MFSO Statement on Strategic Partnership Agreement

Military Families Call for Immediate End to the War in Afghanistan

After more than ten years of war in Afghanistan, military families, along with the majority of the American public, want to see a real end to the war. The U.S. – Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement signed by President Obama and President Karzai on May 1st, however, continues combat operations through 2014 and commits the U.S. to military and financial support for Afghanistan well beyond 2014.

At least 1,957 troops have died and 15,300 troops have been injured trying to create a stable Afghanistan. We have lost 381 service members since Osama bin Laden was assassinated. Yet after 11 years and over half a trillion dollars, the U.S. has not been able to stop the Taliban nor create an effective Afghan government.

“Why is it that neither the military nor our president can ever clearly explain how the U.S. benefits from another 2 years of combat? Our troops could easily be home by the end of 2012. How many more young lives will be sacrificed before 2014? How many more times will my son be sent into harm’s way in a war that’s wasting our country’s resources and not making us any safer?” asked Mary Hladky of Springfield, Ohio, whose son just returned from his first deployment to Afghanistan.

While many U.S. troops will come home by the end of 2014, others will remain in Afghanistan for training and counterterrorism operations with the Afghan National Army, a mission that still includes combat and other significant risks. Furthermore, there is a significant threat posed by the Afghan troops being trained, many of whom have turned their guns on their U.S. counterparts, resulting in 35 deaths last year and an unknown number of attempted attacks.

“When an Afghan in uniform wounds — or misses — his American target, it has not been reported. We don’t know how many of our service members have been attacked by ANA troops or Afghan police.  Since our loved ones will be working closely with the ANA in training for the next 12 years, this horror of war is unacceptable,” said Anna Berlinrut of Maplewood, New Jersey, whose son will deploy to Afghanistan in Fall 2012 for his 6th combat tour.

There is no military solution in Afghanistan. 2 more years or 12 more years is not going to change that fact.  The time for our troops to come home is now.

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Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) is a grassroots organization over over 3,000 military families whose loved ones have served in the military since September 11, 2001.  As the only organization of military families in the U.S. speaking out against the war in Afghanistan, we say: End the war now, bring the troops home, and take care of them when they get here.  For more information visit mfso.org