it opens to the door for the expansion of the massive corruption of the Karzai regime," said Kucinich.
Kucinich introduced a resolution in July that mandated the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Pakistan, which was handily defeated.
Republicans, who largely support U.S. engagement in Afghanistan, take control of the House next year.