GZERO VIDEO: The US can advance democracy without being the world's sheriff

NEW YORK (GZERO MEDIA) - Despite its withdrawal from Afghanistan, the US can still advance the values of democracy, says US political scientist Ian Bremmer.

Responding to a New York Times opinion piece by columnist David Brooks, Mr Bremmer looks at the history of US intervention and how the US can still exert its influence on the world.

Mr Bremmer posits that the traditional model of US military intervention was already beginning to show its flaws during the Vietnam War, instead of the examples of Iraq and Afghanistan raised by Mr Brooks. Mr Bremmer also follows up by saying that the threat of terrorism has already been diminished, countering Mr Brooks' point that this reduced risk of terrorism is largely due to American troops stationed in the Middle East.

"US intelligence and law enforcement officials have spent vast sums over the past 20 years in the United States and on borders to protect the American people. If anything, US interventions abroad have made Americans less safe, not more."

Mr Bremmer highlights the rise of ISIS as a result of US military presence in Iraq as an example.

Mr Brooks contends that the US has to compete against countries like China and Russia on various aspects, engaging in "economic, cultural, intellectual, and political contest"

But Mr Bremmer says that if values are so important to US foreign policy, "why is Washington on such good terms with Egypt or Saudi Arabia, whose positions on LGBTQ and women's rights are anything but progressive."

"Some in the United States do want to advance liberal values the world over, but the US doesn't have either the capacity or the inclination to do so everywhere."

Mr Bremmer concludes by stating that the US has "plenty of ways to advance democracy - such as sending humanitarian aid and establishing cultural exchanges - without becoming the world's sheriff and that the US should better leverage on such soft power tools.

"Given how Afghanistan, Iraq, and other recent US military interventions have turned out, these soft power tools deserve a lot more attention," Mr Bremmer says.

This GZERO media video is being shown here as part of a media partnership agreement with The Straits Times.