Peace Movement Steps Up Congressional Pressure to Stop Afghanistan Escalation

For Immediate Release

Peace Groups
Contact: 

Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy, 217-979-2857, naiman@justforeignpolicy.org
Paul Kawika Martin, Peace Action, 951-217-7285, pmartin@peace-action.org

Peace Movement Steps Up Congressional Pressure to Stop Afghanistan Escalation

WASHINGTON - Five national peace advocacy groups representing hundreds of thousands of Americans launched a new project today at www.NoEscalation.org to urge Congress and President Obama to reject troop escalation in Afghanistan.

Leaders of the peace movement said they are asking Americans across the
country to step up their efforts to oppose troop escalation, by calling
their U.S. Representatives and Senators to take a stand against
escalation of the failed military strategy in Afghanistan. The website
has a chart that tracks each Member of Congress and whether they have
taken a stand against troop escalation.

"We're at a major fork in the road," said Robert Naiman of Just Foreign
Policy. "One road leads to years of quagmire and needless death and
trauma for American soldiers and Afghan civilians. The other road leads
to national reconciliation in Afghanistan, regional diplomacy, an exit
strategy, and a timetable for military withdrawal."

The groups, CodePink, Just Foreign Policy, Peace Action, United for
Peace and Justice, and Voters for Peace, are urging Americans to report
their conversations with Congressional offices on the website
NoEscalation.org. The groups will contact hundreds of thousands of
voters and direct them to the website.

"Sending 40,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan will fail to
substantially increase security, to stop violent extremists and to make
Americans safer," stated Paul Kawika Martin, the political director of
Peace Action - the United State's largest grassroots peace organization
- who recently returned from a seven-day trip to Afghanistan. "Instead,
U.S. and NATO forces need to stop air and Predator drone strikes,
arbitrary arrests and detentions and other actions that kill, injure or
terrorize innocent civilians and create recruits for the Taliban. The
billions of dollars it would cost to send troops would pay more
security dividends invested into Afghanistan to provide its populous
with physical, economic and food security."

On Monday, CNN released a poll revealing that six in 10 Americans
oppose sending more U.S. troops, and a majority see the war in
Afghanistan as another Vietnam. Top Administration officials, including
Vice-President Biden, Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, and Ambassador
Holbrooke's advisor Barnett Rubin are said to be arguing against
escalation. Democratic leaders in the House have expressed skepticism.

Many Members of Congress have said that they want to "wait and see"
what decision President Obama makes. But the groups say the time to
influence the President's decision is before he makes it.

Besides opposing and speaking out against a troop increase, Members of
the House are being urged to support Representative McGovern's (D-MA)
bipartisan bill (HR 2404) calling for an exit strategy and
Representative Lee's (D-CA) bill (HR 3699) prohibiting a troop
increase. Senators are being asked to introduce legislation opposing a
troop increase and calling for an exit strategy or timetable for
military withdrawal.

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Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States' largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 34 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to the conflicts with Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. The public may learn more and take action at http://www.Peace-Action.org. For more up-to-date peace insider information, follow Peace Action's political director on Twitter. http://twitter.com/PaulKawika

Just Foreign Policy is a non-partisan membership organization dedicated to reforming U.S. foreign policy so that it reflects the values and interests of the majority of Americans.

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