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Dear Global Exchange Supporter,

"Sending more Americans to kill and die in a quagmire in Afghanistan is a tragic mistake," said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK. "Obama needs to live up to his promise of change by reversing course - focusing on negotiations and bringing our troops home."
President Obama is expected to announce his decision on Afghanistan early next week with some suspecting the President to decide to send about 34,000 additional troops in 2010. The long-awaited announcement is touted as 'one of the most momentous decisions of his presidency' where he will offer a comprehensive strategy. Currently, there are 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan with no clear exit strategy in place.

The Cost of War

Billions of dollars have already been spent on Afghanistan over the last eight years with the U.S. spending over $78 million per day on the war. Now, with talks of the potential addition of troops, the White House Office of Management and Budget has recently reported the estimated cost of adding a new soldier in Afghanistan for one year would be one million dollars. That's a $34 billion cost for 34,000 additional troops.

Every month, the number of U.S. soldiers wounded and killed in Afghanistan rises and when you calculate the civilian casualties, the number is even more devastating.

So we must ask the question, "Can we afford this war?" Escalation will lead to increased costs for our country, both financially and in human terms. Do we want to be responsible for more lost and wounded soldiers, more shattered families and disrupted lives? Shouldn't we be spending these defense dollars at home on education, the creation of new jobs and truly reforming healthcare?

We Need an Exit Strategy Not Escalation

Sending more troops to Afghanistan is clearly not the best strategy and there is still time to let the President hear what you -- the people -- think should be done in Afghanistan. Join thousands of others, including Vice President Joe Biden, former CIA chief of station in Islamabad Howard Hart, U.S. Ambassador in Kabul Karl W. Eikenberry in telling President Obama that we need an exit strategy in Afghanistan not an escalation of troops.

Thank you, as always, for your work on behalf of peace and justice,
Global Exchange

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