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AFT Resolutions

AGAINST THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN

WHEREAS, while the war in Afghanistan was begun in response to the murderous terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, it has been pursued for nine years with an unsuccessful military strategy of counterinsurgency that has failed to produce political stability, accomplished far too little for economic reconstruction of the country and led to the revival of the Taliban; and

WHEREAS, after nine years of war, the threat of terrorism from Al-Qaeda has not been eliminated, although it is diminished, as Al-Qaeda has almost completely left Afghanistan and yet continues to operate from Pakistan, the Arabian Peninsula and elsewhere; and

WHEREAS, the purely military pursuit of counterterrorism can create many more terrorists than it kills; and

WHEREAS, the war in Afghanistan has drawn the U.S. into a long-term engagement with the corrupt government of Hamid Karzai, which—according to credible international observers—stole the last national election; and

WHEREAS, the rights of women, of ethnic minorities, and of labor continue to be under assault in Afghanistan, from inside the Karzai government as well as from the Taliban; and

WHEREAS, U.S. standing in the world will benefit from the exercise of more wisdom rather than more raw power; and

WHEREAS, military spending creates many fewer jobs than the same amount spent on infrastructure and other domestic needs (Robert Pollin and Heidi Garrett-Peltier, "The Wages of Peace," The Nation, Mar. 31, 2008); and

WHEREAS, the $100 billion to be spent in Afghanistan this year, and the hundreds of billions of dollars required in coming years for counterinsurgency there, are desperately needed for urgent domestic social purposes, not least education, healthcare for all, housing relief in the foreclosure crisis, full veterans benefits, and the creation of millions of jobs:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers oppose any further escalation of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan and call for an end to our current open-ended military involvement in Afghanistan with a specific timetable for the rapid, orderly withdrawal of all armed forces and military contractors from Afghanistan, to begin immediately; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT call for emphasis on diplomatic measures to enlist the broadest coalition of nations and organizations in the isolation, capture and bringing to justice of those who engage in terrorist actions against the United States and other nations and the defeat of terrorist conspiracies and networks through appropriate lawful police, intelligence, and financial means with the limited, careful and precise use of armed force; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT call for the reallocation of the funds that would otherwise be directed to the war in Afghanistan for job creation, education, healthcare and other urgently needed social programs for working people in this country and to the expenditures for infrastructure and social development for the Afghani people to facilitate not only peace but peace with justice; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT continue to call for full support for returning troops, including but not limited to adequate healthcare (both mental and physical health), job training, placement in jobs paying a living wage and access to education and student financial aid; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT undertake an educational campaign on these issues among its membership and seek to involve the members in the political tasks necessary to implement this resolution in public policy; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT leadership communicate this resolution to members of Congress and the Obama administration and our affiliates, with a request that they act accordingly.


(2010)