Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum Presents
Ambassador Dennis Ross

The Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum welcomed Dennis Ross, author of Statecraft And How to Restore America’s Standing in the World to Portsmouth on December 18. In the afternoon, he visited RiverRun Bookstore on Congress Street for a booksigning  and then, in the evening, delivered the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum annual speech in honor of Theodore Roosevelt’s 1906 Nobel Peace Prize at a dinner at Wentworth By the Sea.

Mr. Ross came to Portsmouth three weeks before the 2008 Presidential Primary. In July 2007, he told The Boston Globe that he wrote his book, “For those who are candidates to lead the next administration … who need to understand [the legacy of statecraft] and … to reintroduce the concept of statecraft to the public so that it would inform the questions the public and the media ask the candidates.”

Ambassador Ross was Middle East diplomat during the Clinton and George HW Bush administrations. As a result he was quoted frequently during the November 2007 Annapolis Conference on the challenges of the Middle East peace process. In an interview with The New York Times he said “If you’re going to do Middle East peace process, you can’t just lay out a broad vision.” Then, on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour he said, “One of the things this process needs to do is re-establish a sense of possibility, re-establish a sense of belief again…It can't just be an example of stagecraft, where you stage an event. It should be an example of statecraft where you have objectives, you identify means, and you involve yourself in a way that helps the two sides begin to overcome differences, simply because now there's an intensity to the effort.”

On December 18th, Ambassador. Ross spoke about issues of diplomacy and statecraft “in the spirit of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty.” In 1905, the Governor, US Navy and people of New Hampshire hosted Russian and Japanese diplomats on behalf of President Theodore Roosevelt for the peace conference to end the Russo-Japanese War. The result was the Treaty of Portsmouth, for which Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize, presented on December 10, 1906.

The Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum, hosted by the Japan-America Society of New Hampshire in conjunction with RiverRun Bookstore is an annual commemoration of that peace process. 

"From a vantage point over 100 years later we might do well to understand the Theodore Roosevelt the Nobel Committee honored: not the President 'carrying a big stick,' but the President who used the diplomatic good offices of a great nation for peace,” said Charles Doleac, Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum founder and moderator. “Fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Henry Kissinger, praised Theodore Roosevelt as one of our nation’s greatest Presidential diplomats because he approached the global balance of power with unparalleled sophistication.  Roosevelt earned this reputation, and his Prize, for his realistic appraisal of competing international interests and for the creative blend of formal, informal and back channel diplomacy he used to bring Russia and Japan to the negotiating table to achieve lasting peace. Roosevelt’s diplomacy brought the United States onto the world stage in 1905 not only as a player with national interests backed by the military might of the Great White Fleet; but also -- and more importantly -- as an international diplomatic player with the moral authority of proven success as the peacemaker who ended the largest land and sea war the world had ever seen."

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