The American Security Project has genuine pride in providing bipartisan solutions to long-term, overlooked national security threats. With our nonpartisan charter, we can look impartially at the facts and let them lead us towards thoughtful recommendations and analysis for policy leaders. This has been our approach for the last 15 years and will continue to be our approach for the next 15 years and beyond.
Over the last week, I have had many conversations with members of our Board of Directors, Consensus for American Security, staff, and fellows as the country witnessed public protests met with state-sponsored violence. If we had seen some of the scenes we saw in American cities last week happening in a foreign country, ASP would have already issued a statement condemning them. ASP will fully support peaceful protests that highlight the key fact: Black Lives Matter.
At the American Security Project, the keystone of everything we do starts with the idea that the American military is not a political organization: it is a tool to protect the interests of our country – the whole country. Its diversity is its strength, just like our country: “out of many, one.”
Since the founding of the American armed forces in the Revolutionary War, the American military has – by tradition and by law – been prevented from being deployed against the American people. This is appropriate for a country founded in opposition to state-sponsored violence against its citizens.
Blatant politicization of the military will lessen legitimacy domestically, weakening our reputation abroad, and turn one of the few remaining nonpartisan institutions into another toy of political influence – threatening congressional support. American diplomats will struggle making inroads abroad as America’s commitment if its own morals are seen as being fluid.
As barricades are being taken down around the White House, active duty units are sent back to their bases, and National Guard members return to their communities, I hope that the country can take a deep breath and return to our founding principles.
Chief Operating Officer, American Security Project