Veterans and Foreign Policy Session Recaps


Pandemics and Other Dangers Across Borders: U.S. Foreign Policy in Crisis

With the tremendous stress and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, why should Americans pay attention to foreign policy? History has taught us that pandemics create vulnerabilities in national security. During this session, experts explained the current state of national security through the lens of the pandemic, where the nation should go from here, and what citizens should be prepared for.

Moderated by Tim Morrison of the Hudson Institute, this discussion included Mark Dubowitz, the CEO of Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and Danielle Pletka, senior fellow in foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. Both panelists warn that young people generally have a dismal view of U.S. foreign policy, and if our nation doesn’t maintain some level of global strength, countries like China will be quick to take advantage of us. “Our vision has got to be to do battle with the isolationists on the right and left,” Dubowitz argues. 

Battlegrounds: Defending Democracy through Principled Foreign Policy

In this session, former National Security Advisor Lt. General H.R. McMaster illuminated the threats and oppositions to America’s security, prosperity, and influence from the Chinese Communist Party. He addressed the measures being taken—and what more should be done—to defend our democracy against these threats.

McMaster argues that the fall of the Berlin Wall and the triumphs of free society that followed led to a period of complacency and a belief that our military could prevent the type of devastating attacks on freedom that we witnessed on 9/11. “9/11 broke me out of the thought process and made me recognize that we have many different ways in which we need to cope, including long-term political subversion like we see with Russia today,” said McMaster.

Following the introduction McMaster’s Big Idea, Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and Jim Hake, CEO of Spirit of America, joined the conversion to discuss why—with everything else going on in the world—we should pay attention to foreign policy.

Closing the session, when discussing Spirit of America’s work, Hake said, “The best way to get people educated is to combine it with action. Without that piece, people can be aware of a problem, but nothing gets done.”


More event recaps by topic:

K-12 Education

Economic Opportunity 


Philanthropic Best Practices