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At FCNL’s 2019 Annual Meeting, I asked the following: “Why is the U.S. government so reliant on the use of threats, coercion, and military force around the globe, and why can’t our policymakers admit it’s not working? Why are we so stuck in this way of relating to the world, and what do we have to do to change it?”

Without understanding what motivates U.S. policymakers to seek global military domination, we will have trouble convincing them to abandon this counterproductive and morally repugnant course.

Like addicts, foreign policy elites resort to the drug of violence to avoid dealing with the fundamental causes of conflict.

Like addicts, foreign policy elites resort to the drug of violence to avoid dealing with the fundamental causes of conflict and end up making the situation far worse. They won’t be ready to hear our policy solutions until they admit they have a problem.

Over the past year, FCNL has been working with the Center for International Policy, a progressive research and advocacy organization, to understand why the U.S. foreign policy establishment clings so stubbornly to a course that is so harmful to so many people, particularly people of color.

With the support of several foundations and individual donors, we convened a high-level working group that met virtually for two hours, twice a month, for six months, from October 2020 through April 2021.

The diverse group included a cross-section of advocates, activists, organizers, faith community leaders, and scholars in the fields of U.S. foreign policy and national security; racial, economic, and environmental justice; peacebuilding; migration; labor; human rights; feminism; and constitutional law. From our various perches, we explored the underlying reasons for such an aggressive, bullying approach to the world.

What we found may come as little surprise to many: there are deep-rooted economic, political, and ideological forces that are very difficult to dislodge and disentangle.


You can find the rest of the July/August Washington Newsletter, including the rest of this article, in the sidebar to the right.

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