The fourteenth semi-annual Munk Debate, which will be held in Toronto on November 5, 2014, pits Bret Stephens and Robert Kagan against Fareed Zakaria and Anne-Marie Slaughter to debate the legacy of President Obama.
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 twenty-first 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?
In this edition of the Munk Debates, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Bret Stephens and famed historian and foreign policy commentator Robert Kagan square off against CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and noted academic and political commentator Anne-Marie Slaughter to debate the legacy of President Obama. With ISIS looking to reshape the Middle East, Russia increasingly at odds with the rest of the West, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at a standstill, the Munk Debate on Foreign Policy asks: Has Obama’s foreign policy taken the U.S. in the right direction?