Die Rede von US-Präsident Barack Obama bei der traditionellen Abschlusszeremonie der Militärakademie West Point am (heutigen) Mittwoch legen wir uns am besten auf Wiedervorlage. Obama bekräftigte darin den Anspruch der Supermacht USA, als unverzichtbare Nation nicht nur im eigenen Interesse, sondern sozusagen im Weltinteresse ihre Ansprüche durchzusetzen. Aber eben auch, dabei nicht nur auf militärische Gewalt zu setzen – nach einem Jahrzehnt der Kriege, in denen sich die Supermacht engagiert hat.
Die Rede ist natürlich überwiegend nach innen gerichtet. Auch gegen den politischen Widerstand gegen die Absicht, auf internationale Institutionen zu setzen. Ebenso aber auch mit der Rechtfertigung von gezielten Tötungen mit Drohnen bei einer near certainty of no civilian casualties. Mit anderen Worten, auch aus der Rede: International opinion matters, but America should never ask permission to protect our people, our homeland, or our way of life.
Die komplette Rede zum Nachlesen beim Weißen Haus hier; einige Passagen nachfolgend:
In fact, by most measures, America has rarely been stronger relative to the rest of the world. Those who argue otherwise — who suggest that America is in decline, or has seen its global leadership slip away — are either misreading history or engaged in partisan politics. Think about it. Our military has no peer. The odds of a direct threat against us by any nation are low and do not come close to the dangers we faced during the Cold War.
Meanwhile, our economy remains the most dynamic on Earth; our businesses the most innovative. Each year, we grow more energy independent. From Europe to Asia, we are the hub of alliances unrivaled in the history of nations. America continues to attract striving immigrants. The values of our founding inspire leaders in parliaments and new movements in public squares around the globe. And when a typhoon hits the Philippines, or schoolgirls are kidnapped in Nigeria, or masked men occupy a building in Ukraine, it is America that the world looks to for help. (Applause.) So the United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come.
But to say that we have an interest in pursuing peace and freedom beyond our borders is not to say that every problem has a military solution. Since World War II, some of our most costly mistakes came not from our restraint, but from our willingness to rush into military adventures without thinking through the consequences — without building international support and legitimacy for our action; without leveling with the American people about the sacrifices required. Tough talk often draws headlines, but war rarely conforms to slogans. As General Eisenhower, someone with hard-earned knowledge on this subject, said at this ceremony in 1947: “War is mankind’s most tragic and stupid folly; to seek or advise its deliberate provocation is a black crime against all men.”
Here’s my bottom line: America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will. The military that you have joined is and always will be the backbone of that leadership. But U.S. military action cannot be the only — or even primary — component of our leadership in every instance. Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail. And because the costs associated with military action are so high, you should expect every civilian leader — and especially your Commander-in-Chief — to be clear about how that awesome power should be used.
So let me spend the rest of my time describing my vision for how the United States of America and our military should lead in the years to come, for you will be part of that leadership.
First, let me repeat a principle I put forward at the outset of my presidency: The United States will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it — when our people are threatened, when our livelihoods are at stake, when the security of our allies is in danger. In these circumstances, we still need to ask tough questions about whether our actions are proportional and effective and just. International opinion matters, but America should never ask permission to protect our people, our homeland, or our way of life. (Applause.)
On the other hand, when issues of global concern do not pose a direct threat to the United States, when such issues are at stake — when crises arise that stir our conscience or push the world in a more dangerous direction but do not directly threaten us — then the threshold for military action must be higher. In such circumstances, we should not go it alone. Instead, we must mobilize allies and partners to take collective action. We have to broaden our tools to include diplomacy and development; sanctions and isolation; appeals to international law; and, if just, necessary and effective, multilateral military action. In such circumstances, we have to work with others because collective action in these circumstances is more likely to succeed, more likely to be sustained, less likely to lead to costly mistakes.
This leads to my second point: For the foreseeable future, the most direct threat to America at home and abroad remains terrorism. But a strategy that involves invading every country that harbors terrorist networks is naïve and unsustainable. I believe we must shift our counterterrorism strategy — drawing on the successes and shortcomings of our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan — to more effectively partner with countries where terrorist networks seek a foothold.
But as I said last year, in taking direct action we must uphold standards that reflect our values. That means taking strikes only when we face a continuing, imminent threat, and only where there is no certainty — there is near certainty of no civilian casualties. For our actions should meet a simple test: We must not create more enemies than we take off the battlefield.
I also believe we must be more transparent about both the basis of our counterterrorism actions and the manner in which they are carried out. We have to be able to explain them publicly, whether it is drone strikes or training partners. I will increasingly turn to our military to take the lead and provide information to the public about our efforts. Our intelligence community has done outstanding work, and we have to continue to protect sources and methods. But when we cannot explain our efforts clearly and publicly, we face terrorist propaganda and international suspicion, we erode legitimacy with our partners and our people, and we reduce accountability in our own government.
And this issue of transparency is directly relevant to a third aspect of American leadership, and that is our effort to strengthen and enforce international order.
After World War II, America had the wisdom to shape institutions to keep the peace and support human progress — from NATO and the United Nations, to the World Bank and IMF. These institutions are not perfect, but they have been a force multiplier. They reduce the need for unilateral American action and increase restraint among other nations.
Now, just as the world has changed, this architecture must change as well. At the height of the Cold War, President Kennedy spoke about the need for a peace based upon, “a gradual evolution in human institutions.” And evolving these international institutions to meet the demands of today must be a critical part of American leadership.
(Foto via NATO Source on Twitter)