WASHINGTON —U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, unveiled on Monday a radically different approach – called “Rethinking the Battlefield” – to ensure U.S. foreign affairs keeps up with the challenges America faces in a changing world. Murphy presented his plan, which calls for bold new investments in diplomacy, economic development, humanitarian assistance, and other forms of statecraft, to the Council on Foreign Relations. Click here to view a video of Murphy remarks on “Rethinking the Battlefield”
Below is a roundup of praise for Murphy’s plan:
Madeleine Albright, former United States Secretary of State: “Rethinking the Battlefield is a comprehensive blueprint for how America can protect its citizens, build our prosperity, and defend our way of life in the 21st century. Senator Murphy recognizes that now is not the time for America to retreat from the world, and that we should be doing more, not less, to deal with challenges abroad before they affect our security and prosperity at home. After the reckless and misguided cuts to national security institutions proposed by the Trump administration, it is more important than ever to have a real conversation about how and why we engage globally. Rethinking the Battlefield provides a good basis for such a discussion.”
Antony Blinken, former United States Deputy Secretary of State: “Senator Murphy rightly recognizes that diplomacy and development on the one hand and defense on the other are flip sides of the same national security coin. At a time when most of the big challenges we face do not have neat military or unilateral solutions, we need a budget that marries hard and soft power into smart power. That’s exactly what Sen. Murphy’s new budget does."
Ambassador William Burns, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former United States Deputy Secretary of State: “In a more complicated, crowded, and competitive world, safeguarding American interests and values requires adaptive and agile diplomacy as our tool of first resort. As Senator Murphy thoughtfully argues, so long as diplomacy and development remain an under-resourced follow-up to the use of force, we can bet on mounting challenges, crises, and cost in both blood and treasure.”
Lieutenant General John Castellaw, United States Marine Corps (Ret.): “Throughout my service in the United States Marine Corps I saw time and again that military might alone is not enough to keep us safe. Keeping our country strong and secure requires every tool in our national security toolbox – and in today’s increasingly complex world, that must include diplomacy, development, and humanitarian assistance. Senator Murphy’s smart and forward-thinking proposal would ensure that our civilian forces have the resources they need to be effective partners for our servicemen and women working to build a safer, more peaceful world for all.”
Dan Glickman, former United States Secretary of Agriculture & Executive Director of The Aspen Institute’s Congressional Program: “Senator Murphy’s foreign policy proposal is an extremely thoughtful and well balanced strategic initiative for American engagement in the world during these turbulent and rapidly changing times. I am especially impressed how he has thematically woven the need to ramp up American presence in the world’s trouble spots with specifics such as creation of a Crisis Response Fund, expanding the Peace Corps, better coordination of humanitarian, disaster and civic aid, refugee and migration assistance, and more modern financing and management of development projects. The proposal is a well-reasoned roadmap providing a vision for American leadership with increased resources with programs that are well managed, and coordinated with our more traditional defense responsibilities as well as thoroughly consistent with American values more generally. I fully endorse the proposal and the suggestions for its implementation.”’
Julianne Smith, Senior Fellow and Director of Strategy and Statecraft Program, Center for a New American Security: “Today’s threat environment requires national security structures that are agile, well resourced, and designed in a way that fosters innovative approaches to complex challenges. This budget proposal outlines a path forward that would do just that."
Major General Paul D. Eaton, United States Army (Ret.): “The Army War College, as well as our sister service War colleges, stress that any nation, but the United States by all means, must have a balance. between the components of national power - economic, military and diplomatic. Failure to achieve that balance usually leads to foreign policy failure, or in a case like the Soviet Union, empire failure. The United States abandoned our balanced approach shortly after WWII and the result has been a more expensive and less capable foreign policy. It is time to redress the harm we do to our State Department and achieve balance.”
Ambassador Ronald Neumann, President, American Academy of Diplomacy: "Senator Murphy has recognized that diplomacy and development are America's first line of defense. His call for not only more funds but for greater flexibility and concentration in how America uses its funding can give enormous additional security to the United States in the years ahead. His proposals deserve the most serious consideration."
Heather Hurlburt, New Models of Policy Change, New America: "Senator Murphy has put forward a truly strategic budget that challenges Washington to get its priorities in order: spend wisely to prevent conflicts and promote forces of peace as a proven alternative to wasting American lives and treasure once war has come."
