tv [untitled] April 30, 2012 10:00am-10:30am EDT
are just a few examples of everyday aspects of our lives that are directly related to events abroad and make it impossible for us to focus only on our issues here at home. the next question i'm asked then is, well, why doesn't someone else lead for a change? why do we always have to be taking care of the problems of the world? isn't it time for someone else to step up? and i always begin my answer to that question with a question of my own. if we start doing less, who's going to do more? for example, would a world order where china at least as we note china right now was the leading power be as disposed to the political and economic aspirations of other nations as we are? now, look, i still have hope that behind the occur curtain of secrecy that veils the chinese say the that there are voices that advocate for the peaceful and responsible rise of that nation, voices that reject the idea that will global power is a zero sum game. we hold out hope for a new china
of tomorrow, but for now, we must deal with the china we know today. a china which enjoys its closest relationships with countries like north korea and iran. so at least for now, it would be foolish to be confident in the idea that china can be counted on to defend and support global economic and political freedom or to take up the cause of human rights. by the way, the rest of the world has especially their neighbors have figured that out, too. and they would prefer not to take that risk. the short answer is that at least not yet anyways, there is no one else to hand off the baton to. even if that were a good idea. on the most difficult transnational challenges of our time, who will lead if we do not? the answer? at least today, is that no other nation or organization on earth is willing or able to do so. so finally i'll be asked if we
still have to lead, can't we at least be equal partners with somebody else? in fact, shouldn't we rely on other nations to carry more of the burden? after all, we all know that they resent us telling them what to do, right? well, in this new country more than ever before, america should work with our capable allies in finding solutions to global problems. not because america's gotten weaker, but because our partners have grown stronger. it's worth pointing out, by the way, that this is not a new idea for us. our greatest successes have always occurred in partner shich with other like-minded nations. now, america has acted unilaterally in the past. and i believe it should continue to do so in the future when necessity requires. but our preferred option since the u.s. became a global leader has been to work with others to achieve our goals. so yes, global problems do require international coleses. and on that point, this
administrationing is correct. but effective international coalitions don't form themselves. they need to be instigated and led. and more often than not, they can only be instigated and led by the united states. and i believe that's what this administration sometimes fails to understand. yes, there are more countries able and willing to join efforts to meet the global challenges of our time. but experience has proven that american leadership is almost always indispensable to its success. you can see this in the actions or sometimes lack thereof of the world trade organization or the u.n. security council. and when american influence is diminished, for example by the one nation, one vote formula of the u.n. general assemble or the u.n. human rights council, we see absurd and often appalling results. multilateral international organizations can be a forum for forming international coalitions. but as we have repeatedly seen
over the last few years, the more difficult the problem, the likelier bad actors will spoil meaningful solutions within the current system of international organizations. for example, we can't always rely on the u.n. security council to achieve consensus on major threats to international peace and security. as we've seen on north korea, on syria, on iran, china and russia simply will not join that consensus when they do not perceive the problem as a threat to their narrow national interests. instead they exercise their veto or threat of a vote toe to the thwart effective and timely response. the security council remains a very valuable forum. but not an indistensable one. we can't walk away from a problem because some members of the security council refuse to act. in those instances where the veto power of either china or russian impede the world's ability to deal with a significant threat, it is the united states that will have to
organize and lead coleses with or without of security council resolutions. and this concept by the way isn't neither novel nor partisan. president clinton act add exactly in this way in kosovo with the support of congressional leaders like senator lieberman. er from we look we are presented with opportunities for american leadership to help shape a better world had this new country. and we have to view these opportunities in the context of the fact that in every region of the world other countries look at newly emerging powers in their midst and look at the u.s. to counter balance them. in some instances these emerging strategic realignments are not ineffectively destined for conflict. for example if china chooses to conform its rise to the international order, there is much to be hoped for in the pacific region.
on the other hand, there is no reason for op timmism about iran in the middle east. ing whether in bringing an end to the blood shed and assad tyranny in syria or in helping egypt overcome economic hardships and move toward the sfaebment of a true democracy, america shouldn't try to solve any of these problems alone but neither will any of these challenges be addressed without strong and creative american leadership. no other nation has the influence, relationships, or the reputation for seeking lasting solutions to intractable problems than the united states has. iran's nuclear ambitions, by the way are, more than just weapons. iran wants to become the dominant power in the middle east, but given iran's history of human rights abuses, fomenting sectarian conflict and sponsorship of terrorism as a tool of state craft, the world must never allow that to happen.
