America’s Shifting Foreign Policy

Talk Thursday 13 June 2013, 7:00 PM

As Barack Obama enters the second year of his second and final term in office, he faces considerable foreign policy challenges. The US position on Syria and the controversy over the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya are weighing on the president. There is a notable attempt by the Obama administration to make a strategic pivot towards Asia and away from the Middle East.

Join us as we dissect Obama’s foreign policy ambitions, exploring the shifts in focus and how they are playing out. Will he achieve his second term goals? Can he successfully pull focus to Asia or will the conflict in Syria direct attention back to the Middle East?

The Obama administration is making considerable efforts to redefine American power, through domestic reforms that the president calls “nation-building at home” and substantial shifts in foreign policy. We will be looking more widely at the attempts to rebuild America’s global strength.

Chaired by author, journalist and broadcaster Michael Goldfarb. He has worked for NPR and the BBC, and has written for Global Post, the GuardianThe New York Times and The Washington Post.

The panel:

Kim Ghattas has been the BBC’s State Department correspondent since 2008, and travels regularly with the Secretary of State. She is author of the recently published The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power. She was previously a Middle East correspondent for the BBC and the Financial Times, based in Beirut. Her work has also appeared in TIME magazine, the Boston Globe, NPR, and The Washington Post.

Professor Michael Cox is founding co-director of LSE IDEAS and professor of International Relations at LSE. He has held appointments at The Queen’s University of Belfast, California State University at San Diego, The College of William and Mary in Virginia, the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth, The Catholic University of Milan, the University of Melbourne, and the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies in Canberra, Australia. He is general editor of two successful book series Rethinking World Politics and Cold War History. He is author, editor and co-editor of several books including The Rise and Fall of the American Empire: From Bush to Obama, US Presidents and Democracy Promotion, US Foreign Policy and Soft Power and US Foreign Policy.

Dana Allin, is senior fellow for US foreign policy and transatlantic affairs, and editor of Survival: Global Politics and Strategy at The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). He is professorial lecturer at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), of the Johns Hopkins University in Washington D.C., and adjunct professor of European studies at the SAIS Bologna Center. He is author and co-author of five books including, most recently, The Sixth Crisis: Iran, Israel, America, and the Rumors of War and Weary Policeman: American Power in an Age of Austerity.

Nick Schifrin is a foreign correspondent for ABC News based in London. Previously he was the ABC News Afghanistan-Pakistan correspondent and bureau chief based in both Kabul and Islamabad, from 2008 until 2012.