Bush Administration Criticized for Policy in Afghanistan
Policy experts and Bush administration officials have conceded privately that President Bush’s policy in Afghanistan is “high on the rhetoric of commitment and low on the level of engagement,” the Washington Post reported today. This policy includes a continued refusal to expand the role of international peacekeeping forces outside Kabul as well as limited US troop commitment and only a modest amount of US aid. “They are just doing barely enough to stay in the game,” Republican Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NB), who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the Post.
Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – led by Committee Chair Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) and the committee’s sole female member Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) - pulled a bipartisan about face on the administration by unanimously approving $1 billion to support the expansion of international peace troops and $2 billion in humanitarian aid.
Meanwhile, the US Assistant Secretary of State told military leaders in the northern part of Afghanistan that US aid for refugees in that region will not be renewed until law and order are achieved, according to BBC News. “How can the United States turn its back on humanitarian aid in Afghanistan while refusing to help promote the law and order they require to return to the region,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “The Bush administration needs to build on the bipartisan initiative of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and become part of the solution by supporting expansion of international peace troops beyond Kabul.”
The Feminist Majority is spearheading the drive for ISAF expansion and a significant increase in reconstruction financing. With the women of Afghanistan repeatedly proclaiming security as their top priority, the Feminist Majority and other women’s organizations have been asking the Bush administration to expand peacekeeping troops beyond Kabul for the past six months. A series of recent events throughout Afghanistan have shown the need for expansion of peacekeeping forces both within and beyond Kabul is urgent.
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .