Vanderbilt's First and Only Nonpartisan Political Journal

Vanderbilt Political Review

Vanderbilt's First and Only Nonpartisan Political Journal

Vanderbilt Political Review

Vanderbilt's First and Only Nonpartisan Political Journal

Vanderbilt Political Review

Diplomatic Discourse: Vanderbilt Hosts British Ambassador to the US

A+rally+for+Ukraine+at+the+Piccadilly+Gardens+in+Manchester+in+March+of+2022%0A%0APhoto+by+Ian+Bentley+on+Unsplash
A rally for Ukraine at the Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester in March of 2022 Photo by Ian Bentley on Unsplash

“Bringing the world to Vanderbilt and Vanderbilt to the world,” announced Chancellor Diermeier as he introduced Dame Karen Pierce, British Ambassador to the United States, to the Vanderbilt community. On October 23, 2023, Vanderbilt hosted an engaging dialogue between Pierce and Morgan Ortagus, former spokesperson for the United States Department of State, regarding some of the most pressing issues facing our world today. 

In light of the recent events in the Middle East, Pierce affirms the United Kingdom’s support for Israel and claims that “Israel has the right to defend itself,” in response to a question regarding the possibility of a ground invasion. However, she explains that it is also the UK’s goal to de-escalate the conflict before the humanitarian crisis in Gaza grows even more dire. Ultimately, Pierce believes that Israelis deserve to feel safe and secure while Palestinians deserve to have their own state, two conditions that, in her opinion, can only be made possible by a two state solution. 

The conversation then shifted to the discussion of another major geopolitical conflict. Almost two years have passed since Russia invaded Ukraine, and President Biden has asked Congress to approve a supplemental budget request that  would allow the United States to continue aid to Ukraine. This being said, many Americans have begun to question whether we should continue supporting Ukraine in a war that doesn’t seem to be coming to an end anytime soon. The British ambassador believes that the United States must continue to support Ukraine because if Russia triumphs, China is given the green flag to go after Taiwan. 

The last question Ortagus asked Pierce was whether or not the US, UK, and NATO as a whole are prepared for a multifaceted war? When you bring China into the equation, America could be facing war on three different fronts: the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Asia. Tensions between China and the United States remain high as China continues to develop its military and economy and oppress Uyghurs in Xinjiang. Pierce explains that the United Kingdom has a rocky relationship with China as well because China breached the legally-binding Sino-British Joint Declaration ensuring Hong Kong’s Autonomy. Despite this, Pierce hopes that the UK and China can work together, alongside the US, to set a precedent for the global regulation of Artificial Intelligence. 

Not only did Pierce approach sensitive topics with diplomacy and intellect, but she demonstrated the importance of international cooperation and dialogue in order to effectively address global issues in today’s interconnected world. Ambassador Pierce’s words serve as a reminder that by fostering communication, collaboration, and empathy, we can collectively strive for a more peaceful and secure world.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Kate Shapiro, Contributor
Kate Shapiro is a sophomore from Deerfield, Illinois majoring in Cognitive Studies and History with a minor in Political Science. Her interests include Middle East politics, international relations, and the universal governance of artificial intelligence. Outside of VPR, Kate is involved in Model UN and Phi Alpha Delta here at Vanderbilt and loves to read and discover new restaurants and coffee shops.