Press Room

Rapid Reactions

  • End of “Yemen Model” — and Yemen?

    Response by Matthew Hoh


    You don’t have to be an expert on Yemen, the Middle East, Islam or foreign policy in general to realize that what is occurring in Yemen is similar to what is occurring throughout the Greater Middle East. Decades of American interventionist policy, that can be at best be described as inept meddling, with roots going back to the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Iran in 1953 and the establishment of the Shah’s authoritarian police state, have created, fostered and sustained sectarian, ethnic and religious conflicts that have birthed repressive regimes, extremist terror groups and genocidal civil wars throughout the Middle East. Yemen is one more glaring example of failed American policy in the Middle East, perhaps all the more tragic and absurd as Yemen was cited as an example of success by President Obama when he authorized his seventh bombing of a Muslim nation, Syria, last year.

  • House Passage of McGovern-Jones-Lee Iraq Resolution

    Response by Stephen Miles


    Today the House of Representatives made clear that they stand with the American public, who do not want to go back to war in Iraq. By passing H. Con. Res 105 overwhelmingly, the House also sent a strong message to President Obama that there is no authorization for any escalation of US military involvement in Iraq. 

    The challenges in Iraq are deeply complex and there is simply not a way for America to bomb our way to a solution. While we continue to welcome the President’s opposition to sending combat troops, we remain concerned that over 800 American military personnel are currently in harms way in a nation increasingly embroiled in a violent sectarian conflict. After nearly 13 years of trying to solve such challenges militarily in Iraq and Afghanistan, with little success, the American people simply do not support another war in the Middle East. Instead, we hope today’s clear message against military escalation will encourage the President to double down on diplomatic efforts and a robust humanitarian response.”

  • Extension of Negotiations with Iran

    Response by Stephen Miles


    The interim deal has frozen Iran’s nuclear program and, with this extension, it will stay frozen while our diplomats seal the deal. We are doing today what we should have done in Iraq a decade ago: letting diplomacy work so that we can have inspectors on the ground, not boots on the ground.

    Negotiations between the international community and Iran have already made more progress in six months than a decade of sanctions and the threat of military action. We are pleased to see that negotiators are going to stay at the table and finish the job of peacefully solving one of America’s most pressing national security threats.

    Unfortunately, some of the same voices who once sold our nation to war in Iraq on lies about weapons of mass destruction are at it again. Fortunately, Americans are ready to fight back. In the coming days, it will be up to Congress to chose who to listen to: Dick Cheney and those banging the drums of war, or the American public who want to let diplomacy work.

  • We Oppose Military Intervention in Iraq

    Response by Tom Andrews Stephen Miles Angela Miller


    With Iraq once again descending into violence, we must not repeat the mistakes of the past. No military intervention, whether the massive invasion of 2003 or the limited airstrikes some are calling for today, will solve the deep and complex challenges Iraq is facing. Iraq’s problems can only be solved by Iraqis, not American bombs. Launching another military intervention in Iraq would only throw more fuel on a fire that is raging. Even worse, it would once again risk American lives in a fight that is not ours and that we cannot win.

  • What's the Next Step with Russia?

    Response by Harry Blaney


    It is important that the allies unite around a strategy that will prevent future aggression and make Russia pay for its recent actions. However, it is also important to devise a series of policies that will reach out to Russian citizens and encourage those forces seeking greater freedom and civic participation. This will keep a window open between the East and the West and maintain a dialogue between students and travellers of both regions. A negative strategy itself is inadequate. There must also be another strategy in place that will, over the long-term, draw Russia into the society of democratic nations that seek to resolve shared global challenges in a unified and constructive way. Achieving the balance between punishment and peace will be hard. It is, though, a better way forward than simply punitive actions or no actions at all.

  • Why We Don't Need More Defense Spending

    Response by William Hartung


    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen claims that the Ukraine crisis “shows us more clearly than ever that defence matters[,]” and that we should reverse the decline in defense spending. While Russia’s military takeover of Crimea is an unacceptable violation of international law, it provides no justification for increasing the Pentagon’s already bloated budget. The idea that more defense spending equals more influence over the behavior of other countries is simply untrue. Vladimir Putin is not huddled in Moscow toting up the figures in the Pentagon's latest budget proposal, and then using it as a guide as to whether to take military action. Nor is any other world leader. They are following their perceived interests and weighing them against the consequences that might result from any given course of action.

  • Afghanistan: Twelve Years Later

    Response by Matthew Hoh


    It is fitting that as we pass the 12-year mark of the U.S. and Western invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, the U.S. government is shut down, our economy, education system and infrastructure continues their persistent degradation, and the American people, for the first time ever, now believe their children will not be better off than they. The failure of the United States’ war in Afghanistan, a failure that has been obvious for quite some time, like our own domestic failings, is a testament to a broken American political order and a $1 trillion a year national security Leviathan. Of course, the Afghan people are no closer to becoming a country at peace than at any time since the 1970s and the United States must and should understand its responsibility and culpability in the continuing death, loss and chaos.

  • Official Win Without War Statement on Syria

    Response by Stephen Miles Tom Andrews


    The Win Without War coalition is strongly opposed to American military intervention in Syria and urges Congress to reject any proposed authorization for the use of military force.

    The use of chemical weapons is abhorrent.   However, we urge our leaders to pursue a response to the apparent use of these weapons in Syria that rejects the false choice between bombing and impunity.

    We agree with US military leaders who assert that only a political solution will end the suffering of the Syrian people and urge all parties to pursue such a settlement.

  • A Call for Smart Spending Cuts at the Pentagon

    Response by William Hartung


    I think we may want to say that it's more important than ever to cut Pentagon waste at a time when we need to focus spending on programs and personnel that best address 21st century threats.  That means cutting overhead at the Pentagon, which has over three-quarters of a million civilian employees.  But we need smart savings in all areas of Pentagon spending, including weapons procurement.  That is why it is so disappointing that the budget documents suggest that there will be no reductions in the F-35 combat aircraft, an overpriced, under-performing and unnecessary aircraft that is a bad deal for taxpayers.

  • The Relevance and Future of Europe (and U.S.) and Their Role in the World

    Response by Harry Blaney


    Many critical pundits have observed that Europe and the United States appear to be in decline, raising doubts about their future role in the world. Yet if observers only examine the phenomenon of decline without seeking improvement, this becomes self-defeating and counter-productive. Undoubtedly, America and Europe face new and unprecedented challenges, but critics fail to propose constructive solutions to these problems. Though there are indeed many solutions to the financial issues facing Europe and the United States, many pessimistic leaders seem determined to fight any proposed measures. In America, that amounts to a mindless opposition from many Republicans in Congress to anything Obama does. But to do nothing when doing “something” might help is abandonment of responsibility. Both Europe and the U.S. need less pessimism and a more determined leadership that focuses on solving problems.

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