Commitment and credibility go hand in hand.
The culture of self-gratification and deregulation that began during the Clinton years and continued under President George W. Bush led to the bursting of one stock market bubble at the turn of the century and a full-scale financial crash less than a decade later.
With the decline of America’s global preeminence, weaker countries will be more susceptible to the assertive influence of major regional powers.
The worsening of relations between a declining America and an internally troubled Mexico could even give rise to a particularly ominous phenomenon: the emergence, as a major issue in nationalistically aroused Mexican politics, of territorial claims justified by history and ignited by cross-border incidents.
War triggers unforeseeable military dynamics and sets off massive political shocks, creating new problems as well as new opportunities.
Pessimism about America’s future tends to underestimate its capacity for self-renewal.
Peace between Israel and Palestine would be a giant step toward greater regional stability, and it would finally let both Israelis and Palestinians benefit from the Middle East’s growing wealth.
Can we really mobilize support, even of friends, when we tell them that if you are not with us you are against us?
Democrats should insist that a pluralistic democracy such as ours rely on bipartisanship in formulating a foreign policy based on moderation and the nuances of the human condition.
The United States should not engage in tit-for-tat polemics directed at its most important allies. That is as demeaning as it is destructive.
The Cold War did end in the victory of one side and in the defeat of the other. This reality cannot be denied, despite the understandable sensitivities that such a conclusion provokes among the tenderhearted in the West and some of the former leaders of the defeated side.
Because America is a democracy, public support for presidential foreign-policy decisions is essential.
As America’s nuclear strategic monopoly faded, the United States sought to create advantages elsewhere, notably in the peaceful cooperation between the United States and communist China under Deng Xiaoping.
America’s decline would set in motion tectonic shifts undermining the political stability of the entire Middle East.
The external Soviet empire lasted 45 years. It is shattered, beyond redemption or repair.
I was deeply involved in the decision that President Jimmy Carter made to boycott the Olympics in Moscow in 1980.
It is in the U.S. interest to engage Iran in serious negotiations – on both regional security and the nuclear challenge it poses.
We all have the right to comment about each other.
There may be circumstances in which damaging our relationship with countries over human rights is counterproductive and the benefits to human rights may be very small because of our limited capacity to enforce our stance. That was the dilemma the United States faced after Tiananmen Square.
Americans don’t learn about the world; they don’t study world history, other than American history in a very one-sided fashion, and they don’t study geography.
Sometimes in international politics, the better part of wisdom is to defer dangers rather than try to eliminate them altogether instantly.
A Russia that gradually begins to gravitate toward the West will also be a Russia that ceases to disrupt the international system.
I don’t approve of the notion that we should be announcing who should step down from the position of a head of a state unless we are seriously prepared to remove that person. But if we are not, if we are being prudent and careful, then let’s also be careful with how we talk.
I would like to promote internal change in Iran – which is more likely if we don’t fuse Iranian nationalism with Iranian fundamentalism.
Both World War II and the subsequent Cold War gave America’s involvement in world affairs a clear focus. The objectives of foreign policy were relatively easy to define, and they could be imbued with high moral content.
The problem with the Iranian regime, of course is, one, its unsettling effects on the Sunnis, particularly Saudi Arabia, and, secondly, its potential threat to Israel.
To his credit, Obama has undertaken a truly ambitious effort to redefine the United States’ view of the world and to reconnect the United States with the emerging historical context of the twenty-first century. He has done this remarkably well.
Economically, we are, to some significant degree, interdependent with Chinese well-being. That is a great asset.
It is axiomatic that the security of America and Europe are linked.
Eurasia is home to most of the world’s politically assertive and dynamic states.
The congressional role in declaring war is especially important not when the United States is the victim of an attack, but when the United States is planning to wage war abroad.
The financial catastrophe of 2008 nearly precipitated a calamitous economic depression, jolting America and much of the West into a sudden recognition of their systemic vulnerability to unregulated greed.
It is important to ask ourselves, as citizens, whether a world power can provide global leadership on the basis of fear and anxiety.
I don’t feel I was ‘born American,’ but my homeland was denied to me after the end of World War II, and I craved something I could identify with. When I became a student at Harvard in the 1950s, America very quickly filled the vacuum. I felt I was American, but I think it’s more revealing of America how quickly others here accepted me.
Foreign policy should not be justified through making oneself feel good, but through results that have tangible consequences.
If we slide into a pattern of just thinking about today, we’ll end up reacting to yesterday instead of shaping something more constructive in the world.
I do think America has made it quite clear that it is in the interest both of America and China to avoid situations in which they will be pushed toward a collision.
I think we have to pay attention to the Arab masses not just in the Gulf States, but also in the hinterlands.
Human affairs require some combination of moral commitment with disciplined political action. And that is what keeps me intrigued and challenged and wanting to influence events.
Look: I don’t want to live with a nuclear Iran. I would like to make it uncomfortable for them to seek it.
If the United States and China can accommodate each other on a broad range of issues, the prospects for stability in Asia will be greatly increased.
We defended our allies in Europe for 40 years during the worst days of the Cold War – very threatening days of the Cold War – and nothing happened. So deterrence does work.
All the historical pretenders to global power originated in Eurasia.
Moderation and bipartisan consensus go hand in hand.
The first ‘world’ war was in reality the last European war fought by globally significant European powers.
AIPAC has consistently opposed a two-state solution, and a lot of members of Congress have been intimidated, and I don’t think that’s healthy.
A president who aspires to be recognized as a global leader should not personally stake out a foreign-policy goal, commit himself eloquently to its attainment, and then yield the ground when confronted by firm opposition.
Only a dynamic and strategically-minded America, together with a unifying Europe, can jointly promote a larger and more vital West, one capable of acting as a responsible partner to the rising and increasingly assertive East.
