March 7, 2014 by Anders Ingemarson
Our fearful leaders are scrambling to find ways to continue evading the fact that thugs and bullies still rule large parts of the globe. The raucous in Ukraine is obviously a thorn in their side, as it forces upon them a much needed, but also much resented, reality check.
I will neither venture any suggestions of what we should do with this mess, if anything, nor predict where it will end; plenty of commentators are in that business. But I think it may be instructive to take a step back and consider what a rational, consistent, long term foreign policy would look like that would prevent future Ukraines from happening in the first place.
Here’s what I wrote 1 ½ years ago. It’s a timeless approach that will always be true.
“The Best Foreign Policy? Lead By Example At Home
“A foreign policy is an extension of the proper role of government to protect us against foreign threats. I’m an advocate of the idea that by far the best foreign policy instrument available to us doesn’t really involve other countries at all. That instrument is leading by example at home.
“What do I mean by that? If we turn our focus to protecting individual rights and expanding capitalism, and work towards the total separation of state and the economy, we will send a very strong signal to the rest of the world as they see our policies bearing fruit.
“Cutting taxes, regulations and government spending will unleash growth and lead to an increase in wealth all around. You think China’s 10% annual growth is impressive? (assuming you can trust any numbers coming out of a totalitarian regime) I’m convinced we can match that in a heartbeat once we get the reducing of government on the right track. Do you think the rest of the world will take notice? Any chance they will start copying our policies? You bet they will. They may initially do it reluctantly, but the power of our example will not go unnoticed among the citizens of other countries. Over time, the pressure will build on their politicians to follow our example as watching us improve makes them realize what they’re missing out on.
“Obviously, our military will still be needed to protect us against foreign threats. Are you worried about military expenditures? With 10% growth we’ll be able to increase military spending drastically if needed while still seeing its share of GDP drop over time. But I doubt we’ll see a drastic increase in military spending. Why? Because the countries copying our policies will become freer, will increase the protection of individual rights, and over time will start to see us as friends, as allies, drastically reducing the potential threat of military aggression.
“A foreign policy based on leading by example at home, centered on the protection of individual rights, capitalism and the separation of state and the economy is the only way to achieve that elusive goal strived for by so many – world peace.”