Summary of Democrat Platform – Foreign Policy

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You can read the Democrat Platform on Foreign policy here, Stronger in the World, Safer and More Secure At Home.

Following is a summary of the major points of the Republican Party’s <strong>Foreign Policy</strong>.

Moving America Forward

Stronger in the World, Safer and More Secure At Home

When President Obama took office in January 2009, our armed forces were engaged in two wars. Al- Qaeda, which had attacked us on 9/11, remained entrenched in its safe havens.

We have responsibly ended the war in Iraq.

We have struck major blows against al-Qaeda, bringing Osama bin Laden and other senior al-Qaeda leaders to justice, and putting the terrorist organization on the path to defeat.

And we have reversed the momentum of the Taliban and established the conditions to draw down our forces in Afghanistan.

These actions have enabled a broader strategic rebalancing of American foreign policy. We can focus on nation-building here at home and concentrate our resources. This means directing more energy toward crucial problems, including longstanding threats like nuclear proliferation and emerging dangers such as cyber attacks, biological weapons, climate change, and transnational crime. And it means a long-overdue focus on the world’s most dynamic regions and rising centers of influence.

We have strengthened the alliances and partnerships and have taken steps to reinvigorate international institutions.

We have built the foundation for sustained American leadership by growing our economy, preserving our unrivaled military strength, and advancing our values.

President Obama and the Democratic Party know that there is no greater responsibility than protecting the American people. We also understand the indispensable role that the United States must continue to play in promoting international peace and prosperity. And because of the steps we have taken, the United States is leading once again, and America is safer, stronger, and more secure than it was four years ago.

Responsibly Ending the War in Iraq

For over half a decade, our focus on Iraq meant we had taken our eye off of al-Qaeda, and it had cost us thousands of lives, a trillion dollars, and severely strained our key alliances.

Today, all of those forces are out of Iraq, and there are no American bases there either.  The Iraqi people, in continued partnership with the United States, now have the opportunity to build a better future.

Moving forward, President Obama and the Democratic Party are committed to building a robust, long- term strategic partnership with a sovereign, united, and democratic Iraq in all fields—diplomatic, economic, and security—based on mutual interests and mutual respect.

Disrupting, Dismantling, and Defeating Al-Qaeda

The war in Iraq distracted us from confronting many of the most fundamental national security challenges facing the United States. As the Bush administration shifted its focus to Iraq, Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda established safe havens across the border from Afghanistan, in Pakistan.

Importantly, President Obama also shifted away from the Bush administration’s sweeping and internationally-divisive rhetoric of a “global war on terrorism” to a more focused effort against an identifiable network of people: al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

As a candidate, then-Senator Obama committed to bringing Osama bin Laden to justice, and now bin Laden can no longer threaten the United States.

And, al-Qaeda’s senior leadership has been devastated, rendering the group far less capable than it was four years ago.

We have also struck blows against al-Qaeda’s leadership in Yemen and Somalia—with the full support and close cooperation of those governments.

At the same time, the President and the Democratic Party understand that we must stay vigilant. The al-Qaeda core may be on the path to defeat, but the organization and its affiliates remain active in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere.

Responsibly Ending the War in Afghanistan

The President refocused our efforts there in 2009, setting the clear goal of defeating al-Qaeda and denying it an ability to reestablish a safe haven in Afghanistan. He sent additional resources to reverse the Taliban’s momentum and to give the Afghans the time and space to build the capacity of their security forces.

We have accomplished that, and now we have begun the process of bringing our troops home from Afghanistan, including removing 33,000 by September 2012. And, with the support of our allies, the President has outlined a plan to end the war in Afghanistan in 2014.

At the same time, we are keeping up the pressure on the Taliban, pursuing the possibility of a political resolution to parts of the conflict, and continuing our capacity- building efforts.

Beyond 2014, we will continue to provide counter-terrorism and training assistance and to build an enduring relationship with Afghanistan, as outlined by the U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement concluded in May.

