Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Rudolf Giuliani and American Foreign Policy

Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, and a current candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, has laid out his foreign policy in the current issue of Foreign Affairs. He argues for a synthesis of realism and idealism in foreign policy, melding both orientations together while avoiding the extremes of each.

Giuliani minces no words when he declares that the U.S. is engaged in an epic battle against the forces of global destruction. America is mounting a defense against the "Terrorists' War on Us." We are still in the early stages of this war, he argues, and new ideas are needed to succeed in beating back the nihilist forces arrayed against us.

I like Giuliani's statement on the nature of the adversary:

They follow a violent ideology: radical Islamic fascism, which uses the mask of religion to further totalitarian goals and aims to destroy the existing international system. These enemies wear no uniform. They have no traditional military assets. They rule no states but can hide and operate in virtually any of them and are supported by some.
Giuliani goes on to note that our missions in Afghanistan and Iraq are just but difficult, and we must not waver in our efforts to defeat the terrorists threatenting those nations, and the U.S. must remain deployed for some time after victory to guarantee security and firmly plant democratic instituions.

Giulani's essay is wide ranging. He notes the current strain on our military, and the need to rebuild our forces for a stronger defense. He's clear on the WMD threat facing the nations of the world and proposes to build on the Bush administration's efforts to mount a ballistic missile defense against rogues states who delevop delivery capability to destroy the American homeland.

Giulani recognizes that the U.S. has an interest in deeper diplomatic engagement in international affairs, and he's clear to note that the United States can negotiate with nations without giving up our vital interests. Negotiations with adversaries, especially, can be linked to the preservation of America's military, economic, and moral values, and we can enter talks ready to walk away if our interests aren't satisfied.

Giulani's realistically clear on the danger of negotiating with our most implacable opponents. Here's what he says about negotiations with Iran:

Diplomacy should never be a tool that our enemies can manipulate to their advantage. Holding serious talks may be advisable even with our adversaries, but not with those bent on our destruction or those who cannot deliver on their agreements.

Iran is a case in point. The Islamic Republic has been determined to attack the international system throughout its entire existence: it took U.S. diplomats hostage in 1979 and seized British sailors in 2007 and during the decades in between supported terrorism and murder. But Tehran invokes the protections of the international system when doing so suits it, hiding behind the principle of sovereignty to stave off the consequences of its actions. This is not to say that talks with Iran cannot possibly work. They could -- but only if we came to the table in a position of strength, knowing what we wanted.

Read the whole essay. Giuliani lays out a number of additional and important areas of international life in which the U.S. can exert leadership. His is an ambitious foreign policy that will protect America's national interests.

See also my earlier posts on the Foreign Affairs Campaign 2008 series:

"Mitt Romney and American Foreign Policy."

"Barack Obama and American Foreign Policy."

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