The president’s chief economic advisor, Lawrence Lindsey, says a war in Iraq “could cost as much as $200 billion.” Based on experience, combat veterans know the price of a new war in Iraq may be far greater, causing serious U.S. casualties and impacting the international standing and safety of the American people. The previous Gulf War taught us that such losses are not simply experienced on the battlefield. Tens of thousands of casualties can occur years later, costing our nation the health and welfare of the veterans who served.
To bring common sense and experience to the current debate over Iraq, Veterans for Common Sense is holding a press briefing and highlighting some of the critical questions and concerns that the Bush administration has failed to address. The panel will include respected authorities on Iraq and arms control as well as Desert Storm veterans who know firsthand the effects of war and the meaning of sacrifice.
Erin Cole, Spokeswoman, Veterans for Common Sense. She was a Sergeant with the Army 501st Military Intelligence Battalion, which was attached to the 1st Armored Division during the Gulf War. She is currently a small business owner in Alexandria, VA.
Lieutenant General (Retired) Robert G. Gard, Jr., Military Advisor, Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF). His distinguished military career included service as an Executive Assistant to Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara (1961-68) during the Vietnam War.
Alistair Millar, Vice President, Fourth Freedom Forum, and former analyst at the British American Security Information Council. He is the author of a forthcoming book on tactical nuclear weapons and has written extensively on Iraq’s non-conventional weapons programs and UN sanctions policy on Iraq.
Stephen L. Robinson, Executive Director, National Gulf War Resource Center, former Sergeant First Class with the Pentagon’s Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses (OSAGWI). In the aftermath of the Gulf War, he served with the 1st /10th Special Forces assigned to provide humanitarian and medical assistance to repatriated Kurds.
The panel will be moderated by Erik K. Gustafson, National Co-coordinator, Veterans for Common Sense. He served as a Specialist with the Army 864th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy) which built hospitals, main supply routes and enemy prisoner of war camps during the Gulf War. He currently directs the Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC), a Washington, DC-based human rights organization.