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On Thursday morning, June 30, interviews with both Bridget Moix and Diana Ohlbaum were aired by more than 100 radio networks and stations nationwide on the current status of the war in Ukraine. FCNL was interviewed by NBC News (transcribed and linked below), SiriusXM, Westwood One, and statewide networks in Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, and Michigan, amongst others. Heard by some 12.8 million listeners and growing, the interviews focused on what the United States – and the world – should be doing to stop the fighting and bring about a peaceful resolution.

“From our perspective, the most important thing is to stop the fighting and end the war. That’s going to mean getting the parties to the negotiating table. There is not gonna be a military solution. So we really have to focus on diplomacy.”

Bridget Moix

We have now witnessed four months and counting of brutal war. Thousands are dead and injured with property damage estimated at $92 billion and growing rapidly. The urge to do something—anything—to stop the ongoing violence unfolding in Ukraine is understandable. But is the seemingly non-stop deluge of weapons going to result in the peace the Ukrainian people need and deserve? We do not believe so. In fact, we believe this perpetuates the myth that peace and security are created through military might.

Many lawmakers believe that engaging militarily is the only way to end conflict. But if we have learned anything from the last 20 years of the war on terror, it’s that military gains are short-lived and exact a high human, financial, and moral cost. Additionally, the path we’re on brings us dangerously closer to nuclear war. We must do everything we can to help Ukraine and Russia agree to a ceasefire and lay the groundwork for enduring peace.

“I would say that the situation in Ukraine obviously requires urgent action, but it’s symptomatic of a broader problem in our foreign policy, which is that we have a toolbox full of hammers. And so every problem in the world looks like a nail.”

Bridget Moix

Lawmakers need to understand that using diplomacy, working through multilateral institutions, supporting local peacebuilders, providing humanitarian aid, and protecting refugees are not “weak” responses. These are our best tools for bringing about a durable solution to the crisis in Ukraine.

NBC News Radio | Transcript (06/30/22)

NBC NewsRadio Host:
Perfect. And, uh, stand here. Talk about the, uh, ongoing violence in Ukraine and what the, uh, friends committee, uh, you guys have some thoughts on it. What do you, what, what, what, what are we seeing over there? And there’s a lot of violence and, uh, you know, what are you, what is your organization calling for?

Bridget Moix:
Yeah, thanks. It is a devastating situation right now. And from our perspective, the most important thing is to stop the fighting and end the war. That’s going to mean getting the parties to the negotiating table. There is not gonna be a military solution. So we really have to focus on diplomacy. And just in terms of the situation and the human toll of the war, there are over 4,000 civilians who’ve already been killed. Uh, some six thousands been injured, a full third of Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes. So 7 million of those are displaced inside the country. 5 million are refugees in surrounding areas. And of course there’s the global implications of a food crisis, potential recession, inflation, anybody going to the gas pumps right now feels the impact right here at home. So it’s a really devastating situation and the longer it drags out, the worse things get. So getting to the negotiating table, finding a political settlement has to be the top priority.

NBC NewsRadio Host:
Well, how do you get there? Cause it seems pretty far away based on, uh, you know, everything I’ve read about each side’s positions at the moment. Um, is it just gonna have to get way worse before it can get better? Or what, what can we do here?

Bridget Moix:
Uh, I hope not. And that’s actually why we think we really need to focus more on the diplomatic track right now. There is a military escalation going on and pouring more weapons into the situation is going to prolong the war and the violence. So we really need to shift tracks to think about how are we, we, the us or other actors on a global stage who may have more influence on Russia going to get to the negotiating table Ukraine, uh, president Selinsky is really calling for the global community to help end the war and has been willing to negotiate. So as you said, the, the situation is really how do you get Russia to the table? Uh, that seems very difficult. And I won’t say that we have a, an easy solution to a very complex situation, but the reality is that wars end through diplomacy and we have seen peace processes work in other places, Northern Ireland, Egypt, and Israel, South Africa. We do know it involves making difficult, uh, compromises and talking with difficult actors. You don’t make peace by talking to your friends. You make it by talking to your enemies and that’s where we need to be going.

NBC NewsRadio Host:
Uh, so I mean, how do, how do you even begin to get, um, started on, on the road to this? Uh, like, because I would think that, you know, I would hope that logically, like all sides would realize that’s the case ultimately, but, uh, once again, getting people to the table is the issue, uh, what can, uh, what can the us or other actors, um, do to try to get, get this table, get to this table?

Bridget Moix:
Yeah. Uh, that that’s the, the million dollar question, right. And I think one of the problems, one of the problems right now is that the us administration is sending a lot of mixed signals, uh, about the potential for victory and winning the war. And the reality is this war is not going to be won. It’s going to require a diplomatic solution. And so at the highest levels, certainly in the us government, but also as we’re working with European, uh, allies, as we’re engaged with NATO. And as we’re trying to reach out to Russia, China, Turkey, other countries that, um, can potentially play a different role. That needs to be our message. The message needs to be this war has taken far too much a toll on Ukraine on Europe, on the entire world. And it has to come to, to an end as a negotiating table.