But we will not build permanent bases in Afghanistan.  Our interest is in putting an end to al-Qaeda’s safe havens and respecting Afghan & Pakistani sovereignty.

Pakistan can be a partner in providing peace and stability in South Asia.

Mitt Romney has been both for and against our timeline to end the war in Afghanistan, but he has failed to outline any policy ideas for how he would bring our troops home and, at times, has suggested he would leave them there indefinitely.

Preventing the Spread and Use of Nuclear Weapons

President Obama and the Democratic Party believe we must address the threat that nuclear weapons pose to our security and to peace in the world.

Large stockpiles of nuclear weapons persist, and more nations are interested in acquiring them.

And terrorists remain determined to buy, build, or steal the ultimate weapon.

President Obama and the Democratic Party are committed to preventing the further spread of nuclear weapons and to eventually ridding the planet of these catastrophic weapons.

Reducing Nuclear Weapons Stockpiles. The Obama administration has moved away from Cold War thinking by reducing the prominence of nuclear weapons in America’s national security strategy, and it has urged others to do the same.

The United States will maintain a safe, secure, and effective arsenal to deter any adversary and guarantee the defense of our allies.

But President Obama has taken important steps to decrease America’s nuclear arsenal and is committed to further responsible reductions.

President Obama negotiated and signed the landmark New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia, producing cuts in each side’s deployed nuclear stockpiles and launchers and allowing us to monitor and verify Russia’s arsenal. Mitt Romney strongly objected to the treaty.

Moving forward, the President will work with Russia to achieve additional reductions in stockpiles and nuclear delivery vehicles.

We will also work to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and seek a new Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty that prohibits the production of fissile materials intended for use in nuclear weapons.

Preventing Nuclear Proliferation. President Obama and the Democratic Party are also committed to strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Recognizing the rights of all rule-abiding states to peaceful nuclear energy, we will insist that countries without nuclear weapons comply with their obligations not to develop them, and we will ensure that violators face real consequences.

Iran. President Obama, working closely with our international partners and Congress, has put in place unprecedented sanctions against Iran.

Iran has yet to build a nuclear weapon, but has continually failed to meet its obligations under the NPT and several United Nations Security Council resolutions, and it cannot demonstrate with any credibility that its program is peaceful.

The President is committed to using all instruments of national power to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Working with our European allies and with Russia and China, the administration gained unprecedented agreement for the toughest ever UN sanctions against Iran. As a result, Iran is now increasingly isolated and the regime faces crippling economic pressure—pressure that will only build over time.

President Obama believes that a diplomatic outcome remains the best and most enduring solution. The window for diplomacy will not remain open indefinitely and that all options—including military force—remain on the table … or face the consequences.

North Korea. President Obama will also continue to confront North Korea, another regime that ignores its international obligations by developing nuclear weapons and missile technology, with a stark choice: take verifiable steps toward denuclearization or face increasing isolation and costs from the United States and the international community.

That is why the administration worked with international partners to impose the harshest multilateral sanctions on North Korea in history.

The President has made clear that we would hold North Korea accountable for the transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea and there would be consequences of such action.

Securing Loose Nuclear Materials.  The President hosted a nuclear security summit in Washington.

We will continue to work with international partners to break up black markets, detect and intercept nuclear materials in transit, and use financial tools to disrupt this dangerous trade.

Russia. Our objective has been, and will remain, expanded cooperation with Russia. The Cold War mentality represented by Mitt Romney ignores the very real common interest we share with Russia.

The President’s “reset” policy toward Russia has produced significant cooperation in these common interest areas, as well as in Russian support for the Northern Distribution Network that supplies our troops in Afghanistan.

We support establishing permanent, normal trade relations with Russia.

We are candid with the Russians when we disagree, encouraging Russia to follow a rules-based system and strongly criticize Russian actions that we oppose, such as their support for the Assad regime in Syria.

Countering Emerging Threats

Cyber security. Cyber security threats represent one of the most serious potential national security, public safety, and economic challenges we face.

Defending against cyber threats requires networks that are secure, trustworthy, and resilient.

