Washington, D.C. — July 14, 2017 — In response to the passage of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director for Policy and Political Affairs at Peace Action, released the following statement:
“Today the U.S. House of Representatives voted again to continue our endless wars and for a military budget that’s almost as large as all other countries combined. Every year, Congress authorizes billions of dollars of Pentagon pork at the expense of other security needs and other taxpayer priorities. While war profiteers rejoice, voters wonder why the government cannot provide for education, job creation, healthcare and needs in their community.
“Worse, continued Pentagon largesse actually makes Americans less safe because we fail to invest in the long-term solutions to violent extremism and solving international tensions: diplomacy, poverty alleviation and humanitarian aid to name a few.
“Some of the Pentagon boondoggles include continued spending that will ultimately result in a $1.2 trillion escalation of spending on nuclear weapons and their delivery systems.
“While some representatives love to tout their support for the troops, others like Jim McGovern (D-MA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Thomas Cole (R-OK) actually work to ensure we don’t send them into battle for the wrong reasons and that we take care of them when they return. They, with much bipartisan support, have rightly called for Congress to uphold its constitutional responsibility to declare war. Yet, for political reasons, House Republican leaders refuse to debate the current U.S. military activities in a half dozen countries.
“Among the bill’s silver linings were two amendments offered by Rep. Nolan (D-MN) and Rep. Davidson (R-OH) that would effectively force the administration to stop refueling Saudi coalition warplanes that have been indiscriminately bombing civilians in Yemen, potentially accelerating an end to the disastrous war in Yemen and saving countless innocent lives.”
Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to international conflicts. The public may learn more and take action at http://www.PeaceAction.org.