拜登《为什么美国必须再次领导世界》精翻版附原文

《为什么美国必须再次领导世界:-从特朗普手里拯救美国外交政策》Joseph R. Biden, Jr. March/April 2020

自从奥巴马总统和我于 2017 年 1 月 20 日卸任以来,几乎从任何角度看, 美国在世界上的信誉和影响力均有所下降。

特朗普总统贬损甚至在某些情况下抛弃了美国的盟友和伙伴,攻击了我们自己的情报人员、外交官和军队,给我们的对手壮胆,浪费了我们应对国家安全挑战的筹码,从朝鲜到伊朗,从叙利亚到阿富汗再到委内瑞拉,没有取得任何实际成果。他对美国的朋友和敌人发起不明智的贸易战,损害了美国中产阶级利益。他已经放弃了在应对新威胁,尤其是那些本世纪独有的威胁方面,美国动员集体行动的领导地位。

最严重的是,他背离了赋予我们国家力量和团结我们民族的民主价值观。

与此同时,美国面临的气候变化、大规模移民、技术破坏和传染病等全球挑战已变得愈加复杂和紧迫,而民族主义和非自由主义的滋长蔓延削弱了我们集体应对这些挑战的能力。很多民主国家,因党派之争踌躇不前,因贪腐问题步履蹒跚,因极度不平等而备受压迫,正艰难地为其人民服务。人们对民主制度的信任下降,对非民主制度的恐惧上升。美国精心构建的国际体系正在分崩离析。特朗普和世界各地的野心家们为一己私利和政治利益,正向这些非民主势力倾斜。

下一任美国总统将不得不应对 2021 年 1 月的世界,收拾残局将是一项艰巨的任务。他或她将不得不挽救声誉,重建人们对我们领导能力的信心, 动员国家和盟友迅速应对新的挑战,已经没有时间可浪费了。

作为总统,我将立即分步骤采取措施恢复美国的民主和联盟,保护美国的经济未来,并再次让美国领导世界。现在不是恐惧的时刻,而是发挥力量和无畏精神的时候。正是这种力量和无畏精神使我们赢得了两次世界大战的胜利,并拉下铁幕。

民主和自由主义战胜了法西斯主义,创造了自由世界。这场竞赛不仅定格了我们的过去,也将决定我们的未来。

▍振兴国内民主

第一步,也是最重要的一步,我们必须修复、重振国内民主,强化与世界各地的民主联盟。美国引领世界进步和动员集体行动的能力始于国内。这就是为什么我要重塑教育系统,使得孩子们不再被地域或种族定义人生;改革刑事司法制度,消除不公以及终结大规模监禁;恢复《投票权法案》(译  者注:2003 年,美国高院裁定长达 50 年之久的《投票权法案》关键部分违宪),以确保每个人的声音都能被听到,并恢复政府透明度及问责制。

民主不仅仅是美国社会的基础,也是我们力量的源泉。它不断扩大并强化了我们的领导地位,以确保我们在世界上的安全;它是我们创新发展的引擎,是经济繁荣的动力;它是我们是谁、我们如何看待世界以及世界如何看待我们的核心;它使我们能够自我纠正,并通过不断努力实现理想。

作为一个国家,我们必须向世界证明,美国已准备不仅以我们的力量为榜样,而且将以榜样的力量再次领导世界。为此,作为总统,我将果断采取措施振兴核心价值观。我将立即扭转特朗普政府在边境将父母和孩子分开的残酷且愚蠢的政策;终止特朗普有害的庇护政策;终止旅行禁令;审查对弱势群体的临时保护;将每年接收的难民人数定在 12.5 万人,这个数字将基于责任能力和价值观的提升而逐步提高。

我将重申禁止酷刑的禁令,恢复美国军事行动的透明度,包括奥巴马-拜登政府时期为减少平民伤亡而制定的政策。我将恢复政府对提高全球妇女和女童地位的关注。我将从尊重新闻自由、保护神圣的投票权再到维护司法独立等方面,确保白宫再次成为民主价值观的核心支柱和民主制度的伟大捍卫者,而不是主要攻击者。这些变化只是一个开始,是我们承诺在国内实现民主价值的“预付款”。

作为一个国家,我们必须向世界证明,美国准备再次领导世界。

我不会像特朗普那样,将在不针对特定社区、不违反正当程序、不拆散家庭的情况下执行美国法律。我将确保边境安全,同时维护移民尊严,维护他们寻求庇护的合法权利。我已发布了一些计划,详细概述了这些政策, 并描述了美国将如何集中解决导致移民来到我们西南边境的根本问题。作为副总统,我争取到了两党对一项 7.5 亿美元援助计划的支持,以支持萨尔瓦多、危地马拉和洪都拉斯领导人的承诺,即打击迫使人们离开家园的腐败、暴力和普遍贫困。萨尔瓦多等国的安全状况如今已有所改善,移民流动开始减少。作为总统,我将在这一倡议的基础上制定一项为期四年、耗资 40 亿美元的全面区域战略,要求各国贡献自己的资源,并进行重大、具体和切实可行的改革。

我还将采取措施,处理破坏我们民主的并服务于狭隘、私人或涉外议程的假公济私、利益冲突、洗黑钱和各级腐败。首先是争取通过宪法修正案, 将私人资金从联邦选举中彻底剔除。其次,我还将提出一项法律,加强对试图影响美国联邦、州或地方选举的外国公民或政府的禁令,并设立一个新的独立机构——联邦伦理委员会,以确保这部法律和其他反腐败法律被统一有力执行。我们的竞选资金系统缺乏透明度,再加上大量的外国洗钱活动,造成了明显的漏洞。我们需要堵住破坏民主的漏洞。

在采取了这些必要措施来固化美国的民主基础并激励其他国家采取行动 后,我将邀请世界各地的民主国家领导人把加强民主重新列入全球议程。今天,民主面临着自上世纪 30 年代以来最大压力。据自由之家报告显示,

在 1985 年至 2005 年间一直被列为“自由”的 41 个国家中,有 22 个国家

的自由度在过去 5 年里出现了净下降。

从苏丹、智利到黎巴嫩,市民们再次提醒我们,大家都渴望廉政,对腐败深恶痛绝。腐败是一种潜在的流行病,它助长压迫,侵蚀人的尊严,为威权领导人提供了一种在全世界分化和削弱民主的强大工具。然而,当世界上的民主国家指望美国扛起团结国家、真正领导自由世界的大旗时,特朗普似乎站在了另一边,说着独裁者的语言,蔑视民主人士。通过领导美国现代史上最腐败的政府,他为各地的贪官污吏颁发了许可证。

在我就任第一年,美国将组织主办一次全球民主峰会,以重振自由世界各国精神和共同愿景。它将把世界上的民主国家联合起来,强化我们的民主体制,诚实地面对正在倒退的国家,并制定一个共同议程。在奥巴马-拜登政府核安全峰会期间建立的成功模式基础上,美国将优先通过在三个领域做出新的重大国家承诺来取得相关成果。这三个领域是:打击腐败、抵御威权主义以及在本国和海外推进人权。作为美国在峰会上的承诺,我将发布一项关于以打击腐败为国家核心安全利益和民主责任的总统政策指令,并将领导国际社会共同努力,提升全球金融体系透明度,追查非法避税天堂, 查封被窃取资产,使那些从人民身上窃取财富的领导人无处隐藏。

民主峰会还将邀请来自世界各地站在捍卫民主最前线的公民社会组织。峰会成员将呼吁包括科技公司和社交媒体巨头在内的私营部门采取行动,它们必须认识到自己在维护民主社会和保护言论自由方面既享有巨大利益, 也担负重大责任。与此同时,言论自由不能成为科技和社交媒体公司传播

恶意谎言的挡箭牌。这些公司必须采取行动,确保其工具和平台没有授权监控国家,没有破坏隐私,不会助长中国和其他地方的压制,不会传播仇恨和错误信息,不鼓励人们使用暴力,或不受其他滥用行为的影响。

▍利于中产阶级的外交政策

第二步,我的政府将制定利于中产阶级的外交政策,为美国人在全球经济中取得成功提供支持。美国要想在未来与中国或其他任何国家的竞争中取胜,就必须增强其创新优势,团结世界各地民主国家的经济力量,打击滥用经济手段,减少不平等现象。

经济安全就是国家安全。贸易政策必须从国内开始,通过强化我们最重要的资产——我们的中产阶级——并确保每个人不论种族、性别、邮编、宗教、性取向或残疾,都能分享这个国家的成功。这就需要我们加大在基础设施领域——宽带、高速公路、铁路、能源网络、智慧城市——以及教育领域的投资。我们必须要让每个学生掌握足以在 21 世纪获得一份良好工作的必备技能;必须确保每个美国人都能获得高质量、负担得起的卫生保健; 必须将最低时薪提高到每小时 15 美元;必须领导清洁经济革命,在美国新

增 1000 万个就业岗位。

我将把投资研发作为总统任期的基石,使美国在创新方面居于领先地位。在已知的清洁能源、量子计算、人工智能、5G、高铁或终结癌症等领域, 我们没有理由落后于中国或其他任何国家。我们有世界上最好的研究型大学。我们有强大的法治传统。最重要的是,我们拥有一大批从未让国家失望的杰出工人和创新者。

中产阶级的外交政策也将有助于确保国际经济规则不会对美国不利,因为当美国企业在公平的竞争环境中竞争时,他们就会获胜。我信奉公平贸易。世界上超过 95%的人口生活在国外,我们要开发这些市场。我们需要在美国制造出最好的产品,并销往世界各地。这意味着要取消作茧自缚的贸易壁垒,抵制全球滑向保护主义的危险局面。这就是一个世纪前,一战后发生的事情——它加剧了大萧条,并导致了第二次世界大战。

错误的做法是把头埋进沙子里对贸易协定置若罔闻。无论各国是否与美国进行贸易往来。问题是,谁来书写贸易规则?谁来确保工人、环境、透明度以及中产阶级的薪酬得到保护?领导这一努力的应该是美国,而不是中国。

作为总统,在我们对美国人进行投资,并为他们在全球经济活动中取得成 功做好准备之前,我不会签署任何新的贸易协议。如果没有劳工和环境部 门领导人郑重出席会议,没有强有力的执法条款来约束合作伙伴遵守协议, 我也不会开展新的协议谈判。

中国可谓是一个特殊的挑战。我与中国的领导人有过长时间的接触,理解美国所面临的挑战。通过扩大全球影响力、推广其政治模式并投资未来技术,中国正进行着一场长期的博弈。同时,特朗普将从加拿大和欧盟(美国最亲密的盟友)进口的产品认定为国家安全威胁,从而对其征收武断且极具破坏性的关税。特朗普切断了美国与合作伙伴之间的经济影响,削弱了美国应对实际经济威胁的能力。

美国的确需要对中国采取强硬措施(译者注:此处有删减)。建立一个美国及其盟友的统一战线,是应对这一挑战的最有效的方法。即便我们在气候变化、不扩散和全球卫生安全等中美利益一致的问题上仍然力争与中国合作。美国自身经济体量约占全球 GDP 的四分之一,当它与其他民主国家联合起来时,我们的力量会加倍。中国无法忽视全球一半以上的经济力量。这将给我们很大的影响力,使我们能够在从环境到劳动、贸易、技术和透明度的所有方面制定规则,使它们继续体现民主的利益和价值观。

▍重返谈判桌前

拜登政府的外交政策将使美国重新回到谈判桌前,与盟国和伙伴合作,动员集体行动,应对全球威胁——世界不会自我组织起来。70 年来,在民主党和共和党总统的领导下,美国在制定规则和协议、推动引导国家关系、

促进共同安全与繁荣等方面发挥了引领作用,直到特朗普上台。如果我们继续任由他放弃这一责任,那么就会发生以下两种情况之一:要么别国会取代美国的位置,但不会推行相同的利益和价值观;要么没有国家取代美国,然后混乱会接踵而至。无论哪种情况,都对美国不利。美国的领导能力并非绝对正确;我们也犯过很多错误。很多时候美国仅仅依靠军队的力量,而不是利用其力量。特朗普政府灾难性的外交政策记录每天都提醒我们,不一贯和不平衡的做法是危险的,这种做法蔑视和诋毁了外交的作用。

拜登政府将毫不犹豫地保护美国人民,包括在必要时使用武力。在美国总统必须扮演的所有角色中,没有哪个比总司令更重要了。美国拥有世界上最强大的军队,作为总统,我将作必要的投资,确保我们的军队能够应付本世纪而不是最后一个世纪的挑战。但武力应该是终极手段,而不是首要手段。只有在目标明确可实现,并且在得到美国人民知情同意的情况下, 才应将其用于维护美国的切身利益

这场旷日持久的战争让美国付出了无数鲜血和财富,是时候结束它了。正如我长期主张的那样,美国应该将绝大多数军队从阿富汗战争和中东战争中撤回,把我们的使命准确地定为击败基地组织和伊斯兰国(ISIS)。我们也应该结束对由沙特领导的也门战争的支持。我们必须在国际和国内保持对反恐的关注。但是,固守在无法避免的冲突中,会削弱美国在其他亟待关注问题上的领导能力,并阻碍我们重建美国力量的其他手段。

我们可以在变强的同时变得更聪明。美国开放式、大规模的作战部队部署, 与为打击共同敌人、携带情报资源驰援当地的小规模特种部队是截然不同的,前者必须结束。这些规模较小的任务在军事、经济和政治上都是可持续的,它们还促进了美国的利益。

然而,外交应该是美国力量的主要手段。我对奥巴马-拜登政府时期美国外 交取得的成就感到自豪,从推动全球努力让《巴黎气候协定》生效,到领导国际社会应对结束西非埃博拉疫情,再到确保达成里程碑式的多边协议, 以及阻止伊朗获得核武器。外交不只是一系列的握手和拍照。它是建立和 处理各种关系,并努力在管控冲突的同时确定共同利益。它需要原则性和连贯的决策,还有一个有经验、有能力的专业团队。

如若当选总统,我将把外交提升为美国对外政策的首选工具。我将重建被本届政府掏空的外交使团,把美国外交返还到真正的专业人士手中。

外交也需要信誉,特朗普却将其破坏。在外交政策中,尤其是在危机时期, 一个国家的承诺是其最宝贵的资产。特朗普退出一个个条约,背弃各种政策、逃避属于美国的责任,事无巨细编造谎言,已经让美国失信于整个世界。

他还疏远了美国最需要的民主盟友。他重创了北约联盟,还把它当成了由美国经营的保护伞。我们的盟友应该尽自己的责任,这也是为何我对奥巴马-拜登政府为了确保北约成员国增加国防开支进行谈判的承诺感到骄傲

(如今特朗普声称这一举动值得赞扬)。但北约不仅仅关乎开支——美国的承诺是神圣的,而非交易性的。北约是美国国家安全的核心,是自由民主理想的堡垒,由价值观结成的联盟,比那些通过胁迫或金钱建立的伙伴关系,更为持久、可靠和强大。

作为总统,我要做的不仅仅是恢复美国历史上的伙伴关系;我将领导各方努力,为我们今日的世界重新构想这些关系。俄罗斯害怕一个强大的北约, 这是现代史上最有效的政治军事联盟。为了应对俄罗斯的侵略,我们必须保持联盟的军事能力,同时也要扩大其应对非传统威胁的能力,例如腐败的侵蚀、虚假情报和网络盗窃。我们必须要让俄罗斯为违反国际准则付出实际代价,并与俄罗斯公民社会一道,不断勇敢地站出来,反对普京的 专·制制度

与其他具有共同价值观和目标的国家合作,不会让美国变蠢。它使我们更加安全和成功。我们增强自身实力,扩大在全球的影响力,同时与有共同意愿的合作伙伴分担全球责任。我们需要巩固与北美和欧洲之外的民主盟友的集体行动能力,重新投资我们与澳大利亚、日本和韩国的同盟关系,

深化和印度到印度尼西亚的伙伴关系,并在这些将会决定美国未来的区域推进共同的价值观。我们需要继续坚定地致力于以色列的安全。同时,我们还需要做更多的工作——将我们在拉丁美洲和非洲的盟友纳入更广泛的民主国家网,并抓住在这些地区的合作机会。

为了重新赢得世界的信任,我们必须证明,美国是言行合一的。在涉及到例如气候变化、核战争的新威胁和破坏性技术等将会决定我们时代的挑战时,这一点尤为重要。

美国必须领导世界应对我们面临的气候变化的生存威胁。如果我们做不到这一点,其余的一切都无关紧要。美国国内将进行大规模紧急投资,从而有望在 2050 年成为净零排放的清洁能源经济。同样重要的是,由于美国的排放量仅达全球总排放量的 15%——我将利用美国在经济和道义上的权威,推动全球采取果断行动。我将在拜登政府上任的第一天重新加入《巴黎气候协定》,然后召开一次世界主要碳排放国峰会,召集各国提高斗志, 加速推动进展。

我们将严格执行承诺,减少全球在航运和航空方面的排放;我们将采取强有力的措施,并确保在履行承诺时,其他国家不会在经济上削弱美国。其中包括强调中国作为世界上最大的碳排放国,应该停止补贴煤炭出口,并

停止通过“一带一路”倡议,资助价值达数十亿美元的、不清洁的化石燃料能源项目,将污染外包给其他国家。

在核不扩散和核安全问题上,如果美国放弃了达成的协议,它的承诺就不再可信。从伊朗到朝鲜,从俄罗斯到沙特阿拉伯,特朗普让核扩散的前景、新式核军备竞赛、甚至动用核武器的可能性都上升了。作为主席,我将重申我们对新时代军备控制的承诺。奥巴马-拜登政府谈判达成了历史性的伊朗核协议,该协议阻止了伊朗获得核武器。然而特朗普武断地将协议搁置一边,促使伊朗重启核计划,这一挑衅式的举动,增加了该地区再次爆发灾难性战争的风险。我对伊朗政权没有任何幻想,它在整个中东地区破坏稳定,在国内残酷镇压抗议者,不公正地扣押美国人。应对伊朗对我们利益构成的威胁,有高明的方法,也有自毁式的方法,但特朗普选择了后者。伊朗圣城部队指挥官卡西姆·索莱马尼最近被杀,尽管除掉了一个危险分子,但同时增加了该地区暴力不断升级的可能性,这导致德黑兰放弃了围绕核协议所建立的核限制。德黑兰必须重新严格遵守协议。如果它这样做了,美国将重新加入该协定,并通过在外交方面的新承诺,与美国的盟国合作,加强和扩大该协定,同时更有效地遏制伊朗其他破坏稳定的活动。

对于朝鲜,我将授权我们的谈判人员,并与美国的盟国,和包括中国在内的其他国家尽快展开一场持续、协调的运动,以推进我们实现朝鲜半岛无核化的共同目标。我还将寻求新的《削减战略武器条约》的延伸,这是美国和俄罗斯之间战略稳定的一个立足点,和新的军备控制的基础。我将采

取其他步骤,表明我们在减核方面的努力。正如我在 2017 年所提出的, 我认为美国核武器的唯一目的应该是威慑,并在必要时进行打击。作为总统,我将与美国军方和盟国协商,努力将这一信念付诸实践。

谈到未来的技术,例如 5G 和人工智能,其他国家正在投入国家资源来主导它们的发展,并决定它们的用途。美国需要做更多的工作,确保这些技术被用于促进更广泛民主与共同繁荣,而不是遏制国内外的自由和机会。例如,拜登政府将与美国的民主盟友一起,发展安全的、由私营部门主导的 5G 网络,不让任何团体、农村或低收入群体掉队。随着新技术对经济和社会的重塑,我们必须确保这些进步的引擎受到法律和道德的约束,正如我们在以往的技术转折点所做的那样,同时避免一场由中国和俄罗斯共同制定数字时代规则的恶性竞争。现在该由美国来打造一个高科技的未来了——这是一个民主社会将繁荣发展,而且繁荣会广泛共享的未来。

以上雄心勃勃的目标,没有美国和其他民主国家的共同领导,什么都无法实现。我们目前腹背受敌,敌人希望利用我们社会的裂痕,破坏我们的民主,瓦解我们的联盟,迎接一个倡导“强权即公理”的国际体系的回归。应对此种威胁,我们的答案是更大的开放,而不是相反:此外还有更多的友谊、合作、联盟与民主。

▍做好领导的准备

普京想告诉自己,以及其他任何他能欺骗的人,自由主义思想是“过时的”, 但他这样做是因为他害怕自由主义的力量。地球上没有一支军队能够与自

由思想一样,在人们之间无拘束地传播、跨越国界和语言和文化、将普通公民变成活动家、组织者和变革推动者。

我们必须再次利用这一力量,团结自由的世界,迎接当今世界面临的挑战。美国对领导世界责无旁贷。毕竟,没有其他国家有这种能力,也没有哪个国家像美国一样,是建立在自由的理念之上的。我们必须捍卫自由和民主, 恢复我们的信誉,以坚定不移的乐观和决心迎接未来。

Why America Must Lead Again

Rescuing U.S. Foreign Policy After Trump

Joseph R. Biden, Jr. March/April 2020

By nearly every measure, the credibility and influence of the United States in the world have diminished since President Barack Obama and I left office on January 20, 2017. President Donald Trump has belittled, undermined, and in some cases abandoned U.S. allies and partners. He has turned on our own intelligence professionals, diplomats, and troops. He has emboldened our adversaries and squandered our leverage to contend with national security challenges from North Korea to Iran, from Syria to Afghanistan to Venezuela, with practically nothing to show for it. He has launched ill-advised trade wars, against the United States’ friends and foes alike, that are hurting the American middle class. He has abdicated American leadership in mobilizing collective action to meet new threats, especially those unique to this century. Most profoundly, he has turned away from the democratic values that give strength to our nation and unify us as a people.

Meanwhile, the global challenges facing the United States—from climate change and mass migration to technological disruption and infectious diseases—have grown more complex and more urgent, while the rapid advance of authoritarianism, nationalism, and illiberalism has undermined our ability to collectively meet them. Democracies—paralyzed by hyperpartisanship, hobbled by corruption, weighed down by extreme inequality—are having a

harder time delivering for their people. Trust in democratic institutions is down. Fear of the Other is up. And the international system that the United States so carefully constructed is coming apart at the seams. Trump and demagogues

around the world are leaning into these forces for their own personal and political gain.

The next U.S. president will have to address the world as it is in January 2021, and picking up the pieces will be an enormous task. He or she will have to salvage our reputation, rebuild confidence in our leadership, and mobilize our country and our allies to rapidly meet new challenges. There will be no time to lose.

As president, I will take immediate steps to renew U.S. democracy and alliances, protect the United States’ economic future, and once more have America lead the world. This is not a moment for fear. This is the time to tap the strength and audacity that took us to victory in two world wars and brought down the Iron Curtain

The triumph of democracy and liberalism over fascism and autocracy created the free world. But this contest does not just define our past. It will define our future, as well.

RENEWING DEMOCRACY AT HOME

First and foremost, we must repair and reinvigorate our own democracy, even as we strengthen the coalition of democracies that stand with us around the world. The United States’ ability to be a force for progress in the world and to mobilize collective action starts at home. That is why I will remake our

educational system so that a child’s opportunity in life isn’t determined by his or her zip code or race, reform the criminal justice system to eliminate inequitable disparities and end the epidemic of mass incarceration, restore the Voting Rights Act to ensure that everyone can be heard, and return transparency and accountability to our government.

But democray is not just the foundation of American society. It is also the wellspring of our power. It strengthens and amplifies our leadership to keep us safe in the world. It is the engine of our ingenuity that drives our economic prosperity. It is the heart of who we are and how we see the world—and how the world sees us. It allows us to self-correct and keep striving to reach our ideals over time.

As a nation, we have to prove to the world that the United States is prepared to lead again—not just with the example of our power but also with the power of our example. To that end, as president, I will take decisive steps to renew our core values. I will immediately reverse the Trump administration’s cruel and senseless policies that separate parents from their children at our border; end Trump’s detrimental asylum policies; terminate the travel ban; order a review of Temporary Protected Status, for vulnerable populations; and set our annual refugee admissions at 125,000, and seek to raise it over time, commensurate with our responsibility and our values. I will reaffirm the ban on torture and restore greater transparency in U.S. military operations, including policies instituted during the Obama-Biden administration to reduce civilian casualties. I will restore a government-wide focus on lifting up women and girls around the world. And I will ensure that the White House is once again the great defender—not the chief assailant—of the core pillars and institutions of our

democratic values, from respecting freedom of the press, to protecting and securing the sacred right to vote, to upholding judicial independence. These changes are just a start, a day-one down payment on our commitment to living up to democratic values at home.

As a naion, we have to prove to the world that the United States is prepared to lead again.

I will enforce U.S. laws without targeting particular communities, violating due process, or tearing apart families, as Trump has done. I will secure our borders while ensuring the dignity of migrants and upholding their legal right to seek asylum. I have released plans that outline these policies in detail and describe how the United States will focus on the root causes driving immigrants to our southwestern border. As vice president, I secured bipartisan support for a $750 million aid program to back up commitments from the leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to take on the corruption, violence, and endemic poverty driving people to leave their homes there. Security improved and migration flows began to decrease in countries such as El Salvador. As president, I will build on that initiative with a comprehensive four-year, $4 billion regional strategy that requires countries to contribute their own resources and undertake significant, concrete, verifiable reforms.

I will also take steps to tackle the self-dealing, conflicts of interest, dark money, and rank corruption that are serving narrow, private, or foreign agendas and undermining our democracy. That starts by fighting for a constitutional amendment to completely eliminate private dollars from federal elections. In addition, I will propose a law to strengthen prohibitions on foreign nationals or governments trying to influence U.S. federal, state, or local elections and direct

a new independent agency—the Commission on Federal Ethics—to ensure vigorous and unified enforcement of this and other anticorruption laws. The lack of transparency in our campaign finance system, combined with extensive foreign money laundering, creates a significant vulnerability. We need to close the loopholes that corrupt our democracy.

Having taken these essential steps to reinforce the democratic foundation of the United States and inspire action in others, I will invite my fellow democratic leaders around the world to put strengthening democracy back on the global agenda. Today, democracy is under more pressure than at any time since the 1930s. Freedom House has reported that of the 41 countries consistently ranked “free” from 1985 to 2005, 22 have registered net declines in freedom over the last five years.

From Hong Kong to Sudan, Chile to Lebanon, citizens are once more reminding us of the common yearning for honest governance and the universal abhorrence of corruption. An insidious pandemic, corruption is fueling oppression, corroding human dignity, and equipping authoritarian leaders with a powerful tool to divide and weaken democracies across the world. Yet when the world’s democracies look to the United States to stand for the values that unite the country—to truly lead the free world—Trump seems to be on the other team, taking the word of autocrats while showing disdain for democrats. By presiding over the most corrupt administration in modern American history, he has given license to kleptocrats everywhere.

During my first year in office, the United States will organize and host a global Summit for Democracy to renew the spirit and shared purpose of the nations of the free world. It will bring together the world’s democracies to strengthen our democratic institutions, honestly confront nations that are backsliding, and forge a common agenda. Building on the successful model instituted during the Obama-Biden administration with the Nuclear Security Summit, the United States will prioritize results by galvanizing significant new country commitments in three areas: fighting corruption, defending against authoritarianism, and advancing human rights in their own nations and abroad. As a summit commitment of the United States, I will issue a presidential policy directive that establishes combating corruption as a core national security interest and democratic responsibility, and I will lead efforts internationally to bring transparency to the global financial system, go after illicit tax havens, seize stolen assets, and make it more difficult for leaders who steal from their people to hide behind anonymous front companies.

The Summit for Democracy will also include civil society organizations from around the world that stand on the frontlines in defense of democracy. And the summit members will issue a call to action for the private sector, including technology companies and social media giants, which must recognize their responsibilities and overwhelming interest in preserving democratic societies and protecting free speech. At the same time, free speech cannot serve as a license for technology and social media companies to facilitate the spread of malicious lies. Those companies must act to ensure that their tools and platforms are not empowering the surveillance state, gutting privacy, facilitating repression in China and elsewhere, spreading hate and misinformation, spurring people to violence, or remaining susceptible to other misuse.

A FOREIGN POLICY FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS

Second, my administration will equip Americans to succeed in the global economy—with a foreign policy for the middle class. To win the competition for the future against China or anyone else, the United States must sharpen its innovative edge and unite the economic might of democracies around the world to counter abusive economic practices and reduce inequality.

Economic security is national security. Our trade policy has to start at home, by strengthening our greatest asset—our middle class—and making sure that everyone can share in the success of the country, no matter one’s race, gender, zip code, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. That will require enormous investments in our infrastructure—broadband, highways, rail, the energy grid, smart cities—and in education. We must give every student the skills necessary to obtain a good twenty-first-century job; make sure every single American has access to quality, affordable health care; raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour; and lead the clean economy revolution to create ten million good new jobs—including union jobs—in the United States.

I will make investment in research and development a cornerstone of my presidency, so that the United States is leading the charge in innovation. There is no reason we should be falling behind China or anyone else when it comes to clean energy, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, 5G, high-speed rail, or the race to end cancer as we know it. We have the greatest research universities in the world. We have a strong tradition of the rule of law. And most important,

 

we have an extraordinary population of workers and innovators who have never let our country down.

A foreign policy for the middle class will also work to make sure the rules of the international economy are not rigged against the United States—because when American businesses compete on a fair playing field, they win. I believe in fair trade. More than 95 percent of the world’s population lives beyond our borders—we want to tap those markets. We need to be able to build the very best in the United States and sell the very best around the world. That means taking down trade barriers that penalize Americans and resisting a dangerous global slide toward protectionism. That’s what happened a century ago, after World War I—and it exacerbated the Great Depression and helped lead to World War II.

The wrong thing to do is to put our heads in the sand and say no more trade deals. Countries will trade with or without the United States. The question is, Who writes the rules that govern trade? Who will make sure they protect workers, the environment, transparency, and middle-class wages? The United States, not China, should be leading that effort.

As president, I will not enter into any new trade agreements until we have invested in Americans and equipped them to succeed in the global economy. And I will not negotiate new deals without having labor and environmental leaders at the table in a meaningful way and without including strong enforcement provisions to hold our partners to the deals they sign.

China represents a special challenge. I have spent many hours with its leaders, and I understand what we are up against. China is playing the long game by extending its global reach, promoting its own political model, and investing in the technologies of the future. Meanwhile, Trump has designated imports from the United States’ closest allies—from Canada to the European Union—as national security threats in order to impose damaging and reckless tariffs. By cutting us off from the economic clout of our partners, Trump has kneecapped our country’s capacity to take on the real economic threat.

The United States does need to get tough with China. If China has its way, it will keep robbing the United States and American companies of their technology and intellectual property. It will also keep using subsidies to give its state-owned enterprises an unfair advantage—and a leg up on dominating the technologies and industries of the future.

The most effective way to meet that challenge is to build a united front of U.S. allies and partners to confront China’s abusive behaviors and human rights violations, even as we seek to cooperate with Beijing on issues where our interests converge, such as climate change, nonproliferation, and global health security. On its own, the United States represents about a quarter of global GDP. When we join together with fellow democracies, our strength more than doubles. China can’t afford to ignore more than half the global economy. That gives us substantial leverage to shape the rules of the road on everything from the environment to labor, trade, technology, and transparency, so they continue to reflect democratic interests and values.

BACK AT THE HEAD OF THE TABLE

The Biden foreign policy agenda will place the United States back at the head of the table, in a position to work with its allies and partners to mobilize collective action on global threats. The world does not organize itself. For 70 years, the United States, under Democratic and Republican presidents, played a leading role in writing the rules, forging the agreements, and animating the institutions that guide relations among nations and advance collective security and prosperity—until Trump. If we continue his abdication of that responsibility, then one of two things will happen: either someone else will take the United States’ place, but not in a way that advances our interests and values, or no one will, and chaos will ensue. Either way, that’s not good for America.

American leadership is not infallible; we have made missteps and mistakes. Too often, we have relied solely on the might of our military instead of drawing on our full array of strengths. Trump’s disastrous foreign policy record reminds us every day of the dangers of an unbalanced and incoherent approach, and one that defunds and denigrates the role of diplomacy.

I will never hesitate to protect the American people, including, when necessary, by using force. Of all the roles a president of the United States must fill, none is more consequential than that of commander in chief. The United States has the strongest military in the world, and as president, I will ensure it stays that way, making the investments necessary to equip our troops for the challenges of this century, not the last one. But the use of force should be the last resort, not the

first. It shoul used only to defend U.S. vital interests, when the objective is clear and achievable, and with the informed consent of the American people.

It is past time to end the forever wars, which have cost the United States untold blood and treasure. As I have long argued, we should bring the vast majority of our troops home from the wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East and narrowly define our mission as defeating al Qaeda and the Islamic State (or ISIS). We should also end our support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. We must maintain our focus on counterterrorism, around the world and at home, but staying entrenched in unwinnable conflicts drains our capacity to lead on other issues that require our attention, and it prevents us from rebuilding the other instruments of American power.

We can be strong and smart at the same time. There is a big difference between large-scale, open-ended deployments of tens of thousands of American combat troops, which must end, and using a few hundred Special Forces soldiers and intelligence assets to support local partners against a common enemy. Those smaller-scale missions are sustainable militarily, economically, and politically, and they advance the national interest.

Yet diplomacy should be the first instrument of American power. I am proud of what American diplomacy achieved during the Obama-Biden administration, from driving global efforts to bring the Paris climate agreement into force, to leading the international response to end the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, to securing the landmark multilateral deal to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Diplomacy is not just a series of handshakes and photo ops. It is

building and tending relationships and working to identify areas of common interest while managing points of conflict. It requires discipline, a coherent policymaking process, and a team of experienced and empowered professionals. As president, I will elevate diplomacy as the United States’ principal tool of foreign policy. I will reinvest in the diplomatic corps, which this administration has hollowed out, and put U.S. diplomacy back in the hands of genuine professionals.

Diplomacy also requires credibility, and Trump has shattered ours. In the conduct of foreign policy, and especially in times of crisis, a nation’s word is its most valuable asset. By pulling out of treaty after treaty, reneging on policy after policy, walking away from U.S. responsibilities, and lying about matters big and small, Trump has bankrupted the United States’ word in the world.

He has also alienated the United States from the very democratic allies it needs most. He has taken a battering ram to the NATO alliance, treating it like an American-run protection racket. Our allies should do their fair share, which is why I’m proud of the commitments the Obama-Biden administration negotiated to ensure that NATO members increase their defense spending (a move Trump now claims credit for). But the alliance transcends dollars and cents; the United States’ commitment is sacred, not transactional. NATO is at the very heart of the United States’ national security, and it is the bulwark of the liberal democratic ideal—an alliance of values, which makes it far more durable, reliable, and powerful than partnerships built by coercion or cash.

As president, I will do more than just restore our historic partnerships; I will lead the effort to reimagine them for the world we face today. The Kremlin fears a strong NATO, the most effective political-military alliance in modern history. To counter Russian aggression, we must keep the alliance’s military capabilities sharp while also expanding its capacity to take on nontraditional threats, such as weaponized corruption, disinformation, and cybertheft. We must impose real costs on Russia for its violations of international norms and stand with Russian civil society, which has bravely stood up time and again against President Vladimir Putin’s kleptocratic authoritarian system.

