U.S. Ambassador Robert Sherman spoke on “U.S. Foreign Policy: Responsible Leadership, Strong Partnerships and New Challenges” to over sixty ISCTE undergraduate and graduate students of the International Relations, Political Science and History departments, as well as to some members of the press. “Whether it’s a tsunami, a threat by ISIS, or an Ebola epidemic, when there’s a global crisis,” according to Ambassador Sherman, “the call to action does not go to London, Tokyo or Berlin, it goes to Washington.” Adding that the world is no longer be divided into “the good guys and bad guys,” that it is “increasingly more complex.” Hosted by ISCTE professors Nuno Guimarães and Luís Nuno Rodrigues, the Ambassador underscored the importance of Europe as a partner with the United States.
However, the Ambassador underscored that with complexity of global issues today, responsible U.S. foreign policy requires developing strong alliances and partnerships with other countries. Regarding Portugal, Ambassador Sherman said that “What we want (in the U.S.) is that each country contributes what it can and in the best way it can.” As an example, the Ambassador said that the United States hopes that Portugal will headquarter a Center of Maritime Security for the Gulf of Guinea, whose objective would be “to analyze and suggest solutions for the problems it that region.”
On Ukraine and Russia, the Ambassador responded to a question about Russia, saying that “Vladimir Putin has three goals: to destroy the European Union, to destroy NATO and ensure that if he does not get the Ukraine, there will be no more Ukraine left for anybody else.” The U.S. has all options on the table to end the war in Eastern Ukraine, between pro-Russian separatists and the Kiev army. For the Ambassador, the crisis in the Ukraine has no military solution: “The Ukrainian army will not defeat the Russian army.” What can be achieved by force of arms “is to provide the time and space for political institutions to find a peaceful solution.”
Other topics in the Ambassador’s remarks, and in the questions and answers session, were on Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen, Egypt, North Korea, Cuba, global warming, the Ebola outbreak in Africa and the importance of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) for EU and the U.S.