CODEPINK PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 24, 2014
Alli McCracken, CODEPINK National Coordinator, 860 575 5692, [email protected]
Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK Co-founder, 415 235 6517, [email protected]
CODEPINK Responds to Secretary Hagel’s Departure: Says this Move Should Open Debate on Obama’s Wars
Washington, DC –– The peace group CODEPINK has released the following statement regarding Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stepping down:
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was supposed to steer the Pentagon away from a decade of war, including bringing US troops home from Afghanistan and paving the way for a reduction in the Pentagon budget. Instead, the Obama administration has opted for remaining in Afghanistan, continuing the disastrous drone wars in Pakistan and Yemen, and dragging our nation into another round of military involvement in Iraq, as well as Syria. The ISIL crises has also been used as a justification for not cutting the Pentagon budget, as required by sequestration. The issue facing this nation is not who replaces Hagel, but what policy decisions we want to Pentagon to implement.
Troops out of Afghanistan: President Obama’s recent executive decision to keep the troops there to confront the Taliban is taking us down the wrong path.
No US military intervention in Iraq/Syria: US intervention, including over 6600 bombings to date, has already become a recruiting tool for ISIS and has strengthened Syrian resident Assad. And with over 3,000 US troops in Iraq in dangerous missions, President Obama’s promise of “no troops on the ground” is indeed hollow.
Stop the drone wars: President Obama’s reliance on drone warfare in Pakistan and Yemen has turned large portions of the populations against the United States.
Cut and audit Pentagon spending: With other issues clamoring for attention and funds -- from healthcare and schools to infrastructure and green energy-- we need to stop the massively bloated Pentagon budget.
“The talk about resetting President Obama’s security team is misplaced; we should be focusing instead on resetting his bellicose policies. Secretary Chuck Hagel’s resignation should be a time for the nation to step back and reexamine its violent approach to extremism, which has led to an expansion of terrorist groups, and inflated military spending,” said CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin. “Let’s put more emphasis on the State Department and political solutions instead of continuing failed wars and starting new ones. We owe it to the youth of our nation who have never lived without war.”
Activists are available for interviews.