The President and the administration have taken unprecedented steps to defend America from cyber attacks, including creating the first military command dedicated to cyber security and conducting a full review of the federal government’s efforts to protect our information and our infrastructure.

We will also strengthen private sector and international partnerships.

Biological Weapons. The use of a lethal biological agent within a population center would threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

That’s why President Obama outlined a National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats in 2009 to address the challenges from proliferation of biological weapons or their use by terrorists.

And we will build on existing public and private-sector efforts to prevent intentional contamination of the food supply.

Climate Change. The national security threat from climate change is real, urgent, and severe. The change wrought by a warming planet will lead to new conflicts over refugees and resources.

The President and the Democratic Party have steadily worked to build an international framework to combat climate change.

We will seek to implement agreements and build on the progress made during climate talks in Copenhagen, Cancun, and Durban, working to ensure a response to climate change policy that draws upon decisive action by all nations.

Our goal is an effective, international effort in which all major economies commit to reduce their emissions

We expect that other major economies like China and India commit to taking meaningful action.

It is also why we have worked regionally to build clean energy partnerships in Asia, the Americas, and Africa.

Transnational Crime. Transnational criminal networks also pose significant national security challenges.

They extend their reach by forming alliances with terrorist organizations.

In 2011, the Obama administration released a comprehensive Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime.

We have responded to this threat through aggressive targeting of the illicit financial infrastructure supporting cross-border criminal activity.

Strengthening Alliances, Expanding Partnerships, and Reinvigorating International Institutions

The greatest dangers we face—terrorism, nuclear proliferation, cyber and biological attacks, climate change, and transnational crime—cannot be solved by any one nation alone.

Europe. The cornerstone of our engagement with the world is our alliances, which had been badly damaged under the Bush administration. That is why President Obama has worked to methodically strengthen our alliances there.

The President and the Democratic Party believe the foundation of global security remains our relationships with traditional allies in Europe and Asia, and our enduring commitments to their defense.

The President and the Democratic Party recognize America’s enduring interest in supporting peace and prosperity in Europe.

We will bolster the strength and vitality of NATO, which is critical to the security of the continent and beyond. A decade of military operations in Afghanistan has strengthened NATO’s fighting skills and enhanced its ability to cooperate at the political level. This proved critical to the alliance’s timely, unified, and effective response in Libya.

We will continue to urge our NATO allies to pool, share, and specialize their capabilities, and to improve their capacity for effective coalition operations.

Meanwhile, even as the presence of U.S. forces in Europe necessarily evolves, the United States will maintain its Article 5 collective security commitments to NATO.

The President is moving forward with a “phased adaptive approach” to European ballistic-missile defense that will protect both Europe and the United States from missile threats emanating from Iran and elsewhere.

We believe that the United States and Russia can cooperate on missile defense, but we have also made clear that we will move forward with our system, beginning with the steps we have taken to deploy it in Poland, Turkey, and Romania.

Asia-Pacific. As we have sought to rebalance our foreign policy, we have also turned greater attention to strengthening our alliances and expanding our partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region. In part, this is in recognition that the United States has been, and always will be, a Pacific power.

President Obama has made modernizing America’s defense posture across the Asia-Pacific a top priority.

We will maintain a strong presence in Japan and on the Korean Peninsula to deter and defend against provocations by states like North Korea, while enhancing our presence in Southeast Asia and in Australia.

We will also expand our networks of security cooperation with other emerging partners throughout the region.

And we will continue to invest in a long-term strategic partnership with India.

Meanwhile, the President is committed to continuing efforts to build a cooperative relationship with China, while being clear and candid when we have differences.

China must also understand that it must abide by clear international standards and rules of the road.

We will provide greater communication between our militaries.

We will consistently speak out for the importance of respecting the universal human rights of the Chinese people, including the right of the Tibetan people to preserve their cultural and religious identity.

We remain committed to a one China policy.

And, we are committed to the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues that is consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people of Taiwan.

The Middle East. President Obama and the Democratic Party maintain an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security.  A strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States not simply because we share strategic interests, but also because we share common values.

