Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy
U.S. foreign policy; transatlantic relations; the United States and Asia; Russia and the West; the United States and the Middle East.
Robert Blackwill is Henry A. Kissinger senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). His current work focuses on American foreign policy writ large as well as China, Russia, the Middle East, South Asia, and geoeconomics. Ambassador Blackwill served as counselor to CFR in 2005.
Most recently, Ambassador Blackwill was senior fellow at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, from 2008 to 2010, after serving from 2004 to 2008 as president of BGR International, a Washington consulting firm. As deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for strategic planning under President George W. Bush, Ambassador Blackwill was responsible for government-wide policy planning to help develop and coordinate the mid- and long-term direction of American foreign policy. He also served as presidential envoy to Iraq, and was the administration's coordinator for U.S. policies regarding Afghanistan and Iran.
Ambassador Blackwill went to the National Security Council (NSC) after serving as the U.S. ambassador to India from 2001 to 2003, and is the recipient of the 2007 Bridge-Builder Award for his role in transforming U.S.-India relations. Prior to reentering government in 2001, he was the Belfer lecturer in international security at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. During his fourteen years as a Harvard faculty member, he was associate dean of the Kennedy School, where he taught foreign and defense policy and public policy analysis. He was faculty chair for executive training programs for business and government leaders from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Palestinian Authority, Israel, and Kazakhstan, as well as military general officers from Russia and the People's Republic of China. From 1989 to 1990, Ambassador Blackwill was special assistant to President George H.W. Bush for European and Soviet affairs, during which time he was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit by the Federal Republic of Germany for his contribution to German unification.
Earlier in his career, he was the U.S. ambassador to conventional arms negotiations with the Warsaw Pact; director for European affairs at the NSC; principal deputy assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs; and principal deputy assistant secretary of state for European affairs. Ambassador Blackwill is author and editor of many articles and books on transatlantic relations, Russia and the West, the Greater Middle East, and Asian security. He edited the CFR book Iran: The Nuclear Challenge (June 2012). His latest book, co-authored with Graham Allison of the Harvard Kennedy School, is titled Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World (MIT Press, February 2013).
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Trilateral Commission, and the Aspen Strategy Group; and on the board of Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
Washington, District of Columbia
Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and coauthor of Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World.
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"Belfer Center Director Graham Allison and Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill discuss their new book Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World. The event was moderated by Belfer Center's Executive Director for Research Gary Samore." (Source: Belfer Center)
"We talk about China's rise, its surging wealth and power, but the U.S. has been Number One for so long it's hard to really picture what it means, or will mean. Hard to really know what to think.
Lee Kwan Yew knows. Asia's most senior statesman. A longtime friend of the US. A grand master of global strategy out of little Singapore. And here's what he sees.
Does China want to be Number One? Of course. Will they be? Pretty likely. Will we fight? We'd better not."
Tom Ashbrook speaks with Robert Blackwill and Graham Allison about the collected wisdom of grand master Lee Kuan Yew during this February 13 broadcast of NPR's On Point.
Editor Gideon Rose and Ambassador Robert Blackwill discuss the option of a partial U.S. force reduction in Afghanistan, specifically from the Pashtun region. The "Plan B in Afghanistan" author argues that President Obama made a significant strategic mistake by announcing a deadline for U.S. withdrawal, and that total drawdown will lead to turmoil both in the nation and the region. Inevitably policymakers must also consider U.S.-Pakistan relations, the ongoing Indian-Pakistani conflict and its nuclear implications, and whether the United States should be so preoccupied with this part of the world.
Click here to visit the official site for Amb. Blackwill's latest book, Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World.
The Chinese translation of Lee Kuan Yew (available for purchase here) appeared on a list of books recommended by President Xi Jinping.
Fareed Zakaria of CNN's Global Public Square (GPS), naming Lee Kuan Yew the "Book of the Week" on March 3, 2013: "This short book [is] packed with intelligence and insight. If you are interested in the future of Asia, which means the future of the world, you've got to read this book."
David Plott in Global Asia (Fall 2013, Vol. 8, No. 3): "[Lee Kuan Yew] may be the single best available volume for those who want a quick grasp of Lee's thinking on foreign affairs and geopolitics...in compiling such a rich collection of statements on such a wide range of global issues, Allison and Blackwill have done both scholars and general readers a service by providing a manageable, one-stop shop on Lee's thinking." Full review here.
Justin Perry of the Scalability Group: "Extremely insightful, a must read...Read it, enjoy, be provoked...and think."
Lee Poh Ping of the University of Malaya, in The Developing Economies (September 2013, Vol. 51, No. 3): "Though this book is slim, it cannot be hurried through. Almost every sentence encourages one to pause and ponder...it is a book well worth reading."
A review by James R. Holmes of The Diplomat, "Lee Kuan Yew: Asia's Confucianist Edmund Burke," is available here.
Amb. Blackwill's latest publication, Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World, is now available for Amazon Kindle here. The audiobook, scheduled for release on November 12, 2013, is also available for pre-order through Audible here.