The toughest issue in foreign policy is when, where and how to intervene in the affairs of other countries – and when to walk away. Given America’s role as a global leader, the question arises for U.S. leaders again and again.
Lee Hamilton Column
The U.S. has been the world’s leader for decades in promoting democracy, political liberalization, free trade and collective security. For the most part, Americans support that role, but many are wondering about its costs, and are growing ambivalent about our global engagement.
It’s frequently observed that Americans don’t closely follow international affairs. That may be true, but my experience, over a period of decades, suggests most Americans appreciate the importance of our foreign policy and have a clear-eyed and sensible view of our nation’s role in the world.
Having served on many foreign policy committees and panels during my 34 years in Congress and for years afterward, I vividly recall that American policymakers continually devoted a great deal of time and effort to challenges in the Middle East.
It’s no secret that the Middle East is an extremely turbulent region of the world. For American foreign policy, it’s like a whirlpool that keeps pulling us in.
We like to think of the United States as a peace-loving country, but our history tells a somewhat different story. According to one calculation, we have been at war for 227 years and at peace only 16 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
The killing of General Qasem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike has raised tensions between Iran and the United States to a new level. The overriding question is, will we slide into a war?
Is America in decline, or are our best days still to come? It’s a question that pundits, politicians and many of the rest of us often discuss. Are we pessimistic or optimistic about our future?
The United States struck a forceful blow against terrorism in late October when ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi blew himself up after being cornered in a raid by U.S. forces. But killing and capturing terrorists is only one approach. It needs to be attended by a robust effort to prevent terrorism from happening in the… Read more »
For decades, the United States has pursued a policy of extensive engagement – military, economic and diplomatic – throughout the world.