On February 12, 2013 President Barack Obama will follow his January 21st inaugural remarks with his State of the Union address. It is critical that the President not only continues to press Congress to address issues such as climate change, gun control and marriage equality but keeps focus on the ongoing war-effort in Afghanistan. The State of the Union provides the President the perfect opportunity to announce his intentions to fulfill his campaign promise of bringing the U.S. war in Afghanistan to a rapid and responsible end.
The peace movement made great strides in 2012. Military stalemate, poor reports on the capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces, and rising numbers of “green on blue” attacks caused the American public turned decidedly against the war. The Senate responded to the discontent of their constituents and passed the Merkley Amendment to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, calling for an expedited withdrawal of U.S. troops eighteen months ahead of the current 2014 schedule. The House of Representatives came close to passing similar language in their version of the bill as well. Overwhelming public opinion against the war and rising consensus in Congress give President Obama the political space to push back against the military’s calls for maintaining large troop levels.
For more on this story, visit: FCNL: State of the Union; State of War and Peace in Afghanistan.