Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Drawdown Begins: Obama Announces Drawdown of US Troops From Afghanistan

Last night (June 22, 2011), President Barack Obama announced that he will be drawing down troop levels in Afghanistan.  Beginning in July, 10,000 troops will be removed by the end of the year and over 30,000 troops by the end of next year.  This is obviously an important speech especially in a nation locked in fighting in at least 4 different Islamic nations.  Afghanistan stands as the longest war in US history.

It will be interesting to see how people respond to this.  What makes this so odd is that some of Obama's foreign policies have pinned him against his own party.  Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen are more in line with traditional Republican lines where as the more pacifist (or at least the belief that the military should only be used for humanitarianism) Democrats believe, such wars are unnecessary and a waste of money.  But now it seems that both parties have members who favor the wars and both have members who want us to get out of them.  The Tea party is part of the shift in the Republican party.

Anyways, here is the speech. 

One way of looking at this issue is to consider how this affects Christians in Afghanistan.  Alex Chediak highlights a WORLD Magazine article that raises that very question.  They write:

Afghans are warning of dire consequences for the country’s tiny Christian population should American forces leave Afghanistan, as President Barack Obama prepares to announce his plans for a troop drawdown in a televised address to the nation scheduled for Wednesday evening.

“If U.S. troops are not in Afghanistan the Taliban will come to power,” said Obaid S. Christ, an Afghan Christian exiled to India who spoke to me Tuesday. “We will have the same situation we had in the 1990s when the Russians left Afghanistan, when we had civil war and millions killed.”

Certainly the removal of troops will place the small population of Christians in harms way.  But let us not forget that what makes this worse in that Christians have been arrested and condemned to death with the current American-backed government.  These are the sort of issues that makes knowing what is the right thing to do difficult.

Regardless, come Lord Jesus quickly!!

White House - Remarks by the President on the Way Forward in Afghanistan 
WORLD Magazine - Brutal Beheading 
Alex Chediak - Should the USA really pull out of Afghanistan?  

For more:
Blogizomai - "A Responsibility to Act":  Obama Explains Lybian Action to the Public   
Blogizomai - The Beginning of the End:  Obama Announces the End of Operation Iraqi Freedom
Blogizomai - The Death of Bin Laden:  How Christians Have Responded - Part 1 
Blogizomai - The Death of Bin Laden:  How Christians Have Responded - Part 2
Blogizomai - The Death of Bin Laden:  How Christians Have Responded - Part 3 
Blogizomai - "Justice Has Been Done":  President Obama Announces the Death of Osama bin Laden
Blogizomai - The State of Our Union 2011
Blogizomai - Prayer and Breakfast:  Obama at the 2011 National Prayer Breakfast 
Blogizomai - President Obama at the 2011 Easter Prayer Breakfast 
Blogizomai - The Contrasts Are Clear:  Obama and Jindal's Proposals  
Blogizomai - To Comfort a Nation:  Obama in Arizona and How the Nation Reacted  
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