FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Carrie Filipetti
ANNOUNCING THE VANDENBERG COALITION
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, an expansive group of foreign policy leaders spanning several administrations and representing a diverse array of viewpoints has launched the Vandenberg Coalition – a new, non-partisan network committed to advancing a strong and proud American foreign policy.
This new non-profit organization unites scholars and practitioners who represent a range of foreign policy views and government experiences. All involved, however, share a commitment to American leadership and a desire for conservatives to adopt a forward-looking foreign policy equipped for today’s critical security threats. These challenges include those emanating from growing great power competition with China, revisionist powers, the spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and transnational terrorism and crime. None of these challenges will disappear if the United States abandons the international role it has maintained since the Second World War.
The Vandenberg Coalition’s foreign policy approach draws on best practices of previous administrations, while learning from the failures of the past. There were splits in the group during the Trump years, with some having served at the highest levels of the administration, and others having been “never-Trumpers.” Yet the group was never divided over its support for American leadership, and today the Vandenberg Coalition reasserts that unity in defending American national interests. Vandenberg is a coalition in the best sense, bringing together a range of men and women in patriotic dedication to American security, prosperity, and freedom.
The creation of the Vandenberg Coalition – named after the late Senator Vandenberg who advocated vigorous U.S. internationalism – comes at a pivotal point in time in American politics and will promote a strong and proud American foreign policy grounded in six foundational principles. First, American security depends on American leadership. The United States must remain the most powerful and influential nation in the world. Second, a strong America is a safe America. The United States must have a strong national defense to protect the interests of the American people and to deter aggression. Third, strategic cooperation serves American interests. Robust alliances among sovereign nations and the strategic use of multilateral institutions advance U.S. security. Fourth, economic security is essential to national security. We support free and fair trade to advance the prosperity and security of the American people. U.S. trade and investment agreements should benefit workers and families in the United States. America must sustain its defense industrial base, lead efforts against predatory economic practices, and promote the rules of international trade and commerce. Fifth, the United States requires a proud American foreign policy that champions American values without apology. Sixth, we believe in American leadership of, by, and for the American people. U.S. foreign policy should be responsive to all Americans – not just those in Washington.
The Vandenberg Coalition will promote this foreign policy approach through vigorous engagement with elected officials, candidates, policymakers, and the public. The governing board, advisory board, and staff include an impressive list of foreign policy scholars, analysts, and public servants, including those from the highest levels of the Trump administration, both Bush administrations, and the Reagan administration. Elliott Abrams chairs the Vandenberg Coalition’s governing board, which includes Eric Edelman, Matthew Pottinger, Kristen Silverberg, and Kathryn Wheelbarger. Vandenberg Coalition staff is comprised of Carrie Filipetti (Executive Director) and Amanda Rothschild (Senior Policy Director). The Vandenberg Coalition has nearly 70 distinguished members of its advisory board; their names can be found on our website www.vandenbergcoalition.org.
PRAISE FOR THE VANDENBERG COALITION
“The Coalition seeks to inspire conservatives to embrace a forward-looking, effective foreign policy. In this context, the Coalition will work on enhancing the fusion between scholarship and foreign policy decision-making, between idealism and pragmatism, and developing foreign policy solutions that are supported by both the foreign policy cognoscenti and the American people. The Coalition will work vigorously on these tasks and have a lasting positive impact.”
- Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky, former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs
“Partisan vitriol among America’s political leadership gives friends and foes alike the impression that the United States is incapable of competing effectively based on a bipartisan foreign policy. The Vandenberg coalition, based on the spirit of its namesake, will help build a common understanding of the challenges and opportunities we face and inspire common action necessary to secure a better future for generations of Americans to come. “
- General H.R. McMaster, former National Security Advisor