Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, May 21, 2013.
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Madeleine Albright: ‘To put it mildly, the world is a mess’


As conflicts around the world from Gaza to Ukraine continue to intensify, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Sunday, “the world is a mess.” 

“Can you recall a time when there was so much trouble in so many different places around the world?” asked CBS’s “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer.  

“We all grew up in a very different era where we were focused on the threat from the Soviet Union and that was the major activity and it clearly was dangerous, but what has happened now is that we are seeing problems in a variety of places,” Albright said, pointing to globalization and technology as crucial factors.

“There is so much connectivity, but also not an understanding of all the various pieces of the news that come into us,” she said.

“What has changed: We don’t want to be the world’s policemen. The American people don’t.”
Madeleine Albright

Albright named Putin’s leadership first in Crimea and now toward Ukraine and the escalating tensions in the Middle East as two huge “game-changers.”

“I think Putin is living in his own world,” Alrbight said, saying that he’s used propaganda through his own country and central and eastern Europe.

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President Obama has drawn mixed reviews for how his administration has handled the ongoing conflicts thus far. The president recently issued stronger sanctions on Russia and has been present in the Middle East – along with Sec. of State John Kerry – to help negotiate peace and a ceasefire. In a call with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, Obama “made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” said that “the president’s leadership has been very strong.” South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, also on the program separately, stood by his opposing view that “America is the glue that holds the free world together. And when you see us missing, or AWOL, as President Obama has been, you see fracturing on multiple fronts.”

Asked to weigh in on the disapproval the president’s faced for attending multiple fundraisers recently, Albright told Schieffer “I don’t think the criticism is fair,” adding that the president “does not travel alone; he has advisers around.”

“What has changed: We don’t want to be the world’s policemen. The American people don’t,” Albright said.

Despite Americans’ opposition to taking direct action overseas to combat violence – according to a recent POLITICO poll,  just 17% of voters said the U.S. should be more involved in the Russia-Ukraine battle – Albright said firmly that “the U.S. has to be at the table.”

Madeleine Albright: 'To put it mildly, the world is a mess'