The Bush administration and the newly elected Democratic congressional leadership have pledged civility and bipartisanship in a new political landscape in which they must tackle difficult foreign policy questions. Both must navigate issues ranging from homeland security, defense, to nuclear weapons proliferation and the Iraq war.
On Dec. 6, Brookings hosted a discussion to examine the cause and consequences of past foreign policy failures and successes, and offer alternatives to current national security policy. A panel discussion featured a group of leading foreign policy experts, including the coauthors of two new books, that set a new national security agenda for policy-makers and analyze the role played by the federal bureaucracy—civilian career officials, political appointees, and military officers. Hard Power (Basic Books, 2006) was co-authored by Michael O’Hanlon, Brookings senior fellow, and Kurt Campbell, vice president and director of the International Security Program Center for Strategic and International Studies. Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy (Brookings, 2d ed., 2006) was written by Morton H. Halperin, senior fellow, Center for American Progress, and director, U.S. Advocacy for the Open Society Institute; Priscilla Clapp, retired, Minister-Counselor, U.S. Foreign Service; and Arnold Kanter, principal and founding member, the Scowcroft Group.
Carlos Pascual, vice president and director of Foreign Policy Studies, moderated the discussion.