Vali Nasr on American Foreign Policy

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Vali Nasr, Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies who was Senior Advisor to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke from 2009 to 2011, offers a critique of America's foreign policy and outlines a new relationship with the Muslim world and with new players in the changing Middle East. In The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat, Nasr goes behind the scenes at the State Department and reveals how the U.S. government's fear of political backlash and the specter of terrorism crippled the efforts of diplomats like Richard Holbrooke and Hillary Clinton to boost America's credibility with world leaders. 


Vali Nasr

Comments [13]

Tony from Canarsie

sanych -- Snap quiz: what country is Benghazi in? No fair Googling.

Apr. 24 2013 02:23 PM

Amateurs are running White House, amateurs are running State Department, amateurs are running FBI, amateurs are running fertilizer plants...

Soon, we will be like BenGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHazi...

Apr. 24 2013 02:04 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

It's perfectly legal, even under international law, to enter someone else's sovereign territory if that state harbors or cannot (or will not) control those who are using it as a base from which to attack it. You have the right to pursue those who have attacked you even over the border if that others state will not control its territory.
Pakistan has been a nuclear proliferator and even harbored Osama bin Laden, but continues to deny their own culpability. Either Pakistan couldn't or wouldn't control its own territory, and that reduces its claim to total sovereignty. You don't have full sovereignty if you cannot control your territory.

Apr. 24 2013 01:56 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Of course we don't want to support/arm the wrong rebels in Syria, but how do we make sure we support/arm the right rebels?

Apr. 24 2013 01:56 PM
Amy from Manhattan

"Did Afghanis welcome the arrival of US troops to liberate them from the oppressive Taliban?" You mean the same way they welcomed the arrival of the Taliban to liberate them from the oppressive warlords?

I don't mean to draw an actual equivalency btwn. the US troops & the Taliban--far from it. I guess I'm just being cynical about how events greeted as hopeful too often turn out decidedly otherwise.

Apr. 24 2013 01:52 PM
antonio from baySide

What does Mr. Vali Nasr think of the rise of isolationists like Sen. Paul of Kentucky?
Say Sen. Paul managed to turn the tide of the general election trend of voting democratic, would he make a difference? It seems to me the US is stuck in this role (As the world's policeman), despite the rise of China, Brazil etc..

Apr. 24 2013 01:48 PM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

The Pakistan military is not defending its territorial integrity by allowing killer drones to operate in its air base. So the Pakistan military is simply an agent of foreigners.

Apr. 24 2013 01:42 PM
Mike from Tribeca

Does Mr. Nasr have an opinion about the Ron and Rand Paul variety of isolationism, aka the Neo-Know Nothings?

Apr. 24 2013 01:28 PM
Enrique Escobar from Elizabeth, NJ

Around 1910 this government put 200 troops in HONDURAS just "because". From the same country -now in the 80s- the U.S. maneuvered more than 1 dirty-war in the area resulting in approx. 25 thousand deaths. In 2009 when the president of said country deviated a bit from the rule of Washington, and Negroponte with Otto Rich took a little trip, and three months later there was no more Honduras president.

I haven't even mentioned the "free" trade agreements et cetera, but, can the IMMIGRATION-REFORM start with our bettering of our foreign policy?

Just Saying.

Apr. 24 2013 01:24 PM

The type of carnage and misery that we witnessed last week in Boston has, for years now, been _routinely_ inflicted upon countless families and civilians in places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen as a direct result of United States military policy and actions. (Though I must note that I do NOT blame our troops but those who /send them/ into such hell.) This is no way to "win friends and influence people"....we are /breeding/ terrorists....

I hold WNYC as well as NPR accountable for their considerable role in perpetuating the prevailing myopic, tendentious, jingoistic view of foreign policy.

Apr. 24 2013 01:16 PM

I hope you intend to mention yesterday's Senate hearing on the drone program.

"On Tuesday, the Senate held its first-ever public hearing on the U.S. secret drone program, 12 years after the United States launched its first deadly drone strike. By some estimates, more than 4,000 people have been killed in drone strikes since then. The Obama administration is facing criticism after it refused to send anyone to testify at the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing, despite President Obama’s vow to be more forthcoming about the drone program."
- From the transcript of this morning's Democracy Now! *
( )

(*'Hypocrisy Now!, the worst news and current affairs program-- except for all the others...But today's show was DN! at its best.)

Apr. 24 2013 01:11 PM
Tony from Canarsie

sanych -- it's spelled Benghazi, or as it's traditionally written by Cheetos-coated online conspiracy theorists, "BENGHAZI!!!"

Apr. 24 2013 01:07 PM

Richard Holbrooke is dead and Hillary "Bengazi" Clinton will most probably run for the White House in 2016.

Mr. Nasr sings high praises for Mrs. Clinton. Is he trying to position himself for a post in her administration with this book?

Apr. 24 2013 12:07 PM

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