– Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to today’s panel
on Values in US Foreign Policy. My name is Meredith Forsyth,
and I’m a senior here in the School of Foreign Service, where I study international
politics and African studies. I am honored to be here
today to introduce you to our distinguished panelists. For the past year, I’ve had the privilege to work at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security, where I’ve learned how
important values are to US foreign policy, especially the way that women’s meaningful inclusion, whether in the boardroom
or the situation room, can transform our
societies for the better. I believe that values can and should hold a critical place in our
diplomacy and foreign policy. In a minute, you’ll hear from five former State Department officials who have dedicated their lives
to tackling these challenges. Their careers have
spanned foreign service, diplomacy, advocacy,
humanitarian work, and academia. First, we have Ambassador
Roberta Jacobson. She served as the US Ambassador to Mexico from 2016 until 2018, retiring
from the State Department after more than 30 years. Before that, she served as
Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere
Affairs, from 2012 to 2016. Next, there’s Ambassador Victoria Nuland, a US diplomat for 32
years, she holds the rank of career ambassador, serving
as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs under President Obama and Secretary Kerry. She was State Department’s spokesperson during Secretary Hillary Clinton’s tenure, and US Ambassador to NATO during George W. Bush’s second term. Last month, she became CEO of the Center for New American Security. Next, we have Maria Otero, who was the first US
Undersecretary of State for Civilian Security,
Democracy, and Human Rights, and served in that role from 2009 to 2013. Born in La Paz, Bolivia,
she was the first Latina undersecretary in State
Department history. Prior to her service at
the State Department, she spent 23 years working in microfinance and economic development. Next, we have Eric Schwartz, who has served as president of Refugees International since June 2017. He has had a three decade career, focused on humanitarian
and human rights issues, and most recently served as
the US Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration. He was also the senior human rights and humanitarian official at
the National Security Council during the Clinton administration. Finally, we welcome the
moderator for today’s panel, Ambassador Melanne Verveer. A Georgetown alumna, she is
now the executive director for the Georgetown Institute
for Women, Peace, and Security. She was the first US Ambassador At Large for Global Women’s
Issues from 2009 to 2013, and she currently also serves
as the Special Representative for Gender Issues at
the OSCE chairmanship. Ambassador Verveer co-founded and led Vital Voices, Global
Partnership for eight years, and during the Clinton administration, she served as the
assistant to the President and chief of the staff to the First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Before I step off, I would
like to take a moment to take our honored guest,
Secretary Hillary Clinton, for being here as her commitment
to imbue our foreign policy with these values is unparalleled. Secretary Clinton, I never
imagined that I would one day stand here and address you, in this school that has taught
me so much about values, representing an institute that you founded to put those values into practice, and with a conviction that
I would dedicate my life to living them out, as
you have done yours. You’ve inspired me and countless others. (audience applauding) So as you’re following along today, feel free to post about
the event on social media, using the hashtag, futureofdiplomacy. Thank you, and I hope you
enjoy our panel today. (audience applauding) (footsteps clicking) – Each of you as well,
I hope that our students can comprehend somehow the giant diplomats that are in this room. If you can find ways to tackle them, whisper to them, whatever you can do, (audience laughing) you will learn volumes from them. And for those of us who
have worked together, it is quite overwhelming, which
is why it was so difficult to get this panel started,
because everybody is so excited to be together again. And we have another
representative sampling of our diplomatic corps here on the stage, and I’m glad we at least
have had one token male on all the panels so far. (audience applauding) It is no secret that
we’re discussing values in foreign policy, and as I
look out at Secretary Clinton, who we welcome back, she
has had so much to do with the establishment of our Institute on Women, Peace, and Security, which in many ways, continues the work that she started at the State Department. But I’ve always associated
values with you, and I was thinking, sitting here, of the days, back when you weren’t running the State Department, many years earlier. The Soviet Union had collapsed, and you were going from country to country in the Baltic states and
Eastern and Central Europe, trying to lift people up who
didn’t know what happened to them, how they were
going to make a living, what this thing, democracy, meant. And that American, those American values, you tried to get across and tell them it was not gonna be easy, but what they whispered
in their children’s ears each night before they tuck them into bed were those habits of the heart
that they needed to retain as they went through this transition. And I’ve always associated those moments with your deep commitment to these issues, and of course, in an unparalleled way, women’s rights has been
on top of the list. And I think no one would disagree that Hillary has been the primary exemplar for women’s leadership around the world, and so we thank you for that too. (audience applauding) I wanna put in a shameless plug. And that is that we’ve started a podcast at the institute, and one
of the featured voices is none other than our
former Secretary of State, so when you’re not stimulated at times, or you’re so angry at what’s going on, when you need some inspiration, just go into iTunes and
pull down Seeking Peace, (audience laughing)
and you can hear her. And now, to another
fabulous group of people who have toiled over many years, committed to the values
that we are going to discuss and why they are critically important. You may hear some of the themes from the previous panel,
and as I think about it, that’s no surprise, because those values deeply embed what the practitioners in this room have been associated with and practiced over a long period of time. So I wanna start with
an article that I read that many of you may have read by none other than Jake Sullivan, one of our former colleagues. (audience applauding) It was in The Atlantic fairly recently, and the title of the article was, Yes, America Still Can Lead. And in the context of
this rather long article, (audience laughing) he raises, (chuckling) I didn’t really intend that. (audience laughing)
– It’s funny! – But he does,
(audience laughing) he does raise issues, I mean values, and he says that when you
raise the importance of values, you’re often greeted by rolling eyes. And there are two versions
of these rolling eyes, one is the group that says, why should we be worried about values? Why should they be a priority? Why can’t we just focus simply
on securing our interests? The other set of rolling
eyes has to do with those who feel that we’ve really not acted on our ideals much of the time, and so, are we authentic when we raise a lot of these ideals and values
in the course of our work? So I wanna ask anybody who
wants to respond to this, how do we deal with these
rolling eye reactions and why are values a strategic imperative? There’s nobody shy on this panel. (audience laughing) – Jump in, girl.
