March 30, 2017

Corker: Exceptional Opportunity for New Strategic Thinking in U.S. Approach to the World

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today expressed optimism about the opportunity for cooperation between Congress and the Trump administration on implementing a new strategic vision for the U.S. approach to the world. The comments came during a committee hearing featuring testimony from former national security advisor Stephen Hadley and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

"We stand at a moment of exceptional opportunity to take the strategic thinking we’re exploring at hearings like this one and work together with this new administration to turn it into reality," said Corker. “There’s no question they are more accessible and welcoming of input than any administration I’ve dealt with since joining the committee."

He identified four broad challenges facing the U.S. internationally: (1) the “crisis of credibility…when it comes to the world’s view of the United States”; (2) the “serious problem with prioritization” and the need to “simplify and re-center our attention on the things that really matter”; (3) U.S. global engagement that is “disconnected from the beliefs and desires of the American people”; and (4) “the top threat to our national security” – “the long-term debt situation we have irresponsibly created”.

“I think we’ve lost the American people on foreign policy in many ways,” added Corker, who expressed support for saving money and streamlining operations at the State Department. “To the extent we can make sure that what we’re doing at the State Department and at the U.N. really matters and that we’re not doing wasteful things, I think that actually builds a case for us to do some of the transformative things I see us doing around the world.”

In his testimony, Hadley emphasized the important role of Congress in forming consensus over how the U.S. should approach the world. He also acknowledged the importance of addressing the American people’s skepticism about the benefits of U.S. global engagement for their security and prosperity.

"This popular dissatisfaction needs to be understood and acknowledged," said Hadley. “Washington needs to ensure that the benefits of America’s international engagement are shared by all of our citizens. But we also need to be clear about the consequences of disengagement."

Click here for complete testimony and video footage of the hearing.

###