June 27, 2007

CNAS Official Launch: Chuck Hagel Keynote

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) held its official launch on June 27, 2007 at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C. The day-long event, entitled “Toward a New American Security,” included three expert panels based on recently released CNAS reports as well as keynote addresses by Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE).

Discussions and debates covered the future of U.S. ground forces, a new strategy for the war in Iraq, and the nature of the national security inheritance the next president will receive from the current administration. With more than five hundred guests and distinguished bipartisan panels, the event helped pave the way for the center’s ongoing work in creating strong, pragmatic, and principled defense and security policies for America.

After a laudatory introduction by Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, Senator Chuck Hagel delivered the afternoon keynote address for the CNAS official launch, covering a wide range of U.S. foreign and security policy. Beginning with an overview of the day’s immigration debate, he stated that U.S. leaders must account for the globalized nature of the world and realize that American actions have implications for people the world over. Senator Hagel emphasized the need for strengthening and working with international institutions such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and NATO, and pointed to President Eisenhower’s use of diplomacy and alliances in working through the nation’s security and defense challenges. He suggested that the next president conduct a global listening tour, emphasized the need to internationalize efforts to find political solutions for Iraq, and recommended continuous diplomatic efforts with adversaries such as Iran. His speech and the audience questions he answered focused on the value of debate and analysis in policy making, and explained that the nation needs good leadership to employ the good scholarship and full strengths of America. Senator Hagel said that the measure of success in security policy is often by attacks prevented, wars averted, and that which never occurs.

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