- Businessweek.com Susan...
Wednesday evening, President Obama addressed one of the biggest questions of the American people, when will the troops be coming home? During the live address he stated, troops will start being withdrawn from Afghanistan as early as next month. As you can imagine there has to be a plan in order to withdraw this large amount of troops from foreign land. The President made it clear that he feels the resources of the American people can and should be used elsewhere including the troops. A goal has been set that there will be less than 100,000 soldiers in both Afghanistan and Iraq by the end of this year.
The President has received great criticism for his action on foreign policy for a while now; troop withdrawal was a promise Obama made on the campaign trail. There is no doubt this action comes at an opportune moment for the President, as he seeks re-election, but is it too late?
The Back Story:
The 1970 awarding winning hit by Edwin Star has long been the mantra for many American’s…”War – what is it good for absolutely nothing!”
Though the statement is highly debatable because at times of massive danger and terrorism such as the September 11th attacks, the automatic assumption was that we would go to war to get the enemy who had killed so many innocent American lives. Now 10 years later, we have killed the “enemy” Osama Bin Laden and spent hundreds of millions of dollars while in pursuit. Many Americans are awaiting the word that there sons and daughters that are serving will return home and that our focus can shift back towards matters on our homefront.
The need to shift the focus from defense back to the economy specifically is a theme that the American people are getting serious about and communicating to the people they have elected to represent them. The United States Conference of Mayors passed an internal resolution yesterday that will be given to Congress for consideration; calling for a quick wrap-up of the War in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to bring troops home and funnel the large amount of money being spent on those expenses back to American soil. Of course not all Mayor’s or people across the country agree with this resolution with debate circulating about the potential negative effects of immediate withdrawl.
Paul Soglin Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin stated, “We are at a point where municipalities are faced with cuts in services that affect all of our citizens, especially those that are in need the most.”
It is ironic that the White House just announced that President Obama will be making a special announcement on Wednesday night, regarding his plans to withdraw 30,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012.
It is obivious the tide has changed and that the American people are taking the blinders off because these Mayor’s certainly did not develop these opinions only amongst themselves. Though many of them have different opinions about war, they all share a commonality that we are being forced to cut necessary programs left & right, all the while spending large amounts of money on war that frankly wasn’t our issue to begin with. Whether Congress will adhere to the resolution and bring this issue to House Floor we can’t be sure of. But we can take this as a positive step in the right direction that local elected officials are feeling the pressure and doing their job by relalying it to other levels so that we can start to implement change that needs to happen.