The Foreign Service Journal, November 2023

40 NOVEMBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL The American Imperative: Reclaiming Global Leadership through Soft Power Daniel F. Runde, Bombardier Books, 2023, $28.00/hardcover, e-book available, 280 pages. After two decades working in the field of international development, Daniel Runde has written this book to “raise the alarm” about the new power struggle he sees shaping up between China, Russia, and the United States. With the world distracted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China continues to build a diplomatic presence across the globe, competing for economic influence with the U.S. in what Runde calls “an entirely new kind of superpower competition.” In The American Imperative, Runde argues that the U.S. must rethink how it uses the tools at its disposal, with a focus on economic and soft-power skills rather than military might, to lead. The United States, he writes, is the only country equipped to help developing nations build their economies and support good governance—which, in turn, supports American interests. Runde also calls for the State Department and USAID to be more transparent about how and where they spend their development dollars, suggesting that Congress should be responsible for collecting data to track and enforce development progress. Daniel Runde is a senior vice president, director of the Project on Prosperity and Development, and holds the William A. Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has held leadership roles at the World Bank Group and USAID, where he served as director of its Office of Global Development Alliances from 2002 to 2007.