Aspen Security Forum: America First | Wilson Center
Aspen Security Forum

Aspen Security Forum: America First

Webcast available

Webcast Recap

From pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris climate accord, to questioning the value of NATO and imposing tariffs on European allies, to renegotiating NAFTA, to tearing up the Iranian nuclear agreement, to promising to pull troops out of Afghanistan and Syria in the not too distant future, President Trump is upending 70 years of foreign policy orthodoxy in pursuit of his “America First” agenda. Meanwhile, a rising China and a revanchist Russia are working feverishly to fill the void. Does the President have it right or is he taking the nation – and the world – down a dangerous new path? 


Selected Quotes from Jane Harman

“The term “America First” was used by isolationists in World War II, and it doesn’t fit our politics now.”

“If we are going to talk about 'America First,' we ought to talk about 'American Values First.'"

“It is true that a lot of our regional alliances and the UN need to be modernized. In many respects, they’re quaint. The Security Council system at the UN doesn’t work because one country can always veto and we always know who will veto, and then nothing happens.”

“We should mend it, not end it, and that would be, it seems to me, a better approach to world order.”

“Our democracy in this country isn’t functioning the way it should; isn’t healthy the way it should be, and what do we do about that? ... Everybody vote. Pick your side, it doesn’t matter. Pick candidates in either party — or a third party — who actually want to solve problems, because if you do that, that’s a good start on reclaiming the democratic order in the United States and having the team that can fix the fraying world order.”

“Leadership requires a positive vision, and we are lacking that.”