SUNDANCE It seems any new president of the United States would benefit from a good dose of solid foreign policy advice.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright feels that way. In discussing her newest book, "Memo to the President Elect: How we can restore America's reputation and leadership," with a group gathered Saturday at the Sundance Resort, she outlined exactly what she said should be at the forefront of any U.S president elect's foreign policy agenda, Democrat or Republican.
Albright received a personal introduction by filmmaker Robert Redford himself, whom she called her permanent heartthrob.
"Her perspective and her personal capacity is so broad, and so deep, and so full of really smart things," Redford said. "That I think that we're all going to benefit from that."
While the book takes the form of a memo to be read by the president-elect on election night in November, her actual intention is slightly different, thus the January 2008 release of the book.
"The discussion around the book helps to frame what the debate is on national security issues," she said.
While she said the beginning of the book focuses on how a president should set up the White House and the presidency, the balance of the book is divided into five big umbrella issues that she said will face the next president. The first issue is how to fight terrorism.
"I think that the Bush presidency has been disastrous," she said, "And I have said that the war in Iraq will probably go down in history as the greatest disaster in American foreign policy."
Her second issue facing the president is how to deal with what Albright says is a broken nonproliferation system. With an increasing amount of countries seeking for nuclear capabilities, she says something must be done.
"Don't want the worst weapons in the hands of the worst people," she said.
Albright said that by trying to impose democracy in Iraq, which she called an oxymoron, she said the U.S. has gone against the fundamental nature of democracy itself. That, she says, leads to the third issue, which is to carry the good name of democracy.
"It isn't that I care whether people like us or not," she said. "But if you are going to protect America's interests which is what the job of the president is other countries, other peoples, have to have a certain sense of respect for us, and that's gone."
Albright says there is a growing gap between the rich and the poor caused by globalization, leading to her fourth issue, which consists of dealing with the negative aspects of globalization.
"You can't stop globalization," she said "But it does have to be managed and the worst parts of it mitigated."
She summarized her final point in the book as, "that whole bundle of issues dealing with global warming, climate change and energy security."Albright said she gave a copy of the book to Sen. Barack Obama earlier in the week, but has yet to give a copy to Sen. John McCain.
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