I’m at the Hyatt Regency this morning at a conference jointly sponsored by the Center for American Progress and the Century Foundation. The topic? “America in the World.”
Madeleine Albright kicked things off this morning. A couple of takeaways:
– Secretary Albright has long proposed that the U.S. is the “indispensable nation.” That is to say, to solve the world’s big problems, the U.S. has to be constructively engaged. Today, she suggested that China, too, is needed to solve major global challenges (she noted Iran, North Korea, Darfur, and climate change).
– Albright’s view of things places Iraq as third in a list of problems the next President needs to address, after mainstreaming our values into our foreign policy and revitalizing international institutions. I’m not sure if she listed problems in order of priority, but I’m glad that Iraq isn’t taking right, left, and center stage in her mind.
The coneference’s first panel featured Tom Daschle (moderator), John Deutch, Gen. (ret.) Charles Wald, and Cathy Zoi speaking on energy and climate change as elements of our foreign policy. It is noteworthy that every member of the panel refuted the myth of energy independence, with Gen. Wald emphatically adding: “Energy independence is the worst thing that could happen.”
More reflections later.
— Scott Paul