The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

PeaceNicholas Murray Butler, President of Columbia University from 1901 to 1945, was a noted leader in the Republican Party who once ran for vice-president on the same ticket with William Howard Taft, the Republican candidate defeated by Democrat Woodrow Wilson in 1912. Thwarted in his efforts to win national office for himself or any of the candidates he put forward for the Republican nomination, Butler nevertheless became a strong force “to unite the world of education and that of politics in a struggle to achieve world peace through international cooperation.” A recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931, his zeal for world amity also led him to the noted philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, urging him to establish the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace through a gift of $10 million. Heavily involved in the efforts of the foundation for the rest of his life, Butler served as its president from 1925 until the end of World War II in 1945. Carnegie officially started the foundation on December 14, 1910 when he transferred the money to a group of 29 trustees. Despite the close allegiance of Butler and Carnegie to the Republican Party, the endowment’s work has never been associated with any political entity.


Andrew Carnegie – Inspired to Promote International Peace
Photo credit: cliff1066™ / Foter / CC BY

From its inception, the organization has espoused Carnegie’s belief that global conflict can be averted through stronger international laws and effective institutions dedicated to the propagation of peace. Ever the philanthropist opposed to international conflict, Carnegie charged the trustees of the foundation with the mission and charter “to hasten the abolition of war, the foulest blot upon our civilization.” Although such a goal has always remained elusive, the “Global Think Tank” resulting from Carnegie’s zeal has continuously been involved with promoting international peace by directly appealing to the intellectual leaders of world. Down through the years, it has emphasized educational initiatives, programs dedicated to international cooperation, and the implementation of international law. Officially, the endowment is described as “a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States” – and it has done so with a strong conviction that its work should contribute to genuine change in the world. Of related interest, three famous “peace temples” stand has architectural monuments to  Carnegie’s dedication to international amity: the Peace Palace located at the The Hague in the Netherlands, the Pan-American Union Building in Washington D. C., and the Central American Court of Justice in Costa Rica.

With centers geographically located in Washington, D.C., Moscow, Beirut, Beijing, and Brussels, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is the oldest foreign affairs think tank in the United States. In the wake of the 911 tragedy, revolutionary efforts were announced in 2006 to forge the first “international think tank” for the confrontation of global challenges – thereby reinvigorating the institution to take on a modern world plagued by vastly different problems than one hundred years prior. At the Carnegie international locations “local experts produce unrivaled work on critical national, regional, and global issues, collaborating closely with colleagues across the world. The result provides capitals and global institutions with a deeper understanding of the circumstances shaping policy choices worldwide as well as a flow of new approaches to policy problems.” Under the leadership of Jessica Tuchman Mathews since 1997, it is considered to be the third most influential think tank in the world, behind only the Brookings Institution and Chatham House. The organization sports a long list of “experts” dedicated to a plethora of scholarly topics, such as economics, nuclear policy, environmental concerns, and multicultural issues.


The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Celebrated 100 Years in 2010
Photo credit: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / Foter / CC BY

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is comprised of a wide range of efforts dedicated to international politics, transnational economics, and global cooperation toward the elimination of violence and war. Down through the years, it has prided itself on practical results achieved through an emphasis on dedicated research, scholarly publication, and the creation of new institutions devoted to the promulgation of worldwide goodwill. The website is an educators dream, offering “free access to books for course adoption, with tables of contents and sample chapters, as well as Carnegie papers, rich-in-text commentaries, policy analysis and press releases, in addition to a well classified library of selected online sources (such as The Carnegie Moscow Center and The Carnegie-Tsinghua).” With a website that is offered in five different languages and centers located throughout the world, the organization is most certainly international in spirit and well tailored for its professed mission.

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace seems to bear a common spirit with the University for Peace, which is located in Costa Rica. Both entities hope to promote understanding, tolerance, cooperation, and peaceful coexistence amongst the peoples of the earth – with the long range hope of lessening the obstacles to worldwide peace and prosperity. There is no doubt that terrorism is a result of misunderstanding, intolerance of differences in culture and religion, negative social and political trends, perceived injustices in economic opportunity, and an overriding sense of fear and the lack of open-mindedness. Critics point out that military intervention might be a short term answer to eliminating terrorist activity, but in the long run it only breeds more recruits to terrorist cells. Preventative efforts such as those evident with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace are crucial to the long term elimination of transnational radical violence, also referred to as terrorism. In the same manner that we prescribe to military academies that enable the means of waging war, we must also facilitate the means of waging peace through institutions of equal importance. We praise the efforts of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and urge you to sign the petition to which this website is dedicated.

