International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast Bret Stephens December 19, 2014
In December 2011 the last American soldier left Iraq. “We’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq,” boasted President Obama. He was proved devastatingly wrong less than three years later as jihadists seized the Iraqi city of Mosul. The event cast another dark shadow over the future of global order—a shadow, which, Bret Stephens, Deputy Editorial Page Editor and Foreign Affairs Columnist for The Wall Street Journal, argues, we ignore at our peril.
America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder identifies a profound crisis on the global horizon. As Americans seek to withdraw from the world to tend to domestic problems, America’s adversaries spy opportunity. Vladimir Putin’s ambitions to restore the glory of the czarist empire go effectively unchecked, as do China’s attempts to expand its maritime claims in the South China Sea, as do Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear capabilities. Civil war in Syria displaces millions throughout the Middle East while turbocharging the forces of radical Islam. Long-time allies such as Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, doubting the credibility of American security guarantees, are tempted to freelance their foreign policy, irrespective of U.S. interests.
Mr. Stephens argues for American reengagement abroad. He explains how military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan was the right course of action, foolishly executed. He traces the intellectual continuity between anti-interventionist statesmen such as Henry Wallace and Robert Taft in the late 1940s and Barack Obama and Rand Paul today. And he makes an unapologetic case for Pax Americana, “a world in which English is the default language of business, diplomacy, tourism, and technology; in which markets are global, capital is mobile, and trade is increasingly free; in which values of openness and tolerance are, when not the norm, often the aspiration.”
In a chapter imagining the world of 2019, Mr. Stephens shows what could lie in store if Americans continue on their current course. Yet we are not doomed to this future. Mr. Stephens makes a passionate rejoinder to those who argue that America is in decline, a process that is often beyond the reach of political cures. Instead, we are in retreat—the result of faulty, but reversible, policy choices. By embracing its historic responsibility as the world’s policeman, America can safeguard not only greater peace in the world but also greater prosperity at home.
2014 National Lawyers Convention
- Bret L. Stephens, Deputy Editorial Page Editor, Foreign Affairs Columnist, The Wall Street Journal
The Seventh Annual Rosenkranz Debate was held on November 15, 2014, during The Federalist Society's 2014 National Lawyers Convention. RESOLVED: Indiscriminate Collection of American Phone Records Violates the Fourth Amendment.
- Hon. Michael B. Mukasey, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and former U.S. Attorney General
- Prof. Nadine Strossen, Professor of Law, New York Law School, and former President, American Civil Liberties Union, 1991 - 2008
- Moderator: Prof. Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Georgetown University Law Center
- Introduction: Mr. Eugene B. Meyer, President, The Federalist Society
Mayflower Hotel DC Young Lawyers Chapter and The Alexander Hamilton Society
The Federalist Society's DC Young Lawyers Chapter and The Alexander Hamilton Society co-hosted this event on October 22, 2014, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.
- John Bellinger, Partner, Arnold & Porter and former Legal Advisor to the Department of State (2005 -2009)
- Steve Bradbury, Partner, Dechert LLP and former Head of the Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice (2004-2009)
- Moderator: Rachel L. Brand, Member, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board; Senior Advisor to the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, United States Chamber of Commerce; and former Assistant U.S. Attorney General for Legal Policy, U.S. Department of Justice
- Introduction: Sarah Hawkins Warren, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP and President, DC Young Lawyers Chapter
The Mayflower Hotel International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Would relocation of War on Terror detainees currently held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba into the United States result in detainees’ possible eligibility for removal from the U.S. under any grounds, or give to those detainees additional U.S. constitutional rights they do not currently possess? Would their relocation result in a new spate of litigation designed to assert such claims, even if those claims are not ultimately successful? As a policy matter, is relocation a good idea? Our experts discussed these and other questions, many of which are also addressed in the May 14, 2014, Department of Justice report, linked here.
- John C. O'Quinn, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
- Prof. Stephen I. Vladeck, Associate Dean for Scholarship, American University Washington College of Law