Diplomacy with North Korea, Please!

 

It’s time to try diplomacy with North Korea  without preconditions. Successful diplomacy is about open-minded dialogue, not making demands. Offering to come to the negotiating table does not validate North Korea’s nuclear program or condone its behavior, but it does open the possibility that we can put a pause on North Korea’s nuclear weapons development, and perhaps down the road, work towards denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.  Click here to take action today and urge your members of Congress to join our call for direct diplomacy with North Korea, and against further threats of war.

U.S. Military Spending--Out of Sight

 

The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were initially estimated to cost $200 billion – they will cost us $4-8 trillion through 2054. These wars, new weapons systems and nuclear weapons modernization will bankrupt a generation of Americans if we do not audit the Pentagon, close the Overseas Contingency Operations budget, and otherwise restrict military spending. We need to Move the Money from military spending to funding human need. 

We've updated our slide show on U.S. military spending.  You can view it here--feel free to download it and share it with friends!

Another Surge in Afghanistan: The Endless War

 

Our longest wars are not over. The war in Afghanistan is now 16 years old, and the war in Iraq is entering its 14th year. In Congress and in the press, exit plans for these wars are no longer demanded, even as new troops are deployed.

370,000 people have died due to direct war violence, not including indirect deaths from malnutrition, damaged health systems, and other impacts of war. 210,000 of these deaths have been civilians, and most experts acknowledge that number is underestimated. Over 6,800 U.S. troops have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and over 970,000 disability claims have been registered with the VA as a result of these wars. In addition, over 6,900 U.S. contractors have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The U.S. federal price tag for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars – including an estimate for veterans’ future medical and disability costs – is about $4.4 trillion. This does not include future interest costs on borrowing for the wars. The Brown University Costs of War project estimates that the total costs of these wars – with interest payments – will be $8 trillion, and that U.S. taxpayers will be paying for these wars until 2054. If we continue our ongoing military campaigns, these costs will grow.

 

Donald Trump with the Nuclear Launch Codes

 

It’s crazy enough that U.S. nuclear weapons launch protocol requires the order to start a civilization-ending nuclear war from only one person, the President.

It’s absolutely insane when that one person is now Donald Trump…

The good news is, there’s something you can do about it.

Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA-33) have introduced bills that would check this unrestrained authority of the President to launch a nuclear weapon. The Restricting Use of Nuclear Weapons Act (S. 200 / H.R. 669) would prohibit the President from launching nuclear weapons without a Congressional declaration of war or in response to a nuclear attack.

This change to the nuclear launch protocol is decades overdue, but it has never been more important than now. We need to build support for a no first-use policy in Congress, and you can make that happen. Take a quick moment now to contact your members of Congress and ask them to support the Lieu and Markey bills to add a Congressional check on launching nuclear weapons.

 

 Diplomacy with Iran -- Or Another Catastrophic War

 

Since its successful implementation in January 2016, the Iran agreement has been working exactly as intended. Unfortunately, the Trump administration’s dangerous rhetoric paired with renewed efforts in Congress to sanction Iran for non-nuclear reasons threaten to unravel the agreement and put us back on a path to war. Some members of Congress and the administration even openly call for regime change in Iran. Our job now is to protect the Iran nuclear agreement from Congress and the administration, pushback against dangerous threats of military force and calls for war, and advocate for further diplomacy with Iran to address non-nuclear concerns.