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
MINNEAPOLIS—Rep. Ilhan Omar released the following statement on the ongoing situation in Ethiopia.
“My first trip abroad as a Member of Congress was to Ethiopia. I am also entering my second term as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the subcommittee with jurisdiction over Africa and human rights. This year, I am honored to be chosen as the Vice Chair of the subcommittee. The situation in Ethiopia is deeply alarming on many levels, and I have been following it extremely closely.
WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was named Vice Chair of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights. This subcommittee has jurisdiction over disaster assistance; upholding and protecting human rights; and oversight of international health issues, maternal health and child survival, the American Red Cross, the Peace Corps, and regional lending institutions.
Rep. Omar previously served as a member on the subcommittee during the 116th Congress.
WASHINGTON—Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Jesús G. “Chuy” García (D-IL) today led a letter urging President Biden to take on a broader analysis of the humanitarian impacts of sanctions and to reconsider sanctions that are impeding COVID relief.
The letter was also signed by Senator Ed Markey and Reps. Bass, Blumenauer, Bush, Castro, Cicilline, Espaillat, Grijalva, Hank Johnson, Barbara Lee, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Jefferies, Jones, Khanna, McGovern, Moore, Ocasio-Cortez, Pocan, Pressley, Schakowsky, Tlaib, and Welch.
MINNEAPOLIS—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released the following statement on the reports of a coup in Burma.
“My heart is with the Burmese people, especially the Rohingya population, who have already suffered so much.
“Until 2011, the Burmese people suffered under a five-decade military dictatorship, only to have their hopes for a peaceful democracy dashed. Since 2017, thousands of Rohingya have been forcibly removed from their homes by the Burmese military in what can only be called a genocide. Many fled to neighboring Bangladesh.
MINNEAPOLIS— Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) issued the following Donald Trump’s pardon of four Blackwater contractors convicted of killing 14 civilians in Iraq in 2007.
“This is a dark day for our country. Private Blackwater mercenaries Nicholas Slatten, Paul Alvin Slough, Evan Shawn Liberty, and Dustin Laurent Heard are war criminals.
WASHINGTON— Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) issued the following statement on the agreement on a coronavirus relief package and end of year spending bill, which she plans to support.
MINNEAPOLIS— Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released an report of her accomplishments in her first term, along with an end-of-year op-ed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
These are difficult times. The coronavirus pandemic has touched so many of us directly. And many more have experienced the economic pain of layoffs or closed businesses. I lost my father to COVID-19 complications and experienced unbearable heartbreak like so many of you.
WASHINGTON– Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) introduced a resolution today to condemn police violence worldwide. The resolution calls on Congress to stand with peaceful protesters around the world in their calls for justice and accountability for police brutality.
This month, we begin the transition away from a Trump era and toward a new presidency based on peace and cooperation. There is no area where this renewed vision is needed more than foreign policy. Trump has taunted, mocked, and burned bridges with our allies, while simultaneously cozying up to some of the most brutal dictatorial regimes around the world—especially those in the oil-rich Middle East. The damage done by the Trump administration runs deep, and it will take hard work and a clear understanding of the extent of the damage to fix it.