Response to the 2004 State of the Union Address

January 21, 2004

In the 2004 State of the Union address, President Bush set out for the American people, indeed for the world, his vision of "A Nation with a Mission." Last year, President Bush announced in his State of Union address a new $15 billion initiative to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa and the Caribbean. This year, there was no mention of the U.S. role in fostering prosperity in the world's poor countries. Despite dedicating a large portion of his address to foreign policy, President Bush’s focus on the international arena was too narrow. A foreign policy agenda focused only on the war on terror does little to address the underlying causes of long-term global instability. What will be our resolve and strategy in the war on global poverty? Certainly poverty does not cause terrorism, but the lack of economic, social and political opportunity faced by billions of the world’s citizens creates the fertile ground in which seeds of anger and terror can grow.

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.