The Blob Meets the Heartland

For most of my three and a half decades as an American diplomat, the foreign-policy establishment (known unaffectionately in some quarters as “the blob”) took for granted that expansive U.S. leadership abroad would deliver peace and prosperity at home. That assumption was lazy, and often flawed. Riding the waves of globalization and American geopolitical dominance, […]

The United States Needs a New Foreign Policy

It’s tempting to draw sweeping conclusions about what geopolitics will look like after the pandemic. Some argue that we’re witnessing the last gasp of American primacy, the equivalent of Britain’s 1956 “Suez moment.” Others argue that America, the main driver of the post–Cold War international order, is temporarily incapacitated, with a president drunk at the […]

Polarized Politics Has Infected American Diplomacy

Moments of national crisis ought to bring Americans together. Instead, led by a divisive president, our society is being ripped apart, as the country is battered by a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and centuries-old pathologies of racism and inequality. The consequences of our division are profoundly troubling at home, but no less worrisome abroad. The style and […]