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Expert Available: Phyllis Bennis on President Obama's speech on U.S. troops in Afghanistan

June 22, 2011

President Obama should withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan immediately, says Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies. Bennis is a scholar on Middle East and UN issues and co-author of the book “Ending the US War in Afghanistan: A Primer.”

“We're occupying that country with 150,000 U.S. troops and NATO troops, and 100,000 more mercenaries, at an incredible cost in Afghan blood and in our money that's needed desperately at home,” said Bennis yesterday on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

In the president’s speech, said Bennis, “I want to hear that our security interests do not involve hundreds of thousands of troops and contractors there, that the president has listened to the 64 percent of the American people who say that the war is not worth fighting and we should get out right away. That means as long as it takes to get on planes and get them home.”

Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, directs the New Internationalism Project at IPS. She is a regular commentator on the NewsHour as well as NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show. She is also a fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. Her books include Before & After: US Foreign Policy and the September 11 Crisis, as well as Ending the Iraq War: A Primer and Ending the US War in Afghanistan: A Primer.

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Institute for Policy Studies (www.IPS-DC.org) is a community of public scholars and organizers linking peace, justice, and the environment in the U.S. and globally. We work with social movements to promote true democracy and challenge concentrated wealth, corporate influence, and military power.