I would restructure U.S. foreign policy in the direction of conflict resolution and away from coercive diplomacy and arm-twisting. I would create a "Department of Peace," as was proposed by the progressive congressman Dennis Kucinich, when he ran for president in 2004.
I would bring our soldiers back from the hundreds and hundreds of bases around the world. You know we still have troops in Japan. Isn't that place a democracy yet?
I would make sure all of their post-troop needs were met with no hassles or complications for them or their families. I would close down the Central Intelligence Agency -- its not really an intelligence gathering body anyway.
I would severely cut the "defense" budget. No nation in the world needs all that "defense!" I would restructure the U.S. armed forces into an actual "defense" force, defending the nation-state itself and no more. I would not concern ourselves with "defending the Persian Gulf states," and so forth, which really means defending U.S. and western access to oil.
We are facing global warming. The price of oil has to go up sharply to get people motivated to use much less of it; and we have to strong-arm the oil companies to pick of the pace in finding and developing green energy sources.
As for addressing this present crisis, I would do many of the things that Franklin Delano Roosevelt did during the thirties, The New Deal. Strange that we don't even learn from our successes.
Those are some of the things I would do. I would pull our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. And I would have the U.S. State Department participate in conflict negotiations -- there needs to be a regional conference to settle Afghanistan and guarantee its peace, prosperity, and security. These participants need to include the much demonized Iran, Turkey, China, Russia, and Pakistan, and perhaps others. There will be no military victory in Afghanistan, the place "where empires go to die."