Citizen Diplomacy

(Suggested by one of our FPA board members)

If you want to see the US drop its interventionist, policeman-of-the-world foreign policy you can become a “citizen diplomat”. One way you can get involved is to have your city become a “sister” to a city in a country having a troublesome relationship with the US Administration. Working with Sister Cities International you can have a role in building people-to-people understanding across a broad range of issues and concerns.

Local voters can sign a petition asking their city council to join SCI. There are 19,000 cities in the US. Over 5,000 are “home rule cities” with charters that can be amended by citizen action.

One can turn to Ballotpedia.org to learn the rules for citizen initiatives in the cities of each state. Ballotpedia also posts a 30 page booklet on the tactic, titled Local Ballot Initiatives, to guide activists. Citizen diplomacy opens that door. Additionally, you can call on your mayor to join Mayors for Peace.

In cities that are not home rule a petition drive to put a resolution on the ballot in support of the FPA resolution, or joining Sister Cities, or Mayors for Peace, or all three.

Local ballot initiatives regarding foreign policy reform can be a path to a public debate on foreign policy issues at the grass roots level.

During this process your support group can tap the FPA website for information and authoritative sources that mainstream media ignore, and should continue in that role after city voters approve your proposition.

Citizen Diplomats using people-to-people initiatives such as Sister Cities can facilitate forums, educational exchanges, and cultural events, to educate and update local electorates, helping to keep foreign policy in voters’ thoughts.

The critical part of this strategy is the public education that accompanies the initial organizing process, the petition drive and election, and citizen-to-citizen contact that comes through the work of Citizen Diplomats.

See Our Growing List of Endorsements

We keep getting a steady stream of endorsements for our resolution.

In addition to every day individuals, we also have a considerable number of endorsements from prominent political figures and candidates.

To see our current (and growing) list of them, go to foreignpolicyalliance.org/a-call-to-reform-u-s-foreign-policy-2/endorsements/

To read our resolution and/or to sign on to it yourself, go to foreignpolicyalliance.org/a-call-to-reform-u-s-foreign-policy-2/resolution/

FPA Sep. 2 Jazz Concert Fund Raiser

Please mark your calendar and plan to attend Foreign Policy Alliance’s fundraising jazz concert. We’ll have two fine jazz groups performing in the Houston Mennonite Church’s gorgeous new building at 1231 Wirt Road and look forward to a fun evening for an eminently worthy cause, a non-interventionist U.S. foreign policy.

Featuring:
Bob Henschen Quartet
featuring Warren Sneed, saxophone
Erin Wright, bass, and Joe Ferreira, drums
and
The Free Radicals

When:  Sunday, September 2, 7 PM

Where:  Houston Mennonite Church, 1231 Wirt Rd.

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/PZSiWyZttrQ2

A donation of $10 or more per person is requested but no one will be turned away.

For more information: 713-661-9889

We hope to see you there!

Bob Henschen, Board Member

Foreign Policy Alliance

 

 

The Foreign Policy Alliance is a multi-partisan 501c3 organization that works to build support across the political spectrum for a U.S. foreign policy that emphasizes diplomacy, law, and cooperation, rather than costly and counterproductive  intervention. We believe that a new coalition on a more realistic and effective foreign policy approach is both possible and urgently needed.  

 

Foreign Policy Alliance Statement on the Trump-Kim Summit in Singapore and U.S.-North Korean Relations

Foreign Policy Alliance Statement on the Trump-Kim Summit in Singapore and U.S.-North Korean Relations

June 2018

President Donald Trump made history when he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore in June 2018 to discuss denuclearization and other issues between the U.S. and North Korea. FPA welcomes this potential thaw in U.S.-North Korean relations and encourages President Trump to continue to pursue peaceful engagement with the North Korean government.  Further, we call on the Administration to avoid provocative actions which could be misinterpreted by the North Koreans and spark armed conflict.

The agreement signed by President Trump and Kim Jong-un is little more than a nonbinding commitment to improve relations between the two countries. Nothing of concrete substance was included in the joint statement. There is no timetable for denuclearization on the part of the DPRK. However, the most important result of the Singapore summit is that both sides have embarked on confidence building measures. The U.S. has suspended joint military maneuvers with South Korea; and North Korea has promised to return remains of U.S. service members killed in the Korean War.  These are encouraging first steps on the path to a more substantial agreement.

