Foreign Policy

The former Bush Administration's callous disregard for international treaties and obligations, especially those related to the treatment of captives is appalling and the consequences of the resulting human rights abuses have severely tarnished reputation of the United States. The deliberately disrespectful past treatment of the United Nations is now bearing its bitter harvest, now that the US is attempting unsuccessfully to withdraw all of its forces in the Middle East. The increasing turmoil in that region and Afghanistan has now called into question whether the thousands of casualties incurred and Trillions of dollars spent on those interventions have accomplished anything other than more violence and instability in those countries.  The incipient resumption of a new Cold War has now resulted from the Trillion dollar upgrade of the US nuclear arsenal and from the threatened but failed intervention by Obama into Syria. It collapsed when the British House of Commons refused to approve England's participation.  That has subsequently resulted in Russia's unfettered intervention into the Middle East cauldron. The result is a greatly complicated and already intractable situation with an unknowable but likely unstable outcome with continued violence.

Other countries elsewhere are slowly forging new trade and other commercial relationships that deliberately exclude the United States, to its future detriment.  China and Japan have made a bilateral trade agreement to exchange products and services using their own currencies without reliance upon the U. S. dollar.  Since their economies are the world’s second and third largest, the future use of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency will continue to decline as other countries make similar trade agreements in the future. By the year 2030, the GDP of China is expected to surpass that of the USA.  Russia and China are amassing huge gold reserves, which could be used to create strong alternative gold-backed currencies that would replace the use of the dollar as the world's reserve currency.  At that time, the
U. S. will become of necessity be forced to accept the huge amounts (over unknown Trillions) of dollar holdings held abroad and redeem them by allowing more sales to foreigners of American agricultural land, real estate, and other commercial assets. The alternative is uncontrollable hyperinflation if the purchasing power of the dollar collapses. That would not be acceptable but unavoidable by the US citizenry.   The USA consequently will be forced to become more reliant upon international diplomatic, trade, and other institutions in the conduct of its affairs with other nations as it economic dominance and world importance declines.

In the longer term, the following suggestions for changes in U. S. foreign policy have been made in the essay "Why it's Over for America" by Noam Chomsky from the book titled FAILED STATES published by Hamish Hamilton, Independent Books (UK 0870-079-8897).  

1) accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and the World Court; 
2) sign and carry forward the Kyoto protocols and other environmental agreements
3) let the UN take the lead in international crises;
4) rely on diplomatic and economic measures rather than military ones in confronting terror;
5) keep to the traditional interpretation of the UN Charter;
6) give up the Security Council veto and have "a decent respect for the opinion of mankind,    as the Declaration of Independence advises, even if power centers disagree;
7) cut back sharply on military spending and sharply increase social spending. 

Regarding item #3, please read the Issue Paper on Middle East Policy.

Regarding item #6, the United States giving up the Security Council veto, all of four the other Security Council members with the veto would have to do the same, which is highly improbable.  What might be a viable United Nations reform alternative to the single country veto paralysis problem is to reorganize the Security Council with an Executive Committee consisting of the five present members possessing the veto (U. S., Russia, China, France, and the U. K.) and adding eight new members to the Executive Committee (Germany, Japan, Indonesia, India, Egypt, Nigeria, Mexico, and Brazil).  The Executive Committee would serve as the steering gateway to approve all items brought before the Security Council, with a two thirds (i.e., nine affirmative) vote needed in the Executive Council to approve items forwarded to the Security Council for discussion and final disposition.  All thirteen members of the executive Committee would be the permanent members of the Security Council, which should be expanded to 35 members total, with 23 rotating members drawn from the remainder of the United Nations members. The Veto provision for the five countries now holding it should be eliminated, which would allow the United Nations to undertake meaningful and effective action against any nation's improper conduct in the future. 

Regarding item #7, please read the Issue paper on Military Restructuring. 

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