Committee for the Common Defense

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Committee for the Common Defense is a program of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI).

This 'Committee for the Common Defense' sent on January 5, 1995 a letter to President Bill Clinton, signed by Melvin Laird, James Schlesinger, Donald Rumsfeld, Harold Brown, Caspar Weinberger, Frank Carlucci and Dick Cheney. In this letter they asked Clinton not to terminate the B-2 program (see: AdTI-Funding).

In a report called 'US Military Ammunition Policy: Reliving the Mistakes of the Past?' published in the autumn of 1994 it says about the authors:

"Jim Courter is Chairman of the Committee for the Common Defense, the national security arm of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution. ... Dr. Loren B. Thompson is a Senior Fellow at the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution and is Executive Director of its Committee for the Common Defense." [1]

The John M. Olin Foundation gave in 1995 to the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution $10,000 for the 'Committee for the Common Defense'. One year later they gave $20,000 to AdTI for "The Action Plan for Defense Privatization, conducted by the Committee for the Common Defense". [2]

This same 'Committee for the Common Defense' was in 2002 responsible for a pro-Microsoft report stating: Open Source Software May Offer Target for Terrorists. In the press release they wrote:

"In a paper to be released next week, the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution outlines how open source might facilitate efforts to disrupt or sabotage electronic commerce, air traffic control or even sensitive surveillance systems.

Unlike proprietary software, open source software does not make the underlying code of a software confidential.

"Computer systems are the backbone of U.S. national security", says Fossedal, chairman of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution and its Committee for the Common Defense, which will release the study."

Mr. Rumsfeld was in May 2001 according to Multinational Monitor a member of the National Security Program of AdTI. [3] It's not clear what the relationship is between that program and the 'Committee for the Common Defense'.


In February 1994 [4] the committee members were:

Chairman: James Courter

Senior Advisory Board:
Frank Carlucci
Sen. Ernest Hollings
H.T. Johnson
Sen. John McCain
Rep. Dave McCurdy
Donald Rumsfeld
Rep. Ike Skelton [5]
Robert Stuart
Rep. Robert Torricelli

John Whitehead

Other AdTI Projects