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Monday, May 20, 2024

Faculty analyze U.S. foreign policy following attacks

UW-Madison faculty members spoke to more than 100 community members and students during a forum Thursday to discuss the future character of the U.S. government following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. 




The International Institute, a collective venture between the College of Letters and Science and the Office of International Studies and Programs sponsored the event.  




'We live in a world of uncertainty,' said David Trubek, Voss-Bascom professor of law and director of the Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy. 




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The series of speeches began with Michael Barnett, a professor of political science. His speech focused on U.S. relations with the Middle East, specifically how hypocritical the United States appeared when it was willing to ally itself with governments that do not have the support of their own people. He said this image could be corrected through a more consistent policy over time and with more developmental aid.  




Professor Bruce Cronin, of the Department of Political Science, spoke on U.S. foreign policy, which, he said, should be developed with input from other nations' governments. 




'The Bush administration needs to pursue a multilateral policy and needs to build coalitional forces,' Cronin said. 




He outlined the Bush administration's stance on terrorism, including the U.N. Charter, Article 51, stating the United States has the right to self-defense. Cronin said the United States has avoided the United Nations because it could restrict certain U.S. policies through insistence on coalition forces, a goal Cronin said he saw as crucial. 




Charles Engel, professor of economics, spoke about the global economy. Engel said the United States had slipped into a recession before the terrorist attacks, and therefore the recent decrease in economic activity could not be directly connected to the events of Sept. 11. Engel said although certain industries, such as tourism, had been hurt, other parts of the U.S. economy, such as local spending, offset those decreases.  




Sociology Professor Gay Seidman spoke of U.S. policies and world issues developing in the aftermath of Sept. 11, specifically developmental resources and economic aid to Third World countries.  




Along with Anne McClintock, a faculty member of the English, women's studies and African studies departments, Seidman spoke of humanitarian issues and their controversial nature in the United States after the attacks. McClintock questioned how the government could justify more deaths after the terrorist attacks. 




Audience members were given a chance to express concerns, such as when and how the United States would end its military strikes against Afghanistan, at the end of the forum.

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