Top Editors, Publishers Assess America’s Global Leadership, Ability to Manage Hotspots

Assessing America’s role in the world and its ability to maintain order in the international arena was the topic given to four of the country’s most respected newspaper editors and publishers at a panel discussion held earlier this month. Watch the video.

The provocative discussion about threats to peace in the 21st century was part of “Two Organizations, One Vision: Achieving Peace in the 21st Century,” a celebration by Carnegie Corporation of New York of its sister organization the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Panelists Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor, The Washington Post ; Karen Elliott House, former publisher, The Wall Street Journal ; Bill Keller, executive editor, The New York Times ; and moderator Lionel Barber, editor, Financial Times discussed issues ranging from India-Pakistan, Israel-Iran, stateless actors, unsecured nuclear weapons and the yearning for democracy.

One theme evident throughout the evening was the country’s ability and willingness to sustain its global leadership role--and domestic and global perception of that role.

One of the biggest threats to international peace, suggested Karen Elliott House, is America’s weakness.  The inability of the U.S. to come to grips with Afghanistan, Iraq and other hotspots sends a strong signal that no one can truly count on us.

U.S. leadership is key to maintaining world peace, agrees Fred Hiatt.  Yet, the greatest threat to international security, says theWashington Post editorial page editor, is a loss of confidence by the U.S. that it has the ability to provide that leadership.

The panelists addressed questions including how the U.S. can avoid an increasingly adversarial relationship with China; and the Arab Awakening, as Lionel Barber referred to the series of revolutions shaking the Arab world.  Barber probed the panelists to try and determine what its likely trajectory will be and how far the Arab Awakening will spread.