More War or More Peace?
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Earth: More Peaceful Than Last Year
In this update: Iran: Members of Congress are Undermining Talks: You Can Help; Capitol Hill: FCNL Helping Shape Atrocities Prevention Board; Africa: FCNL Responds to Increased U.S. Militarization; Law of the Sea: Senate Committee Hearings Underway; Earth: More Peaceful Than Last Year
FCNL's Foreign Policy team is sad to say goodbye to Bridget Moix, but excited for her as she begins a new chapter in her career. Read this farewell blog post from Bridget.
Negotiations with Iran are currently stalled, due in part to anti-diplomacy pressure from Congress. The U.S. and five other world powers are meeting with Iran on July 3 in Istanbul to determine whether talks will continue. Your senators could play a key role in breaking the stalemate if they speak out in support of continuing talks to prevent war and a nuclear-armed Iran.
Find out more about what national security experts recommend to successfully negotiate with Iran in Kate Gould's op-ed published by PBS Frontline. Some senators are ignoring the experts' advice: read a recent anti-diplomacy letter signed by 44 senators.
Did your senators sign this letter? Respond to their choice today. (When you enter your zip code in the action alert you will see a sample letter that reflects whether your senators signed the letter.)
Kate Gould and other members of the board of Churches for Middle East Peace meeting with Ambassador Hale, Special Envoy on Middle East Peace.
FCNL, along with 24 other organizations, sent a letter to President Obama thanking him for establishing the Atrocities Prevention Board. This high-level interagency panel will be developing tools and strategies to strengthen the U.S. capacities to help prevent situations of mass violence and atrocities. The letter urges the Obama administration to focus the APB's attention on long-term prevention, rather than on responding to crises that have already turned violent.
Recent articles from the Washington Post and the New York Times highlight growing U.S. military operations in Africa and U.S. special forces "working clandestinely all over the globe" with teams dedicated to "tracking and killing terrorism suspects." Such operations focus on training and equipping African military forces, as well as using drones for targeted assassinations. In response, 24 organizations joined FCNL to send a letter to the Senate calling for an end to this dangerous trend and a focus on peaceful solutions.
Write your members of Congress now to urge them to reject the militarization of U.S. policy toward Africa and focus instead on peaceful solutions.
At the opening of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing series on the ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty, Sen. John Kerry (MA) noted that the committee seeks to "examine all arguments" on whether or not the U.S. should join the convention. The arguments have ranged from the perspective of the U.S. military to how the treaty will drive related U.S. policy, to the business and economic aspects of the treaty. So far the committee has held four hearings and heard from current and former secretaries of state and defense, admirals, generals, and top naval commanders as well as from top business and industry CEOs, policy experts and legal advisers.
On a hopeful note, the Institute for Economics and Peace released its 6th annual Global Peace Index this month. According to the report, the world is more peaceful overall than last year. Read Kathy Zager's blog for more reflections on this in-depth ranking of the peacefulness of 158 nations and to use an interactive version of the report.
Peace Fresno meeting with Senator Feinstein’s office to deliver their Diplomacy, Not War with Iran postcards.
What We're Reading:
"A Cruel and Unusual Record," by Jimmy Carter, New York Times, 6/24/2012.
"'Little America' excerpt: Obama's troop increase for Afghan war was misdirected" by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Washington Post, 6/22/2012.
"The U.S. and Iran's Mistaken Path to War," by Trita Parsi, Huffington Post, 6/20/2012.
"Yes, Virginia, We Can Do Something About the Drone Strikes," by Robert Naiman, Huffington Post, 6/1/2012.