FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C.–As the nation awaits President Obama’s announcement regarding the number of troops he will withdraw from Afghanistan, Pax Christi USA joined religious leaders of nearly 40 organizations in issuing an open letter asking that the U.S. war in Afghanistan be brought to an end.
“The past ten years have shown that we cannot broker peace in Afghanistan by military force,” the letter reads. “It is time to transition toward a plan that builds up civil society and provides economic alternatives for Afghans.”
The religious leaders who signed onto the letter included Marie Dennis, Co-President of Pax Christi International and the director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns; Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches; Jim Wallis of Sojourners; Dave Robinson, Executive Director of Pax Christi USA; and 35 others.
While acknowledging the complexity of the situation in Afghanistan and the many issues involved, the letter states, “We humbly believe there is a better way than war to address these important issues.”
The letter calls for “a comprehensive package of interlocking arrangements to enhance security and stability,” with a significant number of troops withdrawn beginning in July, and a timetable for further withdrawal “linked to a comprehensive security agreement, a regional multilateral diplomatic initiative, and increased public and private assistance for locally-based economic and social development programs.”