IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

A case for/against funding USIP

I am reposting this because I think it is interesting:  I am not promoting any point of view.  Personally, I think there are points to be made on both “sides”.  Still, if you take even a cursory “click through” of the USIP site, you will see there is a lot of valuable material there.  It would be a shame to lose this.

(reposted)

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“A peacemaker’s case against the U.S. Institute of Peace (Help Save the US Institute of Peace), Add Your Comments, Take Action Please

Dear Colleagues

As you may be aware, the US House of Representatives has voted to cut off all funding for the United States Institute of Peace. The Institute has played a critical role in supporting innovative peacebuilding practice, work, research and policy in the US and countless conflict regions around the world.

There is a real threat that at the the time the Institute is doing its most meaningful work that it may be cut or its budget severely reduced (the entire budget of the institute is equivalent to sending 40 US soldiers per year in Afghanistan, a cost of $42 million).

There are many groups in the US from the left and right that are critiquing the institute. From the left, people are indicating the Institute is too mainstream and doesn’t critique the current US wars. While from the right, many see the govt efforts to support peace as soft.

Over the past 20 years I have seen the critical work of the Institute in all areas, from supporting peace work in some of the most violent regions in the world, providing capacity building and training for US policymakers, practitioners and members of international organizations/civil society, conducting some of the leading research in the world.

This past Friday, Mr. Colman McCarthy, a well-respected peace activist in the US published an article highly critical of USIP and suggesting that all govt support for the organization be ended. While I agree with some of his critiques, I think he is doing the peace community a huge disservice and the loss of USIP would be a tragedy for the international community and peacemakers around the world. I urge you all to read the op-ed and please take a few minutes to add your comments on the Washington Post Website (hopefully in support for the Institute). Even better if you have time please send a formal letter to the editor at letters (at) washpost.com. Please see this link for suggestions how to send comments, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm

I hope you will send your comments to the editor.  We need well written and clear statements of the case for funding USIP in response. You can add comments on the PCDN network, but really to be effective please post on the Washington Post site, or comments page.”

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March 26, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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