[Global Focus: United States Foreign Policy at the Turn of the Millennium]

Article excerpt

New York: St. Martin's, 2000, xxv, 340pp, US$65 cloth, US$19.95 paper, (ISBN 0-312-22581-4)

Global Focus is a product of the innovative Foreign Policy in Focus project, a joint endeavour of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC, and the Interhemispheric Resource Center in New Mexico. The objectives of the project are to critique United States foreign policy and to propose an alternative foreign policy agenda through policy briefs, a website, an electronic listserve, and books.

The strength of Global Focus lies in its comprehensive critiques of existing policy. The first half of the volume covers a wide range of issues: the military-industrial complex, United States foreign economic policy, multilateralism and international institutions, and environmental policy. The second half of the book is area specific, and critiques United States policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean, Western and eastern Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Pacific region.

The first chapter, by Robert Borosage, considers the United States budget in some detail and sets the tone for the book. Although such a chapter could easily be tedious, that is hardly the case in this instance. Borosage makes a compelling case for drastic cutbacks in military spending. He notes that the United States spends US$276 billion per year on military expenditures (about 15 per cent of its gross domestic product) or one third of the world's total military expenditures. Borosage argues that these expenditures are both unnecessary and counterproductive. He proposes that the United States devote the same percentage of its GDP to the military as the other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (on average). …