Newly appointed Secretary of State John Kerry gave his first public speech yesterday at UVA.

It was unorthodox in that it was not based on his plans abroad as much as his belief in the importance of formulating foreign policy with an inward focus. Kerry bases this strategy with two ideas in mind. First, there must be a significant amount of funding from home for foreign policy in order to protect our interests. Currently, our budget allots barely over 1% of itself toward foreign policy operation. Second, he believes that diplomacy abroad is not just about military strategy as much as it can be about economic strategy and creating a thriving workforce at home. This can be done by bringing jobs back to the U.S through diplomatic measures.

Let’s think about that 1% percent for a minute. Think about how critical foreign policy is in this day of globalization. Think of how essential a well planned and well thought out foreign policy is for creating alliances and strategies with partners around the world. We are spending one penny out of our crisp G.W dollar bill on those efforts. We all understand that acts of diplomacy may not be as expensive as defense measures and equipment, but a penny can’t even buy you a gum ball nowadays.

Kerry will make his first diplomatic trip next week as he travels through Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa for 10 days.

What do you think of Kerry’s remarks? Does our foreign policy department need more funding?

 

 

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