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The Will to Lead: America's Indispensable Role in the Global Fight for Freedom Hardcover – September 27, 2016
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From the Back Cover
“I have a clear message and plea to the American people: The world needs a policeman. The only capable, reliable, and desirable candidate for that position is the United States.”
In the next few years, the future world order, and America’s place in it, will be determined. In all likelihood, it will fall to the next US president to make the crucial decisions that will define that future. If the United States withdraws to concentrate on “nation building at home,” then the forces fighting against liberal democracy and our way of life will gain ground, and America will be faced with the prospect of stronger foes, weaker friends, and a less secure world.
A fierce advocate of freedom, Anders Fogh Rasmussen is unabashedly pro-American and is not afraid to speak his mind. The Will to Lead is his timely and significant defense of American leadership in the global struggle for democracy. A sharp critic of the policy of “leading from behind” in foreign affairs, Rasmussen—a former prime minister of Denmark and secretary-general of NATO—argues that over the past eight years this strategy has emboldened America’s enemies and authoritarian forces—and has made the world more dangerous and unstable.
Reviewing current geopolitical events—the Arab Spring, the Syrian civil war, the Iranian nuclear deal, the North Korean nuclear threat, the Russian annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine—Rasmussen concludes that the world is on fire and that there is a link between this outbreak and America’s reluctance to use hard power. If the United States retreats, then it will leave a vacuum that will be filled by the bad guys. Like it or not, America is the world’s indispensable world leader—and must embrace this role for the sake of its higher interests.
Rasmussen looks to past presidents—Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan—to identify the components of presidential leadership necessary on the global stage, and shares his personal assessments of leaders he has come to know personally, including George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Tony Blair, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton. Most important, he offers a bold plan for a strengthened American and European alliance, joined by like-minded liberal democracies such as Japan and Australia, to create a military, political, and economic bulwark against the forces of tyranny.
Hard-hitting yet fair, drawn from history and Rasmussen’s own experience, The Will to Lead is a thoughtful contribution to American politics, full of wisdom for politically involved Americans on either side of the aisle.
About the Author
Anders Fogh Rasmussen has been at the center of European and global politics for three decades. He served as prime minister of Denmark from 2001 until 2009, when he was elected secretary-general of NATO, a position he occupied until September 2014. Rasmussen is currently the chairman of Rasmussen Global, a geopolitical and security strategic consultancy. He lives in Denmark.
Top customer reviews
While the book is well written and its points are clear, I personally believe it is too little too late. In reading this title, which I saw reviewed on a political website, I didn't find much in the way of new information or perspectives that I had not considered or seen before. For example, the author makes the argument that America is the only nation with the capability, and therefore duty, to be the world's policeman to keep the peace. The problem with this argument is twofold. First, it doesn't take into account the enormous cost being the world's policeman is having on our nation. Secondly, Americans have been told that a lot of different foreign adventures have been in our best interest when this has turned out not to be the case. Similar counterpoints can be made for the other arguments presented by the author. If this book is aimed at trying to convince the skeptics, isolationists and poor within our nation that continuing to take the lead internationally for the sake of global stability was in their best interest, then I think stronger, unique arguments were needed.
I think this book would have been much better received a few years ago, maybe back in 2012. Today, the tumultuous political landscape has changed so much that both sides of the aisle are beginning to align in one thing and one thing only: isolation. Though it's clear that the writer is passionate about his beliefs, I believe that this book will have little impact on the current polarized American society.
Byron Kahrs Varme