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Again, the press is not aware of all that goes on in the White House behind closed doors. Just because the matter was not publicly mentioned again in a direct fashion, does not mean that it was dropped. My team and I have continually discussed the best course of action for fostering trade with Tunisia and setting a much stronger precedent in the Middle East. The WSJ has actually zeroed in on the connection between this injection of fiscal support to Tunisia and our intentions to foster free trade with the entire Middle East.
The WSJ thinks that we should strike a trade deal with Tunisia and to also designate as a strategic economic nation. I and the entire White House is flattered that the Wall Street Journal would give us such obvious and prosaic advice on plans that we've already come up with ourselves. Of course the U.S. is trying to establish some sort of trade deal with Tunisia. I find it difficult to comment on the obviousness of such advice and commentary. It is so obvious that we want Tunisia to be in a place of economic stability and to have both trust and faith in the U.S. so that we can begin a free trade agreement. This concept is so evident and so transparent, I'm surprised that the WSJ put it into print and that such a newspaper could even consider such an idea newsworthy. Of course we intend to establish a close and consistent rapport with Tunisia so that Tunisia can be a living example in the region of the stability and prosperity that can be achieved when nations collaborate and cooperate with the U.S. There is a great deal of possibility here. It is incredibly possible that the U.S. can forge strong relations with Tunisia, bring Tunisia to a place of strength and constancy and that this will spark more Middle Eastern nations the desire to mimic the footsteps that this nation has taken. it's just somewhat disappointing that a periodical like the Wall Street Journal feels that they need to point out such ideas to us as if we hadn't already thought of them.
Obviously and evidently, our injection of cash into Tunisia is not simply about mere crisis relief or about making sure terrorism doesn't gain a stronger foothold in the nation. While these things are important to us, this injection of money was more about development and about sparking a domino effect in the region. If anything, I feel that this OpEd piece demonstrates a lack of faith of the WSJ in myself and the entire White House. This OpEd piece merely gives the U.S. foreign policy moves in Tunisia and the Middle East as a whole a slight smattering of credit, while pointing out what they see as our past short-comings and mistakes. Then the OpEd piece feels compelled to give the White House advice -- fundamentally telling us to take the course of action that we've most obviously decided upon. While as a whole the piece is positive and we appreciate that, the tone often falls into a dangerously condescending place at times, which is both grating and unnecessary.
Thus, in terms of this OpEd piece, the most powerful Instrument of National Power is one which is economic. Showing economic support to countries in the Middle East is the best way to express diplomatic relations. Economic support helps to build allies and strengthen friendships in the area, making nations more receptive to suggestions and the needs of the U.S. Fundamentally, America can replicate the exact actions that it has taken with Tunisia and repeat them with other countries such as Libya or Syria.
Course of Action and how COA supports U.S. Interests
One of the preeminent actions that the U.S. must take is that it must use strong and targeted effort in Tunisia and in the entire Middle East to help fund and support development. Development in the nations of this area of the world is absolutely pivotal in order to manifest the values of America and for stable international order for the global community. While America is very often the big brother or watch guard for the rest of the world, this doesn't mean that America is committed to giving handouts to poorer nations indefinitely. Rather, one of the fundamental values of America as a global leader and a leader in the western world is to give money as a form of investment. These countries absolutely need to view the money which is bestowed to them as a means of investment for the future to help them develop.
Thus, as the OpEd piece reflects, the fiscal support that America offers other nations is not charity. Rather it's a boost that America provides to other countries in order that they can eventually stand on their own two feet. The fiscal support is a show of loyalty and a big demonstration of encouragement: a sign that the country will be able to stand on their own two feet eventually.
Hillary Clinton sees diplomacy and development as two aspects which go hand in hand and factors which are crucial when it comes to U.S. foreign relations [p.198]. As Clinton says, we must not just rebuild, we must rethink and recalibrate as well. Obviously, U.S. actions in the past have not produced the most desired and ideal results as one would want: if they had, more nations would be self-sufficient and would not be so reliant upon the generosity of the international community. Thus, the forward momentum of U.S. involvement must continue, but as Clinton urges, it needs to be done in a more strategic manner so that results are more apparent to all. And as Clinton illuminates, helping nations al around the world (even when the U.S. has pressing issues at home) might seem counter-intuitive but is one of the most effective ways to ensure U.S. stability and prosperity over the long-run, two factors that are no doubt meaningful to U.S. values as a whole [Clinton pg. 202]. For instance, supporting countries that simply need a little help which can then take that help and achieve stability and then become a partner to the U.S. In America's goals and desires is truly a special and important endeavor and one which no doubt fosters the interests of the country.
One such obvious example of this that has worked effectively in the past has been U.S. aide and support to Israel, something which began as far back as with the Truman administration. Israel has been a recipient of fiscal support from the U.S. For decades and decades. This was not done strictly out of the goodness of America's heart, but because it was in America's vested interest to keep Israel stable. Stable Israel meant that it would not be a victim to terrorism, or was likely to be less of victim. More importantly, a warm and supportive relationship with Israel meant that the U.S. had an ally in the Middle East, something that has long been absolutely important for American interests. Military aid to Israel now manifests as military assistance. The fact that the U.S. has been able to maintain this rapport for so long is good and furthers U.S. interests. In helping Israel back with the Truman administration, the U.S. established that it was a strong and benevolent presence in the Middle East. As one politician once proclaimed, calling Israel an "American Aircraft Carrier" in the Middle East, it has indeed been a strategic alliance. All the help that Israel has received from America has meant that America has a safe place in the Middle East regardless of what may occur. Thus, there's no reason that Tunisia or even Libya or Syria can't follow in such footsteps with a little U.S. help received consistently over decades so that they too can eventually become strong allies of America and work together to pursue common interests.
While the U.S. is busy investing in the needs of foreign nations, it also needs to take a turn in downsizing the money it spends on its military, without question. The U.S. spends more on its military than any country in the world [Rachman pg. 326]. In this day and age that's simply not a wise expenditure anymore. Even though defense is a crucial element of the U.S. values of security, one could argue that the U.S. could bolster its level of security to a more heightened degree if it worked on investing strategically on a range of countries all over the world who were in need. Again, these fiscal expenditures would not be in the form of handouts, but would be clear investments to help these nations develop. Thus, rather than being known for grotesque foreign policy, the U.S. would have much warmer relations with nations all…[continue]
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