Saturday, October 21, 2006

Department of Peace

In a Washington Post piece on Rep. Nancy Pelosi, minority leader of the House of Representatives who could become Speaker of the House after the election, I caught this quote on the dangers of having her as Speaker:
On his Web site, Majority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) calls the prospect of Pelosi becoming speaker "just plain scary" and says: "While Republicans fight the War on Terror, . . . House Democrats plot to establish a Department of Peace."
Oh My! A Department of Peace. How dangerous. I don't know what Pelosi's position on this is, but I know lots of folks who think having a department of peace would be a good idea.

But then, in Googling around about this, I discovered that we already have one, and it is fully funded by Congress. It is called the United States Institute of Peace. This is what it says on the front page of its website:
The United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan, national institution established and funded by Congress. Its goals are to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts, promote post-conflict stability and democratic transformations, and increase peacebuilding capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide. The Institute does this by empowering others with knowledge, skills, and resources, as well as by its direct involvement in peacebuilding efforts around the globe.
Why didn't I know about this? How would a Department of Peace be different? Perhaps cabinet level? I will have to spend some time reading about the USIP.

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