January 17, 2012
Development, Diplomacy Alongside Defense Key to National and Economic Security
Columbia, SC — South Carolina leaders from the business, military, faith and non-profit communities came together today for a foreign policy forum with a Republican Presidential candidate on America’s role in the world and the importance of development and diplomacy, alongside defense, to our security and prosperity.
Hosted by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, University of South Carolina, Columbia World Affairs Council, and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, the event began with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee stressing how critical economic development programs and fighting global poverty are to our national security.
Earlier this month, Huckabee stated, “If America wants to be known only as a country that puts bombs in neighborhoods, then that’s one thing, but I think America also wants to be known as a country that puts food in the mouths of children in extreme poverty. So that as children grow up their image, their vision, their understanding of who Americans are is that Americans are the ones who saved our lives and Americans are the ones that our friends.”
Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich spoke on the importance of America’s engagement with the world. Following the addresses, the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody moderated a question and answer period with Governor Huckabee, taking questions from the audience on the subject of American’s global leadership.
With over half a million jobs in South Carolina tied to trade and over $20 billion in exports, South Carolinians know that to be competitive in today’s global economy we have to be engaged with the world. South Carolina is a national leader in foreign investment, making American engagement in the world a critical strategic issue for the Palmetto State.
“As our nation faces daunting challenges in today’s world, it is critical we continue to provide leadership across the globe,” said Ambassador David Wilkins, Co-Chair of the USGLC’s South Carolina Advisory Committee. “This is essential to strengthening our economy here in South Carolina and to our national security. It also means we are living up to our most fundamental values as Americans.”
“South Carolina residents will play a critical role in selecting the next President of the United States, and they understand the important role development & diplomacy play in keeping our nation safe and creating jobs,” said USGLC Executive Director Liz Schrayer. “With just days to go before ballots are cast, we call on all Presidential candidates to stand up for a smart power approach to U.S. foreign policy.”
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic and community leaders in all 50 states who support a smart power approach of elevating development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.