A Quaker Lobby in the Public Interest
What's New on Afghanistan
May 13, 2013
U.S. and Afghan officials met on Saturday to discuss issues surrounding the continued presence of American troops in the country after 2014, just days after President Hamid Karzai agreed to consider a Pentagon proposal to retain nine bases. To the east, Pakistan held its presidential elections over the weekend. Pakistan Muslim League –Nawaz’s Nawaz Sharif claims victory in the contest.
May 6, 2013
The Daily Beast published two articles last week exploring the Taliban’s secretive leadership and messaging problems while the New York Times reported on violent clashes between Afghans and Pakistanis along their shared border. These developments highlight the challenges, as well as the opportunities, for a local and regional political settlement to the Afghan war:
May 6, 2013
A handful of Democratic and Republican senators are considering a rewrite of 60 of the most consequential words to ever pass through Congress. The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), passed after the attacks of 11 September 2001, and provides the legal cornerstone for the so-called US "war on terror". Only one brave Congress member opposed it. It allows the US government to wage war at anytime, any place and on anyone deemed a threat to national security – with remarkably little evidence needed.
Apr 30, 2013
On Tuesday, April 23, 2013, Congress publicly discussed the implications of targeted killing abroad for the very first time. The conversation was enlightening, but it must be the beginning of a longer discussion and review of the impact of these practices overseas.
Apr 22, 2013
In 2011, Matt Southworth led a group on a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan to better understand the dynamics of the conflict. He, and Professor Michael T. Snarr of Wilmington College, have written about the lessons they learned in Quaker Higher Education, a publication of the Friends Association for Higher Education.
Apr 16, 2013
Uncertainty around U.S. military base closures has caught some attention, but uncertainty about the ongoing U.S. war in Afghanistan has gone largely unnoticed.
In fact, there is so much uncertainty around President Obama’s plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan that the government can’t even properly budget for it — unlike the base closures, which did have a budget request.
Apr 16, 2013
There is so much uncertainty around President Obama’s plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan that the government can’t even properly budget for it.
Apr 16, 2013
As Afghan uncertainty regarding their future builds, U.S. leaders and media need to highlight efforts to support political and economic stability during the transition.
Apr 2, 2013
According to a recent Harvard report, the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will end up costing U.S. taxpayers up to $6 trillion in the long term.
Reps. Walter Jones (NC) and Bruce Braley (IA) introduced H.R. 1238, the True Cost of War Act to require the Obama administration to present official government cost projections for the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—something that has not yet been done.
Feb 5, 2013
NBC News received and published a Justice Department white paper this morning outlining the Obama administration’s troubling legal rationale for the targeted killing of U.S. citizens working with Al Qaeda or other aligned violent extremist groups.
Jan 23, 2013
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.
Jan 9, 2013
Breaking: the U.S. considers the “zero” option for troops in Afghanistan post 2014.
What does this mean? In short, your advocacy is working.
Jan 8, 2013
This Friday, President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai are set to meet at the White House to discuss a “vision of Afghanistan post 2014.”
President’s Obama and Karzai should discuss issues that must be addressed before a successful transition is ever possible in 2014.
Jan 4, 2013
It’s a new year. A turn away from the military transition to the increasingly pressing concerns of the political and socioeconomic transitions is necessary.
Dec 21, 2012
FCNL joined several other peace organizations in sending a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to expedite the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
Dec 3, 2012
The Senate voted this week 98-0 for the National Defense Authorization Act, (NDAA), also known as the military authorization bill.
Nov 29, 2012
By a vote of 62-33, the Senate endorsed a non-binding amendment (#3096) to the fiscal year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act that seeks to expedite the transition of governance responsibility to the Afghan government by mid-2013, a full eighteen months before the current proposed full transition date of December 2014.
This amendment, while imperfect in many ways, signifies a very important step ensuring the President fulfills his promise to end the decade long U.S. war in Afghanistan. Perhaps more importantly, it puts on record the sense of the Senate—by way of around three-quarters of American public—that endless war in Afghanistan is unacceptable. The Pentagon will undoubtedly try to push the Obama administration, much as it did in 2009, to keep this war going. Yet the Senate has now made clear that this would be unacceptable.
Nov 7, 2012
Last night’s Presidential Election was historic no matter where you sit in the political spectrum. Perhaps it wasn't that surprising, especially if you follow Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight blog. Some House and Senate elections also left many on the edges of their seats. It is going to take some time to predict and know what this 113th Congress will hold for U.S. policy domestic and abroad.
For me, there was one major take away from last night: it is time to get to work.
Oct 24, 2012
The national conversation about Afghanistan needs some course-correction.
Oct 4, 2012
Our government can only work on our behalf if we are consistent in letting it know what we want. With a healthy dose of preparation, confidence and conviction anyone can be an effective lobbyist for peace here in Washington.
Sep 21, 2012
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced yesterday that the two year troop surge in Afghanistan, which brought troop levels above 100,000, is now over. Roughly 68,000 U.S. troops still remain in Afghanistan. To be sure, the U.S. war is far from over.
The final withdrawal of these surge troops comes after a tough couple months for the U.S. war strategy in Afghanistan.
Sep 20, 2012
On September 7, 2012, the U.S. Government officially designated the Haqqani Network, the most lethal branch of the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan, a foreign terrorist organization (FTO).
Legally, the designation fits. But just because the U.S. could make this designation does not mean they should have.
Sep 11, 2012
This is my origin story:
Eleven-year-olds are very impressionable. That’s the age I was when the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 gripped the world and my home town just outside of New York City.