In a letter led by Win Without War and the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), 30 organizations called on Congress to support three amendments to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). These three amendments are critical steps toward reining in the runaway Pentagon budget, ending the endless U.S. war in Afghanistan, and reducing the threat of nuclear disaster.
The full text of the letter is available below and here.
July 20, 2020
Dear Member of Congress:
As organizations seeking to prevent and end wars, demilitarize U.S. foreign and domestic policy, and promote racial justice, we support many of the amendments made in order as part of the rule on H.R. 6395, the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). However, only a small number of amendments are likely to receive roll-call votes. We recommend a YES on the following votes:
1. Floor 9, H. Amdt. 526 (Pocan) to reduce the overall authorization level by 10% excluding the military personnel and defense health program accounts. The COVID-19 pandemic makes clear that for too long, we have invested in the wrong priorities and tools to achieve true security for all the people of this nation. This amendment would reallocate 10 percent of the bloated Pentagon budget — without cutting funding for military personnel, defense health, or federal employees of the Pentagon — toward severely underfunded human needs.
2. Floor 5, H. Amdt. 614 (Omar) to establish a policy framework for the accelerated withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. After nearly 19 years of war, it is long past time for the United States to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan and take meaningful steps to secure a stable peace. This amendment calls for a long-term, inclusive peace process and strikes a section of the bill that would impose unduly onerous conditions on troop drawdown, essentially preventing withdrawal and prolonging endless war. A nearly identical amendment passed the House in 2013, 305-121, with overwhelming bipartisan support.
3. Floor 4, H. Amdt. 29 (McAdams) to prohibit any funding for new nuclear testing in FY21. The United States has observed a moratorium on nuclear test explosions since 1992, maintaining the safety and reliability of its existing arsenal through the Stockpile Stewardship Program. A U.S. resumption of nuclear testing would set off an unpredictable and destabilizing international chain reaction that would undermine U.S. security. Other nuclear-armed states, including China, Russia, India, Pakistan, and North Korea, would benefit far more from resuming testing than the United States.
These provisions, if adopted, would demonstrate congressional recognition that a new approach to national security is required in light of the challenges of systemic racism and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adalah Justice Project
Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)
Arms Control Association
Beyond the Bomb
Center for International Policy
Council for a Livable World
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Historians for Peace and Democracy
Institute for Policy Studies, New Internationalism Project
Just Foreign Policy
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Military Families Speak Out
Nuclear Watch New Mexico
Pax Christi USA
Physicians for Social Responsibility
The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment)
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
United for Peace and Justice
Veterans For Peace
Win Without War
Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND)
Yemeni Alliance Committee
Read the full letter here.