Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Add your organization to this statement opposing Flournoy as Secretary of War

 

Action item: To add your organization to this sign-on statement please respond to Marcy Winograd at winogradteach@gmail.com

Also please immediately contact your Congressional delegation expressing your opposition to Flournoy

 

Statement Opposing Michèle Flournoy as Defense Secretary

 

The following statement, initiated on November 30, is being signed by organizations and individuals deeply concerned about the prospect that Michèle Flournoy could become Secretary of Defense.

 

We urge President-Elect Joe Biden and U.S. Senators to choose a Secretary of Defense who is unencumbered by a history of advocating for bellicose military policies and is free of financial ties to the weapons industry.

 

Michèle Flournoy does not meet those qualifications and is ill-suited to serve as Secretary of Defense.

 

Flournoy’s record includes emphatic support for the failed and tragic military surge in Afghanistan, troops on the ground in Syria and military intervention in Libya -- policies resulting in geopolitical disasters and tremendous human suffering. Flournoy has opposed a ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia, while that country has continued to inflict massive suffering and death in Yemen.

 

While urging a U.S. pivot to Asia that would include ramping up a Cold War with China, Flournoy has called for a boost in spending on cyberwarfare and drones, as well as more troop deployments to the South China Sea to conduct roving war games near two nuclear powers -- China and North Korea.

 

Flournoy’s approach to China is potentially catastrophic. On January 15, 2020, she told Congress the U.S. must prepare to fight and prevail in a future conflict with China by credibly threatening to sink the entire Chinese navy in 72 hours and investing heavily in unmanned systems. At a time when we must work with China to fight the coronavirus and save the planet from an existential climate crisis, Flournoy’s approach would undermine such efforts by preparing for war with China.

 

Security consultants who have endorsed Flournoy and who may be encouraged by her intention to restart arms control talks with Russia or her skepticism on nuclear “modernization” need to look more closely at Flournoy’s congressional testimony and essays on investing in space-based weapons systems that could increase the chances of nuclear war on earth.

 

The revolving-door aspects of Flournoy’s career have raised additional concerns. For instance, as The American Prospect recently reported: “Since Flournoy joined the board of weapons contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Washington paid the company $3 million for consulting fees, while Flournoy’s Center for a New American Security accepted millions from foreign governments, including the United Arab Emirates which donated $250,000 in return for a report on missile defense.”

 

As the Project On Government Oversight noted in a November 2020 report, Ms. Flournoy “co-founded the second-most heavily contractor-funded think tank in Washington, the highly influential Center for a New American Security.” Following a stint as an undersecretary of defense, “she rotated­­ to the Boston Consulting Group, after which the firm’s military contracts expanded from $1.6 million to $32 million in three years.” In addition, Ms. Flournoy “joined the board of Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting firm laden with defense contracts. In 2017 she co-founded WestExec Advisors, helping defense corporations market their products to the Pentagon and other agencies.”

 

In the interests of national and world security, we must close the revolving door that enables military contractors with close ties to government officials to propel us further into a costly, unnecessary and dangerous high-tech arms race. 

 

The people of the United States need a Secretary of Defense who is untethered to the weapons industry and committed to ending the arms race. Michèle Flournoy should not be put in charge of the Pentagon, and neither should anyone else failing to meet those qualifications. We are opposed to her being nominated, and we are prepared to launch a major nationwide grassroots campaign so that every senator will hear from large numbers of constituents demanding that she not be confirmed.

 

Organizations initiating this statement: CodePink, Progressive Democrats of America, RootsAction.org, World Beyond War

2 Comments:

Anonymous Jeannine Jacobs said...

The War machine is a false behemoth, which keeps redirecting our funds for destruction of other societies, and now our own. It doesnt give back, except to the guilty, and it has been propped up by racism, fear of industrial and economic collapse, all of which is beneath us and invalid. Our final days are to choose that of VALUE, whereupon Michelle Flourenoy's background will only repeat a great mistake.

12/2/20, 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Jeannine Jacobs said...

We need to move beyond War, for our country and the welfare of others. Michelle Flourenoy is not the one to take us to a fresh diplomatic, fair trade, Green economy and foreign policy. Her adherence to War Games, torture and fear mongering is not healthy for the little time we have left to correct our course. Peace---by any means.

12/2/20, 4:02 PM  

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