Newsflash:
Issues End Wars and Occupations, Redirect Funding End Wars and Occupations Returning to a Peacetime Military Budget.
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 22:15

Returning to a Peacetime Military Budget.

Written by  Nicolas J. S. Davies | AlterNet
Returning to a Peacetime Military Budget. justasc/Shutterstock.com

Why is Congress trying to allocate $601 billion to the military?

 

Next week, Congress will begin debate on a roughly$601 billion Pentagon budget for FY2015.  Before we let this pass unchallenged, let's take a few minutes to put it in some historical perspective.


For 40 years, as the United States waged Cold War against the U.S.S.R. and hot wars in Korea and Vietnam, the Pentagon budget fluctuated between a high of $632 billion in 1952 at the height of the Korean War and lows of $386 billion in 1954 and 1975 when we returned to a "peacetime" military budget at the end of the Korean and Vietnam Wars.  (These amounts are in "constant" 2014 dollars from Pentagon documents*, and I'll keep using those figures throughout this article so that you can be sure we're comparing "apples to apples.")  Pentagon spending peaked again at $554 billion at the height of the Vietnam War in 1968 and at $586 billion in 1985 at the peak of what Assistant Defense Secretary Lawrence Korb called "a wartime buildup without a war."

So, as we transition away from the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, why is Congress debating a Pentagon budget that splits the difference between the budgets for 1952 and 1985, the two highest peaks of Cold War military spending?

On December 12th 1989, Senator Jim Sasser of Tennessee, the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, recognized a "unique moment in world history."  As his committee debated the previously unthinkable end of the Cold War, Senator Sasser dared to imagine what we could do with the money we were going to save, and he hailed it as "the dawn of the primacy of domestic economics."

Two of the experts called to testify before Senator Sasser's committee that day were former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and former Assistant Defense Secretary Lawrence Korb.  McNamara and Korb agreed that the $533 billion Pentagon budget should be cut in half, starting with 5% cuts every year for the next 10 years, to leave the country with a peacetime military budget of $267 billion in today's dollars by the year 2003.

There were small cuts in the U.S. military budget through most of the 1990s, and the 1998 Pentagon budget of $392 billion almost matched the Cold War low of $386 billion from 1954 and 1975.  So we have returned to that "Cold War peacetime military budget" three times in the past 60 years, after the end of the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War.  One has to ask, "Why should the end of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars be any different?"  And yet Congress is debating a $601 billion Pentagon budget that is still 56% or $215 billion above that Cold War baseline.

But we must also recognize that $386 billion per year was never a real peacetime military budget.  It was a baseline during the quieter periods of the most expensive arms race in history, against a serious military competitor with a nuclear arsenal that peaked at 45,000 warheads, a 5 million man army and a weapons industry to match our own. So the question that Senator Sasser was asking in 1989 was not whether Congress could once again cut Pentagon funding to its 1954 or 1975 level, but how far it could cut below that in the absence of the Cold War arms race.

Robert McNamara, a Democrat, and Lawrence Korb, a Republican and former Reagan official, were unanimous and specific in their call for a 50% cut over 10 to 13 years to $267 billion per year, less than half what we're spending today.  McNamara called for scrappingthe B-2 bomber, which eventually cost an incredible $45 billion for 21 planes. He also wanted to abandon the V-22 Osprey, which is still in production 25 years later despite fatal crashes and huge cost overruns, eating up $54 billion for 400 troop transport planes that take off like helicopters - or $135 million per plane.

Under McNamara and Korb's plan, we still would have handed over $8.1 trillion to the Pentagon over the past 25 years.  But that pales next to the $13.7 trillion we have actually spent, adding $5.6 trillion to our national debt.  It has been well documented that military spending provides less economic stimulus and job creation than spending on clean energy, healthcare, education or even tax cuts.  According to the most comprehensive studies, a billion dollars spent on education will create more than twice as many new jobs as a billion handed over to the Pentagon.  So the true cost to the country of this massive diversion of resources to the military is even higher than the raw numbers suggest.

