U.S. National Security Experts Speak Up: ‘The U.S. Should Be a Force for Peace in the World’
May 16, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—The following is an abridged version of the full-page ad in today’s New York Times, from the Eisenhower Media Network of veterans of national security, titled “The U.S. Should Be a Force for Peace in the World”:
“The solution to this shocking violence is not more weapons or more war, with their guarantee of further death and destruction. As Americans and national security experts, we urge President Biden and Congress to use their full power to end the Russia-Ukraine War speedily through diplomacy, especially given the grave dangers of military escalation that could spiral out of control. Sixty years ago, President John F. Kennedy made an observation that is crucial for our survival today. ‘Above all, while defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy—or of a collective death-wish for the world.’
“The immediate cause of this disastrous war in Ukraine is Russia’s invasion. Yet the plans and actions to expand NATO to Russia’s borders served to provoke Russian fears. And Russian leaders made this point for 30 years. A failure of diplomacy led to war. Now diplomacy is urgently needed to end the Russia-Ukraine War before it destroys Ukraine and endangers humanity.
“Russia sees NATO enlargement and presence on its borders as a direct threat; the U.S. and NATO see only prudent preparedness. In diplomacy, one must attempt to see with strategic empathy, seeking to understand one’s adversaries. This is not weakness: it is wisdom.
“We consider President Biden’s promise to back Ukraine ‘as long as it takes’ to be a license to pursue ill-defined and ultimately unachievable goals.... We advocate for a meaningful and genuine commitment to diplomacy, specifically an immediate ceasefire and negotiations without any disqualifying or prohibitive preconditions. Deliberate provocations delivered the Russia-Ukraine War. In the same manner, deliberate diplomacy can end it.”
The text cites the problem coming from “neoconservatives and top executives of U.S. weapons manufacturers [who] formed the U.S. Committee To Expand NATO. Between 1996 and 1998, the largest arms manufacturers spent $51 million ($94 million today) on lobbying and millions more on campaign contributions.”
And it concludes:
“NATO expansion ... may well be our undoing, unless we dedicate ourselves to forging a diplomatic settlement that stops the killing and defuses tensions. Let’s make America a force for peace in the world.”
Dennis Fritz, Director, Eisenhower Media Network; Command Chief Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Force (retired)
Matthew Hoh, Associate Director, Eisenhower Media Network; former Marine Corps officer, and State and Defense official.
William J. Astore, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force (retired)
Karen Kwiatkowski, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force (retired)
Dennis Laich, Major General, U.S. Army (retired)
Jack Matlock, U.S. Ambassador to the U.S.S.R., 1987-91; author of Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended
Todd E. Pierce, Major, Judge Advocate, U.S. Army (retired)
Coleen Rowley, Special Agent, FBI (retired)
Jeffrey Sachs, University Professor at Columbia University
Christian Sorensen, Former Arabic linguist, U.S. Air Force
Chuck Spinney, Retired Engineer/Analyst, Office of Secretary of Defense
Winslow Wheeler, [He worked on national security issues for 31 years for members of the U.S. Senate and for the U.S. General Accounting Office]
Lawrence B. Wilkerson, Colonel, U.S. Army (retired)
Ann Wright, Colonel, U.S. Army (retired) and former U.S. diplomat