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What do the upcoming Presidential Elections mean for US Foreign Policy?

With so much political rhetoric surrounding the US Presidential Elections it is difficult to gain an understanding of how the elections will effect US Foreign Policy decisions going forward.  A recent report prepared by the Former US Diplomat & Foreign Policy Expert  and Chartwell speaker, James Rubin and Robert Kagan from the Center for a New American Security and endorsed by a number of leading Democratic and Republican foreign policy experts and former officials, offers genuine and bi-partisan insight into key factors a future President needs to address.

Here are the key points as highlighted by a Washington Post Editorial this weekend:

  1. The post-WWII world order has paid enormous benefits for the United States but is now endangered. “The past 70 years have seen an unprecedented growth in global prosperity, lifting billions out of poverty. Democratic government, once rare, has spread to over 100 nations. Above all, for 70 years there have been no cataclysmic wars among great powers of the kind that devastated Europe and Asia in the first half of the 20th century.”
  2. Without a strong U.S. presence in the world order and our security and prosperity will collapse under the weight of  “powerful and ambitious authoritarian governments like Russia and China, radical Islamic terrorist movements, long-term shifts in the global economy, the rise of non-state actors, the challenges of cyberspace, and changes in our physical environment.”
  3. The US must spend more money on Defence . “An urgent first step is to significantly increase U.S. national security and defense spending and eliminate the budgetary straitjacket of the Budget Control Act. A second and related step is to formulate policies that take advantage of the substantial military, economic, and diplomatic power Washington has available but has been reluctant to deploy in recent years.”
  4. In Asia, China is on the offensive so “the United States should do more to leverage its dramatic advantage in allies and regional security relationships. In that regard, a new diplomatic strategy of coordinating Asia policies with long-standing U.S. allies in Europe should be instituted. Such an approach plays to U.S. strengths and will add to perceptions of U.S. power.” This also includes passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It is argued that the US has failed “to respond to the new and unprecedented challenge from a rising increasingly assertive China.
  5. In Europe, the group urges enhanced coordination in defeating the Islamic State and providing “Ukrainian armed forces with the training and equipment necessary to resist Russian-backed forces and Russian forces operating on Ukrainian territory” as well as economic assistance. They argue that “to deter Russian efforts to destabilize these nations, it is necessary to build upon the European Reassurance Initiative and establish a more robust U.S. force presence in appropriate central and eastern Europe countries.”
  6. With regards to ISIS, the US must deny the Islamic State a free haven. To accomplish that “the international effort against ISIS is scaled up substantially. The United States should be prepared to lead such an effort, the aim of which should be to uproot ISIS from its sanctuary. The anti-ISIS alliance should have a global strategy that synchronizes military, intelligence, law enforcement, financial, and diplomatic operations. It should involve other major powers from around the world, and as many local and regional forces on the ground as possible.”
  7. In Syria, it is argued that the crisis has been dealt with appallingly and big steps need to be taken to solve it:  “The crisis in Syria, which has already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, is now spilling over that country’s borders in a dramatic way, destabilizing neighbouring countries in the Middle East and threatening the security and stability of Europe. The massive flows of refugees, measured in the millions, will become even more unmanageable if a political solution to the civil war ravaging Syria is not found sometime soon. Any such political solution must include the departure of Bashar al-Assad (but not necessarily all members of the ruling regime), since it is Assad’s brutal repression of Syria’s majority Sunni population that has created both the massive exodus and the increase in support for jihadist groups like ISIS.  . . .  [I]n light of this grim reality, the United States, together with France and other allies, must employ the necessary military power, including an appropriately designed no-fly zone, to create a safe space in which Syrians can relocate without fear of being killed by Assad’s forces and where moderate opposition militias can arm, train, and organize.”

If you would like to book James P. Rubin to speak at your upcoming event about US Foreign Policy contact Raleigh at or call +852-55129714

Post first published on LinkedIn by Raleigh Addington, Managing Director (Asia Pacific).

“Don’t Arm Ukraine” cautions John Mearsheimer, a world leading authority on great power politics

John Mearsheimer speaker [square]With the reigniting of the war in Ukraine, Western leaders are battling over how to help end the conflict. Questions are being raised over whether the US should send arms to fight Russian-backed rebels. As a response to such thinking, John Mearsheimer, one of the foremost realist thinkers on international politics, has cautioned world leaders in an NY Times op-ed titled “Don’t Arm Ukraine.”

Despite a recent report from three leading American think tanks that endorses the sending of advanced weaponry to Kiev, John contends that this “will not rescue its army and will instead lead to an escalation in the fighting.” He goes on to say that such a step is “especially dangerous because Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons and is seeking to defend a vital strategic interest.”

Instead, John suggests that “the only way to solve the Ukraine crisis is diplomatically, not militarily.” This can be achieved by making Ukraine a neutral buffer state between Russia and NATO. John believes that the West should also work with Mr. Putin to rescue Ukraine’s economy, “a goal that is clearly in everyone’s interest.”

Click here to read the full article, or watch the video above for more.

