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March 11, 2009

March 11th, 2009

Dear [[supporter.First_Name]],

A growing number of Members of Congress are questioning troop escalation in Afghanistan. It's important that we support them!
Please contact your Representative and ask him/her to sign on to the Congressional Letter to Obama, that asks Obama to reconsider the escalation of 17,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Here's how you do it:

  • Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121 and ask to speak with your Member of Congress. If you don't know who your member of Congress is you can find out at this link: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/directory/congdir.tt
  • Identify yourself as a constituent and ask that your Representative sign on to the Congressional Letter to the President that asks Obama to reconsider the escalation of 17,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. (The text of the letter and current list of signatories is below. Please feel free forward this email to your Member of Congress if their office requests more information.)
  • Let them know that the deadline for signatures is Friday, March 13th! Any Member of Congress may sign on to the letter by contacting Rep. Walter Jones or his staffer, John Thomas, at (202) 225-3415.
  • Please let us know what responses you get! You can email info@codepinkalert.org to give us a report back!
The only recognizable feature of hope is action,
the CODEPINK team
and American Conservative Defense Alliance, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Foreign Policy In Focus, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), Tom Hayden, Institute for Policy Studies, Just Foreign Policy, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, Pax Christi USA: National Catholic Peace Movement, Peace Action, September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, United for Peace and Justice, U.S. Labor Against the War, Voters for Peace, Win Without War, Women's Action for New Directions

Text of letter:

Dear Mr. President:

We have noted with some concern your announcement that an additional 17,000 US troops would be sent to Afghanistan. As the goals of our seven year military involvement remain troublingly unclear, we urge you to reconsider such a military escalation.

If the intent is to leave behind a stable Afghanistan capable of governing itself, this military escalation may well be counterproductive. A recent study by the Carnegie Endowment has concluded that "the only meaningful way to halt the insurgency's momentum is to start withdrawing troops. The presence of foreign troops is the most important element d riving the resurgence of the Taliban."

The 2001 authorization to use military force in Afghanistan allowed military action "to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States." Continuing to fight a counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan does not appear to us to be in keeping with these directives and an escalation may actually harm US security.

In a tape released in 2004, Osama bin Laden stated that al Qaedas' goal was to "bleed.. .America to the point of bankruptcy" in Afghanistan. He continued, "All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note. . . ." We would do well to pay attention to these threats and to avoid falling into any such trap through escalation of our military presence in

We are also concerned that any perceived military success in Afghanistan might create pressure to increase military activity in Pakistan. This could very well lead to dangerous destabilization in the region and would increase hostility toward the United States.

Mr. President, in reviewing the past history of Afghanistan and the nations that have failed to conquer it -- Russia spent nine years in Afghanistan and lost many billions of dollars and more than 15,000 Russian soldiers-- we urge you to reconsider the decision to send an additional 17,000 troops and to resist pressure to escalate even further.

Representative Neil Abercrombie (D-HI 1st)
Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD-6th)
Representative Walter Jones, Jr. (R-NC 3rd)
Representative Steve Kagen (D-WI-8th)
Representative Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH 10th)
Representative Ron E. Paul (R-TX 14th)
Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY-1st)
Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-CA 6th)

Call Your Representative
(202) 225-3121 to encourage them to question the troop escalation in Afghanistan!

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