Center for American Progress

Should the United States Act with Humility in International Affairs?
Article

Should the United States Act with Humility in International Affairs?

Exercising humility in international affairs in the short run can bring about more security in the long run, writes Lawrence Korb.

Although humility is seen primarily as a virtue in human interactions, some would argue that it is not a good characteristic for American foreign policy makers; that is, as the U.S. is the most powerful nation in the world, its leaders need to display a certain amount of boldness or arrogance to deal successfully with the threats to our national security. But while the U.S. is indeed powerful, it is not omnipotent, and there are limits to what even this great power can accomplish. Therefore U.S. presidents should not shy away from employing the human qualities of humility and caution in their approach to dealing with the world’s problems. Indeed, exercising humility in the short run can bring about more security in the long run.

Read more here.

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.

Authors

Lawrence J. Korb

Senior Fellow

You Might Also Like