News Release

Rethinking Afghanistan and Debating the Strategic Partnership Agreement

ANAND GOPAL, anandgopal80 at gmail.com, @Anand_Gopal_
Available for a limited number of interviews, Gopal is an independent journalist who has reported extensively from Afghanistan for the Christian Science Monitor, the Wall Street Journal and other publications. He is currently at work on a book on the war in Afghanistan. He was recently interviewed by The Real News: “Afghan Killings Product of Failed Strategy.”

RICK REYES, rickreyes at me.com, @rick_reyes
Reyes is a co-founding member of Veterans for Rethinking Afghanistan. He said today: “We’ve stretched out our resources way too thin — we’ve exhausted our troops and reached the breaking point. The latest attack is an indicator of things much worse to come.”

HAKIM, weeteckyoung at gmail.com,
Hakim (Afghans frequently only have one name) is a member of the the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, which just published the piece “Will the Afghan Parliament, the U.S. Public or the UN Debate the U.S. Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement?” which states: “Currently, citizens of Syria and the world can at least discuss Mr Kofi Annan’s warning that the situation in Syria should be handled ‘very, very carefully’ to avoid an escalation that would de-stabilize the region, after an earlier warning against further militarization of the Syrian crisis. The crisis in Afghanistan is as severe as the one in Syria, and it is more chronic. Two million Afghans have been killed in the wars of the past four decades. But not a single diplomat is warning against the further militarization of the Afghan crisis. …

“Military and foreign policy elites in Washington have encouraged a conventional presumption that the ‘war on terror’ requires a long-term U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. Underlying that presumption is a deeper assumption that ‘terrorism’ can be resolved through war, that is, a supposition that humanity can somehow counter ‘terrorism’ by killing as many ‘terrorists’ as possible, regardless of the deadly ANGER these killings, so similar in themselves to terrorist acts, must necessarily fuel, not to mention the costly ‘collateral damage.’ …

“An interesting article dated July 11, 2011 had this to say about possible UN silence over Afghan public sentiment on the U.S. Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement: ‘The Afghan public has outrightly rejected the U.S. plans as the results of a survey conducted by UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan suggest. UNAMA with its 23 offices in Afghanistan conducted the survey across the country some two months back and hasn’t published it. Although the survey’s findings are widely known, if published, the stark survey results will undermine the U.S.’ future strategic plans.’

“If this remains true, global citizens should request that the UN disclose the wishes of the Afghan public as reflected in the survey, and demonstrate that it is still committed to diplomatic solutions and the interests of the people of Afghanistan.”

The Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers have launched the campaign “Two Million Candles to End the Afghan War.”