Put democracy back at center of foreign policy


It is no accident that Americans are united in their support for Ukraine, according to historian Anne Applebaum (right).

A large, bipartisan majority, for example, back the U.S. decision to boycott Russian oil, even if it led to higher prices. This is because Americans identify with people who are clearly fighting for their freedom, their independence, and their democracy. It is a central part of how we define ourselves, and who we are, she told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today: 

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is ahead of the curve in its thinking about these issues, has supported networks of journalists to help in international investigations of kleptocracy as well as independent journalism of all kinds, on top of its support for democracy activism all over the world. Funding NED is necessary but not sufficient, however. U.S. foreign policy is in fact made by dozens of different actors, all across the government and American society. Congressional leadership can help focus all of them not just on the defense of existing institutions, but on the creative thinking we lack. RTWT

The US is neglecting the vital role of public diplomacy in combatting the war of ideas against authoritarianism, said Sen. Tim Kaine. The key State Department position has been vacant for some 35% of the time over successive administrations, he complained.

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