For its latest issue, Foreign Policy asked 12 of the world's leading thinkers to answer one question: What single policy or gesture can the next president do to improve America's standing in the world. The response pieces are insightful and diverse, and I really appreciated reading actual solutions, rather than tired complaints.
Some of the best advice:
- Step on the Gas: Harvard Economist Kenneth Rogoff urges the next Pres to raise the price of gasoline for consumers and manufacturers to prove to the world that cheap oil is not America's only priority. He argues the tax, by reducing the deficit and benefiting poor countries, will put America back on the proper moral and fiscal track.
- Holy Order: Reza Aslan, an Islamic scholar, says that the next president must strip the war on terror of "the overt religious connotations forced upon it by reckless politicians." In a conflict charged with religious fanaticism, he argues, even the appearance of religious motivation can have disastrous consequences.
- Lend them Your Ear: Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the US House, wants the next president to immediately embark on a series of visits to capitals around the world, including Ankara, Amman, Beijing, and Cairo.
These are just three of the creative suggestions. To get a taste of the other ideas please read more. Other advice includes: expanding the G8, opening talks with Syria, demanding human rights for Chinese, promoting global women's issues, ending the Cuban embargo, following international law, traveling to Tehran, continuing Bush's diplomacy of freedom, and finally, saying sorry.
How would you answer the question: What single policy or gesture would put America back on track with the rest of the world? Do you think an apology is in order?