What's the Best Way To Tilt the Balance From Multi-Polar to Multi-Partner Foreign Policy?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
July 18, 2009
Globes As Public Art Display in Los Angeles

Earlier this week, Secretary Clinton spoke before the Council on Foreign Relations. The Secretary said that the United States will lead by inducing greater cooperation among a greater number of actors, tilting the balance away from a multi-polar world toward a multi-partner world.

What's the best way to tilt the balance from multi-polar to multi-partner foreign policy?



Wisconsin, USA
July 18, 2009

Kendra in Wisconsin writes:

Philosophically: By highlighting similarities and working towards tolerance and mutual understanding of seemingly irreconcilable differences across cultural and national boundaries.

Practically: Through increased funding for the DOS and decreased funding for the DOD; by promoting and facilitating cultural visitor and exchange programs; by initiating talks with countries where ties have been severed or fragile, and demonstrating our commitment to working towards better communication and cooperation with realistic expectations of engagement; by promoting educational programs in the U.S. that emphasize the importance of an open and tolerant global and historical worldview, and encouraging young people to take an interest in world languages and international relations early on in their academic careers; and by eliminating ethnocentric and xenophobic language from the speeches of high ranking political officials and from mainstream media sources, to emphasize our willingness to work with countries despite misconceptions and differences that may have prevented dialogue in the past or may have fanned the flames in times of conflict or initiated policy disagreements.

Tennessee, USA
July 18, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

While the parameters may have narrowed on and off in the past, I fear the perspective of diplomacy as a science is responsible to a great extent for the present failures and insecurities that are causing polarization.

Interdependency can only be created where there is polarized security within a country, otherwise one or the other is dependent to a greater extent. There is no equality which can be presented, so the concept of creating a Secure World Environment comes first, with a follow up of creating self sufficiency within each country where it can be: "...teach a man to fish".

Malek Q.
July 18, 2009

Malek Q. in Jordan writes:

The Path of Eagle and a Snake can cross eatch other , but an Eagle needs space to fly , and that space means freedom equality justice .

With out these an Eagle looses although usually an Eagle wins over a snake lol

Maryland, USA
July 18, 2009

Laura in Maryland writes:

Multi-partner instead of multi-polar...brilliant. How to tilt the balance -- some essential elements:

-- Explain, in simple terms, an overarching approach for our public and private institutions to define their missions with an assumption of cooperation (instead of only an assumption of competition).
o For example, the equation that defines threats to national security with respect to adversaries - "Capabilities + Intentions = Threat" - can be modified as an approach to global security with respect to our partners: "Capabilities + Intentions = Opportunities."

-- Eliminate uncertainly regarding U.S. intentions. Listen and understand, then explain, plan and act jointly and transparently in a way that acknowledges and minimizes the legitimate internal and regional security issues and concerns of our partners.

-- Pick a finite number of things to do in a specified period, and do them thoroughly. Evaluate continuously, and shift vectors deliberately.

Peter H.
Illinois, USA
July 19, 2009

Peter in Illinois writes:

How-To go from Multi-Polar to Multi-Partner requires Honesty, Courage and Ambitious Energy of Youth. We are passing Planet Earth on to a new group of caretakers. We must have in place The Yin and Yang of Life; Health & Education. All encompassing words that Linguistic Gymnasts have usurped and impeded through falsehoods of Honor and Duty.

Albert Einstein was worried about the extinction of Humanity. His conversant asked him "Why?"

July 20, 2009

Rosey writes:

thanks for post...

We must have in place The Yin and Yang of Life; Health & Education. All encompassing words that Linguistic Gymnasts have usurped and impeded through falsehoods of Honor and Duty.

New Mexico, USA
July 20, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

40 years ago today, humanity stepped outside the box, put footprint on another world and in being witness to it as a nine year old, I became a world citizen in that moment, completely aware that I was witness to the dawning of a new era and history in the making.

"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

I'm sure I wasn't the only kid who was inspired.