– No, go ahead. I’m gonna do second. – You wanna go second? All right, I’m not shy. First of all, what a
fantastic afternoon this is. It gives me so much hope to
see all these young people in the room who wanna practice the craft of diplomacy going forward, wanna wear America’s T-shirt
out there in the world, and congrats to Georgetown
for the education that it provides, but also,
this is a family reunion of so many people who worked so proudly and happily in the State Department under Secretary Clinton’s tenure, and there was an energy there, and it was American diplomacy
at its best, so thank you. Jumping into this question, why do we care about values? If you look at most of
the points of conflict around the world, if you
look at most of the places where danger comes to the United States, whether you’re talking about
the great power competitors, whether you’re talking
about the terrorists, whether you’re talking
about destabilization that is causing migration, et cetera, at the root of almost
of all of those places, people are not free. They are not choosing their government, they are not expressing
themselves through free media, they don’t have confidence
in their justice system, and those people who are
leading these movements, or countries, do so via very
various forms of repression. They are almost always not representing the vast majority of
those that they govern, and they only govern because they repress, not because they empower. The net result of that is
danger to the United States, it is danger to our allies and friends who want to live freely,
and it is a constant cycle of people saying no to that system of life and wanting what they
see in our countries. And when you look at the
most successful partnerships that the United States
has around the world, whether it’s our European
allies, our Asian allies, our Middle East partners, et cetera, our partnership with Israel, et cetera, our partnerships in Africa, where we have strong democracies, it is because those
governments are legitimate, it is because they can’t be destabilized by these forces of repression coming up from underneath that we can count on them to work with us on security,
on keeping trade open, on empowering citizens to
live in peace and freedom, and therefore, to support
their governments. And it is for that reason
that the United States has an interest in expanding the world of countries that live freely, and expanding the number of citizens around this planet who respect and feel that they participate in the choices that their governments make. These repressive governments are simply an ongoing threat to us, and they make bad partners,
and we do so much better in the world when we
work with free people, and the beacon that we put forward of freedom and openness also stimulates people around the world to want to say, no to governments that
want to repress them, and if we don’t partner with them, then we betray the very
values that make us as strong as we are and that beacon. – So, if I can, I think, first of all, I’d like to associate myself
with most of what Toria said, I think she’s absolutely right. Thank you, Melanne, thank
you, Secretary Clinton for this opportunity to be with the rest of the family today. Sometimes dysfunctional,
but always loving. (audience laughing) Like all families. To me, to take that one step further in terms of why the notion
of having foreign policy based on values or a moral imperative versus strategic imperatives, is a really interesting
one practically as well. I think the reason it has to be both, and you have to have the
moral imperative be part, or the values be part
of that foreign policy are as many practical reasons as there are ideological or philosophical. One, I think, when the two things diverge, you find very quickly that
you lack public support in the United States for that policy. And so therefore, the
policy is unsustainable both externally in the
country you’re trying to move forward on strategic imperatives without regard to the values, and certainly, unsustainable
in the United States over time, lessons learned in Vietnam or elsewhere. Because part of the
reason they lose support is that they diverge from our values that people, there’s a
cognitive dissonance there. Second, I think there’s
always been a case to be made that when we follow the
strategic imperatives and discard or temporarily put on hold the values part of it, those policies are much more likely to have
to be carried out in secret. Partly for the first reason,
partly for other reasons, also something that becomes
increasingly unsustainable. Sunlight as a disinfectant,
as a sort of stimulant for public debate and
debate internationally with allies and others,
is often the best way to craft better policy
and almost inevitably, then joins those two things again, the strategic importance and the values. And when that cost benefit
analysis, if you will, being very sort of clear-eyed about this, gets very out of whack, you find that eventually you end
up with Saudi Arabia and the Khashoggi killing, or a situation in which we’ve subordinated
one to the other, maybe logically for years, maybe not, whether it’s nuclear
states or petro-states, and ultimately, we betray ourselves and we lose the ability to work with that country as an ally. – But that said, and the
students have often raised this with me, how do you reconcile,
particularly in terms of our relationship that you
raised with Saudi Arabia, strategic interests, but also our values often clash with, and present realities are one of those examples,
how do we do both? How do diplomats navigate in
this complicated situation? – I’ll give you a short
answer to that question, and then I’ll talk about
what I’m thinking about. The answer is, they do. I mean, the answer is, they do. The notion that in a complex world you can’t deal with competing imperatives and figure out ways to manage both, I think is just wrong,
and we can talk about the Khashoggi case, but I
wanna make another point, because I wanna sort of
challenge an assumption that gave rise to your comment, your initial comments, Melanne, which is that, the notion that values should not inform foreign policy making has not reflected the broad understanding of American foreign policy for decades. If you think about the Democratic Party, the human rights approach of Jimmy Carter, the more vigorous approach of folks in the Democratic Party
like Richard Holbrooke, but both kinda sides of
the Democratic Party, on foreign policy, different views about America’s capacity to
make change in the world, but no disagreement on
the importance of values in the execution of foreign policy. And if you look at the Republican Party, I mean, the principal,
sort of intellectual forces within the party over the
past couple of decades, the neoconservatives of
our friend Elliott Abrams, Paul Wolfowitz, for those guys, values were critically important in the execution of foreign policy. Paul Wolfowitz was one of the greatest, strongest advocates for
US engagement in Bosnia. Even the traditional
foreign policy realists, the George H. W. Bush, who talked about a new world order after Iraq, and I would even say the
Republican isolationists, have a values-based approach, which is, we oughta let other countries decide what they wanna decide. Now, don’t get me wrong, I realize that the present occupant
of the Oval Office has a different perspective
on a lot of these issues, and I also realize that there are some foreign policy thinkers, I would call them the uber-Hobbesians in
the Republican Party, and I don’t mean to make this partisan, because I’ve just talked
about Republican commitment to values in foreign
policy, but there are those who believe that the only objective for our foreign policy has got to be that the United States,
the world is a nasty place, and the United States
has gotta be the big dog, and that’s about as far as it goes, but that sentiment, traditionally,
in our body politic, has not reflected the consensus. So I think that the notion that somehow we have to defend the idea that values should play a role in policy
making, I think is wrong. – Go ahead. – I mean, I agree with that. I think a value-driven foreign policy is at the core of what we should do, and let me just, before I make
a couple of points on that, just say how incredibly
happy and honored I feel just sitting up here and looking out on this wonderful stage,
and looking, again, at Secretary Clinton, who
we worked with and for for so many years, so it’s just a really wonderful opportunity
for us to, I wanna say, recall the good times.