Of course, most of the recent explosion of the military budget took place between FY2002 and FY2008, justified politically as a part of the country's militarized response to the horrific mass murders in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on September 11th 2001.  The FY2008 U.S. military budget of $750 billion was an all-time post-WWII record.  

But less than half of the 90% increase in the military budget between 1998 and 2008 was related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or the "war on terror", as Carl Conetta documented in his study, "An Undisciplined Defense," in 2010.  In reality, the Pentagon cashed in on our fear and panic after September 11th to get a blank check for long wish-lists of new warships, warplanes and high-tech surveillance systems, at the expense of all the country's other urgent needs.

After 12 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq and the endless atrocities and abuses of the "war on terror", most Americans are much wiser about questions of war and peace today.  Faced with a new crisis caused by the U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine, only 7% of Americanswant our government to even consider a military response.  If most Americans understood the huge drain on our national resources by the Pentagon's unilateral arms race over the past 15 years, I think it's fair to say that we would all be as skeptical of a $609 billion military budget as we are of new military entanglements in Ukraine or Syria.

The rational approach to the military budget advocated by McNamara and Korb in 1989 should be a valuable reality check for Congress as it takes up the FY2015 NDAA.  In the absence of a serious military threat against the U.S. from any other country, Congress should be asking the same questions and reviewing the same options as Senator Sasser in 1989.

Congress should have no hesitation in cutting the Pentagon budget very quickly to the Cold War baseline of $386 billion.  But it should also be thinking and talking seriously about cutting further, at least to the $267 billion level advocated by McNamara and Korb.  Current Pentagon projections foresee maintaining a $530 billion baseline defense budget through at least 2018.  That's the same level of military spending that McNamara and Korb examined in 1989 and concluded should be cut by half.

In 1989, McNamara and Korb believed that those savings could be achieved in 10 to 13 years.  But, as Conetta explained in "An Undisciplined Defense", the biggest driver of today's $600 billion military budget is the failure to make choices between "legacy" Cold War weapons and new ones.  In the absence of pressure from Congress to make those choices, the Pentagon simply says, "Thanks! We'll take both."  

Many of the most expensive weapons are products of Cold War competition with the U.S.S.R.  The $2 billion B-2 bomber was designed to outwit Soviet radar in a nuclear war.The F-35 fighter, "the plane that ate the budget", was designed to outfight Soviet fighters that never got off the drawing board when the U.S.S.R. collapsed.  The F-35 and other expensive "legacy" weapons systems are already facing a "death spiral", in which rising cost per unit leads to reduced orders, in turn forcing the unit cost even higher, leading to further reductions in orders, and so on.

This is how the B-2 bomber program degenerated from 132 planes to only 21 planes, but still cost $45 billion.  The Zumwalt-class destroyer, which a Navy spokesman called "a ship you don't need," has been downgraded from a planned 32 ships to only 2 ships, but will still cost $12 billion.  The F-35, originally budgeted at $50 million per plane, will cost an incredible $1.1 trillion for 2,440 planes, or $450 million per plane.

So eliminating some of these very expensive "legacy" weapons programs can give substantial savings much faster than McNamara and Korb envisioned in 1989.  Our present position has more in common with the post- Korean and -Vietnam War periods, when savings in the military budget were realized more rapidly.  As the Korean War ended, military spending was cut by 40% in two years.  From the spending peak of the Vietnam War in 1968, the military budget was cut by 30% over 7 years to once again reach the $386 billion Cold War baseline.

And yet the proposed FY2015 $601 billion military budget is only a 20% saving from the post-WWII record of $750 billion in 2008, and it still exceeds 2 of the 3 highest spending peaks of the Cold War.  Don't let anyone tell you we can't do better than this.  There is no legitimate reason why we cannot cut 20% from last year's $586 billion budget and continue to cut 10% every year until we arrive at the $267 billion military budget recommended by Robert McNamara and Lawrence Korb in 1989.  

