Overcoming Foreign-Policy Disunity

by PSA Staff | November 28th, 2012 | |Subscribe

Richard Lugar is a Senator for Indiana who serves as the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is one of the authors of the highly celebrated Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. This article was originally published in the National Interest.

 

Overcoming Foreign-Policy Disunity

November 20, 2012

I tend to resist hyperbolic assessments of the condition of American society. But when I reflect on what is different now from when I entered politics, it is clear that partisan divisions are much sharper than they were in past decades.

These divisions routinely affect U.S. foreign policy in ways that they rarely did in years past. It was never strictly the case that “politics stopped at the water’s edge.” During the Cold War and the Vietnam War, for example, it was common for some candidates to be attacked as being soft on Communism and others to be attacked as warmongers. But there almost always was an undercurrent of bipartisanship and communication between party leaders on national security issues that enabled action when it was needed.

That is not the case today. In recent years, the U.S. Congress has been unable to act decisively on foreign policy, or, in many cases, even debate international issues. Faced with reflexive partisan roadblocks and the growing number of unresolvable hot button issues that get attached to foreign policy bills, Congress has retreated from legislation dealing with foreign policy.

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Civil Discourse and the Clash of Ideas

by PSA Staff | November 5th, 2012 | |Subscribe

Lee Hamilton is the Co-chair of PSA’s Advisory Board and Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years. You can find the original article here.

Civil Discourse and the Clash of Ideas

The election of 2012 has called attention to how difficult it is for  Americans to talk reasonably with one another about public policy  challenges. Our civic dialogue — how we sort through issues and reason  with one another — is too often lamentable.

We live in a politically divided country. Congress, which ought to  serve as the forum where politicians of diverse views find common  ground, is instead riven by ideological disagreements. There’s no real  discourse, just the two parties hammering at each other in a  mean-spirited, strident tone. Small wonder the public holds Congress in  such low esteem.

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All blog posts are independently produced by their authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of PSA. Across the Aisle serves as a bipartisan forum for productive discussion of national security and foreign affairs topics.