We Have to be There Because We Have to be There-The Future of U.S. Engagement

To some extent this is inevitable in an age when the biggest security threats to the U.S. come from terrorist networks with global reach and where climate change and economic crises affect all parts of the world. Nonetheless, the extent of U.S. commitment everywhere, which was once a sign of the American ascendancy, now bears many signs of being part of America’s decline. This will likely become more apparent and problematic if the economy does not recover. As local and national governments are stressed and basic domestic needs become more and more difficult for governments to afford, it is likely that voices calling for a more modest foreign policy with fewer commitments abroad will be stronger, but policy makers will find it very difficult to turn that aspiration into reality.