Thursday, October 27, 2022

An explanation for how that letter on Ukraine came to be published and retracted

Semafor (everyone they interview should demand to be described with similar terms):

Joe Cirincione is blunt and smart when it comes to war and nukes. His knowledge and charisma have made him a key figure in the progressive national security world. He was previously a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment, President of the Ploughshares Fund, which backed the Iran nuclear deal, and then joined the Quincy Institute, an influential new foreign policy think tank that embraces American “restraint” in global affairs.

That is, until July, when he resigned his position over the Quincy Institute’s call for diplomatic talks with Russia on Ukraine, which he found divorced from realities on the ground.


JOE CIRINCIONE: Terrible staff work + terrible expert advice - Member involvement = Debacle.

To produce the shortest-lived Congressional letter in history, the CPC policy director worked in June with a few outside groups to write the letter. They were told they could release it when they got 30 of the 100 CPC members to sign it. They couldn’t hit that number until October, when they blindsided the members by releasing it 2 weeks before key elections. CPC Chair Jayapal tried walking it back, then had to pull the plug. It was the right call. The letter was an incoherent mishmash of contradictory positions based on an outdated analysis of the war. It was written when the war was stalemated, released when Ukraine is winning. Of course the positions don't make sense.