You can help promote the establishment of a monument dedicated to all American victims of terrorism, whether they died at home or abroad, by clicking the link above and signing the petition. Nothing is asked but your signature for a good cause.

Posted in Posts for the Cause | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START)

ExamineIn the wake of the 911 tragedy and the creation of the of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the need for science-based research into the human causes and consequences of worldwide terrorism was very apparent in 2005, leading to “an initial $12 million grant from DHS to complete projects in the research areas of terrorist group formation and recruitment, terrorist group persistence and dynamics, and societal responses to terrorist threats and attacks.” As a result of this grant, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) became a reality, and another grant formulated in 2008 expanded the research projects to include the areas of radicalization within terrorist recruitment, possible intervention approaches, and community resilience in the face of terrorist threats. Based geographically at the University of Maryland, the organization supports research efforts on the fundamental questions of international terrorism at more than 50 locations throughout the world. Research on the part of START is data-driven and intended to support efforts by Homeland Security policymakers and practitioners to identify and prevent terrorist attacks. START is also a strong supporter and contributor to the Global Terrorism Database (GTD).

STARTSince its inception in 2005, the consortium has been headed by Dr. Gary LeFree, a professor of criminology who has been especially interested in the geographic concentration of terrorist attacks, motivation behind transnational violence, and factors that might increase the chances of terroristic events. Research is conducted by trained experts and directed to three primary questions:

1)      Under what conditions does an individual or a group turn to terrorism to pursue its goals? What is the nature of the radicalization process?

2)      What attack patterns have different terrorists demonstrated during the past forty years? How has terrorist behavior evolved? And, what does this indicate about likely future terrorist activity?

3)      What impact does terrorism and the threat of terrorism have on communities, and how can societies enhance their resilience to minimize the potential impacts of future attacks?

In its quest to answer these questions, START is but one of the “Centers of Excellence” organized as part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate – and various other Federal agencies, private entities, and scholastic institutions also provide the funding that sustains its investigative efforts.  Completed research on the part of the organization is a result of individual scholarly effort, using non-classified information gathered from around the world. DHS proudly advertises that START’s “expertise in the multi-faceted nature of terrorism will continue to benefit the nation’s defense against such acts through better understanding, preparedness tactics, and security measures.”

Doctor DeFree’s interest in the geographic concentration of terrorism was very evident in a study released in early 2012. Through careful analysis of data gathered from 1970 to 2008, START was able to compare each of the 3143 counties in the United States – identifying 65 of them as “hot spots” that have experienced  a higher than average rate of terrorist attacks. Some of those counties, like Maricopa County, Arizona, have experienced increased levels of terrorism since the year 2000, whereas areas like King County, Washington have diminished in such respects over the years, although they were once considered a hot spot at one time. New York City and Los Angeles have endured steadily down through the years as areas in which terrorism is a high possibility. In the same way, the motivation and typical image of a terrorist has changed over the past 4 to 5 decades, since many attacks perpetrated in the 1970s were due to left-wing groups in Berkley, San Francisco and the surrounding areas of California – rather than Islamist groups that carry that reputation today. All research for this study was based on the basic definition of terrorism and terrorist attacks as “the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation.” The report also categorized the “violent perpetrators” into ideological subgroups, such as left-wing, right-wing, religious, ethnonationalist, or single issue.


Terrorism Hotspots Within The U. S., 1970 – 2008
(click for larger map)

Aside from its very important role in providing insightful research on radical transnational violence, START has also taken a leading role in advanced education – on both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Located within the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland, the START undergraduate program is hard at work training the next cohort of terrorism analysts, including those students that are intent on pursuing the subject on the graduate level. The START Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis, available through the University of Maryland’s Advanced Special Student Program, can be completed in twelve months and “provides participants with advanced education on the causes, dynamics, and impacts of international and domestic terrorism.” A program offering study abroad in Sydney Australia is also another facet of the educational opportunities offered by START.

Any solution to the scourge of worldwide terrorism will require efforts like those exemplified with START, which offers a multi-faceted approach to the problem. Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of  its advancements in confronting radical violence has been the pioneering steps it has taken to actually dissect, study, and define terrorism, which has surprisingly not been accomplished on the international scene – including the United Nations, where there has been a continuing lack of agreement on the subject. There is no question that such a clarification of the problem must become a fixture on the world stage before any hope of postulating an answer can be established. Likewise, for any recognition of that definition to be moved forward in world consciousness, there also has to be an acknowledgement of those that have died as victims, so we urge you to click on the link below and sign the petition to which this website is dedicated.

You can help promote the establishment of a monument dedicated to all American victims of terrorism, whether they died at home or abroad, by clicking the link above and signing the petition. Nothing is asked but your signature for a good cause.

Posted in Posts for the Cause | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment