Mourning the Latest Losses in America’s Endless Wars
Win Without War
(August 26, 2021) — We join the world in mourning the devastating loss of life caused by the attacks in Kabul today.
While details are still emerging, the loss of life among US military personnel as well as Afghan civilians is devastating. Our thoughts are with all of those affected and the numerous families in the United States, Afghanistan, and elsewhere grappling with this loss, a heavy burden on top of decades of suffering from the war in Afghanistan.
These events also highlight the ongoing risks to US military personnel. The last two decades of the war in Afghanistan have already taken more than 2,400 US military lives, and seen more than 20,000 others wounded, numbers that sadly increased today. We mourn all of their losses and continue to fully support the President’s decision to ultimately bring US personnel home.
The last few weeks have illustrated that this war never should have happened — that it was always unwinnable, something US military leadership has privately admitted for nearly a decade. Our service-members deserve much more than to die in an unwinnable, failed US war.
Today, we mourn not just the current loss of life but the years of violence, suffering, and loss during this conflict — an incalculable human toll for Afghans that includes tens of thousands of innocent lives lost and far more harmed.
The United States and its allies must do everything possible to provide refuge to Afghans who remain at risk, and humanitarian support to those who cannot leave. We hope that evacuations from Kabul can continue, and urge the administration to do what it can to safely resume them.
We also encourage the administration to work multilaterally to ensure the ability of Afghans to leave the country, should they wish, via airports or land ports to neighboring countries. Such efforts will likely require robust diplomacy with third party countries who can help operate airports following the departure of the US military, and with neighboring countries to keep their borders open to Afghan refugees. Humanitarian operations within Afghanistan will also likely require significant multilateral governmental and non-governmental coordination and financial support, which Congress should support unequivocally.
Finally, in moments like these, we are once again confronted with the profound human cost of war, and the need to redouble our efforts to build a more peaceful world.
Thank you for all you do to join with us in this work,
Stephen, Sara, Kate, and the Win Without War team
What You Can Do: Emergency efforts on the ground can use your urgent support. Here’s a list of local and international organizations that can use your help.
An End to the War in Afghanistan
And Our Responsibilities to the Afghan People
Brian Garvey / Massachusetts Peace Action
(August 26, 2021) — Almost 20 years after the United States began the bombing and occupation of Afghanistan (and we’ve been interfering for much longer than that), America’s longest war is finally ending. The recent attack at the Kabul Airport that killed US service members reinforces that the best way to keep US troops safe is to bring them all home.
Ending the war in Afghanistan is something we’ve long called for. It’s a major achievement and a fulfillment of President Joe Biden’s promise to end the war and bring our forces home. He deserves credit and support for withstanding an onslaught of criticism from the corporate media and war hawks in both parties.
Let the President and the Congress know that you support ending our forever wars and bringing our soldiers and resources home, and that the United States must take responsibility for the mess we’ve created.
The lightning-quick collapse of the US supported Afghanistan Government revealed the failure of the US nation-building effort. This puts us in a difficult situation. The United States cannot continue to impose its will on Afghanistan or its people, but we can’t just walk away from the humanitarian catastrophe we created either. That’s why we must:
- Pay reparations to the Afghan people for the harm we have caused
- Grant asylum in the United States to Afghans who seek it
- Support diplomacy by convening Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran and others to guarantee the neutrality and support the stability and development of Afghanistan
- Investigate, and remove, US national security and military leaders who mismanaged and lied about the war for years
Above all we must stand by our commitment. The war in Afghanistan (and that means ALL bombings, special forces actions, drone strikes, and aid to factions within Afghanistan) must end and stay ended.
ACTION: Send a message to the US Congress and the Biden Administration today.
Welcome to a Webinar: Monday, August 30
To dive deeper we’re putting on a two-part series of webinars next week, with our friends Chicago Area Peace Action, Peace Action Maine, Maryland Peace Action, and New Hampshire Peace Action. We’re presenting 3 speakers on Monday August 30th and another 3 on Thursday September 2nd. Both panels will talk about what lessons America should learn from our failed war in Afghanistan.
And then, on 9/11, we’ll present Never Forget: 9/11 and the 20 year war on terror, a special memorial webinar in cooperation with our friends at CODEPINK.
Brian Garvey is the Assistant Director of Massachusetts Peace Action