Dr. John C. Hulsman is the president and managing partner of John C. Hulsman Enterprises, a prominent global political risk consulting firm. He is also senior columnist for City AM, the newspaper of the City of London. He can be contacted via chartwellspeakers.com.
International relations so often amount to a dialogue of the deaf, with the contending powers knowing next to nothing about each other. After my decade in Washington, I fully accept foreign criticisms regarding America’s breezy insularity from the rest of the world. But this dangerous ignorance works both ways. In the decades I have lived away from the US, I must admit to finding the leaders of the rest of world equally (and often proudly) ignorant of the history, culture and way of life of the most powerful country in the world.
One of the greatest intellectual conceits of my decade in Washington was the notion that the US made other countries behave badly, as though they had no control over their actions, let alone internal motivations of their own.