What role should the U.N. play in America’s foreign policy?

President Obama has scheduled no individual meetings with foreign leaders at this year’s General Assembly of the United Nations. Some Republicans have charged that Obama is too preoccupied with his campaign to give the U.N. the attention it deserves. Today’s Question: What role should the U.N. play in America’s foreign policy?

  • Emery

    The problems that the Middle East is going to face in the years ahead — social unrest, youth unemployment, contentious domestic politics, poorly developed institutions, etc. — are by their very nature difficult for outsiders to fix.

    In these circumstances, the main strategic objective should be to stay out of the quicksand. Better still, we could try to stick potential rivals with the burden of trying to solve intractable problems. Passing the buck to others isn’t some sort of inglorious retreat; it’s actually a smart strategy that will leaves the United States better prepared to deal with more serious challenges when they arise.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Despite its flaws, the UN serves a valuable function. As long as people are talking, they’re not shooting.

    As for the Republican criticisms, they’d criticize Obama no matter what he did. If he had lots of meetings with foreign leaders, they’d fault him for being more popular with foreigners than with Americans. If he had only a few, they’d fault him for picking the wrong ones.

  • Gary F

    Let’s see, the Middle East is in turmoil, and we have lots of their leaders or representatives in town for a big UN deal. Shouldn’t our leader, well, well, lead? Why not meet with some of these people if they are in town?

    The UN serves a purpose but a small one. We will take their advice and then do what’s in our best interest, not theirs.

  • Jim G

    As a founding member of the United Nations after World War II we should remind ourselves and member nations that its primary purpose is to provide for peaceful solutions to international disputes. We need to continue to be a forceful advocate for coming to the UN first: talking and working with other countries for compromises and pragmatic solutions rather than turning to unilateral violence.

  • Lance

    The U.N. should play almost no role in the foreign policy of the United States. We should cherish the sovereignty of our nation individually and use the U.N. to build a coalition of nations only when it is in our national interest.

  • Gary F

    Problem is Jim, the knucklehead dictators of the world, (Immanutjob, Sadaam Husien, al-Assad, etc) don’t give a rats arse, what the UN says.

  • Jim G

    My point is that alliances are more powerful and less expensive alternatives to going it alone. The first Gulf War is a good example. The first President Bush worked within the structure of the United Nations to form an impressive alliance of Arab, European, and Asian nations to confront Saddam’s aggression. This helped make Desert Storm a war that was shorter and less expensive in casualties and treasure for the US than the second protracted Iraq war.

    Another example, but admittedly only a supposition, was the prelude to World War II. What if the League of Nations, which was in existence and the precursor to the United Nations, had taken a strong multinational united front against Hitler’s Germany? If my memory of history is correct, the United States was not a member of the League of Nations in the prewar years because of Republican obstructionism. Then possibly, Germany’s aggression might have been deterred or at least mitigated by a strong alliance led by the United States, Britain, and the other democracies of the time. Tens of millions of lives might have been saved.

    The United Nations, although imperfect, is more than it is given credit for by some in this country. We would be wise to follow the example of the last century’s political leaders who saw the destruction of two world wars within the space of one generation and continue our support for this organization’s efforts for building a less violent world.

  • Gary F

    Jim, Sadaam Hussian didn’t give a rats arse about the UN weapons inspectors either.

    I say, give the UN a year’s notice that they have to move out.

    Europe tried to appease Hitler for as long as they could. It’s a good thing Churchill had the balls to stand tough.

    Give appeasement a chance doesn’t work.

  • John

    None, they are a Zionist controlled institution. As proof, every time there is a vote against the racism and inhuman treatment of the Palestinian people (i.e. shooting a rock throwing child, or just a child too close to the prison fence) the US veto’s it. Oh, forgot to mention that we are controlled by the same Zionist bankseters that put US in this mess of debt. Its not part of our constitution to bend to a non-elected group of individuals, except wall street banksters.

  • Linda in Plymouth

    The U.N. is corrupt. Everyone knows this and has known this for the past decade.

    Russia and China vetoed sanctions for a long time against Syria..today 20,000 Syrians are slaughtered and the USA is thus NOT seen as a leader of the free world. Instead we have the UN demanding the USA give up its Freedom of Speech to appease the Islamists….and its the UN insisting we give up our Second Amendment Rights. The Fast and Furious scam was used to support the UN and Hillary’s attack against our freedoms.

    Obama denounces the cheap film maker for the Innocence of Islam, he has the FBI take him into custody to ” make a good effort show ” to protect the sensitivities of the Muslims abroad yet, he says NOTHING when a crap artist presents again in NYC with the so called filthy art demeaning Christians…urine on the Savior Jesus and the Virgin Mary depicted with sex scenes is somehow just fine to Obama and the far left yet Islamists get protected?? The UN should be relocated and we should stop funding it and take the loss for revenue in NYC.

  • Wally

    Well said, Linda!

  • Jonathan

    What role should the U.N. play in America’s foreign policy?

    The U.N. should insist that America end the failed War on Drugs and Prohibition on Cannabis/hemp that’s *!$@*%#ing up the world so much! Enough is enough!