FPA believes that if there is to be lasting peace on the Korean peninsula, the U.S. and North Korea must come to a comprehensive agreement. Elements of such an agreement include, but are not limited to: removing nuclear weapons located on the Korean peninsula, withdrawing military forces from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), and ultimately a reduction of conventional military forces on all sides.

FPA also believes that if President Trump is to arbitrate peace with the North Korean government, he needs to be consistent with his words and his actions. Recently, the Trump administration labeled North Korea as a “significant threat” despite President Trump’s claims to the contrary. Additionally, labeling North Korea as a national security threat undermines the progress made with North Korea at the Singapore summit.

Finally, FPA applauds President Trump for taking this first step toward a lasting peace on the Korean peninsula. We encourage President Trump to consider additional confidence building measures through active diplomacy, economic engagement, cultural exchange, and full support of the normalization efforts begun under South Korean President Moon Jae In, which may prove to be the key element in finally resolving the Korean quandary.

Zachary Neeley

FPA Board: Eric C. Botts, Bob Henschen, Allan Vogel, Joe Marcinkowski, Jeff Larson, Brian Reed, Bill Crosier

FPA Activity: Women’s Institute Open Forum, May 16

The Foreign Policy Alliance in partnership with a distinguished panel of foreign policy experts Joe Barnes, Senior Fellow at the Baker Institute, and Richard Sindelar Associate Professor of International Studies at The University of St. Thomas, held at foreign policy open forum with students from the Women’s Institute of Houston on May 16. FPA Board member and Women’s Institute Instructor Eric Botts coordinated the event. Participants engaged in an open exchange of views concerning the current state of U.S. foreign policy and challenges we face moving forward. FPA Board President Bob Henschen made a presentation outlining the FPA mission statement and resolution “A Call to Reform U.S. Foreign Policy”.

Thank You to Our Supporters!

Dear Supporters,

The FPA’s first GoFundMe campaign turned out to be a great success.  We raised $325 for our outreach supplies.  This summer we will have the custom tablecloth made by a local company here in the Houston area.  Everyone working with the FPA would like to thank those who contributed because we exceeded our goal (of $300).

Sincerely,

John A. Duerk, Volunteer

Please Donate to FPA’s GoFundMe Campaign for Outreach Supplies

Dear Supporters,

The FPA has set a modest fundraising goal of $300 for outreach supplies, including a professional custom tablecloth that features our logo, additional signage, and copies of our brochure that we need when hosting or attending public events.  Please click here to visit the GoFundMe page and donate $10 (or more) to help us achieve this.  Yes, your contribution is tax deductible.  Also, please endorse our resolution and feel free join us at our next meeting to find out how you can help.

Thank you!

Sincerely,

John A. Duerk, Volunteer

FPA Response to U.S. Attack on Syria

The recent missile attack against Syria ordered by the President was clearly outside the scope of any congressional mandate and was reckless, irresponsible, and illegal.

The Foreign Policy Alliance calls on the U.S. Congress to begin an immediate investigation into the facts surrounding the recent U.S. missile attack against Syria in response to allegations of the use of chemical weapons.  Further, we call on Congress to issue a joint resolution directing the President to suspend all military action in Syria until such actions are authorized after an open and thorough debate concludes that such actions are justified as being in the national interests of the United States.  Additionally, we call for the U.S. representative to the United Nations to give full support to an impartial investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and call for a disengagement of forces from all parties to permit the OPCW to complete an unimpeded investigation to ascertain the relevant facts and present those findings to the UN Security Council for action.

President Donald Trump ordered a military attack against Syria without a resolution from the UN Security Council or authorization from the U.S. Congress for the use of military force.  This order was in violation of the War Powers Act and the UN Charter.

The Constitution of the United States clearly establishes that the power to make war rests exclusively with Congress (Article 1, Section 8).  Congress granted former President George W Bush authorization to use military force as a response to the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. This congressional authorization was limited to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States and not intended to permit the involvement of U.S. forces in a civil war.

-FPA Board