Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright Offers Her Views On National Security And The 2016 Election
Although there are many serious domestic issues facing the United States, international events will also require the attention of the American people during the 2016 election. The turmoil in the Middle East, Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and Syria, as well as managing a highly complex relationship with China are just a few of the challenges facing the country—and Republican and Democratic presidential candidates are offering starkly different notions of how American power should be used to address these issues.
Today, the Center for American Progress Action Fund was honored to host former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for a discussion on the 2016 election and the unfolding debate about America’s role in the world. In her speech, Albright offered a vision for how the United States should engage abroad and explained why, in her view, Democrats and progressives are best positioned to keep the United States safe while simultaneously moving the country forward.
Click here to watch her remarks and a moderated discussion with CAP Action Senior Fellow Rudy deLeon.
“I see it as my duty to speak up during this election season about why America needs to stay involved globally,” Albright said at the event. “We have restored America’s reputation after years of grave damage in the wake of Iraq. We have strengthened or position in Asia and build stronger relationships with India and Japan. We have successfully negotiated a bold diplomatic agreement with Iran, one that prevents them from obtaining a nuclear weapon and avoids plunging us into another war in a chaotic Middle East. We have deployed smart power and placed a great emphasis on technology, public-private partnerships, economics and energy, and people-to-people ties in global engagements.”
That record of accomplishment is contrasted by the failures of the previous decade. “During the eight years Republicans were in the White House, we saw intelligence misused, professional diplomats and the uniformed military ignored, and the role of history and culture in shaping events disregarded,” Albright said. “We saw policymakers who relied on wishful thinking instead of critical thinking, and who forgot the true sources of our nation’s strength.”
Secretary Albright summed up what is at stake in 2016 well: “The question voters will face next year is whether to build on this record of progress or take a giant leap back to the policies of the previous decade.”
During the event, Secretary Albright also reflected on her unexpected but meaningful partnership with former Sen. Jessie Helms, which despite strong political differences produced substantial foreign policy accomplishments in the 1990’s. She lamented the “demagoguery” taking place in today’s GOP: “We don’t need to make America great again, we are great,” Albright said.
The full video of the event is here. Madeleine Albright is an incredible leader, teacher, and practitioner of American foreign policy, and voters should listen closely to what she has to say.
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