As the first woman in U.S. history to lead a combatant command, retired General Lori Robinson, who has joined The Brookings Institution as a nonresident senior fellow, was at the forefront of NORAD and U.S. Northern, Central, and Indo-Pacific Command missions to defend and secure America and its interests. Now retired, she brings a wealth of experience to understanding how the United States ought to confront the pressing national security challenges it faces, from a rising China and a revanchist Russia, to Iran and North Korea, to extremist groups still metastasizing in unstable regions and failed states. To address them, the United States needs a wide range of tools and capabilities—but above all dedicated public servants with the perspective and skill to match the demands of an increasingly unpredictable and unstable world.
On December 18, Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon hosted Gen. Robinson at The Brookings Institution for a conversation on defense policy and the international security environment. Questions from the audience followed.
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With the downward trajectory in [U.S.-China] relations, the incoming ambassador ideally will need to have a visible connection to the president and his senior advisers, familiarity with the range of issues that comprise the relationship, and a future in American politics. The more the ambassador is seen as likely to wield influence in the future on issues affecting China, the higher the cost and risk for Beijing to mistreat him/her.