What Foreign Policy Objective Should the Incoming Administration Make a Priority?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
October 31, 2008
U.S. Flag at Sunset

On Tuesday, November 4, Americans will elect a new president. Irrespective of the election’s outcome, what foreign policy objective should the incoming Administration make a priority?

What foreign policy objective should the incoming Administration make a priority?

Comments

Comments

Ron
|
New York, USA
November 1, 2008

Ron in New York writes:

Sorry, you don't get to ask this question

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
November 1, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

(chuckle) Ron in New York, Are you trying to censor the US Dept of State?

To answer the question you seem to think shouldn't be asked:

Personally I don't think the foreign policy objectives will change, and how do you prioritize what is in effect critical ongoing programs that are essential to the public interest (America's and the world's) and pillars of national security?

Well, then I would suggest the newly incumbent not only increase funding for State/USAID, but call upon Congress to make sure there's funding for 10,000 new FSO's over the next four-six years to bolster the nation's foreign engagement with the world.

If you don't have the boots on the ground , you can't hope to cover the territory effectivly. We are a nation of nation builders, on many levels, but that's not the mission of the DOD per se, they took it on by default as the only agency with the manpower at the time.

State and USAID would be better positioned to assume that role if the above is funded properly.

Considering how effective State has been diplomaticly and in its provisioning of aid globally with what its had to work with over the last 8 years after suffering from underfunding and attrition of personel in the 8 previous to that, we the public have been witness to some pretty remarkable successes in this administration.

So I believe it is job #1 to build upon that, because a lot of sound foreign policy has been developed and it requires not just a commitment on the part of the fellow who will be determining foreign policy for the next four years, but on the part of Congress as well as the American people to secure a better world "in larger freedom".

With the help of a lot of folks globally, I might add.

Richard V.
|
Florida, USA
November 2, 2008

Richard in Florida writes:

Nice one.. keep it up guys..

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
November 2, 2008

Donald in Virginia writes:

2 November 08

"...I believe whomever becomes the next United States President will have his hands full of duties ensuring he will protect our country! The consitution of America above all should be the highest priority! Keep in mind the President cannot do it by himself, "We the people are the ones who elect those into office and have expectations" We also should show our support when needed, whether you agree or disagree on a President's policy, it should not matter, what does matter is that they will live up to their word."

May God bless the next United States President Elect and I also believe this Dipnote "Blog" is a wonderful tool in communications. Being part of the blogger roundtable offering ideas that might assist the State Department or other agencies is great!!!

Kirk
|
Kentucky, USA
November 2, 2008

Kirk in Kentucky writes:

Revamp the aid system so that instead of paying a multitude of private contractors who blur the lines of ethical conduct by using dubious procurement methods, inferior materials, and shoddy craftsmanship to bilk the taxpayers and blunt the effectiveness of our foreign policy thrusts, we organize work camps to do honest work.

Work camps, organized around the military style of barracks and discipline, is an excellent way to train a whole new workforce. In was very effective in the late 1940s. Pull workers from all over: non-violent first time offenders, at risk inner-city youths, those who go to the employment agency, entry level men and women who want practical work and foreign travel, and so on. This will drop un-employment rate, prison populations, give them skills to be a strengthening factor to our economy, and make those who perform the projects personally responsible for the results.

In other areas we should embrace Cuba and work to make them partners with us by enforcing humanitarian standards and rewarding growth in those areas. This will eliminate any potential threat coming from the south. Venezuela should be next on our list, Hugo Chavez won't be in power forever.

Engage other nations who are edging ahead of us in certain sectors to share their technology with us. Especially in the area of renewable energy whereby we can dis-entangle ourselves from the mercy of fluctuating oil markets.

Put extra effort to study those countries we seek to expand our markets into to make sure that the resulting effects do not destabilize the environment and create factions that work against us. I would like to say this entirely in interest to being fair to the people of these nations, because a large part of it is, but what is equally important is responsible business practice that takes smooth measure steps for the sake of preserving the whole, instead of racing ahead for the quick buck that collapses the deal or causes strife.