(audience laughing) When we talk out a
value-driven foreign policy, Eric is right, those
issues have been before us. But what level of
importance do we give them as we carry out our
diplomacy, our foreign policy? And how do we connect
’em to foreign policy? And when you think that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it was really the most important document to come out from, after a war that almost tore this planet apart. Those are really a statement of the rights that individuals have, and our own policy needs to be able to, to have that be really what breathes
into our foreign policy. For me, there is one other piece, in a values-driven policy is that, if you really take it seriously, then you understand that the wellbeing of people around the world is probably one of the most important ways to safeguard our own national security. And that, as part of our policy, we should find a way to be able to reach those that are most vulnerable, most isolated, most threatened, in the societies of the
countries that we interact with. And that we should help countries provide security for them, protect them, engage in a way to
expand the speaking area or the functioning area that they have in their own countries. I can think of a list of
different areas in this, starting with women, and engaging women in everything that we do. We know that that’s critical. It absolutely helps, but we also look at other groups, whether
it’s LGBTQ groups, whether it’s religious freedom minorities, people that are being trafficked, human rights defenders, I mean, we can go through a whole list. Those are populations
that are really very, live very insecurely. And let me make a distinction here, because if we’re working in countries where there are elected governments, your ability to work on
these issues is of course, different than if you’re
working in authoritarian regimes that constrict the space and in fact, imprison people and don’t
allow them to operate, and in some cases, cause
enormous damage and torture. So there’s different ways
in which we can do that, but the notion that
Secretary Clinton created an undersecretary to
address civilian security, democracy and human rights as a way to improve our own capacity to incorporate values into the work that we do, is a way in which the Department of State was really speaking to
the rest of the world and saying, these are the issues that we really should be addressing. – You know, Maria, I
don’t think it’s so much the question of is
there a role for values, and Eric, you posited that very well. But it’s what you said, what significance do we give them when you’re in a situation where you’re weighing
an awful lot of options. Do we really condemn
human rights violations at a time when there’s
another critical negotiation going on with the country
that is not particularly doing the right thing on human rights? So there are these clashes. Not that we don’t find
values as a critical element, a seminal, important, foundational element of our foreign policy, so
I think that’s something, and I would imagine that
some of the students will raise this, because it’s a struggle. How do you make these decisions? – But America at its best
always oughta be able to walk and chew gum at
the same time, right? – And America at its best.
– Right? America at its best, but also, sitting with Secretary Clinton when she was working with Libyans or the Chinese or anybody else, yes, you’re trying to
find common interest, you’re trying to find common security, but you’re also saying to those leaders, you will be stronger if you
treat your own people better. They don’t always listen–
– That’s right. – But these things are
not mutually exclusive. And that’s how you balance,
including with the Saudis. This kind of behavior
undercuts your legitimacy as a global actor,
undercuts your legitimacy with your own people,
and puts you at risk. That’s the argument that you can make in the context of whatever other project you might be working on, and I was proud to watch the Secretary
do that with elegance. – It’s a very challenging question. And I think the issue
that you’ve just addressed really has to do with tactics, right? Which is, okay, we have values
and we try to execute them and implement them in different ways, in different circumstances, and I think that’s absolutely true, and very important, but I do think, sometimes we face these dilemmas, which is, how do we respond publicly to something that is so shameful, in circumstances where we have some view that responding privately
might have a greater impact or might do less damage to
a bilateral relationship. And that’s, there’s no
getting around the fact that that’s a hard question, and I think, for those of us who
believe in the importance of values in foreign
policy, I also think we, if you believe in that,
then you also believe that the policy has to have integrity. It has to have consistency of character. And that means, in certain instances, you’re gonna have to make a decision to say something publicly or be tougher or sacrifice a relationship in order to preserve the credibility of your overall articulated policy that values are important,
and you make those, you make those choices a case at a time. I think the Khashoggi example, case, is a great example, because there, some of us feel that the right action would be to take much stronger and sterner public measures with an understanding that that will result in some sacrifices in a bilateral relationship, dare I say, an important bilateral relationship. But it’s based on the conviction that the overall credibility of a values-informed foreign policy is more important than what you sacrifice in that particular case, but those are hard decisions to make. – And just two points
I would make as well. First, having been the
ambassador in Mexico until last May, you can imagine that this debate, internal, came up a lot. (audience laughing)
– You think? – Did you know they weren’t
gonna pay for the wall? – Yeah, I was pretty
sure of that early on. (audience laughing) But the fact is, we need
the Mexican government for all kinds of things that
are critically important to us, right, whether it’s the fact that fentanyl is killing people at 72,000
overdose deaths in 2018, of which the majority were fentanyl, and the fact that, if were
going to keep the country safe from fentanyl, from meth,
in particular, heroin, we’re gonna have to do it with the help and support of the Mexican government, and ensure that nothing else comes through those routes as well, which
