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International Issues

Arms Control and Proliferation

Since the 1950's an important national security concern has been limiting the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Furthermore, the immediacy and gravity of the proliferation threats to America has not declined since the end of the Cold War a decade ago. Presently, more confrontational and hostile to the United States are many countries once aligned with the former Soviet Union including Iraq, North Korea and Syria.

Third world countries have been allowed greater access to the Soviet Union's sophisticated weapons technologies after its collapse. Relatively early to obtain were many highly destructive weapons and technologies. Ballistic missiles currently are possessed by two dozen states. These rapidly advancing information and space-based technologies are capable of becoming tools to undermine or destroy American defense systems when placed in the wrong hands.

The American Voice Institute of Public Policy believes a new policy that is balanced as well as comprehensive is required to address the multiple threats to U.S. security posed by the proliferation of sophisticated weapons and weapons technology. It believes that to stem proliferation, a comprehensive policy should use all tools available to policymakers. Deterrance defenses, offensive military capabilities and arms control are included in these tools.

International Trade and the World Economy

The American Voice Institute of Public Policy believes that a strong President is required to enact free trade iniatives that promote relations with other nations, regions and multilateral organizations.

The United States lost much of its momentum in pursuing new avenues of trade by opening foreign markets to American goods and services after its successful trade initiatives of the early 1990's.

To maintain a strong, leading presence in the world economy, the United States must adhere to free-market policies as it faces many potentially explosive issues from agricultural disputes amid the rising power of the European Union (EU) to negotiations with the Chinese on further opening this economy.

Vitally important to America's future is the outcome of the national debate on trade policy. The American Voice believes that the United States must embrace free trade as key to its continuing prosperity and not erect protectionist walls that harm American consumers. For the quality of life and the prosperity of America, false moves on the trade front could have disastrous consequences.

Across a broad spectrum of market sectors, the Administration should press for lower trade barriers at every opportunity. Also, it must keep the World Trade Organization focused on lowering trade barriers on a multilateral basis, its main objective. Additionally, with the United Kingdom it should conclude a free trade agreement. To trade differences and promote trade liberalization, the United States should use the mechanism of the World Trade Organization (WTO), rather than bilateral sanctions with the EU and other European countries. The Administration should also pursue free-trade agreements. By 2005, a Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) should be pursued and implemented by the Administration.

The Administration must also build a consensus on free trade in the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) through careful, quick consultation.

Fast-track negotiating authority should be pursued by the administration.

International Terrorism

For more than 30 years, international terrorism has threatened the Western democracies. To undermine the stability and strength of Western and pro-Western governments, the Soviet Union and its allies supported terrorist groups in the West and in the Third World during the Cold War. From radical states such as Iran and Iraq and from radical anti-Western movements like the Islamic radicals led be renegade Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden, terrorist threats have increased after the decline of Communist-supported terrorism following the implosion of the Soviet bloc. For example, Osama bin Laden is suspected of having masterminded the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Tanzania, Darases Salaam, and Kenya that killed 301 people, including 12 Americans in August 1998.

Virtually all contemporary societies are threatened in varying degrees by international terrorists. To U.S. economic, political and security interest, terrorism, a form of low-intensity warfare, has been a persistent threat.

It is believed by the American Voice Institute of Public Policy that Washington must maintain relentless pressure against terrorist groups and the states that support them to protect Americans against the threat of international terrorism. The United States must use diplomatic, economic and military pressure to penalize the states that support terrorism in addition to seeking the arrest and punishment of individual terrorists.

Globalism

Recently, a German sociologist noted that, "The internationalization of decisions and activities almost invariably means a loss of democracy." (Rolf Dahrendorf, "The Third Way and Liberty," Foreign Affairs, Vol. 78, No. 5 (September/October 1999), P. 16) Over the past seven years, the United States has become increasingly entangled in vaguely defined global initiatives that have subordinated its national interests to various international groups' agendas.

This diversion away from important foreign policy issues results in the undermining of national sovereignty and the support of foreign agendas. The economy of the U.S. can also be adversely affected. An example of this can be seen in the U.S. participation in the Kyoto Protocol. The Clinton administration's propensity for embracing internationalism over national priorities has translated into decisions to implement U.S. national interests that would be undermined by many of these types of agreements. In addition, substantial economic costs to Americans would be incurred.

The American Voice Institute of Public Policy believes that to ensure the independence and sovereignty of the United States will not be sacrificed on the globalism altar, important roles must be played by both Congress and the Administration to guarantee that foreign policy initiatives advance vital national interests rather than international agendas. Congress must be especially vigilent through the power of funding and other legislative vehicles, like hearings, to accomplish this.

The American Voice Institute of Public Policy believes that Congress should fight for forms in the United Nations. It should also ensure that international peacekeeping operations do not harm morale or military preparedness. For operations that lack clearly defined and attainable goals that jeopardize the United States' ability to meet its security commitments, that fail to let the military create its own conditions for success, that lack broad public support, that do not advance national security interests, funding should be opposed.

Congress should also oppose efforts to adopt unilaterally the standards and restrictions of international environmental agreements that are unnecessary are not based on sound science, unlikely to accomplish their stated goals, and likely to cost Americans far more than their expected benefits.

Finally, the American Voice Institute of Public Policy believes that Congress must recognize that the policies established in the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court are anti-thetical to the right of self-government and to the civil liberties guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. Its ratification must be opposed. Also, it must be clearly and consistently signaled to other states that its ratification will negatively affect their relations with America.

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