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Net Assessment

Oct 15, 2021

Chris, Melanie, and Zack return to discuss Richard Haass’s critique of “Washington’s new flawed foreign policy consensus.” The Council on Foreign Relations president laments the bipartisan turn away from the mostly internationalist spirit that has informed U.S. foreign policy since the end of the World War II.

Is he right? Does such a consensus exist? And does that explain why successive U.S. presidents seem so skeptical of internationalism? The three also try to discern what Haass favors as an alternative, but conclude that dissatisfaction with the current direction of U.S. foreign policy doesn’t easily translate into specific and implantable policies.

Grievances for Katherine Tai for an underwhelming speech on U.S. trade policy, for Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley for holding up ambassadorial appointments, and to those who harassed Sen. Kyrsten Sinema — in the restroom! — for being … jerks.

Attagirl to Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa who braved abuse and intimidation for uncovering corruption and misrule in the Philippines and elsewhere. Chris gives a shout out to Reps. Jim McGovern and Peter Meijer for introducing legislation to rein in executive power, and Melanie praises the developers at GlaxoSmithKline for their life-saving new malaria vaccine. She also gives a special shout out to her nephew Zack and his Utah state champion golf team at Long Peak High School.


Richard Haass, “The Age of America First: Washington’s Flawed New Foreign Policy Consensus,” Foreign Affairs, November/December 2021,

Richard Haass, “What Mike Pompeo doesn’t understand about China, Richard Nixon and U.S. foreign policy,” Washington Post, July 25, 2020,


New American Engagement Initiative Annual Student Competition,

New American Engagement Initiative Future Foreign Policy series with Rep. Joaquin Castro, Monday, Oct. 18 at 3:30 pm,

“America is shorthanded in foreign affairs. Thanks, Ted Cruz,” Washington Post, Oct. 10, 2021,

Ankit Panda Twitter,

Apoorva Mandavilli, "A 'Historic Event': First Malaria Vaccine Approved by WHO," New York Times, Oct. 6, 2021,

Connor O’Brien, “Lawmakers aim for blockbuster overhaul of war powers, arms sales,” POLITICO, Sept. 30, 2021,

Dina Smeltz, Ivo Daalder, Karl Friedhoff, Craig Kafura, and Emily Sullivan, "A Foreign Policy for the Middle Class--What Americans Think," Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Oct. 2021,

Peggy Noonan, "Progressives Hold the Capital Captive," Wall Street Journal, Oct. 7, 2021,

Tyler Haslam, "High School Golf: Kihei Akina Leads Lone Peak Knights to 8th State Title in 9 Years," Deseret News, Oct. 5, 2021,