Establishes as a position that the City of Portland praises United States troops and their families, applauds the end of the Iraq War and supports the further drawdown of troops in Afghanistan with funds being redirected to domestic priorities.

WHEREAS, every member of the Portland City Council and the Portlanders we represent support our brave men and women in uniform and their families; and,

WHEREAS, every member of the Portland City Council praises President Barack Obama for ending the Iraq War and the last United States troops withdrew from Iraq on December 18, 2011; and,

WHEREAS, as our troops return to the United States, it is even more critical that domestic priorities are funded and that our military families and their futures are provided for; and,

WHEREAS, 6,328 members of the US armed forces to date have died in these wars; and at least 120,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since the coalition attacks began; and,

WHEREAS, the people of the United States have collectively paid approximately $126 billion dollars per year to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan; and,

WHEREAS, as long as the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest remain intact, the American financial system will not sustain the costs associated with domestic and foreign priorities; and,

WHEREAS, the severity of the ongoing economic crisis has created budget shortfalls at all levels of government and requires us to re-examine our national spending priorities; and,

WHEREAS, the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan should be done in a measured way that does not destabilize the region and that can accelerate the transfer of responsibility to regional authorities; and,

WHEREAS, the drawdown should include the removal of the thousands of military contractors in both Iraq and Afghanistan that the United States has funded and cancellations of their contracts which have caused additional drain on our nationŐs economy; and,

WHEREAS, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley submitted an amendment, which was adopted in the U.S. Senate as part of the Defense authorization bill, urging the President to expedite the reduction in U.S. forces in Afghanistan and to make periodic reports to Congress on the progress of that plan;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Portland City Council applauds the President for bringing an end to the Iraq war and extends our deepest gratitude to our brave men and women in uniform and their families who have served in this difficult conflict; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Portland City Council asks for the President to continue to remove military contractors and reduce the United States footprint in Iraq and to immediately direct his attention to ending of the war in Afghanistan; and redirect these war dollars home to meet vital human needs, promote job creation, rebuild our infrastructure, aid municipal and state governments, and develop a new economy based upon renewable, sustainable energy and reduce the federal debt.

Adopted by the Council: Jan. 12, 2012

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Page posted January 24, 2012