A New Vision for America in the World

Transpartisan Note #122

by A. Lawrence Chickering and James S. Turner

The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a peace-advocating, action-oriented think tank funded by an unlikely, but potent, transpartisan partnership between the foundations of George Soros and Charles Koch, launched in December 2019 to “focus on promoting peace and diplomatic agreement rather than war and military action in U.S. foreign policy.” (George Soros, Charles Koch Foundations Help Launch Pro-Peace Think Tank, The Hill, 12/03/19)

This week the Quincy Institute, in partnership with Foreign Policy magazine, will share their transpartisan vision with the world during a one day “peace forum” at the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington D.C.

Focusing on issues of national security, world peace, and U.S. foreign policy from a transpartisan matrix view of managed order without suppressed freedom with leaders from left and right, their February 26th one-day event will explore topics like ending the endless wars in the Middle East; the impact of the Sino-American antagonism; democratizing foreign policy; and international cooperation in an era of American restraint.

This leadership forum brings together voices from across the Transpartisan Matrix,  featuring speakers including retired General David H. Petraeus; Matt Duss, Senator Bernie Sanders’ Foreign-Policy Advisor; retired Ambassador Gerald Feierstein; and Foreign Policy magazine Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Tepperman.  Congress members conservative Arizona Representative Andy Biggs and progressive Representatives Pramila Jayapal from Washington and Ro Khanna from California will also speak.

We are delighted to see that General Petraeus is one of the speakers at the conference because he wrote in a powerful way about one transpartisan principle having to do with the empowerment of citizens to promote social and political development and reduce conflict.  In a widely-cited article in 2006, he laid out fourteen basic principles of counterinsurgency warfare.*  His first principle relied on T. E. Lawrence (in 1917) writing about empowerment of the Arabs.  His principal strategy for doing this was to give them authority in making and implementing plans.  This would in turn encourage them to take leadership in promoting social and political development, thus promoting solidarity against external enemies.  A common mechanism for thus motivating them is by sharing ownership of schools, wells, and other resources important for local welfare.  Such empowerment would add significantly to local assets supporting economic and political development, following examples of successful civil society empowerment programs in many areas.

Most importantly, this event signals growing awareness of the “Transpartisan” impulse and the transpartisan vision toward which it points.  The Quincy Institute announcement of this forum says “Volatility in the Middle East and tensions between the U.S. and Iran have reached a new high, while public frustration with U.S. military involvements, and transpartisan calls for restraint, suggest a historic opening for a new mode of American foreign policy.”

The transpartisan impulse points to historic openings on every issue throughout the American Political Matrix. The Foreign Policy – Quincy Institute Forum opens the door to transpartisan foreign policy.  We will be there reporting on the forum’s events.

* LTG David Petraeus, “Learning Counterinsurgency: Observations from Soldiering in Iraq”, Military Review, January/February 2006.

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