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But I think almost everyone, even Patrick Buchanan and Madeleine Albright, would agree on the following four basic goals of American foreign policy: (1) security for the territory, citizens, and property of the United States, and security for those other nations whose welfare directly affects our own; (2) stability in as much of the world as possible, because the more stable our environment, the more we can anticipate possible breakdowns and the less we will be called upon to fix; (3) an open, transparent, and fair system of trade, both to increase our prosperity and to increase the stake that all nations have in security and stability; and (4) the promotion of respect for those inalienable rights with which, Americans believe, all human beings have been endowed by their Creator, not only because it is just, but because the more governments respect their own people’s rights, the more likely they are to respect those of others.
Rather, the debates we hear are less over goals than over the best means to pursue them and the priority to be given to each whenever two or more goals seem to clash.
Alternatively, I could have chosen to look ahead and prophesy regarding the dire global trends that may shape world politics in the future.In truth, however, the leaders of both parties and most foreign policy experts display a surprising consensus in favor of continued American leadership in pursuit of similar goals.To be sure, there is much disagreement over priorities and tactics in a given case such as Kosovo or the Test Ban Treaty.November 10, 1999 Several people, including our host Ron Naples, whose burden it was to introduce this lecture, have asked me what exactly I meant to discuss this evening inasmuch as my title was hopelessly vague. And it seemed to me that I could take any of three approaches.That, I confess, was by design, so as to leave me free to say pretty much whatever was on my mind, come November 10, about U. I might, for instance, choose to look backward, reviewing the evolution of American diplomacy and suggesting what lessons to draw from it.
According to this liberal myth Wilsonianism is best understood, not as a repudiation of past isolationism, but as the culmination of American congenital idealism.