The world is dissatisfied with American leadership. Shocked and frightened after 9/11, we put forward an angry face to the globe, not one that reflected the more traditional American values of hope and optimism, tolerance and opportunity.
This fearful approach has hurt the United States’ ability to bring allies to its cause, but it is not too late to change. The nation should embrace a smarter strategy that blends our “hard” and “soft” power – our ability to attract and persuade, as well as our ability to use economic and military might. Whether it is ending the crisis in Pakistan, winning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, deterring Iran’s and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, managing China’s rise or improving the lives of those left behind by globalization, the United States needs a broader, more balanced approach.