Grading Dean’s speech

Howard Dean’s major foreign policy speech is now available on his web site. I’ll get to the content in a second, but some free advice to the Dean people — is this the picture you really want on the front page of your web site when talking about foreign policy?: dean_christopher.jpg Howard Dean — he’ll ...

By , a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
590618_1681776730_dean_christopher2.jpg
590618_1681776730_dean_christopher2.jpg

Howard Dean's major foreign policy speech is now available on his web site. I'll get to the content in a second, but some free advice to the Dean people -- is
this
the picture you really want on the front page of your web site when talking about foreign policy?:

Howard Dean -- he'll be as tough as Warren Christopher!! OK, the speech. Quick hits: 1) According to Dean:

Addressing these critical and interlocking threats [of] terrorism and weapons of mass destruction -- will be America's highest priority in my administration.

Howard Dean’s major foreign policy speech is now available on his web site. I’ll get to the content in a second, but some free advice to the Dean people — is
this
the picture you really want on the front page of your web site when talking about foreign policy?:

dean_christopher.jpg

dean_christopher.jpg

Howard Dean — he’ll be as tough as Warren Christopher!! OK, the speech. Quick hits: 1) According to Dean:

Addressing these critical and interlocking threats [of] terrorism and weapons of mass destruction — will be America’s highest priority in my administration.

Hey, that sounds familiar… oh yes, here it is:

The gravest danger our Nation faces lies at the crossroads of radicalism and technology. Our enemies have openly declared that they are seeking weapons of mass destruction, and evidence indicates that they are doing so with determination. The United States will not allow these efforts to succeed.

2) Describing Dean as a pacifist would be a mistake:

During the past dozen years, I have supported U.S. military action to roll back Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, to halt ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, to stop Milosevic’s campaign of terror in Kosovo, to oust the Taliban and al Qaeda from control in Afghanistan. As President, I will never hesitate to deploy our armed forces to defend our country and its allies, and to protect our national interests.

3) The “big idea” is a global alliance against terror, “a commitment among law-abiding nations to work together in law enforcement, intelligence, and military operations.” Iraq aside, there’s actually been a fair amount of international cooperation on this front. What is Dean proposing that’s different? I read through the speech and found nothing specific on this. Is Dean talking about a global NATO? A stronger IAEA? What, exactly? 4) Here’s Dean on the connection between our foreign economic policies and national security:

Today, billions of people live on the knife’s edge of survival, trapped in a struggle against ignorance, poverty, and disease. Their misery is a breeding ground for the hatred peddled by bin Laden and other merchants of death. As President, I will work to narrow the now-widening gap between rich and poor. Right now, the United States officially contributes a smaller percentage of its wealth to helping other nations develop than any other industrialized country. That hurts America, because if we want the world’s help in confronting the challenges that most concern us, we need to help others defeat the perils that most concern them. Targeted and effective expansion of investment, assistance, trade, and debt relief in developing nations can improve the climate for peace and democracy and undermine the recruiters for terrorist plots.

Sounds like a great idea — you know, a plan to expand economic opportunities in developing nations through greater access to U.S. markets. I’m sure Dean would support that. Oh, wait a minute….

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he is the co-director of the Russia and Eurasia Program. Twitter: @dandrezner

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