The U.S. public holds a general internationalist sentiment, but President Bush faces a real challenge in translating that sentiment into a truly bipartisan foreign policy, says Senator Joseph Biden. The senator sees such bipartisanship as "not only possible, but necessary to advance our national interests." Biden, the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1987 to 1995. To pursue an active international agenda, and to keep the peace, we need both a well-trained and well equipped military and diplomatic corps. Indeed, the best way to avoid over-using our armed forces is to adequately support our diplomatic corps and our intelligence capabilities. Modest increases in recent years have not made up for deep cuts earlier in the decade. We spend just one percent of our national budget on foreign affairs; we can afford more, but the President and Secretary Powell must make the case for it with Congress and the American public. The foreign policy agenda is, of course, longer than this short list. But the tone that President Bush sets on these issues in the next few months will do much to determine the tenor of the foreign policy debate for the next four years. The American people are watching to see if Senator Vandenberg's famous maxim can become more than a slogan.
U.S. National Security: The Bush Team: U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda: An Electronic Journal of the U.S. Department of State, v.6, no.1, p. 22-24