Since the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992, The European Union has grown to 25 member-nations in a series of enlargements. It is now preparing for the next enlargement, adding 3 more countries by 2007. They have merged their currencies and are aligning their laws and governance procedures. This is a big deal. I think that Europe is going to give America a run for the position of global nation of hope, honor, currency strength, and political influence. There is a similar story developing in Asia. The only way to be strong in this century is to be Good.
American foreign policy is always a balance between idealism and reality: the idealism of freedom and cooperation, the reality of deception, oppression, and violence. We could spend all of our time and energy fortifying America against attack. We could also spend all of our time and energy aiding the oppressed. Where we find our balance is up to the administration, and you chose the administration. Both political parties are generally well balanced in their approaches to these issues. Democrats generally lean more toward aiding the oppressed in an effort to help them rise up for their own freedom and lawfulness, while Republicans generally lean toward fortifying America and targeting those who threaten America or support cultures of oppression. Balance is the key.
Freedom is worth fighting for. We should fight to protect our own freedoms, and we should help others as they fight for their freedoms. We should use every tool at our disposal in an order that places killing as a last resort. Political negotiation should start with tariffs, trade, and travel restrictions, include secondary trading partners, and increasingly squeeze to influence positive political change. If it becomes necessary, our military should be agile and overwhelmingly capable. Such scaled pressure should be used to influence international labor law, weapons programs, terrorist regimes, and the broad range of foreign policy negotiations. We should have long term strategies for every nation, and short term tactics that reflect the realities of the times.