2013 FPI Forum: Choosing to Lead - A Conversation with General John R. Allen

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Choosing to Lead - A Conversation with General John R. Allen

Welcome by Christopher J. Griffin, Executive Director, Foreign Policy Initiative

General John R. Allen, USMC (Ret.)

Moderated by Thomas M. Donnelly, Resident Fellow and Co-Director of the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies, American Enterprise Institute

Video  |  Audio  |  Key Quotes  |  Transcript


Key RUSH Quotes

General John Allen on America’s role in the world: “There probably has never been a time where the strategic leadership of the United States has been more important.”

  • Gen. Allen:  “There has never been a time in my mind where the strategic global leadership of the United States has been more important – not just to buttress, not just to reinforce the order for which we can take justifiable credit at a time when it is really important to preserve as much stability as we can, but also to exert our leadership in those specific areas and locations where we can have an outcome that can bring about stability, and from that stability, can bring order back to a particular region.”
  • Gen. Allen: “Today is an important time for the United States to continue its global leadership, the question will be, I think, what means do we have to facilitate that outcome in the long run.”

Gen. Allen on Afghan elections: “It will be the election which will facilitate the transition of authority and power from the Karzai government—in whatever form that has taken in the many years he has been in power—to what will come next.”

  • Gen. Allen:  “What is really important is that if this election, and this is a point made frequently not just by the United States but many of our international partners, is if this election is not viewed as credible, inclusive, [and] comprehensive, we are going to see it very difficult for many of our partners and for the United States to justify the long-term commitment that we have made to Afghanistan.”

Gen. Allen on Pakistan:  “I’m always very careful about the natural reflex in this town to punish Pakistan over policy differences. We should seek, in many ways, to create as much opportunity for stability in our relationship with Pakistan, and stability within Pakistan as well.”



Mission Statement

The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America’s global economic competitiveness.
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