Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The seven authors of “Restoring ‘peace through strength’ ” (Opinion, May 11) need to return to the drawing board if they are serious about preserving our nation’s freedoms and security.

Their pre-Sept. 11 thinking, unfortunately, is useless against the greatest threats we face today: nature’s pandemics, nuclear or bio-engineered weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), sport utility vehicles fashioned into WMD, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), economic collapse, environmental catastrophe or inevitable natural disasters.

A strong military may be helpful in cleaning up or controlling chaotic conditions after disasters, but reducing the number, severity and types of threats will require something different: nations working together effectively. Not just a few nations, either: Cooperative and comprehensive international partnerships are necessary between all countries and, more important, all peoples.

The authors value the “preservation of U.S. sovereignty,” but keeping this priority will be counterproductive to marshaling the essential global cooperation and coordination needed to ensure maximum freedom and security. National sovereignty is synonymous with the concept of independence, which simply doesn’t exist in the real world of hyperinterdependence. “Strength” will not bring “peace.” We had the most powerful military in human history before Sept. 11, 2001.

The authors call for “a foreign policy that supports our allies and opposes our adversaries.” But nowadays, our allies and adversaries change faster than the weather - and are seldom the same from issue to issue.

How about fulfilling the promise of the Declaration of Independence, based on the ideal that all people are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights? Our Constitution was designed to fulfill that promise but has yet to succeed. Until a world constitution fulfills the promise of our nation’s founding document, freedom and security will remain political slogans. Time is running out.


Rockville, Md.

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