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McCain’s Transformation of NATO and a New Global Order of Peace

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Horatio Bunce
Nolan Chart
Tuesday, Sept 23, 2008

Will McCain use NATO to enforce international law and act as the military arm of the U.N., as Biden suggested? Or will McCain use NATO strictly to enforce the ‘collective will’ of NATO nations?

Senator John McCain and his presidential campaign issued a press release followed by a policy address in early 2008 outlining his foreign policy positions. McCain expressed support for: an international ‘cap-and-trade system’ for ‘substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions’; economic assistance for Africa; creating ‘new international institutions’; expansion of NATO membership; a transformation of NATO’s mission; and a ‘global League of Democracies’ with NATO at its core for the ‘advancement of global democratic principles’ and a ‘new global order of peace’.

The February 8, 2008, McCain press release titled, Senator McCain Urges NATO Renaissance, stated:

“The charge before the transatlantic community today is to establish the basis for a new global order of peace, one that will last not just for a decade but for the rest of this century. And as we move forward, we know that there can be no true and lasting peace unless it is built on a foundation of freedom. Today we need a rebirth of NATO, a renaissance of the transatlantic relationship to extend peace, prosperity, and democracy far into the 21st century.

“The first step toward a rejuvenated NATO could begin at the Bucharest summit….

“The future of NATO lies not only in expanding its membership, transforming its mission, and deepening its commitments. It lies also in cooperating with states far from our shores. Today NATO and the European Union together comprise only a quarter of the more than 120 democracies around the world. Some – like Japan, Australia, and India – are proud, powerful and progressive nations committed to the values that have given our alliance such enduring strength. The 21st century world no longer divides neatly into geographic regions. Ideas, innovations and cultural influences travel rapidly and freely today as goods, services and capital. Moving just as rapidly are environmental calamities, diseases, international criminal rings, terrorist organizations, and the technologies of mass destruction. Our alliance must be as international in scope – partnering with willing democracies all over the world – as the challenges we confront.

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“NATO should partner with countries across the globe to address common threats. At the same time, we should work toward a global League of Democracies – one that would have NATO members at its core – dedicated to the defense and advancement of global democratic principles.” [1]

Remarks by John McCain to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council on March 26, 2008 further clarified his foreign policy objectives:

“We must be strong politically, economically, and militarily. But we must also lead by attracting others to our cause, by demonstrating once again the virtues of freedom and democracy, by defending the rules of international civilized society and by creating the new international institutions necessary to advance the peace and freedoms we cherish. Perhaps above all, leadership in today’s world means accepting and fulfilling our responsibilities as a great nation.

“One of those responsibilities is to be a good and reliable ally to our fellow democracies. We cannot build an enduring peace based on freedom by ourselves, and we do not want to. We have to strengthen our global alliances as the core of a new global compact — a League of Democracies — that can harness the vast influence of the more than one hundred democratic nations around the world to advance our values and defend our shared interests….

“We need to listen to the views and respect the collective will of our democratic allies….

“There is such a thing as international good citizenship. We need to be good stewards of our planet and join with other nations to help preserve our common home. The risks of global warming have no borders. We and the other nations of the world must get serious about substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years or we will hand off a much-diminished world to our grandchildren. We need a successor to the Kyoto Treaty, a cap-and-trade system that delivers the necessary environmental impact in an economically responsible manner. We Americans must lead by example and encourage the participation of the rest of the world, including most importantly, the developing economic powerhouses of China and India….

“The United States did not single-handedly win the Cold War; the transatlantic alliance did, in concert with partners around the world. The bonds we share with Europe in terms of history, values, and interests are unique. Americans should welcome the rise of a strong, confident European Union as we continue to support a strong NATO. The future of the transatlantic relationship lies in confronting the challenges of the twenty-first century worldwide: developing a common energy policy, creating a transatlantic common market tying our economies more closely together, addressing the dangers posed by a revanchist Russia, and institutionalizing our cooperation on issues such as climate change, foreign assistance, and democracy promotion.

“We should start by ensuring that the G-8, the group of eight highly industrialized states, becomes again a club of leading market democracies: it should include Brazil and India but exclude Russia. Rather than tolerate Russia’s nuclear blackmail or cyber attacks, Western nations should make clear that the solidarity of NATO, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, is indivisible and that the organization’s doors remain open to all democracies committed to the defense of freedom.

