Press Room

Rapid Reactions

  • Afghanistan: Twelve Years Later

    Response by


    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.

  • East Coast Missile Defense Scheme: Unnecessary, Unworkable and Unaffordable

    Response by William Hartung


    The Pentagon budget shouldn’t be a jobs program. And at a time of tightening budgets, we can’t afford to waste money on unnecessary, unworkable and unaffordable projects like the East Coast missile defense scheme. The system is unnecessary because Iran is far from developing a nuclear warhead that can be mated to a long-range ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States, and it may never do so. In the extremely unlikely event that it does, Iran’s leaders would be deterred from launching a nuclear strike against the United States because they know that their country would be completely destroyed in return. An East Coast missile defense is unworkable because after spending nearly three decades and well over $100 billion trying to develop an interceptor that can reliably block a long-range nuclear-armed missile, the Pentagon has yet to succeed.

  • British Prime Minster David Cameron Calls for Abolishing Phantom Firms in Major Transparency Victory

    Response by


    Anonymous shell companies are the most-widely used method for laundering the proceeds of crime, corruption, and tax evasion. These phantom firms facilitate sex slavery, terrorism, and tax evasion. Central public registries of meaningful corporate ownership information are essential to curtailing these pernicious crimes. We’re thrilled to see Prime Minister Cameron take the lead on this issue. It’s now time for the European Union, the United States, and the G8 to jump on the bandwagon.

  • America’s Role in Making Peace in the Middle East

    Response by Harry Blaney


    My view is that a war on Iran will serve those who do not want a Middle East peace as the results of a unilateral strike by Israel without firm indications of imminent major danger from an Iranian existing nuclear weapon capability. Such an action in the mind of some who do not accept the “Two State” road may see such action as vitiating any hope of a large Middle East peace compact and only causing horrific conflict against Israel. The best answer remains the diplomatic path and many with considerable experience in this region rightly argue that a major and direct U.S. presidential involvement and engagement is needed. Along with this is a major effort to seek to calm the drumbeats for war with Iran, a reinforcement of negotiations, and if needed, serious “sticks and carrots” to move towards an agreement with Iran on nuclear weapons.

  • Tax Haven Menace Must Be Addressed by Congress

    Response by


    The ultimate solution to the problem is a truly global one, involving world leaders taking coordinated action to crack down on the shadow financial system of tax havens and shell companies. British Prime Minister David Cameron has taken a huge step forward in placing the issue of tax dodging and illicit financial flows on the G-8’s agenda in June. The Obama administration has been engaged in international progress as well, endorsing the elimination of anonymous U.S. shell companies. Still, Congress must do its part to ensure that U.S. tax payers are no longer swindled or endangered by the murky offshore world.

  • Nuclear Madness: Korea and Iran and “Tipping Point”

    Response by Harry Blaney


    The question of the day is what allied strategy is likely to result in a calming of the tensions, and in particular seek ways to “contain” and mitigate the North Korean nuclear capability. One strategy or option is to work the diplomatic tract via the multilateral existing path, which includes China, Russia, Japan and the U.S. The hope would be after the “bluster” from the North there might be some modus vivendi or formula that would return to a more rational calculation on the part of North Korea. This could be a long-term effort. China also is the main source of food and other supplies to the North and it has an intelligence presence in the North and thus is likely to have a better understanding of the situation in Pyongyang.Thus the path to a solution may run through Beijing. This is a time for visits to Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, and perhaps even Russia by both Secretaries Hagel and Kerry. Perhaps also a “third tract” high level peace mission with official blessing might also be a useful instrument to employ, but it would have to have the backing of China and implicit North Korean agreement.

  • Globalisation, Illicit Financial Flows Widen Inequality

    Response by


    There are strong reasons to believe that trade-driven globalisation and financial globalisation, as well as illicit financial flows, have led to increasing income inequality in both developed and developing countries. Both developing and developed countries would need to adopt strong policy measures to offset the adverse impact of globalisation and illicit flows by improving worker training, strengthening social safety nets and overall governance (so as to curtail illicit flows), and taking measures to reduce the scale and duration of unemployment. Ignoring the problem of rising income inequality will risk social and political stability in both.

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