The President increased security assistance to Israel every single year since taking office, providing nearly $10 billion in the past three years, including funding the Iron Dome system.

The President’s consistent support for Israel’s right to defend itself and his steadfast opposition to any attempt to delegitimize Israel on the world stage are further evidence of our enduring commitment to Israel’s security.

It is precisely because of this commitment that President Obama and the Democratic Party seek peace between Israelis and Palestinians. A just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian accord, producing two states for two peoples is our goal.

We will insist that any Palestinian partner must recognize Israel’s right to exist, reject violence, and adhere to existing agreements.

The Americas. In the Americas, we have deepened our economic and security ties with countries throughout the hemisphere, from Canada and Mexico to Brazil and Chile and El Salvador.

We have strengthened cooperation with Mexico, Colombia, and throughout Central America to combat narco- traffickers and criminal gangs.

We will improve coordination and share more information so that those who traffic in drugs and in human beings have fewer places to hide.

Africa. We will continue to partner with African nations to combat al-Qaeda affiliates in places like Somalia and to bring to justice those who commit mass atrocities, like Joseph Kony.

We have made great efforts to reduce the violence in Darfur and built international support for a successful referendum on South Sudan’s future.

We have opened trade and investment opportunities across the continent.

The United Nations. International institutions—most prominently the United Nations—have been a centerpiece of international order since the mid-20th century.

We have restored America’s leadership at the UN by cooperating with our partners there when we can and respectfully disagreeing with them when we must, reversing the previous administration’s disdain for the UN.

The President’s leadership at the UN has enabled us to make real progress, which include getting Russia and China on board to implement the toughest UN sanctions ever on Iran and North Korea

Promoting Global Prosperity and Development

As the United States works with allies and partners to establish an international order that advances peace and prosperity, President Obama and the Democratic Party will continue to build three key pillars of American global leadership: a prosperous and inclusive economy, our unsurpassed military strength, and an enduring commitment to advancing universal values.

And, because a growing and open global economy serves as a source of opportunity for the American people and a source of strength for the United States, the President and the Democratic Party have coordinated our economic actions with other countries to address financial crises.

Abroad, just as we have at home, we have sought to build a new model for 21st century economic growth that is fair and in which every nation plays by the rules.

Currencies must be market-driven so no nation has an unfair advantage.

Reforms must protect consumers from abuse and reflect a global commitment to end corruption.

And we will continue to champion sustainable growth that includes the clean energy that creates green jobs and combats climate change.

1. A prosperous & inclusive Economy.

Free and Fair Trade.  We are on track to finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a historic high-standard agreement that will address new and emerging trade issues, lower barriers to the free flow of trade and investment, increase exports, and create more American jobs.

We will work to expand free and fair trade in the Americas as well.

We already export more than three times as much to Latin America as we do to China,

Last year the President signed free trade agreements with Panama and Colombia.

We are moving ahead with “open skies” agreements to expand opportunities for commercial aviation and to bring our people and businesses closer together.

The Obama administration has brought trade cases against China at twice the rate of the previous administration.

Advancing Global Development. The President this year announced a new strategy toward sub-Saharan Africa that commits to promoting economic growth, including through increased trade and investment.

Combating HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease. Building on the strong foundation created during the previous administration, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has expanded its prevention, care, and treatment programming.

With his latest budget, the President is fulfilling his historic commitment to request $4 billion over three years for the Global Fund, and the President remains committed to robust funding for PEPFAR and the Global Fund in the future.

And President Obama lifted the 25-year ban that prevented non-citizens living with HIV from entering the United States

Ensuring Food Security.  The administration through its Feed the Future initiative has, with the G-8 and other countries, mobilized more than $22 billion for a global food security effort aimed at building the capacity of nations to feed themselves.

Responding to Humanitarian Crises. We will come to the aid of countries during their times of need, just as we did following the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, and, as we did in the aftermath of Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake in January 2010.

