Washington Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray on Wednesday joined a group of two dozen senators urging President Obama to bring U.S. forces home from Afghanistan.
The senators used a debate on funding 2012 transportation projects to argue the money spent fighting the Afghan war could pay for projects at home.
“We simply cannot afford more years of elevated troop levels in Afghanistan. We are spending roughly $10 billion in Afghanistan each month at a time when we’re making tough sacrifices at home,” the senators wrote.
“A majority of Americans worry that the costs of the war in Afghanistan will make it more difficult for the government to address the problems facing the United States at home. They’re right,” they wrote.
About 90,000 American troops are in Afghanistan today, and about 23,000 are due to leave by October. Nearly 6,000 soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord expect to deploy to Afghanistan this spring, joining about 4,700 soldiers from the South Sound who are already in the country.
President Obama and military leaders have stressed they want to continue with plans for a phased drawdown through 2014. “That continues to be the plan,” Obama said Tuesday.
Calls to hasten the drawdown have grown more intense over the past two weeks since six American service members were killed by men wearing Afghan uniforms at NATO and Afghan bases. The killings followed widespread protests about the burning of Qurans at Bagram Air Base on Feb. 20.
Adam Ashton: 253-597-8646