New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson Calls for a “New Realism” in American Foreign Policy

WASHINGTON, DC- Yesterday Governor Bill Richardson  outlined his vision for a renewed and strong American foreign policy and his detailed philosophy to confront world challenges during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC.  

The Governor defined a clear, sensible, and powerful approach that addresses critical areas and will reverse the current administration’s lack of realism that has led America and the world to an unstable and dangerous place. 

“In an era of terrorism, they have squandered our military power, undermined our diplomatic leverage, and depleted our treasury,” said Governor Richardson.  “They have emboldened our enemies and isolated us from our friends.  They have confused our moral compass and compromised our national security.” 

Governor Richardson believes that under the Bush administration the country’s foreign policy has been guided more by “wishful thinking than by reality”.  He believes the United States must take a different path in foreign affairs. 

“This is a path not of hard words, but of hard work,” added the Governor.  “A path of moral strength, not pious judgments.   A path of strong diplomacy, backed up by a strong military and strong alliances.  This is the path of American leadership. A path that I believe can lead to an Axis of Reason to confront urgent global problems.” 

Governor Richardson‘s foreign policy vision includes a seven-point plan that provides the foundation for the New Realism. It specifically details how America must not only lead with strong words and a strong military, but must also lead through actions that are true to what this country stands for. 

“The United States once was – and again must be – a human rights example to which others aspire,” said Governor Richardson.  “We must be impeccable in our own behavior, and we must reward countries which respect the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. And we must negotiate, constructively but firmly, with those who do not.

“We need to present the Arab and Muslim worlds with a better vision than the apocalyptic fantasy of the Jihadists.  A vision of peace, prosperity, tolerance, and respect for human dignity.   For this to be credible, we need to live up to our own ideals. Prisoner abuse, torture, secret prisons, renditions, and evasion of the Geneva conventions must have no place in our policy.” 

Governor Richardson believes America must lead the way in the global fight against poverty, which is the root cause of violence around the world.  US support of trade agreements and economic development, nutrition programs, and education in challenged areas of the world will boost diplomacy and strengthen our friendships and alliances. 

“Development alleviates the injustice and lack of opportunity that proponents of violence and terrorism exploit,” Governor Richardson said.  “To those who say we cannot afford an aid program to build pro-American sentiment in the developing world, I say we cannot afford not to.”

A video version is available at