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John Hulsman reflects on what we can learn from D-Day

John HulsmanIn today’s City A.M., Dr John Hulsman, a prolific foreign affairs commentator, argued that our leaders have forgotten the spirit of D-Day – and why it saved the world.

John was struck by a conversation he had with sergeant Charles Bookman Fair, a friend of his father who led an eight-man rifled mortar squad on D-Day. When asked about his experiences on the battlefield Fair told John, “I believed in what we were doing, I believed in our allies, and I believed in our leaders.” Noting this, John points out that there is a canyon’s worth of difference between this attitude and Allied foreign policy today.

A key issue is that during that point in history there was a sense of clarity about what the Allies were trying to accomplish. John argues that now, however, American foreign policy is in a murky world of multipolarity and “without such clarity, Washington will never be able to build the domestic political consensus needed to successfully execute any sort of long-term foreign policy.”

Click here to read what more we can learn from these historic events.

For information on John’s speaking availability, please contact our Managing Partner, Leo von Bülow-Quirk, at or call +44 (0) 20 7792 8000

Ambassador Nick Burns: Expert speaker on geopolitics

It was good to catch up with Nick Burns in London this morning. Nick, an expert speaker on geopolitics, was passing through, en route to the 70th anniversary celebrations of the Normandy Landings.

He has been speaking a lot lately on the lessons we can learn from the crisis in Ukraine, and Russia’s attempts to mask its decline as a power with eye catching manoeuvres abroad. In the next few months he will be in China and India. Nick is upbeat about Narendra Modi’s potential to re-invigorate India’s economy.

He was less impressed by Barack Obama’s recent foreign policy set-piece at West Point; there is now a cross-party consensus in the US that Obama’s retreat from Bush era foreign adventures has gone too far, and begun to damage America’s credibility as the world’s leading power.

For more information, or to book Nicholas Burns as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Ambassador Nicholas Burns outlines the US’s position on Ukraine

Nicholas Burns, a professor of the practice of diplomacy and international politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe last week detailing the position of the US with regards to the on-going upheavals in Ukraine, and what is currently at stake.

Nicholas argues that “what happens in Ukraine is important to American interests in a still-vital Europe.” He goes on to list three reasons why this is so:

  1. Putin’s success in Ukraine is resounding ominously in Central Europe. If he gets away with the destruction of a major state like Ukraine, what would stop him from destabilizing an even weaker Moldova? 
  2. Russia’s intervention in Ukraine has thrown Washington’s relationship with Moscow into a deep freeze, resuming a long-term struggle for power in Europe.
  3. Most importantly, Putin’s aggression challenges the entire architecture of the post-Cold War order.

Nicholas adds that whilst Putin continues to divide, destabilize, and dismantle UkraineAmerican and European leaders cannot agree on the severity of sanctions against Russia. Consequently, Nicholas warns, this has led to a “series of weak, half-hearted measures that have failed to alter Putin’s behavior in any meaningful way.”

Click here to read the full article.

For more information, or to book Nicholas Burns as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Gideon Rachman on the “undoing of Obama’s grand strategy”

Another fascinating article by Gideon Rachman in today’s FT on the potential “undoing of Obama’s grand strategy” with the situation in Syria. It seems Obama cannot win – by being cautious to get actively involved with a Syria conflict Obama faces being portrayed as weak, yet if he does step in “it will be a clear reversal of the grand strategy formed during his first term.”

Discussing the US’s planned “pivot to Asia” and the contest for power and influence between the US and China, Gideon wonders: “perhaps Mr Assad will do China another favour – drawing America ever deeper into the Middle Eastern morass.”

To read the article in full click here.

To find out more about Gideon Rachman, or to book him as a speaker or moderator for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Ambassador Nick Burns: Expert speaker on the key global challenges

I’m just off the phone with Nick Burns, the former Under-Secretary of State and now Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at Harvard University.

During his 27 year career in the State Department Nick played a key leadership role in US foreign policy towards the Middle East, Europe, and South Asia, and served as US Ambassador to Greece (1997-2001) and NATO (2001-05). He is viewed as one of the US’s most articulate spokespeople on globalisation and US foreign policy.

Nick is currently spending a lot of his time helping audiences understand the foreign policy priorities of Obama second term administration, and look ahead to the challenges likely to shape global politics in the months ahead: tension between China and Japan; Iran’s nuclear ambitions and US-UK engagement in Afghanistan.

For more information, or to book Nicholas Burns as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

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