With the Taliban crumbling, one military veteran embarking on a speaking tour of Iowa says U-S soldiers should come home. Lieutenant Colonel Piers Wood, who’s in Iowa as a guest of the “Stop the Arms Race” group, says the question is how long U-S forces should stay in Afghanistan, and what the mission is. He says the mission is not to defeat the Taliban, or just find Osama bin Laden, it has to be making sure no attack ever kills Americans in the U-S again. Wood taught at West Point, and was chief of staff at the Center for Defense Information. He says the military action in Afghanistan is good but it’s time to shift attention to America’s own front line and troops like the Coast Guard. And with Kabul and Kandahar taken, Wood sees an end to the deployment of National Guard troops.Wood says the guardsmen and women should go back to their civilian jobs as their call-up has to be temporary if we’re going to be in this for the long haul. Colonel Wood says it’s not the place of the Guard to fight a long, drawn-out ground war, in Afghanistan or anywhere else. Wood says instead of putting more people or money into a military effort, the U-S should beef up law enforcement and agencies like the Coast Guard and border patrol to defend our interests at home. Wood speaks tonight at Iowa State University (8:00 PM, Memorial Union Sun Room) as part of ISU’s lecture series by the Institute on World Affairs. Wood will speak Wednesday at Grinnell and Iowa City, Thursday at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Mount Mercy in Cedar Rapids, and St Clair College in Clinton. Friday he’ll talk at a parish meeting at St John’s Parish House in Dubuque.
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