That would slim down down the Pentagon to a $267 billion budget in 7 years, saving a trillion dollars during the transition and at least $260 billion per year over current projections from 2021 on.  And a $267 billion military budget is only a medium-term baseline.  China, our closest military competitor, spends half that amount on its military budget.  Depending how the international environment is affected by a less belligerent U.S. posture and a recommitment to diplomacy and disarmament, it's reasonable to hope that even greater reductions will be possible in the longer term.

So Jim Sasser could live to see "the dawn of the primacy of domestic economics" that he envisioned in 1989.  But he is 77 now, so he won't want to wait another 25 years. The return to a peacetime military budget would release trillions of dollars to invest and create good jobs in education, healthcare and the vital transition to a clean energy economy.  

A return to a peacetime military budget offers the best hope for the future of America and the world, but it's up to each of us to let our Representatives in Congress know that we understand what is at stake and that we expect them to act.  So we need the same groundswell of public opposition to the proposed $601 billion military budget as against plans for U.S. aggression against Syria.  Last September, the sleeping giant of American democracy woke from its long slumber to pry the fingers of our leaders from the triggers of their missile-launchers.  Now it must start taking away their weapons and converting them into windmills.

*See Table 6-1   

Nicolas J. S. Davies is the author of "Blood On Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq." Davies also wrote the chapter on "Obama At War" for the book, "Grading the 44th President: A Report Card on Barack Obama's First Term as a Progressive Leader."

Original aritcle on AlterNet

Read 5102 times Last modified on Tuesday, 13 May 2014 23:06

End Wars and Occupations Articles

  • Iraq/Syria Air Strikes and Arms Shipments Opponents Host Press Conference
    Iraq/Syria Air Strikes and Arms Shipments Opponents Host Press Conference

    Washington, DC -- Representatives from several organizations will gather at 11:30 am on Wednesday, September 17 at the House Triangle to respond to the President's plan to bomb Iraq and Syria. Speakers include Andrea Miller of Progressive Democrats of America, Stephen Miles of the coalition Win Without War, Ret. Colonel Ann Wright of Veterans for Peace, Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK, and Alli McCracken of the youth group No Future in War.

    Written on Thursday, 18 September 2014 16:31 Read more...
  • Progressive Caucus to Speaker Boehner: Stop Wasting Tax Dollars on Benghazi Committee
    Progressive Caucus to Speaker Boehner: Stop Wasting Tax Dollars on Benghazi Committee

    Washington, D.C.–Today, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) sent Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) a letter urging him to create a Select Committee on Income Inequality instead of spending as much as 3.3 million tax dollars on another investigation into Benghazi. An analysisfrom Think Progress shows the Republican-led House of Representatives is on track to spend more investigating Benghazi than it does on nine other House committees.

    Written on Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:51 Read more...
  • Since 9-11 America's Insane Foreign Policy -- Continued Under Obama -- Has Killed a Million and Created ISIS
    Since 9-11 America's Insane Foreign Policy -- Continued Under Obama -- Has Killed a Million and Created ISIS Thirteen years ago, a draft dodger from Texas stood on a pile of rubble in New York City and promised, "The people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon." Of course, the people who flew the planes into the World Trade Center could not hear anybody, as their remains were buried in the rubble beneath Bush's feet.
    Written on Saturday, 13 September 2014 14:45 Read more...
  • The Speech on Diplomacy That Obama Should Have Given Last Night
    The Speech on Diplomacy That Obama Should Have Given Last Night Too often in the United States—most especially since 9/11—we equate “doing something” with “doing something military.” George W. Bush gave a traumatized, near-paralyzed US public two options: we either go to war, or we let ‘em get away with it. Faced with that choice, it was hardly surprising that 88 percent or so of people in this country chose war.
    Written on Saturday, 13 September 2014 14:35 Read more...
  • On Matters of War, the President Can't Go it Alone
    On Matters of War, the President Can't Go it Alone With respect to the growing conflict with the insurgent Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), my message to the White House and to Speaker Boehner is clear. Further U.S. military escalation must not happen without the expressed approval of Congress. the Constitution is crystal clear: Only Congress shall have the power to declare war.
    Written on Thursday, 04 September 2014 11:56 Read more...
  • Bipartisan Coalition Calls for Authorization Vote Regarding Iraq
    Bipartisan Coalition Calls for Authorization Vote Regarding Iraq Washington, DC – Yesterday, Congressman Walter Jones, Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Congressman Jim McGovern sent a letter to Speaker Boehner calling for debate and vote on an authorization for the use of military force in Iraq when the House returns on September 8th.
    Written on Thursday, 28 August 2014 20:16 Read more...
  • Rep. Ellison Statement on the Announcement of an Open-Ended Ceasefire Agreement Between Israel and Hamas
    Rep. Ellison Statement on the Announcement of an Open-Ended Ceasefire Agreement Between Israel and Hamas

