Free or low cost Community Events and college courses are intended to provide background on the yearly topic and to touch on areas related to the February Conference that may not be covered in its three-day format. The views of our presenters are their own and may not represent those of the Camden Conference.
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Diplomacy in the Age of Trump–Laurence Pope
December 18, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm EST
Laurence Pope will present at Kennebunk Free Library on Monday, December 18 (snow date: 12/20 at 6:00 PM. His presentation, Diplomacy in the Age of Trump, is sponsored by the Camden Conference, in cooperation with the World Affairs Council. KFL is a participating library bringing an extension of this conference to our community.
Diplomacy is best defined as the business of negotiation between nation states. It requires competent institutions: a non-partisan diplomatic service capable of working across administrations, and a foreign ministry with the skills and experience to manage our complex network of international relationships. After a long decline, in the age of Trump the Foreign Service and the State Department are in ruins. Our national security is in the hands of a triumvirate of generals hardened in war, and they are fighting a rear guard action against their own commander in chief. This unprecedented situation is probably not sustainable for very long. It will pass, perhaps sooner than we expect, and the aftermath may present an opportunity to forge a new consensus about what kind of institutions American leadership in the world requires.
Laurence Pope II was the United States Ambassador to Chad from 1993 to 1996 and former US Chargé d’Affaires to Libya. Pope held a number of senior posts in the Department of State. He was the Director for Northern Gulf Affairs (1987–1990), Associate Director for Counter-Terrorism (1991–1993), U.S. Ambassador to Chad (1993–1996), and Political Advisor to General Zinni USMC, Commander-in-Chief of United States Central Command (1997–2000). From October 2012 – January 2013, Ambassador Pope served as the U.S Chargé d’Affaires in Libya, assuming the duties of the late J. Christopher Stevens, the former U.S. Ambassador to Libya. Ambassador Pope retired from the U.S. Foreign Service on October 2, 2000 after 31 years of service. He continues to consult with various institutions and is a respected arabist. A graduate of Bowdoin College, Pope also had advanced studies at Princeton University and is a graduate of the U.S. Department of State Senior Seminar. He is the author most recently of “The Demilitarization of American Diplomacy: Two Cheers for Striped Pants”, Palsgrave MacMillan, 2014. Among his other books are “Francois de Callieres, A Political Life” (Republic of Letters Publishing, 2010, and “Among Heroes, A Marine Corps Rifle Company on Peleliu” (Marine Corps University Press, 2011). He speaks Arabic and French, and resides in Portland, Maine.
The Camden Conference is a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to foster informed discourse on world issues. This year’s conference, New World Disorder and America’s Future, will be held February 16-18, 2017.
This program is free and wheelchair accessible. Kennebunk Free Library is located at 112 Main St., Kennebunk. For more information, please call 985-2173 or visit the website kennebunklibrary.org