, the blog of Foreign Policy
magazine, used the occasion of George W. Bush's 61st birthday (7/6/07) to print a list of things his Administration has done right in U.S. foreign policy
. As they wrote, "Passport is usually pretty critical of the Prez. So for a change of pace and out of respect for the man's special day, here are the top ten things Bush and his team have gotten right during his time in office. No wisecracks, I promise."
Here, I took their list and expanded on each item.
1. Boosting Aid to Africa Threefold
Photo: Stanley Foundation/Kristin McHugh
from the Washington Post
says, "The president has tripled direct humanitarian and development aid to the world's most impoverished continent since taking office and recently vowed to double that increased amount by 2010 -- to nearly $9 billion."
3. Taking Down the A.Q. Khan Nuclear Proliferation NetworkA.Q. Kahn
is considered the father of Pakistan's nuclear program. But several years ago, he confessed to leaking nuclear know-how and materials to Iran and Libya. Security experts suspect he also helped other countries including North Korea. Kahn is under house arrest in Pakistan. Critics
say the Bush Administration should have acted faster on the Khan situation.
4. Getting Libya To Give Up Its WMD Programs And Renounce Terrorism
In late 2003, President Bush announced
that "quiet diplomacy" had led to a breakthrough with Libya. Libya agreed to give up all weapons of mass destruction programs and allow international inspection of suspected weapons sites. The president has implied that Libya agreed to all this after seing how the United States reacted to Iraq's suspected weapons program. Critics
paint a different picture.
5. Turning Independent-Minded India Into a Strategic Ally
Photo: Stanley Foundation/FSN
6. After a Rough Start, Sticking To a Pragmatic China Policy
There are no easy choices
for the United States when it comes to China. Our interests in Chinese human rights
, labor rights, and foreign involvement
compete with the fact that China is a major American customer and big parts of America's foreign debt are held by China. The administration has done what it can to steer a middle course... which is often satisfying to no one
7. Getting North Korea To Shut Down Its Nuclear Reactor (Eventually)
Photo: Getty/Chung Sung-Jun
8. Decapitating Al Qaeda's Top Leadership And Not Having a 2nd 9/11
Proving why something didn't
happen is difficult, but we have to acknowledge that there has not been another 9/11 level attack on America. And many members of Al Qaeda
are no longer with us.
9. Giving Immigration Reform The Old College Try
The president's immigration reform bill ran into a buzzsaw of criticism
from the right and the left. The bill eventually failed (twice), and now we are left with the same old broken system. The About Guides to Immigration have full coverage
10. Challenging His Party On Harmful Ag Subsidies While Pushing Free Trade
The United States has seriously reduced the subsidies
it pays to farmers and pushed for worldwide reductions to level the playing field for international trade.