SECWAC Meeting May 2: 'America's Abdication of Global Leadership'

Ivo H. Daalder, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and James M. Lindsay, Council on Foreign Relations, present “America’s Abdication of Global Leadership”

Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council meeting takes place on May 2 at the First Congregational Church, Old Lyme

$20 for the General Public; Free for SECWAC members, educators and students

Waterford, CT – The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) announced that Ivo H. Daalder and James M. Lindsay are to speak on “America’s Abdication of Global Leadership” at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 2 at The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme at 2 Ferry Road, Old Lyme, CT 06371. Members and guests are encouraged to RSVP via online registration, but walk-ins will be accepted.

The three pillars of the postwar foreign policy that America created—strong alliances, open markets, and commitment to democracy and human rights—are under threat from a president who sees little value in them, according to Ivo H. Daalder and James M. Lindsay in their new book, The Empty Throne: America’s Abdication of Global Leadership. Citing the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Paris climate accords, and the Iran nuclear deal; the imposition of tariffs on allies and rivals alike; and Trump’s frequent praise for authoritarian leaders; they observe that “Trump was proposing to shed what he saw as the delusion of global leadership. He wanted a foreign policy that would be more self-promoting, more nationalist, and utterly transactional.” Meanwhile, “A majority of Americans has consistently favored American engagement abroad,” the authors note. In fact, they argue that public support on issues such as defense of allies and the domestic economic benefits of trade actually increased after Trump took office.

In a complementary essay in the November/December issue of Foreign Affairs, Daalder and Lindsay called for a “G9” of like-minded nations to maintain the rules-based order. “The major allies of the United States can leverage their collective economic and military might to save the liberal world order. France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the [European Union] in Europe; Australia, Japan, and South Korea in Asia; and Canada in North America are the obvious candidates to supply the leadership that the Trump administration will not,” they write.

A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the main event beginning at 6:00 p.m. The presentation is a part of the SECWAC 2018-2019 Speaker Series. For non-members, tickets ($20) may be purchased at the door; ticket cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership. Attendance is free for SECWAC members (and their guests). Pro-rated half-year membership was introduced in February; half-year membership February through June 2019 is $37.50; $12.50 for young professionals under 35; free for area college and high school students.

Immediately following the presentation, attendees have the option for $35 of attending a dinner with the speaker at The Old Lyme Country Club. Dinner reservations are required by the morning of Tuesday, April 30, via pre-registration and making a payment securely online, calling 860-912-5718, or emailing (vegetarian option available if reserved in advance).

Reporters are welcome to attend as guests of the SECWAC Board. Interested reporters should contact Paul Nugent at or 860-388-9241.
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About Ivo Dallder and James Lindsay:
Ivo H. Daalder is President of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He served as the US ambassador to NATO from 2009-13. Prior to that he was a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution, and an associate professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy and director of research at its Center for International and Security Studies. He also served as director for European affairs on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council staff from 1995-97. Ambassador Daalder is the author and editor of ten books (including two with James Lindsay), and is a frequent contributor to the opinion pages of the world’s leading newspapers. He was educated at the universities of Kent, Oxford, and Georgetown, and received his PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
James M. Lindsay is Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was previously the inaugural director of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin. He has also held positions at the Brookings Institution and the University of Iowa. From 1996-97 Lindsay was the director for global issues and multilateral affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. He has written widely on various aspects of American foreign policy and international relations and has co-authored two books with Ivo Daalder. Lindsay holds an AB from the University of Michigan, and an MA, MPhil, and PhD from Yale University. Daalder and Lindsay are the co-authors of “The Empty Throne: America’s Abdication of Global Leadership.” (signed copies of which will be for sale after the presentation).

About the Southeast CT World Affairs Council (SECWAC)
SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange 8-10 Speaker Series meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings range in foreign affairs topics, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond.

SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policymakers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at