In arguing against funding the U.S. Institute of Peace [“Not the way to give peace a chance,” Outlook, March 20], Colman McCarthy got many of his facts right but rode them to an illogical conclusion. The U.S. government is never going to establish an agency dedicated to attacking its foreign policy; nor will a peace agency ever have equivalent funding to the military. Pending that great day that will never arrive, what are those who want to work for peace supposed to do — nothing?
The U.S. Institute of Peace won’t transform the world, but it does do useful work in peace education and conflict resolution, helping to make the world a little better. It is a voice for peace within the government — not a bad thing. Those who want to pursue Mr. McCarthy’s fantasy of a privatized behemoth for peace are free to do so. Meanwhile, the pittance that the institute gets is a good investment in creating the kind of world most Americans want to live in.
Victor C. Johnson, Washington
The writer is a public policy adviser at NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
If Colman McCarthy would like to make the U.S. Institute of Peace more effective, he should initiate a campaign to provide an endowment to insulate the institute from partisan political pressure.
Where to get the money? Withdrawing just 500 U.S. troops from Afghanistan would save $500 million a year, enough to fund USIP for 12 years. A similar amount could be found by buying 2,453 F-35 fighter jets instead of the 2,457 the Pentagon plans to buy.
William C. Goodfellow, Washington
The writer is executive director of the Center for International Policy.
Yes, it’s me. I wrote the letter and sent it to the Post and only the Post. I am in Key Biscayne at the moment and can be reached on my mobile at 202-271-2219.
The letter looks good.
WCGPeace@aol.com firstname.lastname@example.org mobile 202-271-2219 Home address: 4025 Argyle Terrace, NW Washington, DC 20011