Wednesday, June 07, 2006

"Defining a Foreign Policy for the 21st Century"

There is a good speech that Senator Hagel gave back in October 2003 that nicely articulates some of his view on the world and foreign policy. Some of the references are a bit dated, but the challenges remain the same.
The risks that the world faces today are great, but so are the opportunities. America must not fear change. America must shape change, and lead with our world partners to a higher ground of peace and prosperity. Ours is a dynamic nation. Challenge and response are sources of strength. America will be the indispensable leader during this historic period of world transition, if it is wise enough to work with and through our friends and allies that have contributed to our vital interests since World War II. The courage and sacrifices of our armed forces in removing brutal regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq are testimony to both our strength and our values. Our economy remains strong. And our message of freedom and democracy has universal appeal.

America's strength also comes from a power that is not so easily quantified - a deep faith and spirituality that animates our nation. This orientation is absent in many countries and societies. The American character is much defined by how we believe in each other.

An American foreign policy for the 21st century will be worthy of America if it is wise enough to: accept that we enhance our standing in the world not just through our power, but through our purpose; understand that great power has its limits, and that we must share the heavy responsibilities of world leadership with our allies; appreciate that together we can shape the interconnected realities of the world into workable and positive policies that benefit all peoples; listen to our friends and understand their interests; and balance our policies and actions with both a present and future perspective.
Read the whole speech at Project Vote Smart.

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