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CONTACT: Win Without War
Emma Mackinnon 202.822.5200 ext 277
Tom Andrews: War Supplemental Sets Wrong Direction
WASHINGTON - May 14 - Statement by Tom Andrews, National Director of Win Without War and former US Congressman (D-ME) and Member of the House Armed Services Committee:
"At a time of great economic crisis at home, the Democratic controlled Congress should not be throwing good money after bad on a policy that keeps U.S. troops in Afghanistan indefinitely.
"This funding is made even more disappointing by the fact that some Members of Congress were denied the opportunity to insert modest language into the bill calling on the administration to develop an exit strategy for U.S. forces serving in Afghanistan. Congressional Republicans, meanwhile, managed to strike out President Obama's request for the funds necessary to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay and end that blight on America's moral standing in the world.
"We applaud the inclusion of language in the bill that endorses President Obama's time-line for removing all troops from Iraq, and we appreciate that the bill requires the Pentagon to provide ongoing reports to Congress on its progress in implementing that time-line. With some in the military calling to extend the U.S. presence in Iraq due to recent spikes in violence, this oversight is all the more necessary. There will continue to be violence in Iraq for the foreseeable future. At issue is whether or not Iraqis will be given sovereignty over their own country. Congress must stand firm in supporting President Obama's time-table to fully withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq.
"Congress can and must do better, particularly in light of the mandate for change issued by the American people in November. With Congressional action on Defense Authorization legislation only weeks away, Americans seeking fundamental change in the direction of our national security policy must stand up and speak out now."