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November 5, 2014
From Ukraine to the Middle East to China, the United States is redefining its role in international affairs. Alliance building, public diplomacy, and eschewing traditional warfare in favour of the focused use of hard power such as drones and special forces are all hallmarks of the so-called Obama Doctrine. Is this a farsighted foreign policy for the United States and the world in the 21st century – one that acknowledges and embraces the increasing diffusion of power among states and non-state actors? Or, is an America “leading from behind” a boon for the nations and blocs who want to roll back economic globalization, international law, and the spread of democracy and human rights? To engage this global debate, our fall 2014 contest will move the motion:
Be it resolved Obama’s foreign policy is emboldening our enemies and making the world a more dangerous place…
Con wins with 11% vote gain.
“And now it’s not even in dispute that this president’s foreign policy is a total failure…time and again, the president is caught flat-footed by events.”
“Superpowers don’t get to retire….in the international sphere, Americans have had to act as judge, jury, police, and, in the case of military action, executioner.”
“The need to rebuild at home means ending the wars we have been in and keeping our troops out of new ones.”
“President Obama has not made a major mistake. He has done a skillful job steering the United States out of the muddy waters he inherited…and resisted plunging the country into another major conflict”
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September 17, 2014
Bret Stephens and Robert K again will join Fareed Zakaria and Anne - Marie Slaughter to debate the motion: Be it resolved Obama’s foreign policy is emboldening our enemies and making the world a more dangerous place.