The Peace Education Center works towards both local and global peace. One of the ways we do this is by creating and circulating resolutions in relation to issues we believe can change or shift the world for the better. The following is our resolution for the withdrawal of US Troops from Syria.

RESOLUTION OF THE PEACE EDUCATION CENTER OF THE GREATER LANSING AREA SUPPORTING THE WITHDRAWAL OF US TROOPS FROM SYRIA

Whereas, for the last 50 years, the Peace Education Center of the Greater Lansing Area (Peace Education Center) has worked: to encourage and to support the just and non-violent resolution of domestic and international conflicts; to oppose a military interventionist foreign policy as reflected in the invasions of Iraq, Vietnam and Afghanistan; to challenge the excessive level of national resources devoted to the military/industrial/intelligence complex to the detriment of domestic needs; and to support realistic policies that minimize human suffering and promote peace, no matter what the source of those policies;

Whereas, the war in Syria has been raging since the Arab Spring of 2011 leaving thousands of people dead and injured, decimating much of its infrastructure, and displacing millions of people both internally and internationally, thus encouraging nationalist political movements in Europe;

Whereas, by 2018, with the assistance of Hezbollah, Iran and, staring in 2015, Russia, Syria has regained most of its territory from the Salafi forces and ISIS, effectively having won the war;

Whereas, by 2018, Kurdish forces with the assistance of 2,000 American advisors and the American Air force have largely defeated ISIS in the Kurdish region of Syria;

Whereas, President Trump has announced his intention to withdraw the 2,000 American advisors to the Kurds in an orderly manner and to end regime change in Syria as a foreign policy objective;

Whereas, many establishment foreign policy figures, often referred to as “the adults in the room,” have criticized President’s decision based on the fear that the weakened ISIS will garner renewed strength, or on the beliefs that al-Assad government should be overthrown and that Iranian influence in Syria creating a Shiite Highway to Hezbollah must be countered, or on qualms about deserting our former Kurdish ally;

Whereas, the Peace Education Center rejects these fears as manageable, as exaggerated or as not reflecting any serious threat to either American or Israeli national interests, and believes a continuation of American presence in Syria makes any ultimate national reconciliation in Syria more difficult and any end to all fighting and suffering harder to achieve;

THEREFORE, the Board of Directors for the Peace Education Center of the Greater Lansing Area (PEC) supports the following resolution on the withdrawal of American troops from Syria and on ending the previous American policy of supporting regime change in Syria:

First, the Peace Education Center encourages Michigan’s elected representatives to support or, at least, not to oppose the orderly withdrawal of American troops from Syria within as short a time as possible;  

Second, the Peace Education Center encourages Michigan’s elected representatives to support ending regime change in Syria as a policy

Third, the Peace Education Center encourages Michigan’s elected representatives to insist that other parties supporting the Salafi groups opposing Syria, including Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, cease providing military support and training to them;

Fourth, in conjunction with Syria and Russia, and with the support of the United  Nations, the United States should support the voluntary repatriation of refugees and the national reconciliation of Syrians that opposed the government or that left their region during the conflict, and should provide financial support to help implement this effort;

Fifth, the United States should cooperate with Syria and Russia to ensure that ISIS does not reemerge in Syria;

Sixth, the United States should negotiate with Turkey, Syria and Russia to assist the Kurds in gaining some level of autonomy as part of the Syrian state.