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AFT Resolutions

NEW PRIORITIES TO MEET U.S. DOMESTIC NEEDS AND REDUCE MILITARY SPENDING

WHEREAS, military spending, along with the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has doubled over the last 10 years, and is now approaching $1.2 trillion, representing more than half of all discretionary federal spending; and

WHEREAS, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost U.S. taxpayers more than $100 billion per year in direct costs, with total costs calculated at $5 trillion to $6 trillion by Nobel Prize–winning economist Joseph Stiglitz; and

WHEREAS, the cost of war is driven up further by the profit-making military industrial complex; and

WHEREAS, a majority of American people now oppose continued U.S. presence in Afghanistan; and

WHEREAS, President Obama has cited almost $300 billion in cost overruns over the last five years alone; and

WHEREAS, several defense secretaries have requested that major weapons systems be dropped from production; and

WHEREAS, the United States spends approximately 50 percent of all discretionary federal tax dollars on wars and preparations for wars, and borrows money from other countries to maintain nearly 1,000 military installations in 130 different countries; and

WHEREAS, more than 12 million workers are unemployed in the United States, and 46 states have budget deficits; and

WHEREAS, military spending creates a fraction of the number of jobs that spending for education, transportation or alternative energy creates; and

WHEREAS, a major reduction in military spending could be used to address the underfunding of health, education, public safety, housing and veterans' needs; and

WHEREAS, the bipartisan Sustainable Defense Task Force has found at least $100 billion per year that can safely be cut from military spending in addition to cutting the $100 billion per year spent on the war in Afghanistan; and

WHEREAS, this reduction in military spending would not endanger the national security, the efforts to contain terrorism, or the support for U.S. troops; and

WHEREAS, the AFL-CIO executive council said in its statement on jobs and labor's agenda on August 3, 2011: "There is no way to fund what we must do as a nation without bringing our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. The militarization of our foreign policy has proven to be a costly mistake. It is time to invest at home":

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will call on President Obama and Congress to complete the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by August 2013; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will call on President Obama and Congress to take the money saved by cutting unnecessary war spending and use that money to fund education, family-sustaining job creation, special protections for military sector workers, environmental restoration, care for veterans and their families, and human services that our cities and states so desperately need; and

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

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


(2012)