Ahead of his state visit to London, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has called on President Obama to rediscover his commitment to peace or lose the goodwill of peace and anti-war campaigners both in the US and across the world.
CND believes he has failed to realise his personal commitment to a more peaceful foreign and security policy since taking office, despite his welcome agreement of nuclear warhead reductions with Russia.
The New START Treaty, seen as a personal priority for President Obama, has achieved real reductions in strategic nuclear warheads with Russia – something that was not possible under President Bush. But Obama has also become more heavily involved in other foreign conflicts.
When seeking the Democrats’ presidential nomination, Obama won the support of major anti-war organisations such as Move On when he said the Iraq war “should have never been authorised, and should have never been waged.”
Yet since his election the military budget has continued to grow, with $708billion allocated for 2011, he has backed a ‘troop surge strategy’ in Afghanistan, there are a growing number of drone attacks in Pakistan, and the US led the initial bombing campaign in Libya.
Kate Hudson, CND General Secretary, said:
“President Obama inspired millions through his condemnation of the Iraq war, and his action on nuclear disarmament has given hope that he will be a different kind of president. We recognise there is still much goodwill towards him.”
“But at the same time there is growing disillusionment. The Afghan occupation is dragging on, attacks on Pakistan are increasing, and he has now backed the NATO attack on Libya.”
“The message of peace he projects in advancing nuclear disarmament conflicts with the ever-growing US military budget and the bombing operations overseas. For people in Afghanistan and Pakistan, there is little to distinguish him from President Bush. He risks losing the coalition of supporters that backed him in 2008 if he does not demonstrate his commitment to a more peaceful world.”
Note: CND will demonstrate with Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Justice for Bahrain, calling for “Hands off Libya” and “Troops out of Afghanistan” at Canada Gate, outside Buckingham Palace, at 5.30pm Tuesday 24th May.