Monday, April 23, 2012
Towards a New Foreign Policy (Part III)
A post-Obama administration should remember that friends and allies count. Don't believe the old dictum about having only "permanent interests and no permanent friends." We have some very good permanent friends on the global and the regional level. On the global scale I would highlight Australia, Canada, the UK, Japan, and Israel; on the regional level, ROK, Poland, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Singapore, Colombia, Chile--and Taiwan.
There are other countries with whom we can work on occasion and with which we have overlapping interests, at times, and conflicting ones, at others: France, Spain, India, Mexico, Vietnam, and Brazil come to mind. There are others. We need a foreign policy establishment that recognizes our long-term friends, acknowledges and respects their core interests, and--how about this for a revolutionary thought?--doesn't betray, or throw them under the bus in an effort to curry favor with committed enemies or transient friends.
The UN and the OAS? Bah. Use them to expound our views forcefully, or get out. Do not ever seek their permission to defend our interests. Seriousness of purpose is the greatest power. This misadministration is not serious. We need to mean what we say, and say what we mean. When our enemies look into our eyes they should see the gates of hell slowly swinging open.
If you have pledged to help your neighbor put out the fire on his roof, it is advisable that your own roof not be on fire, too. If we want to preserve our status internationally, we must fix things at home. The government-led destruction of the dollar, of our manufacturing base, and of our energy independence must cease.
Cut domestic government spending, eliminate taxes and regulations that hinder manufacturing and innovation, and--for crying out loud!--develop our own vast energy resources. Eliminating or even reducing our dependence on foreign oil is the second single greatest step to enhanced national security and global power. Achieving that would buck up the dollar, contribute to the general wealth of the United States, enrich our treasury, and free us of countless foreign policy concerns and headaches. Drill for oil in Texas, or fight for it in the Middle East. Our choice.
Oh, yes. The single greatest step we can take to reestablishing a foreign policy that makes sense? Send President Obama back to his shadily purchased mansion in Chicago.