America’s Leadership in the World and President Obama’s Foreign Policy
Many within the United States and others abroad continue to question the United States’ role in the world. Understandably, Americans have grown wary of the country’s role in the world, some asking whether the U.S. still has the power and influence to lead the international community, while others question why the United States must still take on this seemingly singular responsibility. On the eve of a major speech by President Obama addressing these questions, Senior Fellow Robert Kagan released a new essay entitled, “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire: What Our Tired Country Still Owes the World,” which was published in the latest edition of The New Republic. Kagan argued that the United States has no choice but to be “exceptional.”
On May 27, the Foreign Policy program at Brookings and The New Republic hosted an event to mark the release of the Kagan essay and in advance of President Obama’s address to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Kagan, a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy at Brookings, was joined by The New Republic‘s Leon Wieseltier and The Washington Post‘s Fred Hiatt.
After the program, the panelists took audience questions.
I think it's unusual for the chief of staff to go on a trip, particularly on a trip this long. The chief of staff is usually more of a chief operating officer in the White House itself, and normally when your principal—whether it's the president himself or the head of Cabinet agency—goes abroad, you have his deputy and those folks staying behind to help manage operations in his absence.