National security in Obama’s second term
A joint event with AEI and the Center for American Progress

Video

Event Summary

Although domestic issues took precedence over foreign policy during the 2012 US presidential election, on Wednesday, AEI and Center for American Progress national security experts emphasized the significance of national security in President Obama's second term.

AEI's own Danielle Pletka kicked off the discussion by asking the panelists whether the US has a credibility problem with respect to Obama's foreign policy. Brian Katulis of the Center for American Progress claimed the US must learn to use threat judiciously in the Middle East, making sure it is part of an overarching strategy.

Paul Wolfowitz of AEI countered that the administration has used mistakes from the past 10 years as an excuse for excessive caution. Wolfowitz said that when Obama was elected, many were hopeful that the president could change the world's view of America; however, the US is still losing the battle of ideas.

Finally, Rudy deLeon, also of the Center for American Progress, concluded that the US must get its financial house in order and be honest about its budget. Thus, in order to tackle foreign policy concerns, the US government must first address its domestic issues.
-- Alex Della Rocchetta

Event Description

Americans voted to keep their commander in chief, but the country is still in for real national security change in the coming months. There will be a new secretary of state, potential new secretary of defense, more transitions in Washington, and continued challenges abroad. Iran’s nuclear program, Syria’s civil war, and the Afghanistan war are just a few of the issues that will be high on the agenda. And then there is the issue of the fiscal cliff and the possible sequestration of $500 billion in defense funds if Congress does not act to stop it. What will change and what will remain the same between now and January 21, 2013? 

Join AEI and the Center for American Progress for the first in a series of joint conversations examining major national security challenges in the months and years ahead.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.

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About the Author

 

Danielle
Pletka

  • As a long-time Senate Committee on Foreign Relation senior professional staff member for the Near East and South Asia, Danielle Pletka was the point person on Middle East, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan issues. As the vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at AEI, Pletka writes on national security matters with a focus on Iran and weapons proliferation, the Middle East, Syria, Israel and the Arab Spring. She also studies and writes about South Asia: Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.


    Pletka is the co-editor of “Dissent and Reform in the Arab World: Empowering Democrats” (AEI Press, 2008) and the co-author of “Containing and Deterring a Nuclear Iran” (AEI Press, 2011) and “Iranian influence in the Levant, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan” (AEI Press, 2012). Her most recent study, “America vs. Iran: The competition for the future of the Middle East,” was published in January 2014.


     


    Follow Danielle Pletka on Twitter.


  • Phone: 202-862-5943
    Email: dpletka@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Alexandra Della Rocchetta
    Phone: 202-862-7152
    Email: alex.dellarocchetta@aei.org

 

Paul
Wolfowitz
  • Paul Wolfowitz spent more than three decades in public service and higher education. Most recently, he served as president of the World Bank and deputy secretary of defense. As ambassador to Indonesia, Mr. Wolfowitz became known for his advocacy of reform and political openness and for his interest in development issues, which dates back to his doctoral dissertation on water desalination in the Middle East. At AEI, Mr. Wolfowitz works on development issues.


    Follow Paul Wolfowitz on Twitter.
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Hemal Shah
    Phone: 202-862-5889
    Email: hemal.shah@aei.org

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