Today, President Barack Obama announced his plans to send another 21,000 troops to Afghanistan. This poorly conceived strategy continues failed Middle East policies where military engagement serves as the primary tool. The war weary American public does not support an escalation of the U.S. presence and neither should the President.
While he also made some good statements on increasing diplomacy and economic aid to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the emphasis is clearly on military operations. Predictably, the Pakistan and Afghan factions of the Taliban are already uniting to oppose our escalation of troops. As the spring fighting season approaches, only one thing is certain — more death, destruction, and misery in a desperately poor country that has had little respite from war for decades.
Here in the U.S., Obama’s escalation in Afghanistan and the continuing occupation of Iraq threaten our nation’s urgent economic and domestic agenda. Now is the time for more diplomacy, not more war!
Peace Action calls for immediate action for peace in Afghanistan. Here are four things you can do:
1) Call the White House today – 202-456-1414 – to show your immediate opposition to President Obama’s plan.
Make sure President Obama knows that you disagree with his plan to send more troops to Afghanistan. Call the White House comment line at 202-456-1414 between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM ET.
2) Call again on TUESDAY, March 31st.
Nationally, dozens of other organizations will make coordinated calls to the White House. This planned day of action will show the strength of our movement and reflect the national discontent with unending wars.
3) March with Peace Action and UFPJ in New York on April 4! Join us at the corner of White and Lafayette streets in Manhattan at 11AM.
Building on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are marching on the anniversary of his historic speech against the war in Vietnam and the anniversary of his assassination. On Saturday, April 4, we are taking our message to Wall Street in NYC: addressing this country’s economic crisis must include drastic cuts in military spending and that means ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The last thing our country needs is a new quagmire in Afghanistan – it is time to bring the troops home, not send more.
4) Help organize local actions April 6 – 9
Congress will be in recess so this is a perfect time to meet with your representatives while they are home. Actions can also be community or media-focused — vigils, rallies, public education forums with local speakers, film showings or other events to educate and mobilize support in your community. Here are some resources to get you started. This is an important time to educate people about Afghanistan and the urgent need to change U.S. policy. Find a Peace Action affiliate near you, here.
Peace Action Supports:
- A halt to the planned escalation of 21,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan.
- A strong commitment to diplomacy as the only solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. The U.S. must support negotiations already underway among various actors in Afghanistan, and must also engage all countries in the region with a stake in a peaceful Afghanistan. The announcement that Iran will join negotiations over Afghanistan is a positive development. The U.S. should foster this development by openly engaging Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.
- A dramatic shift from military spending by the U.S. to funding for Afghan-led humanitarian community development and reconstruction projects to enable Afghan communities to improve daily life for their own people. Our goal is to put an end to U.S. war funding.