Port Townsend, WA Bring the Troops Home

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Port Townsend, WA, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Adopted on 2/20/07

Source File: http://www.cityofpt.us/CityCouncil/Resolutions/2007/07-008.Peace2.022007.pdf

Text:

RESOLUTION NO. 07-008
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PORT TOWNSEND, WASHINGTON, URGING CESSATION OF COMBAT OPERATIONS IN IRAQ AND THE RETURN OF U.S. TROOPS

WHEREAS, the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 was passed by the U.S. Congress on October 11, 2002, and that Public Law 107-243 cited Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction as a primary reason for the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq and

WHEREAS, on January 12, 2005, President Bush officially declared an end to the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; and

WHEREAS, the United States initiated combat operations in Iraq on March 19, 2003; and

WHEREAS, hundreds of thousands of members of the United States Armed Forces have served with honor and distinction in Iraq; and

WHEREAS, more than 3,000 members of the United States Armed Forces have been killed and more than 22,800 members of the Armed Forces have been wounded in pursuing the stated purpose of the United States of giving the people of Iraq a reasonable opportunity to decide their own future; and

WHEREAS, the United States military occupation of Iraq has placed significant strains on the capacity of the United States Armed Forces, both active duty and reserve and the National Guard; and

WHEREAS, “By the end of 2006, the Multi-National Security Transition Command–Iraq under American leadership is expected to have trained and equipped a target number of approximately 326,000 Iraqi security services. That figure includes 138,000 members of the Iraqi Army and 188,000 Iraqi police.” (Iraq Study Group Report, p. 12. Iraq Study Group is the bipartisan panel headed by James A. Baker and Lee Hamilton. Their Report issued December 6, 2006); and

WHEREAS, “To date, the United States has spent roughly $400 billion on the Iraq War, and costs are running about $8 billion per month. In addition, the United States must expect significant ‘tail costs’ to come. Caring for veterans and replacing lost equipment will run into the hundreds of billions of dollars. Estimates run as high as $2 trillion for the final cost of the U.S. involvement in Iraq.” (Iraq Study Group Report, p. 27); and

WHEREAS, the funds spent on the Iraq War ($400 billion) equates to $11,333,333 for Port Townsend residents ($400 billion divided by 300 million US population equals $1,333 per person, times 8,500 Port Townsend population). While these funds are substantially deficit – financed, and aren’t paid with current tax dollars, it is useful to illustrate the size of the sum of $11.3 million by showing what could have been purchased locally (“opportunity cost”):

  • $11.3 million represents approximately one year operational funding for the Port Townsend School District (Summary of General Fund Budget, Port Townsend School District, November 1, 2006).
  • $11.3 million represents approximately two years general funding for the City of Port Townsend (parks, streets, police, administration).
  • $11.3 million could fund the following local services at the levels indicated for over 10 years:


Program
Agency
Number (cost estimates from agency)
Est. Funds per year
Senior nutrition – meals on wheels Olympic Community Action Program - “Olycap” 100 meals per day at $6.50 per meal $236,000
Domestic violence and sexual assault Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Program of Jefferson County $450,000 est. annual budget
Health Care/Oral Health Care Access Program Olympic Community Action Program - “Olycap” 1000 clients at $150 per client $150,000
Emergency Shelter Olympic Community Action Program - “Olycap” 100 clients at $1,000 per client $100,000
Summer Enrichment Program Jefferson County YMCA 100 clients at $180 per client $18,000
Women’s health program Jefferson County Public Health 100 clients at $250 per client $25,000
Total $979,000


WHEREAS, the war and continued occupation have resulted in the devastation of Iraq’s physical and social infrastructure and led to widespread and continuous resistance to U.S. occupation that threatens the lives of Iraqi civilians and the men and women who compose the ranks of U.S. and other occupying forces; and

WHEREAS, the presence of United States forces in Iraq and the alleged torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other facilities have inflamed anti-American passions in the Muslim world and increased the terrorist threat to United States citizens, both at home and abroad; and

WHEREAS, polls show that less than half of the American people support the war; and

WHEREAS, the Iraq Study Group Report (December 6, 2006), the bipartisan panel headed by James A. Baker and Lee Hamilton, states:

“The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating. There is no path that can guarantee success, but the prospects can be improved. In this report, we make a number of recommendations for actions to be taken in Iraq, the United States, and the region. Our most important recommendations call for new and enhanced diplomatic and political efforts in Iraq and the region, and a change in the primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq that will enable the United States to begin to move its combat forces out of Iraq responsibly. We believe that these two recommendations are equally important and reinforce one another.” (Iraq Study Group Report: Executive Summary.)
“The primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq should evolve to one of supporting the Iraqi army, which would take over primary responsibility for combat operations. By the first quarter of 2008, subject to unexpected developments in the security situation on the ground, all combat brigades not necessary for force protection could be out of Iraq.” (Iraq Study Group Report: Executive Summary.)
“The United States must not make an open ended commitment to keep large numbers of American troops deployed in Iraq.” (Iraq Study Group Report: Executive Summary.)

WHEREAS, “Despite a massive effort, stability in Iraq remains elusive and the situation is deteriorating. The Iraqi government cannot now govern, sustain and defend itself without the support of the United States. Iraqis have not been convinced that they must take responsibility for their own future. Iraq’s neighbors and much of the international community have not been persuaded to play an active and constructive role in supporting Iraq. The ability of the United States to shape outcomes is diminishing. Time is running out.” (Iraq Study Group Report, p. 27.)

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Port Townsend, on behalf of the citizens of Port Townsend, urges, consistent with the Iraq Study Group Report, that the primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq should evolve to one of supporting the Iraqi army, which would take over primary responsibility for combat operations as soon as possible, but no later than the first quarter of 2008, subject to unexpected developments in the security situation on the ground, all combat brigades not necessary for force protection should be out of Iraq; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council of Port Townsend, recognizing that the stability of Iraq is crucial to the security of the citizens of Port Townsend and to all Americans, urges the United States government to provide the people of Iraq with all necessary non-military material aid as shall be necessary for the security of Iraq’s citizens and for the rebuilding of Iraq; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the financial resources used to prosecute the war be redirected to address the urgent needs of America’s communities and the most vulnerable portions of our population, including health, education, and homeland security; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a suitable copy of this resolution shall be sent to George W. Bush, President of the United States, and the members of the Washington Congressional delegation.

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