Unchecked Pentagon Spending Threatens Our National Security

Statement from United for Peace and Justice on the FY2013 Pentagon House Appropriations

House of Representatives Should Vote:

“YES” for Jobs Program, Federal Aid to States and Vital Social Services!

“NO” on current proposed FY 2013 Pentagon Budget!

Congress is poised once again to sacrifice domestic security in the service of unnecessary wars and the profits of defense contractors. The FY 2013 Defense Appropriations bill, which includes $519 billion for the Pentagon’s base budget and$88.5 billion for the war in Afghanistan is expected to reach the House floor this week. This represents 57% of all federal appropriations for the coming year. Click here for a more detailed account.

Under the Budget Control Act passed last August, if military funding is approved at this level it will mean significant cuts to vitally needed social programs, including nutrition, education, housing, job training and health care for the poor.

Since 2001, the Pentagon budget, including the wars, has grown almost three times as fast as appropriations for domestic programs.* These choices have cut or reduced the “safety net” for millions of Americans, weakened our domestic institutions, sacrificed the lives and well-being of our own soldiers, and brought immense suffering to people in other nations. New funding caps have squeezed domestic priorities even more. For example, adult job training, children’s mental health, substance abuse treatment, home heating assistance for the poor, community development funds and grants for adult education have all been cut from 2010 to 2012.

* (This calculation is adjusted for inflation and does not include the billions of dollars for veterans benefits, nuclear weapons, military construction and other military purposes that are budgeted in other appropriations bills.)

The proposed FY 2013 Defense Appropriations bill is harmful to our “national security” in multiple ways. Unfortunately too many members of Congress keep voting in favor of these unpopular measures, assuming that constituents are not paying attention.

Major reasons to deny passage of the bill:

  • It insures that the costly and ineffective military approach to the threat of “terrorism” will be perpetuated -that Americans and Afghans will continue to die in the service of a failed military policy.
  • It continues the use of “drones,” Special Operations and the illegal policy of assassination, which is killing civilians and making new enemies around the world.
  • It deprives our states and cities of the funds they need to insure that all of their residents have access to adequate food, shelter, education and health care.
  • It comes at the expense of investing in our future and funding infrastructure and public programs that are the most effective form of job creation.

House members will be voting on the FY2013 Pentagon Appropriations bill this week. They need to hear from constituents, urging them to:

1. Vote for amendments that eliminate funding for continued fighting in Afghanistan, for the use of drones, and for expensive  and unnecessary weapons systems.

2. Vote against the FY 2013 Pentagon Appropriations bill, unless it includes the amendments suggested above and substantially lower funding levels.

We insist on sufficient funding to meet urgent domestic needs – for jobs, education, health, nutrition and human services. At a time of severe recession, we cannot afford to squander another $608 billion for military purposes.

Speak Out Today!!

  • Call your Member of Congress. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121.
  • Send an email.
  • Bring a delegation of constituents to their local office, with a written statement.
  • Write a letter to the editor, alerting others in your district of the upcoming vote and your Rep’s position.

(Find contact information for your Rep and Staff here. And please share any feedback  rustiandgael@unitedforpeace.org!

As always, we ask that you please disseminate this message widely and quickly to family, friends and colleagues. Click here to send a letter to your Representative and to forward this alert!

Signed,

(Institutional affiliations are for identification purposes only)

Marc Becker, Historians Against the War
Medea Benjamin, Global Exchange
Randy Block, Gray Panthers
Leah Bolger, Veteran For Peace
Shahid Buttar, DC Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency
Jacqueline Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation
Tim Carpenter, Progressive Democrats of America
Sr. Patricia J. Chappell, SNDdeN, Pax Christ USA
Christine DeTroy, Maine  Branch of Women’s Int’l League for Peace & Freedom.
Jane Swift Dugdale, Main Line Peace Action Bryn Mawr
Nancy Dwyer, Pax Christi LI
Rusti Eisenberg, United for Peace and Justice
Michael Eisenscher, U.S. Labor Against the War
Jodie Evans, CODEPINK
Shelagh Foreman, Massachusetts Peace Action
Desiree Fairooz, Virginians for Peace and Justice
Rebecca Griffin, Peace Action West
Jean Haskell, Grannie Peace Brigade
Robin Harper, Peace and Social Action Committee of Providence Friends Quaker Meeting
Tom Hayden, Center for Participatory Democracy
Mary Hladky, Military Families Speak Out
Sally Jones, Peace Action Fund NYS
Mark C. Johnson, Fellowship of Reconciliation
Barbara Larcom, Alliance for Global Justice
Ray McGovern, Retired Senior CIA Analyst
Kevin Martin, Peace Action
Duncan McFarland, United for Justice with Peace (Boston)
Michael McPhearson, United for Peace and Justice
Margaret Melkonian, Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives
Stephen Miles, Win Without War
Gael Murphy, United for Peace and Justice
Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy
Jim O’Brien, Historians Against the War
Dr. Charlotte Phillips, Brooklyn for Peace
Mike Prokosch, Mass. Coalition to Fund Our Communities – Cut Military Spending 25%
Shirley Romaine, Great Neck SANE/Peace Action
Mark Roman, CODEPINK Maine
Lisa Savage, CODEPINK Maine
Alice Slater
Jean Stokan, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Justice Team
David Swanson, War is a Crime
Sue Udry, Defending Dissent Foundation

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