Vets For Freedom Petition
We, the undersigned U.S. war veterans and patriotic Americans, petition you with one simple request:
Listen to the commander on the ground in Afghanistan—General Stanley A. McChrystal—and provide him with the troops he says he needs to win the war in Afghanistan.
By accepting the troop recommendations of General McChrystal—and his boss General David Petraeus—we have a chance to turn the war in Afghanistan around. This is a moment in history we must not miss.
Like General Petraeus in Iraq, General McChrystal is an outside-the-box thinker who thrives in the ambiguity of asymmetrical battlefields. Like General Petraeus in Iraq, General McChrystal has the right strategy—a comprehensive counterinsurgency plan.
In 2007, General Petraeus was given the troops he needed (the "Surge") to win, and Iraq has turned around—resulting in dramatically lower U.S. casualties, a more stable Iraq, and a drawdown of American forces.
General McChrystal—and all our brave Soldiers and Marines on the ground—deserve the same chance to win in Afghanistan. They deserve the additional troops needed to turn a winning strategy into a winning result.
We fully acknowledge that the war in Afghanistan has been tough, and is currently headed in the wrong direction. And as you have said, it has been under-resourced, under-funded, and under-manned for years. You have also said that it is a war we must win. We agree on all fronts.
Unlike Iraq, there was consensus at the beginning of the war in Afghanistan that America must be successful in toppling the Taliban and dismantling Al Qaeda, for the safety of our country. Eight years later, the consensus on the war in Afghanistan is fractured; however we believe—as do you—that the need for victory has not changed.
During this time of domestic uncertainty and global threats, winning the war will require steadfast Presidential leadership; a Commander-in-Chief who is unwilling to be swayed by lagging poll numbers or party leaders who want to block troop increases.
Now is the time for your leadership. If you listen to commanders on the ground, give them what they need, and stand behind our warriors in Afghanistan—we will stand with you. If you don't, and would rather fight the "war of necessity" with one hand tied behind our back, then we will loudly object.
Many—in fact a majority—said the war in Iraq was "unwinnable," yet our troops persevered and turned the tide. Despite the drumbeat of detractors—on both sides of the aisle—this is another war we can win. But we must act now.
We owe it to the Marines and Soldiers slogging it out with insurgents every day to get this right. If we do, they'll fight, they'll persevere, and they'll win. If we don't, we are setting them up for failure. No less than America's greatness—and the legacy of America's finest warriors—is at stake.
30 September 2009
Vets For Freedom Petition