The costly unilateralism of the younger Bush presidency led to a decade of war in the Middle East and the derailment of American foreign policy at large.
The potential for regional conflict in the absence of an internationally active America is real.
America’s victory in the Cold War was not without painful social costs.
Japan needs the American market and it also needs American security protection. Japan also needs America as the necessary stabilizer of an orderly world system with economies truly open to international trade.
I draw a very clear distinction between populism and democracy.
The fact of the matter is the Arab elites are more inclined to accommodate our wishes because of certain overlapping interests that are often financial. That is not the case with the Arab masses.
The public has been told repeatedly that terrorism is ‘evil,’ which it undoubtedly is, and that ‘evildoers’ are responsible for it, which doubtless they are. But beyond these justifiable condemnations, there is a historical void.
We don’t have a public that really understands the world anymore, and in the age of complexity, that problem becomes much more difficult.
Rushing to war is not a wise course of action.
The security link between us and Europe is very important for European security but also for our security.
The Chinese are really good at diplomacy – and even at making their interlocutors feel very uncomfortable.
Terrorism cannot be isolated from its political, historical, and even social context.
We should be therefore supporting a larger Europe, and in so doing we should strive to expand the zone of peace and prosperity in the world which is the necessary foundation for a stable international system in which our leadership could be fruitfully exercised.
Saddam Hussein was an odious dictator, but he was also a very effective opponent of Iran. He was also a very effective opponent of al-Qaida.
We cannot have that relationship if we only dictate or threaten and condemn those who disagree.
Palestinian terrorism has to be rejected and condemned, yes. But it should not be translated defacto into a policy of support for a really increasingly brutal repression, colonial settlements and a new wall.
It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn’t a global Islam.
I cite these events because I think they underline two very disturbing phenomena – the loss of U.S. international credibility, the growing U.S. international isolation.
American power worldwide is at its historic zenith.
The war of choice in Iraq could never have gained the congressional support it got without the psychological linkage between the shock of 9/11 and the postulated existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
Hard power makes sense under some circumstances. But there’s not a universal solution to global problems.
I’m all in favour of grand important speeches, but the president then has to link his sermons to a strategy.
If we end up with war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran at the same time, can anyone see a more damaging prospect for America’s world role than that?
The Sino-American competition involves two significant realities that distinguish it from the Cold War: neither party is excessively ideological in its orientation; and both parties recognize that they really need mutual accommodation.
I realise that in an electoral campaign, you don’t want to antagonise large groups which are highly motivated.
One-sided national economic triumphs cannot be achieved in the increasingly interwoven global economy without precipitating calamitous consequences for everyone.
Sovereignty is a word that is used often but it has really no specific meaning. Sovereignty today is nominal. Any number of countries that are sovereign are sovereign only nominally and relatively.
Waging a colonial war in the post-colonial age is self-defeating.
The Soviet Union’s termination, which brought to an end the bipolar world, ushered in an era of U.S. hegemony. Hegemony, however, should not be confused with omnipotence. Hegemony is not omnipotence but is certainly preponderance.
Yes, ISIS is a threat. It’s more than a nuisance. It’s also in many respects criminal violence. But it isn’t, in my view, a central strategic issue facing humanity.
We should seek to cooperate with Europe, not to divide Europe to a fictitious new and a fictitious old.
The first and most important is to emphasize the enduring nature of the alliance relationship particularly with Europe which does share our values and interests even if it disagrees with us on specific policies.
Let’s cooperate and challenge the administration to cooperate with us because within the administration there are also moderates and people who are not fully comfortable with the tendencies that have prevailed in recent times.
I think it is important to ask ourselves as citizens, not as Democrats attacking the administration, but as citizens, whether a world power can really provide global leadership on the basis of fear and anxiety?
Bipartisanship helps to avoid extremes and imbalances. It causes compromises and accommodations. So let’s cooperate.
The ‘war on terror’ has created a culture of fear in America.
I have been struck by the pervasive frequency of pompously patriotic ads for the defense industry, usually accompanied by deferential salutations to our men and women who are heroically sacrificing their lives in our defense. Do we really need all of that for our security?
The mullahs are part of the past in Iran, not its future. But change in Iran will come through engagement, not through confrontation.
Basically, I see Iran as an authentic nation-state. And that authentic identity gives it cohesion, which most of the Middle East lacks.
During the nineteenth century, men died believing in the cause of royalty or republicanism. In reality, much of their sacrifice was rendered on the altar of the new nationalism.
Constant reference to a ‘war on terror’ did accomplish one major objective: It stimulated the emergence of a culture of fear.
You go to Paris, or you go to Portugal, you go to Poland, and you ask, ‘Who are you people?’ They’ll tell you, we’re Portuguese, we’re Spanish, we’re Polish. Who are the people that are really European? The people in Brussels, in the E.U. bureaucracy. Europe has not been able to move to the level of patriotic identification with the concept.
Neither the United States nor Israel has the capacity to impose a unilateral solution in the Middle East.
War on terrorism defines the central preoccupation of the United States in the world today, and it does reflect in my view a rather narrow and extremist vision of foreign policy of the world’s first superpower, of a great democracy, with genuinely idealistic traditions.
To increase the zone of peace is to build the inner core of a stable international zone.
Not to mention the fact that of course terrorists hate freedom. I think they do hate. But believe me, I don’t think they sit there abstractly hating freedom.
Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979.
There’s something troubling about a condition in which one country alone, which has roughly 5 percent of the world’s population, spends more than 50 percent of the world’s defense budgets. There’s something weird about it.
The legitimacy of the leadership depends on what that country thinks of its leaders.
There’s no point considering something which is very unrealistic.