Last week, I was invited to take part in a survey of foreign policy experts sponsored by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Texas National Security Network. The survey consisted of a series of generic U.S. foreign policy positions with which respondents were asked to agree or disagree.
The experience was eye-opening, as I came away from the short 10-minute questionnaire dissatisfied with the answers I had given, but not necessarily reassured by the available alternatives. That was in part because there was no way to explain one’s answers, put them into context or suggest preferable alternatives to the ones that were offered.
But the survey also forced me to confront my ambivalence about certain aspects of U.S. foreign policy and America’s global security role. It reinforced my conviction that we are in a moment of transition, in which old habits of behavior have lost their effectiveness but have not yet been cast off, while satisfactory new approaches have yet to be elaborated.