WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 — A new organization focused on national security issues with affiliates in Cincinnati and Cleveland was unveiled today at the National Press Club in Washington. Rand Beers, a special assistant to Presidents Clinton and Bush and Les Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, joined former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Representative Jane Harman in launching the National Security Network.
The network brings together foreign policy experts, media specialists, and local community leaders across the country, including in Ohio. Comprised of more than 1,000 national security experts from around the country, the National Security Network promotes pragmatic and principled foreign policy and places national security above partisan interests.
“The dialogue about America’s place in the world is not limited to policymakers in Washington. From the impact of the war in Iraq on Ohio’s National Guard troops to the challenges and opportunities global competition brings to our local companies, international issues impact Clevelanders on a daily basis,” said Michael Goldberg, one of the group’s Cleveland leaders.
“Plans and ideas for securing America are scattered throughout the country, are often disconnected, and don’t reach the people who need them. The National Security Network acts as a switchboard to connect media, political leaders and experts to ensure the best ideas are getting where they need to go,” said the network’s president, Rand Beers at the launch event at the National Press Club.
Today’s announcement includes a set of principles based on five pillars for a sound national security policy. It is the culmination of an unprecedented collaborative effort among national and community leaders. These principles offer a vision for American foreign policy that takes “a clear-eyed look at the world we face – building on, not turning our backs on, the strongest traditions of our past.”
“We in the heartland understand real security, and that is not what we have had for 5 years. We are in more danger now than 5 years ago. Making America more secure will require better leadership and decisions than we have had,” said Joe Dehner of Cincinnati, one of the group’s leaders.
In addition to the principles and launch of state chapters, the National Security Network highlighted two additional projects: a series of town hall meetings across the country that will begin in October, and the Security Framework Project, the communications hub sponsored by, and maintained for, the progressive national security community.