KATHY KELLY, kathy at vcnv.org, @voiceinwild
Kelly, a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence has spent extensive time in Afghanistan with the Afghan Peace Volunteers. She appeared with Dr. Hakim (Dr. Wee Teck Young) of the Afghan Peace Volunteers from Afghanistan on “Democracy Now!” this morning.
Kelly recently wrote the piece “Obama Extends War in Afghanistan,” which states: “News agencies reported [Friday] that weeks ago President Obama signed an order, kept secret until now, to authorize continuation of the Afghan war for at least another year. The order authorizes U.S. airstrikes ‘to support Afghan military operations in the country’ and U.S. ground troops to continue normal operations, which is to say, to ‘occasionally accompany Afghan troops’ on operations against the Taliban.
“The administration, in its leak to the New York Times, affirmed that there had been ‘heated debate’ between Pentagon advisers and others in Obama’s cabinet chiefly concerned not to lose soldiers in combat. Oil strategy isn’t mentioned as having been debated and neither is further encirclement of China, but the most notable absence in the reporting was any mention of cabinet members’ concern for Afghan civilians affected by air strikes and ground troop operations, in a country already afflicted by nightmares of poverty and social breakdown.”
CommonDreams.org notes in “Endless War: Obama Secretly Extends U.S. War on Afghanistan” that “last May 27, in an announcement in the White House Rose Garden,” President Obama said: “2014, therefore, is a pivotal year. Together with our allies and the Afghan government, we have agreed that this is the year we will conclude our combat mission in Afghanistan… America’s combat mission will be over by the end of this year. Starting next year, Afghans will be fully responsible for securing their country. American personnel will be in an advisory role. We will no longer patrol Afghan cities or towns, mountains or valleys. That is a task for the Afghan people.”