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Issues

Military and Veterans Affairs

We pledge support of our troops and honor our veterans who act in the service of our country. The core task of the U.S. military is to provide for the common defense. Our military must be adequate to provide for our nation’s defense and should never be open to abuses of power by any branch of government.

We believe:

  • It is the task of the military to execute the legal directives issued by the civilian Commander in Chief;
  • Under the Constitution it is the duty of Congress to declare war, appropriate funds, provide oversight, and act to prevent the misuse of the military;
  • Our military service members—active duty, reserve and National Guard—are entitled to serve with a clear mission and adequate resources;
  • Female military personnel have the right to make their own reproductive decisions, with the same rights accorded to civilian women.

We call for:

  • Military service on our behalf to be performed only by individuals accountable to the public, the law, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, not by contractors exempt from some of those restrictions.
  • Military members who declare themselves conscientious objectors to be given due process without fear of reprisal;
  • Full prosecution for all sexual assault or harassment based on gender, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation by military personnel;
  • Removing jurisdiction in cases of sexual assault from the chain of command over either the complainant or the accused;
  • Troops to be accorded mandatory breaks between overseas tours, strict time limits on each tour of duty in a combat zone, and strict limits on the total number of combat tours;
  • Routine inspections of facilities by the office of Inspector General, and procedures to insure facility integrity and safety;
  • Providing financial assistance, daycare assistance, and no-cost life insurance supplements for families of all military personnel deployed to hostile or combat areas;
  • Military personnel retaining full enlistment bonuses despite being discharged for combat-related disabilities;
  • Enforcement of the Geneva Convention, through all levels of command, in the treatment of all prisoners of war, enemy combatants, and detainees regardless of the location of their incarceration;
  • Senior civilian leaders and military leaders being held accountable for the actions of lower ranking military personnel, such as torture in prisons, which is never acceptable;
  • Reducing defense spending, including
    • Elimination of unnecessary, outdated, and redundant military programs and weapons;
    • Reform of the contracting practices of the military to ensure U.S. government control, with contracts to be awarded based on fair and competitive bidding, with preference given to U.S. companies;
    • A thorough and comprehensive review of the necessity and organization of foreign military bases comparable to the review of domestic military bases;
  • Providing all veterans with full, timely, no-cost treatment at local military or VA medical facilities, and providing retraining for those who are disabled;
  • Fully funding VA services;
  • Increased funding for long-term care and treatment of veterans at military medical facilities;
  • A full review by an independent medical and vocational rehabilitation panel of all military partial-disability ratings; all outcomes should be based on medical rather than political and economic criteria;
  • Active outreach to provide access to housing and services for homeless vets;
  • Providing our troops with an improved transitional assistance program to make coming home easier;
  • Equal GI Bill privileges for ALL service men and women, including National Guard members who have been activated for combat duty;
  • Elimination of the Survivor’s Benefit Plan (SBP) Social Security offset when a widowed military spouse reaches age 62;
  • Environmental and impact cleanup from the development, deployment, and use of nuclear, biological, chemical, or “depleted” uranium (dU) weapon systems.

We oppose:

  • Use of our military resources in unauthorized, unjustified, and/or pre-emptive wars;
  • The production, testing, stockpiling and use of nuclear, biological, chemical, or “depleted” uranium (dU) weapon systems;
  • The use of active sonar in the Salish Sea and other U.S. coastal waters;
  • U.S. training of foreign military or police forces that suppress human rights in their own countries.

Resolutions