Should U.S. Forces pull out of Afghanistan? - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Should U.S. Forces pull out of Afghanistan?


One of Iowa's congressional leaders is calling for a speedy withdrawal from the War in Afghanistan. It has been nine years, seven months, and 19 days since Former President Bush launched Operation Enduring Freedom. That came shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks that killed thousands of Americans.

Iowans remain well represented in this war. In August, about 3,000 Iowa troops were deployed, making it the largest deployment since World War II.

At the beginning of May US troops accomplished a major step in fighting the War on Terror -- Osama bin Laden was killed after Navy Seals stormed his compound in Pakistan.

The president has said that July is when he wants to start sending troops home, but Thursday Rep. Bruce Braley is asking for a definitive timeline.

"I think we have accomplished the objectives we set out to, and now its time to bring our troops back home and focus our resources on other parts of the country," he said.

Braley announced he wants the president to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in July -- ultimately having them back on American soil by the end of 2011.

"We just took a series of votes on the floor, showing that there is developing strong, bipartisan, support for bringing our troops home," said Braley.

We asked viewers on our Facebook page what they thought, and the support reflected Braley's position. Families said they want their soldiers to come home.

We saw words like -- "my son has been there long enough..." and "each soldier's life lost is a tragedy."

"The cost, not just in terms of financial cost, but the very important human cost," Braley agreed, "and the toll on the young people serving there is something that is a significant factor in pushing for a withdrawal."

But some of you are not certain if the withdrawal should happen as quickly as Braley is calling for. Some said, "is it too soon? Maybe." or "let them finish the job." A very poignant comment came from a soldier's wife, who says, "do I feel the timing is right? I'm on the fence there."

President Obama has said his goal is to have all combat troops home by 2014. But his timeframe and plan of action are unclear.

The House voted Wednesday on a measure which would require the president to layout these details for Congress. That measure failed by 12 votes. In that vote, three out of Iowa's five US Representatives voted "yes." Rep. Braley, Rep. Dave Loebsack, and Rep. Leonard Boswell all supported the measure. Rep. Tom Latham and  Rep. Steve King, the two Republicans, said "no".

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