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Statement of Principles

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Cambridge, 11th March 2005

The pursuit of a robust foreign policy was one of Henry ‘Scoop’ Jackson’s most central concerns. This was to be based on clear universal principles such as the global promotion of the rule of law, liberal democracy, civil rights, environmental responsibility and the market economy. The western policies of strength and human rights, which later hastened the collapse of the Soviet dictatorship, owed much to Jackson’s example. The fundamental and enduring values of the modern democratic world eventually prevailed.

Yet perhaps we were too complacent during the immediate post-Cold War period. New threats to the very essence of liberal democracies challenged our resolve. Our failures in the former Yugoslavia (especially Bosnia) were more than just moral. Through their impact on the credibility of our international institutions, such as NATO and the EU, they had a profound effect on the national interests of western powers. These fiascos showed that we had to engage, robustly and sometimes preventatively. The early interventions in Kosovo and Sierra Leone, although imperfect, provide an appropriate model for future action. But modernisation and democratisation often does not require a military solution. For example, the European Union has been instrumental in expanding its democratic ‘Grand Area’ on the continent since the fall of the Iron Curtain. So has NATO, through the process of eastern enlargement, and various initiatives engaging the Soviet successor states.

We believe, therefore, that Henry Jackson’s legacy is as relevant today as his policies were during the Cold War; indeed, perhaps it is even more important than at any time previously. Therefore, the Henry Jackson Society:

1. Believes that modern liberal democracies set an example to which the rest of the world should aspire.

2. Supports a ‘forward strategy’ to assist those countries that are not yet liberal and democratic to become so. This would involve the full spectrum of our ‘carrot’ capacities, be they diplomatic, economic, cultural or political, but also, when necessary, those ‘sticks’ of the military domain.

3. Supports the maintenance of a strong military, by the United States, the countries of the European Union and other democratic powers, armed with expeditionary capabilities with a global reach.

4. Supports the necessary furtherance of European military modernisation and integration under British leadership, preferably within NATO.

5. Stresses the importance of unity between the world’s great democracies, represented by institutions such as NATO, the European Union and the OECD, amongst many others.

6. Believes that only modern liberal democratic states are truly legitimate, and that any international organisation which admits undemocratic states on an equal basis is fundamentally flawed.

7. Gives two cheers for capitalism. There are limits to the market, which needs to serve the Democratic Community and should be reconciled to the environment.

8. Accepts that we have to set priorities and that sometimes we have to compromise, but insists that we should never lose sight of our fundamental values. This means that alliances with repressive regimes can only be temporary. It also means a strong commitment to individual and civil liberties in democratic states, even and especially when we are under attack.

The Henry Jackson Society is dedicated to researching and debating these issues. We do not represent any specific political party or persuasion, but provide a forum for those who agree with these simple guiding principles, or who wish to learn more about them.

Supported by,

Rt. Hon. Michael Ancram QC MP

Member of Parliament for Devizes

Gerard Baker

Assistant Editor, The Times

Paul Beaver

Special Advisor to the Parliamentary Defence Committee; Director, Beaver Westminster Ltd.

Prof. Paul Bew

Professor of Politics, Queen’s University, Belfast

Prof. Vernon Bogdanor

Brasenose College, University of Oxford

Nicholas Boles

Director, Policy Exchange

Colonel Tim Collins

Commander, First Battalion Royal Irish Regiment, Iraq 2003

Prof. Paul Cornish

Carrington Professor of International Security, RIIA

Sir Richard Dearlove

Master of Pembroke College; Former Head of MI6

Major-General John Drewienkiewicz

Military Advisor to the High Representative for Bosnia

Mark Etherington

Civil Governor, Wasit (Kut) province, Iraq, 2003-2004

Michael Gove MP

Member of Parliament for Surrey Heath; Shadow Minister for Housing

Robert Halfon

Political Director, Conservative Friends of Israel

Oliver Kamm

Columnist, The Times

Jackie Lawrence

Former Member of Parliament for Preseli Pembrokeshire

Dr. Denis MacShane MP

Member of Parliament for Rotherham

Jan Mortier

Associate of the Council for a Community of Democracies

Fionnuala Jay O'Boyle MBE

Director, Jay Associates

Prof. Andrew Lever

University of Cambridge

Stephen Pollard

Columnist, The Times

Lord Powell of Bayswater

Personal Advisor to the Prime Minister for Defence and Security, 1984-1991

Andrew Roberts

Author, Journalist and Television Presenter

Dr. Jamie Shea

Deputy Assistant Secretary General for External Relations, NATO

Dr. Irwin Stelzer

Director of Economic Policy Studies, Hudson Institute

Gisela Stuart MP

Member of Parliament for Birmingham Edgbaston; Member of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee

Rt. Hon. David Trimble

Former Member of Parliament for Upper Bann; Winner of Nobel Peace Prize

Edward Vaizey MP

Member of Parliament for Wantage

David Willetts MP

Member of Parliament for Havant; Shadow Education Secretary




Brendan Simms


Alan Mendoza


James M. Rogers

Executive Secretary

Gideon A. Mailer


Matthew Jamison

Media Secretary

Martyn Frampton



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©2005 Henry Jackson Society
Last modified 2006-03-10 16:09