World Without War--Small Change for Peace; Supporting Diplomacy with Iran
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World Without War
Small Change for Peace; Supporting Diplomacy with Iran
"By investing in civilian diplomacy and development, we foster stability around the world to protect our national security and make conflicts less likely."
Department of State budget justification, Fiscal Year 2013
Earlier this month, President Obama submitted to Congress his proposed budget for 2013. Although research shows that preventing wars is 60 times more cost effective than fighting them, the president's budget once again pours hundreds of billions into war while providing relative small change for peace. This edition of World Without War provides our initial analysis on some key budget issues related to FCNL's foreign policy agenda. More details and actions will follow as Congress moves into its appropriations work in the months ahead.
In addition, with new legislative initiatives on Iran underway in both the House and Senate, we bring you two immediate ways you can help prevent another costly war.
As always, we welcome your feedback on our foreign policy work, and thank you for all your support.
Senior Legislative Secretary, Foreign Policy
Join Col. Wilkerson and FCNL in Lobbying to Prevent War with Iran
In the last few weeks, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, has teamed up with FCNL to lobby for diplomacy, and against war, with Iran.
Col. Wilkerson joined FCNL's Kate Gould and Hilary Johnson on lobby visits to ask members of Congress to support a letter introduced by Reps. Keith Ellison (MN) and Walter Jones (NC) calling for diplomacy with Iran and to oppose legislation in the Senate that would press the United States towards war.
Rep. Garamendi (CA), Col. Wilkerson and Kate Gould
Ask your representative to sign on to the Ellison-Jones letter before March 1st to join this clear message of support for a peaceful resolution of the conflict with Iran.
Already more than a third of the Senate has signed on to a resolution pressing the administration to abandon diplomacy and support an attack against a "nuclear weapons capable Iran". During his visits with members of Congress and their staff, Col. Wilkerson pointed out that the resolution "reads like the same sheet of music that got us into the Iraq war, and could be the precursor for a war with Iran," and called it "effectively, a thinly-disguised effort to bless war."
Obama's Budget: What's in it for War Prevention Funding?
The Obama administration released its fiscal year 2013 budget request last week. For overall State Department and USAID international affairs programs, the president's request represents a 2.4% increase over last year's levels. However, the budget includes lower levels of funding for several programs that FCNL supports to help peacefully prevent deadly conflict. In a positive development, the budget request reduces the amount of diplomacy and development funding included in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account, which funds war-related programs. Read more of our analysis on some key budget accounts related to war prevention funding.
(What About War Funding?)
While war spending is on the decline, the proportional cost of the war has not changed. Last week, 88 members of the House, including many of those influential on foreign policy issues, sent a letter to President Obama supporting an expedited end to the decade-long war in Afghanistan. As Congress sets the stage to debate the funding request and troop levels in Afghanistan over the next 18 months, U.S. policy on when military troops will leave Afghanistan remains unclear. Read more of Matt Southworth's analysis of the budget request for war funding.
Kenya: FCNL Briefs Congressional Staff
Earlier this month, Cassidy Regan, Bridget Moix, and Diane Randall briefed a group of Senate and House staff on Kenya as a case for peaceful prevention of deadly conflict. The congressional briefing was followed by a conference call with constituents around the country interested in working with us to ensure U.S. policy supports Kenyan efforts to prevent a renewal of violence in the lead-up to the country's next national elections. Read Cassidy's reflections on the week of briefings, and let us know if you'd like to join us in this work and receive regular updates on Kenya by emailing Bridget.
Afghanistan Whistleblower to Speak at FCNL's Spring Lobby Weekend
We are thrilled that participants at this year's Young Adult Spring Lobby Weekend will hear from active duty Army officer Lieutenant Colonel Daniel L. Davis, who recently risked his career by submitting a classified report to members of Congress documenting the failure of U.S. policy in Afghanistan. He says that senior leaders of the Department of Defense have intentionally and consistently misled the U.S. and Congress on the conduct and progress of the war.
It's not too late to register for Spring Lobby Weekend and learn from LTC Davis as well as a number of others with direct experience working to end the war in Afghanistan.
What We're Reading
Shaking the Kaleidoscope in Iran, Lara Friedman, Foreign Policy, 2/21/12
5 coming battles over the 2013 international affairs budget, Josh Rogin, FP Blog, 2/13/12
Top Ten Ways Iran is Defying US, EU Oil Sanctions and How You are Paying for It All, Juan Cole, Informed Comment, 2/20/12
The Kenyan Military Intervention in Somalia, International Crisis Group, 2/15/12
Peaceful Protest Can Free Palestine, Mustafa Barghouthi, New York Times, 2/21/12
Does AIPAC Want War? Lieberman’s “Capability” Red Line May Tip AIPAC’s Hand, Robert Naiman, 2/17/12