Dear Mr. President: Mason Experts Offer Foreign Policy Advice

Posted: September 18, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jim Greif

In a weekly series running from now until the election, the Mason Gazette will present the views of Mason faculty experts on a variety of important campaign issues. This week’s focus is on foreign policy.

Susan Allen Nan

Assistant professor, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution

Susan Allen Nan
Susan Allen Nan

“America needs to stop thinking short term about our interests in oil and markets and start thinking long term about our need to build respectful relationships of reciprocity and trust with partners around the world.

“The incoming administration has a chance to reach out worldwide and reintroduce America to our neighbors, presenting an America that does not presume to be the world’s policeman, but offers American support to peace and justice.”

Nan is a scholar-practitioner of conflict resolution. She has engaged long-term in conflict resolution in Eurasia, as well as contributing to a variety of conflict resolution initiatives in Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, South America and Africa. Nan’s current research centers on coordination in conflict resolution. She serves on the board of directors of the Alliance for Conflict Transformation and the Alliance for Peacebuilding.

Dennis J.D. Sandole

Professor, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution

Dennis Sandole
Dennis Sandole

“The U.S. must strive to work multilaterally and lead coalitions of concerned members of the international community to solve complex global problems that are cross-border in nature.

“This includes climate change and global warming, scarce resources, skyrocketing food and petrol prices, the global financial crisis, poverty, failed states, terrorism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, genocide and WMD proliferation.”

Sandole is the author of five books: “Conflict Management and Problem Solving: Interpersonal to International Applications”; “Conflict Resolution Theory and Practice: Integration and Application”; “Capturing the Complexity of Conflict: Dealing with Violent Ethnic Conflicts of the Post-Cold War Era”; “Peace and Security in the Postmodern World: The OSCE and Conflict Resolution”; and “A Handbook of Conflict Analysis and Resolution.”

Susan J. Tolchin

Professor, School of Public Policy

Susan Tolchin
Susan Tolchin

“My advice for the next administration would be to not enter a war without a congressional declaration of war — by a majority vote of Congress, just as the Constitution says.

“One of the major foreign policy problems the country is facing is the lack of foreign partners in policy and the blind acceptance of presidential power in this area, including the opting out of our treaty obligations without any involvement from the Senate. The negative image of the United States throughout the world is also hampering our foreign policy efforts.”

Tolchin is the author of “The Angry American — How Voter Rage Is Changing the Nation” and coauthor of “Glass Houses: Congressional Ethics and the Politics of Venom.” Her latest co-written book is “A World Ignited — How Apostles of Ethnic, Religious and Racial Hatred Torch the Globe.”

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