View Full Version : An Emerging Progressive Foreign Policy?

04-20-2019, 03:07 PM
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) in a New Yorker Interview.


He went on, “When I talk about income inequality and talk about right-wing authoritarianism, you can’t separate the two.” No one knew how rich Putin was, Sanders said, but some people said he was the wealthiest man in the world. The repressive Saudi monarchs were also billionaire Silicon Valley investors, and “their brothers in the Emirates” have “enormous influence not only in that region but in the world, with their control over oil. A billionaire President here in the United States. You’re talking about the power of Wall Street and multinational corporations.” Simple, really: his thesis had always been that money corrupted politics, and now he was tracing the money back overseas. His phlegmy baritone acquired a sarcastic lilt. “It’s a global economy, Ben, in case you didn’t know that!”

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) commenting on the War in Afghanistan and other Long Wars.


We’ve “turned the corner” in Afghanistan so many times that it seems we’re now going in circles. After years of constant war, Afghanistan hardly resembles a functioning state, and both poppy production and the Taliban are again on the rise. The invasion of Iraq destabilized and fragmented the Middle East, creating enormous suffering and precipitating the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. The region remains a tangled mess—the promise of the Arab Spring crushed, Iran emboldened, Syria devastated, the Islamic State (or ISIS) and its offshoots stubbornly resilient, and a massive refugee crisis threatening to destabilize Europe. Neither military nor civilian policymakers seem capable of defining success, but surely this is not it.

Ganesh Sitaraman in War on the Rocks


First, progressive foreign policy breaks the silos between domestic and foreign policy and between international economic policy and foreign policy. It places far greater emphasis on how foreign policy impacts the United States at home — and particularly on how foreign policy (including international economic policy) has impacted the domestic economy. To be sure, there have always been analysts and commentators who recognized these interrelationships. But progressive foreign policy places this at the center of its analysis rather than seeing it as peripheral. The new progressive foreign policy takes the substance of both domestic and international economic policies seriously, and its adherents will not support economic policies on foreign policy grounds if they exacerbate economic inequality at home. For example, the argument that trade deals must be ratified on national security grounds even though they have problematic distributional consequences does not carry much weight for progressives who believe that an equitable domestic economy is the foundation of national power.

I can't entirely agree with it, but this line of thinking among the left of center has an interesting premise. In addition to being one that we seem to have been trending towards since the Iraq war and 2008 financial crisis.

Bill Moore
04-20-2019, 07:44 PM
If the War on the Rocks article accurately describes the progressive foreign policy, then I'm all for it.

There are some elements of President Trump's policy that align with this view also, so we can hope that we can develop bipartisan foreign policy. I went through the 12-step program years ago to kick my neoconservative views on foreign policy, and have been looking for a coherent philosophy since. Thanks for sharing.