It’s time for America to get back in the international leadership game.
What should our global strategy look like in an age of renewed great power competition? And what must America offer to a newly empowered developing world when we’re no longer the only major player?
In The American Imperative, international development expert Daniel Runde makes the case for building a new global consensus through vigorous internationalism and the judicious use of soft power. Runde maps out many of the steps that we need to take––primarily in the non-military sphere––to ensure an alliance of stable and secure, like-minded, self-reliant partner nations in order to prevent rising authoritarian powers such as China from running the world.
About the Author
Daniel F. Runde is Senior Vice President and the William A. Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Runde’s work centers on creating a freer and more prosperous world. Renowned as a global thought leader, he has been at the center of Washington debates on soft power and development for two decades.
Previously, Runde held senior leadership roles at the World Bank Group and served in the Bush Administration at the U.S. Agency for International Development. He has been an advisor to a number of Republican presidential campaigns since 2012.
“Dan Runde shows that soft power doesn’t have to be soft-headed. Facing a determined, often ruthless, Chinese foreign policy, America needs to deploy all the instruments of its national power far more effectively. Runde’s suggestions should launch an important debate on the role and objectives of U.S. foreign economic assistance.” — John Bolton, former United States National Security Advisor and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
“The American Imperative questions many of our assumptions about a post-post Cold War world, astutely analyzes the new, complex environment in which we live, and advances a compelling set of recommendations for U.S. policy makers. It is a most timely, relevant read.” — Paula J. Dobriansky, former U.S. Under Secretary of State
“In The American Imperative, Daniel Runde makes clear that building a better future requires prevailing in competitions short of armed conflict. He recommends how America can regain global leadership by taking a fundamentally different approach to diplomacy and foreign assistance. We cannot afford for Runde’s recommendations to lie inert in this excellent book. This is a book that must be read, debated, and applied to improve policy development and implementation.” — H.R. McMaster, former United States National Security Advisor and author of Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World
“Will competition with China for world leadership mean military conflict? Dan Runde explains how to fight—and win—peacefully by making our policies and bureaucracies fit for the twenty-first century. In the struggle for influence in the developing world, Runde tells us what cards we hold—and how to play them." — Elliott Abrams, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, former Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy
“America regularly assesses the strategic threats that confront us and relentlessly seeks to fund, build, and maintain the military forces needed. But as Dan Runde deftly argues, our efforts to mobilize and focus the elements of soft power that constitute what can actually be our greatest advantage is haphazard at best and at worst, dangerously deficient. This is a great read and an essential primer in today’s environment.” — Gen. Stanley McChrystal, former Commander of Joint Special Operations Command
“The rise of China under the rule of the Communist Party poses perhaps the greatest threat to the United States and our way of life that we have ever seen. To prevail and ensure that we enjoy another American century, we must use every tool of national power. Dan Runde is one of the nation’s preeminent experts on international development. In The American Imperative, Runde gives us a guide for how America can complement its military strength with diplomatic, cultural, and economic power to ensure victory in the long struggle ahead.” — Robert C. O’Brien, former United States National Security Advisor
“The United States has a unique role to play in the world today. Of course, it will need military power to play that role. But most of the challenges facing America require harnessing other forms of power. In The American Imperative, Dan Runde explains the importance of non-military power and provides a blueprint for a long-overdue bipartisan consensus on how the country can strengthen these other instruments of national power.” — Stephen J. Hadley, former United States National Security Advisor
“Dan Runde has a mission: to integrate development assistance within a comprehensive U.S. foreign policy. The American Imperative efficiently explains the purposes, history, changing themes, tools, traps, reforms, and institutions of aid—with an eye on the practice and practicalities of experience. This book advocates a valuable conservative internationalism amidst the transformations and competition of the early twenty-first century.” — Robert B. Zoellick, former President, World Bank and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, author of America in the World
“An absent America will mean ceding burgeoning economies, emerging technologies, influential institutions, and the very values of work and governance to authoritarians with no interest in the words and propositions of the Declaration of Independence. In The American Imperative, Runde provides the playbook, one in which America leads with the tools of diplomacy and development to advance democracy and opportunity the world over, not at the point of a sword but with a helping hand. It is time for policymakers to read it, get off the sidelines, and put it into practice.” — Senator Todd C. Young, U.S. Senate
“Development is an underrated but mighty power. It opens the opportunity for freedom and self-sufficiency. With The American Imperative, Daniel Runde reminds us that both good and bad actors can fill vacuums in the world. By making a case for a renewed foreign policy agenda that emphasizes broad-based economic growth and good governance for the developing world, this book outlines how the United States can lead for good.” — Henrietta H. Fore, former Executive Director of UNICEF and former Administrator of USAID