It’s not too late to stop an endless war in Iraq and Syria. We’ve spent over $1.1 billion bombing Iraq and Syria since August 2014, yet Congress has not debated or authorized our latest war.
It will take grassroots pressure to move Congress. We can start by popularizing the possible steps towards a political solution. Instead of another endless war, Members of Congress should stand up in support of effective alternatives. Below are possible ways for the U.S. government to take action.
From November 11-16, over twenty national peace and justice groups will join together to press Congress in their offices, online, and in the streets to take action.
The United States Congress can:
- Insist that President Obama seek congressional authorization for continued military intervention, and then vote to oppose our latest war in Iraq and Syria
- Cosponsor measures like H. Con. Res. 114, offered by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, to require Congress to debate, vote, and constrain U.S. military intervention
- Support measures to prohibit U.S. ground troops, sunset the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (the bills that authorized U.S. military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan), and bolster the alternatives listed below
The United States can take immediate unilateral action to:
- Tighten loopholes in existing sanctions to help cut off ISIS’s funding streams
- Condition U.S. support for the Iraqi government on success in stopping sectarian violence
- Cut off U.S. government contracts with anyone doing business with ISIS
- Stop channeling weapons into the war. U.S. weapons have ended up in the hands of ISIS
- Support civil society efforts to build peace and reconciliation at the community level
The United States can support multilateral efforts to:
- Build regional stability and security through aid for refugee host nation communities to reinforce stressed health, education, and housing infrastructure and to encourage job creation
- Keep the conflict from spreading to Jordan, Turkey or Lebanon etc. by encouraging a global effort to share responsibility for resettling refugees from Iraq and Syria
- Restrict ISIS’s access to the international financial system
- Support a political solution to Syria’s civil war
The United States can work with regional states and organizations to:
- Engage in strategic outreach to Sunni communities to address political grievances
- Work to impose an arms embargo against all armed actors in Iraq and Syria
- Institute a “no-go zone” between ISIS territory and that of friendly nations
- Conduct a social media campaign that exposes the grotesque nature of ISIS ideology