2009 Conference

 

2009 Conference Program

The topic of the 2009 Camden Conference was “Global Leadership and the U.S. Role in World Affairs”

The 22nd Annual Camden Conference, Global Leadership and the U.S. Role in World Affairs, was held February 20-22, 2009.

The election of Barack Obama has been hailed as just what this country needs in the eyes of the world. But President Obama has perhaps the fullest and most daunting inbox of any president in recent history. Just one month after Obama took office, the 22nd Camden Conference brought together nine world-class speakers to help us understand the challenges facing the United States and our new President.

The program was as follows:

Friday, February 20

  • Keynote Address: Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. “Foreign Policy Challenges Facing the New Administration”

Saturday, February 21

  • Nicholas Burns, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University “A New Era of Diplomacy for the Obama Administration”
  • Tamara Wittes, Senior Fellow, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution “After Gaza: Obama Administration Policies in the Middle East”
  • Denis Lamb, Former U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris “The Tarnished U.S. Economic Model and the Implications for U.S. Foreign Policies”
  • Nayan Chanda, Editor of Yale Global Online and Director of Publications at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization “From Trade to Terrorism: Obama’s Asian Challenge”
  • Paula J. Dobriansky,Former Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs “Aligning our Values and our Interests Through Global Affairs”
  • Timothy Juliani, manager of Relations and Senior Markets and Business Fellow at the Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC) of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change “Climate Change: Renewing U.S. Leadership in Challenging Times”

Sunday, February 22

  • John Deutch,Institute Professor at MIT, Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and Deputy Secretary of Defense “National Security Challenges and Opportunities Facing the Obama Administration”
  • Gareth Evans, President and CEO of International Crisis Group and former Foreign Minister of Australia “What the World Wants From an Obama Foreign Policy”

The moderator for the 2009 Camden Conference was Graham Phaup, Executive Director, Institute for Global Ethics.


2009 Conference Speakers

The following speakers participated in the 2009 Camden Conference.

Moderator: Graham Phaup

Graham Phaup is Executive Director at the Institute for Global Ethics – a U.S.-based think-tank with offices in Washington, D.C., London, Toronto and Rockland, Maine. In that role he oversees all of the Institute’s work relating to programs—education, organizational services and public policy—and directs the funding of these activities.

Graham has spoken to a wide range of audiences in the United Kingdom, Ireland, continental Europe, and the United States. He draws on his extensive commercial experience in engineering and environmental assessment in Europe. Since moving from London in 1994, where his career was firmly based in public affairs in Westminster and Brussels, he now oversees the Institute’s operations and is director of the Project on Ethics and Philanthropy.

Keynote: Brent Scowcroft

Brent Scowcroft has had an extraordinary twenty-nine year military career followed by civilian public service at the highest levels of our government. Beginning with his graduation from West Point, he rose to the rank of Lieutenant General in the Air Force. In uniform he served as Deputy National Security Advisor as well as teaching Russian History at West Point and heading the Political Science Department at the Air Force Academy. He also headed the Air Force Office for Long Range Plans, was Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Military Assistant to President Nixon.

Scowcroft was National Security Advisor to both Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush. From 1982 to 1989 he was Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates, an international consulting firm. In this role he advised a wide range of U.S. and foreign corporate leaders on global projects and strategic plans. He also served on the President’s Advisory Committee on Arms Control, the Commission on Strategic Forces, and the President’s Special Review Board (known as the Tower Commission).

Brent Scowcroft founded and is President of The Scowcroft Group where his expertise on inter-national policy is made available to clients who seek his strategic advice and assistance in dealing with varied challenges in the international arena. Scowcroft holds a masters and doctorate degrees in International Relations from Columbia University.

R. Nicholas Burns

Ambassador Nicholas Burns is currently Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at the Kennedy School, Harvard University. He retired from the State Department in April, 2008 after a distinguished career spanning twenty-seven years. From 2005 until his retirement Burns was Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs—the third-ranking position in the State Department—where he led U.S. negotiations with such countries as Iran, India, and Kosovo and supervised U.S. diplomacy in all regions of the world. Earlier Burns was U.S. Ambassador to NATO and to Greece. He served as State Department Spokesman for two years and spent five years on the White House staff as
Special Assistant to the President with primary focus upon the collapse of the Soviet Union. Early in his career Burns was posted in Egypt and in Mauritania and served as American Consul General in Jerusalem. He is on the Boards of the Atlantic Council, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Appeal of Conscience, and a proud member of Red Sox Nation.

Eileen Claussen

The Honorable Eileen Claussen is President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change and Strategies for the Global Environment. She was formerly Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environment and Scientific Affairs. Prior to joining the State Department Claussen served for three years as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Global Environmental Affairs at the National Security Council. She also served as Chairperson of the United Nations Multi-lateral Montreal Protocol Fund. Earlier Claussen was Director of Atmospheric Programs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where her responsibilities included activities related to the depletion of the ozone layer, Title IV of the Clean Air Act, and the EPA’s energy efficiency programs such as the Energy Star Program.

Gareth Evans

Gareth Evans is former Foreign Minister of Australia and now serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Crisis Group. The I.C.G. is a multinational, non-governmental organization headquartered in Brussels and Washington, D.C. that focuses upon crisis prevention and follow-up. Evans was a barrister and lecturer in law in the 1970’s before entering the Australian Parliament where he soon rose to leadership positions followed by Cabinet posts as Attorney General, Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Transport and Communications, and finally as Foreign Minister from 1988 to 1996. After leaving this post, Evans participated in a series of high-level United Nations and International Commissions on such issues as Intervention and State Sovereignty , Weapons of Mass Destruction, Global Public Goods, and Genocide and Mass Atrocity. He joined I.C.G. in January, 2000. Evans has written or edited eight books as well as many book chapters, journal articles, and media columns on foreign relations, politics, human rights, and legal reform.

Paula J. Dobriansky

Paula J. Dobriansky served from 2001 until early in 2009 as the Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, as well as the President’s special envoy Northern Ireland, with the rank of ambassador – a post which she held from 2007 to January 2009.

In her capacity as Under Secretary, she was responsible for policy issues including democracy, human rights, environmental and scientific matters, health, trafficking in persons, international women issues among others. Dobriansky has acted as U.S. spokesperson on issues of climate change and global warming. She is also a member of the Trilateral Commission. Early in 2007 she became Special Envoy for Northern Ireland, a post previously held by Senator George Mitchell. Prior to 2001 Dobriansky held leadership positions with the Council on Foreign Relations, the Project for a New American Century, U.S. Information Agency, and the National Security Council in the White House as well as on U.S. Delegations to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, the United Nations Decade for Women Conference in Kenya, and the Bali Summit on Climate Change in 2007.

Prior to her stint in government she was senior vice president to the head of the Washington office of the Council on Foreign Relations, where she was also the first George F. Kennan fellow on Russian area studies.

Dobriansky appears frequently on broadcast media and in public testimony. She serves on the boards of Freedom House, the Australian- American dialogue, the American University in Afghanistan, and Hungary’s International Center for Democratic Transitions.

Currently, she is senior international affairs and trade advisor at the law firm of Baker Hostetler. Starting next month, she will be teaching a global issues seminar series at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. She received both her masters and Ph.D from Harvard.

Denis Lamb

Denis Lamb is a retired Ambassador and member of the Senior Foreign Service. He entered the Foreign Service in 1964 with an early posting to Martinique followed by a series of positions
working with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Europe. He undertook
further study to gain skills in systems analysis and computer applications. In the late 1970’s he was Executive Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State, then Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. mission to the European Union in Belgium. After serving in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the
State Department, Mr. Lamb was U.S. Representative to the OECD in Paris with rank of Ambassador. After retirement from the Foreign Service, he finished his career as Director of Public Affairs for the OECD in Paris for ten years.

John Deutch

John Deutch is an Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been a faculty member there since 1970 and has served as Chairman of the Chemistry Department, Dean of Science, and Provost. Deutch is widely published not only in physical chemistry but also on technology, energy, international security, and public policy issues.

From mid-1995 through 1996 Deutch was Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and head of the overall U.S. Intelligence Community. He previously served as Deputy Secretary of Defense and Under-Secretary of Defense for Acquisitions and Technology. Earlier Deutch was in the U.S. Department of Energy as Undersecretary and as Director of Energy Research. He has been a member of numerous high-level boards such as the White House Science Council and the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board as well as Presidential Commissions on Nuclear Safety, Strategic Forces, Government Secrecy, and Weapons of Mass Destruction. He is presently on the Board of Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Deutch has received countless awards, fellowships, and honorary degrees in the course of his distinguished academic and public service.

Nayan Chanda

Nayan Chanda is Director of Publications and Editor of YaleGlobal Online Magazine at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. For some thirty years Chanda had been editor, editor-at-large, and correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review based in Hong Kong. He also served as year as Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington, D.C. For two years he edited the
Asian Wall Street Journal Weekly. He is author of Brother Enemy: The War After the War and co-author of a dozen books on Asian politics, security, and foreign policy including The Political Economy Of Foreign Policy in Southeast Asia and (co-edited with Strobe Talbot) The Age of Terror: America and the World After 9/11. His most recent book is Bound Together: How Traders, Preachers, Adventurers and Warriors Shaped Globalization.

Chanda was presented the Shorenstein Award in 2005 for his distinguished work as a journalist who has helped American audiences to understand the complexities of Asia.

Tamara Cofman Wittes

Tamara Cofman Wittes is a Senior Fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. She is author of Freedom’s Unsteady March: America’s Role in Building Arab Democracy (Brookings, 2008) Wittes previously served as a Middle East Specialist at the U.S. Institute of Peace and as Director of Programs at the Middle East Institute. She has been an Adjunct Professor of National Security Studies at Georgetown University and
earlier a Research Assistant at the Henry L. Stimson Center. Wittes is widely published on Arab politics and political reform, Israeli-Arab relations, culture and conflict resolution, and U.S. Middle East policy.
Tamara Wittes will come to the Camden Conference fresh from attending the U.S.-Islamic World Forum
sponsored by Brookings in Doha, Qatar where she will have encountered a wide array of Islamic and Arab leaders.