it never has, in fact, other than drugs and people. But it didn’t keep us from
being extremely critical that nothing was being
done to stop the murders of journalists, not necessarily
by government actors, but in some cases by government actors, in some cases by cartels, and it irritated the government enormously when I did that. It irritated the government enormously that I was the first
ambassador to give a speech on corruption and anti-corruption
efforts and falling short. Those kinds of things have
to be weighed and balanced, but in the end, they were done in a way, I was proud of the group
of people in Mexico that did not actually interrupt the lifeline, the critical engagement with Mexican anti-narcotics forces that we so deeply needed. And the last thing I would say is, some of the problem is a
relatively unimaginative foreign policy that I
think, unfortunately, has become the norm, which
is punishment, right? Your reaction to everything is sanctions. I don’t know how many people OFAC has now, but they obviously need
millions to implement the number of sanctions, ’cause we just, there’s the sanction of the week club. That can’t be your only policy. If all you’re thinking about
is what should we cut off, what should we not do,
how should we punish them, then you’re gonna miss opportunities and you’re going to look only, obviously, at a negative foreign policy instead of what are we doing to encourage, to reward, and to promote.
– Carrots, good point. I wanna turn to another value, and Maria, I’m gonna turn to you anyway, so, whatever you were gonna
say, you can add to it. (audience laughing) And that is, we’ve got the experience, most of us have seen this now, we’re in UNESCO, we’re out of UNESCO, we’re in, we’re out, Human Rights Council, out, in, out again, the
Climate Change Agreement. Why does it matter, in
terms of our own interests, our own values systems,
to be a credible player in the multilateral world? And what price do we pay
for these kinds of actions? – Well, it’s, it will weave into what I was gonna say earlier, of course, I have to weave it. Part of what it raises, is the fact that we have a
series of multilateral agencies, many of them associated with the UN, some partly associated, like
the World Trade Organization, and some that are more
focused on economic growth, World Bank and so on. But when you look at the
structure that we’ve created and that we have depended on, to address just a myriad of different issues, this is the architecture that we have, even if it’s not, even it
has some problems or not. For us, not to be able
to play a role in them eliminates our own ability also, to lead. And through those organizations, work regionally in a significant way. And also work with players who
may have not worked together in the past and that
we can bring together. The Human Rights Council was
a perfect example of that. The UN Human Rights Council,
where we rejoined that and there were initiatives in place we could play a very active role in engaging all of the Latin Americans to address a given issue, or bringing Egypt and another country that had never worked together,
to be able to work together. And that for us, was also a way to provide leadership and to, and to align also the value
part of what we’re doing. And I think that piece
is a very important one for us to address, because we’re becoming more and more and more isolated. And if we are not at the
table helping set the agenda, and helping fashion it on the very issues that you’ve addressed, and
on many many that exist, then we can’t be leaders, either. – [Melanne] So if you have a grievance, you don’t walk out the door. You work inside the system.
– Yeah. Because that’s really
the system that we have. And I just wanted to make
one additional point, which was that in this, and it was touched by
especially, Ashram, before, but as we talk about these
multilateral organizations and the way in which we interact, there is no question that issues that have to do with working
through civil society become absolutely key,
and an ambassador today doesn’t just interact with government to government activities. I mean, we look at the
fabric of organizations that allow citizens to participate, to engage, and to also
complain to their governments and to try to make things change, and so I think that piece is very, it’s just very important
for us to both understand, Secretary Clinton always
addressed this issue. And she may have not,
if you just allow me, I’ll just tell one quick story. Maybe she wouldn’t have gone this far, but I remember when we were
in Cartagena in Colombia with one of the summit events, the Latin American summit event. I’m from Bolivia, if you’re
in Cartagena, Colombia, you dance, I mean, you don’t just go there and do diplomacy, you dance. And so Jake Sullivan was
there, Roberta was there, but I thought, well, why don’t we bring Secretary Clinton to carry
out some cultural diplomacy (audience laughing) and go to one of the local get togethers, which was actually
called Havana, and dance. And be able to be really engaged, and so Secretary Clinton and several of us carried that out, and that was, you know, part of the reason–
– The sacrifice. – Is because the next day,
the newspapers in Colombia, you have no idea the way in which they expressed, and the
way in which they said, this is exactly the kind of interaction that we want to have, so I think, the point also is we just
gotta kick our legs up. – It turned out to be the biggest news that came out of the summit. (audience laughing) – Nobody remembers what the summit was. – That’s right, nobody with business, but in any case.
– Eric, you are dealing with
one of the great crises in our world today, refugees. It’s a space in which
you’ve been operating. We are at unprecedented levels, a humanitarian crisis, a populist backlash fanned by politicians who
want to create more havoc with this problem, and great difficulty, not just how it’s being
used here, but in Europe. What is failing, what
is not operating well, what do we learn from this, because this is a problem
we’re gonna continue to see. God knows what climate
change is gonna bring to more and more people leaving, having to leave where they live, because of what that
crisis is going to create. So what do we learn from this? (Eric sighing) – We can talk in great detail. – We don’t have time for great detail. (audience laughing) – No, that’s why I said,
that’s why I said– – There was a but coming– – That’s why I said, we can.
