Democracy For America launches Afghan withdraw campaign

AFP Photo / Tauseef Mustafa
Howard Dean’s US progressive organization Democracy For America has launched an Afghanistan withdrawal campaign following a change in political view by Dean himself.

Dean, an active critic of the Iraq war but a supporter of the US military role in Afghanistan, recently changed his mind and called for a US withdraw from Afghanistan because the mission is not “winnable”.

"The Vietnam War showed us we shouldn't prop up corrupt governments, and that's what we've got in Afghanistan,” the former Vermont governor told The Daily Beast.

Following Dean’s shift in view and the recent US killing of Osama Bin Laden the organization has decided to make a withdraw from Afghanistan a high priority.

"We've been hearing from people a lot [about opposing the Afghanistan War] in the past year, but then it came to a critical mass after Osama bin Laden being killed," Democracy For America communications director Levana Layendecker told The Huffington Post.

The organization is putting its weight behind the Safe and Responsible Redeployment of United States Combat Forces from Afghanistan Act which, if made law, would require US President Barack Obama to submit a plan for troop withdraws by July 31, including phased redeployments and a completion day.

The Democracy For America campaign is calling of its members and US activists to sign-u as “citizen co-sponsors” of the bill.

"We are not suggesting our government spell out every stage of U.S. troop redeployment – specific decisions should be up to commanders on the ground and avoid giving the enemy a potential propaganda tool," said US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in an email to Democracy For America members. “Nor should we change the protection for our troops and flexibility for our mission that has been agreed upon in previous agreements. However, it is critical we provide for a date certain for withdrawal of our combat forces, in order to give certainty to the American people; to ensure maximum flexibility in responding to other contingencies; and to publicly endorse the Afghan Government's assumption of lead responsibility as planned.”