THE END OF THE COLD WAR ERA has brought the international community to the threshold of a new era of global peace and harmony. The Natural Law Party believes that the United States should lead the world forward in creating new relationships governed by mutual friendship and cooperation, free from aggression and armed conflict. America is faced with a historic opportunity to help create a new world order, in which peace is perpetual and every nation upholds the flag of every other nation.
America's meddlesome and invasive foreign policy has sown the seeds of enmity throughout the world. Most of our foreign aid is military aid. We are the world's leading arms peddler, providing weapons to both sides of most international conflicts. Our troops are often forced to confront our own weapons on the battlefield. America's foreign policy has fostered ill will throughout the world and has us the principal target of terrorism on Earth.
From 1946 to 1993, the U.S. spent $439.6 billion on foreign aid -- 35% of which was military aid. However, these expenditures have not brought peace, economic stability, or greater economic cooperation to the family of nations. We continue to live in a dangerous world troubled by widespread violence and regional conflicts, as evidenced by the Gulf War, the ethnic violence in Bosnia, and continuing terrorism in the Middle East. Moreover, as a major supplier of the worlds armaments, the U.S. has directly contributed to such conflicts.
In addition, no real consensus exists concerning the purpose, allotment, and amount of foreign economic aid now that the historical goal of containing communism is no longer an issue. There is an urgent need to address Americas deteriorating relations with China, multibillion-dollar trade deficit with Japan, and economic competition with Western Europe. These relationships are especially troubling in view of the continuing U.S. financial commitment to defending Japan, as well as Germany and Western Europe.
Americans naturally wish to help the emerging democracies of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, yet protest substantial funds given directly to Russia and other republics because of so many pressing priorities at home. U.S. aid to developing countries has also been criticized because of countless instances in which funds either were wasted on projects that did not help the people or failed to reach the people due to misuse by the recipient governments.
The Natural Law Party would create an immediate shift in U.S. foreign policy away from military aid toward a more life-supporting policy based on the exportation of U.S. know-how. American expertise and technical assistance in such critical areas as business administration, entrepreneurship, education, sustainable agriculture, and environmental technologies, supplemented where necessary with economic support, should replace military aid as a principal instrument of U.S. foreign policy.
This new type of life-nourishing assistance will allow many developing countries to become financially self-sufficient and thereby to eliminate hunger and poverty. Such a policy would contribute to a more affluent and flourishing global trade and a more prosperous family of nations.
Since the end of the Cold War, Americas security interests have begun to shift from military concerns to global economic and environmental issues. America is called to leadership in developing a foreign policy that most intelligently meets this challenge.
This foreign policy must respect and honor the diversity of cultures, religions, races, and economic and political systems of the world, while promoting the value of unity -- so that every nation will respect and uphold the sovereignty and cultural integrity of every other nation in an unprecedented flow of economic cooperation and goodwill.
Above all, we must ensure that our precious national resources are applied effectively and not wasted through inefficiency, mishandling, or inappropriate allocation. Foreign aid decisions must be made in consultation with the people of recipient countries, from both the government and nongovernmental citizens groups.
In a peaceful and harmonious world family, we can conceive of reducing our own military expenditures and realizing a significant peace dividend, directing some of our enormous defense expenditures towards our own social programs, including investment and development as an economic superpower.