Leadership, American style

Kim Holmes is vice president of foreign and defense policy studies at the Heritage Foundation. He’s also the author of the Liberty’s Best Hope: American Leadership for the 21st Century, a thoughtful exploration of what American leadership should look like in the coming years.
Since leadership requires followers, Holmes put together a kind of “focus group” of leading foreign diplomats. One of them, from an important and loyal U.S. ally, spoke for the group when he said, “follow me doesn’t work any more.”
The two obvious reactions to this statement are (1) ignore it and proceed as usual or (2) confess to prior arrogance and attempt to make things up to the rest of the world (this is what Barack Obama has in mind when he says we need to negotiate without pre-conditions with enemy dictators like Ahmadinejad in order to compensate for the “arrogance” of the Bush administration). For Holmes, neither approach is satisfactory, and his book can be viewed as an effort to find a non-trivial “third way.”
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