Three months since withdrawing from Iraq, the Obama administration is acknowledging the challenges American forces are facing in another President Bush-era war: Afghanistan. Upheaval has escalated since copies of the Koran, the Muslim holy book, were mistakenly burned by U.S. troops—the violent protests have led to the death of 30 people, including six American service members, and many more injuries. Obama said of the turmoil in a press conference Tuesday, "I think that it is an indication of the challenges in that environment, and an indication that now is the time for us to transition," though he said NATO forces would not be deviating from the current timetable which does not complete the draw down until the end of 2014. Writing for U.S. News, Rep. Raul Grijalva and Institute for Economics and Peace Vice President Michael Shank argue that the U.S. troops leave sooner, "U.S. strategy failed in the past, is failing now, and will likely fail in the future," citing strategy, cost, accountability, and perception, "We've been it at it nearly 11 years and to no avail. It is time to stop this madness and bring the troops home."
The push for withdrawal is likely to be met with resistance, especially as some argue that the United States left Iraq too soon, and that since then, violence has been plaguing the region. Furthermore, the exit of U.S. forces from Afghanistan may mean the return of the Taliban, the tribal group that lent cover to al Qaeda as it planned its 9/11 terrorist attack on America. The Afghan transition is expected to be a topic of discussion during the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago.
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