A former top Obama defense official called on the U.S. to remain “vigorously engaged” abroad and urged the administration to make the case for a strong American foreign policy.
"The hard truth is that international security abhors a vacuum," wrote former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy and co-author Richard Fontaine in the National Interest Thursday.
"If the United States is seen as abandoning its role as the primary supporter of international order, other powers — or the forces of chaos — will fill the gap,” they wrote. "The price will be exacted in precisely those benefits — prosperity, security and freedom — that the order was designed to enhance."
Flournoy is now the CEO of the Center for a New American Security, and Richard Fontaine is the organization’s president.
Their op-ed comes as the Obama administration faces a number of foreign policy challenges, from Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and violence in Gaza to Iraq, where a Sunni militant group, the Islamic State in Iran and Syria, has captured territory.
The U.S. now has nearly 1,000 troops in Iraq to aid local forces and assess the security situation and has used airstrikes to target ISIS and humanitarian drops to help refugees.