Monday, June 2, 2014

Foreign Policy and National Security by George Washington

The emphasis on globalization may cause people to think that national security and foreign policy are issues relevant only to our world today.  Yet, the “shrinking” of the world is not a recent phenomenon but a challenge that demanded the attention of the founding generation as well.  President George Washington addressed foreign policy and national security challenges throughout his two terms in office as is noted in the following excerpts from his speeches:

“To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” - First Annual Message to Congress Jan 8, 1790.

Again, in his Fifth Annual Message to Congress Dec 3, 1793, Washington emphasizes the same point:

“There is a rank due to the United States among Nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness….If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.”

Does the US have a sound foreign policy?  What is the US foreign policy?  Is our military still the strongest in the world?  Are we honoring our obligations to our Veterans?  Is the US in the position to maintain peace?  Is our national security sound?   Are the other nations of the world blatantly insulting the US?  Are the other nations of the world growing in power even as our power diminishes?  How close are we today to Washington's idea of protecting our nation?       

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