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John Kerry Has “A Problem” With “America First”

January 10, 2017

While speaking at the U.S. Institute of Peace’s “Passing the Baton” conference on Tuesday, outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry spoke critically of President-elect Trump’s “America First” policies and rhetoric, calling them problematic.

“I worry about this next administration when they talk about America First,” Kerry said.

Kerry spoke of his belief that the United States needs to be more involved in the policies and aid of countries around the world.

“I believe we need urgently a new Marshall Plan, which is focused on the most critical states in world, in certain locations, particularly the Middle East, North Africa, South Central Asia,” Kerry said, referring to the European Recovery Program (ERP) which was a U.S. aid program to rebuild western Europe after the second World War.

In looking to solutions on how to deal with the Syrian crisis, he said that the solution was a world-wide policy involving all developed countries and beyond.

“I decided to try to put together the International Syria Support Group and bring people to the table and say, ‘We have got to end the war in Syria.’ And the solution to the problem of all these refugees, in my judgment, is a macro policy that we need to embrace – all of us in the developed world and developing world even.”

Kerry spoke about how in a recent conversation with a North African leader, Islamic terrorists were a problem within their Muslim community because extremists were paying money for children in order to indoctrinate them at a young age and recruit them as the next wave of terrorists. Kerry said that a situation like that is why America needs to do more intervention.

“If we have a whole bunch of countries in which a bunch of people are simply going to be left to the devices of people who have a very different mission from the rest of us,” Kerry said, “we’re going to inherit that, because of our role of leadership, because there are no borders, because we’ve seen already what happens with the internet and how you can proselytize and mobilize and inspire.”

The outgoing Secretary of State then spoke about “co-developing” around the world and how China has agreed to work with the United States.

“By the way, China has agreed to cooperate with us on co-development in the world. This is another defining thing that has come out of this management of our relationship. So we could actually co-develop in certain places and leverage, I think, other countries to come to the table and be involved,” Kerry said.

“But no one is immune from this. We need to work together to come up with better pedagogy for teaching, to get more teachers, to get more health structure in place in countries, because that builds stability. And I think that that’s the way we will make the greatest difference to our security in the long run,” he continued.