In many ways Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad was the ideal person with whom to speak at the dawn of the next Republican administration. He served in senior positions in the George W. Bush White House, including as ambassador to his native Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations. He was also on the shortlist for Secretary of State as Donald Trump assembled his cabinet. He’s had a long career in foreign policy, and in this live taping of the Global Dispatches podcast recorded the night before Donald Trump’s inauguration, he offers a unique perspective on the myriad of global challenges facing Donald Trump as he takes office,
We kick off discussing what to expect from Trump’s foreign policy before pivoting to discuss his own fascinating personal story that took him from poverty in Afghanistan to the heights of power in Washington DC. These stories are included in his recently published memoir: Then Envoy: From Kabul to the White House: My Journey through a Turbulent World.
UN nerds will be particularly interested to learn that Ambassador Khalilzad is upbeat about the new Secretary General Antonio Guterres, with whom Khalilzad worked closely as Ambassador to Afghanistan. Also, with uncertainty surrounding the future relationship between the United Nations and the Trump administration, in this interview Khalilzad is a voice for a kind of principled engagement with the world body.