– But. – But I won’t.
(audience laughing) But I mean, to use your
question to make a point, which I think is very fundamental, and we haven’t really talked about it. To me, it reflects the critical importance of American leadership. The United States right now is providing anywhere between a quarter and a third, I used to say a quarter, Pat Kennedy used to say, yeah, that’s in the budget, but how much we actually spending, and the spending was 1/3 of
world humanitarian assistance. So by definition, we’re
leaders, but we’re not leading, and so why is that important? Why is that important? So I wanna take your question
and talk a little bit, briefly, about why that’s important, because by the conventional, what’s this, this conversation is about foreign policy. And foreign policy is
about the effectuation of American interests,
however we define it. Not to put too fine a point on it, achieving our objectives in the world. Right now, by the conventional
measurements of power, the conventional measurements of power, power is rapidly fleeting from the West, and going to the East. Within two decades, three of
the four largest economies will be Asian, including
the world’s largest economy, which will be China. 48% of venture capital for
artificial intelligence last year went to China. In terms of the conventional
measurements of power, technological advancement,
military capacity, economic power, power is
shifting from West to East, and our relative power, measured
in that conventional way, is diminishing, that
is just, that’s a fact. So the question is, in that context, is transactional diplomacy our best tool? To sustain the limited,
the power that we have to increasingly be careful about marshaling? Do we achieve our power through more of a values based approach, which looks at issues like smart power, engagement in multilateral institutions, where the United States has the capacity to exercise leadership
based on a perception that we are not being transactional, that we care about other issues and that helps to accumulate, helps us to safeguard
our power in the world. But if you’ll look at the institutions of smart power, of multilateralism where we have been so successful in gaining and actually
increasing our influence, who’s working those
institutions right now? It ain’t us. It’s the governments of the
world who have a much more traditional realist
approach to foreign policy. In the Human Rights Council,
it’s the government of China. In overseas aid efforts
in places like Africa, it’s the government of China. And at a time in which
our capacity to hold on to the traditional measurements of power is inevitably gonna be limited, this is actually, in world history, the worst, in the history
of the past several decades, the very worst time for us to be thinking about diplomacy in transactional terms, because it’s the time in which we need to be marshaling our authority. So my answer to your question
on the humanitarian side is, American leadership is
critically important, but we’re, unfortunately, we’re not there on issues like how to deal
with the Rohingya challenge, how to deal with
challenges in South Sudan, and when we are there, I don’t think the world
is completely convinced that we are operating, in a multilateral context to effect the greatest good for all. And sort of talking
about armed intervention in Venezuela’s probably not the best way to communicate that, and so I think that really, for me, when
I think about the subject of this panel, I think about the world and what we are, some
things we have to give up, some things we are gratuitously giving up and I think that’s a real concern. – So let’s move from that comment, particularly in Venezuela to you, Roberta. You had mentioned earlier that our answer to everything seems to be sanctions. Very hard power answer,
not using other levers, not using other carrots. What else could we be doing
in situations like this? – Well, I mean, on Venezuela, I think, obviously, certain sanctions, to be honest, I think are entirely valid. In particular, I think the blocking of assets and the,
hopefully, more effective imposition so that Maduro can’t
get at his assets overseas. But I will say that a number of years ago, we all in this group
here, and at least one or two people here, actually
had this conversation, talked about the way the
Venezuelans exercised projection of their own
power in the hemisphere, in particular through
Petrocaribe, and the use of oil with countries that had
very bad energy situations, and how relatively
cheap it would have been for the United States to put forward a program of energy
efforts with the Caribbean that the reason that would matter is not numbers of
population, but right now, when we look at the OAS or
even other institutions, you’ve got 14 Caribbean votes, quite a few of which are
sort of still locked up in an old Petrocaribe system, which they should no longer
be loyal to, obviously. But it’s to play a better role
in our multilateral efforts. Those 14 Caribbean votes, we seek them for everything, right? Is it Syria? Is it the Middle East? Is it other things? And we don’t get them, routinely. And part of that is their alliance to countries that have, frankly, invested more over the time, with us taking them for granted or ignoring them altogether.
– That’s a good point. – And so, this international system, which you can say is what we have, but it’s what we designed.
– Yeah. – It’s what we designed because it was and is beneficial to us. Now, clearly, others have
kind of figured that out and engaged in the system differently, but our backing out of it is a bad thing for our own national interests, and that’s a perfect example of where a relatively limited investment, and I’ve always said this
about the Western Hemisphere in general, a relatively
limited investment will pay enormous dividends
in terms of support for the United States, not
just in things like Venezuela, but in other areas that are
important to us globally and we’ve really failed to engage on our own values with countries that are, sort of instinctively aligned with us, but have not been offered
any encouragement, incentives, rewards,
whatever you wanna call it to be by our side.
