||The Committee on the Present Danger is a non-partisan organization with one goal – to stiffen American resolve to confront the challenge presented by terrorism and the ideologies that drive it.
This goal reflects the important role that the CPD has played for more than half a century. The Committee was formed in 1950 as a bipartisan education and advocacy organization to build a national consensus behind President Truman’s policy of “containment” against Soviet expansionism. The CPD then re-emerged in 1976 when its original leaders and others believed that America’s will to win the Cold War was flagging and that the United States should pursue policies to bring that war to a successful conclusion.
Now, the CPD has returned to confront the new “present danger” – militant Islamism and the terrorism that it is spawning. Perverting one of the world’s great religions, militant Islamists seek to bend the world to their vision. They are eager to attack – indeed, to kill – anyone who stands in their way. In the face of this global threat, which transcends state borders and recognizes no law, complacency and ignorance are as dangerous as military weakness.
Today, the CPD includes over 100 former White House officials, Ambassadors, Cabinet Secretaries, academics, writers, and other foreign policy experts. Its Co-Chairmen are the Honorable George Shultz, Secretary of State under President Reagan, and R. James Woolsey, Director of the CIA under President Clinton. Senators Joe Lieberman and Jon Kyl serve as Honorary Co-Chairs.
CPD’s leaders and members – individuals of diverse background and political persuasion – have come together to educate free people about the threat that militant Islamism poses to the United States and the free world; to counsel against the appeasement of terrorists and the states that sponsor them; to support policies to confront this menace; and to encourage the development of civil society and democracy in regions from which the terrorists emanate.
Terrorism was brought home Americans on September 11, 2001, but most remain ill-informed about the ideology behind it. Militant Islamism, whether in its Shia or Sunni variants, seeks to curtail free speech and religion, subjugate women, eradicate homosexuals, and wage violent jihad against those who resist these goals (including the vast majority of Muslims and courageous Muslim reformers in the Middle East and elsewhere).
The CPD educates the public not only about this ideology, but also about the two distinct ways that militant Islamists pursue their goals. First, they use the traditional tools of terrorism – guns, explosives, and, as Americans saw first-hand, hijacked airliners. Second, they turn American laws, liberties, and sensitivities against us, demanding “respect” and legal sanction for practices that threaten our security, our values, and our traditions.
The CPD partners with other groups interested in resisting tyranny and terror – groups with causes as diverse as free speech, women’s rights, and energy independence. With no philosophical bent of its own, the CPD reaches across political lines to work with groups and individuals that share its goal.
In times of great challenge, Americans of all stripes have come together to defend U.S. interests. The Committee on the Present Danger is proud to focus attention again on the “present danger” that America faces.