Between a nuclear Iran, climate change, and a rising China, the challenges to U.S national security are manifold. But in his new book, “Foreign Policy Begins at Home,” Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass argues that the largest threats to this country come from within. With second-rate schools, a decrepit infrastructure, and growing debt, Haass writes, America should focus on improving itself.

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, and author of "Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order"

  • Hello

    Speaking of foreign policy, a so-called “Syrian rebel” has been shown in an online video cutting out a Syrian soldiers’s heart and eating it, which besides being cannibalism and a war crime, it is also a clear act of terrorism because he does it for the camera to terrorize Syrians.

    But this is just your tax dollars at work, because the US government is paying to send Sunni terrorists like that cannibal from places such as Saudi Arabia and Libya to Syria and is supporting them. The USA is using terrorists for hire, plain and simple, paid by the CIA. The USA is a state sponsor of terrorism.

    Supporting terrorists is truly stupid but has long been the CIA’s policy, as when they gave $1 billion to Osama Bin Laden to help his people fight the Soviets. The recently attacked “consulate” in Benghazi, which was in reality a CIA office, was a rare example of blowback. That office was where the CIA organized flights of Sunni terrorists to Syria.

    The US attack on Syria is a part of the Pentagon’s larger plan, revealed by Gen. Wesley Clark, to take out 7 countries in 5 years:

  • Chris OConnell

    I look forward to the show. I appreciate Richard Haass’ analysis, it’s pretty solid. But I do think Americans are heavily brainwashed in foreign policy issues. The only acceptable perspective is that of American Exceptionalism where the US is and should be the dominant global superpower.

    I would love to hear John Mearsheimer, or some other leading academic from the Realist School, opine on foreign policy issues for an hour. (I have actually and it’s great). I think his analysis, and those of the Realists, are very on point, and very much in the American tradition before World War II. (And it’s NOT isolationism.) But they are not aired, they are not mainstream for some reason.

    Mearsheimer co-wrote a book called The Israeli Lobby and US Foreign Policy and his exposure to the wider public subsequently declined. He was called an anti-Semite and became a persona non grata.

    P.S. Eliot Abrams from the Council of Foreign Relations called Chuck Hagel an anti-Semite. I think this really harms the reputation of the CFR greatly. How can I take them seriously on anything with this type of discussion?

    • Bob Fry

      I too am very much looking forward to this show. I don’t have the knowledge you do, but over the years have been increasingly disgusted with our very expensive intervention all over the world while ignoring or dissing our own problems and people.

    • Chris OConnell

      I might add that American Exceptionalism, the reigning doctrine of every politician and Serious International Relations Scholar, is a doctrine of hypocrisy, double standards and subjective bias. It can be boiled down to: “We are uniquely blessed and good and so we don’t have to play by any rules. And what we say goes.”

  • Chris OConnell

    There is only one reason that Bengazi is a scandal for Republicans: Obama was President when it happened. Oh, a 2nd reason emerged. Hillary was Secretary of State and seems to be running for President.

  • William – SF

    What is the real motivation for foreign countries to change in ways that the US and western powers find acceptable: fear of western military might, as an example of peace and prosperity, or what?

  • Kurt

    At 30k feet, Richard is exactly right. But given that financial oligarchs fund politicians. It’s unlikely that any significant policy decisions can occur that don’t align with financial industry initiatives. There is little appetite or courage for independent thought in dc.

    • aa aa

      No, he is not exactly right. He is right that the foreign policy establishment needs to avoid further military involvement in the Middle East. But he just plain wrong in suggesting that slashing corporate taxes or that legalizing tens of millions of low-skilled laborers and bringing in even more–(through not immediately implementing E-verify, not sealing the border, creating the W-visa, not tracking visa overstays, all of which are part of the current Senate immigration “non-reform” proposal)–will increase American competitiveness. We don’t need more low-paid laborers, because ultimately they will need taxpayer-funded income supports to survive. We need to recreate a large middle class (as we did when low-skilled immigration was low 1940-1975), not continue to decimate the one we have.

  • white elephant

    PLEEEAASSSE Mr. Richard Haas! EVERYONE KNOWS AND THERE IS SOLID PROOF AND DATA that : GIving corporations tax holiday has not increased jobs in this country or improved the life of people. It has improved the life of share holders and CEOs and the corporation because corporations bring in the 2-3 trillion dollars sitting outside our country- inside tax-free, then pay unjust bonus and buying their own corporation stock to held their stock holders.
    Who owns stock? the top 5%. The other retirement stocks and poor people stocks are being pirated in waves of wall street controlled ups and downs.

