By Mary Hladky

When we hear GOOD NEWS—for example, U.S. troops are coming home from Syria and Afghanistan—why is it that the news media almost exclusively report the viewpoints of those who have been managing our country’s endless wars, stating that bringing U.S. troops home is a bad idea? Where is the other side of the story? Namely, Americans are not being fully informed and are not well-served by one-sided conversations.  

Trump may have directed the military to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and Afghanistan without a plan, BUT the status quo, 17 years of troops in the Middle East region, has been a total disaster. Since 9/11 we have spent more than $5 trillion on war, with what result? U.S. wars have not achieved their military objectives; they do not bring peace, democracy or freedom. They do not make the lives of the people in these countries better. The American people are told that the U.S. military is a force for good, but in reality, it has brought chaos and increasing terrorism to the Middle East and the region.  

With, hopefully, troops coming home, a Senate vote to end U.S. support for the brutal Saudi war in Yemen, and a newly elected, more progressive Congress, the Peace Movement needs to seize the moment. These are steps in the right direction! It’s our opportunity to lead, demanding an end to futile wars and building a bold peace plan. Our country needs a new foreign policy, one that stops endless war and invests in people.  

This past year, we in PeaceWorks-KC worked closely with the Poor Peoples Campaign, connecting the dots among war, poverty, racism, and environmental destruction. We all must continually raise our voices. Our country is on a devastating path, and we must resist. Please join us in this vital work.  

—Mary Hladky is vice chair of the PeaceWorks-KC Board.