The world needs the U.S. to lead — and not just from behind — according to a report by two influential former senators, who argue that political pressure on the Obama administration from the far left and far right for America to disengage from the world has created a power vacuum that unpredictable and unsavory actors are all too eager to fill.
“An increasingly brazen China, revanchist Russia, volatile North Korea, and ruthless Islamic State collectively underscore the need for more, not less, American leadership abroad,” write former Sens. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, and Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat turned independent, in “Why American Leadership Still Matters,” a 40-page report being released Thursday through the American Enterprise Institute.
While the center-right think tank may be known for its hawkish positions, Mr. Kyl, who served from 1993 through 2013, stressed in an interview the need for both parties to come together in understanding America’s vital position in the world.
Despite his former National Journal ranking as the fourth most conservative senator on Capitol Hill, he lamented how biting partisanship increasingly trumps honest debate on foreign policy.
“All too often in recent years, partisanship has been the driving force rather than ideological considerations,” he said, suggesting that the disagreement between isolationists and interventionists on both sides of the aisle could be healthy — if it did not lead so often to partisan smearing of the other side. (Read more from “Former Senators Say U.S. Has Left Dangerous Power Vacuum Around World” HERE)