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What Can U.S. Do to Be Effective Abroad? Haass Says Look Within

Author Richard Haass describes how America is its own biggest threat.

The United States’ largest threat no longer comes from the outside — the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany of yore — but from within, says foreign policy analyst and author Richard Haass.

Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote the recently published book, “Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America’s House in Order.” PBS NewsHour senior correspondent Margaret Warner spoke with him recently and you can watch that conversation above.

U.S. policymakers face major domestic challenges, including a rising deficit and debt and an aging infrastructure, not to mention the need for immigration reform. But identifying the problems is much easier than fixing them.

“We’re going to basically need to see American politics work again,” and proposals that Republicans, Democrats and independents can support, said Haass.

To act as a guide, the president needs to be a little bit Franklin D. Roosevelt — with his constant fireside chats informing the public — and Lyndon B. Johnson — with his ability to arm-twist — to help recreate the center in politics, according to Haass.

The United States can still be involved in the world, though “in a more disciplined and discriminatory way,” with a handle on its problems at home, he said.

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Watch for Warner’s interview with Richard Haass next week on the NewsHour. On Friday, Vali Nasr talks about his book “The Dispensable Nation”. View all of our World coverage.

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