Ray Offenheiser, President Oxfam America: “We urgently need creative and effective thinking about how we respond to the unprecedented global threats and challenges we face – from the increasing havoc caused by climate change, the horrifying conflicts forcing over 65 million people to flee their homes, and the more than 20 million people facing starvation in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria. If we can better help countries to fight poverty, inequality, corruption, climate change and humanitarian crisis, we can help build peace and stability. Senator Murphy’s proposal on how we can work in smart new ways is an ambitious and much needed ‘re-think’ that builds on America’s long legacy of being a leader on human rights, humanitarian assistance, and the fight against global poverty. We also need to take a hard look at current foreign assistance programs and be bold about focusing our efforts on what's effective and yields maximum impact.”
Alicia Phillips Mandaville, Global Development Policy and Learning at InterAction: "This represents the kind of vision and forward thinking we need from senior US leaders. We look forward to continuing to build a bipartisan consensus for stronger, more robust, more effective foreign assistance."
Ilan Goldenberg, Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program, Center for a New American Security: "As someone who has served at both the Department of Defense and the Department of State, I've seen how the sharp disparities in funding negatively affect our foreign policy. When all you have is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail. Senator Murphy's initiative reflects the type of smart thinking we need to correct this problem."
Diane Randall, Executive Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation: “Senator Chris Murphy’s proposal to strengthen our investments in diplomacy, development and peacebuilding will make our country safer and, ultimately, save money and lives. These peacebuilding policies offer a smart way to lead in our global society. Study after study has shown that early prevention of violent conflicts and atrocities is much more effective than late intervention. Sen. Chris Murphy’s efforts to boost investments in crisis prevention and response will enhance our ability to take early action and prevent violence.”
National Peace Corps Association (NPCA): “NCPA is proud to endorse ‘Rethinking the Battlefield,’ Senator Murphy's powerful vision for American leadership in International Affairs. While America’s military is unrivaled, today’s global challenges cannot be overcome through might alone. Senator Murphy insightfully argues that the changing nature of threats to the U.S. demand a multi-pronged approach. By enhancing our overseas role and global partnerships in the ways outlined by Senator Murphy, America's national security, economy, and standing will dramatically improve. Senator Murphy has put forward a smart, measured, and fiscally responsible long-term plan that capitalizes on the impact and effectiveness of our development and diplomacy programs. Specifically, Senator Murphy's plan calls for more than doubling the Peace Corps to 15,000 Volunteers in the field by fiscal year 2022. As Senator Murphy notes, ‘This is perhaps the most cost effective way to promote American values, win friends, and help build more stable societies.’ NPCA stands with Senator Murphy in ‘Rethinking the Battlefield’ for the strength it brings to the Peace Corps, our partners in International Affairs, and to our country.”
Stephen Miles, Executive Director, Win Without War: "Sen. Murphy has offered precisely the kind of visionary leadership Americans need to actually confront the security threats of the 21st century. Rather than throwing more money into a black hole at the Pentagon, we should be following his blueprint for investing in security solutions designed to make America safe, today and tomorrow, rather than yesterday."
Morton H. Halperin, Senior Advisor, Open Society Policy Center: “This Marshall Plan for the 21st century is appropriately bold and targeted. It promotes the best of American values – rule of law, anti-corruption, American “can do” attitude -- toward prevention and response to global pandemics, famines and other emergencies. Senator Murphy’s budget blueprint reminds us of the cost-effectiveness and benefits of robust daily diplomatic presence around the world, as compared to the much greater expense of U.S. military intervention. By doubling down on programs that have proven effective – like the Millennium Challenge Corporation and people-to-people exchanges -- this plan will keep America and Americans engaged in the world in ways that will pay off for years to come.”
Stephen McInerney, Executive Director, Project on Middle East Democracy: "As this report rightly notes, the growing militarization of U.S. engagement with the world has produced neither stability nor security, and nowhere is that more evident than in the Middle East and North Africa. The report draws on crucial yet forgotten lessons from the past regarding the importance of civilian assistance to outline a bold vision for upgrading and modernizing U.S. global engagement for the 21st Century. In particular, the emphasis on combating global corruption and providing incentives for needed reforms in fragile states are especially welcome and should spur further debate on the role of such efforts in responding to today's threats to international security."