Timothy Juliani

Timothy Juliani is a Senior Fellow and Manager of BELC Relations at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. He manages the Center’s Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC), the largest US-based association of companies devoted to climate-related policy and corporate strategies, comprising 44 major corporations with combined revenue of $2 trillion and over 4 million employees. He also participates in the Pew Center’s analytic work on climate-related markets and investment issues, coordinates the organization’s work in the Offsets Quality Initiative, and is a staff representative for the Center’s involvement in the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP). Mr. Juliani first came to the Pew Center in May 2005. He has also worked at the U.S. EPA to develop a voluntary corporate partnership program to reduce high global warming potential gases.

Mr. Juliani earned his M.A. in International Economics, Energy and Environment at The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C. During that time, he also worked as an independent consultant, writing an analysis of energy cooperation within ASEAN for USAID and the SARI-Energy program.

Before his graduate work at SAIS, Mr. Juliani worked for several years in the non-profit community in Seattle. In addition to his M.A. from Johns Hopkins, he completed a post-baccalaureate program at the University of Washington, and graduated with a B.A. in Religion, /magna cum laude/ with Highest Honors, and a minor in Medieval History from Middlebury College in Vermont.


2009 Conference Booklist

This list is developed with the Camden Conference Program Committee. Books are selected from a list of over 100 possibilities, and each book is listed alphabetically by first named author.

You may download a PDF list of our Top Picks here.

Comments are welcome, especially recommendations you would like us to consider. Please e-mail smb@samfelton.com.

Animal Spirits

Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism by George A. Akerlof, Robert J. Shiller. Princeton University Press, 2009.

This is a good moment to propose a re-examination of orthodox economics. The current breakdown, possibly the worst since the Great Depression, was a shock to all but a handful of economists. It calls into question much of what they thought they knew. Why did things go so wrong? What should governments do now? How do we stop it from happening again?

In their new book, two of the most creative and respected economic thinkers currently at work, George Akerlof and Robert Shiller, argue that the key is to recover Keynes’s insight about animal spirits’ – the attitudes and ideas that guide economic action. “The orthodoxy needs to be rebuilt, and bringing these psychological factors into the core of economics is the way to do it.” Clive Crooks, Financial Times, 2/7/09.

Memo to the President – Elect

Madeleine Albright. Memo to the President-Elect: How We Can Restore America’s Reputation and Leadership, Harper, January 2008.

The next president, whether Democrat or Republican, will face the daunting task of repairing America’s core relationships and tarnished credibility after the damage caused during the past seven years. In Memo to the President Elect, former secretary of state and author Madeleine Albright offers provocative ideas about how to confront the striking array of challenges that the next commander-in-chief will face and how to return America to its rightful role as a source of inspiration across the globe.

Drawing on her extensive experience as an advisor to two presidents and a key figure in four presidential transitions, she provides an insider’s analysis of U.S. options in addressing the decisive issues of our era: terrorism, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, rivalries in the Middle East, the potential for nuclear war, and headaches created by such troublesome leaders as Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, and North Korea’s Kim Jong-il.

Terror and Consent. The Wars for the Twenty-First Century

Philip Bobbitt. Terror and Consent. The Wars for the Twenty-First Century, Knopf, April, 2008.

Bobbitt provides a provocative analysis of the West’s ongoing struggle against terrorism. He writes that, the primary “driver” of terrorism is not Islam but the emergence of the market state. “Market states” (such as the U.S.) are characterized by their emphasis on deregulation, privatization (of prisons, pensions, armies), abdication of typical nation-state duties (providing welfare or health care) and adoption of corporate models of “operational effectiveness.” While market states are too militarily formidable to be challenged conventionally, they have allowed for the sale of weapons on the international market, thereby losing their monopoly on mass destruction; furthermore they are disproportionately vulnerable to “destabilizing, delegitimizing, demoralizing” terror. Bobbitt asserts that this situation requires a shift from a strategy of deterrence and containment to one of preclusion. States must recast concepts of sovereignty and legitimacy to define what levels of force they may deploy in seeking and suppressing terrorists. Domestically, the shift involves accepting that in order to protect citizens; the state must strengthen its powers in sensitive areas like surveillance. International alliances can be a major advantage in a war waged not against terrorists, but terror itself. Bobbit is professor and Director for the Center for National Security at Columbia University. Edited from Publishersweekly.com.

America and the World

Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft, with David Ignatius as moderator. America and the World: Conversations on the Future of American Foreign Policy, Basic 2008.

The status of the United States as a world power, and the nature of power itself, are at a historic turning point. It is essential that we understand and adapt to the new security environment in which we find ourselves.

Two respected figures in American foreign policy are Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft—both former National Security Advisors under markedly different administrations. They dissect, in spontaneous and unscripted conversations moderated by David Ignatius, the most significant foreign policy challenges facing the U.S.: the Middle East, Russia, China, Europe, the Developing World, the changing nature of power in a globalized world, and what Brzezinski has called the “global political awakening.” While one author is a Republican and the other a Democrat, they broadly agree on the need to adapt to a new international environment. Where they disagree, their exchanges are always both deeply informed and provocative.
America and the World will define the center of responsible opinion on American foreign policy at a time when the nation’s decisions could determine how long it remains a superpower. From publisher.

Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower

Zbigniew Brzezinski. Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower, Basic Books, 2007.

Former National Security Adviser Brzezinski offers a story of wasted opportunity and squandered prestige: a critique of the last three U.S. presidents’ foreign policy. His is a reasoned but unsparing assessment of the last three presidential administrations’ foreign policy. Though spanning less than two decades, these administrations cover a vitally important turning point in world history: the period in which the United States, having emerged from the Cold War with unprecedented power and prestige, managed to squander both in a remarkably short time. This is a tale of decline: from the competent but conventional thinking of the first Bush administration, to the well-intentioned self-indulgence of the Clinton administration, to the mortgaging of America’s future by the “suicidal statecraft” of the second Bush administration. Brzezinski concludes with a chapter on how America can regain its lost prestige. This scholarly yet highly opinionated book is sure to be both controversial and influential. Edited from the publisher.

Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance–and Why They Fall

Amy Chua. Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance–and Why They Fall, Doubleday, 2007.

In a little over two centuries, America has grown from a regional power to a superpower, and to what is today called a hyperpower. But can America retain its position as the world’s dominant power, or has it already begun to decline?

Now, in this history of globally dominant empires Chua explains how hyperpowers rise and fall. She examines history’s hyperpowers—Persia, Rome, Tang China, the Mongols, the Dutch, the British, and the United States—and reveals the reasons behind their success, as well as the roots of their ultimate demise.

For all their differences, every one of these world-dominant powers was, at least by the standards of its time, extraordinarily pluralistic and tolerant. Each one succeeded by harnessing the skills and energies of individuals from very different backgrounds, and by attracting and exploiting highly talented groups that were excluded in other societies.

But Chua also shows that in virtually every instance, multicultural tolerance eventually sowed the seeds of decline, and diversity became a liability, triggering conflict, hatred, and violence. The United States is the quintessential example of a power that rose to global dominance through tolerance and diversity. The secret to America’s success has always been its unsurpassed ability to attract enterprising immigrants. Today, however, concerns about outsourcing and uncontrolled illegal immigration are producing a backlash against our tradition of cultural openness. Chua is a law professor at Yale and the author of World on Fire. Edited from publisher.

The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West

Niall Ferguson. The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, Penguin, September 21, 2006; paper 2007.

Ferguson’s broadest work to date, this sprawling [880 page] book folds the author’s previous theories of empire and economics into an international history of twentieth-century violence. From Booklist.

The 20th-century “war of the world” ended, [Harvard professor] Ferguson argues, with the conclusion of the Korean War in 1953, though as he says, it is “absurd for us to remember the cold war fondly as a time of peace and stability” when “between 1945 and 1983 around 19 or 20 million people were killed in around 100 major military conflicts.” Now, with the cold war over, “it is China,” Ferguson says, “that is the rising power.” But his real conclusion is a warning to the West. We must study the 20th century, he insists, because in different ways, it could all happen again: “We shall avoid another century of conflict only if we understand the forces that caused the last one — the dark forces that conjure up ethnic conflict and imperial rivalry out of economic crisis, and in doing so negate our common humanity. They are forces that stir within us still.” Copyright The New York Times Company. From NYT’s review by Simon Sebag Montefiore.

A Choice of Enemies

Lawrence Freedman, A Choice of Enemies, Public Affairs, 2008 (640 pp).

In A Choice of Enemies, Lawrence Freedman provides a sense of the pressures and trade-offs facing American presidents over the past few decades. Here he takes one of the most analyzed and controversial subjects in modern politics – US policy towards the Middle East. Sir Lawrence Freedman, professor of war studies at King’s College, London, presents a fast-paced introduction for lay readers and a fresh analysis that will appeal to experts.

The book’s title, A Choice of Enemies, captures what he sees as the central dilemma facing US policymakers: there are so many sources of potential trouble in the region that policymakers constantly have to juggle priorities – and choose whom to befriend and whom to confront. Efforts to deal with one problem create another – leading to sudden shifts in policy. So after the debacle of the Iran-Contra affair, in which the Reagan administration sent arms to Iran in an effort to free American hostages in Lebanon, there was a compensatory lurch towards Iraq and “the United States became a virtual ally of Iraq in its naval war with Iran”.

Freedman makes a brave stab at being non-partisan. He writes modestly that his aim is “to provide a reasonably thorough account of how successive presidents … engaged with the Middle East”. Adapted from Gideon Rachman’s review in Financial Times, 6/14/08.

The Opportunity: America’s Moment to Alter History’s Course

Richard N. Haass. The Opportunity: America’s Moment to Alter History’s Course, Public Affairs, 2005.

