Currently viewing the tag: "foreign policy"

On March 8, 2017, Reiner Braun spoke to a group at Tufts University. In a world where global military expenditures top 1.8 trillion dollars, Reiner Braun urged his audience to find common points of understanding to avoid conflict. Braun cited the expansion of NATO alongside European national armies, and the increasing connections between these military […]

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Security: the unmentionable debate

While there are genuine points of disagreement between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, the centrality of ‘security’ is not one of them. I wish this were not the case.

Both candidates seem to agree that security ought to be the basis of foreign (or even domestic) policy decision-making. They differ, […]

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Under the Obama Administration, we have seen the humanitarian imperative compromised by counter-terror laws and the politics of alliances. In Somalia and Syria, aid agencies were hampered by the PATRIOT Act from operating in areas in which they might be deemed to be providing assistance, material or symbolic, to groups labeled as terrorists. Preventable humanitarian disasters followed. In Yemen, the U.S. has been party to economic warfare conducted by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, causing famine conditions. In each of these cases, U.S. counter-humanitarianism cost lives, to no political benefit.

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The US is the world’s number one international seller of arms. This is true whichever way you slice the data: using SIPRI’s measure of the volume of major conventional arms transfers, and even more so using the Congressional Research Service estimates of the financial value of orders.

The US distributes its arms widely, selling major […]

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So the US needs a debate on reform of the existing architecture, what strategy to pursue to bring about that reform, and what role the US should play. The debate should take place now, before the US finds itself in a purely reactive mode, responding to initiatives taken by emerging powers and others who are increasingly able to shape the global agenda.

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We need a foreign policy debate that builds on principled concern for civilian protection as articulated in the anti-atrocities policy agenda, which is married to a strategy for protection that expands across and shapes U.S. foreign policy, per se. The question that I would like to see debated, and which has implications for U.S. domestic policy as well is: What would a U.S. policy defined by the goal of de-legitimizing use of force against civilians and prioritizing peace-building look like?

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