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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Council for a Community of Democracies

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The Council for a Community of Democracies (CCD) was founded in 2001 as an nongovernmental partner organization of the Community of Democracies, an intergovernmental organization of democracies and democratizing countries established in 2000 to strengthen democratic norms and practices worldwide.[1] The CCD, which included a number of high-profile neoconservative figures among its advisers and board members, touted U.S. exceptionalism while urging international cooperation in overthrowing undemocratic regimes.

As of early 2017, CCD’s former website was no longer in operation. However, the organization continued to have a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Council-for-a-Community-of-Democracies-204409064771/).

According to CCD’s mission statement, “Our aim is to foster awareness of the importance of democracy both as a central organizing principle of official government foreign policy and as the basis of international alliances of non-governmental organizations devoted to the strengthening of democracy.”[2]

In 2010, CCD published the second edition of its A Diplomat’s Handbook for Democracy Development Support.[3] According to the handbook’s website, “In recent years, diplomacy as practiced by many democratic nations has taken on more of a human face. Whereas once the conduct of diplomatic relations was strictly on a state-to-state basis, today, Ambassadors and diplomats are much more likely to engage the publics of the host countries and not exclusively government officials. Embassies and Consulates are ready vehicles and brokers promoting contact and communications between the peoples and nongovernmental organizations and groups of the sending and host countries. Democracy development and human rights are among the most active topics of such communications. … A Diplomat’s Handbook for Democracy Development Support is meant to present a wide variety of case studies documenting and explaining specific country experiences. It also identifies creative, human, and material resources available to Missions, the ways in which Missions and diplomats have supported requests in the past, and describes how such support has been applied.  A review of these experiences bears out the validity of our belief in our inter-dependence. It will hopefully also provide practitioners with encouragement, counsel, and a greater capacity to support democrats everywhere.”[4]

Funders of the handbook initiative have included Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Smith Richardson Foundation, as well as the governments of the United States, Canada, Italy, Spain, Poland, India, Lithuania, Chile, and Morocco.[5]

CCD principals included Carol C. Adelman, board member; Paula Dobriansky, board member; Jeffrey Gedmin, board member; Max M. Kampelman, senior adviser; and Mark P. Lagon, board member. Robert Hunter, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO and an adviser to RAND, was CCD chairman. Vice presidents were retired U.S. diplomat Mark Palmer, who also served as a presidential speechwriter and member of the Committee on the Present Danger, and former CCD president Richard C. Rowson.

In “The Real Axis of Evil,” a 2002 article published on the website of the Council for a Community of Democracies, Palmer writes, “In January 2002, when President Bush defined the ‘axis of evil’ as the dictatorships of Iraq, Iran and North Korea, he did not even mention Charles Taylor of Liberia. But this one-time warlord and escapee from an American prison is part of the real axis of evil—the larger group of 44 dictators in an arc that runs unbroken west from North Korea and China through the Middle East and south to sub-Saharan Africa. … Collectively, these 44 men (no women) are overwhelmingly the largest threat to American and global security and prosperity, and they do work together. Until they are all ousted, we will know no permanent peace.”[6]

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[1]Council for a Community of Democracies, “Community of Democraies,” http://www.ccd21.org/conferences.htm.

[2]Council for a Community of Democracies, “CCD’s Mission,” http://www.ccd21.org/about/mission.html.

[3]The Community of Democracies, “A Diplomat’s Handbook,” http://www.diplomatshandbook.org.

[4]The Diplomat’s Handbook, “The Rationale for the Diplomat’s Handbook,” http://www.diplomatshandbook.org/_history.html.

[5] The Diplomat’s Handbook, “Donors,” http://www.diplomatshandbook.org/_donors.html.

[6]Mark Palmer, “The Real Axis of Evil,” undated 2002?, Council for a Community of Democracies http://www.ccd21.org/news/axis_evil.htm.

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Council for a Community of Democracies Résumé


Council for a Community of Democracies
1801 F Street NW, Suite 3B
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202-789-9771
Email: ccdinfo@ccd21.org
Web: http://www.ccd21.org/






“The Council for a Community of Democracies (CCD) is the only nongovernmental organization in the world with an exclusive focus on the CD. Since 2001, CCD has devoted itself to advocating for democratic change and international cooperation by working with civil society and governments around the world to making the CD a strong, democratic institution capable of addressing the needs of an ever-changing world.”





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