As the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, one of the country’s most influential nongovernmental organizations and the publisher of the essential policy journal Foreign Affairs, Haass has a unique seat from which to weigh the direction of the U.S.’s relations with the rest of the world. In this book, he covers a lot of familiar territory: the collapse of the bipolar world, the advent of terrorism, the unprecedented possibilities for global political cooperation (that follow on the economic), the lessons to be drawn from the way the war in Iraq has been conducted. Haass ends up arguing not just that the U.S. has terrific opportunities to integrate itself politically with the rest of the world, but that it must do so—in order to preserve its economic integrity if nothing else. The final chapter, titled “The Necessity,” argues that if that integration does not happen, “The principal challenges of this era…will come to overwhelm the United States.” Coming as they do from a carefully calibrated source, those are sobering words. From Publishers Weekly.

Does America Need a Foreign Policy? Toward a New Diplomacy for the 21st Century

Henry A. Kissinger. Does America Need a Foreign Policy? Toward a New Diplomacy for the 21st Century, Simon & Schuster, 2001. Paper editions follow.

The question is rhetorical: this is Henry (“Have foreign policy, will travel”) Kissinger, after all. Here, he takes America to task for its lack of vision in foreign policy, and maps the playing field for diplomatic consideration. Kissinger has always been a flexible realist when it came to the delicate work of foreign relations, an approach he continues to champion as an invitation to dialogue between nation-states and multinational groups. He is dismayed by the way the US government force-feeds its values to other countries (particularly those with whom we do not share ideological footing), and he considers US sanctions-often the result of domestic pressure groups-nothing more than the bullying of a self-satisfied, prosperous, smug colossus that sees itself as “both the source and the guarantor of democratic institutions around the globe.” He is appalled that the US deals with foreign policy on a case-by-case basis, with no strategic design, for the inevitable transformations in the international scene will require a supple, subtle, and historically informed policy.

Here, Kissinger the student of political history rushes to the fore, detailing major shifts in the 300-year-old policy of noninterference in the domestic affairs sovereign states (witness Haiti, Bosnia, Somalia, etc.), as well as the eclipse of both the Wilsonian ideal of common devotion to international order and the Hamiltonian faith that American foreign policy was “motivated by principles higher than those of the Old World.” And while he vigorously speaks to the balancing of values and interests-more than once he speaks of the “moral elevation” of foreign policy – don’t get him wrong: “What, for our survival, must we seek to prevent no matter how painful the means?” Richly opinionated and controversial: a strong addition to the contemporary debate over America’s direction in the new century. From Kirkus Reviews. See also Kissinger’s longer 1994 work, Diplomacy.

To Lead the World: American Strategy after the Bush Doctrine

Melvyn Leffler, Jeffrey Legro. To Lead the World: American Strategy after the Bush Doctrine. Oxford University Press, 2008.

Leffler and Legro bring together eleven of America’s most esteemed writers and thinkers to offer concrete, historically grounded suggestions for how America can regain its standing in the world and use its power more wisely than it has during the Bush years. Best-selling authors, such as David Kennedy, Niall Ferguson, Robert Kagan, Francis Fukuyama, John Ikenberry, and Samantha Power address such issues as how the US can regain its respect in the world, respond to the biggest threats now facing the country, identify reasonable foreign policy goals, manage the growing debt burden, achieve greater national security, and successfully engage a host of other problems left unsolved and in many cases exacerbated by the Bush Doctrine.
Representing a wide range of perspectives, the writers from left and right gathered here place the current foreign-policy predicament firmly in the larger context of American and world history.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, co-director of Princeton Project on National Security, Princeton University, adds: “If you have to choose only one book to read on American foreign policy, this should be it. A superb group of scholars and practitioners have crystallized the basic strategic choices and policy options facing a new administration. They disagree sharply among themselves, but these are exactly the debates that Americans, and people around the world, should be having.” Edited from the publisher.

Ethical Realism: A Vision for America’s Role in the World

Anatol Lieven, John Hulsman. Ethical Realism: A Vision for America’s Role in the World, Pantheon, 2006.

Lieven (New American Foundation) and Hulsman Heritage Foundation), partisan think-tank researchers from opposing ends of the political spectrum, unite to provide an alternative to current U.S. foreign policy, based on “the core teachings of ethical realism – prudence, patriotism, responsibility, study, humility, and ‘a decent respect’ to views and interests of other nations.”

This “new strategic vision” presents a foundation for “a consensual and stable international order” along the lines of old-fashioned American neighborliness. Their arguments are rooted in lessons from the founders of ethical realism, Reinhold Niebuhr, Hans Morgenthau and George Kennan; the Christian intellectual tradition of Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine; and successful international policy implemented by leaders like Harry S. Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.

The authors emphasize the need to qualify national interests against universal ethics, and for statesman who “act in ways that will serve the good as far as possible, and to observe certain strict limits as to what they are prepared to do on behalf of their states. “Though they make some sweeping statements that beg critical examination, and their heavy-handed criticism of the Administration’s foreign policy-calling the war in Iraq a failure “not just of strategy …but of the whole American way of looking at the world” – can be alienating, this refreshing, ambitious work proposes some practical and much-needed solutions for America’s compromised reputation abroad. From Publishers Weekly.

The New Cold War: Putin’s Russia and the Threat to the West

Edward Lucas, The New Cold War: Putin’s Russia and the Threat to the West. Palgrave, 2008.

