We hope you can join us for this event next week:
Thirty-seven years after Nixon went to China, the next President of the United States has another chance to split a non-threatening communist state away from an aggressive socialist power. Then, like now, there is an opportunity to really change the perception of the United States in the world and shift the conversation.
This event is co-hosted by the New America Foundation and The Nixon Center.
To register for this event, click here.
Start: 07/28/2008 - 12:30pm
End: 07/28/2008 - 2:00pm
New America Foundation
1630 Connecticut Ave, NW 7th Floor
Dimitri K. Simes
President, The Nixon Center
Former Foreign Policy Advisor to Richard Nixon
Senior Fellow, Director, Geopolitics of Energy Initiative, New America Foundation
Former Senior Director for Middle East Affairs, National Security Council
There is an old truism that goes, "where you stand depends on where you sit." This was the case for former Treasury Secretary and former Goldman Sachs chief Robert Rubin and his policy of "Rubinomics" that elevated a few short- and medium-term macro indicators (e.g. annual budget deficit, Fed Funds Rate, S&P 500, etc.) above long-term economic health.
Similarly, his successor, current Treasury Secretary and also former Goldman Sachs chief, Hank Paulson. In Paulson's case, stability of the macroeconomic status quo is the highest priority and thoughts of longer-term, broad-based domestic prosperity are given short shrift.
If you're a banker in Wall Street these policies make complete sense. If you're the next President of the United States, however, that kind of narrow thinking is insufficient.
That is a long introduction to my critique of T. Boone Pickens' new energy plan. In today's Wall Street Journal, the renowned oil executive offered up his plan to, as he puts it, "escape the grip of foreign oil." While Pickens' proposals rightly establish the scale of the problem -- "Now our country faces what I believe is the most serious situation since World War II" -- the package of solutions is clearly designed by an Energy executive, and is not ready for consideration by the next president.
MSN Money Central (07/3) quotes Doug Rediker on fears of declining American competitiveness.
Sydney Morning Herald (07/02) cites Steve Clemons on a neoconservative regrouping in Washington.
Miami Herald (07/01) quotes Steve Clemons on the reasons behind North Korea's terrorism delisting.
Emirates Business (07/01) cites Parag Khanna on the Second World's growing ability to shape world events.
The Australian (06/28) features Peter's Bergen's analysis of the growing divisions within Al Qaeda .
I've been reading with some fascination the conversation by my friends over at the National Security Network's blog, Democracy Arsenal. If I am reading their meaning correctly, three consecutive posts on U.S. grand strategy are arguing that the essence of progressive grand strategy is about the U.S. becoming a conservative power.
Starting with Ilan Goldenberg at NSN and followed by Shawn Brimley of CNAS and David Shorr of the Stanley Foundation, all three say this pretty clearly:
Sewall was the deputy assistant secretary of defense for peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance and is now director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard. I met Sarah ten years ago when she was at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences up in Cambridge. I was a grad student doing research on conflict prevention and she was leading a program on the International Criminal Court. Sewall, of course, is in the inner circles of two important people right now. One is General David Petraeus, the other is Senator Barack Obama. It's an extremely important relationship that the intense partisanship of the last two years has threatened in a dangerous way. But I digress.
My friend Siobahn Gorman over at the Wall Street Journal covered the new National Intelligence Assessment on Global Climate Change today. Here's the article.
In summarizing the NIA for Congress, Tom Fingar, the head of the National Intelligence Council who spoke here at New America a few weeks ago, said global climate change is a very real national security challenge. Here's his summary graf:
We judge global climate change will have wide-ranging implications for US national security interests over the next 20 years. Although the United States will be less affected and is better equipped than most nations to deal with climate change, and may even see a benefit owing to increases in agriculture productivity, infrastructure repair and replacement will be costly. We judge that the most significant impact for the United States will be indirect and result from climate-driven effects on many other countries and their potential to seriously affect US national security interests.
All in all, I think the statement by Fingar is solid first look at the issue by an Intelligence Community that is trying hard to get a handle on a powerful geopolitical force that requires untraditional collection and analysis.
As the Weekly Standard editor, Bill Kristol, just joked, today's Pivot Point conference hosted by the Center for a New American Security is the greatest gathering of strategic firepower since Richard Holbrooke dined alone.
Billed as a conversation about American grand strategy, the first panel, entitled, "A New U.S. Grand Strategy" amounted to not the presentation of a new grand strategy but, an admission that these panelists hold little hope for finding one. The message of this panel, from Harvard's Joe Nye to Bill Kristol and all the speakers in between is that the world is complex and that here is no obvious singular organizing principle like we had in the Cold War. Therefore, says CNAS President and Co-Founder Michele Flournoy, the best we can do is to set out an attractive vision of the world we seek and deal with the complexity in the world out there.
(Kishore Mahbubani speaks at New America Foundation reception on the "Rise of Asia and the Decline of the West. Pictured are Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Robert Kimmitt, Kishore Mahbubani, and New America Foundation/American Strategy Program Director Steve Clemons. photo credit: Samuel Sherraden)
My boss Steve Clemons is hosting a fascinating debate on the future of the international order over at his blog, The Washington Note. The debate is between some of the day's leading geopolitical thinkers, including Kishore Mahbubani, G. John Ikenberry, and Anne-Marie Slaughter. With that kind of fire power, I hesitate to step into the fray, but since I've been asked, here are my two cents:
The Santiago Times (05/22) quotes Parag Khanna on America's declining global power.
International Press Service (05/21) cites Daniel Levy's analysis of the Middle East peace process.
Yahoo News (05/19) quotes Steve Clemons on McCain's strategy to discredit Obama.
The Washington Post (05/18) features Parag Khanna discussing The Post-American World, by Fareed Zakaria.
Arab American News (05/16) quotes Daniel Levy on the need for Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territories.