Page One

Barbara Lee Takes Afghanistan Issue to Democratic Party National Committee

By Tom Hayden / The Peace Exchange Bulletin
Tuesday February 15, 2011 - 09:56:00 PM

Rep. Barbara Lee is proposing that the Democratic National Committee officially commit itself to a policy of "prioritizing job creation and a swift withdrawal of US armed forces and military contractors in Afghanistan which must include a significant and sizable reduction no later than July 2011." The DNC will take up the resolution at its Feb. 24-26 meeting in Washington, D.C. 

ACTION: Lee's office is calling on all peace and justice advocates at state levels to contact their DNC representatives and urge them to support the resolution. 

The resolution is a challenge to the military-contractor-hawk alliance pushing President Obama to make only token troop withdrawals beginning this July. Others within Democratic policy circles have proposed reductions of approximately 60,000 between this July and July 2012. The Lee resolution declares that the reduction should be "significant and sizeable" and aimed at "a swift withdrawal of US armed forces and military contractors." 

President Obama has not made his decision known, making the DNC resolution debate timely. Lee, according to a recent statement, hopes to "change the President's political calculus" going into the 2012 election. 

Resolution to the Democratic National Committee 

Submitted by: Hon. Barbara Lee, California Donna Brazile, DNC Vice Chair/District of Columbia Hon. Mike Honda, DNC Vice Chair/California Alice Germond, DNC Secretary/West Virginia 

The following resolution will be considered by the DNC Resolutions Committee at its meeting on February 24, 2011, in conjunction with meetings of the Democratic National Committee, February 24-26, 2011. 

Resolution Supporting Ending the War in Afghanistan Now and Transferring the Funding to Job Creation, Other Crucial Domestic Priorities and Deficit Reduction 

WHEREAS, the United States has been involved in war in Afghanistan for almost a decade and remains militarily engaged in what has become the longest war in American history; and 

WHEREAS, the mounting costs of the war in Afghanistan, now totaling over $100 billion a year, have constrained efforts to invest in job creation and in strengthening our country and our economy; and 

WHEREAS, according to a Gallup Poll released February 2, 2011, 72% of Americans favor action to "speed up the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan"; and 

WHEREAS, President Obama supports a transition to an Afghan-led security arrangement in Afghanistan "because open-ended war serves neither our interests nor the Afghan people's"; and 

WHEREAS, a diplomatic solution in Afghanistan that emphasizes economic development, political reconciliation and inclusion, the engagement of regional and global stakeholders, and the safeguarding of basic human rights is essential to ensure long-term stability in Afghanistan and the surrounding region; and 

WHEREAS, military and intelligence officials agree that the situation in Afghanistan will not ultimately be resolved by a military solution; and 

WHEREAS, the national and economic security of the United States depend upon a national defense strategy which addresses the modern threat of global terrorism in an effective, sustainable, and comprehensive manner; and 

THEREFOR BE IT RESOLVED, The Democratic Party recognizes the enormous strain placed on the US military servicemembers, and their families since 2001 as a result of continuing engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan and remains committed to ensuring that our troops have the support that they require when deployed as well as the care that they and their families need and deserve when they return home; 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Democratic Party supports prioritizing job creation and a swift withdrawal of US armed forces and military contractors in Afghanistan which must include a significant and sizable reduction no later than July 2011.