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Too Much At Stake To Scale Back U.S. Global Engagement

Frank Carlucci, former national security adviser and secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan; Lee Hamilton, a retired Democratic congressman and former vice chair of the 9/11 Commission; and Tom Ridge, former homeland security secretary under President George W. Bush — all members of the Advisory Council for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition — write in this Washington Times editorial, “At a time of economic distress and huge deficits that demand tough choices, it is tempting for elected officials to scale back this country’s engagement around the globe, in particular by making cuts to programs that support diplomacy and international development. Yet too much is at stake to diminish America’s leadership and competitiveness in a world that is growing more interconnected and interdependent — as well as more turbulent — virtually every day.”

The authors reference current events throughout the globe — including how U.S. investments in agriculture and global health have reduced the number of people at risk of famine in the Horn of Africa — and conclude, “At a time of trillion-dollar deficits, all parts of the federal budget merit scrutiny, and the international affairs account is no exception. But to slash needed investments in America’s leadership around the world will be more costly to our country. Congress and all of those seeking our country’s highest office should recognize that strategic reality and commit themselves to sustaining America’s civilian instruments of national power and influence” (11/8).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.