Despite spending trillions of dollars, waging counterterrorism in 85 countries, having combat troops in eight nations, plus countless targeted assassinations, the war on terror has not succeeded.

President Biden, in announcing troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, said as much: “Over the past 20 years, the [terrorism] threat has become more dispersed, metastasizing around the globe.”

Other than withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, the U.S. continues with the same approach. The Senate Armed Services Committee and the House voted for a $25 billion increase in the Pentagon budget. Drone strikes and aerial bombing with their civilian casualties continue. Modernization of the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal and arms sales to multiple nations -- even those with human rights violations -- continues.

Seeking an alternative approach, 24 people -- “a cross-section of advocates, activists, organizers, faith community leaders, and scholars” -- met for two hours twice a month for six months ending in April 2021. This resulted in a discussion paper: “Dismantling Racism and Militarism in U.S. Foreign Policy,” written by Salih Booker of the Center for International Policy (CIP) and Diana Ohlbaum of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL).

The paper outlines a vision for a new role for the U.S. in the world that would repudiate racism and militarism. The vision is based on our common humanity, justice, peace, equality, dignity, shared wealth, and sustainability.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

I commend it. The 38-page paper can be found on both the CIP and FCNL websites. (

Rich Van Dellen, Rochester