The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Kelly Campbell, 503-720-1815;
Myrna Bethke, 732-492-0802

Afghanistan: Ending a Failed Military Strategy

9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows Releases a New Report Outlining 10 Reasons to End the Occupation of Afghanistan


September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows today released a new briefing paper entitled Afghanistan: Ending a Failed Military Strategy. The comprehensive 22-page document outlines ten reasons the US should end the occupation in Afghanistan and calls for a drastically revamped US policy focused on diplomacy, negotiation, aid, reconstruction and international cooperation.

The 10 reasons to end the occupation discussed in the report include:
1. US and NATO occupation creates civilian casualties, angering Afghans.
2. Military occupation has hampered humanitarian aid and reconstruction efforts.
3. Afghan women continue to face violence and oppression under the occupation.
4. US policy has empowered warlords, drug lords and the Taliban.
5. The occupation contributes to violence and destabilization for ordinary Afghans,
including refugees.
6. NATO allies and military leaders are questioning the occupation.
7. US troop casualties in Afghanistan are on the rise.
8. Afghans are calling for a negotiated end to the war.
9. Military escalation will only increase the violence, and potentially lead to a wider
war involving nuclear-armed Pakistan.
10. Military occupation of Afghanistan does not curb terrorism.

The report makes the following recommendations:
1. Set a swift timetable for the withdrawal of US and NATO military forces, to be
substituted by UN forces for short-term security.
2. Immediately cease air strikes on targets in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
3. Support negotiations between all parties involved in the conflict, including Afghan
women leaders.
4. Reform humanitarian aid and reconstruction funding efforts to prioritize Afghan
organizations over foreign contractors. Ensure that funded projects address the
needs and requests of Afghans and are not simply pet projects of foreign donors.
5. Invest in long-term aid that increases self-reliance such as sustainable agriculture
6. Immediately discontinue the use of Provincial Reconstruction Teams, which are
costly, inefficient, and have militarized the aid process.
7. Standardize, increase, and publicly document compensation to Afghan families
and communities affected by US military actions.
8. Sign the treaty to ban cluster bombs, pay for cluster bomb and landmine clean up
in Afghanistan, and pledge never to use these weapons again.

"We hope this briefing paper will serve as a starting point for our colleagues in the US peace movement to begin taking a serious look at the situation in Afghanistan and pressuring the new administration to end the failed military strategy in that country," said Kelly Campbell, a member of 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows and a co-author of the report. "We should be supporting Afghan calls for a negotiated end to the war, not increasing our military presence in their country."

The report can be downloaded at

Peaceful Tomorrows is an organization founded by family members of those killed on September 11th who have united to turn our grief into action for peace. By developing and advocating nonviolent options and actions in the pursuit of justice, we hope to break the cycles of violence engendered by war and terrorism. Acknowledging our common experience with all people affected by violence throughout the world, we work to create a safer and more peaceful world for everyone.