– You know, and I remember how
much, Secretary Clinton, you’ve stressed those Asia-Pacific islands and the work that was done collaborating with New Zealand and Australia and others because they have votes,
they were important in and of themselves, but they
also were critical players, as you’ve just pointed out
in another part of the world. And anybody who’s been to China, as many of us have been
and gone to conferences that China convenes, those islands are all represented there
in very significant ways. So I think there are points here that the students
especially can be picking up that will serve you in good stead no matter what you go on to do. Let me just move, because we have to go to questions, to Toria. We’ve got a very turbo
charged Russia today, operating hybrid wars, disruption, with huge consequences on
so many different levels. You dealt with it when
you were still at State with respect to Ukraine, that goes on. How does this conversation on values fit into a situation like that? – So as I said at the beginning, it is the autocrats and
antidemocrats of the world who pose the greatest threat to us, whether they are states or
whether they are terrorists. Russia is a country where,
for the past 20 years, they haven’t invested
much in their own people. When you take a poll of average Russians as to what they care most about, it is not holding Ukraine or
dominating the Middle East, it’s why does my hospital not work, why do I have to pay a bribe
to get into university? But this is a tactic of statecraft, of leaders who are not succeeding at home, that they create a false sense of glory by expanding externally,
and by dominating others. It’s an expensive strategy, it’s a risky strategy, and eventually, your population turns around and says, yeah, but, did my life get
better over the last 10 years? But that can take a long time to play out, but in the mean time, you have a Russia that has broken the post-Cold War compact in terms of invading neighbor’s space, in terms of using economic and other forms of political coercion
to dominate neighbors, and using corruption as
an export of state policy to undercut democracy and
undercut the citizen’s rights in all kinds of countries
throughout their neighborhood, and in the case of Syria, to make that country safe
for the autocrat, Assad. So the question that you have to ask is, how much is it worth to
us to stand up to that and to say, you’re not
gonna get any benefits of global leadership,
you’re not gonna have the kind of top table conversation
and seat that you want, unless and until you come back
into the general consensus, the state-sovereign consensus, this is not about multilat
versus state-sovereigns that we all live and let live, rather than expanding. So sanctions was a very useful tool. I think it was useful
in stopping the Russians from getting all the way to Kiev in 2015, but if it is not also tied
to how you undo sanctions when the relationship improves or behavior improves or
you focus on other things, it loses its efficacy, but
it also needs to be tied to other things, so in the case of Russia, where I am now, is we should be thinking in terms of both a bigger
carrot and a bigger stick. A bigger carrot in the
sense that we need to speak over the heads of leaders who are failing their own citizens to
talk to Russian citizens about the benefits of
having a freer, open, more European trading system, travel, all that kind of stuff with us, and the risks of increased cost and the costs do need to increase if the behavior doesn’t change of continuing to violate the system. – Well, it seems to me, and
I’m no authority, obviously, but that during the Cold War, we were able to calibrate
public diplomacy, the soft power, if you
will, and the hard power, because we engaged in a whole lot of these kinds of things. – And we always spoke about standing with, in that case, the Soviet people, and in this case, the Russian people, and their aspirations to live better. And I remember my first trip
to the Soviet Union in 1980, and we had this very sort
of, would sound crude and cute today, this glossy
magazine called America. It was like Life
Magazine, and you would go into small towns in Russia,
and people that you didn’t know would say (speaking in foreign language), and wave their couple copies because it had been so interesting to them and a window on what we could be if we worked together, so. – Well, there’s an awful
lot to unpack here, so students, take to the microphones. We’ll see what you have to say
about this or ask about this. Go ahead, start. – [Becky] Hi, my name
is Becky Twaalfhoven, I’m actually an undergraduate in the SFS. Thank you all so much for being here. My question is about
universalism in promoting values. The case of Myanmar comes to mind, but other cases, obviously,
around the world. How do you balance recognition and respect for the uniqueness of other cultures and other peoples around the world with the promotion of values and rights that we take as universal,
like gender equality, like religious freedom. – That’s you, girl. (all chuckling) – Well, let me just, I think
that there are some values, I mean, there’s no question
that there are differences, traditionally, and that if you are to look at the way in which
culture plays itself out, you might find some differences, but there is just no question that some of the values
which we would hold tight, which is basically promoting democracy, promoting human rights, are at the core of everything that we would
be able to do in any country. When you look at the status
of women, for example, in different cultures and
in different countries, it just varies dramatically, and Melanne is really the person that
has dedicated her life to working on these issues. And you have to address them differently depending on what part
of the world you’re in, but ultimately, the belief in equity and the belief that women
should have the opportunity to be able to really play out all their possible
opportunities and growth remains a value that, it doesn’t matter if you’re in Myanmar or in
Cameroon or in Guatemala, you hold up and this is when it becomes so important to work with
civil society organizations, because they show you the way, as well. They are advocating, they’re promoting, they’re protecting, and they are the ones that can also, in working
directly with them, you’re not there dictating. You’re not there, standing aside and saying this is the way
that you should do things. You are working directly with them and you’re strengthening
their own capacity to empower their own people, and so I think this is one of the pieces that is really important to remember as we’re doing the work. The emphasis on, and Secretary
Clinton did this every time. Every trip she took, she
would meet with NGOs, she would meet with
members that represented different civil society organizations who could really expand
our own understanding of how to address some of these issues. And that, I think is just
one of the essential tools that we have that we need to, that we really need to make use, and it supports the point
that Eric was making about this is what you
have to marshal together and work through.
