Friday Jun 17, 201104:43 PM GMT
US mayors call for end to Afghanistan war
Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:44PM
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American mayors, led by Conference President and Burnsville, MN Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, will announce the introduction of a resolution, calling to end the Afghanistan War and re-direct spending for job creation on Friday, the beginning of their four-day annual meeting in Baltimore.


On Monday, the final day of the meeting, the U.S. Conference of Mayors will vote on the Afghanistan resolution, as well as release an employment report for 363 metro areas, published in conjunction with Global Insight. Also, on Monday, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will be inaugurated as the new President of The Conference.




The resolution urges using the hundreds of billions of dollars in savings to pay for job-creating domestic programs in the nation's cities.


The Baltimore City Council unanimously approved the draft USCM resolution May 16 calling on President Obama and Congress to end the decade-long wars and "redirect military spending to domestic priorities." Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake promptly signed the measure and is expected to urge the mayors to approve it during a scheduled plenary USCM debate Monday, June 20.


The resolution states, "The severity of the ongoing economic crisis has created budget shortfalls at all levels of government and requires us to reexamine our national spending priorities."


The American people "are collectively paying approximately $126 billion dollars to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan," the resolution says, adding, "6,024 members of the U.S. armed forces have died in these wars and at least 120,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since the coalition attacks began."


The June 17-21 U.S. Conference of Mayors, expected to draw 1,200 to the city and pump $2 million into the local economy, includes daily meetings at the Hilton Baltimore where bigwigs like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will address the crowd on topics like climate protection.


Throughout the four-day conference, Baltimore will find itself in the national spotlight as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan address attendees.




U.S. President Barack Obama, who sent 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan after a reassessment of the U.S. war strategy in late 2009, will confer with his inner circle and inform Americans in mid- to late June of how he plans to begin withdrawing U.S. forces. Reuters


Preliminary proposals reported last month suggested the Pentagon was considering a withdrawal of 5,000 troops in July and another 5,000 by the end of the year. Politico


A number of polls conducted over the last few months, including a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, have found that a majority of Americans are ready to end the conflict. The Hill


As of June 17, 2011, at least 1,622 members of the U.S. military have died in Afghanistan since the U.S. invasion of the country in 2001.


UNAMA reports that 2010 was the bloodiest year since the war began in terms of the civilian death toll. Civilian casualties have increased by 31% since last year. The number of children killed in the war is up 55 percent from last year. UNAMA



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