The Most Dangerous Decade
We are living in the most dangerous decade since the end of World War II– one that surpasses even the most fraught period of the Cold War. A potent mix of geopolitics, global issues, and domestic challenges in the United States are colliding and setting off a vicious cycle. Internationally, Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine, the rise of a more capable, ambitious, and assertive China, North Korea’s expanding nuclear and missile arsenal, and Iran’s development of nuclear capabilities threaten the very foundations of international order. Complex new challenges, from climate change to pandemics and terrorism, have also emerged. International institutions cannot cope, partly because the diplomatic fallout from growing rivalries has made it much harder for great powers to work together, even when it is in their interest. An additional complication is the emergence of an increasingly divided and inward-looking United States, which hinders its willingness and ability to carry out an effective foreign policy.
In this relevant, timely, and thought-provoking session, Council on Foreign Relations president and foreign policy expert Richard Haass, who has served under both Republican and Democrat presidents, argues why this promises to be the most dangerous decade, how we got here, discusses the potential consequences, and suggests what can and should be done to reduce the dangers. Audiences will walk away with a deeper understanding of the world and how it affects each and every one of us, along with the choices that the United States, other countries, and citizens and businesses everywhere will have to consider if we are to draw back from the brink.
Will American Democracy Last?
While the United States faces threats from Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, climate change, terrorism, and pandemics, the greatest peril to the country comes not from abroad but from within. Are Americans prepared to do what is necessary to preserve our democracy and ensure its success? Based on his forthcoming book, “The Bill of Obligations: The Ten Habits of Good Citizens”, New York Times bestselling author and Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass argues that if American democracy is to survive – or better yet thrive – the very idea of citizenship must be revised and expanded. The Bill of Rights is at the center of the Constitution, yet our most intractable conflicts frequently emerge from differing views about rights. Only if we place obligations on the same footing as rights will we be able to counter the growing apathy, anger, selfishness, division, disinformation, and violence that limit or even threaten the future of all Americans.
Through his expert blend of civics, history, and political analysis, Haass illuminates how Americans can rediscover the attitudes and behaviors that have contributed so much to this country’s accomplishments over the centuries. In this talk, audiences will be introduced to the ten obligations we have to one another and our country that Haass believes are essential for healing our divisions, tackling domestic challenges, and addressing the country’s difficult foreign policy challenges.
Russia’s War vs Ukraine
Richard Haass covers where this pivotal conflict stands in all of its dimensions, including an account of why it came about when it did; an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the various US/Western policy responses, from military transfers and the strengthening of NATO to economic sanctions and energy shipments to Europe; a prediction of what is likely to come next on the ground given Ukrainian and Russian military strategies and capacities along with the consequences for diplomacy and Russia; a catalogue of the projected winners and losers and those in between; and, most importantly, an explanation of how this conflict will and will not change the 21st century world.
A World of Mounting Disarray
In this presentation/discussion Richard Haass helps audiences understand and navigate the current and future international situation. Based on his book, A World in Disarray, Haass shares that it was seen by some at the time as overly pessimistic, but that now looks to be anything but. Ours is a world shaped by Covid, an aggressive but weaker Russia, a more assertive China, a politically-divided America, widespread signs of de-globalization, powerful emerging technologies, nuclear proliferation in both the Middle East and Northeast Asia, energy insecurity, and climate change. Rather than an end of history, we are witnessing its acceleration in an era defined by geopolitical competition and global challenges that are outpacing the collective willingness and ability to meet them.
Introduction to the World
Visionary thinker Richard Haass delivers unparalleled insights that will help anyone, experts and non-experts alike, become more globally literate so they can better navigate our fast-changing world. Modeled on his book The World: A Brief Introduction, this presentation provides audiences with the essential background and building blocks needed to answer the critical questions generated by today’s headlines. With the tectonic plates of international relations constantly moving, this is a critical time for individuals, businesses, and organizations to understand what is taking place around the world, why it is taking place, and how it affects our lives and our work. In this talk, Haass will elucidate the essential history, point out what makes each region of the world (and the most important countries) tick, analyze the most challenges globalization presents, and explain the ideas most critical for understanding international developments and why they matter.
Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America’s House in Order
The biggest threat to America’s security and prosperity comes not from abroad but from within. In this provocative and thought-provoking presentation modeled after his book, Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America’s House in Order, Haass describes how the biggest threat to the United States comes from its burgeoning deficit and debt, crumbling infrastructure, second class schools and an outdated immigration system. The result is a country less competitive and more vulnerable than it should be on the global stage. He proposes a new foreign policy of Restoration. At home, it would concentrate on restoring the economic foundations of American power. Overseas, it would stop trying to remake the Middle East with military force as was tried unsuccessfully in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, it would emphasize maintaining the balance of power in Asia, promoting economic integration and energy self-sufficiency in North America, and narrowing the gap between global challenges and global arrangements. Adopting Restoration will ensure the United States has the resources it needs to lead the world, set an example other societies will want to emulate, reduce the country’s vulnerability to hostile forces and fickle markets, and discourage would-be adversaries from mounting aggression. It will require hard choices, but hard choices are called for. At stake is nothing less than America’s future and the character of the coming era of history.