Russian aggression and the distinct rise of Iranian influence brings to question our ability to gauge the sentiment and influence of others abroad.

It is undeniable, anti-American sentiment abroad is widespread. There’s a need to gauge opinion and sentiment elsewhere, not just for travel – but for foreign politics. Just the other day I had a conversation with a Danish World Bank employee who was passionate about Europe and very critical of America. I wish, as an American, I knew more about Denmark, but I don’t.

She knew, as many do, far more about our political system than I did hers. Yes, we’re the world’s de facto leadership, but in order to stay ahead, we need to act according to sentiment abroad. To a greater extent, we, as Americans, as a whole are ignorant of the rest of the world. It would serve us well to pay more attention to the remainder of the world.

The people who join our government, either in Congress of within Government Agencies – are often young. They’re also not experienced, as most young Americans aren’t (I wasn’t), or ex-service members. They’re gearing up to travel and experience the world and do so through the lens of whatever agency.  I think those who take on public service are honorable and do society a great service. I believe in public service and, not serving at this instant, feel a vacancy in my life. It’s tangible. But I worry that the public is not savvy about the world and that public will occupy senior government positions.