As we witness the continuing dismantling of the commons, the middle class and the poor, and see the privatization of our country by the wealthy, it is especially sad to read that the House of Representatives recently voted to zero out the budget for the United States Institute of Peace for the rest of the fiscal year. Cutting $42 million from USIP’s budget is equivalent to what we spend in three hours in Afghanistan. It will have zero effect on the deficit and will surely set back the practice and field of peacebuilding in troubled areas around the world.
The Institute of Peace is an independent, but federally-funded, institution that serves as a valuable and large grantmaker in the field, as well as a “think-and-do-tank” that teaches and trains others to manage violent conflicts and promotes sustainable peace worldwide.
How is it we can spend $663 billion dollars on war yet we can’t afford to spend $42 million on peace? This is one hundredth of one percent of what we spend on war. Please call your Senator or Representative and ask them to support the USIP. And then, let’s start a movement to cut our defense budget by 25% and start to fund programs that create life, schools and jobs instead of destroying them.