    MINNEAPOLIS—Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement today after Israeli and Hamas officials announced they had agreed to an open-ended ceasefire.

    “I am happy and relieved with yesterday’s ceasefire agreement,” Rep. Ellison said. “I call on all parties to comply with the agreement and refrain from further violence. It is time to move forward with negotiations and diplomacy that will ultimately end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Written on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 15:12 Read more...
  • Hamas and Israel Agree to Extended Gaza Cease-Fire
    Hamas and Israel Agree to Extended Gaza Cease-Fire

    GAZA CITY — Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday reached a long-term cease-fire after seven weeks of fighting, according to officials on both sides, halting the longest, bloodiest battle either side has experienced in years — but without resolving many of the bigger issues underlying the conflict.

    Written on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 17:09 Read more...
  • $1.5 Trillion and Counting: What New Involvement in Iraq Means for Federal Spending
    $1.5 Trillion and Counting: What New Involvement in Iraq Means for Federal Spending As President Obama allows a trickle of troops back into Iraq and continues to ramp up air strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Americans are wary about our role in a conflict most think we never should have started in the first place. Polls show that while Americans are divided on new airstrikes in Iraq, most people are against sending troops back. And while these strikes might seem targeted, mission creep is a very real threat in Iraq.
    Written on Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:22 Read more...
  • McGovern Demands Full Debate and Vote on Iraq
    McGovern Demands Full Debate and Vote on Iraq

    When Congress returns from recess on September 8, will they authorize the New Iraq War? That's the question some anti-war groups are asking their representatives now home in their districts. Rep. Jim McGovern is demanding "a full debate and a vote whether to authorize the war," which has been escalating during the Congressional absence.

    Written on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 22:10 Read more...
  • Congress Needs to Assert Checks and Balances on Any New Iraq Mission
    Congress Needs to Assert Checks and Balances on Any New Iraq Mission

    It is not a lack of sympathy with the historic and current circumstance of Iraq’s religious minorities—or of other persecuted peoples in that traumatized country—that leads some of the most humane and responsible members of Congress to say that President Obama must seek approval from the House and Senate before committing the United States military to a new Iraq mission.

    Written on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 15:38 Read more...
  • Against U.S. Escalation in Iraq
    Against U.S. Escalation in Iraq The Obama administration seems poised to bomb insurgent-controlled areas of Iraq in another escalation of the deepening quagmire.
    Written on Friday, 08 August 2014 13:25 Read more...
  • Gaza Initiative - PDA End War & Occupation team
    Gaza Initiative - PDA End War & Occupation team

    PDA (Progressive Democrats of America) shares the horror of the world at the slaughter of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza. We condemn violence against civilians by all sides.

    Written on Wednesday, 06 August 2014 00:43 Read more...
  • Progressive Democrats of America Emergency Statement calling for a ceasefire in Gaza
    Progressive Democrats of America Emergency Statement calling for a ceasefire in Gaza

    Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) strongly endorses the statement of our Advisory Board Member Congresswoman Barbara Lee  who expressed grave concerns about the "violence and loss of life in Israel and Gaza." We agree with Rep. Lee that, "this horrific violence does nothing to enhance the security of Israelis or Palestinians," and we join her calling for a diplomatic solution to ensure lasting security." Rep. Lee once again is the voice of reason saying, "We need strong diplomatic intervention by the US and regional partners to help establish an immediate ceasefire that allows for the negotiations of a permanent and peaceful settlement."