– And I think one of the suspicions,
always, on the part of some, is that these are values
foisted by the West and they are not values
that are permeating the societies where
certain people would prefer this not to be happening,
their people to be free, or women to have certain rights, when working with civil society, it’s not this is what
you should do from us, it’s they’re saying to
us, this is what we want to have happen, and as
you asked the question, I was thinking yesterday,
the Taliban put out a statement at the Moscow conference on how committed they
are to women’s rights, and in that statement,
proceeded to go through all of the ways that that
needed to be constrained because of the values in their society. – Can I say one thing about this, if? I think it’s also important
not to overstate this dilemma. You mentioned the Rohingya issue. And first of all, all the
governments of the world, by acceding to the UN charter
have explicitly articulated a commitment to the promotion of internationally
recognized human rights. And I say, I guess in theory, there are close cases, but in the case of the Rohingya example, which you gave, I mean, what are we talking about? We’re talking about rape, forced killings, forced expulsion, torture,
and no government, no government in the world would say, we do that and we think we should do it. What they say is, they lie. They say, we don’t do it when they do. So I think there may be some issues where there are close calls, but I think you gotta be careful about overstating this problem. – This side. – [Alyssa] Hi, my name is Alyssa Goodman. I’m a conflict resolution student, and my question was
actually in the context of negotiations with the Taliban. How is it possible to
protect American values when negotiating with
very hard line groups like the Taliban that historically have not been willing
to make any compromises, aside from the values themselves,
the lack of compromise. – So what a key sine qua
non in this negotiation that we’re having now is that the Taliban needs to accept the tenets
of the Afghan constitution, an Afghan constitution
that we worked with them on so that it would conform
with UN principles. Now, the rubber hits the
road not in what they say, but in how things are implemented, so what you don’t want
at the end of the day is a Taliban return to dominance at best, what you want is the Taliban integrated into the political system and winning some seats in Parliament or some ministries, but
understanding that they share power within the overall
umbrella of these rights. But one can get cheated on this. The Afghan people can get cheated, and then the question becomes, what does thing United
States do to reinforce the spirit and the letter of the deal that we helped to broker. – And as much as you want
to end the hostilities, and everybody wants to see them end, you don’t withdraw precipitously and give up that lever
that you can still use to effectuate some of this. – [Jacob] Good afternoon,
my name’s Jacob Hernandez. I’m a graduate student in the
Applied Intelligence Program. This is a question open to all, but Mr. Schwartz, you mentioned
transactional diplomacy. I’m aspiring to work in a place where you can’t really surge trust, I think we can all agree on that. How do we balance our
individual interactions abroad with the not so defined, I’m not sure if it’ll ever be defined, bold diplomacy that we are moving into or currently in? – How do we balance our
individual interactions with, you said, the bold diplomacy. Tell me a little bit more
what you mean by that. Are you talking about the
diplomacy of this administration or what we have been talking about here? – [Jacob] Yes, yesterday evening, President Trump mentioned his new brand of bold diplomacy,
especially with regards, this was during the State of the Union, with regards to his discussions with Chairman Kim Jong-un. – Oh, I see, okay. (audience laughing) – Oh, I see.
– I don’t know, I don’t know really
where to begin, because– (audience laughing) – [Maria] You don’t have
to make it short this time. – I will make it short. I think that, look, there are things that politicians say,
and then there are things that politicians do, and I think when you’re assessing the actions of any administration, take
into account what they say, but also look carefully at what they do. And diplomacy, bold diplomacy to my mind, involves a strategy.
(audience laughing) It involves evidence-based actions. It involves perseverance. And it involves engagement
with the whole of government in a manner that gives you confidence that the direction in which you’re going is a direction that is
gonna be sustainable. And I, without making any comments about where the President
stands on all this, I would just, I would
assess that statement with respect to those
criteria I just identified. And I think this
presidential administration, I know we’re not supposed
to talk too much about it, but I’m just gonna try to be
analytical and not normative, has been characterized by very
much transactional diplomacy without the kinds of
elements I’ve just described, and notwithstanding the
President’s speech last night, I think the proof has
gotta be in the pudding. – [Jacob] Thank you very much. – Okay.
– Hello, I’m a JD student at Georgetown University Law Center, and I’m actually a person
that you mentioned, that generation in the
late 80s and early 90s that was part of the transition
of democracy in Russia and Eastern Europe, and
there was a lotta hope. And I grew up with a lotta hope. I was raised with that,
as you said, every night, about those, sort of those hopeful stories about how it’s gonna change, and I think one of the
problems and tragedies that have especially sharpened since 2014, have been just the realization that, it’s never gonna change, that Ukraine, Moldova, all of these
Eastern European countries, are gonna continue that struggle. And I find that the biggest
problem, as I see it is, there’s no belief in
institutions in Ukraine, especially, and Russia. There’s just this vicious
cycle of the disbelief and the totalitarianism, and the more, the less people believe there’s
no independent judiciary in these countries, so
the less people believe, so through, my question
is, through diplomacy, what are some ways that these, this lack of belief can be alleviated? – Well, first, congrats on
the trajectory of your life. I hope you continue to work
on these issues as a lawyer. We’re finding, particularly,
on the rule of law questions, that’s where you can give people hope that their system can change
when they can petition a court when they’ve been aggrieved, whether it’s by their
government or by their neighbor, so good on you for all of those things. Look, I think we, throughout
the transition period in Central Europe and then moving further and further east,
tried to tie American support to reform of the system
and reform of the system had to include strengthening
of institutions, so whether it was alternation of power, creation of political parties, real elections that were transparent and met OSCE and UN standards, or whether it was free
media, beginning to work hard on the judiciaries and judiciary reform, something that, as you know, takes 10, 15, 20 years to solidify and can easily be derailed. In the Ukraine context,
in the early years, and still today, we tied
IMF economic support, World Bank economic
support to the government taking on corruption, to it establishing a anti-corruption court,
to it having transparency in ownership of assets by
elected politicians, et cetera. So we have lots of tools that we can use to serve as carrots for better governance. We also have lots of
