Intervention, Isolation and the Future of Progressive Security Policy

Intervention, Isolation and the Future of Progressive Security Policy

Session Type(s): Panel

Training Tag(s): Foreign Policy & National Security

Starts: Saturday, Jun. 9 1:30 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Saturday, Jun. 9 2:45 PM (Eastern)

The long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the economic crisis at home, have soured many progressives on foreign policy ideals long held dear by liberals: human rights, multilateral interventions, nationbuilding and support for democracy abroad. Recent debates over Libya, the Arab Spring, drones and Israel/Palestine have deepened this split between interventionists and isolationists. So where’s the common ground? What should the next progressive foreign policy look like? Can liberal interventionists distinguish themselves from right-wing neocons? Is Ron Paul onto something with his anti-war stance? From sanctions and special forces to drones and no-fly zones, attendees to this panel will hear a variety of views on humanitarianism, state sovereignty, multilateralism, limited conflicts and domestic war fatigue from the left’s most prominent experts in international affairs.

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Intervention, Isolation and the Future of Progressive Security Policy

Miss this panel? No problem! Here’s what happened.

Storified by Netroots Nation · Sat, Jun 09 2012 16:28:53

What up @adamweinstein @mmhastings @tomperriello! #natsec #NN12 @ Netroots Nation 2012 (#nn12) Allen Smith
Panelists spoke about viewpoints on war, the President’s anti-war platform and progressive foreign policy.
Viewpoints allowed on war is too narrow. It’s neoconservatives on 1 side and liberal hawks on the other. – @mmhastings #nn12Rania Khalek
President came into office on an anti-war platform, accepted Nobel, then escalated a war. Where was email from @moveon? @mmhastings #nn12Ploughshares Fund
.@mmhastings didn’t know there WAS a prog. foreign policy. "You’re managing empire even if couched in humanitarian terms." #natsec #nn12Joe Macare
"I would classify Obama foreign policy as realists, which is positive considering nuts that Romney has." – @mmhastings #nn12Rania Khalek
.@tomperriello "This president has been more of a practitioner of smart power & surgical power than diplomacy." #nn12Joe Macare
.@Ali_Gharib agrees w. @tomperriello that Obama foreign policy not progressive – "those paying attention didn’t expect much." #nn12 #natsecJoe Macare
They also spoke about Paul.
.@mmhastings on Paul: progressives are drawn to him because of lack of #antiwar voices, they don’t agree once you drill down in detail #nn12Joe Macare
They spoke about intervention and human suffering.
.@tomperriello says "coming from the human rights movement" makes him have hard time not backing intervention if atrocities committed. #nn12Joe Macare
We have more tools to legitimize engagement. Don’t have to choose b/w human suffering & sending troops. @tomperriello at #nn12 #natsecPloughshares Fund
"We never talk about if we could, when we talk about if we should. " @AdamWeinstein on US interventionism. #NN12Jenny Churchill
There was disagreement among the panelists.
#NN12 "Security" panel mod @AdamWeinstein claims Obama as progressive president, praises Ron Paul foreign policy. Panel having none of it.Angus Johnston
"It’s useful to have voices like Ron Paul’s out there, but doesn’t mean his ideas are good" – @tomperriello #nn12Rania Khalek
They spoke about Libya.
Kristin Lord: I was wrong to doubt the president on #Libya. Credit to @adamweinstein for asking who disagrees it was a success #nn12 #natsecJoe Macare
Didn’t agree with Libya intervention and still don’t think we should have done it, says @mmhastings #nn12Rania Khalek
.@mmhastings: We intervened in Libya b/c principles aligned with self-interest (oil). We don’t act if there’s nothing in it for us. #nn12Adam Lee
And the motivations for war.
"I don’t think that what animates a national security state, is the desire to help people". @mmhastings #TASatNN12 #nn12Alyona
Argument here between @mmhastings & @tomperriello over "responsibility to protect" is interestingly about intent rather than outcome. #NN12Darcy Burner
.@tomperriello: critical of some humanitarian rhetoric eg Darfur campaign activism; but in favor of earlier Kosovo action. #nn12 #natsecJoe Macare
humanitarian interventions taken only when principles and self interest align. – @mmhastings #nn12 #natsecYusra Ahmed


Adam Weinstein


Adam Weinstein is Mother Jones’ national security reporter, having previously served the magazine as its copy editor. Before that, he worked at the Wall Street Journal, the Village Voice, and the Tallahassee Democrat. He’s written for the New York Times, New York magazine, GQ, and Newsweek. A Navy veteran, two-day Jeopardy champion and ex-political scientist, he also did a recession-fueled stint as a military contractor in Iraq. He is a graduate of Columbia and holds graduate degrees in international affairs and journalism.

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Ali Gharib


Ali Gharib is a reporting fellow with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, where he focuses on US foreign policy. He previously served as a senior editor at Open Zion, a Mideast blog at the Daily Beast. His pieces have appeared in Foreign Policy, Washington Monthly, Columbia Journalism Review, Al Jazeera America, Haaretz, and Salon. He worked as a reporter at ThinkProgress and Inter Press Service. He’s on Twitter @ali_gharib.

Michael Hastings

Michael Hastings is a regular contributor to GQ. He has reported on Iraq, Afghanistan, and the U.S presidential elections. He lives in Vermont. His book I Lost My Love in Baghdad was published last week in paperback by Scribner.

Kristin Lord

Kristin Lord is Executive Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for a New American Security where she oversees the center’s research and serves on the center’s leadership team. Prior to joining CNAS, Dr. Lord was a Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program and Saban Center for Middle East Policy at The Brookings Institution and Associate Dean for Strategy, Research, and External Relations at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. She is the author of Perils and Promise of Global Transparency: Why the Information Revolution May Not Lead to Security Democracy or Peace, (SUNY Press, 2006), Power and Conflict in an Age of Transparency, edited with Bernard I. Finel (Palgrave Macmillan, 2000), and numerous book chapters, policy papers, and articles. She has written on cyber security, U.S. public diplomacy, reforming the State Department, and national security in the information age.

Tom Perriello


Tom Perriello is the President of the Center for American Progress Action Fund and former U.S. representative for Virginia’s fifth congressional district. While representing rural, urban, and suburban communities across central and southern Virginia, Perriello served on the Veterans Affairs and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees. After leaving office, he conducted research and wrote commentary on the Arab Spring through a variety of nongovernment organizations. Prior to his service in Congress, Perriello managed teams working on conflict resolution and democratic transitions in Africa, Afghanistan, and other regions. Perriello has helped launch numerous non-profits including Faith in Public Life,, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and Catholics United. He is a native of Ivy, Virginia and a graduate of Yale University and the Yale Law School.

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