Arguing for Shared Security in the NYTimes

May 5, 2016

I have a letter in today’s New York Times.  It’s title A New Foreign Policy Elite and responds to an op-ed piece yesterday by Evan Thomas (don’t know him) on Why We Need a Foreign Policy Elite.

The Times (as it does) edited my letter, largely by removing mention of Afghanistan/Iraq/Syria to the list of failings of the long-playing foreign policy elite we have.  They said Evan Thomas had noted that failing; I just don’t see that he did.  But I decided enough of my letter would survive that I wanted it published.  I wanted the occasion to say this:

Membership in that foreign policy elite requires unswerving commitment to the proposition that the United States must maintain overwhelming military superiority vis-à-vis the rest of the world. That commitment will bankrupt us while making us less and less secure.

And this:

We need a new foreign policy elite committed to seeking shared security in a partnership with other countries, one based in dignity and human rights, not unquestioned military might.

Of course I wouldn’t have used the word “elite” if I were writing my own piece, but a letter to the Times is a counter-punching opportunity.  I needed to stay somewhere in the frame that Evan Thomas provided.

I did want the term “Shared Security” to make it, and it did.  Shared Security is a Quaker view of U.S. foreign policy jointly produced by the American Friends Service Committee and Friends Committee on National Legislation.  I was one of many who helped launch that statement, and I’ve written about it before herehere, herehere, and here.


About Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is Emeritus President and Professor of Politics at Earlham College. He has a wife, Ellen, and two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s