Russia, Lucas argues, has fallen under the control of a team of former KGB men, led by the president himself. They represent a threat to their own citizens, a clear danger to the west and, above all, to the former communist countries of eastern Europe. The new cold warriors are not interested in military invasions. They pursue their ends through applying political and economic pressure, above all, by exploiting Russia’s position as the continent’s dominant energy supplier. Their aim is to restore Russia’s dominance of the former Soviet states and extend its influence deep into western Europe.

The book is a self-avowed polemic – a call to the west to stop underestimating the Russian threat. Lucas, central and east European correspondent of The Economist, urges the west to respond by showing more solidarity with the vulnerable states of eastern Europe, more unity within the European Union and more courage in defending western values – liberty, democracy and the rule of law. Otherwise, there will be no stopping the Kremlin. “The less resistance Russia meets, the more assertive it becomes … The limits of the tolerable are constantly changing, and in one direction only. The uncomfortable but unavoidable question is where this will end.” If Russia gets what it wants in the Caucasus or the Baltics, Lucas argues, the Balkans and central Europe will be next. “And what then? The Arctic? Western Europe? Slice by slice, the Kremlin is adding to its sphere of influence.” From Stefan Wagstyl’s commentary in FT.

Note: This recommendation would normally appear in our “Specific Issues section, but because of recent developments we have moved it to our “Top Picks.”

The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East

Kishore Mahbubani. The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East, Public Affairs, 2008.

For centuries, the Asians (Chinese, Indians, Muslims, and others) have been bystanders in world history. Now they are ready to become co-drivers.

Asians have finally understood, absorbed, and implemented Western best practices in many areas: from free-market economics to modern science and technology, from meritocracy to rule of law. They have also become innovative in their own way, creating new patterns of cooperation not seen in the West.

Will the West resist the rise of Asia? The good news is that Asia wants to replicate, not dominate, the West. For a happy outcome to emerge, the West must gracefully give up its domination of global institutions, from the IMF to the World Bank, from the G7 to the UN Security Council.

History teaches that tensions and conflicts are more likely when new powers emerge. This, too, may happen. But they can be avoided if the world accepts the key principles for a new global partnership spelled out in The New Asian Hemisphere. Mahbubani is with National University of Singapore; was his country’s ambassador to UN. From the publisher.

The Powers to Lead

Joseph S. Nye. The Powers to Lead, Oxford University Press, 2008.

What qualities make a leader succeed in business or politics? In an era when the information revolution has dramatically changed the playing field, when old organizational hierarchies have given way to fluid networks of contacts, and when mistrust of leaders is on the rise, our ideas about leadership are clearly due for redefinition. With The Powers to Lead, Harvard’s Joseph Nye offers a sweeping look at the nature of leadership in today’s world, in an illuminating blend of history, business case studies, psychological research, and more. As he observes, many now believe that the more authoritarian and coercive forms of leadership–the hard power approaches of earlier military-industrial eras–have been largely supplanted in postindustrial societies by soft power approaches that seek to attract, inspire, and persuade rather than dictate.

Nye argues, however, that the most effective leaders are actually those who combine hard and soft power skills in proportions that vary with different situations. He calls this smart power. From the publisher.

Tell Me How This Ends

Tell Me How This Ends: General David Petraeus and the Search for a Way Out of Iraq, by Linda Robinson. Public Affairs, October 2008

After a series of disastrous missteps in its conduct of the war, the White House in 2006 appointed General David Petraeus as the Commanding General of the coalition forces. Tell Me How This Ends is an inside account of his attempt to turn around a failing war.

Linda Robinson conducted extensive interviews with Petraeus and his subordinate commanders and spent weeks with key U.S. and Iraqi divisions. The result is the only book that ties together military operations in Iraq and the internecine political drama that is at the heart of the civil war.
Replete with dramatic battles, behind-doors confrontations, and astute analysis, the book tells the full story of the Iraq War’s endgame, and lays out the options that will be facing the next president when he takes office in January 2009.

Robinson is author in residence at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies’ Strategic Studies Program and a Contributing Editor for US News and World Report.

Statecraft, And How to Restore America’s Standing in the World

Dennis Ross. Statecraft, And How to Restore America’s Standing in the World. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007; paper 2008.

How did it come to pass that, not so long after 9/11 brought the free world to our side, U.S. foreign policy is in a shambles? In this thought-provoking book, the renowned peace negotiator Dennis Ross argues that the Bush administration’s problems stem from its inability to use the tools of statecraft — diplomatic, economic, and military — to advance our interests.

Statecraft is as old as politics: Plato wrote about it, Machiavelli practiced it. After the demise of Communism, some predicted that statecraft would wither away. But Ross explains that in the globalized world — with its fluid borders, terrorist networks, and violent unrest — statecraft is necessary simply to keep the peace.

Ross outlines how statecraft helped shape a new world order after 1989. He shows how the failure of statecraft in Iraq and the Middle East has undercut the United States internationally, and makes clear that only statecraft can check the rise of China and the danger of a nuclear Iran. He draws on his expertise to reveal the art of successful negotiation. And he shows how the next president could resolve today’s problems and define a realistic, ambitious foreign policy. Ross was U.S. Middle East ambassador and Peace Negotiator. From publisher.

