The Lost Generation in American Foreign Policy

How American Influence Has Declined, and What Can Be Done About It

by James Dobbins, Gabrielle Tarini, Ali Wyne

Download eBook for Free

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.3 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

美国外交政策中"迷失的一代": 美国影响力的衰退与拯救

Chinese language version

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.5 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

The authors trace the decline of U.S. international influence over the past two decades, explore reasons for this decline, and suggest ways in which it might be reversed. They conclude that post–Cold War unipolarity bred hubris that, when provoked by the attacks of September 11, 2001, resulted in overreach and consequent setbacks. These, in turn, led to geopolitical retrenchment. The 2008 Great Recession fed U.S. disenchantment with international economic policies that produced national and global growth but failed to raise living standards for many Americans. To regain the willing collaboration of international partners, U.S. leaders will need to once again align American interests with those of the rest of the world, practice competent statecraft, adopt prudent policies, pursue realistically achievable objectives, and demonstrate continuity of policy across successive administrations.

This research was sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD).

This report is part of the RAND Corporation perspective series. RAND perspectives present informed perspective on a timely topic that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND perspectives undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.