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Obama 10After the UK General Election, one of the most urgent tasks for the new government, whatever its political colour, will be the re-invigoration of the transatlantic alliance with the Obama Administration.

Taking place shortly after a new government has formed; this conference will spur debate in assessing the state of the bilateral ‘special’ relationship, highlighting the most pressing issues and formulating policy recommendations. The US and UK struggle increasingly with interoperability problems on the ground in Afghanistan and elsewhere. The transatlantic alliance is threatened by UK defence spending trends, defence priorities and the Trident discussions. Furthermore, NATO is of declining import to international security outcomes. If these problems continue without constructive co-operation, the perceived value of the US-UK strategic security partnership will decline even further. The new UK Government must work to renew relations with the Obama Administration, setting out a joint strategic vision for international security and demonstrating global leadership in defence of their alliance.

Hosted by RUSI and the Legatum Institute, this conference will be divided into four key sessions. The first panel will analyse both the political and public will for a closer strategic relationship with the United States. The second panel will focus on the US and UK commitments to NATO. It will explore their commitments to the alliance, lessons to be learned from Afghanistan and prospects for the new Strategic Concept and the reform agenda. Then, discussion will turn to the US-UK defence partnership, industrial co-operation after the Defence Trade Co-operation Treaty, the impact of the UK defence review and spending cuts on the partnership. The final panel will aim to evaluate the Obama Administration’s leadership and prospects for UK leadership in Europe and in NATO under a new government.

Confirmed Speakers Include:

  • Jeremy Shapiro, Senior Advisor, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • Sir Paul Lever, Vice President, RUSI
  • Kurt Volker, former United States Permanent Representative to NATO
  • Karen Donfried, Executive Vice President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States
  • Kori Schake, research fellow at the Hoover Institution and an associate professor of international security studies at the United States Military Academy
  • Peter Feaver, Professor of Political Science, Duke University and former Special Advisor to the National Security Council
  • Sir Christopher Meyer, British Ambassador to the United States (1997-2003)
  • Christopher Coker, Professor of International Relations, LSE
  • Geoff Hoon, British politician, former Defence Secretary
  • Edgar Buckley, Senior Vice President for EU, NATO and European Cooperation, Thales
  • Malcolm Chalmers, Professorial Fellow, RUSI
  • Sir David Omand, Vice President RUSI, previously Permanent Secretary of the Home Office
  • Lord Robertson, former Secretary General of NATO

The audience will include US government officials and UK officials from the Ministry of Defence, Foreign Office and the Cabinet Office as well as academics, journalists and representatives from the financial centre in the City of London.

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