Steve Clemons Speaks at Uguccione Ranieri di Sorbello Foundation
This Tuesday, November 17th the Umbra Institute co-sponsored a public lecture given by Steve Clemons of the New America Foundation on the state of American foreign policy under the Obama administration.
The fifth in a series of public lectures sponsored by the Umbra Institute and the Uguccione Ranieri di Sorbello Foundation, the talk was entitled “Gauging the Course of US Foreign Policy: Has the Obama Bubble Burst?” Mr. Clemons serves as Executive Vice President of the New America Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute founded in 1999 in Washington, DC. He also publishes The Washington Note, a well-regarded blog on the politics of foreign policy.
Mr. Clemons spoke on the successes and failures of the Obama administration in foreign policy, focusing primarily on the challenges faced in Iran, Afghanistan, Israel-Palestine, and with China. Noting that no other president has ever taken office facing such a multitude of pressing foreign policy situations coupled with an international economic breakdown and a major domestic health care policy debate, Mr. Clemons suggested that by now – just over a year since President Obama was elected into office – there needs to have been what he called a “Nixon to China” moment where the Obama administration demonstrated to the world a significant achievement in at least one of these crises. Mr. Clemons expressed his support for the Nobel Foundation’s decision to award Obama the Nobel Peace Prize earlier this year, and called Obama’s speeches in Cairo and Turkey great successes, but said also that much more needed to be achieved in his first year than has been realized.
Following his lecture, Mr. Clemons opened up the floor to questions from the audience, and Umbra students actively participated in a discussion that continued upstairs at a reception in the Sorbello Foundation library.