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

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

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by Richard N. Haass
     
 

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A rising China, climate change, terrorism, a nuclear Iran, a turbulent Middle East, and a reckless North Korea all present serious challenges to America’s national security. But it depends even more on the United States addressing its burgeoning deficit and debt, crumbling infrastructure, second class schools, and outdated immigration system. While there is

Overview


A rising China, climate change, terrorism, a nuclear Iran, a turbulent Middle East, and a reckless North Korea all present serious challenges to America’s national security. But it depends even more on the United States addressing its burgeoning deficit and debt, crumbling infrastructure, second class schools, and outdated immigration system. While there is currently no great rival power threatening America directly, how long this strategic respite lasts, according to Council on Foreign Relations President Richard N. Haass, will depend largely on whether the United States puts its own house in order.

Haass lays out a compelling vision for restoring America’s power, influence, and ability to lead the world and advocates for a new foreign policy of Restoration that would require the US to limit its involvement in both wars of choice, and humanitarian interventions.

Offering essential insight into our world of continual unrest, this new edition addresses the major foreign and domestic debates since hardcover publication, including US intervention in Syria, the balance between individual privacy and collective security, and the continuing impact of the sequester.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Robert M. Gates
“A perceptive diagnosis and common sense prescription for what ails us as a nation. It is a practical guide for those who believe America’s continued global leadership is critical in the twenty-first century, but who believe it must be anchored in restoration at home and more effective use of all the tools of
American foreign policy abroad.”

Michael R. Bloomberg
“Richard Haass is one of America’s most insightful and experienced thinkers. In Foreign Policy Begins at Home, Haass explains why our ability to wield power and influence abroad will depend on our confronting pressing challenges at home. He offers a sobering look at the domestic policies that are undermining our international competitiveness—and a thoughtful roadmap for strengthening America’s position on the global stage.”

Madeleine K. Albright
“A concise, comprehensive guide to America’s critical policy choices at home and overseas. Richard Haass writes without a partisan agenda, but with a passion for solutions designed to restore our country’s strength and enable us to lead.”

Foreign Affairs
“Haass delivers a cogent picture of the world and supports it with sharp and precise arguments.”

American Diplomacy
“A must read for aspiring diplomats.”

National Interest
“Haass persuasively shows that the United States continues to be the indispensable nation.... Haass’s writing style is straightforward and uncluttered by jargon. My academic colleagues will not find reference to ‘hegemonic transition theories’ or ‘postmodernism,’ which makes the book much more accessible to a wider readership.”

Library Journal
“This informative, well-written book is a necessary addition to any collection providing either experts or citizens with new and rational discussion of America’s place in the world today.”

Kirkus Reviews
“Lessons learned from the recent past and presented thoughtfully as a viable new course.”

James A. Baker, III
“Richard Haass has long been a keen observer of the US position on the world stage, and his must-read book is no exception. Haass rightly explains that if the United States is to continue fulfilling the leadership role it has had since World War II, our country must be more restrained in what it does abroad and put its house in order at home by defusing the looming fiscal debt bomb that threatens our national security and global standing.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465071999
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
04/08/2014
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
412,224
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

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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Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Informed-In-Iowa More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago