A Quaker Lobby in the Public Interest
We are changing U.S. foreign policy from one that is overly militarized to one that prevents, mitigates, and transforms violent conflict. We focus on peacefully preventing and ending violent conflict and reforming U.S. counterterrorism policy. By building support in Congress and the administration, we are increasing civilian capacities through the State Department and USAID to address violent conflict and extremism.
Congress and the President often prioritize militarized responses to violent extremism without considering their track record. Military aid programs – one of these militarized responses – are numerous and growing. FCNL is challenging this approach and proposing non-violent, grassroots alternatives that address the root causes of violent extremism.
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Prevention and Protection
The international community has a responsibility to protect civilians. Programs that prevent violent conflict, avert mass atrocities, and protect civilians are basic building blocks for lasting peace and security. We craft and implement an advocacy agenda that supports the structures and resources necessary to help prevent violence and help save lives and money.
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Peacebuilding in Action
The community of Quaker peacebuilders in Africa is mobilizing again to support peaceful elections in Burundi in 2015. The Quaker Peace Network (QPN) in Burundi and other peacebuilders are setting up elections monitoring and response mechanisms to ensure a violence free elections this summer.
Nigeria has long been plagued with significant outbreaks of violence, responsible for the deaths of 7,000 and displacement of hundreds-of-thousands. A robust network of local and international peacebuilders are working to ensure meaningful interaction between opposing factions to mitigate distrust and violence.
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Does securitizing the environment further legitimize the military-first response, reduce willingness to cooperate across borders, and even devalue civilian-led approaches? What is the most appropriate way to respond to issues of climate conflict?
FCNL Statement of Legislative Policy
"We seek federal policies and practices that avoid violence and embrace peaceful forms of managing and resolving conflict. The cycles of violence perpetuated by acts of terror and the armed overthrow of governments serve as warnings against the use of force, while the examples of nonviolent movements for change provide concrete alternatives. No war is justified.
We envision a U.S. with a stronger capacity for prompt and flexible nonmilitary responses to ongoing conflicts that may escalate into mass atrocities. To be most effective, these efforts will seek to alleviate violence and to protect vulnerable populations."