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June 14, 2011 | bpfna
by Stephen Jones
past-president, BPFNA Board of Directors
May 18, 2011
On December 1, 2009 President Obama called for a surge in American troops with the intention of marking the beginning of the end of the war in Afghanistan. He set the date of July, 2011 to begin drawing down the number of American troops and the beginning of an end to America’s combat role in Afghanistan.
There are many forces at work that would cause us to ignore this “deadline for peace.” However, July, 2011, represents a Kairos Opportunity for Peace, a potential turning point in the United States of America’s longest war that began on October 7, 2001.
The White House started pointing to 2014 as the time when U.S. troops would depart, quietly planning to extend what is already America’s longest war. “Unless the people force this issue from the grass roots, sources in the Pentagon tell me we’re looking at a token 10,000-12,000 troop withdrawal [in July 2011] with a sketchy timeline ― 2014 or even longer ― for our continued military presence,” said Matthew Hoh, a former Marine who resigned his Afghanistan post in protest and now serves as director of the Afghanistan Study Group. (The Nation; article by Katrina vanden Heuvel)
Our prayers and our advocacy can make a difference! Let us urge the President and our military leaders and allies to bring all parties together to negotiate an end to the war in Afghanistan. A solution cannot be imposed upon Afghanistan from the outside. It must emerge from a population heart-sick from conflict and weary of war.
It is disturbing that so many lives have been lost since 2001, with the number increasing dramatically. Let us pray for the lives of US and allied soldiers, Afghani soldiers, Afghani civilians, the innocent and combatant lives and their grieving families.
This is a kairos opportunity: the Right Time for a negotiated peace. May circles of shalom emerge through Afghanistan and Pakistan and other troubled areas of the Arab world.
These materials are US-Centric and would need to be adapted by our Canadian, Mexican and Puerto Rican brothers and sisters for their own peacemaking efforts. I prepared them out of my own heartache as a US American citizen and my prayer for peace. Advocacy for peace in needed throughout North America.
Click here to download these materials as a PDF file.