"There will not be any part of the world, in which the future the United States does not take an interest."
The World Affairs Forum brought historian Paul Kennedy to discuss "American Policy in a World of Flux" for the Ambassador's Roundtable discussion at the Stamford Yacht Club Wednesday morning.
Kennedy is the professor and the Director of International Security Studies at Yale and an author and editor of 19 books. Kennedy discussed how the shift in American policy around the world are similar to characters in a Shakespearean play, projecting his views on the past, present and future of American policy. He says although the U.S. has increasing become more involved with other countries, it is not always the first initiator in world affairs.
"How do we carefully go to the policies," Kennedy said. "Which will recognize we have limitations, without letting the whole balloon go up. Without letting the world apple cart fall down. We're not irresponsible people. If we say we're moving, we recognize to a multi-polar world that we are not and we have to tell the American people we are not always moving first."
Guests and members tell us they believe with reforms to organizations like the UN, Americans are more than capable of stepping up in world interest.
"The U.S. is a giving country," said Douglas Campbell. "We're trying to help people, trying to develop people obviously we believe in Western ideals and many fundamental Islamists don't. I think that some people are more focused on self-interest, self-interest first. We've generally been more focused on the world interest."
"There are a lot of people who want to put their head in the sand, who would like to break our obligations to organizations like the UN," said Dawn-Reshen-Doty. "It's not possible. I think we have to re-double our efforts to be engaged geopolitics as opposed to putting our head down and ducking for cover."
"Here's three reasons why we have to argue the case, not for dumping the United Nations in a dust bin of history," said Kennedy. "But we have to argue intelligent reforms to the United Nations and argue the case as to why we cannot leave it, why we cannot walk away from it."