Established in December 2002 to protest against the possibility of a U.S. invasion of Iraq, Win Without War (WWW) is a coalition of national organizations that seek to make American foreign policy accountable to world opinion and multi-national consent. From its inception, WWW portrayed itself as “a mainstream, patriotic voice” speaking out against “the disastrous policies of the Bush/Cheney Administration.” Robert Edgar, Mike Farrell, and Jim Wallis were among those who helped publicly introduce the nascent coalition at a December 11 news conference.
Once the Iraq War had gotten underway, WWW characterized it as a misguided, disastrous venture that “has made America less safe by fueling terrorism in Iraq and around the world.” By WWW’s calculus, the war “hollowed out our military, diverted resources from the battle against al Qaeda and from homeland security, and deeply damaged our reputation abroad.”
WWW reserved particular scorn for the handful of American military personnel who had participated in the much-publicized mistreatment of Iraqi inmates at Abu Ghraib prison in early 2004. By WWW’s telling, those events constituted “torture” and human-rights violations.
In 2007-2008, WWW was a member organization of Americans Against Escalation in Iraq.
WWW endorsed the October 2, 2010 “March on Washington” organized by One Nation Working Together, an event whose purpose was to inspire “an intensive voter-mobilization program for Election Day 2010.” For a list of other notable endorsers, click here.
In October 2011, WWW co-chair David Cortright praised President Barack Obama‘s announcement that all U.S. troops in Iraq would return home by the end of the year, as “a major step in the right direction for our nation.” “We thank President Obama for fulfilling his campaign pledge to end this war and bring home American troops,” Cortright said.
As of November 2011, WWW was composed of 40 organizations, including the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the American Friends Service Committee, Artists United to Win Without War, the Council for a Livable World, Families USA, Feminist Majority, Greenpeace, MoveOn, the NAACP, the National Council of Churches, the National Organization for Women, NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, Pax Christi USA, Peace Action, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Psychologists for Social Responsibility, the Rainbow/Push Coalition, the Sierra Club, Sojourners, the Tikkun Community, TrueMajority, USAction, Veterans for Peace, and Women’s Action for New Directions. For a complete list of current members, click here. Noteworthy former members of WWW were the Fourth Freedom Forum and Working Assets.
Today WWW seeks to “promote a more progressive national security strategy” and “aggressively attac[k] right-wing distortion.” Toward those ends, the coalition’s top priorities are “to demilitarize U.S. policy in Afghanistan [and to] secure America and its values by closing Guantanamo.” The coalition also “oppose[s] the militarization of our foreign policy”; is committed to “countering terrorism and weapons proliferation”; and rejects “the doctrine of unilateral military preemption” — favoring instead “international cooperation and enforceable international law.”
WWW’s national director is Tom Andrews, a former Democratic congressman from Maine and a onetime program director for Citizen Action. One of WWW’s co-chairs is the aforementioned David Cortright, founder of Urgent Call and former director of the Fourth Freedom Forum. Another co-chair is Susan Shaer, former president of the Massachusetts League of Women Voters and currently the executive director of Women’s Action for New Directions. Robert Edgar, former general secretary of the National Council of Churches, co-chaired WWW during its early years.
WWW’s Washington, DC chapter is a member of the United for Peace and Justice anti-war alliance.