  • white elephant

    Mr. Richard Haas, we do not want to recreate the world in our own image. It would look like an ugly place run by a few (who have no moral compus), agreed, abuse of the weak and voiceless, no regard for human rights. dron carpet bombing of the unpeople.

  • Rebecca

    Since Mr. Haass presents a convincing argument against the US getting involved in moral crises around the world, I am curious what he thinks about any hope for the UN to step up and take on the role of intervening in a meaningful way in humanitarian crises.

  • aa aa

    Haas’ myopic focus on promoting corporate interests over ordinary Americans’ living standards is part of the problem. the real problem is wage stagnation in the bottom half the income ladder. Slashing corporate taxes does not solve this problem.: as long as you have a glutted labor supply relative to economic growth wages will continue to stagnate. His assumption that “education” is the problem is dubious. Education among native-born Americans and certainly technology levels have been increasing apace,but compensation for the bottom half has not, and many highly educated people now are not paid enough to survive without income supports, He wants immigration “reform” to favor the educated, but the current proposal in the Senate legalizes tens of millions of poorly-educated, low-skilled “undocumented” –who are far more likely than native Americans to be high school drop outs–and refuses to enforce practical limits on future illegal immigration in exchange for bringing in a few thousand more highly skilled immigrants. It even brings in MORE low-skilled labor (W-visa) with the absurd argument that we have a shortage of low-skilled labor. The math does not add up: you don’t increase your skilled work force that way.

    • white elephant

      Agree with aa aa , we have to bring up minimum wage to livable wage levels. This is key to stabilizing the bottom wage earners of society. When these people can earn a livable wage by holding down a 40 hour/ week job, they can afford to spend time with their children, gang/crime activity will be reduced. Family core values will have a chance to be nurtured, and there is plenty of room for these people to purchase needed essentials in their lives that will significantly improve their life. This in turn invests in the economy (shoppers who enhance their life significantly by shopping).
      If we continue to give corporate tax breaks and leave huge loop holes for multinational corporations, they will line the pockets of those who already have so much money, they will not buy their 10 car or yet another island. The country is NOT healed or improved or fixed by giving to those who have money coming out of their ears, abandoning education, robbing the middles class from their homes and retirements, and ignoring the poor or imprisoning them.

  • white elephant

    the most danger to national security is the actions our country has taken under the guise of national security. 1) US Citizens give up privacy and let us make a police state, with cameras, spying on our own citizens on the internet and phone/text/tweeter. 2) turn journalists into public relation lound speakers. 3) prosecute the whistle blowers 4) right to imprison our own citizens without due process 5) carpet bomb the ‘unpeople’ and kill thousands of civilian women and children because that is what we have done in japan, vitenam, …. 5) support gorillas and arm them, let them kill each other in countries we like to reduce their populations + fuel their fire here an there to spike and escalate the situation.6) then put in a dictator that will serve us well. Divide and conquer wherever it serves us under whatever guise and flavor. We are no innocent superhero wanting to save the world and bring peace. Peace is not achieved by killing.

  • Jackie Cabasso

    The US has announced it will boycott the current session of the Conference on Disarmament because Iran is the Chair. The US is also boycotting the Open Ended Working Group, “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations for the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons,”established by the UN General Assembly last year and currently meeting in Geneva. The US also boycotted the historic conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, hosted in Oslo in March 2013 by the government of Norway and attended by representatives of 127 states, the United Nations, the
    International Committee of the Red Cross, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement and civil society. The US also blocked the Conference for a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, mandated by the 2010 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference, slated to be held last December in Helsinki, after Iran had announced its intention to participate and Israel refused. US diplomacy?

  • wandagb

    Haas seems to have accepted the myth of a technical worker shortage that requires foreign imports: “…an outdated immigration system, … jobs that go un-filled or overseas owing to a lack of qualified American workers.”-quote from his book

    He is sadly incorrect. All the evidence is to the contrary. What is going on is a determined campaign by industry to assure a continuous supply of cheaper, younger foreign workers to the great detriment of American STEM workers and the aspirations of American kids contemplating such careers.

  • Maybe we should cut the corporate tax rate, but raise the tax rate on wealthy individuals. Then the proposal could be revenue neutral. Corporations just pass their costs along to consumers or they move operations overseas. Corporations could be encouraged to invest their money here in USA, but when that money becomes the skyrocketing salaries of executives or huge profits for a handful of shareholders, then it should be taxed at a higher rate. Tax high income individuals.

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