Published: Nov. 2, 2016

Robert Kaufman

Robert Kaufman.

Robert G. Kaufman argues President Obama’s “dangerous doctrine” has compromised the muscular internationalism that defined U.S. national security policy after World War II. Kaufman, who is a finalist for CU Boulder’s fifth Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy position, will discuss the topic on campus next week.

Kaufman’s talk, “Obama’s Dangerous Doctrine,” will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10, at the University Memorial Center’s Glenn Miller Ballroom. The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Center for Western Civilization, Thought and Policy at CU Boulder.

Kaufman, the Robert and Katheryn Dockson Professor of Public Policy at the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy, notes that the president took office promising to transform the role of the U.S. abroad. Pundits and scholars have made varying assessments of Obama’s “grand strategy,” some dismissing the president’s policies as incoherent or ad hoc.

Kaufman contends that the 44th president has pursued a clear and consistent national security policy, but one that diverges from decades of prior administrations’ approaches. Drawing on international relations theory and American diplomatic history, Kaufman critiques the Obama doctrine and situates the president’s use of power within the traditions of American strategic practice.

Kaufman is a political scientist specializing in American foreign policy, national security, international relations and American politics.

Kaufman received his juris doctor from Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C., and his bachelor’s, two masters and a doctoral degree from Columbia University in New York City. In May 2016, he received an advanced law degree in dispute resolution from the Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, California.

Kaufman has written for scholarly journals and popular publications including The Weekly Standard, Policy Review, The Washington Times, the Baltimore Sun, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

He has written four books, including his most recent, Dangerous Doctrine: How Obama's Grand Strategy Weakened America. His other publications include In Defense of the Bush Doctrine, a biography; Henry M. Jackson: A Life in Politics, which received the Emil and Katherine Sick Award for the best book on the history of the Pacific Northwest; and Arms Control During the Pre-Nuclear Era.

Kaufman also assisted President Richard M. Nixon in the research and writing of Nixon's final book, Beyond Peace.

Kaufman is a former Bradley Scholar and current adjunct scholar at the Heritage Foundation. He has taught at Colgate University, The Naval War College and the University of Vermont.

In recent months, a CU Boulder advisory committee has identified finalists for the 2017-18 visiting scholar position, which is a one-year appointment. The committee has sought a “highly visible” scholar who is “deeply engaged in either the analytical scholarship or practice of conservative thinking and policymaking or both.”

The advisory committee includes members of the faculty and community and is chaired by Robert Pasnau, professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Western Civilization, Thought and Policy.

The Conservative Thought and Policy Program is supported by private funds.