Afghanistan

President Announces Decision: What’s Next?

Last night, we watched together as the President announced his plans to withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, and another 23,000 troops by September 2012. President Obama’s decision leaves nearly double the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan than when he took office.

What did you think of the President’s speech? Click here to let the Administration know!

The President’s plan is clearly out of step with the majority of the public, who want to see an end to the longest war in U.S. history “as soon as possible,” according to a recent Pew poll released yesterday.

Moreover, the President’s decision to once again support a military solution to the conflict ignores the recommendations of RAND, the Pentagon’s own think tank, which stated that terrorism is best defeated by negotiations, police work, and political engagement – a sentiment that matches a recent BBC World Service poll of 24 nations indicating global public support for negotiations with the Taliban.

What is your opinion? Click here to tell the Obama Administration!

One can’t help but wonder what decision President Obama would have made had it not been for the organizing efforts of citizen activists like you. Thanks to your calls, letters, petitions, public events, and community efforts, we have not only turned public opinion but we have undoubtedly made an impact in Congress and subsequently on the President:

  • In the Senate last week, thanks to countless calls from constituents like you, over one-quarter of the Senate signed a bi-partisan letter to President Obama calling for a “sizable and sustained reduction of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan”
  • In the House last month, a record number of Representatives, including 26 Republicans, voted for an amendment to the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act requiring the President to establish a timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan.

So What’s Next?

With our new allies in Congress, including many Republicans calling for a speedier withdrawal from Afghanistan, we have a major opportunity to keep Afghanistan at the forefront of the Presidential debates. Our Peace Voter efforts in the 2012 elections will be all the more impactful with a greater cross-section of the public in favor of bringing the troops and war dollars home.

Keep the wars in the elections debate. Click here to contact the Obama Campaign Headquarters and let them know what you thought of the President’s decision.

Meanwhile, we must continue to struggle for long-term change. It is clear that elections alone will not end the wars or transform our economy.

This is precisely why Peace Action continues to drive ahead with our Move the Money campaign.

On Monday, successful pressure from citizen activists led the U.S. Conference of Mayors to pass a resolution calling on Congress to redirect military spending to domestic priorities – their first resolution on foreign policy since the Vietnam War. Check out the CNN coverage of the story.

This historic resolution passed thanks to pressure from citizen activists like you.

The resolution would never have been passed had it not been for the work of the Fund Our Communities, Bring the War Dollars Home coalition in partnership with CODEPINK. Peace Action Montgomery founded the coalition as part of our national Move the Money campaign. Members of the coalition did an extraordinary organizing job–leafleting at all different times to the mayors, organizing a teach-in on Friday night, and organizing a rally and march on Saturday. The citizen activists forced a debate and ultimately, the Mayors voted to pass the resolution.

As we continue to journey on the long, hard road ahead, we will have many more success stories to share.

In the meantime, let’s keep up the pressure. Click here to contact the Obama Administration and let them know that we will hold the President accountable in 2012 and beyond.

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