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The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher.

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Every component of our nation's future, [Chuck Hagel] therefore our children's future, the future of this country, of this generation, is contained within the arc of foreign policy-- trade, energy, national security, our relationships around the world, our competitive positions around the world. And I think 9/11 taught us that [Dina Habib Powell] we're in a globalized world and issues in Yemen and Afghanistan and India and Pakistan affect people in Michigan and California. [Richard Haass] The American people have the opportunity, have the responsibility, to to know what's going on. [Harold Ford Jr.] A lack of information and a lack of perspective is as much an enemy to good governance as any kind of partisan fights. I think in a generation where we have so many blogs [Angelina Jolie] and so much quick information and little sound bites and even if you are very committed, it's very hard to know who to trust and where to go. [Robert Rubin] It's only by questioning your assumptions that you can really think through to the heart of whatever it is you're dealing with. [Mahnaz Ispahani] You can't fundamentally understand a problem unless you bring a very diverse range of perspectives to it. [Fareed Zakaria] And if you don't have venues and forums and processes by which this becomes possible, it's very difficult to move forward. [Frances Fragos Townsend] And you turn to places like the Council on Foreign Relations. We're a venue; we're a publisher. [Mora McLean] A research organization--a membership organization. [Kenneth Roth] It's a community. It's a community of policy makers, of people who follow policy closely. [Helima Croft] It's really a nonpartisan think tank, and the fellows represent a huge spectrum of political views. [Michael Froman] The council attracts people from a variety of different perspectives, and also from a from a variety of different backgrounds--from the business community, from NGOs, from labor. [Reza Aslan] To cultural leaders, religious scholars, academics-- They connect them with the people in government, ideas in government. [Zbigniew Brzezinski] The council provides also a prestigious forum for foreign leaders. We're a magnet. People know they can come here; they trust the space. [Erin Burnett] They can be honest about what they think, and that's very difficult to achieve in the public forum. [Carla Hills] And we don't always agree, but we learn as we listen. [Brian Williams] It's a repository. It's a reference shelf on everything going on in the world. Not just the critical issues, but anticipating what's coming. CFR makes it very accessible, I think. Between the website, the podcasts and Foreign Affairs, you can really absorb it. Foreign Affairs is one of the best publications in the business. [Vali Nasr] The value of this is that it actually contributes to debates that shape outside of the United States about global issues. [Brent Scowcroft] CFR has maintained its relevance even as the world is changing dramatically. I am always 6-9 months away from my next trip to Afghanistan and Iraq, and before I go, I rely on the resources of the council. I think it would be foolish not to. I think the general public should think of the council as a tremendously valuable resource to decision makers all through our society-- to decision makers in public life, decision makers in private life, and now, particularly with the website, to themselves. We need societies like the Council on Foreign Relations, [Ted Sorensen] where public issues can be frankly and freely discussed and analyzed. To educate Americans about what the issues are. [Laura Winthrop] To engage the younger people and the next generation of foreign policy leaders. And the more we're able to do that, the more informed people will be during debate, and I hope that the better the public policy that results from it will be. So if we can become a place where people can get smarter, where ideas can get produced and debated and disseminated, then we have contributed to the quality of the debate, which in turn will affect the quality of the policy. People matter; ideas matter. [Council on Foreign Relations] [CFR.org]

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 58 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 84
Posted by: lhammes on Jul 7, 2011

CFR members, including Brian Williams, Fareed Zakaria, Angelina Jolie, Chuck Hagel, and Erin Burnett, explain why the Council on Foreign Relations is an indispensable resource in a complex world.

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