Podcast | Is ‘American Exceptionalism’ over? Robert Gates doesn’t think so

The former Secretary of Defense for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama has some thoughts on the United States’ place in the world.

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Robert Gates

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates addresses the Boy Scouts of America's annual meeting, in Nashville, Tenn. on this May 23, 2014. (Mark Zaleski/AP)

That America has been an exceptional power in the years following the end of the Cold War is of little doubt. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States stood alone in its power to influence global events.  

Yet, in recent years that power appears to have waned some as adventurism abroad and partisan gridlock at home have tarnished the country’s global reputation and tested the trust of its allies. 


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China, meanwhile, has emerged as an economic force that is coalescing power while building allyships of its own through the Belt and Road Initiative.

For this week's episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates discusses what the rise of China means for American exceptionalism and how the country might best navigate the new global terrain.