Bridget Moix:
The more we talk about victory or, um, suggests that escalating the war is going to somehow help end it, the more dangerous this gets. Remember Russia is a nuclear power. Um, the threats have been escalating. So de-escalation negotiation and immediate ceasefire have to be the top message of our diplomacy. So, so that’s a first step that political pressure and shifting the focus from military escalation to political settlement, that’s, that’s the first step, really? And from there, it, it’s not gonna be an easy road, but there are proposals out there. There are people thinking about how do you really understand what the long historic roots of this conflict are? What the interests of the parties are and what kind of deals can be struck?

NBC NewsRadio Host:
Well, so I, I would take it in the meantime, uh, you, you wouldn’t support a continued, uh, trans transport of weapons to send over there. Uh, cuz it seem like a, I mean, I, I don’t know. I mean, in one way you could say it would, well, I, I don’t know, I’m not a diplomat, but it seems to me it would continue to escalate things. And I don’t know if that’s, it seems like you don’t, you’re not saying that’s the way to get people to the, the negotiating table. Mm-hmm um, so, but

Bridget Moix:
I don’t know. No, we think

NBC NewsRadio Host:
How realistic that is right now. Yeah. Like as far as our current

Bridget Moix:
Policy. Yeah. That, that is, yeah. That, that, and that is the current, um, the theory that you hear, right, is that the more, um, we can arm Ukraine, the stronger they will be at the negotiating table, the problem is that hasn’t been working and the toll that is it’s taking on Ukraine and the world is extremely costly and extremely dangerous. So, um, we really think that military escalation is not going to help reach a political settlement. If you look at the facts on the ground, we’re almost five going into five months into this war, it’s becoming more entrenched, uh, more dangerous and, and farther away from a political settlement. So the shift really has to be, how do we get to the negotiating table? How do we secure a cease fire and how do we find a long term lasting settlement? And I think it, it often feels to us like engaging militarily is the only way to end a conflict somehow. But we certainly have learned from the last 20 years of war that military gains, even when they’re made, are short lived and they exact very high costs and they don’t create lasting peace. So we really have to think about how are we going to focus on the diplomatic solutions and not more military aid?

NBC NewsRadio Host:
Well, how do you, uh, convince like Ukraine for instance, to, uh, you know, that they might have to make, uh, concessions that they currently don’t want to make, uh, is just a matter of how much human suffering they’re willing to stomach before they get to that point. Because I, I don’t know what that number is, you know?

Bridget Moix:
Yeah. I mean that, that’s, that’s, that’s what diplomacy is, right. It’s trying to reduce the cost of war as quickly as possible to find out what is the, the settlement or the negotiated agreements that are possible. Ukraine has been willing to offer, uh, ideas, um, potential concessions. Uh, I think there, uh, is increasingly an understanding that there will have to be some kind of settlement around, um, you know, territory, which is gonna be tough, but that, that is less of a problem probably on the Ukrainian side than on the Russian side. And the, the challenge is how do you get Russia to the table? Well, we know that you, you know, the us actually, even when the us and Russia were, um, you know, the worst enemies through the cold war, we, we were negotiated with Russia on arms reduction deals and other things. And so we have to get back to the understanding that we’re gonna have to engage difficult actors, including Russia, to find out what are the interests and the faster we do that. And the more, uh, intensely that we do that and make that our primary goal, the quicker this war ends and the less suffering there is.

NBC NewsRadio Host:
Ah, um, well, yeah, I, I, I would say, so it, this seems like a fr labyrinth, uh, labyrinth fraught with a danger to get there in the meantime, but, um, I do appreciate it. Uh, is there anything else you’d like to add while I’ve got you on the phone today? It’s about all the time I had

Bridget Moix:
Sure. I think I would just say that the, the situation in Ukraine obviously requires urgent action, but it’s symptomatic of a broader problem in our foreign policy, which is that we have a toolbox full of hammers. And so every problem in the world looks like a nail. We invest enormously in military capacities. The annual budget of the Pentagon is over 800 billion. And right now Congress is actually looking to add up to 45 billion, more that the Pentagon even asked for. Yeah. And meanwhile, our diplomacy budget for the entire world is only around 18 billion. So you, you get what you pay for. And that’s part of the problem is that we are not investing in the tools of diplomacy to be able to address the problems, uh, as difficult and entangled as they are that we’re facing.

NBC NewsRadio Host:
All right. Well, we’ll leave it at that. And, uh, Bridget, once again, thank you very much for, uh, giving us a call. I appreciate it.

Bridget Moix:
Thank you, Mark.

Tim McHugh

Timothy McHugh

Director of Media Relations
Tim leads organizational efforts to communicate about issues, victories, priorities, and updates through all available news channels – specifically the major media outlets.