We live in a complex, global world that requires American leadership and diplomacy. I came to Congress in opposition to the Iraq war, and with the belief that the American military, with its unsurpassed ability and resources, must only be used to defend our vital interests.
When those interests are at stake, the United States has a right to act. But it has a responsibility to engage with the United Nations and other multilateral institutions to bring stability to troubled regions of the world, and balance rising or belligerent powers that threaten our interests and the safety and security of our allies. From the South China Sea, to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, to the seemingly unending sectarian and regional wars in the Middle East, the challenges are numerous, and require policies that are nuanced, collaborative, and varied.
I have a been a strong proponent of this approach in the Middle East. In implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, trying to end the conflict in Syria, defeating ISIS, and attempting to establish a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine, we must engage our NATO allies and Middle Eastern partners in resolving conflicts that will affect their futures for generations to come.
On the African continent, the United States has a critical role to play in ensuring that the demographic dividends occurring across the world’s emerging nations of that vast continent bring increased gains in quality of life and economic prosperity. The US should continue to build lasting partnerships with African nations along the lines of investments in health, education, infrastructure, and Africa’s emerging technology center. Together, we can help make sure Africa’s young people are equipped with the skills necessary to join the modern economy — if we do, the world over will reap the benefits for generations to come. The security interests of the United States are vested in a stable and thriving continent.
In Asia, we must continue to engage with our allies to ensure the balance that has existed since the end of the Second World War. That means continuing to build on the progress we’ve made in Myanmar, containing North Korea, and strengthening our relationships with Japan, South Korea, and others to ensure a rising China does so in a way that’s consistent with international norms and law.
An example where we have fallen short in this regard is global trade, particularly the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. By failing to hold our own allies to international norms on environmental regulations, worker rights, human rights, and currency manipulation, we allow the entire region to flout the rules at the expense of American business and workers.
In each of these regions of the world, we must also look to provide foreign assistance for human needs, health education, and welfare — all critical elements of our foreign policy.
As a progressive, I am committed to providing a framework for American foreign policy that does not bankrupt future generations, addresses global climate change through commitments to reduce carbon emissions, enables us to meet domestic priorities such as education and health care, and engages the United States as a true partner and leader in the world.