fortunately, preventing a dominant iran is a goal we share with virtually every other nation in the region. now certainly we welcome russia and china's cooperation in facing this challenge. but the prospect of a nuclear capable iran is so unacceptable that we must be prepared to act with or without them. and we have a host of willing partners in every region of the world who share our concerns and are relying on our lead areship to compel iran to abandon its ambitions. now preferably, we can succeed through course of means short of military force. we should be open top negotiations with iran, but always remember that they should not be deemed a success when is they only lead to further negotiations. stronger pressure shouldn't be postponed and the expectation of our foreblarns encourage iran to act in good faith. nothing in our experience with iran suggests that it considers such gestures anything other
than a lack of resolve on our part. ultimately, however, we must remember that their ambition soez far have come with a high tolerance for pain. therefore, even as we work through the u.p. u.n. and with the international community on sanctions and on negotiations, we should operate on a dual track. we should also be preparing our allies and the world for the uncomfortable reality that unfortunately, if all else fails, preventing a nuclear iran may tragic little require a military solution. the goal of preventing a dominant iran is so important, that every regional policy we adopt should be crafted with that overriding goal in mind. the current situation in syria is an example of such an aapproach. the fall after assad. . help the people of syria bring him down. but on the foreign relations committee, i've noticed that some members are so concerned
about the challenges of a post-assad syria, they've lost sight of the advantages of it. first iran would lose its ally and see its influence and ability to cause trouble in the region would be correspondingly reduced. but hezbollah would lose its most important ally too along with its weapons supplier and the prospects for a more stable, peaceful and freer lebanon would improve. secondly, is the security of our ally, the strongest and most enduring democracy in the region, israel with whom we are bound by the strongest ties of mutual interest and shared value and affection would improve as well. and so would the prospects for peace between israel and its arab neighbors. finally, the nations in the region see syria as a test of our continued willingness to lead in the middle east. if we prove unwilling to provide leadership, they will conclude that we are no longer a reliable security partner and they will decide to take matters into their own hands, and that means
a regional arms race, the constant threat of armed conflict and crippling fuel prices here at home due to the instability. the most powerful and influential nation in the world cannot ask smaller moral vulnerable nations to take risks while we stand on the sidelines. we have to lead. because the rewards of effective leadership are so great, forming and leading a coalition with turkey and the arab league nations to assist the opposition by creating a safe haven and equipping the opposition with food, medicine, communication tools, and potentially weapons will not only weaken iran, it will ultimately increase our ability to influence the political environment of a post-assad syria. the spread and success of political and economic freedom in the middle east is in our vital interests. and it will certainly present challenges as newly enfranchised societies eelect lead lears whose views oppose and even
offend ours. but in the long-term because governments that rule by the consent of the governed must be responsive to the material demands of their people, any are less like little to engage in costly confrontations that deprive their people of the opportunity to improve their circumstances. the expansion and success of economic freedom is critical to our interests in every region in the world and nowhere more so than in our own hemisphere. it's no coincidence that the rise of economic ross a part in the western hemisphere is directly related or directly coincides with the democratic gachbts previous twos decades, mexico, peru, and columbia are three examples offations that have weathered the global economic downturn in a stronger position than ever. our goal for our region should be pretty straightforward. our coalition of neighboring democratic nations that trade freely and live peacefully with one another. other than overcoming our own
past indifference and the lack of focus on this goal, there are twos other challenges. first is venezuela and the other al bal countries whose and their overt anti-americanism. now, they make a lot of noise and we can't ignore their anti-democratic abuses or their close growing closeness to iran. our greater challenge is the effort of some nations to replace our influence with their influence and to use protectionism and unfair practices to pursue that aim. the anecdote for both of these problems is to reengage energetically in the region. first we must be a clear and consistent advocate for freedom. and to be free isn't just limited to elections. it's a way of governance. in venezuela, bolivia, and ecuador elected leaders have used their power to undermine fundamental freedoms by attacking the press, the courts and their political opponents. second, we need to commit to
being a reliable partner as our neighbors cope with significant security challenges. both mexico and colombia need our commitment to win their respective wars against criminal organizations. we must make it clear that we will not tolerate iran exporting violence and terrorism to our hemisphere. third, we must reject protectionism. the recently approved free trade agreements with columbia and panama was a good accept. we need to move forward to bring both canada and mexico into the transpacific partnership and fourth, we should move aggressively to form a strong energy partnership with canada, mexico, brazil, columbia and a post-chavez venezuela. a stable western hemisphere displace agunstable middle east an an aincreasingly blijant russia as the is there of the world's energy production would create countless jobs for americans and energy security for the world.
