Obama’s Grand Experiment

These are excerpts from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement at her Senate confirmation hearing.

More of the same Wilsonian nation-building, democracy-exporting, protect everyone’s human rights nonsense US  governments have been engaging in since the end of the Cold War. President Barack Obama’s foreign policy won’t be well-received in many parts of the world, and the stress on State Department  diplomacy over more assertive forms of projecting power will be interpreted by many enemies of the United States as confirmation of their perceptions that the American Empire is in decay and decline.


Establishing Priorities


“… we must be realistic about achieving our goals. Even under the best of circumstances, our nation cannot solve every problem or meet every global need. We don’t have unlimited time, treasure, or manpower. And we certainly don’t face the best of circumstances today, with our economy faltering and our budget deficits growing…we have to establish priorities…making tough choices. Because those choices are so important to the American people, we must be disciplined in evaluating them — weighing the costs and consequences of our action or inaction; gauging the probability of success; and insisting on measurable results.”


Focus on Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan


“… President Obama is committed to responsibly ending the war in Iraq and employing a broad strategy in Afghanistan that reduces threats to our safety and enhances the prospect of stability and peace…over time we have seen that our larger interests will be best served by safely and responsibly withdrawing our troops from Iraq, supporting a transition to full Iraqi responsibility for their sovereign nation, rebuilding our overtaxed military, and reaching out to other nations to help stabilize the region and to employ a broader arsenal of tools to fight terrorism.”

“Equally important will be a comprehensive plan using all elements of our power – diplomacy, development, and defense – to work with those in Afghanistan and Pakistan who want to root out al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and other violent extremists who threaten them as well as us in what President- Elect Obama has called the central front in the fight against terrorism. We need to deepen our engagement with these and other countries in the region and pursue policies that improve the lives of the Afghan and Pakistani people.”


Fix the Middle East


“…actively pursue a strategy of smart power in the Middle East that addresses the security needs of Israel and the legitimate political and economic aspirations of the Palestinians…“…a just and lasting peace agreement that brings real security to Israel; normal and positive relations with its neighbors; and independence, economic progress, and security to the Palestinians in their own state…that effectively challenges Iran to end its nuclear weapons program and sponsorship of terror, and persuades both Iran and Syria to abandon their dangerous behavior and become constructive regional actors; that strengthens our relationships with Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, other Arab states, with Turkey, and with our partners in the Gulf to involve them in securing a lasting peace in the region.”


War on Terror & WMD


“Terrorism remains a serious threat and we must have a comprehensive strategy, leveraging intelligence, diplomacy, and military assets to defeat al- Qaeda and like-minded terrorists by rooting out their networks and drying up support for their violent and nihilistic extremism. The gravest threat that America faces is the danger that weapons of mass destruction will fall into the hands of terrorists. To ensure our future security, we must curb the biological, chemical, or cyber – while we take the lead in working with others to reduce current nuclear stockpiles and prevent the development and use of dangerous new weaponry.”


Russia, START, non-proliferation


“…a future of cooperative engagement with the Russian government on matters of strategic importance, while standing up strongly for American values and international norms…we will also seize the parallel opportunity to get America back in the business of engaging other nations to reduce stockpiles of nuclear weapons. We will work with Russia to secure their agreement to extend essential monitoring and verification provisions of the START Treaty before it expires in December 2009, and we will work toward agreements for further reductions in nuclear weapons. We will also work with Russia to take US and Russian missiles off hair-trigger alert, act with urgency to prevent proliferation in North Korea and Iran, secure loose nuclear weapons and materials, and shut down the market for selling them – as Senator Lugar has done for so many years. The Non Proliferation Treaty is the cornerstone of the nonproliferation regime, and the United States must exercise the leadership needed to shore up the regime.”


Strengthen Alliances…


“…which have stood the test of time — especially with our NATO partners and our allies in Asia. Our alliance with Japan is a cornerstone of American policy in Asia, essential to maintaining peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, and based on shared values and mutual interests…crucial economic and security partnerships with South Korea, Australia, and other friends in ASEAN… build on our economic and political partnership with India, the world’s most populous democracy and growing influence in the world…. traditional relationships of confidence and trust with Europe will be deepened…reach out across the Atlantic to France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and others across the continent including the new democracies.”


