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Afghanistan War Weekly: Troop Withdrawal Announcement Edition: June 23, 2011

This is a special edition of the Afghanistan War Weekly, focusing entirely on articles and reactions related to Obama’s announced troop withdrawal plan. Many supporters of the drawdown see it as the first step in ending the war in Afghanistan. Some are opposed to any troop withdrawal at all, citing security concerns and favoring General Petraeus’ proposed plans. However, many of those critical of it point out that it does not go far enough. Most peace groups tend to fall into the latter category; many of them have issued statements, some of which are included in this edition of the AWW.
Thank you for reading.
Sharon Miller

News Articles
Obama's plan 'unacceptable,' says McGovern
Representative James McGovern (D-MA) criticized Obama’s troop withdrawal plan as insufficient.
Local opinion favors drawdown in Afghanistan
Most people in Las Cruces, NM, favor bringing troops home from Afghanistan. While some agree with Obama’s plan, others believe that the withdrawal doesn’t go far enough.
Military moms and politicians alike react to Obama's troop removal speech
Military families and politicians in Nevada weigh in on the drawdown announcement. There is some guarded optimism among the military families, and Senators Reid and Heller and Representative Shelley Berkley were generally supportive of the troop drawdown.
Military family reacts to Obama's Afghanistan speech
Profile of military families’ reaction to the troop drawdown announcement in Lake Charles, LA.
Joint chiefs chairman: Obama Afghanistan plan incurs risk
Admiral Mike Mullen believes that the drawdown is feasible, but still risky.
Durbin, Kirk split on Afghanistan U.S. troop pullout in wake of Obama speech
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) expressed support for the drawdown, which he considered the first step in ending the war. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) opposed the withdrawal, favoring Gen. Petraeus’ approach.
Karzai welcomes U.S. troop withdrawal
Hamid Karzai approved of Obama’s troop withdrawal plan, and considers it a sign that Afghanistan is ready to take over its own security.
Congressional women: Don’t forget the oppressed, Mr. Obama
US lawmakers belonging to the Afghan Women’s Task Force expressed concern about the potential effects of the drawdown on women in Afghanistan.
Boehner 'generally supportive' of Obama's Afghan plan
Speaker John Boehner supports Obama’s withdrawal plan, and believes that domestic political opinion should not influence decisions concerning troop withdrawals.
Germany welcomes Obama's Afghan plan
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle expressed agreement with Obama’s troop withdrawal announcement, and outlined his own plans to reduce Germany’s troop presence in Afghanistan by the end of the year.
Tim Pawlenty Calls Obama's Afghanistan Plan 'Deeply Concerning' and 'a Grave Mistake'
Pawlenty disagrees with Obama’s troop withdrawal announcement, and defends Petraeus’ plan.
Sen. Graham: "Petraeus loses, Biden wins."
An interview with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who is opposed to the withdrawal.
Blogs, Opinions, and Alerts
Obama and Afghan withdrawal
Obama’s troop withdrawal decision has as much to do with political concerns and his re-election campaign as it does with the situation in Afghanistan, according to Gideon Rachman.
What Obama didn’t say about leaving Afghanistan
The Obama withdrawal plan will please neither hawks nor doves, and will leave 70,000 troops in Afghanistan beyond next year. Column by Eugene Robinson.
In Afghanistan Speech, Obama Offers Token Troop Withdrawals While Maintaining the "War on Terror” Mindset
Obama’s drawdown speech goes against both his campaign promises and the wishes of the majority of Americans. Commentary by Phyllis Bennis.
Defining 'Withdrawal' From Afghanistan
Many news outlets are treating Obama’s announcement as a step towards ending the war, while ignoring the history of his troop escalations.
Talking Points: Obama’s New Plan Too Little, Too Late
Talking points on the Afghanistan war and the Obama announcement from Military Families Speak Out.
Interim Director, Mike Ferner Gives Statement Regarding Obama's Speech On Troop Levels in Afghanistan
A response to the Obama speech by Veterans For Peace.
“Drawdown”: What Obama Did Not Say
A response to Obama’s troop drawdown announcement by Janet Weil of CODEPINK.
President Announces Decision: What’s Next?
Response to Obama’s troop drawdown announcement from Peace Action’s Peace Blog.
Action Alert from USLAW
A post-speech bulletin from US Labor Against the War.

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