By CATHY ANN SCHMIT
Now is the time for the United States to take action in foreign policy, to focus broadly on foreign issues and to aid all nations in foreign affairs, said Barbara Crossette, United Nations bureau chief for The New York Times, at the Communications Department symposium Thursday.
“The United States is known for its problem-solving skills, generosity and its ability to look outward,” Crossette said.
We cannot back down; we have the responsibility and the ability, she said.
The United States should be focused on trying to make the world a better place and should give anything it can and that is not necessarily money, Crossette said.
“What we need is a long-term effort, which is better than running from emergency to emergency,” Crossette said.
The problem is that the United States is falling away from everyday foreign policy. It does not want to help regularly; instead, it is geared more toward crisis management, she said.
“Often we act by stepping back instead of stepping forward,” Crossette said.
One problem in keeping the United States from making foreign progress is that policy is based on fragmented policies and selected facts, she said.
More information and a deeper understanding about foreign affairs is needed from both the general public and foreign group leaders, Crossette said.
Community agendas often influence foreign policy, but local politics’ influence causes tunnel vision, Crossette said.
“The United States needs the world more than ever before and we know more than ever before because of technology,” she said.