Bipartisan Letter to Obama RE: July withdrawal date from Afghanistan
Progressive Democrats of America | 03.11.2011
Please use the organizational letter below with your congressional contacts to urge them to sign the congressional letter (copy and current signers at bottom of piece). The deadline is Noon, next Wednesday, March 16, 2011. You may also want to thank those who have already signed.
Dear Congressional Staffer:
The undersigned 30 organizations and coalitions representing 23.7 million supporters request that Representative XXXXX join 54 Members of Congress by co-signing the below bipartisan letter to President Obama supporting his plan to start bringing troops home from Afghanistan this July.
Pasted below is the text of the letter and current co-signers. To become a co-signer of this letter, please contact Scott Exner with Congresswoman Barbara Lee at 5-2661 by Noon, next Wednesday, March 16, 2011.
Please let Paul Kawika Martin of Peace Action (firstname.lastname@example.org, 951-217-7285) know how Representative XXXXX plans to act on this request.
Paul Kawika Martin
Policy & Political Director
Afghanistan Study Group
Brave New Foundation / Rethink Afghanistan
William C. Goodfellow
Center for International Policy
CODEPINK: Women for Peace
Council for a Livable World
Chief Executive Officer
Ecumenical Peace Institute
Mark C. Johnson, Ph.D.
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Jonathan W. Evans
Legislative Secretary for Foreign Policy
Friends Committee on National Legislation
James E. Winkler
General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church
Just Foreign Policy
Maryknoll Office for Globle Conerns
MoveOn.org Political Action
National Organization for Women
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Senior Fellow & Founder, American Strategy Program
New America Foundation*
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Pax Christi USA
Peace and Justice Resource Center
Peter Wilk, M.D.
Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)
Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)
Director, Justice Team
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Dr. Lisa Schirch
3D Security Initiative
Rusti Eisenberg & Gael Murphy
United for Peace and Justice
U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)
Women’s Action for New Directions
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section
Win Without War (a coalition of 40 national organizations)
*For identification purposes only
TEXT OF CONGRESSIONAL LETTER:
Support the President’s July Deadline for Drawdown in Afghanistan
March ____, 2011
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President,
We write to you to express our utmost support for your planned drawdown of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan beginning no later than July of this year. We, the undersigned members of Congress, believe the forthcoming reduction in U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan must be significant and sizeable, and executed in an orderly fashion.
Our nation’s economic and national security interests are not served by a policy of open-ended war in Afghanistan. At a time of severe economic distress, the war in Afghanistan is costing the United States more than $100 billion per year, excluding the long-term costs of care for returning military servicemembers. At the same time, military and intelligence officials agree that Al Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan is diminished and that there will not be a military solution to resolve the current situation. It is simply unsustainable for our nation to maintain a costly, military-first strategy in Afghanistan.
A significant redeployment of U.S. troops from Afghanistan beginning in July 2011 will send a clear signal that the United States does not seek a permanent presence in Afghanistan. This transition will provide incentive for internal stakeholders to improve upon the political status quo, reduce corruption, and take meaningful steps toward the establishment of an effective, trustworthy, and inclusive governance structure. A meaningful start to withdrawal will also empower U.S. diplomatic engagement with regional and global stakeholders who share a common interest in the long-term stability of Afghanistan.
The majority of the American people overwhelmingly support a rapid shift toward withdrawal in Afghanistan. In fact, a Gallup Poll released on February 2, 2011 indicated that 72% of Americans favor action this year to "speed up the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.” Let us be clear. The redeployment of a minimal number of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in July will not meet the expectations of Congress or the American people.
Mr. President, as you work to finally bring an end to the war in Iraq by the end of this year, we must commit ourselves to ensuring that our nation’s military engagement in Afghanistan does not become the status quo. It is time to focus on securing a future of economic opportunity and prosperity for the American people and move swiftly to end to America’s longest war in Afghanistan.
Mr. President, we look forward to working with you to make that goal a reality.