China is Critically Important


 “…in a changing global landscape. We want a positive and cooperative relationship with China, deepen and strengthen our ties on a number of issues, and candidly address differences where they persist. But much of what we will do depends on the choices China makes about its future at home and abroad.


Global Recession


“… this crisis extends beyond the housing and banking sectors, and solutions will have to be as wide in scope as the causes themselves, taking into account the complexities of the global economy, the geopolitics involved, and the likelihood of continued political and economic repercussions from the damage already done find new ways of working together. For too long, we have merely talked about the need to engage emerging powers in global economic governance; the time to take action is upon us. The recent G-20 meeting was a first step, but developing patterns of sustained engagement will take hard work and careful negotiation. We know that emerging markets like China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and Indonesia are feeling the effects of the current crisis. We all stand to benefit in both the short and long term if they are part of the solution, and become partners in maintaining global economic stability.”


North America


“…an especially critical need to work more closely with Canada, our largest trading partner, and Mexico, our third largest. Canada and Mexico are also our biggest suppliers of imported energy…build a deeper partnership with Mexico to address the shared danger arising from drug-trafficking and the challenges of our border…”


Latin America


“Throughout our hemisphere we have opportunities to enhance cooperation to meet common economic, security and environmental objectives that affect us all. We will return to a policy of vigorous engagement throughout Latin America, seeking deeper understanding and broader engagement with nations from the Caribbean to Central to South America.… looking forward to working on many issues during the Summit of the Americas in April and taking up (President Obama’s) call for a new energy partnership of the Americas built around shared technology and new investments in renewable energy.”




“… the foreign policy objectives of the Obama administration are rooted in security, political, economic, and humanitarian interests, including: combating al Qaeda’s efforts to seek safe havens in failed states in the Horn of Africa; helping African nations to conserve their natural resources and reap fair benefits from them; stopping war in Congo; ending autocracy in Zimbabwe and human devastation in Darfur; supporting African democracies like South Africa and Ghana–which just had its second change of power in democratic elections; and working aggressively to reach the Millennium Development Goals in health, education, and economic opportunity.


“Climate change is an unambiguous security threat”


“…at the extreme it threatens our very existence, but well before that point, it could very well incite new wars of an old kind–over basic resources like food, water, and arable land. The world is in need of an urgent, coordinated response to climate change, and America must be a leader in developing and implementing it… lead abroad through participation in international efforts like the upcoming UN Copenhagen Climate Conference and a Global Energy Forum… lead at home by pursuing an energy policy that reduces carbon emissions while reducing dependence on foreign oil and gas–which will benefit the fight against climate change…”


Global AIDS fight


“…the United States enjoys widespread support in public opinion polls in many African countries. This is true even among Muslim populations in Tanzania and Kenya, where America is seen as a leader in the fight against AIDS, malaria, and TB…build on this success by partnering with NGOs to help expand the infrastructure of health clinics in Africa so that more people can have access to life-saving drugs, fewer mothers transmit HIV to their children, and fewer lives are lost… generate more goodwill through other kinds of social investment, working effectively with international organizations and NGO partners to build schools and train teachers, ensuring that children are free from hunger and exploitation so that they can attend those schools and pursue their dreams for the future…support a Global Education Fund to bolster secular education around the world.”


Diplomatic Strategy


“…a ‘bottom-up’ approach to ensuring that America remains a positive force in the world… Investing in our common humanity through social development is not marginal to our foreign policy but integral to accomplishing our goals… a deep commitment to the cause of making human rights a reality for millions of oppressed people around the world. Of particular concern is the plight of women and girls, who comprise the majority of the world’s unhealthy, unschooled, unfed, and unpaid. If half of the world’s population remains vulnerable to economic, political, legal, and social marginalization, hope of advancing democracy and prosperity will remain in serious jeopardy. We still have a long way to go and the United States must remain an unambiguous and unequivocal voice in support of women’s rights in every country, every region, on every continent.”



About Caracas Gringo

Representing less than 0.00000000001515152% of the world population as of 31 December 2011.
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