Overall, giving by conservatives in America to support organizations and projects concerned with foreign policy and national security, as well as to groups and efforts at work “on the ground” in other countries that promote democracy or provide humanitarian aid, seems to have changed in many ways during the past decade, if not longer—concerningly to some, warrantedly to others. Hence this small online symposium.
To begin fostering some discussion and consideration of the important subject, we have simply presented three broad questions to a panel of five respondents:
The respondents, each with deep knowledge and wide experience in the area, are Wilson Center president Mark Green, former Joyce Foundation and German Marshall Fund president Craig Kennedy, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft chief executive officer Lora Lumpe, former Bradley Foundation vice president for program and Giving Review co-editor Daniel P. Schmidt, and Hudson Institute former president and distinguished fellow Kenneth R. Weinstein.
Lumpe’s responses are below. Here are links to the others’ responses: Green, Kennedy, Schmidt, and Weinstein.
Prior to joining the Quincy Institute, Lumpe was an advocacy director at the Open Society Foundations, working against the corrosive effects of militarism on democracy in the United States and around the world. She is the author of three books on the arms trade.[caption id="attachment_78218" align="alignnone" width="288"] Lumpe (Quincy Institute)[/caption]
Conservative international giving in support of a less militarized foreign policy increased meaningfully when the Charles Koch Foundation entered the field in about 2014. Their focused program has been exceedingly catalytic in helping broaden the debate on U.S. foreign policy and issues of war and peace.
Peace is a conservative value, and a benefit to America and the world. From congressional war powers reform to fiscal responsibility, conservative giving helps challenge the idea that use of force and higher military spending are always the right answer.
Increased conservative support for realism and restraint in U.S. foreign policy is imperative. Conservative international giving should be grounded by the cornerstones of diplomacy: empathy, reflection, and understanding. There is a world where military force is not the first and only foreign policy option, and conservative giving helps achieve this.