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Friday, October 4, 2013

Experts Say Shutdown Weakens U.S. Foreign Policy

President Barack Obama speaks about the government shutdown and debt ceiling, in Rockville, Md., Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

President Barack Obama speaks about the government shutdown and debt ceiling, in Rockville, Md., Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

President Obama says he will not go to key meetings in Asia because of the government shutdown, adding to worries that the dysfunction in Washington, D.C. is weakening the U.S. abroad.

Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister says the president not being able to attend these meetings will make Asians question U.S. leadership.

Veteran Diplomat Richard Haass says the shutdown “sends the message that the country is divided,” and makes both allies and enemies question whether the U.S. is reliable.

Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations writes:

“For those who claimed that attacking Syria with cruise missiles was required to maintain U.S. credibility in the eyes of Iran’s Supreme Leader, doesn’t Capitol Hill’s behavior over the past week do more to demonstrate America’s incompetence? If the foundations of functioning governance are impossible at home, shouldn’t U.S. allies question America’s commitments to their security thousands of miles away?”

Here & Now speaks to Nicholas Burns, who has served as U.S. Ambassador, Under Secretary of State, and U.S. Representative to NATO.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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