Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Afghan (Iraq, Vietnam) Lessons (include Pakistan Concerns) and suggested Action

SUGGESTED ACTION WORLD-WIDE here This action concerns Pakistan as well = Add your own suggested actions to Comments below

Afghan Lessons from the Iraq War (Occupation)
By Ray McGovern You don’t have to go back 40 years to the Vietnam War to feel the sting of déjà vu. Returning to the Iraq War just three years ago will suffice.

Although most of us who vote for peace and justice (including me) usually say "Out Now!" I am including a variety of perspectives here:

A Three-Step Afghan Strategy
By Bruce P. Cameron Editor’s Note: Given the three decades of American mistakes and misjudgments in Afghanistan, foreign policy expert Bruce P. Cameron says the Obama administration must face reality and accept a more limited role for U.S. troops. READ in full here

From Sojourners Jim Wallis:

It has been eight years since the United States military began operations in Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I know you join me in lamenting the suffering, violence, and death on both sides of the conflict. Our scriptures and history teach us that war is not the answer to building the peace and security we are striving for in this world.

I’ve joined with other faith leaders in sending an open letter to President Obama, urging him to build a new strategy in Afghanistan that leads with bold humanitarian aid and development instead of more military escalation. Will you join me?

Tell President Obama: We need a whole new approach in Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, the options being debated are far too narrow and are unlikely to bring the peace and stability we so desperately need to end this war.

The two strategies contending for prime time - counterinsurgency, requiring a substantial escalation of troops, and counterterrorism, relying on precision targeting technology to apply military pressure on the most dangerous operatives, often at the expense of civilian lives - don't address the deep moral and practical issues we face in Afghanistan.

There are many moral concerns at stake in President Obama’s decision: legitimately protecting Americans from further terrorism, protecting the lives of our men and women in uniform, protecting the Afghan people from the collateral damage of war, defending women from the Taliban, and genuinely supporting democracy - to name a few.

Focused and effective humanitarian assistance and development can no longer be an afterthought. They must be central to any strategy the U.S. government puts forward. The president must choose nonmilitary strategies to lead the way, rather than the other way around, which often just makes aid and development work another weapon of war.

Tell President Obama: More war will not bring peace.

We know what can rebuild a broken nation, inspire confidence, trust, and hope among its people, and most effectively undermine terrorism: massive humanitarian assistance and sustainable economic development.

And it costs less - far less - than continued war. The Congressional Research Service has said it currently costs about $1 million per U.S. soldier, per year in Afghanistan.

We all share in responsibility for a war that has been waged in our names and with our tax dollars. Join me and many faith leaders across our country in praying for the president as he considers a new strategy in Afghanistan.

After you pray, sign our letter to President Obama urging his serious consideration of a humanitarian and diplomatic surge, instead of more military options. We'll make sure it gets to the White House.

Blessings and peace,

Jim Wallis


Watch for more items and actions on the Afghan War/Occupation coming here on this post. You may want to bookmark?

1 comment:

Connie L. Nash said...

There can be NO ignoring of the apparent US occupation of Palestine during all this crucial and needed concern to also pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan!