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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Defense of the International Order

Arshad Mohammed reports at Reuters:
The longest-serving U.S. diplomat warned against isolationism, protectionism and Russian aggression on Friday in a retirement speech implicitly criticizing some of U.S. President Donald Trump's policies even as he urged officials to serve the White House loyally.
Ambassador Dan Fried argued that since becoming a world power over a century ago, the United States had largely pursued an open, rules-based world, rejected "spheres of influence" where great powers bully their neighbors and contributed to "the longest period of general peace in the West since Roman times."
"This track record suggests that an open, rules-based world, with a united West at its core, is an asset and great achievement, and a foundation for more," the former assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs said as he wrapped up a nearly 40-year career at the U.S. State Department.
"Yet, some argue that this is actually a liability, that values are a luxury, that in a Hobbesian or Darwinian world we should simply take our share, the largest possible," he added.

The comment was an implicit rebuke to the "America First" approach in which Trump has pledged to end what he sees as decades of other nations freeloading on U.S. security and exploiting trade agreements harmful to U.S. workers