The Clinton Presidency:|
A Foreign Policy for the Global Age
President Clinton understood from the beginning of his presidency that
the most pervasive force in our world is globalization. He also
understood that while globalization is inexorable, its benefits must be
harnessed to advance our objectives of democracy, shared prosperity and
peace. The way for America to exercise its influence today is to build
with our democratic partners an international system of strong alliances
and institutions attuned to the challenges of a globalized world, to
ensure this system is genuinely open to all who adhere to clearly
defined standards, and to be ready to stand up for those standards when
they are threatened. The broad outlines of a foreign policy for the
global age can't be summed up on a bumper sticker, but they are
reflected in the principles that have guided the Clinton foreign policy
over the past eight years.
Our Alliances with Europe and Asia are the Cornerstone of Our National
Security, but They Must be Constantly Adapted to Meet Emerging
These core alliances are today stronger and arguably more durable
because they are organized to advance an enduring set of shared
interests, rather than to defeat a single threat. President Clinton
broke new ground in 1993 by welcoming our European and Asian allies'
desire to play a more responsible role while maintaining our troops and
adapting our alliances in both regions.
Working for a Peaceful, Democratic, Undivided Europe
Adapting and Upholding our Alliance with Asia
- Revitalized, adapted and expanded NATO from a static Cold War
alliance to a magnet for new democracies, with new partners,
members and missions; adapted its command structure; admitted
Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic; created Partnership for
- Led NATO in its first military engagement and stopped the killing
in Bosnia. The peace we brokered in Dayton has been sustained, a
civil society complete with active opposition parties and
non-governmental organizations is taking root, and national and
local elections have taken place throughout the country.
- Took military action in Kosovo to stop ethnic cleansing and
regional instability. Forced withdrawal of Serb forces and
deployed an international presence in Kosovo -- with a 47,000
strong NATO-led force providing security for the province.
Achieved the safe and unconditional return of over 900,000
refugees, disbanded the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Peace and Security for the United States Depends on Building Principled,
Constructive, Clear-Eyed Relations with Our Former Adversaries.
- Updated our strategic alliance with Japan through adoption of the
Defense Guidelines and Joint Security Declaration to define how to
respond together to post-Cold War threats.
- Reduced the North Korean threat through deterrence, diplomacy.
Negotiated the October 1994 Framework Agreement to freeze and
dismantle North Korea's dangerous nuclear weapons fuel production
and a moratorium on long-range missile testing in 1999.
- Strengthened cooperation with South Korea to move forward to engage
North Korea. Jointly engaged in Four Party Talks and established
Trilateral Group (the United States, Japan and South Korea) to
coordinate North Korea policy which helped create the conditions
for an eventual North-South dialogue.
We must continue to be mindful of threats to the peace -- whether it is
a Russian move against Georgia or a Chinese move against Taiwan -- while
maximizing the chances that both nations evolve internally toward
greater democracy, stability and prosperity. To achieve both goals, we
must continue to seize on the desire of both Russia and China to
participate in the global economy and global institutions, insisting
they accept the obligations as well as the benefits of integration.
Building on Our Relationship with Russia
Building on Our Relationship with China
- Negotiated the exit of Russian troops from the Baltics, brought
Russian troops into NATO missions in the Balkans and won Russia's
active support for a just end to the Kosovo war.
- Brought Russia into the G-8, APEC, and into relationships with NATO
and international financial institutions.
- Reduced the nuclear danger. Deactivated/dismantled over 1,700
nuclear warheads, 300 missile launchers, 425 ICBM and SLBMs;
strengthened security and accounting of nuclear materials;
purchased 500 metric tons of weapons-grade uranium; reached
agreement for the safe, transparent and irreversible destruction of
68 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium.
- Supported economic reform and the creation of a market economy.
More than 250,000 Russian entrepreneurs have received U.S.
training, consulting services or loans. Today 70 percent of the
Russian economy is in private hands.
Local Conflicts can have Global Consequences. The Purpose of
Peacemaking, Whether by Diplomacy or Force, Must be to Resolve Conflicts
Before They Escalate and Harm Our Vital Interests.
- Helped maintain peace in the Taiwan Straits and worked with China
to maintain stability on Korean Peninsula.
- Brought China into global non-proliferation regimes -- Chemical
Weapons Convention, CTBT and Biological Weapons Convention.
- Negotiated terms for China's entry into the World Trade
Organization, with Permanent Normal Trade Relations. Most
constructive breakthrough in U.S.-China relations since
normalization in 1979 -- will entangle China more deeply in a
rules-based international system and change China internally.
In a global age, arguments for peacemaking are even stronger: to defuse
conflicts before they escalate and harm our interests. America's
dominant power is more likely to be accepted if it is harnessed to the
cause of peace.
Not All Old Threats have Disappeared, but New Dangers, Accentuated by
Technological Advances and the Permeability of Borders, Require New
National Security Priorities.
- Middle East: Brought parties together at Camp David for first high
level discussions of all permanent status issues. Helped forge
agreements that led to the Declaration of Principles in September
1993 and the Interim Agreement on Palestinian self-rule in
September 1995. Brokered the Wye agreement in October 1998,
revitalizing the peace process after years of stagnation. Helped
broker the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum against terrorism in
September 1999, and the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel in
- Balkans: Stabilizing Southeast Europe by ending a decade of
repression and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. Led NATO alliance to
victory in air campaign and ushering in international peacekeepers.
