Power on How to Recover US Influence in the World

Samatha Power offers some thoughts on fixing American foreign policy, in Harvard Magazine.

Can American foreign policy be fixed? Whether the alarms are caused by our plummeting global standing, our deadly war in Iraq, our democratization efforts (which have produced outcomes we don’t like), or our often seemingly self-defeating efforts to curb terrorism, most Americans are now prepared to acknowledge that the United States is in trouble abroad. Because of our current strategic, financial, and reputational predicament, much of what follows sounds directed at the Bush administration. But it is essential that we acknowledge the degree to which this administration has exposed and exacerbated structural fis sures that were evident long before it took office. If the United States is to turn things around, it must identify the flaws in the conception and conduct of its foreign policy and fix what is fix able. Rather than leaving foreign policy to the “experts,” the rest of us must insist that our government play a role in the world that is more attentive to the values and long-term interests of its citizens.