- The Washington Times - Monday, August 19, 2019

New Age guru Marianne Williamson on Monday announced that as president she would create a Department of Peace.

Ms. Williamson, whose offbeat campaign has grabbed voters’ attention if not high poll numbers, said a Cabinet-level peace secretary would help end the scourge of violence in the U.S. and across the globe.

She called the elite U.S. war machine “obsolete” and that “we can no longer rely on force to rid ourselves of international enemies.”

“The planet has become too small for that, and in so doing, we overburden our military by asking them to compensate for the other work that we choose not to do, and we are less effective, and less secure, because of our choices,” said Ms. Williamson, author of several best-selling inspirational books.

Earlier, Ms. Williamson floated plans for a new Department of Children and Youth that would focus on protecting and uplifting the country’s children.

The secretary of peace would serve on the National Security Council and coordinate the peace effort with all of the other Cabinet agencies, including the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Education, Justice, and State, and the new Department of Children and Youth, according to the campaign.

Under her plan, the U.S. Department of Peace would establish a Peace Academy, modeled after the military service academies, which will provide a 4-year concentration in peace education.

Graduates would be required to serve five years in public service in programs dedicated to domestic or international nonviolent conflict resolution, according to the campaign.

Under the plan, the Peace Department also would:

• Hold peace as an organizing principle;

• Promote justice and democratic principles to expand human rights;

• Coordinate restorative justice programs; address white supremacy;

• Strengthen nonmilitary means of peacemaking; work to prevent armed conflict; address the epidemic of gun violence;

• Develop new structures of nonviolent dispute resolution; and

• Proactively and systematically promote national and international conflict prevention, mediation, and resolution.

Ms. Williamson proposed covering the initial cost of the new department by consolidation existing peace-building and violence-reducing efforts within the federal government.

As the Department becomes effective in its work, she said, a “peace dividend” from decreased spending on instruments of violence will more than fund the costs of the department.

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