End Support for Warmongers at Yale

by Daud Shad, 2021 Yale College graduate

Members of the Yale community and beyond are joining the call for Yale to End Support for Warmongers! The US withdrawal from Afghanistan has renewed public scrutiny of the global military-industrial complex and the War on Terror, which has directly killed more than 900,000 people and cost over $8 trillion while completely devastating countries.

The recent resignation of Yale Professor Beverly Gage from the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy brings that public scrutiny even closer to campus. Professor Gage re-signed due to donor pressure to teach the program “the way Henry Kissinger would” and include Kissinger as advisor.

Kissinger, though admired by many in the American political elite, exemplifies all that is fundamentally wrong with the prevailing conception of “grand strategy”: the agency and precious lives of millions of people in foreign countries are disregarded for a chance at long-term hegemony for the most powerful country in the world. The devastation in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan are major examples of what practitioners celebrated by Yale, beyond Kissinger, have been instrumental in.

There’s a deep issue at the university where credentialism often trumps humanitarianism. In its foreign policy instruction, Yale seems to value the fame or title of an individual over a record that exemplifies care for human lives (e.g., no involvement in war crimes!). Tragically, many of the world’s poorest communities suffer from war and its immense consequences. Simultaneously, leading warmongers evade basic accountability and receive prestigious positions.

There are three policies we urge Yale to immediately implement in order to begin to disentangle the university from warmongering and imperialism: [1] Prevent donor conditions on academic freedom; [2] Adhere to a standard for Yale affiliation that would disqualify those involved in war crimes; [3] Refuse to invest in defense contractors.

Read the petition and sign it at tinyurl.com/YaleEndWar. Daud graduated from Yale College in 2021. As a student, he was co-coordinator for Dwight Hall at Yale. You can reach him at  [email protected].

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