"The only things more expensive than the money spent in Iraq and Afghanistan are the thousands of innocent lives lost fighting these wars." –Barbara Lee
Imagine the trillions lost to the current wars instead being strategically invested in non-violent solutions like conflict negotiation, diplomacy and/or weapons reduction. As the world's superpower, we have a responsibility to promote peace above all else. This requires leading by example in encouraging global peace, proactively mitigating serious threats and stabilizing conditions that produce conflict.
The Obama administration's diplomacy has already earned the United States a higher level of respect by other nations, but we must continue to be vigilant in promoting peaceful relations with the rest of the world. We must continue these diplomatic efforts to encourage peace abroad and safety at home. The cries for democracy heard throughout the "Arab Spring" of 2011 remind us that there are millions in our own country, the 99 percent, who want to reignite the American dream for equality and justice.
Cut Off War Funding
With the total cost of the 'War on Terror' estimated to pass the 1 trillion mark in 2012, we must stop and ask ourselves if this out-of-control spending accurately reflects our values. We spend more on our military activities than every other nation in the world, combined. Instead of redeploying troops, we need to redeploy where our money goes. With such urgent needs at home, Congress should use its power to reign in military spending and use that for building ladders of opportunity here at home.
Congresswoman Lee Leads on Global Peace
As a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, Congresswoman Lee is an outspoken leader for human rights and democracy everywhere. She authored legislation to disavow the previous Bush administration's doctrine of preemption, and when Congress was debating authorizing the use of force against Iraq, she introduced a substitute measure to require the US to work through the United Nations and exhaust all peaceful diplomatic means to ensure that Iraq was not developing weapons of mass destruction. She opposes wasteful spending and has worked to cut funds for the destabilizing missile defense system and to increase funding for programs to protect our nation's ports and to keep nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists.