The Obama Doctrine: Old Ideas in a New Age

Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D.
Margaret Thatcher Senior Research Fellow
The Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom
The Heritage Foundation

December 7, 2009
Reception 7:00 PM • Lecture 8:00 PM
Mead Hall
Drew University

To register for this event, contact Ms. Blake Putnam at 973.408.3733 or

Since Pearl Harbor, American foreign policy has been based on a rejection of isolationism, on the defense of the free world from totalitarian enemies, and on the promotion of human rights and prosperity within a system of mutually-respecting sovereign states. When Presidents have deviated from those policies, they have failed abroad and been rejected at home. A year after the election of 2008, President Barack Obama’s administration has been criticized for its lack of commitment to the national defense, its disinterest in human rights, its refusal to back democracy in Iran, and for its eagerness to engage with dictators in Venezuela, Cuba, and Russia. But contrary to its claims, the administration’s policies are not new. Rather, they are based on older ideas that have gained increasing prominence in the post-Cold War world, ideas that challenge American exceptionalism and reflect America’s less worthy instincts.

Dr. Ted R. Bromund

Dr. Ted R. Bromund was born in Wooster, Ohio. He received his BA from Grinnell College in Iowa in 1991, and his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1999, where he was advised by Prof. Paul Kennedy, for a thesis on the first British application to the EEC. From 1999 to 2008, he was the Associate Director of International Security Studies at Yale, which emphasizes teaching and research in international, diplomatic, and strategic history, and grand strategy. In that capacity, he was responsible for event planning and organization, report and grant writing, fundraising, and fellowship programs.

He was also a Lecturer in History, and, from 2004, a Lecturer in International Affairs, with responsibility for designing, administering, and teaching the core security studies curriculum in Yale’s International Relations MA program. He spoke regularly to campus, alumni, and other audiences on historical and contemporary topics, has published articles and reviews in a variety of scholarly journals, and is a regular commentator on current affairs in Commentary and the Yorkshire Post (UK). Bromund is also the author of the book chapter, “A Just War: Tony Blair and the End of Saddam’s Iraq,” in The Blair Legacy: Politics, Policy, Governance, and Foreign Affairs (2009).

The Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom

The Margaret Thatcher Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting Lady Thatcher’s vision of political and economic freedom throughout the world, has chosen Heritage as the repository of her legacy in America and established the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at The Heritage Foundation.

The mission of the Thatcher Center will be to give the world a greater understanding of the principles of limited government, representative democracy, market economics, the rule of law and strong national defenses. These principles have their roots in the cultural patrimony of Europe, are manifested most successfully in Great Britain and the United States, and promoted most effectively through the close and vital historical alliance between our two great nations.

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