Sen. Chuck Hagel Calls for Increased Use of Diplomacy and Development in U.S. Foreign Policy

Columbus, OH — The Center for U.S. Global Engagement and its partners, the Columbus Council on World Affairs and The Ohio State University John Glenn School of Public Affairs, today launched the Impact ’08 in Ohio initiative with a luncheon featuring a keynote address, via satellite, by U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and welcoming remarks by State House Minority Leader Ray Miller. These speakers joined with more than 150 members of the Impact ’08 in Ohio Advisory Committee and other attendees to raise awareness of the global challenges and opportunities facing Ohio and America, and to encourage the 2008 presidential candidates to incorporate “smart power” – the strategic use of development, diplomacy and defense – into their foreign policy platforms.

Sen. Hagel said the next President must understand, “The reality is these challenges that face America today face the world, whether it’s extremism, terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, environment, energy, these are global problems. The world does not know who we are. In order for us to lead, we’re going to have to forge some consensus of common interest.” Following his remarks, Sen. Hagel answered questions from the audience in a discussion moderated by Dr. Richard Herrmann, Director of OSU’s Mershon Center for International Security Studies.

In a joint proclamation welcoming the Center’s Impact ’08: Building a Better, Safer World initiative to the state, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher wrote, “The next Administration will need to revitalize America’s moral and pragmatic leadership by making greater investments in our diplomatic and development programs, modernizing our foreign assistance institutions, and improving the accountability and effectiveness of our foreign assistance programs.” A full copy of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s joint proclamation is available here.

Impact ’08 in Ohio’s Advisory Committee has more than 130 members drawn from the state’s political, business, community, and faith leaders, including U.S. Representatives David Hobson and Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, Ohio Manufacturers’ Association President Eric Burkland, Columbus Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Ty Marsh, the State Senate President and Minority Leader, the State House Speaker, Majority Leader and Minority Leader, the Chairmen of the Ohio Republican and Democratic Parties, Maj. Gen. Todd Stewart (USAF, Ret.), and OSU President E. Gordon Gee.

Listen to Senator Hagel discuss Impact ’08 in Ohio on Columbus’ NPR affiliate, WOSU.

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