Giuliani's Foreign Policy Vision - the Good

Tom Barnett, TDAXP, and and commenters at Little Green Footballs (I don't really need to link to them) are all impressed with Rudy Giuliani's essay in Foreign Affairs. I am not. Of course in a nine page essay he says some things I agree with - I will highlight those first to get the distasteful task of agreeing with Rudy Giuliani out of the way, and then I will point to the somewhat longer list of things I think are silly and/or dangerous. In the spirit of Soob and his deconstruction of Obama's essay, I will list it as the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Because this post was getting really long and it's getting late, I will post the Good, Bad and Ugly parts as three separate posts.

THE GOOD
"...the Voice of America program must be significantly strengthened and broadened... Our entire approach to public diplomacy and strategic communications must be upgraded and extended, with a greater focus on new media such as the Internet."
Bush has done effectively nothing to create a counter-narrative to the "imperialist America wants to kill all Muslims" narrative used by al-Qaeda to gain recruits. Giuliani would change that, something a lot of people have been calling for (especially MountainRunner).

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"We should open [NATO's] membership to any state that meets basic standards of good governance, military readiness, and global responsibility, regardless of its location."
The argument for a "Global NATO" is, in my opinion, a good one.

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"Foreign aid... does not lead to lasting prosperity because it cannot replace trade. Private direct investment is the best way to promote economic development. The next U.S. president should thus revitalize and streamline all U.S. foreign-aid activities to support -- not substitute for -- private investment in other countries."
"More people in the United States need to understand how helping Africa today will help increase peace and decency throughout the world tomorrow... Ultimately, the most important thing we can do to help Africa is to increase trade with the continent. U.S. government aid is important, but aid not linked to reform perpetuates bad policies and poverty."
I have posted my thoughts on the trade vs. aid debate before, here, here and here. His second quotation seems like a throwaway paragraph for the purposes of mentioning Africa and Darfur (Africa is mentioned all of one time, and if its importance is to "decency" rather than geopolitics, that means we will continue to effectively ignore Africa). However while I think policy towards Africa is important, I also don't think there's all that much individual governments can do - the most helpful interventions will come from institutions and private investment.

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Sadly, that concludes the Good part. I'll post the Bad part and hopefully the Ugly part as well tomorrow.

6 comments:

Dan tdaxp said...

On VOA:

The narrative/counter-narrative stuff is nonsense in the grand scheme of things: possibly useful tactics almost as unfalsifiable as the Global Guerrilla stuff you see here and there. Giuliani bringing it up is, I imagine, like this or that Roman Consul promises twice as many endtrail readings: can't hurt, so why not?

Expanding NATO beyond the European theatre requires the agreement of the other member states, so if they go along with it (which they won't), why not? NATO is and was a watch-out-for-Russia club -- no reason why that should change.

Giuliani's Africa comments are exactly right, and far more important than whatever policy we eventually have for Darfur. Africa will be the heart of this long war, and seeing whether she can be civilized will be the greatest experiment of the 21st century.

Adrian said...

I'm a strong believer in the power of organizations like VOA and other "public diplomacy/strategic communications" efforts, if they are done well. Of course they are not falsifiable, both not everything of value in history is - if we had a time machine and could run counterfactuals over and over perhaps that would change.

subadei said...

"NATO is and was a watch-out-for-Russia club -- no reason why that should change."

I disagree. Given the current and increasingly feeble and impossible position (have a look at Kosovo) that the venerable UN security council finds itself I'd argue that NATO will (and has, again Kosovo or even Afghanistan) take on a much more realistic and globalized identity. Further the ideology that defines NATO will be embraced across the globe.

Consider the ideology of Shinzo Abe and the very real possibility that successive PM's will lean toward his want for a real military presence for Japan. What of the rise of India and both America and Japan evolving each nations relations away from "third world status" to that of strategic/economic partner.

It may take on a different name but I believe that the NATO approach will be the geo-political consensus soon. Whether it be a symbiotic relationship between the growing western NATO and the potential eastern NATO (EATO? East Asian Treaty Organization?)
The concerns of geo-politics are growing away from the naive visage of political global harmony and the consequent ideal that global politics can hold sway and into the reality that ideological/strategic wants or measures are the true engine of globalization. One could reasonably argue that the nation is not in danger of collapse rather in danger of a conflation that will be the harbinger of hegemony.

It's here that I envision the antiquity of the UNSC and the realization of more realistic international bonds based on economic and ideological connectivity.

The reality is that

Dan tdaxp said...

Subadei,

Do we disagree at all?

By "NATO" I am refering to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a formal alliance created by the North Atlantic Treaty on April 4, 1949.

By "NATO," you appear to be refering to an alliacne of democracies generally (if we ignore that Greece and Turkey were members in good standing during some interesting times).

Otherwise I think we fully agree.

Ymarsakar said...

Why did Sub's comment cut off?

Adrian said...

Ymarsakar - I don't know, but I assume it has to do with his 800-year-old Mongolian computer.