Two billionaires, left-leaning Hungarian-American financier George Soros and right-wing Republican donor Charles Koch, have teamed up to fund a new foreign-policy think tank to challenge the US’ “endless wars” abroad, The Boston Globe reported.
According to the media outlet, The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft will open its doors in September, having received two $500,000 donations: from Soros’ Open Society Foundations and the Charles Koch Foundation.
A number of other donors have reportedly donated an additional $800,000 to the project, named after the sixth US president, John Quincy Adams, who declared in a 1821 speech that the United States “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own”.
By the year 2020, the think-tank is allegedly expecting to have a $3.5 million budget and a staff of policy experts who will produce material for use in Congress and public debates.
“The Quincy Institute will invite both progressives and anti-interventionist conservatives to consider a new, less militarised approach to policy. We oppose endless, counterproductive war. We want to restore the pursuit of peace to the nation’s foreign policy agenda,” anti-militarist author and retired army colonel Andrew Bacevich was cited as saying.
The media outlet assumed the foundation would likely advocate a pullout of US troops from Afghanistan and Syria; a return to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran; a less confrontational policy towards Russia and China; tangible reductions in the defence budget and an end to “regime-change campaigns” against Venezuela and Cuba.
“The United States wields enormous power over people throughout the world. Yet we keep inflicting violence on others that no one, not even us, can control. The world does not benefit from this destruction. The American people do not benefit from this destruction. A handful of massive ‘defence’ companies do benefit,” Stephen Wertheim, one of the co-founders of the Quincy Foundation, tweeted.
If we are serious about building a new, 21st-century foreign policy, centered on diplomatic engagement and military restraint, we need to work together to take on the military-industrial complex.— Stephen Wertheim (@stephenwertheim) 1 июля 2019 г.
According to Wertheim, the Quincy Institute will build a new, 21st-century foreign policy proceeding from the premise that it should “secure the safety and well-being of the American people while respecting the rights and dignity of all”.
So the Quincy Institute will have experts of its own and provide a platform for the expertise of others, but it will also recognize that the American people have the right and responsibility to be the ultimate arbiters of US foreign policy.— Stephen Wertheim (@stephenwertheim) 1 июля 2019 г.
These efforts to end "endless wars" come as already-existing tensions between the United States and Iran nearly escalated into a direct confrontation last month when Tehran announced that it had brought down an unmanned US spy drone after the aircraft violated its airspace. Washington, however, claimed that the UAV was operating over international waters in the Strait of Hormuz.
The incident prompted US President Donald Trump to order an airstrike on Iran which he later cancelled just 10 minutes prior to launch. At the time, POTUS explained his decision by saying that he was told that approximately 150 people would have died in the strike - something he thought was not proportionate to the loss of an unmanned drone.
Trump, however, indicated that he never called it "back", he just stopped the attack "from going forward at this time".