Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Obama's Foreign Policy

Obama gave a speech to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations this week. I just read it here. He has five points for a foreign policy encompassing hard and soft power. It is too early to make up my mind definitively but, as of right now, I WANT THIS MAN TO BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT.

And to anyone that still claims he has no substance, take a moment and actually read what he says and rights. You may not agree with all of it or any of it but the "substance free" charge is complete BUNK! And if a person uses it they are proving their own ignorance.

  1. Withdrawl from Iraq.
    • Allows the US to focus on the wider war
    • Force Sunni and Shia factions to resolve their issues.

  2. Create a 21st century military and wisely use it
    • Add 65,000 more soldiers to the army
    • Add 27,000 Marines
    • Provide language training

  3. Secure, destroy and stop spread of WMD
    • secure all nuclear weapons and material at vulnerable sites within four years
    • create an international nuclear fuel bank to eliminate need for individual countries to refine fuel

  4. Rebuild and construct alliances needed to meet common challenges and threats
    "Today it’s become fashionable to disparage the United Nations, the World Bank, and other international organizations. In fact, reform of these bodies is urgently needed if they are to keep pace with the fast-moving threats we face. Such real reform will not come, however, by dismissing the value of these institutions, or by bullying other countries to ratify changes we have drafted in isolation. Real reform will come because we convince others that they too have a stake in change – that such reforms will make their world, and not just ours, more secure."

  5. Promotion of global human rights
    • Stymie terrorist recruiting
    • Double foreign aid to $50B by 2012.

Yeah, I would have liked to see him endorse a carbon tax. I would have liked to see him give a number to the miles per gallon requirements he wants under CAFE. But these are small quibbles. He doesn't discuss how he would pay for the programs at this point. That is critically important but doesn't fit with the theme and purpose of this speech.

The important thing is that Obama is endorsing a major leadership role for the U.S. in the world. He wants a muscular military but won't operate it with a hair trigger.
America cannot meet the threats of this century alone, but the world cannot meet them without America. We must neither retreat from the world nor try to bully it into submission – we must lead the world, by deed and example.

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