Montana Gov. Schweitzer: Bin Laden's Dead And Gone, There's No Reason To Stay In Afghanistan

I think we're going to see a lot of this in the coming days:

The United States must take one more step to make things right following the killing of Osama bin Laden, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer said Monday.

Bin Laden's death "ought to put us in helicopters leaving Afghanistan," he said. "...There's no reason to stay. He's now dead. He's gone."

Schweitzer spoke with members of the Missoulian's editorial board Monday, a meeting originally scheduled to discuss the just-ended 2011 legislative session, which until Sunday night was the biggest news in Montana.

That news quickly was eclipsed by President Barack Obama's announcement that the U.S. military had killed bin Laden, who directed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Along with millions of others, Schweitzer watched the coverage of reaction to the momentous event. The raucous celebrations around the country troubled him.

[...] The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that stemmed from the 9/11 attacks have claimed the lives of about 5,500 members of the U.S. military. But the conflict in Afghanistan quickly ceased to have anything to do with bin Laden, Schweitzer said.

"We went to Afghanistan for one reason and one only. We were going to shut down Al Qaeda and find and kill Osama bin Laden. There was no mention of the Taliban."

Yet Al Qaeda is largely gone from Afghanistan and U.S. troops are now focused on the Taliban, he said.

"We're a great country, but we weren't fighting one man. This is a clash of cultures, a clash of identities and it didn't end [Sunday] night when Osama bin Laden was killed. There's still something we need to resolve, but it doesn't mean we need to stay in Afghanistan or Iraq."

By the way, Barney Frank is saying the same thing:

In an interview with ThinkProgress today, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) told us that the well-executed killing of the world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden, “absolutely” bolsters the case for beginning a significant withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

Explaining his decision to vote for the Afghanistan war in 2001, Frank said, “We went there to get Osama bin Laden. And we have now gotten Osama bin Laden. … So yes, I think this does strengthen the case [for withdrawal].”

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