US Public Radio Series
America Abroad is an award-winning documentary radio program distributed by Public Radio International (PRI) and broadcast on public radio stations nationwide. Each month, we take an in-depth look at one critical issue in international affairs and U.S. foreign policy.
"Those who argued for these tactics were on the wrong side of the debate, and the wrong side of history. That's why we must leave these methods where they belong, in the past..."
– President Obama, speech at the National Archives, May 2009
"It's kind of like what Lou Holtz said when he coached Notre Dame football – we're not where we want to be, we're not where we need to be, but thank goodness we're not where we used to be." – Lt. General Frank Helmick
The UN convention on genocide has been on paper for sixty years, but never put into practice. In 2005, the UN adopted a new idea, the responsibility to protect (R2P). America Abroad traces the evolution and history of R2P and visits the Democratic Republic of the Congo where years of internal conflict and proxy wars brings questions about the limits of R2P and the international community's willingness and ability to protect civilians.
It seems that today you can’t turn on the television (or the radio) without hearing talk of American decline. The country is in the throes of a financial crisis, and grinding through two wars. China, India, Russia and others are sitting at the big kids’ table, and even a recent National Intelligence Council report warns that America’s unipolar moment is over. Others say, not so fast—the US has been declared dead before, but it turns out it was just resting. We take the measure of American power and leadership amid the rise of the rest.
"I think that public diplomacy has been done as if the channels of communication are the same as the 1980s. They have completely and radically changed, and I think Americans need to understand that the rules of the game have changed."
–Lahcen Haddad, Professor at Mohammed V University