Dear President Biden,
We last communicated with you on 20 December 2020, when you were President-elect.
At that time, we alerted you to the dangers inherent in formulating a policy toward Russia built on a foundation of Russia-bashing. While we continue to support the analysis contained in that memorandum, this new memo serves a far more pressing purpose. We wish to draw your attention to the dangerous situation that exists in Ukraine today, where there is growing risk of war unless you take steps to forestall such a conflict.
At this juncture, we call to mind two basic realities that need particular emphasis amid growing tension between Ukraine and Russia.
First, since Ukraine is not a member of NATO, Article 5 of the NATO Treaty of course would not apply in the case of an armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
Second, Ukraine’s current military flexing, if allowed to transition into actual military action, could lead to hostilities with Russia.
We think it crucial that your administration immediately seek to remove from the table, so to speak, any “solution” to the current impasse that has a military component. In short, there is, and can never be, a military solution to this problem.
Your interim national security strategy guidance indicated that your administration would “make smart and disciplined choices regarding our national defense and the responsible use of our military, while elevating diplomacy as our tool of first resort.” Right now is the perfect time to put these words into action for all to see.
We strongly believe:
There is opportunity as well as risk in the current friction over Ukraine. This crisis offers your administration the opportunity to elevate the moral authority of the United States in the eyes of the international community. Leading with diplomacy will greatly enhance the stature of America in the world.
For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)
Marshall Carter-Tripp, Foreign Service Officer & former Division Director in the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (ret.)
Bogdan Dzakovic, former Team Leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Graham E. Fuller, Vice-Chair, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
Robert M. Furukawa, Captain, Civil Engineer Corps, USNR (ret.)
Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)
Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator
John Kiriakou, former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former Senior Investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Karen Kwiatkowski, former Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003
Edward Loomis, NSA Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)
Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA presidential briefer (ret.)
Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East & CIA political analyst (ret.)
Pedro Israel Orta, CIA Operations Officer & Analyst; Inspector with IG for the Intelligence Community (ret.)
Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)
Scott Ritter, former MAJ., USMC, former UN Weapon Inspector, Iraq
Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.)
Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA
Sarah G. Wilton, CDR, USNR, (ret.); Defense Intelligence Agency (ret.)
Robert Wing, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (former associate VIPS)
Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former U.S. Diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq War
Source: Copyright © Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity,
with friendly permission of Antiwar.com from 6 April 2021
* Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) is made up of former intelligence officers, diplomats, military officers and congressional staffers. The organization, founded in 2002, was among the first critics of Washington’s justifications for launching a war against Iraq. VIPS advocates a US foreign and national security policy based on genuine national interests rather than contrived threats promoted for largely political reasons.
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