Sept. 19, 2012, Durham, NH — Calling Tuesday's announcement that the U.S. and NATO are essentially suspending joint operations with Afghan forces a "long-overdue acknowledgement of reality," presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson today called on President Obama to "bring our troops home now."
Appearing at an event at the University of New Hampshire, Gov. Johnson said, "In recent weeks, we have witnessed the unspeakable tragedy of American service members being murdered by the very 'security forces' they are training. More than 50 international military personnel have been killed by Afghan forces this year alone, and we have already had to stop trying to 'train' Afghan police recruits.
"The net result of recent developments — and decisions — in Afghanistan is that we are at a very dangerous tipping point. There will undoubtedly be those who wrongly suggest that the purported 'exit strategy' of the Obama Administration should be delayed and efforts stepped up to get control of the obvious chaos. That would be a monumental mistake, and a failure to face the fact that, as the British and Soviets before us learned, Afghanistan is not a place we can control or upon which we can impose our will. Instead, now is the perfect opportunity for America to say 'We're better than this' and bring our troops home and out of harm's way.
"Let us not forget that we went into Afghanistan to uproot Al Qaeda and attack those who attacked us on 9/11. That mission was complete in a matter of months. Yet, we have remained there and engaged in ill-fated nation-building for more than a decade — at absurd costs in lives and treasure. After all that American benevolence, it is absolutely unacceptable to ask our troops to hand weapons to Afghan 'security forces', teach them how to use them, and then risk being shot by those same forces with those same weapons.
"By suspending that training and now suspending joint operations with Afghan troops, our military leaders on the ground are facing reality. It is time for our political leaders to do the same, and bring our troops and our dollars home."
About presidential candidate Gary Johnson: Gary Johnson, two-term governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003, has been a consistent advocate for limited, efficient government and personal liberty. Johnson switched from the Republican Party to the Libertarian Party on Dec. 28, 2011. As the Libertarian Party nominee, Johnson will appear on all 50 states' ballots. An outspoken pro-Constitution Libertarian, Johnson would end the war in Afghanistan now. He opposes the failed multi-billion dollar war on drugs and demands greater transparency at the Federal Reserve. As president, Johnson would cut federal spending by 43 percent, slash debt and make government live within its means while reducing taxes and regulation to foster real job creation and economic opportunity like he did in eight years as governor. The National Review said he was "#1" in job creation as governor. An avid skier and bicyclist, he has reached the highest peaks on four of the seven continents, including Mount Everest.