State Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-Pittsburgh) today voiced his support for the Erie Peace Initiative and the national Bring the Guard Home Campaign.

This campaign was formally introduced to Pennsylvania in March 2008 through the leadership of state Rep. Tony Payton (D-Philadelphia) and House Bill 2402.

“In August, the compelling advocacy of my constituents motivated me to support this campaign,” Ferlo said. “There is broad-based public support and I plan on sponsoring a companion Senate Bill to further establish my support to bring the National Guard back home.”

Ferlo said, “The continued presence of National Guard forces in Iraq is illegal because the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force that authorized their deployment has expired.

“There should be no future Pennsylvania National Guard deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere else outside the Commonwealth without a legitimate declaration of war, or federal statute authorizing use of military force,” Ferlo said. “We need to stop sending young men and
women into dangerous situations under faulty pretense, without justification for pulling them away from their domestic duties and without a clear strategy for success.”

A recent New York Times article indicated that nationally, American communities depend upon National Guard as the first line of domestic defense, and “their overuse abroad creates a dangerous void in their home states.”

Ferlo said, “The incoming presidential administration must work with states to protect their right to retain jurisdiction over a standing National Guard. We need to have the National Guard ready to act in our states to combat natural disasters and other unpredictable threats to
public safety, not abroad.”