    Furthermore, we endorse our Advisory Board Member Congressman Keith Ellison's demand that Israel and Egypt end the Gaza blockade to achieve peace. 

    Written on Saturday, 02 August 2014 14:47 Read more...
  • End the Gaza Blockade to Achieve Peace
    End the Gaza Blockade to Achieve Peace It seems as though each day brings new horrors and heartbreaks in the Holy Land. More than 1,000 dead. Gazan children blown up on the beach. A U.N. shelter hit. Two-thirds of Israelis living in fear from indiscriminate rocket fire launched by Hamas.
    Written on Friday, 01 August 2014 13:42 Read more...
  • A Ceasefire and Lasting Peace: Why Israel and Hamas Must Agree to an Immediate Ceasefire, and Israelis and Palestinians Must Sign and Successfully Implement A Final Status “Land For Peace” Agreement Now
    A Ceasefire and Lasting Peace: Why Israel and Hamas Must Agree to an Immediate Ceasefire, and Israelis and Palestinians Must Sign and Successfully Implement A Final Status “Land For Peace” Agreement Now

    PDAers have, with the rest of the world, reacted with outrage and heartbreak to the violence in Israel and Gaza.  Board members like Medea Benjamin have worked for decades to bring attention to that area of the world, to its crying need for peace with justice. PDA was founded during the 2004 Democratic Convention in opposition to the Iraq War, which was being silenced by “official” party leaders. Our Inside/Outside strategy brought street heat to the suites, opening up our political process to the nonviolent call of Dr. Martin Luther King: turn from perpetual war to meeting human need. Nonviolence grounds all our policy advocacy: Healthcare Not Warfare; Windmills Not Weapons.

    Written on Saturday, 26 July 2014 13:06 Read more...
  • Congresswoman Lee Praises Passage of Bipartisan Resolution to Stop Endless War in Iraq
    Washington DC – Today, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan McGovern-Jones-Lee resolution which requires the President to seek Congressional authorization before deploying armed services engaged in combat operations in Iraq.
    Written on Saturday, 26 July 2014 00:02 Read more...
  • SALAAM and SHALOM: Joint Statement on Israel/Gaza
    SALAAM and SHALOM: Joint Statement on Israel/Gaza The current military operations in Israel and the Gaza strip should disturb all people of faith. The only moral path to a solution between Israelis and Palestinians (Israeli Jewish/Muslim/Christian and Palestinian Muslim/Christian) will be dialogue and negotiation.
    Written on Friday, 25 July 2014 22:36 Read more...
  • Congresswoman Lee Praises Passage of Bipartisan Resolution to Stop Endless War in Iraq
    Congresswoman Lee Praises Passage of Bipartisan Resolution to Stop Endless War in Iraq

    Washington DC – Today, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan McGovern-Jones-Lee resolution which requires the President to seek Congressional authorization before deploying armed services engaged in combat operations in Iraq.

    Written on Friday, 25 July 2014 20:06 Read more...
  • Against Intervention in Iraq
    Against Intervention in Iraq

    The stunning military advance into cities in northern and central Iraq by an Al Qaeda offshoot, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria—backed by some of Iraq's Sunni tribal paramilitary forces and a militia tied to remnants of the deposed Baath party—compounds Iraq's long-running tragedy. 

    Written on Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:10 Read more...
  • Israel: Stop the Invasion of Gaza, Stop the Bombing of Gaza, Free the Palestinian Prisoners
    Israel: Stop the Invasion of Gaza, Stop the Bombing of Gaza, Free the Palestinian Prisoners

    According to Ha'aretz correspondent Amira Hass, the [Israeli Defense Force] ] IDF has been conducting mass arrests in the West Bank, between 10 and 30 every day. Twenty-four of the arrested are members of the Palestinian parliament from Hamas' Change and Reform party. The number of those arrested since the kidnapping and murder of the Israeli teens has already exceeded 1,000. The Palestinians are convinced that most of those detained have nothing to do with the kidnapping and that these are mainly political arrests for purposes of intimidation and revenge.

