Lost in the furor over what Moscow did or did not do, and what effects it did or did not have, is the broader question of what this incident says about Russian intentions and aims. Just how unusual was it for great powers to interfere in a democracy’s electoral processes, and just how outraged should Americans be by the alleged activities?
Just two days after the European Council meeting that will deliberate the outcome of the initial negotiations between UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Council President, Donald Tusk, on the conditions for a remainder of the United Kingdom in the European Union, former UK Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander, offers scenarios for different outcomes of a slated referendum on continued UK membership in the EU.
Sir Peter Westmacott, Spring 2016 Fellow at the Institute for Politics at Harvard University and Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center, will offer his insights as former Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the United States.
The Rt Hon. Douglas Alexander is a Senior Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. He was Shadow Foreign Secretary for the Her Majesty’s Official Opposition in the U.K. from 2011-15. Currently, he serves as a Visiting Professor at King's College, London. In November 2015, Douglas was appointed senior advisor to Bono. In this capacity, he will be advising Bono on how best to secure investment to tackle global poverty, particularly in Africa. Alexander previously held numerous senior U.K. Ministerial positions (2001-10), including as Minister for Europe, as Secretary of State for International Development and U.K.'s Governor of the World Bank. In addition, Alexander coordinated the Labour Party’s 2001 general election campaign for then-Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Sir Peter Westmacott served as Ambassador to the United States from 2012-2016. Prior to this appointment, Westmacott was Ambassador to France from 2007-2012, and Ambassador to Turkey from 2002-2006. His 40-year career in the British Diplomatic Service also included four years in Iran (before the Revolution) and an interim deployment to the European Commission in Brussels. Previously, he was the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Director for the Americas from 1997-2000 before taking a seat on the board as Deputy Under Secretary. From 1990-1993, he was Deputy Private Secretary to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.