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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 10, 2011
3:00 PM

Kucinich Calls for Real Troop Reductions from Afghanistan, Renews Call to End War

Rate of Troop Withdrawal Would Keep Troops in Afghanistan to 2021

WASHINGTON - May 10 - Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a long-time critic of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, today made the following statement after U.S. military officers in Afghanistan announced preliminary plans to remove about 5,000 of the American troops serving there and possibly another 5,000 troops by the end of the year, a rate of withdrawal which would leave troops in Afghanistan until 2021.

“Today, we learned that plans to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan begins with just 5,000 troops, and perhaps another 5,000 by the end of the year. There are roughly 100,000 troops currently serving in Afghanistan. At that drawdown rate, the last American troops will leave Afghanistan in 2021.

“While this is welcome news for the families of U.S. service members who will be able to return from combat, the announcement of such a paltry troop withdrawal is an Orwellian attempt to appear to drawdown the war without actually ending the war. Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that the war in Afghanistan is no longer worth fighting,” said Kucinich.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost the United States more than one trillion dollars. One year after the commitment of 30,000 additional troops and over $36 billion for the surge in Afghanistan, the American people are being asked to shoulder the costs of wars through cuts to assistance for low-income families, job training programs and assaults on American workers.

“The longer we stay in Afghanistan, the longer we undermine our own national security at home and abroad. I urge President Obama to listen to the American people and demand significant troop reductions that would put us on the swift path to ending this long and costly war.

“It is time to start taking care of things here at home: health care, child care, education, social security, job security, retirement security and creating a manufacturing policy that focuses on steel, automotive, aerospace and rebuilding our national infrastructure,” said Kucinich.

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