Results of Two Email Ballots- Email Ballot 2017-18: Unity Statement (Failed) and Email Ballot 2017-17: FPA Resolution (Pass)

Co-Sponsors: Vohra, Bittner, Harlos, Demarest

Motion: The Chair is authorized by the LNC to sign the following petition on behalf of the LNC:

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Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases

Unity Statement

We, the undersigned peace, justice and environmental organizations, and individuals, endorse the following Points of Unity and commit ourselves to working together by forming a Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases, with the goal of raising public awareness and organizing non-violent mass resistance against U.S. foreign military bases.

While we may have our differences on other issues, we all agree that U.S. foreign military bases are the principal instruments of imperial global domination and environmental damage through wars of aggression and occupation, and that the closure of U.S. foreign military bases is one of the first necessary steps toward a just, peaceful and sustainable world. Our belief in the urgency of this necessary step is based on the following facts:

1. While we are opposed to all foreign military bases, we do recognize that the United States maintains the highest number of military bases outside its territory, estimated at almost 1000 (95% of all foreign military bases in the world). Presently, there are U.S. military bases in every Persian Gulf country except Iran.

2. In addition, the United States has 19 Naval air carriers (and 15 more planned), each as part of a Carrier Strike Group, composed of roughly 7,500 personnel, and a carrier air wing of 65 to 70 aircraft — each of which can be considered a floating military base.

3. These bases are centers of aggressive military actions, threats of political and economic expansion, sabotage and espionage, and crimes against local populations. In addition, these military bases are the largest users of fossil fuel in the world, heavily contributing to environmental degradation.

4. The annual cost of these bases to the American taxpayers is approximately $156 billion. The support of U.S. foreign military bases drains funds that can be used to fund human needs and enable our cities and States to provide necessary services for the people.

5. This has made the U.S. a more militarized society and has led to increased tensions between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Stationed throughout the world, almost 1000 in number, U.S. foreign military bases are symbols of the ability of the United States to intrude in the lives of sovereign nations and peoples.

6. Many individual national coalitions — for example, Okinawa, Italy, Jeju Island Korea, Diego Garcia, Cyprus, Greece, and Germany — are demanding closure of bases on their territory. The base that the U.S. has illegally occupied the longest, for over a century, is Guantánamo Bay, whose existence constitutes an imposition of the empire and a violation of International Law. Since 1959 the government and people of Cuba have demanded that the government of the U.S. return the Guantánamo territory to Cuba.

U.S. foreign military bases are NOT in defense of U.S. national, or global security. They are the military expression of U.S. intrusion in the lives of sovereign countries on behalf of the dominant financial, political, and military interests of the ruling elite. Whether invited in or not by domestic interests that have agreed to be junior partners, no country, no peoples, no government, can claim to be able to make decisions totally in the interest of their people, with foreign troops on their soil representing interests antagonistic to the national purpose.

We must all unite to actively oppose the existence of U.S. foreign military bases and call for their immediate closure. We invite all forces of peace, social and environmental justice to join us in our renewed effort to achieve this shared goal.

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Voting “aye”: (none)

Voting “nay”: Bilyeu, Bittner, Demarest, Goldstein, Hagan, Harlos, Hayes, Katz, Lark, Mattson, McKnight, Redpath, Starchild, Vohra

With a final vote tally of 0-14, the motion FAILS.

Co-Sponsors: Vohra, Bittner, Harlos, Demarest, Bilyeu

Motion: The Chair is authorized by the LNC to sign the following petition on behalf of the LNC:

——————–Resolution Text——————–

A Call to Reform U. S. Foreign Policy

1. Whereas, American military personnel are being killed and wounded, and civilian casualties inflicted, in wars fought for purposes unrelated to America’s vital security interests, which the U.S. Government defines too broadly;

2. Whereas, America’s military interventions in other countries have led to costly blowback and unintended consequences;

3. Whereas, outdated Cold War alliances create tripwires that could compel the use of U.S. military force to resolve conflicts;

4. Whereas, escalating tensions between the U.S. and other nuclear powers are moving our nations toward military confrontation and potential nuclear war;

5. Whereas, erosion of civil liberties long held dear by Americans, including freedom from warrantless surveillance, searches and seizures, has accelerated with passage of the USA Patriot Act in 2001, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, and the USA Freedom Act of 2015;

6. Whereas, in a post-Cold War era, the U.S. can safely reduce its security budget by developing a new and more relevant strategy for right-sizing the military to better deal with 21st century security needs; and

7. Whereas, a healthy U.S. economy is critical to an effective security program but is now put at risk by the trillion dollar annual national security budget that contributes to an $18 trillion plus national debt;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Government of the United States should immediately begin a transition to a foreign policy that includes:

1. Rejecting the role of “policeman of the world,” ceasing military and covert intervention in the affairs of foreign countries, and using military force only when absolutely necessary to protect U.S. sovereignty, territory, and vital interests, narrowly defined;

2. Substantially reducing the more than 700 U.S. military installations around the world;

3. Curtailing the bloated military budget, allowing resources to be redirected towards cutting the deficit, cutting taxes, investing in America, or any other use as Americans see fit;

4. Reducing the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal to a minimum deterrent level, and fully supporting the implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty;

5. Emphasizing diplomacy, law, and cooperation in international relations and dispute resolution;

6. Upholding civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution; and

7. Reining in executive military action, recognizing that war powers reside solely in the legislative branch.

—————End of Resolution Text—————

Voting “aye”: Bilyeu, Bittner, Demarest, Goldstein, Harlos, Hayes, Hewitt, Katz, Lark, Marsh, McKnight, Redpath, Starchild, Vohra

Voting “nay”: (none)

With a final vote tally of 14-0, the motion PASSES.

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