    Written on Sunday, 20 July 2014 20:43 Read more...
  • PDA Advisory Board Members Urge Cease-Fire Between Israel and Palestine
    PDA Advisory Board Members Urge Cease-Fire Between Israel and Palestine

    PDA Advisory Board members Reps. John Conyers, Keith Ellison, and Barbara Lee joined 3 congressional colleagues--Reps. Jim Moran, Hank Johnson, and Alan Lowenthal--calling upon President Obama and Secretary Kerry to "redouble" their efforts to urge Israeli and Palestinian leaders to reach a cease-fire agreement. The full text of their letter is below, and a signed PDF can be found here.

    Written on Friday, 18 July 2014 22:35 Read more...
  • Bipartisan Letter Calls for Congressional Authorization before Any Military Action in Iraq
    Bipartisan Letter Calls for Congressional Authorization before Any Military Action in Iraq

    80 Members of Congress Write to the President on Iraq

    Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA13), Congressman Scott Rigell (R-VA02) and seventy other Members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to seek Congressional approval before taking any military action in Iraq.

    Written on Friday, 04 July 2014 00:10 Read more...
  • Immediate Action Needed! Stop Iraq Escalation!
    Immediate Action Needed! Stop Iraq Escalation!


    Please act now! We need your Congress member's signature on the Lee-Rigell Letter opposing a military attack on Iraq. Consult the list (see below). If your member of Congress is not there, call the Congressional switchboard ASAP (before Close of Business July, 2nd) and ask them to sign on to the Lee-Rigell Letter. Republicans may be willing to sign on, so it's worth trying them as well. The Switchboard number is 202-224-3121. Tell them to contact Rep. Barbara Lee's staffer Monica Pham at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

    Written on Tuesday, 01 July 2014 22:19 Read more...
  • The President Has No Mandate to Bomb Iraq or Syria
    The President Has No Mandate to Bomb Iraq or Syria

    At this writing, President Obama has neither the legal nor the political mandate to conduct airstrikes in Iraq or Syria.

    On Thursday night, 182 Members of the House voted yes on Representative Barbara Lee's amendment defunding the use of the 2002 Iraq Authorization for the Use Military Force. 

    Written on Friday, 20 June 2014 18:00 Read more...
  • BREAKING: House To Push Back Against Military Action in Iraq
    BREAKING: House To Push Back Against Military Action in Iraq

    Members of Congress want to send a clear message to Obama: They won’t stand for another war.

    After a recent string of insurgent attacks from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the northern part of Iraq, President Obama told Congress on Monday night that he will order 275 troops to the country to protect American personnel and the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. 

    Written on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 18:49 Read more...
  • Voices from Iraq: 'We have lived enough years of revenge and tyranny'
    Voices from Iraq: 'We have lived enough years of revenge and tyranny'

    Residents of Mosul and Samarra, and a spokesman for a militant group, speak about their experience of the latest conflict

    Written on Monday, 16 June 2014 11:08 Read more...
  • Returning to a Peacetime Military Budget.
    Returning to a Peacetime Military Budget.

    Why is Congress trying to allocate $601 billion to the military?

     

    Next week, Congress will begin debate on a roughly$601 billion Pentagon budget for FY2015.  Before we let this pass unchallenged, let's take a few minutes to put it in some historical perspective.


    Written on Tuesday, 13 May 2014 22:15 Read more...
  • 93 Countries Who Have Changed Their Minds About Obama
    93 Countries Who Have Changed Their Minds About Obama

    During the Bush years, people all over the world were horrified by America's aggression, human rights abuses and militarism. By 2008, only one in three people around the world approved of the job performance of U.S. leaders. The election of President Obama broadcast his message of hope and change far beyond U.S. shores, and Gallup's 2009 U.S.-Global Leadership Project (USGLP) recorded a sharp rise in global public approval of U.S. leadership to 49 percent.

