The Economist Cites FPI Board Member Robert Kagan on U.S. Foreign Policy

In "Ditching the vision thing," The Economist writes:

It is striking how quickly the smarter foreign-policy outfits are adjusting to this new political age. On January 23rd the Brookings Institution, Washington’s grand-daddy of geopolitical analysis, issued its annual “Presidential Briefing Book”, marshalling its experts and specialists (several of them White House veterans or former Obama aides) to advise the president on foreign policies that deserve his time and attention.

The report cannot entirely hide the impatience that many Washington big-wigs feel for an administration that sometimes acts like a passive spectator of its own foreign policies. An opening essay co-authored by Robert Kagan and Ted Piccone urges Mr Obama to seize the initiative and make the case for free-trade agreements, overseas engagement and American leadership of a liberal economic world order to Congress and the public. Buck up, America, would be a reasonable headline for the essay, as it declares:

"Contrary to what the public has now fully absorbed as the conventional wisdom, the United States is not in decline but may be in the early stages of a significant economic upturn. While the economies of the BRICS slow or stagnate, the American economy is enjoying stronger growth than expected. The shale gas revolution promises to boost the economy further, and our companies lead the global revolution in technology."

Yet it is notable how often the policy advice that follows, over 70-odd pages, eschews grand Kissingerian visions of remaking the globe, instead focusing on the sort of second-order issues where a still-potent America can make an outsize difference.

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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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