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Financial Crisis Is Central to Friday’s Presidential Debate on Foreign Policy

(EMAILWIRE.COM, September 26, 2008 ) Silver Spring, MD - The current financial crisis is understandably receiving saturation media coverage as a pressing issue for American voters, and there are a number of intersections between this domestic issue and U.S. foreign policy. Both major party presidential candidates have cautiously embraced the Wall Street bailout and both agree the $700 billion in U.S. tax dollars must be recouped. Neither candidate has publicly commented on the $341.4 million per day spent on the Iraq war, nor how the government plans to carry both expenses into 2009. The current national debt exceeds $9 trillion dollars.

Peace Action, the country’s largest peace and disarmament organization, recently released a voter guide examining the presidential candidates' stances on a variety of issues, including military spending and the war in Iraq. Neither Barack Obama nor John McCain believes the military budget could be cut to fund domestic programs like health care or help for the thousands who lost their homes during the mortgage crisis. McCain, unlike Obama, does not support a definitive timeline for troop withdrawal from Iraq. Peace Action’s presidential voter guide is available online at

"Why is it there is never enough money for education or health care, but there’s always plenty for war and corporate welfare?", said Kevin Martin, Executive Director of Peace Action.

Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney and Independent Ralph Nader both support cutting the $538.8 billion military budget in order to fund domestic human needs. They, along with Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, also support a safe and speedy withdrawal from Iraq.

According to the National Priorities Project, a variety of current military programs are useless at best and in some cases dangerous.

- The F-22 Raptor fighter jet and Virginia Class submarines, designed to achieve superiority over Soviet jets and submarines that were never built;

- The V-22 Osprey, a poorly design aircraft which in testing phases has already caused the deaths of 30 American soldiers;

- Missile defense (Star Wars), conceived as part of a Cold War nuclear war-fighting strategy and now in search of a mission to justify its exorbitant price tag (over $1 trillion spent so far);

- Bases in Asia, Europe and here at home, now irrelevant to today's geopolitical reality.

“As John McCain and Barack Obama prepare to debate on foreign policy and the Wall Street bailout, attention also needs to be focused on the U.S.’s bloated military budget and ending the Iraq and Afghanistan quagmires,” noted Martin.

Peace Action, with over 100,000 members and over 80 chapters in 30 states, works to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons and promote government spending priorities that support human needs.


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Peace Action
Barbra Bearden
301.565.4050 X 330


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