President Bush’s neoconservatives have announced that they are relaunching the Committee on the Present Danger. The new CPD will be totally different from the original.
I was a member of the Committee on the Present Danger. It was a bipartisan private organization consisting largely of former presidential appointees who distrusted navet about Soviet intentions. One concern was that the US government, feeling pressured to reduce nuclear arms, would be outmaneuvered by the Soviets, who didn’t have similar pressures, with a strategic advantage for the Soviets being the result.
The members were patriots committed to liberty, not warmongers. Some of the neoconservative members talked about "rolling back" Soviet gains, but the majority of the members rejected this as a romantic impulse not worthy of discussion.
The committee’s main concern was that US capabilities not be rolled back more than, or in advance of, Soviet ones.
The relaunched CPD consists of neoconservatives who are, in effect, an unregistered lobby group for Israel’s Likud Party and its foreign policy. The purpose of the new CPD is to foment war against Islam.
Myself and others who sought to maintain a balanced perspective will not be included in the new committee. With its goal of wider war in the Middle East, the neocon CPD is itself the present danger.
Dr. Roberts [send him mail] is John M. Olin Fellow at the Institute for Political Economy and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. He is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury. He is the co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.