In this time of fiscal austerity, the American public is looking to its government for smart investments and wise use of a limited treasury. With this as a backdrop, it is ironic that conservatives in the House of Representatives are taking an axe to the international affairs budget. Security experts, military leaders, business executives and bipartisan leaders agree that an investment in diplomacy and development is not only an essential part of maintaining our national security and economic security, it also has an extremely high rate of return. John Kerry’s Senate plan to match President Obama’s request for 21st century investments in global power and economic reach are more important than ever.
This weekend, Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett Packard CEO who is running for the Republican nomination in California's Senate race, mocked the incumbent, Senator Barbara Boxer for saying that climate change is a "very important national security threat" -- by portraying her as a zeppelin flying over California. While Fiorina may not agree with Senator Boxer, America's top national security experts and institutions do. The Pentagon, the CIA, military leaders, and bipartisan leaders in the Senate - as well as Hewlett Packard, the company Fiorina led -agree that climate change and energy security are serious threats.
America’s economy underpins its position as the world’s most powerful nation. Today’s collapses in our strategic and economic strength are linked – and mutually reinforcing. Unchecked military spending and faulty strategic thinking have left us in an unsustainable global position, and as the financial crisis has spread across the globe, world leaders are seriously questioning the United States capability for continued economic and strategic leadership.
The news this week highlighted the bankruptcy of the conservative economic approach. America’s economic power – which has direct and important implications on America’s international strength - eroded throughout the Bush administration, as tax cuts in the midst of two wars, out of control spending, and poor economic management resulted in spiraling budget deficits. Yet this week also once again highlighted the total lack of a conservative strategy to deal with foreign policy problems.
This weekend’s financial turmoil spotlights how, like America’s diplomatic and military power, American economic power has eroded over the last eight years. The U.S. financial system has again been pushed to the brink, as Lehman Brothers moved toward bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch was sold late last night to Bank of America. Fears of a worldwide sell-off appeared to be realized, as markets in Europe and Asia dropped sharply today. This financial crisis will have powerful consequences not just for Americans’ personal circumstances but also for our power and security as a nation.
This morning we learned that the unemployment rate has jumped to its highest level in years and that commanders in Iraq have decided to suspend troop withdrawals due to the lack of Iraqi political progress. Yet Senator McCain’s speech closing the Republican convention was completely devoid of solutions to these or other vital issues.