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Posts by John

Against the backdrop of today’s debate about America’s role in the world, it is striking to re-read the speech by Secretary of State George C. Marshall announcing the Marshall Plan on the 70th anniversary of its delivery. The Marshall Plan, which helped rebuild the economies of Western Europe after World War II, is often seen as the model for American global leadership. Secretary Marshall makes not a selfless appeal to support a new global order, but a calculated appeal to Americans’ self-interest, accompanied by a sophisticated series of short films to explain its benefits.

This week’s confirmation hearings gave a first glimpse into the views of the new Administration’s nominees on the foreign policy challenges we face today and on strategic investments in diplomacy and development. They also showcased strong bipartisan support in Congress for the International Affairs Budget. Secretary of State Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) opened Secretary of […]

This year’s presidential debates will be different. While national security has had its own debate in the past, “Securing America” has been announced as one of the topics in the first and widely anticipated debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and will also be part of the other debates. In the wake of domestic […]

In a turbulent political season where the candidates have confounded the conventional wisdom, many of us will turn to public opinion surveys for a hint of where Americans stand on foreign policy. Last week the Pew Research Center released an update of its study, “America’s Place in the World,” and I suppose it shouldn’t be […]

As Congress prepares its blueprint for the International Affairs Budget for next year, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) released a five-year strategic plan that highlights the “single mission” that inspired its creation: reducing poverty through economic growth. The plan points a way forward for MCC amid unprecedented global crises and tremendous opportunities. It reinforces its […]

What a difference a year can make. In 2014, some wondered whether Americans were “war weary” and wanted to pull back from the world. Fast forward past Russia’s invasion of Crimea, ISIS declaring a caliphate and brutally executing Americans, and Ebola landing in Dallas, and no one is asking: should the United States be engaged and lead in the world?

The recently released Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) might be an instance when the process is as important as the product. The priorities in the report of preventing violent extremism, promoting democratic societies, advancing inclusive growth, and mitigating climate change dovetail with the National Security Strategy. Many of the proposals extend reforms already underway, rather than […]

At a refugee camp in Syria, 25,000 people live in 3,600 shipping containers that have been converted into temporary homes.

The President announced American businesses will invest over $14 billion in Africa for construction, clean energy, banking, and information technology.

IREX President and former Ambassador Robert Pearson on the impact of American diplomacy.

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