For Immediate Release
Paul Kawika Martin, Political Director, 301.565.4050 x 316, 951.217.7285 cell,
Progressives Respond to Petraeus
WASHINGTON - Peace Action, the nation's largest peace organization, responded to General David Petraeus' testimony today to the House Armed Services Committee regarding the Administration's strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"General Petraeus doesn't seem to be listening to his own advice: ‘Afghanistan has been known over the years as the graveyard of empires. We cannot take that history lightly.' Instead he is following the same failed path of requesting more troops," said Paul Kawika Martin, the group's political director, after walking out of the hearing room.
General Petraeus' adviser, Dr. David Kilcullen, has said "If we want to strengthen our friends and weaken our enemies in Pakistan, bombing Pakistani villages with unmanned drones is totally counterproductive." Yesterday, Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson, a retired United States Army Colonel and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell went further by saying the U.S. should halt all air and Predator drone strikes. "Why does General Petraeus believe air and Predator drone strikes are worth the civilian deaths, trauma and loss of the hearts and minds of Afghans? That makes America less safe," Martin concluded.
Last week, President Obama announced his plan to send an additional 21,000 U.S. troops into Afghanistan.
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Founded in 1957, Peace Action, 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.