Resolution on the Urgency of Transitioning to an Economy Based on Peace

WHEREAS, the U.S. government has a history of getting mired in disastrous wars -- despite warnings by President Eisenhower and President Kennedy about the dangers of the military industrial complex -- at great cost to our country, our citizens, and people in those countries where the wars occur;

WHEREAS, according to Brown University's Costs of War project [1], post-9/11 U.S. wars killed over 900,000 people directly, killed another 3.5 million indirectly, cost over 8 trillion dollars, and displaced 38 million people from their homes;

WHEREAS, the U.S. government spends over a trillion dollars a year [2] on the military; multiple weapons programs, such as the F-35 fighter jet [3], are expensive boondoggles; and elected officials with military bases or defense industries in their states/districts feel compelled to defend the resulting jobs, even though civilian spending yields two to three times as many jobs per money spent as does military spending [4];

WHEREAS, aggressive NATO expansion was a contributing cause [5] of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as even NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg and various senior U.S. diplomats and Secretaries of Defense admitted [6]; the U.S. armed the Saudis in their brutal war against Yemen and continues to support Israel in its oppression and (since Oct 7, 2023) genocide of the Palestinian people; and the U.S. arms buildup and aggressive economic and diplomatic actions towards China seem designed to provoke yet another war, this one over Taiwan;

WHEREAS, the U.S. military is the world's largest single institutional emitter of greenhouse gas [7]; and “Just Transition” [8] programs are needed in Washington State and across the U.S. to address the climate crisis and the barrier to peace created by military or defense industry installations in every state and most congressional districts [9];

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, we call on our federal legislators to shift to policies that prioritize diplomacy (as envisioned by President Kennedy in his June 10, 1963 commencement address at American University [10] and Martin Luther King, Jr. in his April 4, 1967 speech “Beyond Vietnam” [11]), cut back significantly on military spending, activity, and overseas military bases, and shift to implementing well-funded, well-organized Just Transition programs to create new jobs and training programs that support genuine peace and which are appropriate for the 21st century;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution shall be sent to the offices of our state's federal congressional delegation.












Passed unanimously by the Washington State Progressive Caucus on 12/5/2023, submitted to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee the on 12/7/2023.

Passed by the Washington State Democratic Central Committee on 1/28/2024, without the fourth WHEREAS clause.

Written by Donald A. Smith (, Sharon Abreu (, and Linda Boyd (

Available too on the website of the Washington State Progressive Caucus.