2009/02/11: Is your Representative on the House Armed Services Committee?

February 12, the House Armed Services Committee is convening a hearing on 'U.S. Strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan: Balancing Interests and Resources'. This is a large committee with 60 Representatives from many states around the country. United For Peace and Justice urges you to take a few minutes to help us put pressure on the House Armed Services Committee to use this hearing to raise the hard question, and put on the table the most critical issues about these two wars!

Here are the steps you need to take:

1) Click here for the full list of the members of the House Armed Services Committee.

2) Check that list to see if your Representative serves on the committee. If you find that person's name, click on that and it will take you to their website. From there, you will find the best phone number to use.

3) If your Representative is not on this committee, please contact the committee chair, Rep. Ike Skelton. His office number in Washington, D.C. is 202-225-2876. You can also call the office of the House Armed Services Committee at 202-225-4151. If you call Rep. Skelton or the committee's office, be sure to ask why they have not included anyone for tomorrow's hearing that has a clear position against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan!

Below is a list of the people who will be giving testimony during the hearing and several questions we think the members of the committee should be raising. The hearing is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning at 10:30 am, so it is important that you make your call today! And please be sure to pass this message along to others and encourage them to also make these calls.

We hope that after you make your calls you will take one more minute and make an online donation to United For Peace and Justice. We want to keep you informed about developments in Washington and the actions you can take. To do that we need your financial support. Please make a generous donation today!

Your financial support will help our tremendously. Right now, UFPJ's Afghanistan Working Group is kicking into high-gear! You can click here to take a look at the Afghanistan section of the website. We have a new fact sheet for organizing purposes, a comprehensive list of resources, and a series of discussion questions for your use.

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The witnesses who will be giving testimony at the hearing are:

    Anthony Cordesman, Ph.D
    Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy, Center for Strategic and International Studies

    Stephen Biddle, Ph.D.
    Senior Fellow for Defense Policy, Council on Foreign Relations

    The Honorable Zalmay Khalilzad
    Counselor, Center for Strategic and International Studies

    General Jack Keane (ret.)
    Former Vice Chief of Staff, United States Army

    Janet St. Laurent
    Managing Director, Defense Capabilities and Management Team, GAO

Questions we want the members of the House Armed Services Committee to ask:

1) What do you predict the total dollar costs for Iraq and Afghanistan to be to the U.S. economy? Did Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz underestimate when he calculated three trillion dollars for Iraq alone? How can you justify spending many millions of hard-earned dollars every day in Iraq and Afghanistan when the U.S. economy is suffering and so many of our people are out of work?
2) The Taliban is on the rise again. Living conditions for the average Afghan have not changed much. The U.S. military has killed at least 4,800 civilians in Afghanistan, representing 79% of the total civilian casualties in the war. Is U.S. military action in Afghanistan harming our national interests by turning the people against us? How has U.S. military action in Afghanistan increased the security of the region and the people of our country?

3) A policy of the former Bush administration allowed for drone attacks to occur in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The continued drone attacks are contributing toward anti-American animosity without accomplishing much. Wouldn't it help reduce the tension and improve the quality of life to ban drone attacks entirely?


Help us continue to do this critical work: Make a donation to UFPJ today.

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