Thomas L. Knapp
As President Barack Obama struggles to come up with a new strategy for the undeclared war in Afghanistan, Libertarians urge the White House to adopt the only plan that will actually work: Get out.
“The occupation of Afghanistan became a failure the instant the goal changed from liquidating al Qaeda to pursuing meddlesome ‘nation-building’ objectives,” says retired Air Force lieutenant colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, who served as a Pentagon analyst during the early days of the occupation and holds a Ph.D. in World Politics from Catholic University. “In its eighth year, the US occupation has not only failed to create a stable, democratic Afghanistan, it threatens to deliver nuclear Pakistan into the arms of the very enemy we went there to destroy.”
On Monday, Obama removed General David McKiernan as commander of US troops in Afghanistan. Obama also rejected the demand of Afghan President Hamid Karzai for an end to US airstrikes, which have led to hundreds of recent civilian casualties. Current plans call for an increase in the US troop presence from about 45,000 to 68,000 by the end of 2009.
The Libertarian Party’s platform calls for the US to “abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world and avoid entangling alliances.” Libertarians, it says, “would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid.”
“The Afghanistan occupation costs the American taxpayer $2 billion a month,” says R. Lee Wrights of North Carolina, a member of the Libertarian National Committee. “That cost is rising, and the price in American and Afghan lives is unbearable. I abhor the idea of forcing my countrymen to pay in money and blood for a war
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