Intelligence Squared U.S. invites some of the world’s brightest thinkers to debate issues. The organization was founded in New York in 2006 to promote intellectual diversity by fostering respect for differing opinions. The debates are organized in the traditional Oxford style. The side that convinces more audience members to embrace its arguments wins. The excerpts below come from a debate in January about the United States’ role on the international stage.


Mary Beth Long spent more than a decade as a CIA officer and was the first woman confirmed by the Senate as assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs: Whether or not we feel that we were well-positioned to handle the pandemic and well-positioned...

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