Obama Doctrine: Is the Syrian Civil War Obama's Rwanda?
World Affairs Council of Philadelphia - DoubleTree Philadelphia Center City
Congressman Barney Frank and former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton debate the role of American global military power, and whether this power is indispensable and just, or overbroad and overreaching.
Coming on the tenth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad to U.S. military forces in April 2003 and eight weeks into the sequester (under the terms of which the American military budget will be reduced over the next ten years by a comparable level to the post-Vietnam draw-down), the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is convening this nationally and internationally significant exchange of views on the purposes and costs of American power in the 21st Century.
We will meet at a time when there is great debate on these questions of national security and national priorities, not only between the parties, but also within each party.
Among Republicans, there is a growing schism between those who favor levels of defense spending at least as great as exist at present and an activist global military posture for the United States, many of whom held power during the presidency of George W. Bush; and those who favor lower defense spending and a significantly smaller footprint and portfolio of American military engagement in the world.
On the Democratic side, while the President calls America "the indispensable nation" and supports our global network of alliances, interventions, and military presences, some Democrats believe that we are overextended-that our security needs do not require us to be indispensable; that we cannot achieve the results that concept calls for; and that we cannot afford to keep trying to do so.
Our speakers, Ambassador Bolton and Congressman Frank, are two of the nations most thoughtful, deeply studied, articulate, and passionate advocates for their respective points of view, which sharply differ, on these crucial questions of the proper role for American military power in the world and proper priority of military spending within our federal budget and overall economy.