The Next 100 Days

President Obama's election sent a powerful message about the openness of American society, and his eloquence can do a lot to improve the way the world views the United States. His travels in his first 100 days have further enhanced his popularity abroad. Now he should use that popularity and eloquence to address some fundamental foreign policy challenges.

Obama could build the confidence of those whose help we need but who may doubt America's staying power.

The president should use his popularity to convince our European allies that Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and support for terrorism are truly dangerous. He should use his eloquence to explain to the people of Pakistan that our policies there advance common interests, not just our own. He should reassure the people of India that we have not forgotten India's importance as the world's largest democracy. He can speak up forcefully for the rights of women and advance the cause of freedom. And by explaining clearly to the American people the need to sustain the burden of long-term commitments to protect our fundamental interests, he could build the confidence of those whose help we need but who may doubt America's staying power.

The whole world would benefit if President Obama used his remarkable talents not so much to apologize for America's past errors but to rally people of good will to the difficult task of building a prosperous, peaceful and tolerant world.

Paul Wolfowitz is a visiting scholar at AEI.

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Thursday, October 02, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Campbell Brown talks teacher tenure

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Harnessing the power of markets to tackle global poverty: A conversation with Jacqueline Novogratz

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