Enhance the programs that take possible future leaders, whether societal or governmental, and give them a free tour and stay to show them the best of what the USA can offer Impress upon them our democratic ideals and the current visiting student may end up the next Mustafa Ataturk.

I have plenty more ideas but I think my co-worker is ready for me to leave...

Murat
|
Turkey
November 2, 2008

Murat in Turkey writes:

In my opinion, restoring the reputation of The US as a liberal, democratic country with a free and diverse society should be a priority. Given the already high anti-Americanism all over the world, America should gain-and sometimes regain- friends in the world. This is vital for world peace, and for the sake of America itself, as well.

joe
|
Tennessee, USA
November 3, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

President Clinton stated it would be an honor to be able to function as President of the United States during these abstract times. Perhaps that is a call to duty most of us do not relate to as the challenges are enormous right now.

1. Economic. Our problem is multidimensional as the spillover can adversely affect our relationships worldwide. I believe a complete restructuring and recognition that Free Trade without restrictions anywhere in the world is simply impossible; especially for the currency being used. Even Putin did not put the blame on any single factor. As an Economics major and having seen his country move to the top, his overall view was simply: It is not any person, persons, party or parties fault; it is simply the system as it exists.

We need a President who must realize that as a Steward of the Nations wealth, it must be regenerated. This means putting the People of America first. Everything needs to be centered here. He must recognize that the idea of giving away our manufacturing base with no replacement was not in the benefit of American citizens. We cannot simply cannibalize off each other to exist and as a Capitalist Nation, the money needs to be centered here in America. It was a Waldens Pond ideology to think everyone would play fair. Why would the leadership of ideology adverse to American Democracy not utilize all aspects of economics to ruin us?

2. Dealing with Russia as a friend and not foe. Russia and Putin are not Communistic, but Nationalistic. That is how Putin put his county back on the map so quickly. He threw out all the problems that false enterprise and greed took into his nation one step at a time and revitalized long before 2050, which all chair persons in our Economic system said it would take for Russia to recover. Look where they put us. If Russia decides to use the Euro dollar, where does that leave the US? Is it possible? Busoni of Italy last week asked for a proposal to make Russia part of the European Union and today: Gorbachev: To promote pan-European processes it is necessary to create a kind of European Security Council. Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has come up with an initiative to set up a pan-European security body, including a European security council.

All indications are that Russia is moving toward the Euro dollar and China has suggested at the oil pipeline meeting that both Russia and China may drop using the US dollar.
1. Economics... 2. Economics.

3. Stabilization of America. We are a divided nation with the largest gap in economic development in our citizen base in our history. It is not socialistic to have equal opportunity available for all or health care for all with the blessings God has bestowed upon this Nation and its leaders. There is a larger population of people who need Government Assistance, not because they will not work, but because the work has been moved out of America. The trades and crafts once practiced by choice are no longer available and where they do exist, it is in wartime industry for the most part, or housing which has been knowingly ruined.

This is not the America founded for the People. It is like it has been hijacked unless you are part of the minority that profited from others loss. That is not America; it is not the shining example of a democracy of free people. It is a poor example for the rest of the world. I know we are still the standard and have suffered far less than European nations, but if we are to remain the standard, we need to create NEW STANDARDS which reflect our values and put our Nations People as a whole first.

4. SECURITY: National Security. We are in an Economic war as well as a Physical one. Collectively, we must maintain vigilance at all cost of our shores. While we feel invincible at home since we have not suffered a war on our shores by a foreign nation since the Revolution -- the Civil War dismissed as it was not a foreign invasion -- we are over confident. Nine Eleven is minuite to the damage which could take place. This is where President Bush is right, like it or not and even his counterpart Obama knowingly realizes we must put a swifter end to the leadership of the terrorist organizations which are growing like a Cancer over the world.

The only thing the new President must do is realize that without a strong Intelligence network, Military and sound Economic base to work from, ALL DEMOCRACY WORLD WIDE IS IN DANGER and all other categories take second to these problems.

