Two weeks ago, our reader Prof. Stephen Clark wrote a guest blog post about Rudy Giuliani's views on international politics and globalizing NATO: Rudolph Giuliani: World's Mayor?
Now we have a guest blog post about another presidential candidate's views on international politics. David Vickrey, editor of the Dialog International, volunteers for Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign and explains how President Obama would change America's foreign policy and what this would mean for transatlantic relations:
Candidate Obama has delivered several major foreign policy speeches that have naturally focused on the Iraq War, but some clues as to how he would cooperate with Europe can be found in his essay that appeared in Foreign Affairs.
As president, Barack Obama would restore exemplarism as America's guiding foreign policy principle - the uniquely American, pragmatic idealism that has been seen in Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms, Harry S Truman's Marshall Plan, John F. Kennedy's Peace Corps, and Bill Clinton's Kosovo intervention.As a first step, America must end the practices that have destroyed its legitimacy on the world stage:
People around the world have heard a great deal of late about freedom on the march. Tragically, many have come to associate this with war, torture, and forcibly imposed regime change. To build a better, freer world, we must first behave in ways that reflect the decency and aspirations of the American people. This means ending the practices of shipping away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far-off countries, of detaining thousands without charge or trial, of maintaining a network of secret prisons to jail people beyond the reach of the law.
As president, Barack Obama would seek to restore and further strengthen the global alliances which have been trampled on by the Bush administration. NATO is certainly a key part of this initiative:
Our alliances require constant cooperation and revision if they are to remain effective and relevant. NATO has made tremendous strides over the last 15 years, transforming itself from a Cold War security structure into a partnership for peace. But today, NATO's challenge in Afghanistan has exposed, as Senator Lugar has put it, "the growing discrepancy between NATO's expanding missions and its lagging capabilities." To close this gap, I will rally our NATO allies to contribute more troops to collective security operations and to invest more in reconstruction and stabilization capabilities.
But beyond NATO, Obama views cooperation with Europe as key in defeating the "epochal, man-made threat to the planet: climate change." European support is also crucial in achieving the goal of ending the production of nuclear weapons and halting the spread of nuclear weapons technology. Finally, the Obama administration would join with the EU in investing in programs to end poverty in the Third World:
We need to invest in building capable, democratic states that can establish healthy and educated communities, develop markets, and generate wealth. Such states would also have greater institutional capacities to fight terrorism, halt the spread of deadly weapons, and build health-care infrastructures to prevent, detect, and treat deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and avian flu.
Here, the US would lead, doubling foreign aid to $50 billion by 2012. Exemplarism means "leading by example". Only by returning to this historic principle of US foreign policy can America once again realize its promise. I believe that a President Obama is best suited to bring about the necessary changes, so that the American president is once again welcomed as a symbol of hope and promise on the world stage.
David Vickrey earned a Ph.D. in the History and Literature Program at Harvard University and studied also in Freiburg and Cologne in Germany. He is the editor of Dialog International, a blog about German-American relations, politics and culture, and lives in Maine.
Criticial comments are appreciated.
The Atlantic Review does not endorse any presidential candidate. We just have guest bloggers describe the foreign policy of presidential candidates, with a focus on transatlantic relations. All readers are invited to weigh in.
Please, let me know if you would like to write about another presidential candidate's views on transatlantic relations.
Related post in the Atlantic Review: Rudolph Giuliani: World's Mayor?