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Statement of Purpose

The Campaign for Peace and Democracy works to advance a new, progressive and non-militaristic U.S. foreign policy — one that encourages democracy and social justice by promoting solidarity with activists and progressive movements throughout the world. We stand in opposition to existing U.S. foreign policy, which is based on domination, militarism, fear of popular struggles, enforcement of an inequitable and cruel global economy, and — despite the democratic rhetoric — persistent support for authoritarian regimes.

Founded in 1982, CPD opposed the Cold War by calling for "detente from below." It engaged Western peace activists in the defense of the rights of democratic dissidents in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and enlisted East-bloc human rights activists against anti-democratic U.S. policies in countries like Nicaragua and Chile. Today, there is a growing awareness among many Americans that U.S. foreign policy, particularly the so-called war on terror, offers only a prospect of endless militarization and actually serves to strengthen dictatorship, political fundamentalism and terrorism throughout the world. They also sense that a powerfully enhanced national security state of secrecy, surveillance, "kill lists," and indefinite detention poses a mortal threat to democracy at home. Millions realize too that this country's bloated military budget starves essential social programs. We propose a new foreign policy based on the following principles:

A U.S. government that carried out a foreign and domestic policy based on these principles would be radically different from the one we have now. Only under such a government would this country be in a position to honestly and consistently foster democracy and progressive social transformation around the world. It could do this by encouraging democratic forces aimed at empowering ordinary people, not unrepresentative elites, and by itself providing an example of genuine democracy. Some of these democratic forces exist today, others have yet to arise, but all would be strengthened if the United States were to abandon its current imperial foreign policy.