His biggest priority: Finding Honest people to surround him with varied views from EVERY BACKGROUND who love this Nation.

Alex
|
Florida, USA
November 3, 2008

Alex in Florida writes:

There are countless foreign policy goals that the new administration will have to tackle on a micro level. These include, among other things, ongoing negotiations between Israel, Arab states and Palestinians, the question of Russian importance, terrorism, the rise of substate actors in a nonpolar world, the growing interconnectedness of the global economy, nuclear nonproliferation, and many others. One thing, though, that all of these have in common is that they require a United States capable of forming coalitions, shepherding cooperation, and pursuing the most common goal in a humble and inclusive manner. To that end, I think the primary goal of the new administration, and by extension, the new State Department administration, should be to foster cooperation around the world in a way that we've never done before. This will require two things: significant increases in money and manpower for the Department of State and a massive effort to increase our soft power abroad.

The State Department is woefully under funded for all of the efforts it undertakes (and has placed upon it). The budget should be significantly increased from its FY 2009 request of $11 billion. These funds can be funneled to all manner of programs, the most effective of which could be expanding diplomatic and consular presence abroad and broadening the reach of USAID programs and initiatives. These are probably the two most effective forms of public diplomacy and the two most evident forms of American generosity and goodwill abroad. After all, when all is said and done, the poor and impoverished only focus on the food that gets put on their plates and the medicines that get put in their bodies. If American doctors supported by American Foreign Service Officers led that effort, there's no doubt it would seriously hamper efforts by anti-American actors abroad to sully our perception. Increasing our diplomatic presence would provide a vessel through which we could communicate our intentions to all countries, regardless of their ideological differences or regional goals. The policy of nonspeak must end.

The other part to this requires us to do put our money to work for us. Once we have hospitals being built and consulates and interests sections under construction, let's start approaching the issues of the world by appreciating everyone's shared interests. For climate change, let's accept our own responsibilities and work hard to have others accept their own. For nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, let's not insist that other countries disarm while we maintain our own untouched stockpile. Let's reduce our nuclear arsenal from its overkill volume to a volume necessary to maintain deterrence, and then let's rewrite the nonproliferation and disarmament system so it works towards universal denuclearization. Let's not inject weapons systems into regions, engage in cross-border style attacks, detain foreign nationals with no legal recourse, and then act shocked when countries express doubt about our intentions. Let's reform the United Nations so it represents a modern global theater, and let's pay our debts to them, too. Let's stabilize the global economic system by creating better communication between the major central banks. Like it or not, we are all becoming more and more connected, with American bonds owned by Japanese banks and European sovereign wealth funds providing capital for skyscrapers in Dubai.

The United States will remain powerful but will also have to remain responsible. We can do much more than we have done. I think people will be surprised by how much others want to help if you just offer your hand, your humility, and your willingness to listen. It's a rather simple process and one that we can surely start.

Moshe
|
District Of Columbia, USA
November 3, 2008

Moshe in Washington, DC writes:

For the past eight years, it seems that our foreign policy objectives (thus budgetary allocations) have been focused mostly on changing the Middle East. While I believe that this is a region with many issues that affect the rest of the world, the opportunity cost of focusing most efforts on the Middle East means that someone, or some issue, is being neglected. One such issue is the inability of the United States to garner international support for sometimes difficult policy issues. When we want to support government reform in places like Myanmar (Burma), we find our allies to be the usual NATO countries. When we try to influence China to democratize, or Iran to improve human rights conditions, we are left with the same conundrum. Where are our allies? We can, for the most part, depend upon our NATO allies because of historical, military, and economic cooperation, but many other nations have risen to global influential status that have not been brought into the fold. When the Former Soviet Union fell there became an opportunity for the emergence of new allies built upon common principles of democracy, human rights, and freedom of worship. We have done a poor job of embracing these countries (particularly of the Non-Aligned Movement) and integrating them into our global economy, and/or sharing with them our knowledge of promoting and maintaining a free and open society. We are a country of differing cultures, religions, and backgrounds of all shapes and sizes. Yet, despite our differences, we live harmoniously, respect one another, and have built a society that allows anyone, of any background, to achieve their dream. This is not pure luck. Our laws, system of accountability, and provision of basic services promotes the idea of success. It is time that we focus our diplomatic tools more intensely towards our South and Central American neighbors, East Asia, and with more vigor, resources, and effort towards Sub-Saharan, East, and Northwest Africa. By helping many of the countries of these two continents, we will build more partnerships abroad, improve global health, economic, and military issues, as well as gain important allies abroad that will support us when we need it most. Then, and only then, will we see stability in the Middle East where our efforts have been focused these past eight years.

