How much worse does the international security environment have to get before it is obvious to even the most casual observer that strong U.S. leadership in the world matters? Certainly not every problem in the world can be laid at the feet of the Obama Administration. But there is a close correlation in time and space between America’s progressive military and political withdrawal from the world over the last seven years and the explosion of aggression and violence in Europe, the Middle East and East Asia. Moreover, our adversaries have made it clear that they do not view America’s withdrawal as a reason to take a more benign view of this country. The Iranian Ayatollah still cries out “Death to America” and Russia’s Putin declares the United States and NATO to be threats to his country. Countries that do not share our values are seeking to define a new international order — one in which raw power, not law and civil behavior will determine the basis for security. The absence of U.S. leadership also means that this nation will continually be reacting to events rather than shaping them. I have written a longer piece on this subject here.
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