2. Maintaining the Strongest Military in the World

America’s unrivaled military capabilities represent a second core pillar of our global leadership. After more than a decade of war, we have an opportunity to retool our armed forces.

We must send them into harm’s way only when it’s absolutely necessary. When we do, we must ensure they have the equipment.

Eleven years of continuous military operations and repeated deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan have stretched our forces and strained their families.

Going forward, our troops will face fewer deployments.

In our current fiscal environment, we must also make tough budgetary decisions across the board—and that includes within the defense budget.

The administration has worked with Congress to make these decisions.

We will be able to ensure our security with a more agile and more flexible force.

We will continue to get rid of outdated Cold War-era systems.

3. Advancing Universal Values

Advancing a core set of universal values. These include an individual’s freedom to speak their mind, assemble without fear, have access to information, worship as they please, and choose their own leaders.

Staying True to Our Values at Home. Advancing our interests may involve new actions and policies to confront threats like terrorism.

In line with our Constitution, preserve our people’s privacy and civil liberties.  That is why the President banned torture without exception in his first week in office.

That is why we are substantially reducing the population at Guantánamo Bay without adding to it.

We still plan to close the prison altogether because it is inconsistent with our national security interests and our values.

Standing With Those Demanding Greater Freedom.

As we continue to perfect our union here at home, setting an example for others to follow, we will also continue to champion universal rights abroad.

So as people around the world yearn for greater freedom, we will continue to support progress toward more accountable, democratic governance and the exercise of universal rights.

When the Egyptian people flooded Tahrir Square in Cairo demanding democracy, the administration actively engaged the Egyptian government.

In Libya, we built an international coalition and intervened alongside NATO and ended Muammar Qadhafi’s brutal reign.

In Iran, President Obama spoke out in support of the pro- democracy protestors and imposed human rights sanctions on the Iranian government.

In Yemen, we worked with Gulf Cooperation Council states to facilitate a peaceful transition of power.

And in Syria, we have led the international community to politically and economically isolate the regime.  We will work to hasten the end of the Assad regime and support a political transition to a stable and democratic Syria.

We will continue to support the consolidation of democratic transitions in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen.

The Arab Spring represents the world’s most sweeping recent movement toward democracy, but it is not an isolated case.

In Africa, the administration engaged to ensure a legitimate transfer of power in Cote d’Ivoire, supported the independence of South Sudan, and remains actively involved in resolving the issues between Sudan and South Sudan.

And we will promote greater freedom in Cuba and Venezuela until all their citizens enjoy the universal rights they deserve.

Under President Obama, we have undertaken the most significant efforts in decades to engage the Cuban people.

Promoting Transparent, Accountable Governance and the Rule of Law.  We joined with Brazil to launch and co-chair the international Open Government Partnership. Fifty-five countries now belong to the partnership.

The President and Democrats know that a commitment to the rule of law and effective judicial institutions are essential to sustainable economic development

Standing up for Women’s Rights Around the Globe. Ensuring full equality and providing women and girls the opportunity to learn, earn a livable wage, and participate in public decision-making are essential to reduce violence, improve economies, and strengthen democracy.

We will urge ratification of the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

President Obama and the Democratic Party are committed to supporting family planning around the globe to help women.

President Obama overturned the “global gag rule,” a ban on federal funds to foreign family planning organizations that provided information about, counseling on, or offered abortions.

Combating Human Trafficking. Some 27 million women, men, and children around the world are victims of human trafficking. The President and the Democratic Party believe that trafficking in persons is both an affront to our fundamental values and, as a source of funds for transnational criminals and terrorist organization, a threat to national and international security.

Gay Rights as Human Rights. Recognizing that gay rights are human rights, the President and his administration have vowed to actively combat efforts by other nations that criminalize homosexual conduct or ignore abuse.

American diplomats must raise the issue.

And the State Department is funding a program that finances gay rights organizations to combat discrimination, violence, and other abuses.

Internet Freedom.  We successfully negotiated international Internet policymaking principles.

President Obama and the Democratic Party have worked to ensure that the 21st century remains an American one.