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.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author


  • Paul Wolfowitz spent more than three decades in public service and higher education. Most recently, he served as president of the World Bank and deputy secretary of defense. As ambassador to Indonesia, Mr. Wolfowitz became known for his advocacy of reform and political openness and for his interest in development issues, which dates back to his doctoral dissertation on water desalination in the Middle East. At AEI, Mr. Wolfowitz works on development issues.

    Follow Paul Wolfowitz on Twitter.
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Hemal Shah
    Phone: 202-862-5889

What's new on AEI

image Getting it right: US national security policy and al Qaeda since 2011
image Net neutrality rundown: What the NPRM means for you
image The Schuette decision
image Snatching failure from victory in Afghanistan
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Graduation day: How dads’ involvement impacts higher education success

Join a diverse group of panelists — including sociologists, education experts, and students — for a discussion of how public policy and culture can help families lay a firmer foundation for their children’s educational success, and of how the effects of paternal involvement vary by socioeconomic background.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Getting it right: A better strategy to defeat al Qaeda

This event will coincide with the release of a new report by AEI’s Mary Habeck, which analyzes why current national security policy is failing to stop the advancement of al Qaeda and its affiliates and what the US can do to develop a successful strategy to defeat this enemy.

Event Registration is Closed
Friday, April 25, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Obamacare’s rocky start and uncertain future

During this event, experts with many different views on the ACA will offer their predictions for the future.   

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.