    Written on Thursday, 01 May 2014 12:44 Read more...
  • America's Coup Machine: Destroying Democracy Since 1953
    America's Coup Machine: Destroying Democracy Since 1953

    U.S. efforts to overthrow foreign governments leave the world less peaceful, less just and less hopeful.

    Soon after the 2004 U.S. coup to depose President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti, I heard Aristide's lawyer Ira Kurzban speaking in Miami.  He began his talk with a riddle: "Why has there never been a coup in Washington D.C.?"  The answer: "Because there is no U.S. Embassy in Washington D.C."  This introduction was greeted with wild applause by a mostly Haitian-American audience who understood it only too well.

    Written on Thursday, 10 April 2014 19:30 Read more...
  • The Pentagon's Phony Budget War
    The Pentagon's Phony Budget War

    Or How the U.S. Military Avoided Budget Cuts, Lied About Doing So, Then Asked for Billions More

    Washington is pushing the panic button, claiming austerity is hollowing out our armed forces and our national security is at risk. That was the message Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered last week when he announced that the Army would shrink to levels not seen since before World War II.

    Written on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 18:57 Read more...
  • The Pentagon's Phony Budget War
    The Pentagon's Phony Budget War

    Washington is pushing the panic button, claiming austerity is hollowing out our armed forces and our national security is at risk. That was the message Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered last week when he announced that the Army would shrink to levels not seen since before World War II. Headlines about this crisis followed in papers like the New York Timesand members of Congress issued statements swearing that they would never allow our security to be held hostage to the budget-cutting process.

    Written on Friday, 07 March 2014 00:44 Read more...
  • 35 Countries Where the U.S. Has Supported Fascists, Drug Lords and Terrorists
    35 Countries Where the U.S. Has Supported Fascists, Drug Lords and Terrorists

    The U.S. is backing Ukraine's extreme right-wing Svoboda party and violent neo-Nazis whose armed uprising paved the way for a Western-backed coup. Events in the Ukraine are giving us another glimpse through the looking-glass of U.S. propaganda wars against fascism, drugs and terrorism. The ugly reality behind the mirror is that the U.S. government has a long and unbroken record of working with fascists, dictators, druglords and state sponsors of terrorism in every region of the world in its elusive but relentless quest for unchallenged global power.  

    Written on Friday, 07 March 2014 00:20 Read more...
  • We Need To End the Disastrous Failure Of The War On Terror
    We Need To End the Disastrous Failure Of The War On Terror

    America's military adventures have fueled a global explosion of terrorism and a historic breakdown of law and order.

    Twelve years into America's "war on terror," it is time to admit that it has failed catastrophically, unleashing violence, war and instability in an "arc of terror" stretching from West Africa to the Himalayas and beyond. 

    Written on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 01:28 Read more...
  • Iran Breakthrough a Triumph for Pragmatists and a Defeat for the Warmongers
    Iran Breakthrough a Triumph for Pragmatists and a Defeat for the Warmongers

    The implementation of the Iran accord Monday signaled a modest but still important sea change in that country’s relationship with the world. As with all good diplomacy, the deal is a win-win for Iran and the United Nations Security Council’s permanent members.

    Written on Thursday, 23 January 2014 15:29 Read more...
  • Syria Peace Talks: Bitter Exchanges Mark First Day Of Negotiations
     Syria Peace Talks: Bitter Exchanges Mark First Day Of Negotiations

    MONTREUX, Switzerland (AP) — The United Nations is taking a day to see if there is enough common ground between Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and the opposition to talk directly for the first time since the rebellion began in 2011.

    Written on Thursday, 23 January 2014 15:23 Read more...
  • No Seat For Syrian Women at the Peace Talks
    No Seat For Syrian Women at the Peace Talks

    The talks in Syria began today, with the Syrian government and opposition exchanging accusations and invectives. Missing was the voice of nonviolent civilians, especially women, even through they have been trying for months to have a seat at the table.

