2016 FPI Forum: History and the First Hundred Days

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History and the First Hundred Days
Max Boot (Council on Foreign Relations)
Dr. Mark R. Jacobson (Salve Regina University Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy)
Dr. Peter Mansoor, Colonel, US Army (Ret.) (Ohio State University)
Moderator: Dr. Gary J. Schmitt (AEI)

Video  |  Key Quotations  |  Pictures

Key Quotations

“Style and tactics can cancel out substance, especially over the long term. For the [Jimmy] Carter administration… the style and tactics put the White House very quickly at odds not with just their political opponents but with their allies… and in the end this dooms the Carter administration well before the economic, energy and foreign policy crises and initiatives that I think get a lot of play.” – Dr. Mark Jacobson, Pell Center

“Carter came in believing that it was his duty, his administration’s duty, to repair this crisis of confidence in government. But Carter’s style of doing so reflected in many ways a personal flaw, frankly a holier than thou attitude, that he and the team from Atlanta new better than anyone else. They vowed to change Washington, in today’s terms, to drain the swamp… As one historian put it, ‘There was an innocence and an arrogance about the idea that you could run the country with your Atlanta statehouse team. You just couldn’t. Every president brings his people, but most presidents bring people who are seasoned, understand Washington and know how to move around the city. That just wasn’t true of Jimmy Carter, and it proved to be very amateurish.’” – Dr. Jakobson

“Allies are critical enablers of America power. America’s unipolar moment is over. The United States cannot go it alone and expect to achieve its national security goals in the world today. Allies are not just window dressing to provide political cover for unilateral American military operations… Allies give us far more than just diplomatic support. They provide bases enable deployment of U.S. forces far from the homeland. They provide troop commitments with real capabilities that support coalition operations. And they provide forces that balances those or regional powers such as Russia and great powers such as China. Now we can encourage our allies in Europe and Asia and the Middle East to do more in their own defense, but we should not jettison them.” – Dr. Peter Mansoor, Ohio State University

“It’s dangerous to walk too far back from the global leadership role that the United States has played since 1945. I think that President Obama has tried to recalibrate the U.S. international presence and has tried to draw down, especially in the Middle East. He’s also drawn down in Europe. There wasn’t really a commensurate buildup in the Pacific region, aside from a buildup in rhetoric about the Pacific pivot and so forth. President Obama I think came into office with the assumption that the United States was more a part of the problem rather than a part of the solution in a lot of areas of the world. I think now we’ve seen that’s not really the case. That when we step back, others down step forward. That the leading from behind doctrine doesn’t really work because if we don’t lead, nobody does, and the result is catastrophe.” – Max Boot, Council on Foreign Relations


2016 FPI Forum: History and the First Hundred Days

Mission Statement

The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America’s global economic competitiveness.
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