Transatlantic Programme - America and the World: US Foreign Policy in the run up to 2008

calendarclock - (GMT)


ivodaadlerPresentation by Ivo H Daalder, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institute on “Restoring Trust — The Challenge for American Global Leadership After Bush”



Dr Daalder addressed the audience on the topic of “Restoring Trust—The Challenge for American Global Leadership After Bush”. Dr Daalder identified the main reasons for the loss of trust in American Global Leadership as a neglect of diplomacy, a lack of consultation or use of international organisations, soaring costs of the Global War on Terror (GWOT), and US military overstretch.

Restoring trust must be the organising principle for the next Administration, including changes in Strategy, Style and Substance. Dr Daalder urged the new Administration (regardless of who is at the helm) to move away from the “Bush Revolution” and principle of “Islamic-Fascism” that is guiding the GWOT, to acknowledge that the true driving force is in fact globalisation—and not just in the economic sense of the word.

As far as the Style of the new Administration, it should restore diplomacy to the culture of foreign policy and “talk before we shoot” to pursue a policy of engagement rather than isolationism that works with other allies in the framework of multilateral institutions, with the ultimate goal of enhancing predictability and reducing uncertainty. This could potentially include the reform of international institutions such as the United Nations. The US must also reform its human rights policy and return to the international rule of law by ending extraordinary rendition and closing bases like Guantanamo.

Finally on the topic of Substance, Dr Daalder purported that the Iraq war should never have been fought in the first place and that a new Administration should leave as soon as possible to pursue a policy of containment and engagement with Iraq’s neighbours. He also stated that the US needs to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and reduce its stockpile of WMD in order to gain more trust on an international scale.

About the Speaker

Ivo H. Daalder is a Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution, where he holds the Sydney Stein Chair in International Security.  He is a frequent commentator on current affairs and his writings have appeared in numerous journals and the opinion pages of leading American and European newspapers.  A specialist in American foreign policy, European security, and national security affairs, Daalder has authored eleven books, including most recently the award-winning America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy (with James M. Lindsay). He is currently completing his next book (also with James M. Lindsay), Restoring Trust: The Challenge for American Global Leadership After Bush, to be published by John Wiley in 2007. 

Prior to joining Brookings, Daalder was associate professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Affairs, where he was also director of research at the Center for International and Security Studies.  In 1995-96, he served as director for European Affairs on President Clinton's National Security Council staff, where he was responsible for coordinating U.S. policy toward Bosnia.  From 1998-2001, Daalder served as a member of the Study Group of the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century (the Hart-Rudman Commission), a multi-year examination of U.S. national security requirements and institutions. Daalder was educated at Oxford and Georgetown Universities, and received his Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Explore our related content