May 28, 2014

Finding The Fine Line Between Isolation And The 'Allure Of Normalcy'

Source: NPR

Journalist: Robert Siegel


Two views now of president Obama's West Point speech today. Joining me are first Michele Flournoy, CEO of the Center for a New American Security. She was under secretary of defense. Welcome...


SIEGEL: ...To the program today. And Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution, who's author most recently of the essay "The Allure Of Normalcy." It's in the latest edition of The New Republic. Bob Kagan, welcome to the program once again.

ROBERT KAGAN: Thank you.

SIEGEL: First, Michele Flournoy, your reaction to the speech and in particular, the counterterrorism strategy of partnerships with friendly states from South Asia to Sub-Saharan Africa.

FLOURNOY: You know, I think it was a very strong speech as speeches go in that it reasserted the importance of American leadership and engagement. On counterterrorism specifically, the president laid out a vision for a shift in our counterterrorism policy from an emphasis on direct action, where we are actually striking our enemies directly, to an emphasis on building the capacity of our partners in Yemen, in Somalia, in Mali and elsewhere to be able to deal with the terrorist threat on their soil.

SIEGEL: The idea would be creating almost a chain of partnerships throughout that entire region?

FLOURNOY: Yes. And the truth is that work has already begun. But I think what the president is doing is putting more emphasis on that and calling for congressional support in the form of a $5 billion fund that would support these partnership efforts.

Listen to the full interview at NPR


  • Michèle Flournoy

    Chair, CNAS Board of Directors, Co-founder and Managing Partner, WestExec Advisors

    Michèle Flournoy is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of WestExec Advisors, and former Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), w...