joe
|
Tennessee, USA
November 5, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

You must be joking:

THERE IS NO FOREIGN POLICY from a weak economic nation with no leverage? India, China, Russia, France, Dutchland and even Italian leaders have all stated: "The US must accept it is not the world power it once was." This is not something to overlook as we seem to have.

The only thing he must do is Stabilize the Economy; nothing else matters if we are to stay in place as a world leader.

We have been openly touted as a "false democracy" by just about every single ally in the last few years. What about that don't you understand? The top three percent of the people are not the Majority they are the minority and should not Control the Majority. How are you going to just keep spending money, talk about budgets for any department or Branch of Government if our Currency loses is Solvency?

Answer me that. If crashing the system does not work, what will be the outcome? Are we going to terminate Putin if he goes to the Euro? What is our leverage? We can't give more work away, nor can our allies to us. Their people are protesting plants built in the US when their people suffer; but we do not see that in our news. We keep the American people dumfounded with problems not realted to actuality.

We are not even getting the restructuring contracts in the countries we have freed. Russia, China and the Ukraine are receiving the fiscal upside of a war the People of the United States of America paid for...with lives as well.

It is not rocket science, they overcomplicated the economic system to hide their greed and theft which has placed us in an insecure situation internationally and we need a President who will address this situation Judicially as well.

All the prayer in the world will not feed a hungry man, woman or child; but, perhaps it will bring a new leadership and new direction.

May God bless the new President of the United States of America with being able to see those who profit off decisions not made in the interest of the Average American citizen and shun them and get on with rebuilding America.

Foreign Policy, learn how to kiss butt with Russia, China and India until we get back on top and get rid of the greed.

How did the US get to this point?...solve that first.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
November 6, 2008

Donald in Virginia writes:

5 November 08

@ Joe in Tennessee -- I agree with your comments....

People around the nation better wake up and smell the java real quick.

If President Elect Obama was serious about the coal plants, and energy skyrockets, all those people will be receiving higher electric bills in the mail.

Which brings me to this mose valuable point. We all will have to make steps towards going solar and wind power to provide electric to our homes before that big electric bill comes in the mail.

The good side about having both Republicans and Democrats is that that can agree or dis-agree. Now that the system is entirely a Democratic system President Elect Obama will have no hurdles to pass when he places a candidate into office.

Everyone should be prepared for higher taxes. God only knows how he will deal with foreign countries.

I plan the worst and hope for the best in the United States, May God be with us in this next four years. God Bless President Elect Obama and America. Tougher times ahead!!!

HISTORY WAS MADE!!!

Will
|
Pennsylvania, USA
November 5, 2008

Will in Pennsylvania writes:

The top priority in foreign policy should be reestablishing our reputation as a nation capable of dialogue and mediation. Yes, our economy must stabilize, but that is largely a domestic policy issue. To the extent that we are involved in a global economy, we will be ill-served by a policy of isolationism. As we have seen, as goes the American economy, so goes the world. Therefore, we have a powerful position from which to shape the increasingly global economy in a manner that best serves our economic interests while at the same time allowing for development of all nations. By holding a position of power in the global market, we will have the ability to mediate and serve as an ally for all nations.

Farooq S.
|
Canada
November 5, 2008

Farooq in Canada writes:

Farooq Siddiqi congratulates Obama

Srinagar, November 05 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Rajbagh, Farooq Siddiqi has congratulated Barack Obama over his victory in the presidential election of the United States.

