A primary focus of the McCain Institute is advancing impactful programs, partnerships and activity to demonstrate how character-driven leadership can help America and her allies meet important challenges. Reaffirming the strength of America’s strategic alliances has never been more vital, a call to action put most poignantly by Senator McCain:
Make no mistake, my friends: These are dangerous times, but you should not count America out, and we should not — and we should not count each other out. We must be prudent but we cannot wring our hands and wallow in self-doubt. We must appreciate the limits of our power, but we cannot allow ourselves to question the rightness and goodness of the West. We must understand and learn from our mistakes, but we cannot be paralyzed by fear. We cannot give up on ourselves and on each other. That is the definition of decadence. And that’s how world orders really do decline and fail.
This is exactly what our adversaries want. This is their goal. They have no meaningful allies, so they seek to sow dissent among us and divide us from each other. They know that their power and influence are inferior to ours, so they seek to subvert us, and erode our resolve to resist, and terrorize us into passivity. They know they have little to offer the world beyond selfishness and fear, so they seek to undermine our confidence in ourselves and our belief in our own values.
We must take our own side in this fight. We must be vigilant. We must persevere. And through all — it all, we must never, never cease to believe in the moral superiority of our own values: that we stand for truth against falsehood, freedom against tyranny, right against injustice, hope against despair — and that even though we will inevitably take losses and suffer setbacks, through it all, as long as people of goodwill and courage refuse to lose faith in the West, it will endure.
John McCain, 2017 Munich Security Conference
NATO and its members are facing a growing threat in the form of disinformation campaigns that can be traced back to authoritarian regimes and their proxies. Much of this “weaponized” information is aimed at weakening confidence in member state governments and in the alliance itself. While Russia poses the most immediate threat, China and others are also engaged in such campaigns.
America’s Alliances Working Group Featuring: Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
Social Media Monitoring and Analysis Final Report
The timing and announcement of substantial U.S. troop reduction in Germany on the eve of the 76th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion sends an unfortunate, even dangerous, message.
We stand a better chance of defending our values and interests around the world if we have allies. Yes, these alliances need to be updated to face the realities and challenges of today. As with so many other things, this will require more engagement and leadership. Not less.
Foreign Policy for America and the McCain Institute welcome the announcement of the bipartisan House Diplomacy Caucus.
“I refuse to accept the demise of our world order. […] I refuse to accept that our values are morally equivalent to those of our adversaries. I am a proud, unapologetic believer in the West.”