So it appears that there are many caveats in this discussion. I believe we need to bring our troops home and let the Afghanis start fixing their country with the blood, sweat and toil of their own people. Should we leave forces in place to lead humanitarian efforts? Perhaps, yes, if we could guarantee their safety. Others report that there will be an international competition for the mineral resources thought to be hidden under the mountains and valleys of this remote country. So we should probably not leave a financial or legal vacuum, which might allow others to enter and plunder the slight resources of this beautiful place. Frequent reports mention the incredible corruption in Afghanistan; discuss the mood swings of the mercurial President and the drug running of his family members and friends. The coalition Army reports training substantial numbers of police forces who will be slotted to take over the security of the country. It is said that there are over 300,000 in place now. What is not reported is the reality that many of them are illiterate. While they are fearless fighters and brave men, they are not ready to run the country in an organized manner.
- Every 30 minutes an Afghan woman dies in childbirth
- 87 % of Afghan women are illiterate
- Only 30% of girls have access to education today in Afghanistan
- 1 in every 3 Afghan women has experienced physical, psychological or sexual violence
- More than 1.25 million Afghani women are widowed and have no means of support
- The average life expectancy for women in Afghanistan is only 44 years
- Even today 70-80 % of women are forced into arranged marriages
- Close to 60% are forced into marriage before the legal age of 16
Our country has suffered economically the last few years, but the war budgets keep increasing. It is time to turn about and move toward fixing the needs at home now. The cost of the war effort is taking money which is needed to repair cities and towns which have been so impacted by the downturn. The national conference of mayors, meeting this month in Baltimore, has called for a diversion of funds to be instead, used at home to repair our infrastructure instead of that in a country so far away. Some Democratic members of Congress have chided the President for this decision to decrease the military presence more slowly. But given the information presented above, I believe we need to have a gradual removal of troops, so consequently, but reluctantly. Because I cannot come up with a better idea, I support the President in this effort.
Let me know your thoughts -- pro or con -- as long as you tell me your name and email. What should the US do?