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Policeman Or Partner? The Global Role Of The U.S.

In his inaugural address on Tuesday, President Barack Obama emphasized "humanity and restraint" in foreign policy and rejected what he called the false choice between America's safety and America's ideals.

"We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense," Obama told the massive crowd gathered on the National Mall and many millions more watching around the world. But he promised that the United States would be "a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity."


In the latest installment of the Talk of the World series, NPR reaches out to international listeners to ask: As a new administration moves into Washington, D.C., should the U.S. aim to be a global policeman or a global partner? Neither? Both?

"Our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared," Obama said to his worldwide audience back in November, "and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand."

What form would you like to see the next generation of American leadership take?

Phone us at 202-513-2008 or call or text via Skype, username talkoftheworld. You can also send us an e-mail or leave your comments below.

Guests this hour:


Douglas Feith, senior fellow and director of the Center for National Security Strategies at the Hudson Institute

Jendayi Frazer, distinguished service professor, Carnegie Mellon University and former assistant secretary of state for African affairs

Joseph Nye, distinguished service professor, Harvard University and former deputy to the undersecretary of state

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