print-only banner
The White House Skip Main Navigation
 Home > News & Policies > Policies in Focus

Promoting Peace and Democracy - and Acts of Mercy

“Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe – because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty. As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment, and violence ready for export. And with the spread of weapons that can bring catastrophic harm to our country and to our friends, it would be reckless to accept the status quo. Therefore, the United States has adopted a new policy, a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East. This strategy requires the same persistence and energy and idealism we have shown before. And it will yield the same results. As in Europe, as in Asia, as in every region of the world, the advance of freedom leads to peace. The advance of freedom is the calling of our time; it is the calling of our country.”

– President George W. Bush, November 6, 2003

The Accomplishments

Promoting Democracy

  • Today, more than fifty million people who lived under brutal and backward regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq are on the road to democracy. Iraq is on its way to becoming the first democratic nation in the Arab Middle East.
  • President Bush has made a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East a cornerstone of his foreign policy. This means supporting the rise of democracy, and the hope and progress that democracy brings, as the alternative to hatred and terror.
  • In 2004, President Bush led the G-8 in establishing a historic partnership with the Broader Middle East and North Africa to advance freedom, democracy, and prosperity in the region. The G-8 will expand their existing efforts and launch new initiatives to support democracy, literacy, entrepreneurship and vocational training, as well as small business financing and development.
  • President Bush has proposed doubling the budget of the National Endowment for Democracy to focus its new work on the development of free elections, free markets, free press, and free labor unions in the Middle East.
  • To cut through the barriers of hateful propaganda, the Voice of America and other broadcast services are expanding their programming in Arabic and Persian, and a new television service is providing news and information across the region.
Arms Control
  • President Bush signed a treaty with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to reduce nuclear stockpiles by two-thirds over 10 years.
  • The United States and its allies obtained a commitment from Libya to abandon its chemical and nuclear weapons programs.
  • The United States and its allies interrupted a production network of weapons parts for Libya, Iran, and North Korea.
Averting Conflicts
  • In 2002, American diplomatic intervention helped defuse a possible nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan.
  • Through the President’s initiative, the United States brought Japan, South Korea, China, and Russia to the table for discussions with North Korea on ending Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. This multilateral approach has increased pressure on Pyongyang to eliminate verifiably its nuclear weapons program.
  • In 2003, American diplomatic and military leadership averted a greater conflict in Liberia. The President approved the use of the American military to support an African security force in Liberia; helped ensure a peaceful transition of power; and is now providing needed resources to Liberia.
Combating the Global AIDS Pandemic
  • In his 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush proposed the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a historic plan to address the AIDS pandemic. This constitutes the largest single up-front commitment in history for an international public health initiative involving a specific disease.
  • The President committed $15 billion, including $10 billion in new money, over five years to treat at least two million patients with life-extending drugs and prevent seven million new infections in the most afflicted nations of Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. His plan will also care for 10 million HIV-infected and HIV-affected individuals, including AIDS orphans.
  • During the last three years, America has given more international AIDS assistance than the rest of the world’s donor governments combined.
  • President Bush led the G-8 effort to establish a Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise to coordinate a worldwide effort to find an HIV vaccine and announced plans also to establish a second HIV Vaccine Research and Development Center in the United States. The United States is committed to spending over a half-billion dollars a year on vaccine research.
  • The President has emphasized the successful “ABC” (Abstain, Be Faithful, Use Condoms) approach in preventing the sexual transmission of AIDS.
Providing Assistance to Nations in Need
  • In March 2002, President Bush announced the Millennium Challenge Account, which proposed a 50 percent increase in America’s core development assistance by 2006 and tied this record increase in aid to political, legal, and economic reforms in the recipient countries. The Millennium Challenge Account provides the largest increase in US development assistance since the Marshall Plan.
  • The President has advanced a nearly $1 billion initiative to provide clean drinking water to 50 million people in the developing world. The Administration also proposed the Initiative to End Hunger in Africa by widening the use of new high-yield bio-crops.
  • President Bush signed an extended African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which has demonstrated the power of free markets to improve lives in both the United States and Africa. By reducing barriers to trade, the AGOA Acceleration Act will increase exports, create jobs, and expand opportunity for Africans and Americans alike. It gives American businesses greater confidence to invest in Africa, and encourages African nations to reform their economies and governments to take advantage of the opportunities that AGOA provides.
  • Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the United States is using sanctions against governments to discourage human trafficking. President Bush is committing $50 million to support the good work of organizations that are rescuing women and children from sexual slavery and slave labor, and giving them shelter, medical treatment, and the hope of a new life. Since 2001 the Administration has provided more than $295 million to support anti-trafficking programs in more than 120 countries.