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Event Summary

Warning that many US adversaries and rivals have been emboldened by America’s uncertain foreign policy, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) outlined his proposals to reform and revitalize America’s leadership role on the international stage at an AEI event on Wednesday morning. While contending that the current administration’s lack of engagement has left America with a foreign policy of tactics rather than strategy — most notably in Central Asia and the Middle East — Senator Rubio argued that the current challenges facing the US threaten to curb its ability to promote fundamental values like liberty, prosperity, and the protection of human rights.

In addition to commenting on conventional strategic priorities such as the US pivot to Asia and the “dangerous cuts to the defense budget,” Senator Rubio addressed unconventional challenges such as the rise of dictatorial powers in the Western Hemisphere, modern-day slavery, and the persecution of religious minorities around the world. Cautioning against “irreversible concessions” to rogue regimes and the “false promise of protectionist policies,” the senator concluded by advocating for a strong American foreign policy led by progrowth policies, diplomatic engagement, a strong national defense, and the values that have made the US a secure and prosperous nation.
–John VerWey

Event Description

In the national imagination, foreign policy is a zero-sum game between two dueling and incompatible camps: “doves” who seek to isolate us from the world, and “hawks” who aim to resolve practically every crisis with our nation’s mighty military. By this neat taxonomy, an active US foreign policy is synonymous with warmongering, and isolationism is equivalent to peace. Is America being presented with a false choice?

From the infancy of the republic, America’s engagement abroad has promoted the universal values embodied in the American dream: liberty, representative government, and economic opportunity. Join us to hear Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Select Committee on Intelligence, articulate a vision for America’s role in the world that reflects our nation’s deepest aspirations.


9:45 AM
Registration and Breakfast

10:00 AM
Arthur C. Brooks, AEI

Marco Rubio, US Senate (R-FL)

10:30 AM
Audience Question-and-Answer Session

10:45 AM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact John VerWey at [email protected], 202.862.5839.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.

Speaker Biographies

Arthur C. Brooks is the president of AEI. Until January 1, 2009, he was the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government Policy at Syracuse University. He is the author of 10 books and many articles on topics ranging from the economics of the arts to applied mathematics. His most recent books include “The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise” (Basic Books, 2012), “The Battle: How the Fight between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America’s Future” (Basic Books, May 2010), “Gross National Happiness” (Basic Books, 2008), “Social Entrepreneurship” (Prentice-Hall, 2008), and “Who Really Cares” (Basic Books, 2006). Before pursuing his work in public policy, Brooks spent 12 years as a professional French hornist with the City Orchestra of Barcelona and other ensembles.

Marco Rubio has represented Florida in the US Senate since 2010. Before his election, he served as majority whip, majority leader, and speaker of the House in the Florida House of Representatives between 2000 and 2008. A well-known advocate for fiscal restraint and progrowth policies, he quickly emerged as a leading voice in the Senate on everything from Medicare reform to higher education transparency. He has consistently engaged in the debate about the future of America’s foreign policy, articulating a vision in keeping with strategic and moral imperatives. His committee assignments currently include Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Foreign Relations; Intelligence; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

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