With a new secretary of state coming in, what changes would you like to see in U.S. foreign policy?

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Obama’s nominee, Sen. John Kerry, to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Today’s Question: With a new secretary of state coming in, what changes would you like to see in U.S. foreign policy?

  • Hillary

    What difference does it make?

    • Steve the Cynic

      How does that rhetorical question enhance the discussion? It seems intended to trivialize the issue.

      • Gary F

        If this whole Benghazi thing went down during a Republican administration it would make a difference. But, it happened to the most precious people the mainstream media loves.

    • Bear

      It makes a lot of difference; tune in to current afairs.
      If none of the Questions of the Day “make any difference” to you, why are you wasting your time reading the blog?

    • jockamo

      What “Hillary” is doing is……

      …….humorously pointing out that the real Hillary…..Clinton, that is…….jumped up and down in her chair the other day at the hearings, her little fists in a ball, and screamed at everyone within earshot, “What difference does it make!!! What difference does it make!!!!! What difference does it make who is at fault!!!!! We just gotta see to it it never happens again!!!”, in a wildly entertaining attempt to weasel out of any responsibility for herself and her boss, Barack Hussein Obama, over the murders of our Ambassador and 3 other Americans.

      When the video was first viewed, what it brought to mind was Khrushchev banging his shoe at the U.N. Same kind of childish behavior in public.

      Now, dat funni, jack……

      If you libs get your hearts desire….that Hillary runs in 2016 for president…….we will get to laugh at that video over and over and over…….and everyone will come to see that she is unfit for any kind of service to this country.

      Har

      • Steve the Cynic

        And how do you know what “Hillary” was pointing out, jockamo/georges? Is that another alias of yours?

      • Hillary

        BINGO!

  • Jim G

    For our soldiers’ sake, it would be a worthy goal to keep the US out of war. I’d like to see Secretary of State Kerry use his exceptional diplomatic savvy to settle international conflicts peacefully. He needs to competently forge consensus with coalitions of nations around shared interests. He should try to achieve our foreign policy goals without military force: the supreme goal being no American KIA on his watch.

    • aaron

      That’s more of a sec of defense my friend but hr does have a say but not as huge of a say in some ways but I agree we need to fix ourselfs from these past ward before we drag ourselfs in more political wars

  • Humphrey

    I would like to see an end to the fatuous “drug war” in Central and South America. It is an expensive failure, and only serves to prop up corrupt regimes and hurt innocent civilians in throughout the region. I’d like to see Guantanamo shut down and and end to U.S. torture and “rendition” accompanied by a firm pledge in front of the international community that it will never happen again. I would like to see the U.S. stop propping up Israel with billions of dollars in foreign aid. That would be a nice start. We could then begin redressing the mess that has been created, detailed in William Blum’s book _Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower_.

  • georges

    The first change I would like to see in U.S. foreign policy is calling back all diplomats, and every American working in the diplomatic service, from every corner of the globe to Washington, D.C., where they will all be thanked for their service and honorably discharged.

    The second change would be to eliminate all foreign aid from the budget, and not another dime sent to any country or head of State or any other entity outside of the USA.

    Once this has been done, and the money returned (on paper, anyway) to the Taxpayers, then Secretary of State John Kerry can add back Ambassadors and diplomatic employees to the countries where it is actually a necessity (and advantage to the USA) to have an on-site physical presence.

    This would only be a very few strategically important countries.

    The Diplomat System we use is a dinosaur from the early days of the United States, and is no longer viable. We have means of knowing what is going on in every nook and cranny, and we can communicate with everyone, without the expensive relic we have carried way beyond its usefullness.
    The only reason it still exists is that it gives low-work, high-pay jobs to thousands of Party hacks….and the rip-off of the Taxpayer is not going to go away quickly, or easily.

    • t

      In an increasingly interconnected world, both economically and politically, it is imperative that the US can have a presence on the ground. We need economic, social and political relationships to confront profoundly complicated international problems that have real domestic consequences.

      Foreign aid is a truly tiny percentage of the US budget – 1% or less as of late. We could probably better direct some of it, but eliminating it would reduce US power and respect worldwide.

      The US needs to place itself in a position to use soft power, instead of our recent over reliance on hard power. Dismantling the diplomatic corps wouldn’t help us maintain a positive position in the world.

      • georges

        Exactly the kind of dinosauric thinking that keeps us firmly mired in the 19th century and unable to function in the modern world.
        It is necessary that we do NOT have a physical presence in most of the countries of the world, as they are negative for us in every possible way. The problems of the world are not profoundly complicated, indeed, they are basic and simple. Only those who specialize in seeing the trees instead of the forest like to over-complicate these things. The domestic consequences for the USA if we ignore international problems are all positive.
        The elimination of foreign aid would INCREASE the power and respect of the USA around the world. We try to buy love and respect by throwing money at nearly everyone in the entire world, and they hate us and disrespect us for it. As they should. It is a clear sign of stupidity and ignorance of how peoples interact.

        • Steve the Cynic

          As someone who has demonstrated a supreme lack of interpersonal diplomatic skill in these forums, you have no credibility on questions of international diplomacy and foreign policy, jockamo/georges. Besides, you seem to think the only purpose of an embassy is to facilitate government-to-government interaction. You forget that Americans abroad depend on our embassies for access to government services. Those “trees” are important.

          • Hillary

            Hey dont give Jorge credit for my coment. Their are more than 2 people here that dont fall in lock step. And Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.