For more information on how to book John Mearsheimer as a keynote speaker for your conference or client event, please get in touch with Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call on +44 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Ambassador Curtis Chin outlines what Obama should have said about Asia’s rise but didn’t

In his annual State of the Union address, US President Barack Obama missed an opportunity to underscore the value of strengthened trade relations with Asia, says Curtis Chin, Managing Director of RiverPeak Group.

Curtis believes that whilst it’s understandable that Obama mostly focused on issues at home while spending relatively less time speaking about foreign affairs, he did little to convince skeptics of his commitment to the work it will take to move forward a comprehensive trade agreement with 11 Asian-Pacific nations.

Armed with stats -28% of U.S. goods and 27% of U.S. services exports go to Asia; 8.5 million visitors from Asia contribute $41 billion to the US economy – Curtis explains that “America’s security and prosperity are closely and increasingly linked to Asia and the Pacific.” He goes on to say that Obama has another chance to communicate this message during an upcoming three-day visit to and summit in India; Curtis suggests he addresses this critical point.

Click here to read on.


Mitt Romney makes the case for a “mighty” U.S. military

Mitt Romney speakerWriting in the Washington Post, Mitt Romey, 2012 US Presidential Candidate, argues that all reasons put forward for the decimation of the U.S. military defence are wrong, and that as “Russia invades, China bullies, Iran spins centrifuges, [and] the Islamic State threatens” there is still need for a mighty U.S. military.

For example, although some people believe that a multipolar world is preferable to one led by a strong United States, Romney counters by saying that the world would not see peace if these other pole nations were China, Russia and Iran. This is because “ultimately, one would seek to conquer the others, unleashing world war.”

Other arguments contend that if the United States withdrew its military strength from the world it would be left alone. However, Romney argues that the “history of the 20th century teaches that power-hungry tyrants ultimately feast on the appeasers.” Moreover, he believes that the U.S. “economy would be devastated by the disruption of trade routes, the turmoil in global markets and the tumult of conflict across the world.”

Romney puts forward that the real reason for shrinking the U.S. military is that “politicians, and many of the people who elect them, want to keep up spending here at home.” As the turbulent times set to continue, and with freedom and peace in the balance, he believes that the “Washington politicians are poised to make a historic decision.”

Click here to read the full op-ed.

For more information on how to book Mitt Romney as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Ellis Trevor at or call +1 972 385 1021.

Mitt Romney was the 2012 Republican nominee for President of the United States. He was also a leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, which eventually went to John McCain. Elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Mitt Romney presided over a dramatic reversal of state fortunes and a period of sustained economic expansion. Without raising taxes or increasing debt, he balanced the budget every year of his administration, closing a $3 billion budget gap inherited when he took office.

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John Hulsman, expert speaker on risk, outlines how Obama should respond to the Gaza crisis

John Hulsman speakerJohn Hulsman, an expert speaker on risk and the political economy of the Middle East, discusses what brought about the Gaza crisis and what Obama should (and crucially should not) do about it.

John describes how renewed upheaval in the region began when the bodies of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers were found dead, allegedly taken by low-level Hamas militants. In response, a Palestinian teenager was seized and burned alive by Israeli thugs. This back and forth game of “sickening logic” has continued to escalate, as torrents of rockets were exchanged between Israel and Gaza. As Israel threatens to broaden the campaign into a ground war, John argues that “the Middle East tragedy will become a catastrophe if Obama missteps now.”

John notes that, entirely correctly, the Obama administration has offered to broker a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel to stop the needless bleeding. However in doing so, several rules of thumb ought to be strictly observed:

  1. Obama must reiterate the basic point that it is unlikely that Hamas wanted this conflict.
  2. A ceasefire backed by the Americans would give Hamas a face-saving way out of its present muddle.
  3. It is imperative that the White House opts for a limited, tactical deal; Obama must not try for more than this.

Click here to read the reasons why.

To find out more about John Hulsman, or to book him as a speaker, please contact Alex Hickman at or call +44 (0) 20 7792 8004.

“ISIS should not top US foreign policy list” warns Francis Fukuyama

Francis Fukuyama, fellow at Stanford University and expert speaker on political philosophy, wrote in the Financial Times that ISIS risks distracting the US from more menacing foes.

Francis believes that the “focus of today’s debate [over Western intervention] ought to be: how should we prioritise the threats facing us and how bad are the most serious?” Authoritarian forces are on the move, as seen with Russia’s annexation of Crimea, China’s assertion of sovereignty over the South and East China seas, and the collapse of the Iraqi government’s power. Francis argues that the latter is “the least consequential of these challenges in terms of core US interests.”

Instead, Francis contends that Russia’s annexation of Crimea crossed the most important threshold. He points out that the “entire post-cold war order in Europe rested on Russia’s acceptance that ethnic Russian minorities stranded in neighbouring states would remain in place. President Vladimir Putin has thrown all that into question, with effects that will be felt from Moldova to Kazakhstan to Estonia.” He goes on to say that “strategy is about setting priorities, saying that some things are more important than others and explaining why this is so.”

Click here to read the full article.

To book Francis Fukuyama as a speaker, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk, at or on 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

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