There have been inflection points throughout history, noted Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the University of Texas at Austin. “We had an inflection point after World War II. We had another one after the end of the Cold War. And we believe we’re in one of those right now,” he said.
”You have a re-emerging great power competition that is primarily engaged in shaping what the future looks like. We’ve hit the end of the post-Cold War era, and now there’s a competition on to shape what comes next,” he said. ”And at the same time, we have extraordinary transnational challenges, issues that are affecting people in every corner of our globe, including here in the United States, whether it’s food security, whether it’s climate, whether it’s the way all of these emerging technologies are being used, whether it’s mass migration.”
“And none of us, not even the United States, can effectively deal with these challenges alone,” noted Secretary Blinken.
“There’s a premium on American engagement and American leadership because in the absence of us doing that, one of two things: either someone else is going to do it, and probably not in a way that reflects our interests or values; or maybe just as bad, no one does it, and then you have a vacuum that’s likely to be filled by bad things before it’s filled by good things,” he said.
There is also a premium on finding new ways to cooperate with other countries toward a common purpose, said Secretary Blinken:
“And here it’s my profound conviction ... no country on Earth has a greater ability to mobilize others in positive collective action than the United States.”
And finally, said Secretary Blinken, “We’ve made historic investments over the last few years ... to put us in a stronger position not only to do well by people at home but also to compete effectively in the world. And if you have a strong foundation at home, it does wonders for your standing and your strength around the world. That’s what we’re seeing play out every single day around the world.”