Manchester, NH – Jon Huntsman for President today released the following excerpts from the major foreign policy speech that Huntsman will be delivering today at 11 AM EST from Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire:
The world needs American leadership now more than ever. Yet we are struggling to provide it. President Obama’s policies have weakened America, and thus diminished America’s presence on the global stage. We must correct our course.
I believe the United States has a generational opportunity to redefine its place in the world, and reclaim the mantle of global leadership.
We will establish a foreign policy doctrine that reflects our modern world. Simply advocating more ships, more troops, and more weapons is not a viable path forward. We need more agility, more intelligence, and more economic engagement with the world.
How will we do this?
In short, erase the old map. End nation-building, engage our allies, and fix our core. This is how we will fight the enemy we have and renew American exceptionalism.
First and foremost, we must rebuild America’s core.
Returning people to work, reducing our debt, restoring confidence in our future...fixing America first…that will be my most urgent priority.
It will require more than half-measures. It will require serious, bold reforms to our tax and regulatory systems – reforms that I have offered as part of a plan that one economist calls the most pro-growth proposal ever offered by a presidential candidate.
We need a foreign policy of expansion, not containment.
Today, we need a foreign policy based on expansion—the expansion of America’s competitiveness and engagement in the world through partnerships and trade agreements. It starts with passing the three pending trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, which President Obama has resisted for three years, and which could boost American exports by more than $10 billion and create tens of thousands of American jobs. We should aggressively push for the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will open markets in Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. We should pursue trade agreements with Japan and Taiwan. This is an opportunity for the unstoppable tide of economic advancement to lift all ships, and it falls to America to lead this effort.
We must right-size our current foreign entanglements.
Simply put, we are risking American blood and treasure in parts of the world where our strategy needs to be rethought.
Afghanistan was once the center of the terrorist threat to America. That is no longer the case. After 6,000 lives lost and more than $1 trillion spent, it is time to bring our brave troops home. We could go from 100,000 boots o n the ground to a much smaller footprint in a year, while leaving behind an adequate number of counterterrorist and intelligence functions and a facile special forces presence. And I believe we should.
There is another advantage to a more judicious approach toward foreign entanglements. It helps prevent our military from being stretched too thin, and unable to effectively respond to a direct security threat – either to America, or one of our allies. This includes standing shoulder to shoulder with Israel as they manage a host of new challenges brought on by the Arab Spring, along with more familiar challenges, such as a hostile Iran, which will continue to be a transcendent challenge of the next decade. I cannot live with a nuclear-armed Iran. If you want an example of when I would use American force, it would be that.
A reexamination of America’s role in the world also requires a reexamination of our military and defense infrastructure. It may surprise some people to learn that we spend more on defense today than at the height of the Cold War. Indeed, we spend more on defense than the rest of the world combined. We still have remnants of a top-heavy, post-Cold War infrastructure. It needs to be transformed to reflect the 21st Century world, and the growing asymmetric threats we face. For example, counterterrorism needs to be a much larger part of our foreign policy. We must be prepared to respond to threats – from Al Qaeda and other terrorist cells – that emanate from a much more diverse geography, including Yemen, the Horn of Africa, Pakistan and the Asia-Pacific.
I’d like to close by sharing a thought from my time in China…What was always clear to me was that those seeking reform and change drew strength from our nation’s values—the openness, the freedoms of speech, assembly, religion and press. Half a world away they could see this country’s light. Dissidents around the world can see it. All the troops in the world cannot give you that light. You either have it or you don't. That is America's value in the world today. When we shine our light abroad magnified by a strong core at home, we are invincible.