‘SMART Security’ – a Peace-based Foreign Policy

March 22nd, 2004 - by admin

by Friends Committee on National Legislation –


WASHINGTON (March 18, 2004) — This morning, Reps. Lynn Woolsey (CA), Joseph Hoeffel (PA), Barbara Lee (CA), Raul Grijalva (AZ) and others introduced legislation calling for the adoption of a “Sensible, Multilateral American Response to Terrorism (SMART) Security Platform for the 21st Century.”

This bill articulates the need for a new US security policy based on preventing acts of terrorism, strengthening international cooperation and the rule of law, reducing weapons proliferation and promoting disarmament, and addressing the root causes of terrorism and other deadly conflict.

Staff at FCNL helped draft this legislation with the office of Congresswoman Woolsey and with colleagues at Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND).

When FCNL began its “Peaceful Prevention of Deadly Conflict” program two years ago, most members of Congress were not familiar with the concept or potential of peaceful prevention. Now, with the introduction of this bill, Rep. Woolsey and her colleagues are actively promoting policy that addresses the threats of terrorism, failed states, and armed conflict before they erupt into violence.

As Rep. Woolsey noted on the floor of the House on March 17, “Smart Security is about prevention, not preemption.”

The ongoing violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, recent bombings in Madrid, and continuing threat of terrorist attacks here in the US all point to failures in the current US national security strategy.

The Administration’s reliance on unilateral military force as the primary instrument to address the heinous crime of terrorism promises only to escalate the violence. It is already clear that civilians will bear the brunt of this broadening “war on terror.”

Without a serious change in our approach to building national and global security, more lives will be lost and billions of more dollars wasted on a failing policy.

More than a year ago, Rep. Woolsey recognized the failures of US policy and proposed offering a new vision for US security policy, based on the peaceful prevention of deadly conflict and alternatives to war.

FCNL staff, along with colleagues at PSR and WAND, worked for months with Rep. Woolsey’s staff to develop legislative language, seek input from other congressional offices, and plan a strategy for adding cosponsors and introducing the SMART Security resolution.

Reps. Hoeffel (PA), Lee (CA), Grijalva (AZ), Hinchey (NY), Jackson-Lee (TX), Markey (MA), Farr (CA), Conyers (MI), Owens (NY), McDermott (WA), and Emmanuel (IL) all joined as original cosponsors to introduce the resolution one year after the launch of the war in Iraq.

SMART Security offers a practical, cost-effective and positive vision for US security policy. It proposes building up international cooperation and reducing the proliferation of weapons; promoting the rule of law and human rights; addressing the root causes of deadly conflict; and preventing atrocities before the killing has begun.

This strategic approach to the prevention of terrorism and war can enhance US national security even as it alleviates suffering in other nations across the globe.

We at FCNL know that our constituents, and thousands more people across the country, are seeking an alternative to the unilateral militaristic US foreign policy of recent years.

SMART Security Is Pragmatic and Patriotic
Over the past two years people have often asked us, “If war is not the answer, then what is?”

This legislation provides a practical and achievable answer to that question by proposing concrete policy recommendations to prevent terrorism and other deadly conflict, while strengthening national and global security. As Rep. Woolsey explains, “SMART Security is tough, pragmatic, and patriotic.”

Read the Legislation
This legislation is available here on FCNL’s web site: https://dnbweb1.blackbaud.com/OPXREPHIL/Link.asp?link=15703

Check FCNL’s web siteto find the bill number: https://dnbweb1.blackbaud.com/OPXREPHIL/Link.asp?link=15704

Call, fax, email or write your representative and urge him or her to cosponsor the “SMART Security Platform for the 21st Century,” or thank your representative if he or she has already co-sponsored the bill.

Ask him or her to speak out in favor of policies that support the peaceful prevention of deadly conflict, and to educate other members of Congress on the need for strengthening cooperative security and advancing alternatives to war. Offer to send him or her a copy of the legislation, available at FCNL’s web site: https://dnbweb1.blackbaud.com/OPXREPHIL/Link.asp?link=15700

You may also send copies of FCNL’s booklet If War Is Not the Answer, What Is? The Peaceful Prevention of Deadly Conflict. This booklet can be downloaded as a PDF from FCNL’s web site or read online at: https://dnbweb1.blackbaud.com/OPXREPHIL/Link.asp?link=15701.

You can order your copy by emailing your request to anna@fcnl.org (mailto:anna@fcnl.org) .

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U.S. Senate
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House of Representatives
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