The Committee for East-West Accord is a nonpartisan, tax-exempt educational organization of American citizens from different professions — business, academia, government service, science, law, and others — who are deeply concerned about the possibility of a new (potentially even more dangerous) cold war between the United States/Europe and Russia. Our fundamental premise is that no real or lasting American, European, or international security generally is possible without essential kinds of stable cooperation with Russia.
Since early 2014, we have therefore watched with growing dismay as East-West cooperation created over decades — in diplomacy, arms control, economics, energy, education, science, space, culture, even in preventing nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and environmental threats — have been heedlessly discarded or gravely endangered. While experts warn of an unfolding new nuclear arms race, and with it the risk those weapons may actually be used, there may already be less East-West cooperation than existed during the latter decades of the preceding cold war.
And yet, these looming dangers, whose immediate cause was the U.S./EU -Russian confrontation over the future of Ukraine but whose origins lie in policy decisions taken and not taken on both sides since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, have developed virtually without any significant public debate in the United States — in Congress, the mainstream media, academia, think tanks, or anywhere else that might influence the course of events. There may be no precedent for such an absence of American democratic discourse at such a fateful moment.
The primary mission of the Committee is to promote such discussion about East-West relations and thus to create broad public awareness of the new dangers and of ways to end them. The Committee encourages open, civilized, informed debate of all the related issues, current and past, among Americans with different, even opposing, positions, perspectives, and proposals. And the Committee seeks to do this in as many ways as possible,including an informational website for engaging individuals and other groups; sponsoring or cosponsoring public events in Washington, at universities, and across the country; and in the national media, including social media.
The Committee is new but not without a distinguished predecessor. Its name derives from The American Committee on East-West Accord, a pro-detente organization founded in 1974 by illustrious Americans — among them, CEOs of multinational corporations, political figures, educational leaders, and policy thinkers such as George F. Kennan. That Committee, believing cold war had ended, closed its doors in 1992, though not before being credited with having contributed to the historic agreements reached by Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush, and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985-1991.
Today’s need for something akin to a new detente is no less imperative. And the new Committee for East-West Accord, which expects to be joined soon by an affiliated European branch in Brussels, strives for even more: A conclusive end to cold war and its attendant dangers.