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U.S. Representative Barbara Lee Denounces Troop Escalation in Afghanistan


January 8, 2011 | bpfna

by Johnny Almond
January 7, 2011

(BPFNA) — U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) has issued a statement denouncing the escalation of U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan.

Rep. Lee, who was the only member of the U.S. Congress to vote against the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force in Afghanistan, said she will reintroduce legislation to limit U.S. funding in Afghanistan to "the safe and orderly withdrawal of U.S. troops and military contractors". (The full text of her statement is below.)

BPFNA's Bill Moore Lifetime in Peacemaking Award was awarded to Rep. Lee in July 2006. In presenting her with the award, Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, described Lee as a "tough-minded and tender-hearted patriot, who knows that patriotism is sometimes standing up to your country."

In her acceptance address, Rep. Lee discussed a new effort in Congress to create a cabinet-level Department of Peace. She said that the country, by sponsoring legislation that would create this department, would be doing the best for "the least of these," referring to Jesus' admonition to provide for the basic needs of all people.

Rep. Lee is a member of Allen Temple Baptist Church, a BPFNA Partner Congregation in Oakland, Ca.

-Johnny Almond is BPFNA's Communications & Technology Manager.

More Troops Not the Answer in Afghanistan
a statement from U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)

In response to reports that an additional 1,400 U.S. troops will be deployed to Afghanistan in the coming weeks, I must state that I categorically oppose a further escalation of the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan.

In 2001, I placed the lone vote against the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force in Afghanistan because I believed that it might pave the way to open-ended war.

Unfortunately, each week brings additional news that my worst fears have been realized.

This action will further entrench the United States Armed Forces in Afghanistan on the false premise of a military-first strategy that has consistently proven itself ineffective and counterproductive.

This latest troop deployment is yet another example of more predictable and misguided recommendations that the situation in Afghanistan demands more time, more lives, and more resources.

Just six months away from the President's pledged start of withdrawal from Afghanistan in July 2011, sending more of our brave men and women in uniform into an impossible situation in Afghanistan is not the answer.

As we enter the 112th Congress, we must make it a top priority to end this war.

That is why I will be reintroducing my legislation to limit funding in Afghanistan to the safe and orderly withdrawal of U.S. troops and military contractors and will further work with my colleagues to hold the President accountable for a significant July reduction in U.S. military presence.

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