From Kiev to Damascus, Moscow to Caracas, there are very few international conflicts and debates where the actions and position of the United States is not influential.
In Ukraine, the United States stands solidly behind the interim government, and slapped some sanctions on Russian officials after Moscow annexed Crimea.
But as Moscow continues to play out a similar drama in eastern Ukraine now, the nation and its neighbors want to know what the U.S. is going to do, if anything, to prevent any further land grabs.
The people of Syria of course have been asking that sad question for three years now; despite laying out a red line over chemical weapons, the White House has kept a hands off policy there.
And then there's the tricky question of how the United States stretches over the head of governments to reach the people in countries such as Iran and Cuba.
In a world increasingly consumed by a war of words and polarizing propaganda, the art of public diplomacy is paramount, and the new U.S. Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs has his work cut out for him today.
Rick Stengel, who was sworn in by Secretary of State John Kerry this week, is actually a former journalist and managing editor of Time Magazine. He now steps into the powerful role of telling America’s story and laying out its foreign policy goals for the world.
CNN’s Christiane Amanpour spoke with Stengel on Friday – his first TV interview.
Click above to watch.
And in a web extra, click below to hear Stengel speak about fighting al Qaeda's narrative online, and also the Israel/Palestinian peace process.