The Idea that Is America: Keeping Faith with Our Values in a Dangerous World

Anne-Marie Slaughter. The Idea that Is America: Keeping Faith with Our Values in a Dangerous World, Basic, 2007.

A leading voice in global affairs calls us back to America’s founding principles–and shows how they can guide us forward into the twenty-first century.

George W. Bush waged war in Iraq in the name of American values–liberty and democracy. His critics in the United States and around the world also use the language of values, and attack him for deceiving a nation to wage an unjust war. What are the values that America truly stands for? Slaughter reminds us of the essential principles on which our nation was established: liberty, democracy, equality, tolerance, faith, justice, and humility. Our ongoing struggle to live up to America’s great promise matters not only to us, but also to the billions of men and women everywhere who look to the United States to lead, protect, and inspire the world. In The Idea That Is America, Anne-Marie Slaughter shows us the way forward. She is Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School and Bert G. Kerstetter Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. From publisher.

The Post-American World

Fareed Zakaria. The Post-American World,Norton, 2008.

Zakaria argues that the “rise of the rest” is the great story of our time.

This is not a book about the decline of America, but rather about the rise of everyone else, he says. So begins Fareed Zakaria’s important new work on the era we are now entering. Following on the success of his best-selling The Future of Freedom, Zakaria, the editor of Newsweek International, describes with equal prescience a world in which the United States will no longer dominate the global economy, orchestrate geopolitics, or overwhelm cultures. He sees the “rise of the rest”—the growth of countries like China, India, Brazil, Russia, and many others—as the great story of our time, and one that will reshape the world. The tallest buildings, biggest dams, largest-selling movies, and most advanced cell phones are all being built outside the United States. This economic growth is producing political confidence, national pride, and potentially international problems. How should the United States understand and thrive in this rapidly changing international climate? What does it mean to live in a truly global era? From publisher.

“Growing inequality is the signature feature of the new era fueled by a triple force – the knowledge economy, information technology, and globalization. Perhaps most worryingly, Americans are borrowing 80 percent of the world’s surplus savings and using it for consumption. In other words, we are selling off our assets to foreigners to buy a couple more lattes a day. These problems have accumulated at a bad time because, for all its strengths, the American economy now faces its strongest challenge in history.” From the book.


2009 Energy Symposium

The 2009 Energy Symposium, “Maine’s Opportunities for Energy Leadership” took place on Saturday, April 4th 2009, at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast.

Distinguished energy professionals addressed issues of supply and consumption with a look towards the future and focused on regional solutions and opportunities, particularly with Canada. The forum was moderated by petroleum geologist, professor, and Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center Fellow Elizabeth Wilson, and Sarah Miller, editor of World Gas Intelligence and editor-at-large for the specialty newsletter group Energy Intelligence.

Symposium Schedule

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. Registration and Coffee

8:30 – 10:00 a.m. Technical Session I

Introduction: Understanding the Global Energy Industry and How it Impacts Maine: Elizabeth A. Wilson, Department of Earth Sciences and Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, University of Maine, Orono

Renewable Energy Development in the United States: Eric A. Thumma, Iberdrola Renewables, Inc., Radnor Township, Pennsylvania

Energy in the Northeast: Challenges and Opportunities: Jeff D. Landry, Irving Oil, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

10:00 – 10:15 a.m. Break

10:15 – 11:30 a.m. Technical Session II

Energy Policy? – What Energy Policy?: Stephen F. Hinchman, Conservation Law Foundation, Brunswick, Maine

Maine’s Place in the New Energy World?: Habib J. Dagher, Civil Engineering and Advanced Structures & Composites Center, University of Maine, Orono

11:30 –12:00 p.m. Questions from the audience

12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Panel with all speakers and other special guests; questions from the lunch discussions: Moderator: Sarah J. Miller, World Gas Intelligence, New York, NY

A coffee and dessert reception will take place from 3-4 p.m. after the Symposium concludes.

Tickets for the Energy Symposium are $40 each. Students may attend at the special rate of $20. Send a check to Camden Conference, P.O. Box 882, Camden, ME 04843, or register online at: the Symposium Registration Page

Interested professionals can earn 0.6 CEUs from attending the Energy Symposium. If you wish to do so, please contact the Camden Conference office by phone or e-mail so that we can have the paperwork ready for you.

For more information on the Energy Symposium, please contact the Camden Conference office at 236-1034, toll-free at 1-877-214-8579 or e-mail info@camdenconference.org. .

