The Munk Debates: A More Dangerous Place?

The latest Munk Debate on Obama's Foreign Policy.

The latest Munk Debate on Obama's Foreign Policy.


Is American foreign policy making the world a more dangerous place? That's the question participants in this autumn's Munk Debates argue over. On the "yes" side: Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal, and Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution's Center on the United States and Europe. On the "no" side: Fareed Zakaria host of CNN's global affairs program. And Anne-Marie Slaughter, former policy director for the U.S. State Department.

Be it resolved that President Obama's foreign policy is emboldening our enemies and making the world a more dangerous place

Has the administration of Barack Obama, through inaction and incompetence, as its critics will claim, fanned the flames of global conflict, and encouraged the very forces that want to roll back individual rights, the rule of law, economic globalization.  Or, and it's a big "or", has this president wisely and courageously disavowed the role of global policeman for the United States, a role embraced by his predecessor, in favour of alliance building and the limited targeted use of military power?"

Rudyard Griffiths, organizer & moderator of The Munk Debates

Ladies and gentlemen, under Obama, America is no longer feared by its enemies, and we are no longer trusted by its friends."

Bret Stephens

Blaming Barack Obama for the state the world is in right now is like blaming a Caribbean island for a hurricane."

Anne-Marie Slaughter

The Audience Poll

This Munk Debate took place in Toronto on November 5th. The audience watching in Roy Thomson Hall, and over the Internet, had a chance to vote on the resolution.

Before the debate, 43% felt that the world was indeed a more dangerous place, while 57% disagreed about the impact of President Obama's foreign policies.

Almost the entire audience - 93% of them -- said they were willing to change their minds based on what they heard, and they did.  After listening closely to all the arguments, only 32% agreed with the resolution, while 68% disagreed.

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