The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Paul Kawika Martin, Political Director, 301.565.4050 x 316, 951.217.7285 cell,

17 National Organizations Ask Congress to Tell Obama to Reconsider Afghanistan Surge


Peace Action, the nation's largest peace organization, along with 16 other national organizations sent a letter to Representatives in Congress asking them to sign a congressional letter to President Obama requesting that he reconsider troop escalation in Afghanistan. Last month, President Obama announced his plan to send an additional 17,000 U.S. troops into Afghanistan.

"It's time for Congress to tell the President that they have major concerns about sending another 17,000 troops in harms way in Afghanistan," stated Paul Kawika Martin the group's political director.

The bipartisan letter, which is still open for congressional signatures, states in part, "The 2001 authorization to use military force in Afghanistan allowed military action 'to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States.' Continuing to fight a counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan does not appear to us to be in keeping with these directives and an escalation may actually harm US security."

The letter that is scheduled to be sent next week echoes congressional grumblings that Afghanistan maybe becoming another Iraq. So far, eight Members of Congress signed the letter. "More and more organizations want Congress to play a check and balance to the bad plan to send more troops into Afghanistan. Instead, it would be wise for the U.S. to increase funding for humanitarian aid, development work and landmine clean up. Additionally, the U.S. would better win the hearts and minds of Afghans by limiting civilian suffering by stopping air and drone strikes and night raids - all tend to kill, injure or traumatize innocent civilians," concluded Martin

Peace Action is the United States' largest peace and disarmament organization with over 100,000 members and nearly 100 chapters in 34 states, works to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs and encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights.