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Background on Foreign Policy


New Foreign Policy Topics for 2014-2015
New Foreign Policy Topics for 2012
Arab Spring
Foreign Aid
The 2012 election has candidates demanding a decrease in foreign aid (or an increase). The actual numbers are listed below; the foreign aid allocation, while controversial, is not economically large: it represents 1.5% of federal expenditures ($47.6 billion out of $1.3 trillion in 2009). Total foreign aid is broken down into military and non-military components, since many would not consider military assistance to be foreign aid but rather war spending by proxy.
Billions / yearEconomic AssistanceMilitary Assistance
2000$13.20 $4.90
2001$12.90 $3.90
2002$15.20 $4.80
2003$19.10 $6.70
2004$27.40 $6.10
2005$29.70 $7.40
2006$27.10 $12.30
2007$27.70 $13.20
2008$33.00 $15.90
2009$33.90 $13.70
United Nations
Russia
Israel & Palestine
Iraq
North Korea
Asian Economic Crisis
The economies of the Asia-Pacific region until 1997 seemed to be rushing towards prosperity on par with the US and Europe. But in July 1997, the currencies of Thailand and Indonesia collapsed, followed by recessions throughout East Asia. The 'Asian Miracle' countries were characterized by limited democracy (usually one-party) in open economies (albeit via political insiders). The current situation is:
  • Japan: In slump since 1990 and in recession since June 1998; Japan outlined an Emergency Economic Package in Nov. 1998.
  • Indonesia: President Suharto resigned after 1998 riots in which 1,200 were killed; elections promised for 1999.
  • East Timor: Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 shortly after Portugal granted it independence. This island of 800,000 people (to Indonesia's 200 million) voted 80% for independence in August 1999. In September, Pres. Habibie invited in an Australian-led, UN-sponsored force of 7,000, including US support groups but no troops, to stop a massacre by the Indonesian army.
  • China: Holding the line on devaluing its currency is credited with stopping total Asian economic collapse. China's economy has been growing by 8-10% annually in recent years, by far the world's fastest growth. They maintain a partially open economy with a Communist government.
  • Asian Tigers: Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan all suffered minor recessions and are currently recovering.
  • ASEAN: Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, and Thailand were economically weaker than the more developed 'Tigers,' and suffered accordingly. Nevertheless, ASEAN admitted 4 new members (Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos), which may open and democratize those countries.

    Other candidates on Foreign Policy: Background on other issues:
    Democratic Incumbents:
    Pres.Barack Obama
    V.P.Joe Biden

    Democratic 2016 Prospects:
    Secy.Hillary Clinton
    Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
    Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
    Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
    Gov.Deval Patrick(MA)

    Republican 2016 Prospects:
    Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
    Amb.John Bolton(MD)
    Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
    Gov.Chris Cristie(NJ)
    Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
    Rep.Newt Gingrich(GA)
    Rep.Peter King(NY)
    Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
    Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
    Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
    Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
    Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
    Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)

    Third Party 2016 Prospects:
    Mayor Mike Bloomberg(I-NYC)
    Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
    Donald Trump(I-NYC)
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