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Eric Jacobstein

Sep 06, 2011

Staff Director
U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control

Describe the impact on foreign policy you have made in your current/past jobs.
My work in Congress and at the Inter-American Dialogue has advanced citizen security in Latin America. Citizen security is equally a foreign policy and a domestic challenge as drug consumption in the United States and firearms trafficking from the U.S. to Latin America negatively impact our neighbors.

What personal contribution to foreign policy are you most proud of?
On both the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere and the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, I have helped to push for security assistance to Latin America that provides essential equipment while also supporting crucial justice and police reforms.

What is your vision of foreign policy in the 21st Century?
U.S. foreign policy in the 21st Century must recognize that new power players in our multi-polar world are here to stay. Countries like Mexico, Brazil, and India increasingly assert their economic and political might. We should work closely with these countries which will play a growing role in global affairs in the coming years.

What is the greatest foreign policy issue facing our generation?
Insecurity. While it may not get much attention, Honduras now has the highest murder rate in the world and Guatemala and El Salvador are not far behind. At the end of the day, without security, not much else matters.

What challenges need to be overcome to create better foreign policy?
From trade to migration, domestic political challenges have to be overcome to create a stronger U.S. foreign policy.

What personal, managerial, and leadership skills and traits must the next generation of foreign policy leaders possess?
The world gets smaller every day and the next generation of foreign policy leaders will need to understand the nuances of foreign countries and leaders more than ever before. Foreign policy leaders should also set the stage for more parties to be heard.

How can foreign affairs be made more accessible to Americans, particularly younger generations?
Through social media, foreign affairs issues are already becoming increasingly accessible to Americans.

Which living or dead foreign policy practitioner do you look up to the most?
Sol Linowitz who negotiated the Panama Canal treaty and helped put Latin America at the front of the U.S. foreign policy agenda

Which living or dead foreign policy practitioner do you think has missed the mark and why?
James Monroe for putting forth the Monroe Doctrine

If you could change a critical decision in history to affect foreign policy, what would it be?
I would force the international community to respond to the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.


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