U.S. Foreign Policy Strategy and Challenges

U.S. Foreign Policy Strategy and Challenges

17 Dec 19

On Thursday, December 12, 2019, the Turkish Heritage Organization hosted Dr. Joseph Nye to discuss U.S. Foreign Policy Strategy and Challenges. The discussion was moderated by Reuf Bajrovic, Co-chair of the U.S.-Europe Alliance. The discussion began with opening remarks from THO’s Executive Director Elvir Klempic. After the opening remarks, the conversation moved towards Dr. Joseph Nye examining the impacts of the Syrian “red line” and the notions of hard power versus soft power in the conversation of global security.

From here moderator Bajrovic began questioning how the U.S. has defined its national interests over the decade and what the most notable shifts have been over the past few years. Dr. Joseph Nye provided excellent insight on this question and stated that “after Roosevelt, the 13 presidents after him, national interests were broadly defined” now President Donald Trump for the first time is defining national interest narrowly. Stating that it will be America first and argues for the U.S. to work unilaterally. Dr. Joseph Nye stated that there is some thought put into this strategy, however, the negative side effect of it is that it will undercut the global institutions that provide global public goods.

The discussion continued as Bajrovic questioned the U.S.’s current strategy towards state actors such as Russia, China and in the Middle East and how this strategy differs from former President Barack Obama, who would often work with non-state actors. According to Dr. Joseph Nye, “you have to take states as the basic actors, but the question is what do you do when you don’t have a strong state structure.” Throughout the conversation Dr. Joseph Nye focused on the idea that there is a balance that needs to be found in U.S. foreign policy. For example, “China is a rising power- we must pay very close attention to the future role of China and the impact on the economy and the world...You have to focus on the great powers, but you must also have a device to prevent small players and their rise.”

The event concluded with audience questions for the speaker that focused on his upcoming book and his perspectives on the U.S.’s relationship with Russia and China and its role in the Middle East and Africa. You can also read more about the event here. Stay tuned for more of THO’s engaging events coming up soon by visiting our website www.turkheritage.org and subscribing to our newsletter!