Commonwealth Club: International security

July 17, 2007 12:00:00 AM PDT
SPEAKER: John R. Bolton, Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute

VIDEO: Watch this Commonwealth Club event in its entirety in the media player above.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton weighs in on the future of international security and U.S. foreign policy. Domestic and global stability are hot-button topics in the wake of 9/11 and the U.N.'s role as a central player in maintaining world order is more prevalent than ever. After spending over a year as U.N. Ambassador, Bolton shares his reflections on the inner-workings of the U.N. and where he believes the organization is heading.

Bolton's 2005 U.N. Ambassadorship nomination and pending Senate confirmation were highly controversial. Bolton served as the interim U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations with the title of ambassador, from August 2005 until December 2006, on a recess appointment by President Bush.

Bolton has been cast as a former critic of the U.N. and in 1994 declared that "There is no such thing as the United Nations." He entered his role as U.N. Ambassador with a heavy reform agenda to enhance the strengths of the organization and improve coordination and accountability.

Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, Bolton is a current fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, at which he was previously Senior Vice President of Public Policy Research. Bolton currently lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife Gretchen and daughter Jennifer. Bolton has been appointed by three Republican Administrations to positions including Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs, Assistant Attorney General and Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, to name a few.

After graduating from Yale with both a B.A. and a law degree, Bolton enlisted in the National Guard. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Bolton began his political career early on as leader of his high school's "Students for Goldwater" campaign in 1964.

This program was recorded live on July 17, 2007.


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