tools to use to expose. Roberta and I are the same
generation of diplomats, and we always say, to spread sunshine is the greatest disinfectant
on dirty stuff goin’ on, but at the end of the
day, the country itself and the people of the country have to fight for those changes. And the other thing that, if
my life has taught me anything, and through this whole period
of, you’ll know this word, great hope and then (speaking
in foreign language), the disappointments, often
these things are not linear. Often there are hills and troughs, and sometimes it takes very
courageous individuals, and very courageous leaders and they are often, they come by magic. So we have to be
consistent and persistent, and we also have to
remember that when we work with allies, these
tools are even stronger, because we force multiply the open arms that we have for change and
the cost for not changing. – Can I just mention really quickly that it is not a problem
only in Ukraine or Russia or Eastern Europe–
– It’s everywhere. – It is the fundamental
problem I see in the Americas. You see it in a crusading,
extraordinary judge, Sergio Moro in Brazil,
during the Lava Jato anti-corruption work, but you also see a very very dangerous situation of weak institutions that
are not being strengthened, even by elected presidents,
and one of the things that worries me most is
our losing the ability to talk about these things
as a government, right, about strengthening institutions,
about anti-corruption, because of weaknesses we’re
seeing here in our own system. – And I think investments in
civil society, what Toria said. In Ukraine you see this dramatically where there is such a
demand after the Revolution of Dignity, by young people,
well-educated people, and so many others really
pushing the government along with whatever
carrots and sticks we use to try to hasten those reforms. – [Adam] Hi, my name’s Adam. I’m a freshman in the SFS,
I’m an undergraduate student. My question is on the question of values, something that you guys have talked about all this past hour. You’ve talked about equality, commitment to multilateral institutions, women’s rights, but at the end of the day, these values have all been changing for the past 20th century, for
the past hundreds of years, our values as Americans
have always shifted and our approach to foreign policy has always changed on
the basis of those shift in those values, so in a time and age when our values are constantly changing and there isn’t, seems to be, a consensus, at the moment, of what those values are, how do we build that consensus, A, and B, what does it mean
to have American values? What are those things and
how do you promote them on the world stage? – Go ahead.
– You know, I would, I don’t think
they’ve been changing. I think the values, certainly, a value driven foreign policy for me means what I said earlier, which is really to promote democracy and
promote human rights. We as a society are understanding more and more what it means to be able to have every citizen and human being be able to exercise their
own God-given rights. And from that perspective,
we are evolving. If we look, for example,
at some of the laws that have come, if you are
gay, you can now marry. This is completely new, but it is, for us, a recognition that our understanding of the values that LGBTQ had were, and continue to be limited
within our society, and so we are opening
ourselves more and more in order to be able to expand an open space
for those that have been either oppressed or repressed or ignored. And we can look at so
many examples of that in our own society where we continue to face incredible shortcomings. If you listened yesterday to
the voter suppression issues that have taken place
just in the last elections of last November, people
from other countries coming up to me when I travel and they say, exactly, how
do y’all go about voting? I thought everybody could vote and you didn’t suppress anybody’s vote. You see that we still
have enormous problems in the way in which we’re
addressing some of these values. And from our perspective, that’s why I said, it’s
different when you work with some elected
governments, for example. You can help them also see the kind of vulnerable populations, for example, people with disabilities or women overall. Just in how they work, what they get paid, the way in which they
have to do a double day, I mean, these are all areas
in which we are evolving in our understanding
and in the way in which we make societies more
inclusive of everyone. So that, I think, is an ongoing process. – Melanne, can I just say one thing? I notice behind us we
have the McCourt School of Public Policy, and I spotted a couple of public policy deans in
the audience, and I think, in terms of training young
people in public policy and public affairs, we’ve
been very successful in developing this commitment to
evidence-based policy making, which is critical to any discussion. What we haven’t been as successful at is figuring out ways to
translate these insights to the broader population at large. That sounds very
patronizing, but the fact is, we haven’t figured out, or communicators haven’t figured out how to
engage populations broadly who don’t spend years
studying public policy. And somehow, that seems to me
to be a critical nut to crack in terms of building a greater consensus on public affairs issues, ’cause the start has gotta be evidence,
and values inform that, but that’s a real challenge. I certainly don’t have an answer for it. – The last question. – Hi, my name is Avram Reisman, I’m a second year master’s student in the Democracy and Governance Program. My question concerns US grand strategy. The critics of the US grand strategy known as liberal hegemony have grown if not in number than in volume during the Trump administration, and maybe a little bit prior. My question is, does
the Trump administration have a new grand strategy, and if not, is there a need for a reevaluation of US grand strategy for the 21st century, and finally, how should values continue to play a role in that? – You’re asking us if
the Trump administration has a grand strategy?
(audience laughing) – Look, I think if you read
their National Security Strategy they emphasize great power competition as the greatest threat
to the United States, and organize their military, economic, and diplomatic approach around that. But at the same time, they
see it as an American alone, or American mostly challenge. So I think the question becomes, how do you take the very real challenge that they identified, and
I think it is a challenge for the United States,
of autocrats petitioning to change the rules of the road, and doing it coercively
and trying to undercut not only our alliances and our allies, but democracy within our own system. How do you combine that
with the great strengths that America brings to the table, our friends and allies, and our values, and if I had one message back to the folks on the other end of
town, it would be to say, our European and Asian partners are dying to work with
us on the challenges of China, the challenges of Russia, the challenges of high technology, the challenges of immigration. Let’s say yes, please. – Well, that does it for this panel. (audience applauding) – Everyone–
– Wait, I wanna say this. I have to say, Eric, my dear friend, Eric, that the Humphrey School really
turned you into a professor. (audience laughing) And I want to thank his
eminent colleagues here, but it’s wonderful to have you
all participate in this way, and now we’re going to the main event.