President Trump’s first State of the Union speech made it evident that his “America First” foreign policy will eschew diplomacy, multilateralism, free trade, and protection of refugees and migrants. This is why now, more than ever, those within the broader liberty movement should support U.S. involvement in the U.N. and other multinational institutions.
The U.S. has a pivotal role in this as a permanent Security Council member, and wields great power in promoting American values on the global stage. As of 2016, Pew research shows that 64 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the UN, whereas 29 percent have an unfavorable one. In terms of actual support of active U.S. involvement within the UN, a 2017 poll by the the non-partisan Better World Campaign, which works to strengthen US engagement inside the UN, shows that 88 percent of Americans support an active role of the U.S. within the UN to solve difficult global challenges.
First, let’s dispel the notion that the UN is a perfect system, or that the U.S. will agree to support every initiative within the organization. It is by no means a zero sum game, and is, in fact, the exact opposite. If anything we should use our involvement with the UN to promote American values, democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. There’s no better example to show that off in the global hub that is New York City where the U.N. headquarters is located.
It’s undeniable that there are a number of problematic issues internally within the UN on things such as accountability, corruption, and questionable membership of countries in certain committees. A lack of U.S. involvement, however, does not help for increased multilateralism and institutional reform; rather, it will greatly exacerbate it and leaves a gaping void of U.S. leadership in its stead.
Save some small to medium conflicts there has been no world war since World War II, and most importantly no nuclear war since…