by Anna Borshchevskaya

The Foreign Policy Initiative held its annual forum today. It’s title, “Will America Lead?” is an important one. American leadership in the world is critical now more than ever–for if America, with its core values of freedom and democracy does not lead, who will fill the vacuum?

Below are some comments from some of the speakers during the morning panels:

General John R. Allen, currently at the Brookings Institution, on America’s role in the world:

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.

Ambassador Eric Edelman, FPI Board director and former U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy,  on U.S. military’s role:

We have provided for the public good. I think what the events of the last month and a half, and I would both include the budgetary issues and also the debate over Syria, have begun I think for first time in my adult lifetime to call that into question – that is whether the United States is willing to continue to provide these global public goods.

The comments from the afternoon panels are also worth reading.


Anna Borshchevskaya is  Communications Director at the American Islamic Congress. She was part of FPI 2012-2013 Future Leaders program.