U.S. POWER AND INFLUENCE TODAY ARE UNMATCHED SINCE ROMAN TIMES
1. U.S. worldwide military, economic, technological, and cultural impact is awesome.
2. No other country, or group of nations, comes close to American influence today.BUT PUBLIC HAS NOT DECIDED WHAT ROLE U.S. SHOULD PLAY ABROAD
1. We approve use of military forces, but don't want Americans to get killed (Kosovo).
2. We want the benefits of free trade, but we don't wish to compete with cheap labor from South America and China, or support China's dismal record on human rights.
3. We want Europeans to take more responsibility, but object if they go their own way.
4. We want a politically stable Russia, but criticize Putin for cracking down on the oligarchs.
5. We give Colombia $1.3 billion to fight a drug war, but we don't curb drug use at home.PRESIDENT CLINTON MADE MORE SECURITY COMMITMENTS ABROAD THAN ANY PRESIDENT SINCE THE 1950s.
1. Pentagon sent troops to Haiti (1994), Bosnia (1997), Kosovo and East Timor (1999).
2. Clinton has pledged military trainers to Nigeria, and to fight a drug war in Colombia.
3. President publicly regretted not intervening in Rwanda's tribal war in 1994-95.
4. And he increased the U.S. presence in the Persian Gulf area and Turkey.CONGRESS HAS APPROVED ONLY LIMITED INCREASES IN DEFENSE BUDGETS, SIZE OF THE FORCES, AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT'S FOREIGN AID BUDGET
1. In the 1980s, the Army's strength was 780,000; today it is 470,000.
2. The Navy is losing pilots at an alarming rate because of pay and extended deployments.
3. The State Department has cut embassies, diplomatic personnel, and AID missions.BUSH AND GORE HAVE NOT SO FAR ADDRESSED KEY FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES
1. Gore gives no sign that his foreign policy would change substantially from Clinton's.
2. Bush says he will increase defense budget and suggests a review of U.S. commitments.
3. Buchanan would adopt an "America first" policy and withdraw from Europe.
4. Nader would slash the defense budget and rely on U.N. and diplomacy to keep peace.AMERICAN PUBLIC NEEDS TO ACCEPT WHETHER THE UNITED STATES SHOULD BE A "HEGEMONIC SUPERPOWER," OR AN "ALOOF BUT VIGILANT SUPERPOWER"
1. A hegemonic foreign policy requires much larger defense and foreign aid budgets.
2. An aloof but vigilant stance should result in reductions in U.S. troop strength in Korea, Europe, Persian Gulf, but increases for Colombia and Caribbean countries.
3. Foreign policy should be debated in this election campaign, but the American public seems not to be interested. This reality is a recipe for dangerous drift into 2001.
File last modified on Tuesday, 17-AUG-2004 09:30 PM EST