ADSD 2016, the two-day annual event is bringing together a line-up of nearly 400 renowned names including decision makers, politicians, researchers, intellectuals and academics.
ADSD, now in its third edition, is organised by the Emirates Policy Centre (EPC), in cooperation with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the Atlantic Council, U.S.
The fifth panel of ADSD’s day two was designated to an in-depth discussion over the "American Foreign Policy under a New Administration", the scenarios of possible shifts in Washington’s foreign policy and its impact on the region and its influential actors.
Speakers of the panel were James L. Jones, Chairman at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Centre on International Security and former United States National Security Advisor, Jon Huntsman, Chairman at the Atlantic Council and former Governor of Utah, Dr. Andrew Parasiliti, Director, Centre for Global Risk & Security, RAND Corporation and Moderator Steve Clemons, Washington editor-at-large of The Atlantic.
James L. Jones, Chairman at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Centre on International Security and former United States National Security Advisor, expressed his dissatisfaction over the "Obama administration’s retreat concerning genuine involvement in the Middle-East’s conflicts and developments, as was the case in Syria, Libya and Iraq".
"One of Trump’s mantra throughout his campaign was "Make America Great Again’, and I hope there will be a move towards this trend in the Middle East. The U.S. has to re-commit to this part of the world", Jones added.
Jones also clarified that "Security is a much broader concept than it was 20-30 years ago. It now includes energy and cyber-security, military strength, and innovative ways where regional elements can come together with the U.S."
For his part, Jon Huntsman, Chairman at the Atlantic Council and former Governor of Utah, said "U.S. elections sometimes come with unpredictable results, and Donald Trump is the proof. President-elect Trump winning the elections represents the "fall of the great blue wall" as industrial America have always voted for the Democrats"
Huntsman, who also worked as a U.S. ambassador to China and Singapore, added "This race during the presidential campaign has witnessed end of boundaries between domestic issues and foreign U.S. policy, and that was reflected in focusing on three major foreign policy topics: The Middle-East, immigration and foreign trade."
"President-elect Trump’s slogan during the presidential campaign: "Making America Great Again" will inevitably be translated into more active U.S. roles and presence on the international arena. Still we need to watch the first 100 days of Trumps tenure in the White House, which, I expect, to shape the new Congress before getting involved in a tough legislative encounter to pass five or six important decisions", Huntsman predicted.
A third speaker, Dr. Andrew Parasiliti, Director, Centre for Global Risk & Security, RAND Corporation. Noted that "We are witnessing the new administration settle and its tough to speculate how it will work until we see which figures are appointed to key roles. If General Mike Flynn is appointed as NSA (National Security Agency) chief, he will be a strong figure."
To Dr. Parasiliti, "The issue of Russia meddling in the US elections is fascinating, and there may be a degree of support in the US for cooperating with Russia in Syria. According to a survey conducted by Shibley Tehlami, 67 per cent of Americans would like to see more US cooperation in Syria."
Dr. Parasiliti went on saying "In the absence of frustration, three interests can be served by cooperating with Russia: We need to engage the Syrian government, we also need humanitarian aid, and finally, we need to coordinate against ISIS (Daesh)."
"If you don’t go out with a clear agenda on global leadership, there will be vacuums and it will have a backlash on the U.S.", Dr. Parasiliti stressed.