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Foreign policy expert to speak on cooperation

David Shorr visits Juneau to talk about future of U.S. relations

Posted: Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Americans are ready for a new conversation on foreign policy, said David Shorr, a policy expert who will be giving a speech today in Juneau.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

Shorr, who was invited to speak by the Juneau World Affairs Council, is a program officer at the Stanley Foundation, a nonpartisan private foundation based in Iowa that Shorr said was "pro international cooperation."

Shorr said most Americans are aware of how interconnected the U.S. is with other nations and how important our foreign policy is. He added that the United States' handling of the war in Iraq has been "clarifying" in that it's shown a need for international cooperation and the deficiencies of "going off on our own."

"From a scientific experiment point of view, it hasn't worked out so well for us," Shorr said.

Shorr's talk in Juneau is titled "Uncharted Waters - steering U.S. foreign policy through turbulent times."

"What I really want get across is that the job description of being a global power, it demands a lot of us, of our country, and we have some significant adjustments to make to a changing world," Shorr said.

"We have to raise our foreign policy game considerably," Shorr added. "The world is more complex than our foreign policy has been set up to deal with."

Shorr's speech will come on the heels of President-elect Barack Obama's announcement that Hillary Clinton will be his secretary of state and Robert Gates will stay on as secretary of defense.

Shorr said he thought both were good picks and showed that the Obama administration was eager to "hit the ground running."

"She's going to be able to get the attention of foreign leaders," he said. And Gates "has been one of the best advocates" for more civilian-led diplomacy.

• Contact reporter Alan Suderman at 523-2268 or e-mail alan.suderman@juneauempire.com.



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