As we are on the brink of colonizing Mars (20yrs.?), let us go to the "God of War" in peace, as a family of nations. A family that has overcome its dysfunctionalities.

It will take a multi-partnered approach to get there from here, and if some wish to retain a multi-polar, scizophrenic, multi- jackass headed, mythological political creature not seen in the natural world called a "push me, pull you", whereby it's method of propulsion is in every direction at once without going anywhere except in circles, as inspiration; then the results are entirely too predictable and boring to those of us who have had to put up with the mindset for far too long already.

To achieve lasting peace, nations must be brave enough to look at the past in general, and be more creative in future vision than the kid in Afghanistan, who reportedly had nothing he could count on in life, except the anti-tank missile he slept with. I wonder if he's sold it by now, and bought a kite.

Maryland, USA
July 21, 2009

Dan in Maryland writes:

"Multi-partner" and "engagement" are important words describing a critically important strategy for US foreign policy and diplomacy. For as Benjamin Disraeli observed: "Few ideas are the correct ones, and which they are none can tell, but it is by words we govern men." Yet more words and ideas are needed to help frame and and proclaim America's foreign policy for a better future.

In this regard, the Cold War era was one largely considered to be "bi-polar," while the "post-Cold War era" has been considered to be one of "multi-polarity." If the U.S. wants to move beyond the "post-Cold War" and post 9/11 mentality and its associated multi-polarity, American should also offer a new name to describe the sort of world it seeks for this new era to be marked by multi-partnership.

In this regard, I believe America has failed to articulate a proactive, unifying foreign policy framework, and this void muffles our call to the future. The Cold War ended nearly two decades ago, yet many of our nation's leaders continue to refer to today as the "post-Cold War," or more recently "post-9/11." It is to America's disadvantage to identify today in terms of what it used to be, by what we fight against, or by a date terrorists chose to attack. Instead, we should call this era by what we stand for and seek to accomplish.

In the spirit of multi-partnership, I propose a new name and agenda for American foreign policy; to stand for and work toward a "Fair Peace" -- for fairness and peace are fundamental to any and all international partnerships.

In today's environment, the United States should concentrate on channeling the world's swirling and precarious currents toward fair conditions. America's international leadership and partnership is needed to sustain the prevailing winds of liberty, prosperity and peace. A proactive American foreign policy of and for a Fair Peace would help to build and strengthen a developing front of tranquility.

I would also proposal "engagement" with our partners, and "temperance" in managing crisis situations, as America's two fundamental tenets for promoting and maintaining a Fair Peace. I first proposed this "Fair Peace" name and idea several years ago ... and for more information on this idea, please see this site: http://web.archive.org/web/20040210181109/http://www.fairpeace.org/

Minnesota, USA
July 21, 2009

Toni in Minnesota writes:

First, set an example.

Second, reach out.

Third, nurture relationships.

New York, USA
July 21, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Engage and include all stakeholders. interdependent relationships incentivize a shared vision for global policy. The previous Administration was lazy, and wanted only to engage in Bi-lateral agreements...

Multi-lateral treaties are far more realistic and resilient. A balanced Foreign Policy depends on multi-partnered cooperation. We can all succeed together...those states who do not want to join...will fall down by themselves...We should not try to push or drag them.

Tennessee, USA
July 22, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Quote: Albert Einstein was worried about the extinction of Humanity. His conversant asked him "Why?"

He did not see his contrubution as benificial...his advice to his nephew was " There are more benificial ways to help society.."

He was spritual and a Rosicrucian. I should know...though we all have different parts in the process of democracy.


Creed of Peace
A Practical Approach

I am guilty of war when I proudly exercise my intelligence to the disadvantage of my fellow man.

I am guilty of war when I distort other's opinions, which differ from my own.

I am guilty of war when I show disregard for the rights and properties of others.

I am guilty of war when I covet what another has honestly acquired.

I am guilty of war when I seek to maintain my superiority of position by depriving others of their opportunity of advancement.

