On Tuesday, a group of former high-ranking national security fellows, the Eisenhower Media Network, released an open letter appearing as a full-page ad in the New York Times, calling for a diplomatic end to the Russia-Ukraine war.
The ad — which can be seen here — includes an important timeline of events and a map showing U.S./NATO military bases near Russia and a comparison of what that would look like if the “shoe were on the other foot.”
The letter states: “The immediate cause of this disastrous war in Ukraine is Russia’s invasion. Yet the plans and actions to expand NATO to Russia’s borders served to provoke Russian fears. And Russian leaders made this point for 30 years. A failure of diplomacy led to war. Now diplomacy is urgently needed to end the Russia-Ukraine War before it destroys Ukraine and endangers humanity.”
“Competent and wise diplomacy could have prevented the Ukraine War and it most likely could have ended it already,” Matthew Hoh, Associate Director, Eisenhower Media Network; Former Marine Corps officer, and State and Defense official said. Only diplomacy will end this stalemated war, there is no military victory possible for either side.”
“I worked in Space Command as a senior advisor to the Commander, where our land-based nuclear arsenal was under his command. This is the most fearful I have ever been of a nuclear escalation,” Dennis Fritz, Director at Eisenhower Media Network; Command Chief Master Sergeant of the US Air Force (retired) said. “My goal is to bring awareness to as many people as possible the backstory of how we got here and how ‘silence is complicit’ if I disagree with our current policy and role in the Russian/Ukraine conflict.”
Historically, the fellows say, Russia has been invaded by foreigners and is therefore wary of enlarged NATO borders. With that in mind, this situation should be considered with perspective and understanding versus weapons and destruction.
“As Dan Ellsberg has warned courageously and unceasingly, we — the world — are at the nuclear brink again, perhaps closer to the edge than ever before. It only requires one step to go over and then our steps end forever,” Colonel, U.S. Army (retired) Lawrence Wilkerson said. “If that’s not sufficient reason for a return to diplomacy, our extinction is at hand; the timing is all that is in question.”
The letter states: “Why did the U.S. persist in expanding NATO despite such warnings? Profit from weapons sales was a major factor. Facing opposition to NATO expansion, a group of neoconservatives and top executives of U.S. weapons manufacturers formed the U.S. Committee to Expand NATO. Between 1996 and 1998, the largest arms manufacturers spent $51 million ($94 million today) on lobbying and millions more on campaign contributions. With this largesse, NATO expansion quickly became a done deal, after which U.S. weapons manufacturers sold billions of dollars of weapons to the new NATO members.
“So far, the U.S. has sent $30 billion worth of military gear and weapons to Ukraine, with total aid to Ukraine exceeding $100 billion. War, it’s been said, is a racket, one that is highly profitable for a select few.”