    Written on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 17:16 Read more...
  • Drones Will Be Tested in 10 US States - Is Yours One?
    Drones Will Be Tested in 10 US States - Is Yours One?

    At least ten states will be sites for testing drones — unmanned aircraft — in the next couple of years, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) announced on Monday. Six institutions have been authorized to operate test locations for the use of drones and for studying how they will interact with air traffic systems.

    Written on Sunday, 05 January 2014 20:49 Read more...
  • Demilitarizing the Economy: A Movement is Underway
    Demilitarizing the Economy: A Movement is Underway

    As we end the longest period of war in our history, we should be entering a period of postwar downsizing - but what about the communities dependent on the massive post-9/11 military budget?

    End wars. Shrink the Pentagon budget. Reinvest the savings in neglected domestic priorities. It’s a logical progression. Right?

    Written on Friday, 20 December 2013 00:00 Read more...
  • Congresswoman Lee on Nelson Mandela’s Passing
    Congresswoman Lee on Nelson Mandela’s Passing

    Washington, D.C.— Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) issued the following statement on the passing of former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela:

    Written on Friday, 06 December 2013 17:29 Read more...
  • Anti-Drone Movement Speaks: 'End the Secrecy, No to Kill List'
    Anti-Drone Movement Speaks: 'End the Secrecy, No to Kill List' Activists from across the globe kicked off the largest-ever anti-drone summit Friday with a boisterous White House rally then march to the headquarters of one of the most notorious weapons manufacturers in the world.
    Written on Saturday, 16 November 2013 01:11 Read more...
  • US built 'powerful organs of state terrorism' in Iraq
    US built 'powerful organs of state terrorism' in Iraq

    Iraq is still suffering from the US invasion because the apparatus of state oppression and terror is still in place, killing people every day. But few in the US seem to realize the scale of the war crimes committed in Iraq, an expert author told RT.

    Written on Saturday, 09 November 2013 19:49 Read more...
  • The Tragic History of U.S. Military Supremacy
    The Tragic History of U.S. Military Supremacy

    Having the most expensive and destructive military does not make the American people safer. The idea of U.S. "national security" seems inextricably entangled with the notion of "military supremacy."

    Written on Friday, 25 October 2013 02:20 Read more...
  • Reading Obama’s Iran Speech
    Reading Obama’s Iran Speech

    All of a sudden we’re talking to Iran. Now, granted, that shouldn’t be such an astonishing bombshell. But given the reality of the last several decades, it pretty much is. And that’s all good. It’s been too long coming, it’s still too hesitant, there’s still too much hinting about military force behind it… but we’re talking. Foreign minister to foreign minister, Kerry to Zarif, it’s all a good sign.

    Written on Thursday, 26 September 2013 01:36 Read more...
  • Beating Swords Into Solar Panels
    Beating Swords Into Solar Panels

    A trillion dollars.  It's a lot of money.  In a year it could send 127 million college students to school, provide health insurance for 206 million people, or pay the salaries of seven million schoolteachers and seven million police officers.

    Written on Thursday, 19 September 2013 23:17 Read more...

Sign the ERA Petition

ERADemandButton

On Friday, September 12th more than 150 activists will go to DC and Demand that their Senators and Representatives support removing the ratification deadline from the ERA (SJ Res 15 and HJ Res 113)

Button-SignERAPetition

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions

MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Public Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority

MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab

 

Find Your Elected Officials for Issues

Enter your zip+4 and find your elected officials. This link provides name, address and phone number

ButtonFindElectedOfficials

 

Email Your Senators and Representatives - Ask Them to Support Peace Legislation

There is no faster way to send a message to your Congress members than using our Email Advocacy Tool.

  1. Enter your Zip +4
  2. Use our letter or feel free to edit and create your own
  3. Choose an Advocacy Alert and have your letter sent directly to your Congress Member


Advocacy Alerts

Bennis: There is No Military Solution to Syria

Miriam Pemberton - Progressive Central

Building the Peace and Justice Movement

Miriam Pemberton - Swords into Ploughshares