I am guilty of war if I imagine my kin and myself to be a privileged people.

I am guilty of war if I believe a heritage entitles me to monopolize resources of nature.

I am guilty of war when I believe other people must think and live as I do.

I am guilty of war when I make success in life solely dependent upon power, fame, and riches.

I am guilty of war when I think the minds of people should be regulated by force, rather than by reason.

I am guilty of war when I believe the God I conceive is the one others must accept.

I am guilty of war when I think that a land of a man's birth must necessarily be the place of his livelihood.

The true articles of peace cannot be legislated but are drawn up in the personal aspirations and conduct of the millions of little people. When all men will frankly perceive their common dependence, an understanding will emerge that will transcend the barriers of time and space, creed and race.

Be well...

South Korea
July 23, 2009

Palgye from South Korea writes:

just sorry...

United States
July 24, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

So you want to remove the word "American" from American foreign policy, and you want us to tell you how to do that?

Our U.S. Constitution (I hope you've heard of it somewhere), requires that U.S. foreign policy be conducted by the President. The Secretary of State acts as the agent of the President in that regard, and it is a non-delegable duty, which means that we can't offer that job to foreign leaders as our "partners".

Article II, Section 3 of the constitution specifies the duty of the President to receive Ambassadors and other public ministers. In the original Articles of Confederation, this duty was vested in Congress alone.

The Committee of Detail adopted Edmund Randolph's suggestion that the President be given the power to receive ambassadors. The Committee of Eleven later transferred this power to the President and this was approved at the Constitutional Convention. Alexander Hamilton agreed, and Hamilton's argument of 1793 has prevailed historically, so that John Marshall, then a representative, once said "the President is the sole organ of the nation in its external relations, and its sole representative with foreign nations."

Congress retains some powers over foreign relations, but no foreign nation has been granted any power or authority to make American foreign policy.

The Commerce Clause grants Congress plenary power to regulate commerce between the United States and foreign nations, Indians, and the states.

What you mean to ask is how shall we find partners to formulate "world policy", not "American foreign policy".

How do we find foreign leaders willing to become collaborators to assist us in governing the world to our standards?

The answer is that there is no power in the Constitution for the federal government to do that. We can make treaties, compacts, and other agreements, but we cannot rule the world nor formulate international policy for all nations to obey.

World foreign policy, despite delusions in the CFR, is not one of the powers granted to this federal government by the states, and practically speaking, each nation must govern itself without our meddling in their affairs and without them meddling in ours.

If you want the world to be a better place, then repeal our harsh laws which make factories flee overseas, and make America a better place, and others will follow your lead by example.

California, USA
July 24, 2009

Georgiann from California writes:

A multi-partner foreign policy.....interesting. All stakeholders and eventual actors (i.e. partners)must be committed and have a clear understanding of expectations of all players. Though I agree that the concept of multi-partnerships instead of bi-polar disparity is admirable, it is not easily obtainable. How many 'partners' are willing to give up what they already have to level the playing field, so to speak?

How many partners leaders are really focused on their own personal ambition, using their country and its peoples as masks for their own personal agenda's?

The only way to sell this agenda is to make the stakes so high that not to be partner and not to buy in, could lead to destruction of one's own country by their own hand. Another words, the International community, United States, China, Russia, ect.... is not responsible for the non-participants potential demise.

The stakes in today's international game are far to high for failure. Each and every country must acknowledge their own needs, ask for help and move forward.

United States
July 24, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

If this government continues to abandon its constitution, the U.S. government will no longer speak for the states and there is no doubt that New York and California may begin formulating their own foreign policy. Perhaps Microsoft and Wal-Mart will have a foreign policy also. Some say they already do.

Can you imagine California acquiring atomic weapons and a former Austrian citizen in command of its nuclear forces?

If we make India a partner in foreign policy, then why not California too? This is why we have a constitution, so there is some unity of purpose in foreign relations. If we wanted a world government, we would amend our constitution to provide for one. Let's see you run that one past Congress.


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