Tuesday, July 22, 2014

America in a New World

Christopher R. Hill

How will the United States adapt to a world in which it faces serious strategic rivals for the first time since the Soviet collapse? Is Iran the line in the sand for America’s efforts to bring about global nuclear disarmament? When should the US negotiate with its enemies? Can an “American” solution be found in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

When it comes to foreign policy, the world often sees two Americas, divided most visibly – and symptomatically – over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The grand certainties of the Bush presidency are giving way to growing confusion about counterterrorism, the rise of China, Russia’s assertiveness, and how to weigh these challenges against America’s many other sources of strategic concern. Moreover, in rethinking its role in the world, the US faces a task even more complicated than the one it confronted in 1945, because there is more rubble to clear: the jerrybuilt international order that arose from communism’s collapse in 1989.

For the rest of the world, knowing how US leaders perceive and shape the process of American strategic reinvention will be imperative. Christopher R. Hill, one of America’s most acclaimed diplomatic troubleshooters, fills that need. A former US Assistant Secretary of State for Asian and Pacific Affairs, Ambassador to Iraq, Macedonia, Poland, and South Korea, and Special Envoy to Kosovo, Christopher R. Hill has spent his career within the inner circles of US power, propelled there by his intellectual breadth and independence.

Each month in America in a New World, written exclusively for Project Syndicate, Christopher R. Hill, Dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, makes sense of the ferment of US foreign and security policy at a time of creation – if not of order, then of new responses to global disorder.

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