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Tags: jon kyl | joe lieberman | open letter | next president | restore leadership

Frmr. Senators Write Open Letter to Next President: 'Restore Leadership'

Frmr. Senators Write Open Letter to Next President: 'Restore Leadership'
Connecticut's former Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who is now an independent (ID-CT) (R) and former Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) (L) speak during a news conference on Capitol Hill April 28, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 07 December 2015 07:43 AM EST

Two former U.S. Senators are urging America's next president to "restore leadership" in the world in national security, trade, human rights and military might.

In an open-letter posted in The Hill Monday, former Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl and Connecticut's former Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman, who is now an independent, argue that "American leadership still matters."

"It makes us safer and richer, and sustains an international system that has transformed the world," write the pair, who chair The American Internationalism Project and whose recommendations were released last week.

At stake, they argue, are Americans' "security, prosperity and freedom."

"Liberals, moderates, conservatives, Republicans, Democrats and independents can come together and agree that America must lead — and truly lead — in the world," they write.

The pair say their bipartisan group's goal when it formed two years ago was to answer one question: What is best for the American people?

"The answer, absent the politics that too often color such statements of principle, coalesced around three key concepts: security, prosperity and freedom," they write.

And underlying all of the other roles the United States plays in the world, they write, is the nation's "military strength and capabilities."

"Whether it's freedom on the high seas, the security of global air space or simply deterring adversaries, much of what our armed forces do is prevent conflict," they write.

"Right now, the U.S. is on track for a substantial disinvestment in the military, and our consensus view is that that must end."

But they also say "military force is only one tool of international engagement and never our first option."

"Consider oft-maligned diplomacy, which advances our interests and enables us to favorably influence the development of international norms in ways that are also advantageous to our security interests," they write.

"Does America always get exactly what it wants in the international arena? No. But by working through effective institutions and relationships that undergrid the international order, we simultaneously create a buy-in for American leadership with our allies and advance the values that are fundamental to our way of life."

The former lawmakers also write a top priority of "all — hawks and doves, left and right" is that "diplomatic solutions and public diplomacy … focus on human rights as a core priority."

"That means a better, smarter foreign affairs budget, recalling that all of our largest trading partners are former recipients of U.S. aid," they write. "It also means protecting and amplifying the soft power that has been a hallmark of American leadership for so long."

American leadership also will have to be reasserted in "the rules-based international system that allows for free trade, the openness of the Internet and the protection of intellectual property rights" — or risk it coming "under threat," they write.

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Politics
Two former U.S. Senators are urging America's next president to "restore leadership" in the world in national security, trade, human rights and military might.
jon kyl, joe lieberman, open letter, next president, restore leadership
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2015-43-07
Monday, 07 December 2015 07:43 AM
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