We must respond to Trump’s military build up, continued funding of repression abroad and consolidated war cabinet with a surge of people-to-people solidarity across borders. While U.S. formal diplomatic communications are signaling hostility and intolerance, we, as private citizens, can instead build relationships, enhance mutual understanding, and build trust between people.

This is the purpose of Global Exchange’s Citizen Diplomacy Delegations.

Your voice carries more weight than ever before in determining foreign affairs. A sprawling network of global coalitions, partnerships and initiatives undertaken by cities, NGOs, universities, foundations, businesses, and determined individuals are gaining traction. And history has shown that when statesmen are at dangerous impasses, a connected civil society can make a difference in lessening tensions and averting war. Your voice is needed now more than ever.

Please consider joining us in:

Iran; As President Trump threatens to abandon the hard won Iran Nuclear Deal. Through visiting cultural and historical sites like the beautiful Golestan Palace, the tomb of Hafez, Zoroastrian fire temples, the bridges of Isfahan and bustling bazaars and gardens, we’ll have the chance to engage with Iranians as they go about their daily lives.

Cuba; As Trump backtracks on Obama’s sensible policy of engagement, which is hurting the Cuban people. Join us as we meet with Cuban urban planners, economists, doctors, teachers, students, artists, and others to learn about the triumphs and challenges of the 60 year old Cuban revolution as well as the current historic changes underway (like the recent leadership transition from Raúl Castro to Miguel Díaz-Canel).

Palestine; As the U.S. continues to back Israel’s crippling occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Our delegations connect with Palestinians working at the grassroots level for peace, justice and human rights. We’ll learn about the impact of occupation on economic, cultural, and urban development as well as access to scarce resources like land and water. We’ll also learn about the creative ways Palestinians have organized in resistance, from building viable local economies through fair trade cooperatives to addressing politically imposed water scarcity with hydroponic production.

Afghanistan; As Trump presses ahead with an open-ended military commitment after almost two decades of war.  We will meet with Afghan women, grassroots organizations, students, human rights activists, and others working to rebuild from a history of conflict. We’ll visit demining projects, schools, vocational training centers, micro-financing projects, and more.

We hope you’ll join us in building a connected global civil society dedicated to a peaceful and just future for all!

Trump is wrong. No more troops. No more war.

Last night Donald Trump broke his campaign pledge to end the war in Afghanistan. Instead, he doubled down on failure, saying he would bring America “victory” in the war that George Bush started and that Barack Obama continued – until it became America’s longest war  — ever.

Global Exchange has been warning of the dangers of occupying Afghanistan since we invaded just after the attacks of September 11, 2001.  We opposed the war at its start when 90% of Americans backed it — urged by Bush to celebrate a show of strength in the wake of the horrendous attack on New York City.

We warned that the history of other occupations of Afghanistan had ended badly for the invaders.  The British Empire got bogged down there without victory in 1800s and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s (“their Vietnam”) was disastrous. It was a key factor in the total collapse of the USSR a decade later.

But Trump thinks he will “win” despite evidence to the contrary based on the bitter experience of the last 16 years of war. Trump says we should forget about “nation building”. Instead, he says, we should follow what he calls “principled realism”: stay on the attack, don’t reveal how many troops we are adding, and go harder after our ally, Pakistan, who he says “harbors criminals and terrorists.”

Trump says we must stay in Afghanistan to avoid creating a “vacuum of power” that will be filled by terrorists. And he says we must continue the mission to honor those who have [already] died.

Continuing this ill-fated mission just increases the death and does nothing to build peace.  We mourn for the over 90,000 Afghans and the 2400 US Soldiers who have died in the conflict.

But enough is enough.  It is past time to get out of Afghanistan and past time to put up with more prevarication from the Trump Administration.

Please take action and write your member of congress to say Bring our Troops Home, No More U.S. Wars in South Asia.

jobsnotwarpaycheckj1The budget agreement recently passed by Congress and signed by the President makes it more imperative than ever that we focus attention on the wars and the wasted billions going to the Pentagon.

Global Exchange has joined War Times and hundreds of other organizations in endorsing the recently launched Jobs Not Wars petition campaign. If you have not already done so, we urge you to sign the petition and forward to your friends and colleagues.

Sign the Jobs Not Wars Petition!

On Election Day, the American people voted and made their voices heard.

We rejected deficit reduction at the expense of working & middle class Americans, the poor & elderly. We rejected more tax breaks for large corporations and the wealthy. Corporations and the wealthy have “raked in” all the benefits while everyone else has suffered economic loss.

One of the best ways to reduce the deficit is to put people back to work – it’s time to invest in our people and our communities.

Congress and President Obama must do the will of the people, including:

  • End the War in Afghanistan now, bring all our troops home and care for them when they return
  • Create jobs – invest in our communities and our people to grow the economy and put people back to work;
  • The wealthiest citizens and corporations must pay their fair share
  • Focus on negotiation and determined diplomacy rather than military power
  • We must invest in America’s future, create jobs and grow the economy.

Our priorities are clear: Jobs & Economic Growth, End the war in Afghanistan now, and substantial cuts to runaway Pentagon spending.

SEND THIS MESSAGE TO THE CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT by signing the Jobs Not Wars Petition. Keep the pressure on – remind Congress and President Obama that they work for the American people.