Change Management: Reflections on the State of US Foreign Policy
What do you see as key achievements in national security and foreign policy during your tenure under President Bush--and what do you see as key failures, regrets, or missed opportunities?
During the Bush Administration, we had numerous foreign policy achievements chat helped advance freedom and democracy as well as champion the furthering of global health initiatives in Africa. For example, I was personally delighted when the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief came to fruition as the single largest monetary contribution from a foreign power to address the AIDS epidemic in Africa. We also created institutions in order to advance and protect the education and advancement of women across the globe.
More specifically, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has been paramount in promoting good governance in Africa by linking development funds to building sustainable infrastructure--social, political, and economic--for its citizens. Success stories, such as Lesotho, stand as an incentive for neighboring states to follow suit. I am proud that the Bush administration was able to enact policies that demonstrated its firm belief in the importance of standing for freedom, democracy, and good governance.
My biggest regret was the failure to get comprehensive immigration reform passed in 2007. Though we had Senator McCain, Senator Kennedy, and President Bush all in support of the bill, we were all disappointed that we couldn't get it passed.
Who was your most challenging international counterpart to work with and what was your strategy for dealing with them and winning negotiations? Or, did you face more constraints from within the US administration?
As a Soviet specialist, I was particularly interested from both a professional and personal perspective in working with Putin in a post Cold War environment-Our two countries had been through a lot and we had a great opportunity at thawing our relationship.
With any bilateral rapport, states come to the table with different norms, interests and goals. Having an understanding of the Russian language and culture was important to working closely with Putin, especially during the Georgian crisis.
With only four to eight years in office, do you think it is difficult for the US Secretary of State to lay down blueprints for long-lasting change in international relations? To what degree do you think former statesman should take credit or blame for events that may have occurred after their term in office ended?
Serving is much more difficult than just looking from the outside. Foreign policy is on a solid trajectory grounded from the hard work of former administration officials and then passed on to the next administration. …