Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order [NOOK Book]

Overview

America must confront an increasingly turbulent world in the near future, as the destabilizing forces of globalization, rapid technological change, demographic imbalance, and financial meltdown merge to create a kind of global Wild West. This world will be a dangerous one, characterized by a resurgence of nationalism and regional conflict, and how we respond will directly affect both our future prospects and the long-term stability of the ...
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Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order

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Overview

America must confront an increasingly turbulent world in the near future, as the destabilizing forces of globalization, rapid technological change, demographic imbalance, and financial meltdown merge to create a kind of global Wild West. This world will be a dangerous one, characterized by a resurgence of nationalism and regional conflict, and how we respond will directly affect both our future prospects and the long-term stability of the international community.

In Restoration, Council on Foreign Relations president Richard N. Haass outlines an approach to foreign policy that turns the challenge of this dysfunctional world into an opportunity for renewed American leadership. Weakened by a decade of costly wars, political dysfunction, and fiscal irresponsibility, we have seen our ability to lead severely curtailed. To begin with, we must get our house in order by sharply limiting our interventions in other countries in favor of rebuilding our domestic institutions and tackling our fiscal problems. Today’s world has moved from the bipolarity of the Cold War to the unipolarity of the post-Cold War to what Haass calls the “non-polarity” of the current moment; therefore, the US has to recognize its limits and reorder its priorities accordingly. The days of wars of choice and other indiscriminate military actions are over, and the price of folly is higher than it used to be; when a non-polar world breaks apart, it’s much harder to put the pieces back together.

Haass’s doctrine of Restoration consists of two parts. First, America should focus on strengthening its domestic situation so as to protect itself from the anarchy of a globalized world, whether it’s global terrorism, nuclear proliferation, pandemics, or climate change. Haass proposes a number of policies to realize this, including entitlement reform, free trade, more open immigration policies, and public-private partnerships. Second, America must let go of the idea that it can change other countries through unilateral military action. Achieving this will allow us to cut down on the bloated and ineffective defense budget, improve our international reputation, and put our resources where the action will be (the Asia-Pacific instead of the Middle East).

By getting its own house in order, the United States has an opportunity to fill the global leadership vacuum and eventually achieve a more expansive and humane foreign policy. Restoration lays out a bold vision for how the US can come to shape world events, rather than being shaped by them.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465038640
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 4/8/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 332,921
  • File size: 390 KB

Meet the Author

Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations since July 2003, was previously director of policy planning for the Department of State, where he was a principal advisor to Colin Powell. From 1989-1993, he was special assistant to President George H. W. Bush and senior director for the Near East and South Asia on the staff of the National Security Council. Haass also served in the Reagan and Carter administrations. The recipient of the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award and the Presidential Citizens Medal, he is the author or editor of twelve other books. Haass lives in New York City.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2013

    Richard Haass is a worrier, as well he should be. In this finely

    Richard Haass is a worrier, as well he should be. In this finely crafted, highly readable and brilliant analysis of where we are today in the world, the articulate Council on Foreign Relations President and former national security adviser to President George H.W. Bush, argues that America is losing its ability to influence other nations. He sees correctly that there is no nation in the world, which can replicate American leadership, not China, not Russia, not Japan, and not Europe. And without American leadersip, the world inevitably will be in an unstable, chaotic condition that no one wants. America's loss of international leverage comes from shared perceptions that our government has become all but totally dysfunctional. He warns that we are rapidly losing ground as Washington can't agree on such basic matters as budgets, immigration policy, education and how to deal with our domestic economy. The President creates a bi-partisan commission to get our fiscal house in order; it amazingly reaches agreement on what must be done; and the President dissolves and disavows the commission. The President squanders almost all of his political capital on gun control, and has little left for energy policy, environmental regulation or tax reform. The world watches as Washington wrangles and twists in the wind. And, this does little to elevate our status as leader of nations. This book will be widely read by policy makers, academicians and governmental leaders, as well it should. But it is required reading for every literate American, who is as worried as the author about America's primacy.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2013

    First of all, let's speak of the book's pluses. I, like the ma

    First of all, let's speak of the book's pluses. I, like the majority of our citizenry, am not a political science major, and I came to the book with both interest and concern -- interest because I am citizen of the world and concern over the fact that the book would sail high over my head. It was, however, very readable even for a foreign policy novice like myself. It achieves both clarity and brevity without being over-simplified or condescending. To that end, I would recommend the book to any person interested in today's nuances and complications of foreign relations.

    There is also another praise for the book: It is fact-driven and therefore generally bipartisan in its presentation. Absent are long discertations rooted in a particular party's ideology or platform. Haass's delivery is matter-of-fact, as if to say here is the current condition or situation occurring in our world, here is what has worked or not worked with regards to that condition or situation, here is the current path we are on and here is the path we need to be on.

    His premise is that the US remains to be a leader in the world community. In order to maintain that standard and the trust of foreign nations necessary to lead the world, we need to have a plan and take actions to correct our domestic challenges here at home. His ideas are divided into themes we have all heard from one time to another: Deficit reduction, trade balance through increased exports, paying down the national debt, energy independence, domestic job creation and investment.

    All of these are solid ideas to assist us in putting our house back in order. Environmentalists will not appreciate his recommendations regarding the Canadian oil pipeline, fracking for natural gas and re-commitments of treasure and reliance of nuclear energy. In the author's opionion, we need to do and invest all we can in measures to reduce debts and create jobs and revenues as well as promote a future independent of reliance upon foreign oil. Humanists will not appreciate his views that nations need to qualify for (via a series of twenty preset criteria) personnel and / or military interventions. Again, in his opinion, we can commit to involving ourselves in foreign lands only when it is absolutely necessary in the preservation of American interests and those of her allies. Regional difficulties like those of Darfur, Libya and Syria are observed, studied and scrutinized, but only threatening nations and terrorist cells are to result in military intervention after all diplomatic tract have been attempted.

    Thus, this book is not the panacea for all our ills. Nor is it the perfect road map for successful navigation in a future that will not be short on challenges. It is a starting place and a good one at that. I recommend it highly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

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