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Steven Senne / AP

America's foreign policy should focus on its relationships with other nations and how it nurtures those, said retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal on Monday at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen.

"We're in a world where there are lot of nations that matter, and how we knit together… I think American foreign policy needs to be focused on that," he said.America only: "The mere saying of 'America First' — of course it sounds good! But when you're making a bumper sticker and putting it in a car, what you're saying is 'America Only,'" he said, adding that the country needs to pay more attention to how it presents itself to people around the world.Trump's leadership: "I don't think his hair would have passed my command standards," said McChrystal when asked to assess Trump's leadership level. Leadership book: McChrystal is currently writing a book with two co-authors about leaders throughout history, pairing several of them and analyzing their styles. Though it's not been decided, McChrystal would like it to be titled, "Leaders: A general theory of relativity," he said. Not about the tech: McChrystal, whose firm helps companies with their technology and strategy implementations, says the problems are never about either of those things — it's about getting the company to change its behavior.

Go deeper

Symone Sanders leaving VP's office

Vice President Kamala Harris and her press secretary Symone Sanders. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris, is leaving the VP’s office by the end of this year, three White House officials told Axios on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The VP has faced an onslaught of criticism in her first year centered on her leadership and staff, adding to the suggestion, she’s not the Democratic Party’s preferred nominee for 2024.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 2 hours ago - Health

Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The travel bans and border closures prompted by the Omicron variant likely won't fully prevent its spread, but that won't stop countries from leaning on the measures.

Why it matters: The rapid speed at which countries turned to travel bans with the emergence of Omicron indicates border controls will increasingly become a weapon against infectious disease — whether or not public health experts agree they are effective.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP fights itself on shutdown politics

Reporters question Senate Minority Whip John Thune before the Republican Party's weekly lunch on Tuesday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

GOP leaders on Capitol Hill are scrambling to reach a deal with a bloc of 15 Senate Republicans threatening a government shutdown to force a fight over the Biden administration's vaccine mandates.

Why it matters: The push to defund the mandates — by holding the short-term government funding bill hostageis largely symbolic, and highly controversial within the Republican Party. A shutdown as early as midnight Friday could trigger everything from national park closures to delays in receiving Social Security checks.