Letter from former military officials to the President in support of substantial drawdown

[Letter from former military officials to the President expressing support for the Senate letter urging substantial drawdown from Afghanistan.]

June 2, 2011

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As former military officers and defense officials, we endorse the Senate letter to the Administration to order a "sizeable and sustained" reduction in troop levels in Afghanistan, beginning in July 2011.

We agree that the United States has successfully deployed its military and intelligence assets to accomplish our stated mission of destroying al Qaeda's training camps in Afghanistan and degrading the leadership by killing or capturing dozens of significant al Qaeda leaders, culminating in the operation that eliminated Osama bin Laden.

Furthermore, we do not believe it is a top national security interest of our country to utilize our military forces to undertake nation-building activities in an internal Afghan conflict that stretches back to the 1970s.

We congratulate you on the successes achieved by our forces, and urge you to begin a substantial and responsible redeployment of our forces this summer.


Evelyn Foote, Brig Gen., U.S. Army (Ret.)

Robert G. Gard, Jr., Lt. Gen., U.S. Army (Ret.)

Sam Gardiner, Colonel, USAF (Ret.)

Matthew Hoh, U. S. Marine Corps (Iraq), State Department Officer, (Afghanistan)

John H. Johns, Brig. Gen., U.S. Army (Ret.)

Lawrence J. Korb, former Assistant Secretary of Defense and Captain, U.S. Navy Reserves (Ret.)

Karen Kwiatkowski, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret.)

Paul R. Pillar, Former U.S. Intelligence Officer

James M. Thompson, Lt. Gen., U.S. Army (Ret.)

Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Ann Wright, Colonel, U.S. Army Reserves


I endorse the Senate letter to President Obama to reduce the size of the military footprint in Afghanistan. The surge was not a new strategy and considering the geography of Afghanistan , the lack of a modern government structure and the amount of graft and corruption in the existing government, the US government should begin a sizable troop reduction immediately.

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