Working cooperatively with other nations that share our values and goals does not make the United States a chump. It makes us more secure and more successful. We amplify our own strength, extend our presence around the globe, and magnify our impact while sharing global responsibilities with willing partners. We need to fortify our collective capabilities with democratic friends beyond North America and Europe by reinvesting in our treaty alliances with Australia, Japan, and South Korea and deepening partnerships from India to Indonesia to advance shared values in a region that will determine the United States’ future. We need to sustain our ironclad commitment to Israel’s security. And we need to do more to integrate our friends in Latin America and Africa into the broader network of democracies and to seize opportunities for cooperation in those regions.

In order to regain the confidence of the world, we are going to have to prove that the United States says what it means and means what it says. This is especially important when it comes to the challenges that will define our time: climate change, the renewed threat of nuclear war, and disruptive technology.

The United States must lead the world to take on the existential threat we face—climate change. If we don’t get this right, nothing else will matter. I will make massive, urgent investments at home that put the United States on track to have a clean energy economy with net-zero emissions by 2050. Equally important, because the United States creates only 15 percent of global emissions, I will leverage our economic and moral authority to push the world to determined action. I will rejoin the Paris climate agreement on day one of a Biden administration and then convene a summit of the world’s major carbon emitters, rallying nations to raise their ambitions and push progress further and faster. We will lock in enforceable commitments that will reduce emissions in global shipping and aviation, and we will pursue strong measures to make sure other nations can’t undercut the United States economically as we meet our own commitments. That includes insisting that China—the world’s largest emitter of carbon—stop subsidizing coal exports and outsourcing pollution to other countries by financing billions of dollars’ worth of dirty fossil fuel energy projects through its Belt and Road Initiative.

On nonproliferation and nuclear security, the United States cannot be a credible voice while it is abandoning the deals it negotiated. From Iran to North Korea, Russia to Saudi Arabia, Trump has made the prospect of nuclear proliferation, a new nuclear arms race, and even the use of nuclear weapons more likely. As president, I will renew our commitment to arms control for a new era. The historic Iran nuclear deal that the Obama-Biden administration negotiated blocked Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Yet Trump rashly cast the deal aside, prompting Iran to restart its nuclear program and become more provocative, raising the risk of another disastrous war in the region. I’m under no illusions about the Iranian regime, which has engaged in destabilizing

 

behavior across the Middle East, brutally cracked down on protesters at home, and unjustly detained Americans. But there is a smart way to counter the threat that Iran poses to our interests and a self-defeating way—and Trump has chosen the latter. The recent killing of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, removed a dangerous actor but also raised the prospect of an ever-escalating cycle of violence in the region, and it has prompted Tehran to jettison the nuclear limits established under the nuclear deal. Tehran must return to strict compliance with the deal. If it does so, I would rejoin the agreement and use our renewed commitment to diplomacy to work with our allies to strengthen and extend it, while more effectively pushing back against Iran’s other destabilizing activities.

With North Korea, I will empower our negotiators and jump-start a sustained, coordinated campaign with our allies and others, including China, to advance our shared objective of a denuclearized North Korea. I will also pursue an extension of the New START treaty, an anchor of strategic stability between the United States and Russia, and use that as a foundation for new arms control arrangements. And I will take other steps to demonstrate our commitment to reducing the role of nuclear weapons. As I said in 2017, I believe that the sole purpose of the U.S. nuclear arsenal should be deterring—and, if necessary, retaliating against—a nuclear attack. As president, I will work to put that belief into practice, in consultation with the U.S. military and U.S. allies

When it comes to technologies of the future, such as 5G and artificial intelligence, other nations are devoting national resources to dominating their development and determining how they are used. The United States needs to do more to ensure that these technologies are used to promote greater democracy

and shared prosperity, not to curb freedom and opportunity at home and abroad. For example, a Biden administration will join together with the United States’ democratic allies to develop secure, private-sector-led 5G networks that do not leave any community, rural or low income, behind. As new technologies reshape our economy and society, we must ensure that these engines of

progress are bound by laws and ethics, as we have done at previous technological turning points in history, and avoid a race to the bottom, where the rules of the digital age are written by China and Russia. It is time for the United States to lead in forging a technological future that enables democratic societies to thrive and prosperity to be shared broadly.

These are ambitious goals, and none of them can be reached without the United States—flanked by fellow democracies—leading the way. We are facing adversaries, both externally and internally, hoping to exploit the fissures in our society, undermine our democracy, break up our alliances, and bring about the return of an international system where might determines right. The answer to this threat is more openness, not less: more friendships, more cooperation, more alliances, more democracy.

PREPARED TO LEAD

Putin wants to tell himself, and anyone else he can dupe into believing him, that the liberal idea is “obsolete.” But he does so because he is afraid of its power. No army on earth can match the way the electric idea of liberty passes freely from person to person, jumps borders, transcends languages and cultures, and supercharges communities of ordinary citizens into activists and organizers and change agents.

 

 

 

 

We must once more harness that power and rally the free world to meet the challenges facing the world today. It falls to the United States to lead the way. No other nation has that capacity. No other nation is built on that idea. We have to champion liberty and democracy, reclaim our credibility, and look with unrelenting optimism and determination toward our future.

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