The leaders of a House liberal caucus pressed President Obama on Wednesday to approve a "significant drawdown" of U.S. troops from Afghanistan this summer now that Osama bin Laden is dead.
Six top members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, including its co-chairmen, Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), urged the president to use the successful assault against bin Laden in Pakistan as a pretext for hefty cuts to the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan.
"You acted decisively in your efforts to capture the mastermind behind those tragic events and we commend your calls for national and global solidarity as we acknowledge the world is safer for his absence," the lawmakers wrote. "It is our hope that you can similarly unify the nation by bringing our troops home and ending America's longest war in history — a position supported by an overwhelming majority of the American people."
Obama has long said that he'll begin the process of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in July, and the administration has signaled an intention to press ahead with doing that.
But the larger issue has been the size and pace of the drawdown, which seems more contingent on situations on the ground and the success in establishing an independent and less corrupt Afghan government and Army.
The president might end up facing more political pressure from his left now that bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks that prompted the U.S. war in Afghanistan in the first place, is dead. A Gallup poll on Wednesday showed that a majority of Democrats say the U.S. has achieved its goal in Afghanistan, while 43 percent believe that there's work still left to be done.