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Security and Opportunity for the Twenty-first Century

Hillary Rodham Clinton waves to the crowd after addressing the National League of Cities 2007 Congressional City Conference in Washington, March 13, 2007. Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

To lead, a great nation must command the respect of others. America has been respected in the past as a powerful nation, a purposeful nation, and a generous and warm-hearted nation. In my travels around the world as senator and as first lady, I have met people from all walks of life. I have seen firsthand how many of our past policies have earned us respect and gratitude.

The tragedy of the last six years is that the Bush administration has squandered the respect, trust, and confidence of even our closest allies and friends. At the dawn of the twenty-first century, the United States enjoyed a unique position. Our world leadership was widely accepted and respected, as we strengthened old alliances and built new ones, worked for peace across the globe, advanced nonproliferation, and modernized our military. After 9/11, the world rallied behind the United States as never before, supporting our

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