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San Diego Veterans Call For Afghanistan Troop Withdrawl

Above: San Diego Veterans for Peace hold a banner demonstration on a freeway overpass.

Audio

Aired 5/13/11

A group of San Diego veterans is renewing their call to end the war in Afghanistan. They say with bin Laden dead, the mission is complete.

San Diego Veterans for Peace is renewing monthly demonstrations to call for an end to the decade-long war in Afghanistan. The group held banners Thursday on an Interstate-5 overpass near downtown, to remind people of the war’s daily toll.

Spokesman Gil Field said there’s been a lull in war protests, and it’s time for Americans to take a stand.

“Part of our campaign is to actually ask people to think about this," said Field. "Is this right? When we have a president who kind of goes off the beam, as they do from time to time, is it right to continue to be gung-ho in support of whatever war the president thinks is worthwhile?”

President Obama has vowed to begin a gradual troop withdrawl in July, with all 100,000 out by 2014. But Field said that's not soon enough.

"One of the reasons we went over there was to get [Osama bin Laden] and his senior leaders, and most of them have been killed or captured. So again, why do these wars continue when it doesn't seem to have much of a purpose anymore?"

For now, the U.S. is insisting that bin Laden’s death will not trigger a rapid withdrawal.

The Taliban just launched its yearly spring offensive in Afghanistan and deadly attacks still plague many parts of the country.

“This victory will not mark the end of our effort against terrorism,” said U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry in a statement released in Kabul. “America’s strong support for the people of Afghanistan will continue as before.”

The Associated Press contributed to the information in this report.

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