Farooq Siddiqi in a statement issued in Srinagar said, "It is beyond any uncertainty that your election victory marks a beginning of new world arrangement in which change will be coupled with hope, which has manifested itself in the form of liberty and freedom around the world."

The JKLF Chairman said that India's democracy was selective in its implementation and its policy of internal colonialism in Kashmir is in total disregard to its own stated stand and promises made to the international community and the United Nations after its emergence of a sovereign country.

Farooq Siddiqi said the political conflicts between nation states especially in south Asia have provided an opportunity for exploitation of both human and material resources.

He hoped that the new US administration would pursue resolution of Kashmir on the basis of unalienable right to self-determination for the people of the occupied territory.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
November 6, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Joe in Tennessee -- Sean McCormack answered your write in questions in his "Briefing 2.0".

If you haven't had a chance to check it out, you really should.

You wanted answers, you got 'em on the record.

In any case, do you think the EU is immune from fooling themselves about the influence America has on the global economy?

They wouldn't be where they are today without us, and they bloody well know it. But ego being part of the human condition is always the last part of the Id to accept reality.

And when it comes down to silver linings, the economic meltdown has really put a crimp in the agendas of this nation's adversaries.

Which is bad for them and good for us, because we can hold out longer in a troubled ecomomy than they can.

Iran? 28-30% inflation, and now that oil s 60 per barrel, the mullahs are not praising Allah over their good fortune at this point, like they were when this started.

Gazprom and the Russian stock market in total have lost some 70% of their net worth. With what are they going to build that advanced nuclear missile system with, or field conventional weaponry that will pose a technological advantage on the battlefield to NATO?

So it would seem that if Russia is engaged in economic warfare with the US as you've suggested in the past, then they just took one heck of a lot of battle damage.

"scratch one flattop" ....nah...I think they just lost a couple carrier battle groups before they ever got into production.

Whereas I think we'll continue to fund DOD to the tune of half a trillion per year regardless of what happens on Wall st.

If we want to win the war on terror that is....

Joe let's face facts, America would much rather not have an aversarial relationship with Russia (or any other nation), and in some ways we coopeate on common problems.

But it just doesn't pay to mess with the US. We can flat cause way too many problems for folks if we must.

Now I'm not saying the manipulation of the economy that you attest to greed is (or was) intentionally designed to have a national security impact in the way that it has become manifest. But if you were going to solve the problems you were talking about seeing a gathering threat of Russian economic and military superiority, then I personally cannot think of a more effective and direct approach than to crash the entire global economy.

Food for thought.

EMILIO S.
|
United States
November 7, 2008

Emilio in U.S.A. writes:

MAKE PEOPLE IN ALL COUNTRIES CRY OF JOY, WHEN THEY HEAR THE WORDS: "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA". WHEN OBAMA WON ELECTION, IT HAPPENED!! THIS IS GOOD MOMENTUM. AMERICA NEEDS BACK ITS GOOD REPUTATION.

Ron B.
|
New York, USA
November 7, 2008

RB in New York writes:

Just don't bomb Iran's Nuclear sites in the last two months.

Chul-hong
|
South Korea
November 7, 2008

Chul-hong in South Korea writes:

First and foremost, incoming administration should announce a plan to end wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Actually, those conflicts have brought about disharmony with Europe, especially with France and Germany.

In order to overcome US economy crises, US needs the cooperation with Europe such as France and Germany.

Definite scheme to retreat from conflicting areas will restore the relationship with Europe, which is essential to recover and prosper the economy again.

The left problems are [the timing and justification] to put an end to conflicts in these two regions.

On the other hand, there is a dispute that the economy is prior to conflicts. I'm not sure which one is prior to the other.

However, it is unquestionable that announcing a plan to end conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan is important as well as the economy.

.

Latest Stories

December 17, 2014

Working for Peace in Somalia

For over 20 years, landmines and unexploded ordnance, such as abandoned bombs, artillery shells, and other munitions have plagued communities… more

Pages