On the eve of the Annapolis Summit, former U.S. Army Chief of Staff General ERIC SHINSEKI has asked that his name be added to a letter to the President and Secretary of State about the fundamental requirements for a successful Israel-Palestine outcome.
Former New Jersey Governor and Bush Administration EPA Administrator CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN and Rice University James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy Director and former U.S. Ambassador EDWARD DJEREJIAN has also agreed to sign the letter.
The New America Foundation, International Crisis Group, and US/Middle East Project helped draft and promulgate a letter to President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice regarding the Annapolis Peace Summit several weeks ago.
The letter, as first drafted, calls for a process that is inclusive of all parties in the region, a process that has impact on the daily lives of Palestinians and Israelis, and is not a one-shot deal that ends with this Summit.
There are many signers of the letter now, but initial signatories included BRENT SCOWCROFT, ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, CARLA HILLS, NANCY KASSEBAUM BAKER, LEE HAMILTON, THOMAS PICKERING, THEODORE SORENSEN, and PAUL VOLCKER.
Other signatories in the subsequent weeks have "included" but are not limited to:
US AID Deputy Administrator HARRIET "HATTIE" BABBITT, former USIA Chief JOSEPH DUFFEY, former US Senator GARY HART, former US Senator LINCOLN CHAFEE, RAND Corporation Board Member and New America Foundation/American Strategy Program Chair RITA HAUSER, former Assistant Secretary of State JAMES DOBBINS, former State Department Policy Planning Director MORTON HALPERIN, former Deputy Ambassador to the UN WILLIAM VAN DEN HEUVEL, former Israel Foreign Minister SCHLOMO BEN-AMI. . .
former US Senator BIRCH BAYH, former Congressman and Corning CEO AMO HOUGHTON Jr., former National Intelligence Council Chairman ROBERT HUTCHINGS, Fletcher School Dean and former U.S. Ambassador STEPHEN BOSWORTH, former Assistant Secretary of Defense LAWRENCE KORB, former American Political Science Association President and Columbia University professor ROBERT JERVIS, Kings College Terrorism Chair and New America Foundation Senior Fellow ANATOL LIEVEN, former National Security Agency Director Lt. General WILLIAM ODOM. . .
Committee for the Republic President WILLIAM NITZE, Brookings Visiting Senior Fellow DIANA VILLIERS NEGROPONTE, Former CIA Deputy Director JOHN McLAUGHLIN, former US Ambassador JOHN MALOTT, former EU Commissioner for Foreign Relations CHRISTOPHER PATTEN, former National Intelligence Officer for the Near East PAUL PILLAR, former US Senator LARRY PRESSLER, former US Ambassador FELIX ROHATYN. . .
MIT Center for International Studies Director RICHARD SAMUELS, retired Marine Corps General JOHN J. "JACK" SHEEHAN, Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School Dean ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, Former Congressman STEPHEN SOLARZ, former First USA Bank CEO and Adagio Partners CEO RICHARD VAGUE, Former US Senator and UN Foundation President TIMOTHY WIRTH, and former US Ambassador and AIG Vice Chairman FRANK WISNER. . .
former New Jersey Governor and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, Nixon Center President and National Interest Publisher DIMITRI SIMES, former National Security Advisor to Vice President Al Gore LEON FUERTH, Brookings Senior Fellow PHILIP GORDON, former US Ambassador to NATO ROBERT HUNTER, former Malaysia Deputy Prime Minister ANWAR IBRAHIM, former CIA Deputy Director JOHN McLAUGHLIN. . .
former State Department Chief of Staff LAWRENCE WILKERSON, Lehman Brothers Managing Director THEODORE ROOSEVELT IV, former US Ambassador JOSEPH WILSON, former Chief Monitor of the Middle East Roadmap at the Department of State JOHN S. WOLF -- among others.
The Annapolis Summit is actually an extraordinary meeting of global players -- including the foreign ministers of all P-5 nations not to mention a vast number of Arab states -- but more needs to be known on whether something tangible and transmittable to the next U.S. president will emerge from this meeting.
While I have heard through the D.C. grapevine that the Palestinians are depressed after being cajoled into signing a joint declaration, they are hopeful and semi-confident that Bush's speech on Tuesday at the session will offer some greater specificity on his vision of various "final status" issues.
As one friend of mine close to the process told me today, it is vital that the White House understand that it is not only Ehud Ohlmert who needs to give a victory speech when he goes home -- but also Palestinian Authority President Abbas. If Palestinians on the street don't feel bolstered by the outcome tomorrow, Abbas will be politically crushed -- and Hamas, which is not included in this process, will emerge a victor.
-- Steve Clemons is Senior Fellow and Director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation and publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note