The United States is declining as a nation and a world power. This is a serious yet reversible situation, so long as Americans are clear-eyed about the causes and courageous about implementing the cures, including a return to pragmatic problem solving. Adapted from the source document.
Most nations have adjusted their foreign policies to focus on economic security, but the United States has not. Today's leaders should adapt to an economic-centric world & look to Presidents Harry Truman & Dwight Eisenhower for guidance. Adapted from the source document.
The article discusses whether the 2011 U.S. military intervention in Libya, which helped depose Libya ruler Muammar el-Qadaffi, represented a shift to Wilsonism in U.S. foreign policy. The author contends that humanitarian issues will not determine U.S. foreign policy, such as a potential U.S. war with Iran or a military intervention in Syria's 2011 revolution. Adapted from the source document.
Leading from behind, a quote from an unnamed Obama administration official highlighted by New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza, has been vehemently and repeatedly trashed in the Washington scramble to redefine US power in the 21st century, becoming fodder for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign and a rallying cry for neo-conservatives. But the concept behind the phrase deserves another look. Pres Barack Obama seems to have come to the same conclusion and already is leading in a new way -- not from behind, but as a partner. When it was coined in April 2011, the phrase rested on indisputable, if uncomfortable, emerging realities: Americans had soured on playing Lone Ranger to a hopelessly messy world. Going forward, the US has no choice but to embrace the sound underpinnings of "leading from behind." The blunt truth is that Americans won't finance Lone Rangerism, and it wouldn't work anyway. Other countries won't just follow along with Washington. Adapted from the source document.
US Pres John F. Kennedy's skillful management of the Cuban missile crisis, 50 years ago this autumn, has been elevated into the central myth of the Cold War. At its core is the tale that, by virtue of US military superiority and his steely will, Kennedy forced Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to capitulate and remove the nuclear missiles he had secretly deployed to Cuba. Kennedy's victory in the messy and inconclusive Cold War naturally came to dominate the politics of US foreign policy. What people came to understand about the Cuban missile crisis -- that JFK succeeded without giving an inch -- implanted itself in policy deliberations and political debate, spoken or unspoken. It's there now, all these decades later, in worries over making any concessions to Iran over nuclear weapons or to the Taliban over their role in Afghanistan. Adapted from the source document.
Even Pres Obama's dwindling residue of faithfuls and retainers should not wager on his rewriting the history books in his closing two years. A presidency that began with lofty expectations has devolved into steadily defining them down, at home and abroad. The result has been prolonged paralysis. Obama flowers in abstract intellectual discourse, but has been defiantly oblivious to hardheaded strategy. And strategy is the essence of power. Obama still has the time and the power to stop the terrorists about to lodge themselves in the Middle East, from whence they will threaten the rest of the world. The US needs to strengthen its military presence in the region. The purpose is not to threaten China; it is to reassure all parties that differences are not going to be settled by military force. US power should be deployed to convey a calming effect and to reassure the region that no state is going to be intimidated into subservience. Adapted from the source document.