We invaded Afghanistan almost 12 years ago to pursue the terrorists behind the September 11 attacks, and we succeeded in that objective long ago.
It's been almost two years since Osama bin Laden was killed deep within the borders of Pakistan during a covert operation carried out by a few dozen elite soldiers.
And during his State of the Union address last week, President Obama said Al Qaeda is a "shadow of its former self," continuing:
"Different Al Qaeda affiliates and extremist groups have emerged ... The threat these groups pose is evolving. But to meet this threat, we don't need to send tens of thousands of our sons and daughters abroad, or occupy other nations."
Yet the large-scale, military occupation of Afghanistan continues at a tremendous human and monetary cost. Just hours after the State of the Union speech, an American airstrike killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan.
Last week, President Obama announced that, despite a substantial drawdown, there will still be over 30,000 American troops in Afghanistan a year from now.
Most of the remaining troops are not scheduled to be removed until the end of 2014, and even then thousands of them will remain.
The Obama administration might hope to reach a political solution to the unrest in Afghanistan before bringing our troops home.
Tragically, it is incredibly unlikely that our partnership with Hamid Karzai's current regime — which is riddled with corruption, hostile to women, and resistant to notions of democracy — will end well.
And while we can and must continue to help Afghanistan establish a civil society that is peaceful and safe for everyone, especially women and girls, we can't accomplish this through military means.
Tell President Obama: It's well past time to end the war in Afghanistan. Click here to automatically sign the petition.
A large majority of Americans think we need to bring a swift and responsible end to the occupation of Afghanistan.
But we cannot afford to be a silent majority.
"War would end if the dead could return." ~ Stanley Baldwin