Launched the Stability Pact to strengthen democracy, economic
development and security throughout the region, and accelerating
its integration with the rest of Europe and freeing Europe from a
permanent refugee crisis and source of conflict.
- Greece and Turkey: Encouraged Greek-Turkish rapprochement.
Strongly supported Turkey's European Union candidacy. Restarted
talks toward a comprehensive settlement on Cyprus.
- India and Pakistan: Helped them move from the brink of what might
have been a catastrophic war in July 1999.
- Northern Ireland: Helped broker the Good Friday Peace Accord,
ending decades of bloodshed and empowering the people of Northern
Ireland to determine their future.
- Peru and Ecuador: Worked with other regional governments to halt
the 1995 border war between Peru and Ecuador.
- Eritrea and Ethiopia: Negotiated a final, comprehensive peace
agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia, signed on December 12,
2000. The agreement built upon the Cessation of Hostilities
Agreement brokered by the U.S. and the Organization of African
Unity in June 2000, and brought to an end what was at that time the
largest conventional war on earth.
One of the biggest changes we have brought about in the way America
relates to the world has been the change in what we consider important.
The Clinton Administration has defined a new security agenda that
addresses contemporary threats -- nonproliferation, terrorism,
international crime, infectious disease, environmental damage.
Economic Integration Advances Both Our Interests and Our Values, but
Also Accentuates the Need to Alleviate Economic Disparity.
- Nonproliferation: Permanently eliminated nuclear weapons and their
delivery vehicles from Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Signed the
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and achieved the indefinite
extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and ratification of the
Chemical Weapons Convention.
- Terrorism: Developed a national counter-terrorism strategy, led by
a national coordinator. Brought perpetrators of World Trade Center
bombing and CIA killings to justice. Prevented planned attacks
against Millennium celebrations.
- Cyber Security: Developed first national strategy to protect
critical infrastructure, bringing together private sector and
government. Increased funding on critical infrastructure
protection by over 40 percent since 1998.
- Chemical and Biological Weapons: Strengthened international support
for and adherence to CWC/BWC. Equipped and trained first responders
in 120 largest metro areas.
- Environment: Brought climate change issues into the mainstream of
our foreign policy. Negotiated Kyoto protocol in 1997 to establish
a strong, realistic framework to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in
environmentally strong and economically sound way.
- Infectious Disease: Made the international fight against deadly
infectious diseases a national security priority. Introduced the
issue to the U.S.-EU Summit, the United Nations Millennium
Assembly, and the G-8 Summit in Okinawa and mobilized billions from
our international partners. More than doubled foreign assistance
for HIV/AIDS. Working to accelerate the development of vaccines
for AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other major disease threats
through the President's Millennium Vaccine Initiative.
- International Crime: Intensified interdiction efforts, cracking
down on drug lords and providing $1.6 billion in assistance for
Colombia. Combating trafficking in persons, especially women and
children, with an integrated strategy that focuses on prevention,
prosecution of traffickers and protection of and assistance to
As the first president who has understood the connections of the global
economy and its connection to our prosperity, President Clinton has led
the United States toward its greatest expansion in world trade in
history -- from $4 to $6.6 trillion a year. President Clinton has
opened markets for U.S. exports abroad and created American jobs through
nearly 300 other free and fair trade agreements, contributing to the
longest economic expansion in our history.
- Completed the Uruguay Round of the GATT negotiations and created
the WTO to reduce tariffs, settle trade disputes and enforce rules.
- Ratified the North America Free Trade Agreement, cementing
strategic trade relationships with our immediate neighbors. U.S.
exports to Mexico grew 109 percent from 1993 to 1999, compared with
growth to the rest of the world of 49 percent.
- Strong U.S. growth and maintenance of open markets was in no small
measure responsible for the recovery of the Asian economy which
again is fueling global growth.
- Helped rescue Mexico's economy with $20 billion in emergency
support loans that were repaid in full with interest.
- Supported the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative at the G-7
Summit in Cologne in June 1999, to provide deeper multilateral debt
reduction for poor countries with unsustainable debt burdens.
- Won approval of Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China that
will integrate it into the world economy through entry into the
WTO, open Chinese market to U.S. exports, slash Chinese tariffs and
protect American workers and companies against dumping.
- Won approval of the Caribbean Basin Initiative enhancement
legislation to promote economic prosperity in Central America and
- Launched and won approval for African Growth and Opportunity Act to
support increased trade and investment between the United States
and Africa, strengthen African economies and democratic
governments, increase partnerships to counter terrorism, crime,
environmental degradation and disease.
- Opened trade in information technology, telecommunications and
financial services through path-breaking WTO agreements that foster
the global diffusion of the New Economy.
- Normalized our relationship with Vietnam, culminating in the
completion of a Bilateral Trade Agreement that will serve as a
roadmap for economic restructuring in this country of 80 million
people. This builds upon our longstanding cooperation for a full
accounting of all U.S. missing in action.