ed.note As we get


(ed.note: As we get ready for the launch of TPMCafe.com, we’ll be bringing you more information about the different components of the site. The following is an introduction to ‘America Abroad’, the foreign policy group blog, hosted on the new site.)

Why, you might ask, another blog on foreign policy? True, there are plenty of good blogs out there to help you navigate the stormy waters of our world — and of America’s attempt to steer a sensible course. But America Abroad will be different in a few important respects. We will bring you not one voice — but six. Some come from journalism (Dan Benjamin and George Packer); some from academia (John Ikenberry and Anne-Marie Slaughter) and some from think tanks (Ivo Daalder and Jim Lindsay). Some served in government (Dan, Ivo, and Jim in the White House; John at State). Some are more focused on immediate policy questions (Dan, George and Ivo); some have more analytical interests (John and Anne-Marie). One is a lawyer by training (Anne-Marie); others have been trained as political scientists (Ivo, John, Jim, and Anne-Marie). But all of us are committed internationalists, convinced that America needs to engage the world as a positive force. And we all are deeply worried about the direction American policy has taken.

America Abroad will present a running conversation, among the contributors and with you, the readers, about the challenges America faces in today’s world as well as the opportunities engagement abroad may provide to enhance America’s security, liberty, and prosperity. You will see us discuss — and argue over — the key issues of the day: how to defeat terrorism, promote democracy, confront nuclear proliferation, make globalization work, manage the rise of China, and a host of other issues. You will see us explain how we think the world really works, and how America should deal with that world. What are the major factors driving our involvement in the world? What should be our aims? What our means? What is the role of multilateralism? How can we strengthen, reform, or build new international institutions? How much power does the United States have to determine world events? When is using military force appropriate?

This blog will tackle real world issues and assess practical strategies for dealing with them. You will see us comment (and criticize) what the administration, the Hill and, yes, the Democrats have on offer. We’re not here to provide screeching condemnation or uncritical cheering from the sidelines. We want to advance the debate — by arguing about the big picture, the major choices, and the grand ideas. And we want you, our readers, to go away feeling that you’ve learned something, that you’ve seen an issue in a new or different light. We want you to think about America’s engagement abroad in ways that you may not have before. If we do that, at least once in a while, then this blog will have served its purpose.

Daniel Benjamin
Ivo Daalder
John Ikenberry
James Lindsay
George Packer
Anne-Marie Slaughter