“Every day on social media, our adversaries are throwing salt in the wounds of our divisions. If we bring people together from all backgrounds on projects for the common good, we can begin to heal.” ~ Ambassador Susan Rice
Common Ground Committee, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering civil public discourse in politics, was thrilled to partner with the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University to welcome General David H. Petraeus (US Army, Retired) and Ambassador Susan E. Rice to a public forum on global relations. At a time of rising tension between America and China, North Korea, Russia and the Middle East, these two icons of foreign policy were able to find many areas of common ground, including these four key takeaways:
- The decision to withdraw from Syria was a grave strategic mistake, but some gains can be salvaged.
- President Trump’s call with the Ukraine broke with normal protocol, and was more relevant to domestic politics than national security.
- The U.S.–China relationship is the most consequential in the world, and all other foreign policy initiatives should weigh the potential impacts to this relationship.
- Domestic political divisions and the disruption of our democracy are among our greatest national security risks.
In this era of polarization, General Petraeus and Ambassador Rice’s productive and respective discussion, moderated by NBC News anchor Craig Melvin, offered a positive model for civil discourse on foreign policy issues.