Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson has proposed the creation of a U.S. Department of Peace if elected, establishing a new Cabinet-level position.
Williamson said in her announcement last week the new department would be charged with promoting peace in domestic and international issues.
"From millions of chronically traumatized children to mass incarceration to family separation at the border, the United States has no more serious problem than the problem of violence itself," Williamson states on her website.
"And yet, even as the current administration starves the international peace-building capacities of the State Department, we have no federal platform from which to seriously wage peace domestically. We need both. ... When I become president, I will establish a U.S. Department of Peace."
Williamson said the Trump administration has cut out effective peace-building programs that reduce conflict, adding that such programs reduce violence, expand economic opportunities for women and increase educational opportunities for children.
"Expertise in peacebuilding is just as sophisticated and important as expertise in military action," she told the Des Moines Register. "I have great respect for the military. My father fought in World War II. I see the military much like one would look at a surgeon. Obviously, the United States needs to have the best surgeons in the world, but everyone knows you only have surgery if you absolutely must."
The idea for a peace-centric department is not a new one. Former Ohio Rep. and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich introduced a bill to create a similar department, and California Rep. Barbara Lee has proposed versions of such an office since 2013.
The youngest Cabinet-level office is the Department of Homeland Security, which President George W. Bush created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, preceded by the departments of education (1979) and energy (1977).