‘The Will To Lead’

“The Will To Lead” by Anders Fogh Rasmussen details why America has an indispensable role in the global fight for freedom. Having served as Denmark’s prime minister and as secretary general of NATO, he knows the importance of having a U.S. president that leads from the front and not from behind.

The book starts off with an impassioned plea to Americans that someone needs to be elected in the spirit of Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. He speaks of how “President Truman showed strong leadership and effective conduct by establishing the world order that for nearly seven decades secured an unprecedented peace, development, and wealth. President Kennedy came to stand as a beacon for the free world with his energetic and eloquent communication. And President Reagan led the United States and the world to victory and freedom over Communism and oppression by his firm conviction of American exceptionalism.”

Critical of President Obama, he sees the need for a strong president who is not afraid to restore order. The downsizing in Europe, the Iraq withdrawal and the hesitation in Syria are just a few examples cited to show President Obama’s inability to stand up to his adversaries.

“The U.S. must be everywhere to make sure they can uphold the world created after the Second World War,” he concludes.

This includes President Obama’s decision to pull the troops out of Iraq in 2011. Rasmussen emphatically believes before the U.S. troop pullout “it was relatively quiet and stable. Then the U.S. left Iraq and its prime minister, Maliki, marginalized the Sunni community, which allowed for ISIS infiltration.

“As I said in the book, ‘Communication should not just be words, but should be backed up with decisive actions and visible leadership,’” Rasmussen said. “We need to understand democracies must be defined as not just organizing elections and having majority votes, otherwise we end up with another dictator under the guise of a democracy. There must be protection of minorities, the rule of law and human rights.”

Rasmussen said that President Obama’s strategy has emboldened Russia, making the world more dangerous and unstable.

“Russia is now threatening her neighbors in Europe, primarily the Ukraine and Georgia,” he said. “The political and strategic goal of Russia, part of President Putin’s ambition, is to restore Russian greatness. He feels he could get away with these attacks because American has reduced its presence and interests in Europe. President Obama has sent a very dangerous signal to the autocrats and terrorists in the world. Basically, Putin exploited how people can get away with terrible acts without any consequences.”

The book has a poll that states the majority of Europeans are against the use of military force to defend an ally, a direct contradiction to the very foundation of NATO.

“I disagree that NATO is obsolete, as Mr. Trump has said. On the contrary, NATO is just as important as it was during the Cold War,” he said. “It is more important than ever thanks to President Putin’s aggression. People must realize the security environment, and Europe has drastically changed. We must adapt to this threat. I do agree that the Europeans should invest more in defense and our common security. All 28 NATO allies pledged to invest at least 2 percent in defense. Today only five live up to that, but this year Europeans will invest much more than last year, and hopefully within a decade they will reach this benchmark.”

The theme of the book, “The Will To Lead,” has America once again becoming the world’s policeman. He concludes that starting from WWII up until President Obama, U.S. presidents were committed to internationalism. He hopes that whoever becomes America’s next president, “They will have a bipartisan approach to foreign policy, and serve America’s self-interest by leading and not retreating from world affairs.”

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About the Author

Elise Cooper

Elise writes book reviews that always include a short author interview.