The Illinois State Senate passed a resolution last week calling for an end to the United States’ war in Afghanistan. It calls on the government–including former Illinois State Senate member Barack Obama–to remove troops from the country on an “appropriately expedited timeline” and to engage nations in the Middle East to develop a peace and reconciliation process for Afghanistan.
To be sure, the resolution will have limited practical effect–it’s an entirely symbolic move. Copies will be sent to President Obama, members of Illinois Congressional delegation, and other Congressional leaders. I doubt they will put much stock in the resolution, but it’s an indicator that there is finally an actual debate taking place over the war.
It also reminds me of efforts during the Iraq War to get cities to pass resolutions opposing the invasion and occupation–organizing that led to 287 cities, 4 counties, and 17 states passing resolutions. Again, the resolutions clearly didn’t end the war, but they do offer an important educational opportunity.
Some of the more interesting “resolved” statements from the Illinois State Senate resolution:
RESOLVED, That on behalf of the citizens of Illinois, the Senate believes that it is not in the national interest of the United States to deepen its military involvement in Afghanistan, particularly by escalating the United States military force presence in Afghanistan, that the 17,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan should be recalled from there, and that we should concentrate on capturing Osama bin Laden; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the primary objective of United States strategy in Afghanistan should be to have the Afghani political leaders make the political compromises necessary to end the violence in Afghanistan; and be it further
RESOLVED, That greater concerted regional and international support would assist the Afghanis in achieving a political solution and national reconciliation; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the United States should engage nations in the Middle East to develop a regional, internationally sponsored peace and reconciliation process for Afghanistan; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the United States should transfer, under an appropriately expedited timeline, responsibility for internal security and halting sectarian violence in Afghanistan to the Government of Afghanistan and Afghani Security Forces from American military personnel; and be it further