I believe in an inclusive foreign policy — one that centers on human rights, justice and peace as the pillars of America’s engagement in the world, one that brings our troops home and truly makes military action a last resort.
This means reorienting our foreign affairs to focus on diplomacy and economic and cultural engagement. At a time when we spend more on our military than the next seven countries combined, our global armed presence is often the most immediate contact people in the developing world have with the United States. I am a strong advocate for drawing down our out- of-control defense spending and reinvesting those resources back into our local communities. We must also demilitarize our foreign policy by repealing the 2001 AUMF, and reclaiming Congress’s constitutional authority over war powers. Doing so is the only way to end our state of perpetual and endless war, and avoid military-use as a last resort in the future.
Creating an inclusive foreign policy also means reconsidering harmful sanctions and other interventionist policies that interfere with democratically-elected governments. Academic research has shown that sanctions achieve their desired goals only about a third of the time and in the worst-case scenario, they can hurt people of a country – generally the very people we’re purporting to help – without making a dent in the country’s behavior. In Congress, I am pushing to end the use of sanctions and embargoes as a means of punishment and control, and instead focus instead on diplomatic solutions with a long-term strategic vision.
I also feel strongly that our foreign policy should reflect our domestic values. That is why I strongly advocate for international programs that address the climate crisis, increase economic opportunity, end mass incarceration and protect vulnerable populations, just as I do domestically. These are principles that must extend not only to our foreign policies but to the trade agreements we enter into, avoiding any economic bargains that undermine our labor and environmental standards at home or abroad. Once we fully implement these policies, we can begin to repair the harm that’s been done, restore America’s broken image, and rebuild in diplomatic relationships.
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More on Foreign Policy
WASHINGTON–Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) sponsored six amendments that passed yesterday in the State, Foreign Operations, Agriculture, Rural Development, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, the House’s first minibus of the 2021 fiscal year appropriations bill—and an additional amendment through the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released the following statement after the House passage of the NO BAN Act, legislation to repeal all versions of President Trump’s travel bans and change the law to ensure no future President can implement a similar ban without evidence.
WASHINGTON—Today, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) sent a letter urging USAID to rescind its appointment of Mark Kevin Floyd as USAID Religious Freedom Advisor. Mr. Floyd has a proven track record of prejudice towards those of the Islamic faith and Muslim majority countries, discrimination that is antithetical to USAID’s mission of global development and religious freedom:
WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) led a letter to Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary Michael Pompeo today calling for the Administration to provide a briefing for members on the justifications of the recently announced arms sales to the Philippines, Egypt, India, Hungary, and the United Arab Emirates. The letter also calls for a hold on all arms sales until Congress has the opportunity to review them carefully.
WASHINGTON— Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) led a letter to General Stephen J. Townsend today calling for increased transparency and public accountability of civilian causalities from the United States Defense Department’s Africa Command (AFRICOM). The letter was signed by Rep. Adam Smith, Chair, House Committee on Armed Services; Rep. Adam Schiff, Chair, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; Rep. Eliot Engel, Chair, House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Rep. André Carson, Chair, Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation; Rep.
MINNEAPOLIS—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released the following statement after Somalia labeled Voice of America journalist Harun Maruf a “threat” to security.
WASHINGTON— Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) led Members of Congress on a series of letters to the CEOs of American companies today, calling on them to stop the use of forced labor of the Uyghur Muslim population in China. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute has painstakingly tracked both forced transfers of workers from Xinjiang to other parts of China, and the use of Uyghur labor in factories within Xinjiang.
WASHINGTON -- Today, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) unveiled the Pathway to PEACE (Progressive, Equitable, and Constructive Engagement), a package of seven bills aimed at reorienting U.S. foreign policy. The package outlines a bold progressive vision to rethink the country’s approach to foreign policy by centering human rights, justice and peace as the pillars of America’s engagement in the world, and making military action a last resort.