in asia, the question of whether china's rise will be peaceful and respectful of their neighbors is one of our biggest long-term challenges. we must make it abundantly clear that are firmly committed to our defense agreements and to our allies to the freedom of navigation on our seas. and a growing strategic importance of arab yash actually heightens not diminishes the importance of europe. u.s./european cooperation is a valuable compliment to our work with our east asia allies. all of us, asians, americans, europeans have a common interest in seeing china evolve in a peaceful and democratic direction and we have a common interest in seeing china abide by the rules of the international economic order. the united states, europe and east asia represent 71% of the world's economy. that's a lot of leverage. we should use it to address problems, such as china's disregard for intellectual
property rights, gross human rights violations, its unfair trade practices, its current sit manipulation and the looming presence of china state-owned industries. in additioning this u.s. eu partnership is critical to a more realistic approach to russia. i know some here might disagree and certainly the president works but i feel like we've gotten precious little from russia in return for concessions on nuclear weapons. the reason is because russia's domestic politics shape its foreign policies. an autocratic russia tends to be more anti-western and to act in ways that make it harder to integrate russia into the global community. putin may talk tough but he knows he's weak. er from he looks he sees threats to his rule, real and imagined so he used state owned media to preach paranoia and anti-western sentiments. he faces a rising china to the east, and hostile islamic forces
to the south. but he tells his people that the biggest threat they face is from nato. some of our allies in europe increasingly feel that our recent reset with russia tinded to ignore and in some cases undermine them. we need to lead a united coalition with european nations to tackle issues ranging from missile defense to the continued enlargement of nato. furthermore, if we are successful in forming a western hem fear energy colation that takes advantage of the shale gas revolution, we will be able to help our european allies reverse their dependence on russia energy, as well. a reenergized coalition can help empower those forces within russia and open their political system and if that happens, then we will be closer than ever to the bipartisan american vision endorsed by both the clinton
administration and the bush administrations of a europe whole and free. are faced with historic deficits and dangerous national debt, there's been increasing talk of reducing our foreign aid budget. but we need to remember that these international coalitions that we have the opportunity to lead are not just military ones. they can also be humanitarian ones. and every region of the world, we should always search for ways to use u.s. aid and humanitarian assistance to strengthen our influence, the effectiveness of our leadership and the service of our interests and dales. when done so effectively in partnership with the private sector with faith-based organizations and with our allies, foreign aid is a very cost effective way not only to export our values and our example but to advance our security and our economic interests. one of the programs that i'm proudest of is the effort that began under president george w.
bush with robust congressional support and has continued understand president obama and that's to combat aids in africa. millions of hemobeings are alive today because the united states and others in the global community are paying for their antiviral medication. this investment allows us to say without any hint of exaggeration by that by 2015, the world could see the beginning of aids something that was unthinkable of just a few years ago. we need to continue this many kind of foreign aid investment in ma layeral control and in agriculture initiatives so that we can make similar strides in preventing hunger and establishing a healthy global community condition this was by no means intended to be a comprehensive analysis of our challenges and opportunities around the world. after wall, we could dedicate entire speeches to the emergence of functional states in africa or the challenges posed by the arab spring. my purpose was not to catalog
our interests in every corner of the planet. my purpose was to argue that the world is a better place because of america's engagement in it, and it will continue to get better only if we continue to engage. now, i disagree with the way in which the current administration has chosen to engage. for while there are few global problems we can solve by ourselves, there are virtually no global problems that can be solved without us. there are more nations than ever capable of contributing but there is still only one nation capable of leading. and i disagree with voices in my own party who argue that we should not engage at all. who warn that we should heed the words of john quincy adams not to go abroad in search of monsters to des provide. i disagree because all around us, we see the human face of america's influence. it actually begins not with our government but with our people. millions of people have been the
cat at that time lis of democratic change in their own countries but they never would have been able to connect with each other if an american not invented twitter. the atrocities of kony would be largely unknown but in fact, millions of people know about it because an american made a film and distributed it on another american innovation, youtube. and even in our military engagements, the lasting impact of our influence on the world is hard to ignore. millions of people have emerged from poverty around the world in part because our navy protects the freedom of the seas, an you log the ever increasing flow of goods between nations. long after the last american soldier has left afghanistan, god willing there will be millions of strong independent and productive afghan women because today, they will are the first girls and generations to attend school thanks to the generosity of the american people. we do these things because we're
a compassionate people but we also do it because it's in our national interests. because perhaps more than any other nation on earth, we understand that a world that is freer, more just, moral peaceful and more prosperous, poses less of a threat. now, look can i know this is a time of great uncertainty, a time when many wonder if america is in decline. and once again, as bob kagan points out in his book, however, there have been other times when we felt less than confident about the future. we need to look no further than the decade of my birth for an example. in the 1970s, we experienced setbacks against communism in asia, the collapse of trust in government, the oil shock, stagflation, high interest rates, soviet expansion, the hostage crisis in iran and disco music. of americans were worried that something had permanently changed for our country. we couldn't be certain our standard of living would improve
