Category Archives: foreign policy

A Darwinian world-AFJ


I think he is incorrect in giving future global influence credit to IGOs…if his argument is the economy, then it would be corporations and/or illicit corporations. IGOs will only give credibility to actions so that one nations actions are not perceived as one sovereign infringing on another sovereign.

At least we have conflict to look forward too.

Libya points to a new era of aggression and turmoil
BY BOB KILLEBREW

As these words are written, U.S., British and French warplanes are striking Libyan ground forces along the Mediterranean littoral; American and other NATO troops are pounding out “fragile and reversible” gains in Afghanistan; and unrest continues to roil governments in Bahrain, Yemen and Syria. To our south, criminal cartels and violent gangs murder government officials, civilians and one another in Mexico and points south. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, whose state policy protects cocaine production and smuggling, invites into his country the Iranian Republican Guard and Hezbollah, while, over the horizon, China continues its naval buildup.

Whatever happened to the “peace dividend” and the long rest the world was supposed to get after the end of the Cold War? Those days are long gone, obviously, in the tectonic forces moving the world forward into a century more unstable than many had predicted.

Three years from now will be the centennial of the 1914 disaster that set the 20th century careering down the road to two world wars and the mass murders of Hitler, Stalin and Mao. We can hope that the 21st century is more peaceful, but it’s not looking good. For all the hope that globalization and the communications revolution would bring people together — and they have — at least part of the result has been to make aggression and murder more practical.

via Armed Forces Journal

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Risk Management


 

Fareed Zakaria describes the planning Petraeus and Panetta should demand in the Washington Post.

The goal should instead be preparedness. Government agencies should be readying policymakers and bureaucrats for sharp changes in international, regional and national patterns. They should be imaginative about the possibilities of sudden shifts and new circumstances and force policymakers to confront the scenarios in advance.

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New Wrinkle for Gates’ Successor – Defense News


New Wrinkle for Gates’ Successor – Defense News.

Both the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review and State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review identify weak or failing states as one of the core security challenges facing the United States. For this reason, the Pentagon now considers building the security capacity of partner states to be a top Defense Department objective.

However, the Pentagon’s expansion into this area has taken security assistance out of the context of U.S. foreign policy and placed it into an operational one, Adams said. By default, foreign policy decisions are increasingly being made by the military, he said.

In the foreign countries where the United States is providing security assistance, it often means military capacity is being strengthened without equal strengthening of the government’s other institutions.

The current setup “de-links support for security forces from the need for effective, efficient, and accountable governance,” the report says.

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Why failed states shouldn’t be our biggest national security fear – The Washington Post


Only a handful of the world’s failed states pose security concerns to the United States. Far greater dangers emerge from stronger developing countries that may suffer from corruption and lack of government accountability but come nowhere near qualifying as failed states.

via Why failed states shouldn’t be our biggest national security fear – The Washington Post.

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A NATIONAL STRATEGIC NARRATIVE


Porter and Mykleby give us a non-partisan blueprint for understanding and reacting to the changes of the 21st century world. In one sentence, the strategic narrative of the United States in the 21st century is that we want to become the strongest competitor and most influential player in a deeply inter-connected global system, which requires that we invest less in defense and more in sustainable prosperity and the tools of effective global engagement.

http://www.wilsoncenter.org/events/docs/A%20National%20Strategic%20Narrative.pdf

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America in Africa: A light footprint | The Economist


Congress happily pays for weapons but despises weaselly diplomats and woolly development aid, yet they are vital to ensuring that arms stay sheathed.

via America in Africa: A light footprint | The Economist.

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Terra Incognita – How the Frugal Superpower Navigates Democracy’s Latest Wave – Wikistrat


In the rush to define President Barack Obama’s “doctrine” following his decision to lead NATO’s initial no-fly-zone operations in Libya, experts have latched onto every detail’s possible meaning. But in the end, it’s easier to say what his strategy is not than what it is. While frustrating, such ambiguity makes sense for a cost-conscious superpower navigating what is arguably democracy’s emerging 4th great wave (see Samuel Huntington re: 1-3).

via Terra Incognita – How the Frugal Superpower Navigates Democracy’s Latest Wave – Wikistrat.

