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  Global Views
"New Realism:
Crafting a US Foreign Policy for a New Century"
Highlights of Gov. Bill Richardson's International Policies
Special Contribution
By Bill Richardson
New Mexico Governor
Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico

US foreign policymakers face novel challenges in the 21st century. Jihadists and environmental crises have replaced armies and missiles as the greatest threats; globalization has eroded the significance of national borders. Many problems that were once national are now global, and dangers that once came only from states now come also from societies — not from hostile governments, but from hostile individuals or from impersonal social trends, such as the consumption of fossil fuels. The piece does a credible job of laying out the problems before us and arguing that the Bush Administration has not taken the appropriate measures to deal with them.

The highlights of Richardson's plans:

First and foremost, the United States must repair its alliances. US leaders also must restore commitment to international law and multilateral cooperation.

Promoting expansion of the UN Security Council's permanent membership to include Japan, India, Germany, and one country each from Africa and Latin America.

Ethical reform at the United Nations so that this vital institution can help its many underdeveloped and destitute member states meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Expanding the G8 to include India and China.

The US government must join the International Criminal Court and respect all international treaties, including the Geneva Conventions.

On environmental issues, the United States must be the leader, not the laggard, in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by embracing the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, Lead the world with a man-on-the-moon effort to improve energy efficiency and to commercialize clean, alternative technologies.

Stop considering diplomatic engagement with others as a reward for good behavior.

Various efforts including ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

The United States needs to start showing, both through its words and through its actions, that this is not, as the Jihadists claim, a clash of civilizations. Rather, it is a clash between civilization and barbarity.

Closing Guantanamo

The United States also needs to pressure Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and other friends in the Arab world to reform their education systems, which are incubators of anti-US sentiment.

Spend more to develop first responders and to drastically improve public health facilities, which, five years after 9/11, are not ready for a biological attack.

The United States needs to lead the global fight against poverty, which is the basis of so much violence.

Encourage rich countries to honor UN Millennium goal commitments.

Lead donors on debt relief, shifting aid from loans to grants, and focus on primary health care and affordable vaccines.

Promote trade agreements, which create more jobs in all nations and which seriously address wage disparities, worker rights, and the environment.

Pressure pharmaceutical companies to allow expanded use of generic drugs, and encourage public-private partnerships to reduce costs and enhance access to anti-malarial drugs and bed nets.

Promote a multilateral Marshall Plan for the Middle East and North Africa.

The above article redacted from The Harvard International Review.



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