Recent successes have paved the way for a withdrawal from Afghanistan. President Obama has aggressively prosecuted the war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Osama Bin Laden is dead, many of al-Qaeda's senior leadership have been incapacitated, and the Taliban has been beaten back and significantly degraded.

These are significant achievements, and they have created time and space for the Afghan National Security Force to develop. At some point, full responsibility has to be turned over to the Afghan people.

It is time to bring our troops home, and, while the president has laid out a responsible path to do so, we should continue to look for every opportunity to accelerate our timeline.

Americans have paid a tremendous price, and after 10 years of war, it is time for the Afghan people to take more responsibility for their own security.

Now, this does not mean we should begin to precipitously withdraw. We still have national security interests in the region, and it is important that we work to ensure a stable Afghan government. The primary goal in Afghanistan is to prevent al-Qaeda and the Taliban from being in a position to threaten the United States and our allies. The president has put us on a realistic path to achieve that goal, and if there are opportunities to accelerate the administration's timeline, we should do so.

It has been 10 years, and the American people have paid a steep price. The Afghan people have paid a steep price. It is time to bring this war to an end as soon as we responsibly can.

Rep. Adam Smith of Washington is the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee. His district includes Joint Base Lewis-McChord, home base of the U.S. soldier suspected of killing Afghan villagers.

This piece was originally published in USA Today on March 13, 2012.