Action Alert

Take Action: Senate Voting on Afghanistan, Iraq Supplemental

Saeed Barakat returned home from a visit with relatives to a “nightmarish landscape,” where his family had been sleeping during an air strike.

He said, “We blame America. With all their technology, they don’t determine who is a fighter and who is an innocent. Now my house is gone. My wife is dead. My children are burned.”

“Afghan civilian deaths: who is to blame,” Los Angeles Times

This week the Senate will vote – possibly as early as Wednesday – on roughly $90 billion in funding for the war that tore apart Mr. Barakat’s family. Please click here to tell your senators to vote no, and support a new strategy that emphasizes nonmilitary tools.

With your help we have been steadily building opposition to the counterproductive military approach to Afghanistan. Last week we asked you to support the McGovern bill which calls for an exit strategy from Afghanistan, and thanks to you and constituent pressure, 78 representatives have already signed on. This is a good first step, but we have much more to do. Last week, the House of Representatives passed their version of the funding, with just 60 representatives voting against it.

The reliance on military force in Afghanistan has been counter-productive. The current strategy has led to far too many deaths of innocent fathers, mothers and children. These deaths have made both Afghanistan and Pakistan less stable. Many military experts are calling for a greater emphasis on what they call the “civilian instruments of security.” Diplomacy, humanitarian aid, partnering with local leaders. By writing your senators today, you will build support for a nonmilitary approach that is far more likely to succeed.

In spite of President Obama’s promise to prioritize civilian aid, the supplemental funding package allocates roughly 10 times more money for military tools than civilian ones. The bill also lacks benchmarks to ensure its objectives are met, and there is no exit strategy from Afghanistan. Urge your senators to vote against the supplemental unless it is significantly improved to reflect a new, nonmilitary strategy.

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