Call to withdraw fr "futile & counter-productive war" as former USSR President Gorbachev ended Afghan war in 1988
BNP leader Nick Griffin: "We want to present a moral choice between those parties supporting a futile and counter-productive war and one that says we should be out of there immediately."
Former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev: "I believe that there is no prospect of a military solution. What we need is the reconciliation of Afghan society."
US Senate candidate Alan Khazei: "We've lost our way, strayed from our mission", "This isn't in our interest as a nation, and it's not fair to our troops."
Gordon Brown hopes to fix Afghan pullout date.
British National Party leader and parliamentary candidate, Nick Griffin -
"We will be the only serious party calling for immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan. I believe that will be the key to the election for us. Afghanistan will have a huge resonance with ordinary voters. We want to present a moral choice between those parties supporting a futile and counter-productive war and one that says we should be out of there immediately".
The premise is that, whatever the Americans decide, Britain will, privately and/or publicly, set a date for the beginning of a UK military withdrawal - Gordon Brown tonight raised the prospect of agreeing a timetable for international withdrawal from Afghanistan. His speech came amid growing anxiety over strategy in the region. At the same time, there are signs of fracturing support within Westminster over Britain's involvement and the civilian and military casualties sustained. Explicitly drawing on advice from security services is a tactic that caused serious trouble for Tony Blair in Iraq.
Former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev knows about ending a protracted occupation of Afghanistan--he's actually done it, implementing a withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1988 and 1989, soon after he took power. Now, as President Obama weighs the future of U.S. strategy there, he tells Bloomberg that America should do the same:
"I believe that there is no prospect of a military solution," Gorbachev said in Russian through a translator. "What we need is the reconciliation of Afghan society -- and they should be preparing the ground for withdrawal rather than additional troops."
According to the new ABC News/Washington Post Poll, only 44% now say the war has been worth it, the smallest support percentage in nearly three years. The poll has a margin of error of +/-3.5%. Once, Obama's war policies were his strongest poll suit (63%). Now, only 45% approve of Obama's handling of Afghanistan; more (48%) don't. His war support among independents, a crucial ingredient in the Democrats’ election victory 54 weeks ago, has slipped to 39%. Support for additional commitments is particularly weak among young voters and women.
US Senate candidate Alan Khazei is calling on troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and plans to deliver a speech this afternoon at Harvard University saying that "we have lost our way in Afghanistan." Khazei plans to deliver the speech that, if he were senator today, he would deliver from the Senate floor. "We've lost our way, strayed from our mission, and now we are asking our troops to build a nation in a place that is laden with corruption," he will say, according to a copy of his prepared remarks. "This isn't in our interest as a nation, and it's not fair to our troops."
Photos courtesy of Peter van Agtmael / Magnum, EPA, NI Syndication, russianarts.org, The Guardian, Boston.com, and Reuters
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