Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Richardson Renews Call for New Realism in American Foreign Policy

Earlier today Governor Richardson visited the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. and repeated his call for a New Realism in American foreign policy.

And what is New Realism you ask? Here's the Governor in his own words:
You may have heard me speak elsewhere about the need for what I call a "New Realism" in American foreign policy. By this I mean that we need to wake up and see that the greatest threats we face today, from global warming to terrorism, do not face only us - and that this means that unilateral action usually will not work. To defend ourselves in the 21st century, we may occasionally need to act alone, but usually we must work with others. Building and leading strong international coalitions should be our first thought when we face common challenges -- not an afterthought when our unilateral course has failed.

A New Realism for the 21st century also understands that many threats today come not from states, but rather from societies, including our own society. Not from armies massing or nation states targeting us with missiles, but rather from complex social trends - such as our own consumption of fossil fuels. Not so much from hostile states as from hostile individuals, empowered by their willingness to kill and die for fanatical beliefs.

Of course, we must rebuild our military and be prepared to use it when we must -- but we also must reject the unilateralist illusions of recent years. Our remarkable military power gives us the ability to lead. But others follow us not because we intimidate them with the argument of our power, but because we inspire them with the power of our arguments.
Go read the text of the entire speech here.


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