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BASIC with Stephen Saideman

Stephen Saideman

MUMBAI, 22 March 2017- A small group of Asia Society members including business leaders, academics, and plenipotentiaries gathered in the conference room for a scintillating discussion with Stephen Saideman, an international relations scholar from Carleton University in Canada. The subject of the talk was NATO involvement in Afghanistan, but took on a larger theme of American involvement on the world stage and what it could ostensibly look like under the new presidential administration.

Professor Saideman talked about the challenges of facilitating cooperation among agencies with competing agendas and the need for a focus on building up nations and institutions to create stable outcomes rather than focusing exclusively on military displays of strength. He voiced the opinion that the current atmosphere of the world stage demands a resolute assurance of predictability, and trust in the promises America has made to uphold the international order, and offered advice on how nations could work with the administration to maintain reliable, prosperous outcomes.

The audience had the opportunity to ask questions and voice ideas of their own. One such question was what Sino-American affairs might look like under the new administration, and Professor Saideman cautioned that fatalistic views on the inevitability of conflict could lead to actions resulting in such conflict. The programme was a robust discussion of some of the hardest questions regarding international affairs today, and built on Asia Society India Centre’s history of facilitating dialogue on compelling issues.