Pelosi: Afghanistan War Must End

By Edwin Mora | May 5, 2011 | 9:03 PM EDT

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Washington ( -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the death of Osama bin Laden does not eliminate the terrorism threat against the United States, and added that the war in Afghanistan must end.

At a press conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Pelosi said, “We know the American people are weary of this war. We simply can't afford it.  It's huge.  We have been there a long time.  What more of an impact do we need to make?  Let's figure out what is in our national interest.”

Pelosi mentioned that she spent St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Afghanistan and said,  “What I saw indicated to me that by July 2011 we will be meeting one of the withdrawal dates and then stay on schedule to do the rest.” 

“I don't know that how much of an impact the death of Osama bin Laden has on that,” said Pelosi.  “He is a person, he is a symbol.  It is a historic event. Hail to the Chief.  He did a fabulous job.  But it isn't an end to the threats to our national security, and that is how we have to make the judgment [on the extent of the U.S. draw down]. But again my message to the president of Afghanistan and to others that I met was this has to come to an end.”

With the death of Bin Laden, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers, including Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.),  introduced legislation on Thursday requiring the Obama administration to submit an exit strategy for all U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

President Obama has endorsed a plan to begin withdrawing U.S. troops in July 2011 and have the Afghan forces in the lead of their own security by 2014.

Since the U.S.-led war began in Afghanistan in October 2011, at least 1,475 U.S. forces had been killed in that country as of the end of last month.

More than 60 percent (905) of those deaths have occurred since Obama officially became president in January 2009.

President Obama escalated the war when he announced in December 2009 that he was going to send 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, brining the total to about 100,000.