DIRECTIONS TO THE HUTCHINSON CENTER:

From the North: Take I-95 South to Exit 180 at Hampden. Take a LEFT from the Off Ramp onto the Cold Brook Road and remain on that road until you come to the first traffic light. Bear RIGHT at that light, onto Route 202. Proceed on Route 202 to another traffic light at a T in the road. Turn LEFT and proceed to the Route 1A intersection. Turn RIGHT onto Route 1A and remain on 1A thru Hampden, Winterport, Frankfort, Prospect, and Stockton Springs. At Stockton Springs, Route 1A will meld with Route 1 South. Bear RIGHT onto Route 1 South and remain on that road until you cross the bridge to Belfast. After the bridge, watch for Route 3, Augusta signs on the right. The road will split, you will stay to the RIGHT, and at the next intersection, you will turn RIGHT onto Route 3. Remain on Route 3, pass the big Bank of America complex on the Left, and the next sign you see, also on the Left, will be the big blue one with white and gold lettering University of Maine Hutchinson Center. Follow the drive all the way to the back of the building to a large parking lot. The Main entrance is there.

From the South: (About one hour from Augusta) Take I-95 North past Augusta to exit 113 for Route 3, Belfast. Continue on Route 3 for 44 miles (About 50 minutes from Augusta) watch for the big blue sign of the Hutchinson Center on the RIGHT. Follow the driveway all the way to the back of the building to a large parking lot. The Main entrance is there.


2009 Conference Articles

The articles below provide information and background on the subject of the 2009 Camden Conference.

Leadership and Legitimacy

“Obama on foreign affairs: He must rebuild old alliances and forge new ones, bringing the U.S. in step with a multipolar world.”, Los Angeles Times, January 17, 2009. Editorial

The Bush administration’s hubris and relentless disregard for our allies abroad shredded the fabric of multilateralism; it falls to President Obama to stitch it together again. The Bush years, defined by ultimatums and unilateral actions around the world, must be brought to a swift close with a renewed emphasis on diplomacy, consultation and the forging of broad international coalitions.

Visit web page of full article »

Obama’s Yoda

The Force is with Obama’s Yoda, TIME, December 31, 2008

Eight years ago, at the brackish dawn of the second Bush era, TIME offered a list of potential national-security wise men. One was Brent Scowcroft. “Yoda of Dad’s foreign policy team, will consult unseen in son’s White House,” we predicted, inaccurately. Instead, Scowcroft proved a demure scold. He opposed the Iraq invasion, publicly, in the Wall Street Journal. He scorned the neoconservatives and hard-power nationalists who controlled George W. Bush’s foreign policy. In return, Scowcroft’s brand of low-key “realism” was derided as milquetoasty by the neocons. The nickname stuck, however, among his associates at the Scowcroft Group: Yoda, he was. A fount of common sense, he remains. And so a not-so-bold prediction: “Yoda of Bush the Elder’s foreign policy team will consult unseen in Barack Obama’s White House.”

Photo-illustration by Stephen Kroninger for TIME; Obama: AP; Scowcroft:
Hyungwon Kang — Reuters

Visit web page of full article »

Envoys For Change

How Will Obama Choose His Diplomats? By Morton Abramowitz

The Washington Post Tuesday, December 16, 2008, PageA19

President-elect Barack Obama has repeatedly stated his intention to change the culture of Washington. He promises to drive the money changers (the lobbyists) from the temple, to reduce the partisanship and to appoint people who can actually do the job — not just his political supporters. This will require enormous sustained effort while he faces major domestic and international obstacles.

Visit web page of full article »

New Thinking

Only new thinking will save the global economy

By Mohamed El-Erian, December 3, 2008, The Financial Times Limited

History books will document that the global economy experienced a sudden stop after September 15. In accentuating long-standing structural weaknesses, the manner in which Lehman Brothers failed disrupted the trust that underpins the smooth functioning of market economies. As a result, virtually every indicator of economic and financial relationships exhibits characteristics of cardiac arrest.

The situation will get worse before it gets better and it will only get better if there is a shift in thinking in both the private and public sectors: away from comforting yet unrealistic notions of a return to “business as usual” and towards the more nasty reality of a volatile journey to a different destination. The implications are far-reaching as they speak to more market accidents, disorderly sectoral realignments and additional shifts in policy.

Visit web page of full article »

Middle East Priorities

Middle East Priorities For Jan. 21st, by Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski

Washington Post; Friday, November 21, 2008; A23

The election of Barack Obama to be the 44th president is profoundly historic. We have at long last been able to come together in a way that has eluded us in the long history of our great country. We should celebrate this triumph of the true spirit of America.

Election Day celebrations were replicated in time zones around the world, something we have not seen in a long time. While euphoria is ephemeral, we must endeavor to use its energy to bring us all together as Americans to cope with the urgent problems that beset us.

When Obama takes office in two months, he will find a number of difficult foreign policy issues competing for his attention, each with strong advocates among his advisers. We believe that the Arab-Israeli peace process is one issue that requires priority attention.

Visit web page of full article »

A Global Grand Bargain

A Global Grand Bargain by Robert Hutchings

Monday, November 17, 2008; Washington Post, page A19

The world is on the cusp of the most profound shift in global power and influence in a century. Managing this quiet revolution calls for nothing short of a new international system, with a radical revision of existing institutions and patterns of doing business. It is a time for thinking big.

Visit web page of full article »


2009 Conference Links

The following are links to informational, allied, and sister sites of the Camden Conference. For supporter and partner links for the current year’s conference, please visit our supporters or partners pages.