Bill Richardson Spells Out New Criteria for U.S. Intervention in the Middle East

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Former Governor of New Mexico, Energy Secretary and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Bill Richardson, expressed concerns over rebel forces in Libya in an exclusive interview with Rebecca Costa, host of The Costa Report.

Former Governor of New Mexico, Energy Secretary and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Bill Richardson, expressed concerns over rebel forces in Libya in an exclusive interview with Rebecca Costa, host of The Costa Report.

Richardson remarked, “I’m concerned about the rebels. They are people we (the United States) support – but there’s a possibility some Al Qaeda elements are in there. We don’t know.” He continued, “We conducted air strikes to avert a humanitarian disaster. I believe the intervention was justified . . . but we’re already in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Libya) is a NATO out-of-area problem. The Arab League and the Organization of African Unity could be doing more . . .”

When asked about criteria the United States should use to determine whether to intervene in uprisings similar to those in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, Richardson admonished pre-Obama administrations for “Cowboy foreign policy - where we shoot first and ask questions later.”
He offered three criteria which, in his view, must be met prior to U.S. action abroad.

The first benchmark is whether U. S. intervention would “avert a humanitarian disaster.” In the case of Libya, Richardson is unambiguous. “It did,” he said. “There was already a humanitarian disaster.” According to Richardson, the second requirement is whether a U.S. action “is justified by international standing.” With regards to Libya, Richardson said, “The fact that the United Nations Security Council approved military measures gives it (United States intervention) justification.” The final criteria is collaboration. “It can’t be one nation acting alone,” he said. From Richardson’s perspective, Libya is a good example, “It’s the United States with NATO in a coalition effort.”

When asked about rumors that Richardson may return to Washington to assist in the Middle East, he replied that he is enjoying life as a civilian. “You know I worked in government for thirty straight years. . .but if the President asks you to do something, you have to consider it. I never say never.” For now, Richardson is hard at work establishing a “Foreign Policy Center” in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The center would “focus on hostage rescues, trouble spots in North Korea, Egypt, and Cuba and United States’ relationship with Latin America.”    

The full interview with Bill Richardson is available at http://www.rebeccacosta.com, KSCO.com and iTunes.

About Bill Richardson

Bill Richardson served as Governor of New Mexico for eight years between 2003-2011. Before becoming Governor, Richardson was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations and Energy Secretary under President Bill Clinton. Richardson also served in the United States Congress for fourteen years from 1983 to 1997. He was a candidate in the 2008 Presidential race but withdrew his candidacy early, offering his support to Barack Obama. Due to his successful negotiations over international border disputes and hostage crises during the Clinton administration, Mr. Richardson was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is the author of two books: Between Worlds: The Making of an American Life, and Leading by Example: How we can Inspire an Energy and Security Revolution.

About Rebecca D. Costa

Rebecca Costa is a sociobiologist who offers a genetic explanation for current events, emerging trends and individual behavior. A thought-leader and provocative new voice in the mold of Thomas Friedman, Malcolm Gladwell and Jared Diamond, Costa examines “the big picture”– tracing everything from terrorism, crime on Wall Street, epidemic obesity and upheaval in the Middle East to evolutionary forces. Retiring at the zenith of her executive career in Silicon Valley, Costa spent six years researching and writing The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction. The success of Costa’s book led to a weekly radio program in 2010 called Rattler Radio. In 2011 the program was renamed and became nationally syndicated as The Costa Report. A former CEO and founder of one of the largest marketing firms in Silicon Valley (sold in 1997 to J. Walter Thompson), Costa developed an extensive track record of introducing new technologies. Her clients included industry giants such as Hewlett-Packard, Apple Computer, Oracle Corporation, Seibel Systems, 3M, Amdahl, and General Electric Corporation. Additional information available at http://www.rebeccacosta.com.

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