Foreign Policy in the State of the Union – Seven Things You Need to Know

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
January 21, 2015
President Obama Delivers 2015 State of the Union Address

Last night, in his sixth State of the Union address, President Obama highlighted the importance of America leadership around the world.  Speaking about foreign policy, the President said, "I believe in a smarter kind of American leadership.  We lead best when we combine military power with strong diplomacy; when we leverage our power with coalition building; when we don't let our fears blind us to the opportunities that this new century presents. That's exactly what we're doing right now; and around the globe, it is making a difference."

The President spoke about many key foreign policy areas, including these seven:

1. ISIL "In Iraq and Syria, American leadership – including our military power – is stopping ISIL’s advance.  Instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East, we are leading a broad coalition, including Arab nations, to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group.  We’re also supporting a moderate opposition in Syria that can help us in this effort, and assisting people everywhere who stand up to the bankrupt ideology of violent extremism.  This effort will take time.  It will require focus.  But we will succeed.”

2. Russia "We are demonstrating the power of American strength and diplomacy.  We’re upholding the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small – by opposing Russian aggression, supporting Ukraine’s democracy, and reassuring our NATO allies.  Last year, as we were doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, some suggested that Mr. Putin’s aggression was a masterful display of strategy and strength.  Well, today, it is America that stands strong and united with our allies, while Russia is isolated, with its economy in tatters.”

3. Cuba “In Cuba, we are ending a policy that was long past its expiration date.  When what you’re doing doesn’t work for fifty years, it’s time to try something new.  Our shift in Cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere; removes a phony excuse for restrictions in Cuba; stands up for democratic values; and extends the hand of friendship to the Cuban people.”

4. Iran "Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material.  Between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran; secures America and our allies – including Israel; while avoiding yet another Middle East conflict.  There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran.”

5. Ebola "In West Africa, our troops, our scientists, our doctors, our nurses and healthcare workers are rolling back Ebola – saving countless lives and stopping the spread of disease.  I couldn’t be prouder of them, and I thank this Congress for your bipartisan support of their efforts.  But the job is not yet done – and the world needs to use this lesson to build a more effective global effort to prevent the spread of future pandemics, invest in smart development, and eradicate extreme poverty.”

6. Climate Change “The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.  The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security.  We should act like it.”

7. Trade Agreements “21st century businesses, including small businesses, need to sell more American products overseas.  Today, our businesses export more than ever, and exporters tend to pay their workers higher wages.  But as we speak, China wants to write the rules for the world’s fastest-growing region.  That would put our workers and businesses at a disadvantage.  Why would we let that happen?  We should write those rules.  We should level the playing field.”

Today, to follow up on the State of the Union address, the White House will host the second-annual Big Block of Cheese Day, during which members of the Administration and federal government agencies will take to social media to answer questions from the public. @JohnKerry and @StateDept will answer questions from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. (EST), so send your foreign policy questions during that hour on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Tumblr using #AskTheWH.

For video of the President’s State of the Union address, as well as sharable graphics, visit whitehouse.gov/sotu.

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Comments

robert R.
|
Washington, USA
January 21, 2015
Who is going to guarantee Irans security ? Who took care of the Jewish nation for 600 years ? A: Iran I'm sick and tired of the USA being an Israeli sccophant
Michael C.
|
United States
January 22, 2015
"We’re upholding the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small." This makes me ill. For the past 15 years, U.S. foreign policy has demonstrated a commitment to the idea that our big nation must continuously bully smaller nations. And now, you are attempting to bully Russia and China, a policy that may very well lead to nuclear war.
Fred A.
|
South Africa
January 22, 2015
very informative
Joan O.
|
California, USA
January 22, 2015
President Obama is such a quandary to me.On the one hand he allows criminal banks to get away with imprisonable fraud yet on the other hand he speaks about two year paid free college for citizens. Some of his ideas like taxing the wealthy are great but then gives free reign to the C IA to run child brothels in Columbia. I just don't get what he's all about? If he ended the terror reign of rogue elements in our country he would really be securing America's economic and social security for the future. Americans don't want to hear about what could be they want to hear about cleaning up the swamp because y'all are driving America nuts with your mega maniacal ,psychopathic foreign policies.
Américas N.
|
California, USA
January 26, 2015

Climate change must be addressed in a manner of precedence. We are fortunate our president acknowledges the issue. I pray abuses of power by law enforcement become a part of mainstream dialogue. Transparency and accountability are requirements for integrity.

Ibrahim K.
|
Bangladesh
January 24, 2015
Whats rule will play United State about Bangladesh
Rick H.
|
California, USA
January 24, 2015
We old-timers would have enjoyed it more, if President Obama could have removed his shoe and banged it on the podium during the sections of his speech about Russia and China, shouting, "We will bury you!"
Imtiazul I.
|
Bangladesh
January 25, 2015
hi...

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