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The ongoing economic crisis in the United States and Europe has dominated the news and political dialogue during the past several months. As a result it is difficult to get public attention to focus on key peace and justice issues that are priorities of CAPA.

CAPA recommends the following actions to increase public awareness of key issues especially as they relate to the solution of our economic crisis. In addition, we must encourage action from elected representatives and candidates, and in the process expand our active membership base. Our first step is to communicate and gain agreement on the three most important issues we must focus in the months ahead. Based on the discussion at our Board meeting on September26th the following are the three issues we have focused on.

•Reduction of Excessive Military Spending U.S. military spending has tripled since 1997 and now equals the total amount the rest of the world put together spends on the military. The US spends over one hundred billion dollars a year on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, maintains over 800 military bases around the world. The Pentagon also continues to spend billions of dollars building new version of cold war weapons systems ill suited to 21st century military needs such as aircraft carriers, nuclear attack submarines and stealth destroyers. We are recommending a real reduction of 960 billion dollars over the next ten years which is consistent with the recommendations of the Military Spending Commission that was appointed by Representative Barney Frank last year. We further recommend that an independent commission be appointed to identify specific cuts in the military without compromising our security. These reductions in military budges would enable us to transfer these monies to strengthen our economy, maintain basic human services programs and provide necessary funding for job creation opportunities here in the United States.

• Reduction and Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. President Obama’s speech in Prague in 2009 clearly stated his commitment to a nuclear weapons-free world. The passage of the New Start Treaty in December was a modest but significant step in that direction. However, as part of the agreement to approve this treaty the Obama administration agreed to spend over $200 billion during the next ten years to upgrade nuclear weapons. This is on top of the $30 billion the U.S. spends to maintain these weapons. We must stop the allocation of these funds and demand that President Obama take immediate steps to achieve his 2009 Prague commitment.

• Take Immediate Actions to reduce the growing reality and danger of Climate Change. Climate Change which manifests itself in global warming has arrived much sooner than most climate scientists had predicted. This reality has been apparent during the past several months of record floods, droughts and violent tornados. We must make a significant shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources to reduce the growing impact of climate change. Recent studies indicate that renewable energy will grow faster than any other energy source
in the coming decades resulting in significant employment growth.

Unfortunately, our political representatives are in denial about climate change and Congressional Republicans are making a concerted effort to undermine and discredit clean energy investments. At the same time these same Congressional representatives are pushing to further reduce environmental
standards and completely defund the EPA. The U.S. conversion to renewable sources of energy is less than 3% and among the lowest of developed nations We must act to correct this serious environmental neglect before it is too late.

Our next step is to gain wide range support from you, our members, to take action on these inequities and at the same time provide much needed financial support to our sagging economy.

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