May 5, 2016
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.
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 here, here, here, here, and here.