"Drawdown": What Obama Did Not Say

Posted by CODEPINK Staff


President Obama’s speech announcing a drawdown of 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year was disappointing and incomplete in many ways. What he didn’t say is as important as what he did.

He didn’t say that after nearly a decade in Afghanistan, there are more US troops there than ever. The "drawdown" doesn't even return the troop head count to what it was before the "surge" of December 2009.

He didn’t say that there are 100,000 military contractors in country, making money for Xe/Blackwater, DynCorp and other war profiteers. He didn’t say that after this “reduction” the US troop level will still be much higher than during any year of the Bush administration.

The president did not see fit to mention that numbers of Americans, both Democrats and Republicans, calling for a quicker end to the US war in Afghanistan have gone sharply up over the past year. He didn’t refer to the vote by the US Conference of Mayors for a Bring Our War Dollars Home resolution on June 20, though it has been all over the mainstream media.

The president did acknowledge that the dollar cost for both Iraq and Afghanistan is already at the one trillion dollar mark. He acknowledged the deaths of over 1500 Americans (most of them very young) in Afghanistan. He said that the US would continue to be involved militarily in Afghanistan until 2014.

He did not say one word about the drone strikes that have killed, traumatized and enraged Afghan and Pakistani civilians. He did not mention the many voices calling for US and NATO troops out of the country, not in 2014, but NOW.

The president did not tell us, because he cannot, what we most want to hear: when will this war be behind us, and who will be the last American to die in a country wracked by corruption and warlords?

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