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Screenshot of forthcoming ad from Concerned Veterans for America. Courtesy photo.

The Koch-backed group Concerned Veterans for America is launching a seven-figure digital ad campaign this week urging President Biden to pull all remaining U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by May, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The ad blitz comes as Biden's national security team is debating whether to delay the withdrawal, amid fears the wrong decision could lead to a resurgence of terrorism and uptick of violence in the country.

  • Notably, Biden did not mention Afghanistan during a speech last Thursday at the State Department — an omission foreign policy experts took as a sign of him remaining undecided about how to resolve the troop dilemma.
  • The move requested by the veterans' group would honor a deal former President Trump's made with the Taliban last year.

Details: Concerned Veterans will initially pump $1.25 million into its new nationwide ad campaign.

  • One such ad — titled, "20 Years. It's Time." — highlights the length of the war and urges viewers to call on the White House and their elected representatives to bring the troops home.

What they're saying: "What we would like to do is find ways to work with the administration where there's common ground," Will Ruger, vice president of foreign policy for Stand Together, a Koch Network organization, tells Axios.

  • Nonetheless, "We have to hold them accountable. ...The president will talk about ending the war there, but then keep a counterterrorism force — and that's a contradiction. And I think that contradiction needs to be remembered by the public."

The backdrop: Stand Together has spent over $3 million since 2019 on a series of ads about the issue.

  • In total, the campaign has generated over 700,000 emails to Washington leaders urging them to end the war.

Go deeper

Super Bowl advertising is going to look a lot different this year

Screen shot from Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's Super Bowl ad via YouTube

The big game, happening for the first time in history without many fans in the stadium, will feature spots with socially-distanced characters, and people staying home.

Why it matters: While some ads will try to be light, the gravity of the pandemic will still be felt.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Credit: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine Thursday night, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.