generation after generation. and even less certain that we could maintain america's prime minister silt in world fairs. then as now, a serious school of thought emerged to confirm these worries. and it gained attention in our national debates. we had a nice run but nothing lasts forever, the argument went. our problems are too numerous, our resources toodee pleated our economy too dependent on dying industries, our public institutions too inadaptable and rivals too potent to keep pace was. and now they said back then the most important responsibility of public officials is to manage our decline intelligently and to mitigate its consequences at home and abroad. we know now, of course, that that's not how it turned out. by the end of the next decade, fewer were speculating about what the world would be like without america's leadership because we were once again in a unique unipolar moment when american power and influence
seemed virtually unchallenged. now we're worried again. and that's understandable. the pace of change in the world is so fast, and the challenges we face are so numerous and serious, that many americans worthy we can't sustain our way of life at home much less maintain the burden of leading the world. the financial crisis, the steep drop in the value of our homes, a deep recession and excruciating slow recovery, high unemployment, stagnant wages, record budget deficits and public debt, a lack of confidence in the ability of our government and political system to solve problems, soaring energy prices, too long wars, new and complex threats to international peace and stability and the rapid rise of china as an economic competitor and a rival for global influence, there are plenty of reasons to worry. and yet, with all these problems, there's absolutely no reason i know america cannot remain a global superpower in this new country, as well. we have a huge head start in
dealing with the challenges much transforming. of transforming. we have the advantage of concentrating more of our energies, resources, productivity and innovation on figuring out the future. our continued power is possible but it is not self-perpetuating. it will require us to do what every generation of americans before us has done, confront and solve the pressing domestic challenges of our time. it may not seem that way if you follow the daily news coming in from around the world but this new country is a time of great promise. it is not the promise of a perfect world, not one without ufrt violence, conflict hunger or disease. it is the promise of a better world better tan the one we have today, better than the one we have ever known, a world where democratic little elected leaders govern as responsible democrats and avoid armed conflicts with their neighbors. a world where oppressing women or selling children is not acceptable anywhere. a world where aids is a disease
of history and starvation is no longer part of our future. a world of extraordinarily innovation. the generations born since the spread of the world wide web are the most skilled collaborators ever and now that everyone everywhere can talk to anyone anywhere at anytime, they can talk to each other and come up with new ideas that are still unimaginable to us today. above all else, the 21st century provides us the opportunity for more premium a world where more people are free to grow their economies, free to pursue their dreams, free to become prosperous. i left my last page of the speech. does anybody have my last page? dy leave it with you. i apologize. above all else, the 21st century provides us the opportunities for more freedom, a world where more people are free, free to grow their economies, free to pursue their dreams, free to
become more prosperous. this is the promise of this new century. but it will not happen if we're not engaged. it will not happen if we do not lead. why does it have to start with us, some say? why do we have to do it? we find our answer in the words of a non-american. this is why i needed this page. in an ideas to congresses in 2003 it, british prime minister tony blair said, this is a quote, you might have been there that day his quote was "i know it's hard on america. and in some small corner of this vast country out in nevada or idaho or these places i've never been to but always wanted to go, i know out there there's a guy getting on with his life, perfectly happy. minding his own business, saying to you the political leaders of this country why me? and why us? and why america? and the only answer is because destiny put you in this place in history in this moment in this
time and the task is yours to do." and so it is. for their century is a time of tremendous challenge. but it is also a time of tremendous promise. this is indeed the world america made. and it is freer and more prosperous than it has ever been and it can be even better. as americans we cannot make that happen ourselves. but the world cannot make it happen without us. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you very much, senator rubio. this program is being webcast. i want to repeat that again and if you want to reach us by twitter, the hash tag is bl rubio. we do not have a great deal of time and i know that you're both
rushed to get back. rushed to get back to the hill, but senator rubio, i'd like to say, you start by speaking of your long-time passion for foreign policy and clearly, in your speech, have you demonstrated that. and you've made this point about the continued role of a strong america and a leadership sponsored by america. how concerned are you, however, because this also comes through in your talk, about the rise of the new isolationism? perhaps sponsored by a number of people in your own party? that's why i'm raising it. >> well, i'm not sure that this inward looking tendency has been new. i think has bob points out in his book and i point out in my peach and many of you have written it's always been a tendency of america to not want to get engaged in the world if we don't have. we don't really enjoy getting engaged around the world and telling people what to do. history has called upon us to do that. i think that combined with some
of the domestic issues that we're facing food and the challenges that i outlined lead to the national tendency after saying maybe it's time to look inwards once again. it's the responsibilities of policymakers like ourselves to remind people that there is no such thing as an american problem. that will every aspect of our lives is impacted by things going on around the world. i think that's always been true but that's increasingly true given the global nature of our economy today. and so i think that's why the it's critical for us to explain to people that in fact, everything they're going to do today from the price of food they're going to eat to the quality of the air they breathe is directly related to decisions being made overseas. >> let me then be specific and ask you about afghanistan which is a subject you barely touched on in the talk. but if you take a look at the latest polling data. >> sure. >> it's clear that more and more americans are getting fed up with the continued american involvement in afghanistan.