Background on the candidate’s statements, positions, and record on diplomacy, global development, and America’s role the world

On U.S. global leadership:

  • An author, lecturer, and activist, Marianne Williamson has laid out a foreign policy vision rooted in peacebuilding and conflict-prevention, proposing to reinvest in global conflict prevention through “mediation, diplomacy, and effective on-the-ground programs.”
  • She has highlighted the importance of foreign assistance in building up other nations and pledged to “increase support for the USAID” as a demonstration of the hope that America “will once again be seen as a beacon of hope and possibility to the world’s most desperate people.”

On diplomacy, global development, and national security:

  • Williamson has called for elevating diplomacy and development in America’s national security, saying: “While our military must be prepared to wage war, our State Department is charged — or should be charged — with waging peace.”
  • On the role of the State Department, she has stated, “From diplomacy to development to mediation, it is the State Department that proactively creates conditions that either increase or decrease the possibility of violent conflict. Yet the actual peace-building agencies within the State Department have a combined budget of less than $1B.”
  • On the issue of budget and resources, she has spoken out on the importance of “where you spend your money and where you put your resources” noting that as a country “we do not spend money and put our resources behind the factors that create peace”.
  • As president, she has said she will “appoint a world class humanitarian and diplomat as Secretary of State” and “will increase the budget of the State Department’s peace-building agencies.”
  • She has long voiced concern for global poverty, saying “12,000 children starve every day, yet for 1/7 of America’s yearly defense budget, we could eradicate global poverty over the next ten years.” She serves on the board of RESULTS, a nonprofit advocacy group working to eradicate global poverty.
  • Williamson also founded the Peace Alliance, which works on “peacebuilding approaches to international conflict and atrocity prevention in hotspots through mediation, diplomacy, and effective on-the-ground programs.” The organization has advocated for the State Department and foreign operations to be fully funded and has called for the establishment of a Department of Peace.
  • Williamson has characterized the Marshall Plan as the U.S.’s greatest foreign policy achievement since World War II.
  • Noting that it’s in America’s national security interests to invest in Africa, Williamson has called for an increased focus on the continent’s growing population because “failing states can become grounds for terrorist groups such as Boko Haram in northern Nigeria, for epidemics as was seen with the Ebola virus in Eastern Congo or sources of refugees seeking political asylum.”

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