Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Rebuilding American Foreign Policy

Nat'l security experts, mostly academics and former official cats, hooked up to produce Choosing to Lead, a volume aimed at describing what a foreign policy for a new Republican administration in 2017 should look like.

All kinds of diplopolititary stuff is cussed and discussed and the bit about Rebuilding American Foreign Policy is pretty sweet stuff.

A strong United States is essential to the maintenance of the open global order under which this country and the rest of the world have prospered since 1945; that the alternative is not a self-regulating machine of balancing states but a landscape marked by eruptions of chaos and destruction. We recognize the failures as well as the successes of past policies, because to govern is to choose, and to choose in the world as it is, is necessarily to err. But while we believe that we must understand those failures and learn from them, we also believe that American power and influence has, on the whole, served our country and the world far better than American weakness and introversion.

The threats from hostile states include the persistence of a North Korea that is expanding its stockpile of nuclear weapons and which, if unchecked, will put them on missiles that can reach the United States. At the same time, non-state actors—most notably, jihadi movements of several stripes—vie with each other for primacy in waging holy war from Nigeria to Pakistan. After a period in which American leaders boasted that they had put al-Qaeda and analogous movements on the verge of strategic defeat, we now realize that they will continue to threaten our homeland, our people, and our interests abroad, and that such groups have the power to destabilize or even overthrow allied governments throughout the Middle East.

These and other challenges (for example, America’s increasing estrangement from an authoritarian and illiberal Turkey, or the nascent competition for control of resources in the High North) require a first-order rethinking of American foreign policy. The threats will not be resolved by rousing speeches and a substantial increase in defense spending alone, welcome and necessary though both would be. Rather, they will require more resources and creative statecraft. A new American administration will require patience and perseverance in reversing the setbacks of recent years, and in refashioning a world order that the United States played the leading role in shaping some seventy years ago.

The entire piece is well worth checking out