For the past decade and a half, the world has been mired in a democratic recession, with more and more democracies decaying and breaking down. The problem has been made much worse by the growing polarization and dysfunction of American democracy. Many people say that the U.S. must fix its own problems first before it can promote democracy abroad. But people struggling to win or defend their freedom can’t afford to wait until the U.S. heals itself politically.
Republicans and Democrats agree on the need to counter China’s malign, corrupting, and coercive influence activities around the world (and they mainly agree on the need to counter Russia’s malign behavior, too.) There is also broad agreement on the value of supporting democratic media, parties, and civil society around the world. What is needed is a bold and integrated strategy to turn back the authoritarian tide, and that strategy must be built around a core strategic insight: The combined military and geopolitical power and resolve of the U.S. and its democratic allies have been and will remain critical to the fate of freedom in the world. This talk lays out a grand strategy for advancing global democracy.
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