American Credibility and Power in the World with Robert C. O’Brien


The collapse of the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan and the chaos in Kabul ahead of Tuesday’s evacuation deadline have called into question U.S. credibility to a degree unseen since the crises of 1970s. Many analysts believe the consequences will affect American interests globally and raise questions about the management of foreign policy in Washington. 

On August 31, 2021 the Center for the National Interest hosted former National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien to discuss the state of U.S. power and credibility, lessons learned from running the National Security Council, and options for addressing emerging threats. Christian Whiton, senior fellow for strategy and trade at the Center, moderated the discussion.

Robert C. O’Brien was the National Security Advisor from 2019 to 2021, coordinating policy on matters ranging from the Abraham Accords to reacting to the Covid-19 pandemic, and military action related to Iran and Afghanistan. He also facilitated successful diplomatic talks between Kosovo and Serbia and advocated a stronger posture against China. Previously, he was the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, arranging the release of several Americans detained abroad. O’Brien was a managing partner of the Arent-Fox law firm and a founding partner of Larson O’Brien LLP. He is currently the chairman of American Global Strategic LLC.