Mon Mar 10, 2014 | 16:00-17:30 | Theatre |

The limits of American power, by Kim Ghattas

US foreign policy and the case of Syria 

Lecture by Ms. Kim Ghattas, BBC correspondent and author of ‘The Secretary’

As global power shifts, questions rise about the status of America’s superpower. Discussions about intervention in Syria – as with every major international crisis – show that there are limits to American power, including the reluctance by American leaders to intervene. But is there an alternative?

In her multimedia lecture, Kim Ghattas will focus on the decision making process within the Obama administration about whether and how to intervene in Syria in September 2013. She will outline how the National Security Council and the State department interact, how personalities (Obama vs Kerry) impact the course of action taken, and how decisions made in other countries affect decision making in Washington. She also highlights the role the media can sometimes play in changing the course of events.

Kim Ghattas is the award winning BBC’s State Department radio and TV correspondent and the author of ‘The Secretarya journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power’. She has covered the U.S. State Department for the BBC since 2008, and has written a nuanced book about Hillary Clinton’s years as Secretary of State. Ghattas logged 300,000 miles as she traveled with Clinton to 40 countries.

In her book she portraits the Secretary of State (and possibly the first woman to be president of the US) in her successful attempt to build relationships with leaders all over the globe. While examining Mrs. Clinton’s role in U.S. diplomacy abroad, Ms. Ghattas also seeks to answer whether U.S. power is in decline. This is both a personal as a professional journey – Ms. Ghattas grew up in Beirut during the civil war in the 1980’s with many questions about American power, that she seeks to answer in her book. Before moving to Washington, she was based in Beirut covering the Middle East for the Financial Times, the BBC and de Volkskrant. Her stories were also published in Time Magazine, The Washington Post and the Boston Globe. She is the daughter of a Dutch mother and a Lebanese father.

This lecture is organized by SG Erasmus, the office for public and cultural events on Erasmus University, in cooperation with the NGIZ, the Dutch Institute for Foreign Affairs. The discussion will be moderated by Ko Colijn, professor of International Relations and general director of Clingendael Institute.

Organized by SG Erasmus

Free entrance

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