American Committee for East-West Accord

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The American Committee for East-West Accord is the name of two related organizations that have existed during separate periods of American history whose goals have been to promote, in the United States, conciliation with the Soviet Union and, later, the Russian Federation.

Original organization (1974 to 1992)

The American Committee for East-West Accord was informally organized in 1974, and chartered three years later, in 1977. Founding members included George F. Kennan, Stephen F. Cohen, Jerome Wiesner, and Theodore Hesburgh. The group, which was composed of businessmen, journalists, academics, and former elected officials, advanced the position that "common sense" should determine U.S. trade policy with the USSR, specifically, that the U.S. should avoid economic boycotts and sanctions against the Soviet Union as such measures rarely worked. Instead, it argued, expanding American-Soviet trade would help advance the cause of détente. It also supported the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), increased scientific and cultural exchanges with the Soviet Union, and less confrontational rhetoric about the USSR.[1][2][3]

According to the committee, its underlying perspective was support for the "resolute abandonment of the stale slogans and reflexes of the Cold War ... and a determination not to be governed by the compulsions of military competition".[4]

One of the committee's earliest activities was production of the film Survival ... or Suicide which presented a cinematic treatment of the effects nuclear war would have on daily life.[5]

Reestablished organization (2015 to present)

American Committee for East-West Accord
American Committee on East-West Accord logo.jpg
Abbreviation ACEWA
Formation 2015
Type advocacy group
Legal status 501(c)3 organization[6]
Headquarters New York, NY, United States[6]
Founding Director
Stephen F. Cohen, Ph.D.
Executive Editor
James Carden
European Coordinator
Gilbert Doctorow, Ph.D.
Website eastwestaccord.com

History

Cohen reestablished the American Committee for East-West Accord in 2015 with the assistance of Gilbert Doctorow.[7] A formal launch event was held in November of that year.[8] In addition to Cohen and Doctorow, other members of the group's board of directors include Donald McHenry, William vanden Heuvel, Bill Bradley, Chuck Hagel, Jack F. Matlock Jr., and John E. Pepper, Jr.[8][9][7]

The impetus for reforming the committee was, according to its executive editor James Carden, due to its perception that "anyone who has had the temerity to question whether NATO’s relentless expansion eastward to Russia’s borders has contributed to the crisis [in Ukraine], can look forward to being labeled a 'useful idiot,' a 'dupe,' or a 'Kremlin apologist.' The trend towards character assassination in lieu of substantive debate has been one of the defining features of the debate over US-Russia policy".[10]

Purpose

Doctorow has said the purpose of the reorganized group is to "help dampen the information war by challenging the lies coming from all sides involved. It will arrange neutral platforms for genuine debate of the key issues determining state-to-state relations, most immediately the sanctions policy and the expansion of NATO to Ukraine and Georgia".[11]

Reaction

The committee has been endorsed by Paul Craig Roberts, though others have criticized the group for what they say is its tendency to "blame all tensions on the west".[8][12]

See also

References

  1. ^ Baldwin, David (1985). Economic Statecraft. Princeton University Press. p. 6. ISBN 0691101752. 
  2. ^ The Language of Foreign Affairs. DIANE. 1987. p. 4. ISBN 0941375110. 
  3. ^ "Graduate Student Ben Wallace Digitizes the Cold War". Ohio University Libraries. Ohio University. Retrieved December 16, 2016. 
  4. ^ Sanders, Jerry (1983). Peddlers of Crisis: The Committee on the Present Danger and the Politics of Containment. South End Press. p. 179. ISBN 0896081818. 
  5. ^ Thomas, Stephen (September 1979). "Survival ... or Suicide". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists . 
  6. ^ a b "American Committee for East-West Accord Ltd.". Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator. Retrieved December 16, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Carden, James (June 8, 2015). "Could This New Group Stop the Rush to Cold War?". The Nation. Retrieved December 16, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c Young, Cathy (December 10, 2015). "Putin's New American Fan Club?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved December 16, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Board of Directors". American Committee on East-West Accord. American Committee on East-West Accord. Retrieved December 16, 2016. 
  10. ^ Carden, James (July 1, 2015). "Taking on Russia". World Policy. Retrieved December 16, 2016. 
  11. ^ Doctorow (September 24, 2014). "NGOs Shouldn't Suffer in Sanction War". Moscow Times. Retrieved December 16, 2016. 
  12. ^ Roberts, Paul (June 23, 2015). "Propaganda Reigns In The West". paulcraigroberts.com. Retrieved December 16, 2016.