          • Steve the Cynic

            If you avoid being in “lock step” with one pernicious ideology by falling in line with another, what have you gained? I’ve learned that independant thought requires one to be skeptical of all forcefully stated opinions, including those of the skeptics.

          • http://mprnews.org/ Eric Ringham, MPR News

            Please, try to stay focused on the topic instead of each other.

        • t

          To deconstruct your statements:

          “It is necessary that we do NOT have a physical presence in most of the countries of the world, as they are negative for us in every possible
          way” — What is your specific justification for this? Evidence?

          “The problems of the world are not profoundly complicated, indeed, they
          are basic and simple. Only those who specialize in seeing the trees
          instead of the forest like to over-complicate these things.” — Again, evidence for this position? Do you see problems from terrorism to pandemics to economic instability being simple problems? Do these host of problems have simple solutions? If so, please share.

          “The domestic consequences for the USA if we ignore international problems are all positive.” — Really? Again, evidence? The US is deeply dependent on trade for access to markets and materials, on security collaboration with a host of partners, and on international institutions that provide the economic, legal and security regime that make much of our domestic politics possible. We’ve tried isolationism, others have has well. It hasn’t worked out so well for any nation.

          “The elimination of foreign aid would INCREASE the power and respect of
          the USA around the world. We try to buy love and respect by throwing money at nearly everyone in the entire world, and they hate us and disrespect us for it. As they should. It is a clear sign of stupidity and ignorance of how peoples interact.” — Do you have specific evidence that foreign aid is the source of hatred and disrespect? I’m not buying this claim without any supporting evidence. Tell me some specific foreign aid line items you’d like to cut.

          We don’t live in a simple world. We live in a world of profound interconnection and deep friction. One with spill over between economic, security, environmental and political realms. An American diplomatic presence, distinct from an American military presence, can be part of smart, subtle, realist power projection around the global. Pulling back into an increasingly isolationist stance won’t address these issues.

  • Wally

    Israel is like the irascible brat who always calls for big brother to save him when he gets in a fight. Israel has a highly skilled, and well equipped military, and The Bomb. Our billions in aid to this bellicose police state, which can pay its own way, makes us more enemies in the Middle East. Cut Israel loose.

    But that ain’t gonna happen, is it?

    • t

      To put this slightly more diplomatically I think we need to recognize that Israel’s interests are not inherently the US’s interests. Israel has deep domestic political problems, particularly around its settlements, that have created an inability for the state to move forward towards a viable peace.

      The best friend the US can be to Israel now is to be the one that pushes it towards finding a just and mutually agreed upon peace with a viable Palestinian state. This isn’t about abandoning Israel, or even about choosing sides. It’s about a recognition that US national interests are not being served by an eternal conflict in this region. Ultimately, Israel’s interests aren’t being served either.

  • JasonB

    Less propping up of corrupt leaders in developing countries just because they claim to be against communism and for stability. They all turned out to be despots who ran brutal police states and grabbed all the American aid money they could. That sounds like something (hopefully) from the past, but now instead of communism the boogeyman is terrorism/extremists and the aid we give is in order to steer a country’s direction to one more favorable to America, or more precisely American big money interests. What hasn’t changed is the corruption.

    Also, more engagement (ie: shared responsibility) of the rest of the world towards addressing conflicts. Otherwise we should make it clear that we function as the policeman of the world in order to have the most influence and thus reap the biggest monetary gains. I’m not saying that’s right, just that stating as such would be more honest.

  • Jerry Baustian

    Relocating the United Nations would be a useful step. A poor country like Haiti or Somalia would benefit greatly by hosting the UN headquarters. Alternatively, the UN could be moved to an even more inhospitable location, like Spitzbergen or South Georgia Island — some place where only the most dedicated global bureaucrats would be willing to go. This would weed out those who are only in it for the money, power, and prestige.

  • Duane

    I do not have much confidence in Sen. Kerry, I view him very much like many voters viewed Mitt Romney in the past election; a wealthy person from a privileged class out of touch with the common man. Hillary Clinton gave the same impression with her claim “What difference does it make” in her recent testimony. I am looking for a Statesman whose primary job is to build the image of the US in the world. We have had many in recent years, but not lately. Mrs Clinton had the image but not the world experience to properly handle the position and neither does Sen. Kerry I fear.

  • sb

    I would like see a growing commitment to world wide arms control, in particular a continued reduction of the US nuclear arsenal. Simply put, we have no security need to thousands of nuclear weapons on continual alert. Other nations nuclear programs present a real threat through the possibility of terrorism and the lack of strong controls.

    In the near term, smaller arsenals of nuclear weapons provide all the deterrent effect needed while reducing the risks for all. In the longer term it’s another step towards a world free of nuclear weapons.

    In an increasingly multipolar world, threats aren’t going to come from a near peer, state competitor. Threats will be more diverse and more likely to be non-state actors. Nuclear weapons can’t address those threats, but can greatly amplify our security risks.

  • Sue de Nim

    Make more friends and fewer enemies.

  • GregX

    focus = Africa! China is running the place like a giant colony. they make king leopold’s excesses look like a love fest.

  • aaron

    I would like to see more of a fixing of the alliance in Europe I would like to call it as well as bringing isreal into more talks with Iran rather then leaving our sister country isreal in the dark and having to take drastic measures by

    as well as more us role in Syria rather then just flexing our weak international political muscle.