Political scientists call for changes in foreign policy

Six members of the Political Science Department are among 725 international relations scholars who have signed a public letter opposing President Bush’s foreign policy and calling for a change of course.

The letter was released last week by Security Scholars for a Sensible Foreign Policy, a nonpartisan group of experts in the field of national security and international politics. The signatories include UMass Amherst professors James Der Derian, Eric Einhorn, Peter Haas, M.J. Peterson and Nicholas Xenos and professor emeritus Karl Ryavec.

The open letter to the American people contends that current U.S. foreign policy harms the struggle against Islamist terrorists and points to a series of "blunders" by the Bush administration in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

An individual statement from Haas posted on group’s website says, “No American president can hope to promote American prosperity or security without constructive engagement with other countries. The future of American diplomacy rests on restoring it to a sound footing which has been jeopardized by ill conceived and unwarranted adventurism in Iraq.”