Center for American Progress

A national security agenda to rebuild American leadership
In the News

A national security agenda to rebuild American leadership

Kelly Magsamen and Max Bergmann explain how the new Congress can rebuild American leadership in foreign policy.

The new Congress has an opportunity to lay the groundwork for the revival of American global leadership. For the past decade, Congress has overseen a depletion of our diplomatic capacity. As the State Department was squeezed under an austerity budget, money was thrown at the Pentagon, putting more on the shoulders of our military. This has left American foreign policy badly out of balance and poorly equipped to confront the challenges of a rising power competition in a changing world. Moreover, the Trump administration has created openings for our adversaries by turning the United States away from its role as a force for democracy and instead stoking nationalism and authoritarianism.

Lawmakers must rebalance American foreign policy and reinvigorate American global leadership. Doing so will require Democrats to not only fill the immense task of conducting rigorous oversight over the Trump administration, such as examining its mismanagement of the State Department and its foreign conflicts of interest, but also by presenting an affirmative vision of American foreign policy. Congress does not need to wait until 2020 to make the United States more secure and to put in place the early building blocks of a progressive foreign policy. Here are three major areas Democrats can start building out an affirmative agenda.

The above excerpt was originally published in The Hill. Click here to view the full article.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Kelly Magsamen

Vice President, National Security and International Policy

Max Bergmann

Former Senior Fellow