A Citizens' Proposal for Peace in Afghanistan
by SMPA chair Paul Surovell
[August 2010] The following steps are proposed to improve the prospects for peace in Afghanistan and to enable our troops to come home as soon as possible.
President Obama should issue a plan to carry out a timetable for the safe, orderly and expeditious redeployment of all US armed forces from Afghanistan along the lines of our withdrawal timetable from Iraq.
The following steps should be considered to improve prospects for improved security, development and human rights, as we redeploy our troops from Afghanistan:
The US should rebrand its mission in Afghanistan to carrying out the United Nations mandates which call for military and civilian assistance to help the Afghan people improve their security, rebuild their country and protect human rights, especially for women. The current emphasis on our mission as "defeating" Al Qaeda suggests a military victory, which virtually everyone, including General Petraeus, agrees is impossible.
3. Avoid Civilian Casualties and Minimize Military Casualties
The US should strengthen its policy of avoiding civilian casualties by stopping drone attacks which Colonel David Kilcullen says victimize innocents and are counterproductive and which the ACLU says are violations of US Constitution and international law. We should also prioritize military actions to minimize our military casualties as well as civilian casualties. Securing urban areas instead of attacking Taliban strongholds, is a priority suggested by Gilles Dorronsoro of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The US should press Pakistan harder to eliminate the assistance, flow of arms and safe haven the Taliban receives from Pakistan. We should use all diplomatic, political and financial levers to accomplish this and we should offer our assistance.
The US should support Afghan Government efforts to negotiate with the Taliban on reconciliation and reintegration, but this should be conditioned on respect for basic human rights, especially for women, as recommended by Human Rights Watch in its July 2010 report on Afghanistan. Negotiations with the Taliban on power-sharing, as proposed by Gilles Dorronsoro, also protecting human rights, especially for women, should also be considered.
For additional background information on the War in Afghanistan, click the following links:
- Rally Ricalton Square Maplewood Sept 10 6:30 pm
- MoveOn Posters for Diplomacy Not War / No War with Iran
- Photo and Map of One Gateway Center
- MoveOn Rally 8-26 Information
- Critique of Sen Schumer's Statement Against Iran Deal
- Exchange with Senator Menendez on Iran Nuclear Negotiations
- Photos of Vigil against War on Syria, Sept 9, 2013
- News-Record Article on Rallies Against Syrian Bombing
- Poster Jpeg
- J Street Meeting at Library May 1, 2013
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