Foreign Policy

Lately, the US has lost respect at the world stage because of its questionable foreign policies and failed executions (Afghanistan, Iraq).  Going forward, we must restore the prestige and admiration for our country on multiple fronts of foreign policy including conflict resolutions and trade policies. World leadership position is not an entitlement. It must be earned.

After the World War 2, the USA supported numerous authoritarian regimes for various short term thinking reasons, toppled democracies to install dictators (Iran), and got involved in four major wars (Korean, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan) that it could not win. The Afghanistan withdrawal was disastrous – painful and humiliating. It tarnished our image as the “greatest fighting force in history”, and is probably encouraging Russians to wage the Ukrainian war. China potentially will do the same with Taiwan.  These bad policy assessments, and faulty executions of the past few administrations* are very visible now.

Obama completely misjudged Russia, and essentially encouraged Russia to do what is happening today. Millions in Ukraine are being displaced and their lives ruined because the Democrats played a weak and unwise game. Trump gave arms to Ukraine, but not enough, and made no attempts to negotiate with Russia, despite the 1994 Budapest agreement*, to secure Ukraine’s integrity, and potentially our and European security.

UN was formed to make sure no country invades or threatens security of another country. However, the Security Council structure is questionable to enforce such a charter. We must change it, and the US must take the first step. Other strong nations then must be convinced to follow a non-interference principal for the world peace in future. No nation has the right to invade countries and cause loss of lives and property to its population. We need a new United Nations order to make sure that peace and security is guaranteed to all weaker nations, who are trying to live freely and democratically.

In March, UN general assembly warned Russia to cease fire, and withdraw from Ukraine, but their resolution is non-binding! And Security Council permanent members have veto power; therefore, a binding resolution cannot be adopted – therein lays the problem with the UN Security Council structure, therefore the world peace.

We need to elect people in congress and presidencies who have some sense of the history, wisdom, and sensitivity to the world’s cultural differences. In a shamefully ignorant fashion, my opponent, and current congressperson of CA17th district, tweeted recently that Ukrainians are Nazis (Putin says that too! The tweet has been deleted since)***

Biden has been intimately involved in the past in Eastern European region, “Reset” relations with Russia in 2009, and its deterioration in 2014, yet his administration was asleep on the wheel since last march when Russia moved 70 thousand troops to Ukraine’s borders. Ukraine needed weapons in 2014 (Crimea annexation), last year (Russia gathered 70K troops), and needs more of them now (active war) to defend it.

Besides faulty positions on how to keep peace in the world, as explained above, the US has been weak on trade policies. US, in the past has supported regime changes for trade reasons, and still has vulnerable dependencies on commodities from unfriendly nations. Additionally, for decades now, they have been loosing trade wars with China. Numerous local industries have suffered ever since, and the workers had little real wage increases. Our trade deficits have been unbalanced with most countries of the world. These are serious economic issues that affect our long-term prosperity and national security.

Oil dependency was almost over in the last administration, but Biden’s administration reversed many policies to create shortages, apparently to make the alternate energy lobby happier. Just recently, because of inflation and unprecedented gas price hikes, the administration has been forced to allow exploration on public lands to allow increased production. Such naïve and experimental approaches by the administration, and some congress people like Ro Khanna who supports going after the oil companies and redistribute their profits, in managing the country and the world must stop. It is too dangerous and reckless.

I, as congressional candidate from Dist. 17 of California, will strongly recommend that our current and future administrations create longer lasting foreign policies based on solid principals of world peace, non-interference, human rights of freedom to choose, fair trade practices, IP protection, balanced world economies, support of smooth changes in energy sources, reduction of pollution, and balanced world populations.

*The failed policies on Ukraine surfaced in Obama’s administration. He completely ignored that the fact that one major reason for Russia to annex Crimea and support separatist movement in 2014 was to control the vast energy resources discovered in the Black sea and eastern Ukraine. Obama, along with Biden did not see what Russia was up to. Instead, here was Obama’s response to the question by Atlantic magazine on support for Ukraine:

“Putin acted in Ukraine in response to a client state that was about to slip out of his grasp. And he improvised in a way to hang on to his control there,’ [Mr. Obama] said. ‘He’s done the exact same thing in Syria, at enormous cost to the well being of his own country. And the notion that somehow Russia is in a stronger position now, in Syria or in Ukraine, than they were before they invaded Ukraine or before he had to deploy military forces to Syria is to fundamentally misunderstand the nature of power in foreign affairs or in the world generally. Real power means you can get what you want without having to exert violence. Russia was much more powerful when Ukraine looked like an independent country but was a kleptocracy that he could pull the strings on.” Mr. Obama further said that Ukraine “is going to be vulnerable to military domination by Russia no matter what we do.”

**In 1994, the US, UK, and Russia signed Budapest memorandum in which they committed to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and pledged not to use force against that country. Based on this memorandum or agreement, Ukraine gave up nearly two thousand strategic nuclear warheads and the associated strategic missiles and bombers.

Ritesh Tandon for California Issues
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