Go ahead, make it weird: The Boston Globe reports that George Soros and Charles Koch are teaming up to end the U.S. “forever war.”
BESIDES BEING BILLIONAIRES and spending much of their fortunes to promote pet causes, the leftist financier George Soros and the right-wing Koch brothers have little in common. They could be seen as polar opposites. Soros is an old-fashioned New Deal liberal. The Koch brothers are fire-breathing right-wingers who dream of cutting taxes and dismantling government. Now they have found something to agree on: the United States must end its “forever war” and adopt an entirely new foreign policy.
In one of the most remarkable partnerships in modern American political history, Soros and Charles Koch, the more active of the two brothers, are joining to finance a new foreign-policy think tank in Washington. It will promote an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing.
We should begin with a little clarification here. George Soros is actually a raging progressive and the Koch brothers are very libertarian. A left-wing rag like the Globe rarely gets things like this right.
What they’re trying to do is paint Soros as some sort of centrist and the Kochs as fringe loons, when the opposite is true.
Either way, this is a most interesting alliance. These are the two most financially influential entities in American politics in recent years. That they are finding common ground is worth paying attention to.
What it can accomplish is iffy. Diplomatic solutions are always desirable, but it was the threat of mutually assured nuclear destruction that enabled us all to survive the Cold War.
The agenda is ambitious:
It aims to issue four reports before the end of 2019: two offering alternative approaches to the Middle East and East Asia, one on “ending endless war,” and one called “democratizing foreign policy.” Its statement of principles asserts that the United States “should engage with the world, and the essence of engagement is peaceful cooperation among peoples. For this reason, the United States must cherish peace and pursue it through the vigorous practice of diplomacy . . . The use of armed force does not represent American engagement in the world.
That last line kind of ignores the necessary realities of America’s role in the world, but they are attempting to stake out some new ground here.
Any endeavor that will put fewer American troops in harm’s way is a noble one. Kudos to these crazy billionaires for trying something new.