In the early 90s, the United States stood at the pinnacle of world power. American foreign policy elites on both sides of the political divide felt confident that interventionist strategies had the power to spread democracy, open markets and promote liberal values around the globe.
Almost thirty years later, relations with Russia and China have soured, nationalism and populism are on the rise, and the US is deeply engaged in foreign wars and post-conflict support initiatives costing trillions of dollars, leaving large numbers of US citizens to question their country’s grand strategy.
Have the very steps designed to enhance US security, taken by Republican and Democrat elites alike, ended up undermining it?
Is there space for military intervention in America’s foreign policy and what should this intervention look like?
And how realistic is Walt’s proposed return to ‘offshore balancing’ – a strategy which eschews regime change, nation-building and other forms of global social engineering – in today’s increasingly interconnected world?
Professor Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Author, The Hell of Good Intentions: America’s Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of U.S. Primacy
Chair: Dr Lindsay Newman, Senior Research Fellow, US and the Americas Programme, Chatham House