The Right Honorable Sir Walter Menzies Campbell, a member of the United Kingdom Parliament and chancellor of the University of St. Andrews, discussed current pressing international issues and the improvement of the trans-Atlantic relationship between the United States and Europe yesterday in Healy Hall’s Philodemic Room.

“In spite of the Blair-Bush relationship, the Atlantic has never seemed so wide or so deep,” Campbell said, “which emboldens me to offer some thoughts on how we bind up the wounds and reinvigorate our common purpose.”

His lecture, titled “A New Trans-Atlantic Relationship for a New Parliament,” focused on how the relationship of the U.S. and Europe needs to be more attentive to foreign policy challenges facing the Western world.

Campbell said the next American president will inherit the most challenges since the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

“If we set aside the economic crisis for the moment, the issues which the new president will face require focus, attention and leadership,” he said.

According to Campbell, the short-term challenges facing the new President include a stable Iraq, containment of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the building of a working, unified state. Also on the list is improved stability in Pakistan, the prevention of Al Qaeda and other terrorist networks from entrenching and extending their fanaticism and preventing them from extending peace in the Middle East.

Campbell added the new U.S. President faces long-term challenges as well, some of which include countering the spread of nuclear weapons and materials, helping China become a constructive participant in international affairs, addressing poverty and conflict in Africa, remodeling international institutions for a globalized world and tackling climate change.

Campbell said in order to address these changes, the U.S. and Europe would have to recreate their relationship.

“If we are to rebuild our relationship, it is important that both the U.S. and Europe address the issues of common responsibility that partnership brings,” Campbell said.

America’s usually confident outlook may be hindered by the economic crisis, and thus the president will have to establish a strategy in order to address the external issues facing our country, he said. “He [the next U.S. president] will have a better chance of success if he can enlist the support of his trans-Atlantic allies.”

Campbell added that if European nations were to vote for the next U.S. president, he believes Barack Obama would win.

“What many Europeans fail to understand and where to a certain extent their enthusiasm for Senator Obama should be tempered, is that since the end of the Cold War, the spectrum of United States foreign policy has lain between unilateralism on one hand and multilateralism on the other,” he said.

“It is time to redraw, renew and reinvigorate that relationship,” Campbell said.

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