A symbolic resolution calling on President Obama to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by the end of the year fell far short of passage in the House on Thursday, although the measure drew more support than did a similar effort last year.
The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), failed on a 93-to-231 vote, with one lawmaker, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), voting present.
Backing the measure were 85 Democrats and eight Republicans, an increase from the 60 Democrats and five Republicans who backed a similar measure put forth by Kucinich last March — a reflection of the waning public support for the war after nearly a decade and the lives of nearly 1,500 U.S. troops.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll released this week showed that support for the war is at the lowest point since fighting began in 2001.
Asked whether they believe the war in Afghanistan has been worth fighting, 64 percent of respondents said they do not think the war has been worth it, with 49 percent of respondents saying they “strongly” feel that way.
Only 50 percent of Republicans, 27 percent of independents and 19 percent of Democrats said they thought the war has been worth it.
Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, testified at House and Senate committee hearings this week that U.S. and NATO forces have successfully halted the Taliban’s momentum in much of the country. But he warned that ahead of a planned July troop drawdown, the road forward remains difficult and that Taliban forces could launch a renewed offensive.
Kucinich’s resolution directs the President, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution, to remove the U.S. Armed Forces from Afghanistan: (1) by no later than 30 days after this resolution is adopted; or (2) if the President determines that it is not safe to remove them by such date, by no later than December 31, 2011, or such earlier date that the President determines that they can be safely removed.”