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Gates/Clinton: New Strategic Construct?


March 27: Clinton, Gates, Lugar, roundtable – Meet the Press – Transcripts – msnbc.com.

SecDef and SecState presented a new construct for National Strategy.  When asked if Libya was a vital US national interest, SecDef stated no, but the SecState followed by saying that we were in support of our allies (UK, France, and Italy), and it was in their vital interest, therefore, ours.

This brings up a new category of “what should the US do and why are we doing it?”  Should the US do things that are “just right” even it if harms our position, or should we do things that serve our purpose and position?  I don’t think either one of them would argue this is in that first category, but up to now, we have looked at strategy as those tasks that serve our interests.

Transcript excerpt:

 

MR. GREGORY: Secretary Gates , is Libya in our vital interest as a country ?

SEC’Y GATES: No. I don’t think it’s a vital interest for the United States , but we clearly have interests there, and it’s a part of the region which is a vital interest for the United States .

MR. GREGORY: I think a lot of people would hear that and way, well, that’s quite striking. Not in our vital interest, and yet we’re committing military resources to it.

SEC’Y CLINTON: Well, but, but, but then it wouldn’t be fair as to what Bob just said. I mean, did Libya attack us? No. They did not attack us. Do they have a very critical role in this region and do they neighbor two countries — you just mentioned one, Egypt , the other Tunisia — that are going through these extraordinary transformations and cannot afford to be destabilized by conflict on their borders? Yes. Do they have a major influence on what goes on in Europe because of everything from oil to immigration? And, you know, David , that raises a, a very important point. Because you showed on the map just a minute ago Afghanistan . You know, we asked our allies, our NATO allies, to go into Afghanistan with us 10 years ago. They have been there, and a lot of them have been there despite the fact they were not attacked. The attack came on us as we all tragically remember. They stuck with us. When it comes to Libya , we started hearing from the UK , France , Italy , other of our NATO allies. This was in their vital national interest . The UK and France were the ones who went to the Security Council and said, “We have to act because otherwise we’re seeing a really violent upheaval with a man who has a history of unpredictable violent acts right on our doorstep.” So, you know, let, let’s be fair here. They didn’t attack us, but what they were doing and Gadhafi ‘s history and the potential for the disruption and instability was very much in our interests, as Bob said , and seen by our European friends and our Arab partners as very vital to their interests.

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ForeignAssistance.gov: Kosovo


Kosovo’s success as an independent, multiethnic, and democratic state is critical to security and stability in the Balkans, a region whose peaceful development is vital to the United States’ broader strategic goal of building a Europe whole, free, and at peace. With this in mind, five priorities guide U.S. assistance: building the institutions of Kosovo’s government and society, ensuring that Kosovo remains the home of all its diverse peoples and that they all join in the process of building Europe’s newest democratic country, furthering the development of the country’s economy so that all its citizens can enjoy the benefits of prosperity, ensuring that society and government are firmly grounded in the rule of law, and cementing progress in all these areas through the realization of Kosovo’s Euro-Atlantic future. This assistance will be implemented by a number of U.S. agencies, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Departments of State, Defense, and the Treasury.

via ForeignAssistance.gov.

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Albanian-American Enterprise Fund Returns $15 Million to U.S. Treasury | U.S. Department of State Blog


January 19, 2011, the Albanian-American Enterprise Fund (AAEF), recipient of a U.S. government grant, returned $15 million to the U.S. Treasury. This payback represented the successful completion of a program established by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in 1995 to promote the growth of the private sector in Albania and assist the country’s transition out of Communist isolation and towards a market-based economy.

via Albanian-American Enterprise Fund Returns $15 Million to U.S. Treasury | U.S. Department of State Blog.

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