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“They’re fighting for us.” Foreign policy experts speak on U.S. intelligence and leadership during Ukrainian war

The seventh annual conference brings diplomats, journalists, politicians and scholars to Indiana University. (Nicholas DiVaccaro, WTIU/WFIU News)

Ukraine is not just fighting to save itself, but for democratic powers around the world, a former U.S. Ambassador to that nation said in a Bloomington speech Wednesday.

“They're fighting for us. They're fighting for their own freedom, the values, their identity,” former Ambassador William Taylor said. “But those are our values. They are fighting for us. They're fighting alone.”  

His comments came during the seventh annual nonpartisan foreign policy conference called “America's Role in the World” at the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University.

Taylor’s remarks were followed by a panel with Taylor, former U.S. Senator and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and former Ambassador to Poland Lee Feinstein. Feinstein is also Founding Dean of the Hamilton Lugar School.  

The conversation detailed the role of U.S. intelligence in Russian aggression, what to expect next from Ukrainian leadership, and what global reactions should be to the war in Ukraine.

READ MORE: Former Senator Evan Bayh speaks on Russia’s war in Ukraine and what to expect next

Coats noted that democracy is in jeopardy with the impact of the war in Ukraine being felt globally. Coats said it is a historic moment for the world to decide how the future will be shaped.

Feinstein said borders cannot be changed with a point of a gun, agreeing with other panelists that the United States and other countries need to remain engaged in the Ukrainian war. Feinstein, who defined unity as strong principles that sustain change in the long term, emphasized the importance of nonpartisanship during a global crisis such as this.  

“Unity over division, principle over party. This is how you make change,” Feinstein said. “You really have to build around very, very strong principles. And that's how you sustain change over a long period of time.”  

The panel, moderated by Fox News Analyst Marie Harf and sponsored by the IU Center on Representative Government, drew a full house to the auditorium. The event was also livestreamed on the Hamilton Lugar school's website. 

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