The 2020 US presidential election is taking place in the context of a global pandemic, heightened tensions over racial injustice, wildfires and hurricanes from coast to coast, and an increasingly polarised nation. The two candidates represent vastly different viewpoints and diverging directions for America’s future. A Biden administration promises multilateral engagement, climate action, and reforms for policing. Under Trump, trends of unipolarity and protectionism, inflamed racial tensions, hard-line positions on policing, and climate change denial would continue.
The administration for the next four years will also have a profound impact on the transatlantic relationship and defence cooperation. Trump, in particular, could disrupt its foundations, with reports that he intends to pull the US out of the NATO military alliance after publicly criticising other members for inadequate financial contributions.
This Strategic Conversation with Radosław Sikorski and Monica Sanders will address the outcome the presidential elections, its implications for the transatlantic relationship, European security and defence, and what to look out for over the next four years.
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- How will the outcome of the election impact transatlantic relations and the future of defence cooperation?
- What will the outcome mean for the US as a global leader? What is the future of multilateralism and how do the roles for the EU and US compare?
- How will shared global issues, such as climate change and pandemic recovery, be impacted by the outcome of this election?
Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the United States
Professor at Georgetown University and former senior committee counsel for the United States House of Representatives and Senate committees on homeland security
Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defense at Friends of Europe, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
Monica Sanders is an American scholar, research and activist from the University of Delaware, where she sits as Director for the Bill Anderson Fund. She also teaches at Georgetown University as Adjunct Lecturer. In addition, she sits on the Council of the Internet Society of DC. Prior to her current positions, Sanders served as the Senior Legal Advisor for International Response and Programs at the American Red Cross and was a Senior Committee Counsel for both the House of Representatives and Senate Committees on Homeland Security. As a journalist for CNN, she received a 2002 Emmy award for her work covering the September 11 attacks and the military engagement in Afghanistan that followed.
Radoslaw Sikorski is an expert on transatlantic relations and security issues. He served as Minister of Defence, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Marshal of the Sejm (speaker of parliament) in Poland. As Deputy Minister of Defence, he initiated Poland’s NATO accession campaign. Sikorski was Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington DC and Executive Director of the New Atlantic Initiative, as well as appearing before the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs as an expert on Atlantic issues. He was named one of 2012’s top 100 global thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine “for telling the truth, even when it’s not diplomatic”.
Retiring from NATO in September 2018 after 38 years at the organisation, Jamie Shea has occupied a number of senior positions at NATO across a wide range of areas, including external relations, press and media, and policy planning. As NATO’s spokesperson, he was the face of the Alliance during the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts. He later worked as the Director of Policy Planning in the private office of former Secretary General Rasmussen during the preparation of NATO’s 2010 Strategic Concept. Shea is also a regular lecturer and conference speaker on NATO and European security affairs.
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