“While Africa’s problems — poverty, corruption, disease, and instability — are well known, we must refocus on the bright promise offered by many countries on that continent. We must strongly engage on a political, economic, and security level with friendly governments across Africa, but insist on improvements in transparency and the rule of law. Many African nations will not reach their true potential without external assistance to combat entrenched problems, such as HIV/AIDS, that afflict Africans disproportionately. I will establish the goal of eradicating malaria on the continent — the number one killer of African children under the age of five. In addition to saving millions of lives in the world’s poorest regions, such a campaign would do much to add luster to America’s image in the world.

“We also share an obligation with the world’s other great powers to halt and reverse the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The United States and the international community must work together and do all in our power to contain and reverse North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and to prevent Iran — a nation whose President has repeatedly expressed a desire to wipe Israel from the face of the earth — from obtaining a nuclear weapon. We should work to reduce nuclear arsenals all around the world, starting with our own. Forty years ago, the five declared nuclear powers came together in support of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and pledged to end the arms race and move toward nuclear disarmament. The time has come to renew that commitment. We do not need all the weapons currently in our arsenal. The United States should lead a global effort at nuclear disarmament consistent with our vital interests and the cause of peace.

“If we are successful in pulling together a global coalition for peace and freedom — if we lead by shouldering our international responsibilities and pointing the way to a better and safer future for humanity, I believe we will gain tangible benefits as a nation.” [2]
McCain’s vision is far from original. Many influential persons have championed a foreign policy based on alliances, international institutions, and economic and political integration as far back as the Wilson Administration and the Progressive Era.One recent example of federal officials openly promoting internationalism occurred during the nomination hearing of Warren M. Christopher for Secretary of State in the United States Senate on January 13, 1993. The opening statement of Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE):

“As you and I have discussed, I believe the new administration faces two overarching imperatives: to revitalize the American economy and to foster the creation of a new world order. Neither task can be neglected or postponed, but must be pursued with equal energy.

“You know that my own concept for shaping a new world order has four components. The first – cementing the Democratic foundation – means promoting democracy everywhere we can, but especially among the major powers.

“Our first priority must be the former members of the Warsaw Pact. American national security interests depend on the survival and success of Russian democracy. Investing wisely in Russian democracy is investing in American security. We should also, I believe, promote democracy in China through a powerful and proven weapon: “freedom broadcasting,” as mandated by the legislation this committee approved last fall.

“The second leg is forging a new strategy of containment. It means empowering multilateral agencies and regimes to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We must direct this containment strategy not against a particular nation or ideology, but against a pernicious technological threat. To pursue this strategy will require reorganizing our own Government to give proliferation a priority that this threat demands.

“Third – organizing for collective security – means strengthening the U.N. by assigning to the Security Council certain predesignated military forces and facilities: a conception unanimously endorsed by this committee last October. It also means converting NATO into a military instrument for peacekeeping, and peacemaking, under U.N. or CSCE auspices.

“Collective security, a multinational commitment to repel aggression and defend the peace, was the central precept of Woodrow Wilson’s vision. Wilson recognized it as a principle so essential to world order that he would not yield it in the fight over the ratification of the Versailles Treaty. It is the principle that the Senate finally accepted in 1949 with the advent of NATO, though it took the carnage of the Second World War to prove Wilson right. And it is that principle we must now extend, by empowering the U.N. and transforming the Atlantic alliance.

“Fourth, launching an economic-environmental revolution, means protecting and perfecting the free trade regime by completing the new GATT agreement, and then acting to reorient the world economy to environmentally sound methods of production and consumption. And I would point out that I think that Governor Clinton is off to a good start with his meeting with President Salinas by indicating that NAFTA must, in fact, better embody that environmentally sound notion than it currently does.

“Today we stand at the threshold of this new world order. I believe the people and governments, in growing numbers worldwide, recognize what needs to be done. And I believe the American people are prepared to see the United States take the lead in engineering sweeping, visionary change….

“Mr. Secretary, the Clinton administration advances a compelling vision for a new world and begins the necessary transformation of our international institutions to meet the demands of that new world. I believe you can expect Congress to support you energetically and enthusiastically on both sides of the aisle. I sincerely urge you, as I did in our private meeting, to be bold. I sincerely urge you to suggest to the President of United States, when confirmed, that this is not a time for timidity, this is a time for bold vision.

“Without U.S. world leadership, I think there is no real possibility of putting together a new world order that bodes well for our children and our grandchildren.” [3]

This article was posted: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 3:44 am

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