Sanctions + Regime Change + War = Empire
Two years into the Trump presidency, is the imperial U.S. foreign and military policy evolving? Escalating threats of regime change against Iran and Venezuela, continued wars in Yemen, further assaults against Palestinians, rapidly growing military budgets and new nuclear weapon designs, show that the U.S. national security apparatus struggles to maintain its global empire. Yet adjustments in Afghanistan, Syria, and Korea suggest that the U.S. is no longer committed to fighting everywhere, in every country, at all times, but is open to making compromises.
A new wave of progressive Democrats have entered Congress, and the 2020 presidential election is starting. Is a group of pro-peace Democrats emerging? If so, how much are they breaking with the assumptions of American exceptionalism and what effect are they having on U.S. foreign policy?
Today, it is more important than ever for citizens to stand up and demand an end to militarism and a turn towards peace. At our 2019 annual meeting, we will approve the organizations program plan, hear from our keynote speaker, discuss how to take action in small breakout groups, elect board members, and hear a finance report.
Keynote Address by Lawrence Wilkerson:
The American Empire: A Fall From Grace?
Scholars of the U.S. national security state sometimes denote a watershed period that commenced the state-building effort which transitioned the federal republic the Founders began in 1787 into what we are today. As the Constitution more or less institutionalized the first effort, the 1947 National Security Act did the second. Recently, the national security state-building effort thus set in motion in 1947 was powerfully accelerated by the tragic events of 11 September 2001, events that traumatized the nation. What President Dwight Eisenhower identified in 1960 in his Farewell Address as a more or less creeping and pernicious influence on liberal democracy, after 9/11 became a torrent of democracy-eroding influences. It is important to the people of this country that we pause and examine how this deadly process operates today. Indeed, our destiny as a free people depends on it.
Lawrence Wilkerson is the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Government and Public Policy at the nations oldest public university, The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he has taught for the past fourteen years. Previously, while serving in the US Army for 31 years, he also taught in two of the nations most prestigious war collegesthe Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island and the Marine Corps War College in Quantico, Virginia. After retiring from military service, he taught in the Honors Program at the George Washington University in Washington, DC for six years. Positions he has held outside teaching includein the militaryspecial assistant to General Colin L. Powell when the General was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, andin civilian lifechief of staff to Powell when he served as U.S. Secretary of State.
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