FPI Board Member Eric Edelman Cited in the Washington Post's Right Turn

Jennifer Rubin writes:

Consider for example, the remarks of former ambassador Eric Edelman, a career foreign service official, at a recent conference hosted by the Foreign Policy Initiative. He argued that there has been for decades large agreement on the things the United States should be doing:

"And among those were, first of all, of course, defending the homeland, but maintaining the freedom of the seas, freedom to transit in air, outer space, the freedom to use cyberspace. Maintaining a balance of power in Europe and in Asia through our alliances . . .  And then being able to provide for international humanitarian needs when disaster strikes as we have done repeatedly around the world. I would say those are still things that the United States needs to be able to do as a matter of defense policy, and it is something that we have done for the last 60 years. We have provided global public goods, and I think what the events of the last month and a half — and I would both include the budgetary  issues, but also the debate over Syria — have begun, I think, to for the first time in my adult lifetime call that into question, that is to say, call into question whether the United States is willing to continue to provide these global public goods."

He argued that those who adhere to the internationalist consensus  "have gotten a little bit intellectually lazy, I think, about having to make the case for it. And I  think we need to remedy that and need to be able to make the case for why providing these global public goods is still vital to the nation’s security and to its future prosperity and to the safety of the world in which we live."....

There is, however, good news on two fronts for those who fear an erosion of the internationalist consensus.

First, the anti-internationalists don’t really have an answer to the question as to who will provide stability and how we will maintain our way of life and economic position in a globalized world if chaos, war, genocide, WMD use and the like spread. In that regard Edelman made a point I have not heard raised but which is extremely compelling:

"[T]here are a lot of folks who, you know, in recent years have talked about the importance of, you know, getting back to, you know, a stricter adherence to the Constitution. To those folks I would just point out that in the Constitution the number one obligation of the federal government is to provide for the common defense. And, by the way, it’s the only obligation that is mandated, not optional for them. They may do other things, but they must provide for the common defense, and I think we need to get more folks . . . . elected to office who understand that that’s their primary responsibility."

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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