Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

February 1, 2014

Some work to do on foreign policy

(Continued)

At the start of its sixth year, the Obama administration runs the risk of remaining intellectually stuck, cleaning up the inheritance of the Bush years. Yet major global changes, including the rise of other powers and widespread social protests for dignity, require a forward-looking moral framework for U.S. engagement. A clearer vision is necessary to rally public support and votes in Congress for key agenda items, such as a possible nuclear deal with Iran and proposed future trade deals with Europe and Asia. It is important for Obama to do this because Republicans are sharply divided on foreign policy and Obama’s own party looks for him to lead.

The administration’s planned release this year of a new national security strategy offers a chance to make a clearer argument for global engagement with three core elements.

First, it must make a case for how its global economic agenda, including proposed trade agreements with Asia and Europe, would benefit Americans and expand growth while meeting the president’s aspirations of reducing domestic inequality.

Second, it must demonstrate how the government will keep Americans safe while protecting our core values. Obama’s record here is mixed: He has brought troops home and kept the homeland safe, but threats from terrorist networks have morphed abroad. The principles Obama has outlined for reining in NSA surveillance and drone strikes must be applied with real actions to rebuild confidence in U.S. leadership.

Third, Obama must tell the world more clearly what we stand for and what costs we are willing to bear to advance the causes of freedom and dignity — and not shy away from the toughest cases. From Ukraine to the Middle East to China, the struggle to advance freedom endures, and many see a growing American reticence to engage on this complicated front. Egypt will present an important test — in the coming weeks, the administration will face calls on whether to certify that Egypt is on a path toward democracy.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Questions for Obamacare after the ruling Tuesday, I outlined what we knew about Halbig v. Burwell, the case in which a federal appellate court ruled that subsidies for purchasing insurance under Obamacare can only be made available on marketplaces established by states. Now I propose to out

    July 24, 2014

  • Pensions not the problem I see in last night’s Register-News paper that James Rippy has attempted to enlighten us on pensions in Illinois. I also notice he has written so often he no longer has the title “guest columnist.” It is obvious he has the time and energy to work on

    July 24, 2014

  • Impasse threatens border solution After more than a year of contentious debate, could Congress be any more divided over the issue of immigration? The answer is yes.In the House, positions are hardening over what to do about the tens of thousands of families and unaccompanied young im

    July 24, 2014

  • Take a lesson from Texas I like to eat at blue-collar diners and cafes, particularly when I’m on vacation.It’s a chance to step beyond the homogenized national chains and experience a bit of local flavor.And being a reporter, I like to chat up local folks to find out a bit a

    July 23, 2014

  • The future reality of terrorist drones A very small airplane rose over the Gaza Strip last week. It entered Israeli airspace and sped toward the coastal city of Ashdod. Then a Patriot missile blew it up.The plane, a rudimentary drone launched by the terrorist group Hamas, posed little thr

    July 23, 2014

  • We are headed to a jobless future In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers revived a debate I’d had with futurist Ray Kurzweil in 2012 about the jobless future.He echoed the words of Peter Diamandis, who says that we are moving from a history

    July 23, 2014

  • Pensions need to be addressed I will have to admit that I am slightly overwhelmed today with the receipt of articles and suggestions for a column. One of my Fitness Mafia colleagues constantly tells me the columns are too long and trying to address different subjects just dilutes

    July 22, 2014

  • VA still failing our vets Jymm’s preferred attire is a skin-tight Minnie Mouse T-shirt with bright pink windbreaker pants. Even when not sporting his choice outfit, he dons short shorts and shirts with holes in them, because that’s what he finds most comfortable. His Santa Mo

    July 22, 2014

  • Feed your home piggy bank with a 15-year mortgage This summer, we finally decided to take the plunge we’d been contemplating for a while: converting our 30-year mortgage to one with a 15-year payoff. It’s a big step. Our payments will go up somewhat (the PITI — principal, interest, tax, and insuranc

    July 19, 2014

  • Under the dumb There is a TV series about an entire town trapped under a giant, mysterious crystal-clear dome that appears out of the blue one day. The dome is impenetrable; no one can get in, no one can get out. Who made the dome? Aliens? God? A super-secret branc

    July 19, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks