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JOE BIDEN: HOW HISTORY WILL JUDGE US

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016

september/october 2016 volume 95 number 5

Tomorrow's
Military
How Much
Is Enough?

tomorrow's military
F O R E I G N A F F A I R S .C O M

Portrait by renowned illustrator Joseph Adolphe.

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Volume 95, Number 5

TOMORROWS MILITARY
Notes From the Chairman 2

A Conversation With Martin Dempsey


Americas Awesome Military 10

And How to Make It Even Better


Michael OHanlon and David Petraeus
Rethinking Nuclear Policy 18

Taking Stock of the Stockpile


Fred Kaplan
Preserving Primacy 26
COVE R: NIKLAS AS KE R

A Defense Strategy for the New Administration


Mac Thornberry and Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr.
Ending Endless War 36

A Pragmatic Military Strategy


Andrew J. Bacevich

September/October 2016

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ESSAYS
Building on Success 46

Opportunities for the Next Administration


Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
From Political Islam to Muslim Democracy 58

The Ennahda Party and the Future of Tunisia


Rached Ghannouchi
Chinas Infrastructure Play

68

Parting the South China Sea

76

Keeping Europe Safe

83

The Return of Europes Nation-States

94

Why Washington Should Accept the New Silk Road


Gal Luft
How to Uphold the Rule of Law
Mira Rapp-Hooper
Counterterrorism for the Continent
David Omand
The Upside to the EUs Crisis
Jakub Grygiel
How to Fix Brazil

102

Breaking an Addiction to Bad Government


Eduardo Mello and Matias Spektor
Americas Brewing Debt Crisis

111

What Dodd-Frank Didnt Fix


Robert Litan

ON FOREIGNAFFAIRS.COM
Shannon ONeil on
Argentina and Brazil.

Kathleen McNamara on
Brexits false democracy.

Kanchan Chandra on
Indias authoritarianism.

September/October 2016

The Strategic Costs of Torture

121

How Enhanced Interrogation Hurt America


Douglas A. Johnson, Alberto Mora, and Averell Schmidt
Venezuela on the Brink

133

How the State Wrecked the Oil Sectorand How to Save It


Lisa Viscidi

REVIEWS & RESPONSES


Mosque and State

142

The Future of Political Islam


Malise Ruthven
How to Fix Americas Infrastructure

149

Build, Baby, Build


Aaron Klein
Spains Foreign Fighters

155

The Lincoln Brigade and the Legacy of the Spanish Civil War
Sebastiaan Faber
Worth the Trip?

162

Debating the Value of Study Abroad


Eric R. Terzuolo; Sanford J. Ungar
Recent Books

165

Letters to the Editor

191

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Volume 1, Number 1 September 1922

September/October 2016

September/October 2016 Volume 95, Number 5


Published by the Council on Foreign Relations
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CONTRIBUTORS
Before becoming a leading critic of U.S. national
security policy, ANDREW BACEVICH was a player in it.
After graduating from West Point, serving in Vietnam,
and rising to the rank of colonel, Bacevich earned a doctorate in diplomatic history from Princeton University and
became a professor at Boston University. In a series of
books and articles, he has sketched a more restrained
vision of Washingtons role in the world, and in Ending
Endless War (page 36), he argues that the next administration should avoid the mistakes of its predecessors.
RACHED GHANNOUCHI used to be Tunisias leading dissident;
now he is one of its leading politicians. After decades
in prison and exile, he made a triumphant return to his
country following the so-called Jasmine Revolution in
201011 that drove out the dictator Zine el-Abidine
Ben Ali and kicked off the Arab Spring. As a co-founder
of the Ennahda movement, he has long been a key figure in
global Islamist circles. Now, in From Political Islam to
Muslim Democracy (page 58), he explains how Ennahda has moved beyond its Islamist roots.

GHANNOUCHI PHOTO: ZOU BEI R SOUISSI / REUTE RS

MIRA RAPP-HOOPER is a senior fellow in the Asia-Pacific


Security Program at the Center for a New American
Security. After receiving a B.A. from Stanford University
and a Ph.D. from Columbia University, she held research
positions at the Center for Strategic and International
Studies and the Council on Foreign Relations. In Parting
the South China Sea (page 76), Rapp-Hooper analyzes
the legal and strategic dimensions of conflicts in the
worlds most volatile waters.

Over the past three decades, DAVID OMAND has held many
top national security posts in the British government,
serving as director of the Government Communications
Headquarters (the British equivalent of the U.S. National
Security Agency), permanent secretary of the Home
Office, and the United Kingdoms first security and
intelligence coordinator. Along the way, he found time
to obtain a degree in mathematics and physics and sit
on the board of Londons Natural History Museum. In
Keeping Europe Safe (page 83), Omand traces the
evolution of the contemporary terrorist threat and the
continents counterterrorism response.

TOMORROWS MILITARY

n old military saying has it that


amateurs talk strategy; professionals talk logistics. Pretty
much everybody has an opinion about
foreign policy and national security
priorities, but few understand just how
much a countrys choices in those areas
are shaped by mundane details about
the size, composition, and state of its
armed forces.
After 15 years of constant fighting,
the U.S. military is a different beast
than it used to beexperienced, battlescarred, warier, more politically sensitive,
and more technologically sophisticated.
But will the challenges it faces over the
coming decades be similar or different?
How big does it have to be, and how
nimble, armored with what weapons
and training to meet what contingencies?
These are the kinds of questions the new
administration taking over in January
will have to answer, and to help inform
its deliberations, weve asked leading
experts from across the spectrum to
weigh in with their recommendations.
The package opens with an interview with General Martin Dempsey, the
recently retired chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff. He notes the dangerous
state of the world even as he defends
current policy in the Middle East
and excoriates the domestic political
dysfunction that impedes serious
military planning.
Next up comes a survey of the defense
policy landscape by another recently
retired senior military commander (and
former CIA director), David Petraeus,
and Michael OHanlon. They argue that

the U.S. armed forces are currently in


awesome shape, with no true competition in sightbut caution that slightly
larger budgets and (again) less Washington political dysfunction are necessary
to sustain that edge.
Then, Fred Kaplan offers a thoughtful
analysis of U.S. nuclear policya sorely
neglected subject these daysand revisits
the classic question posed by Defense
Secretary Robert McNamaras whiz kids
half a century ago: How much is enough?
A pair of contrasting perspectives,
finally, offers a challenge to intellectual
complacency. Republican Representative
Mac Thornberry of Texas, chair of the
House Armed Services Committee, writes
with Andrew Krepinevich about the
need for the United States to do significantly more in order to reclaim global
leadership. And Andrew Bacevich takes
the opposite tack, making the case for a
less expansive global role and a correspondingly restrained military policy.
Responding to soldiers complaining
about having to use insufficient military
equipment in Iraq, then Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld noted, You
go to war with the army you have, not
the army you might want or wish to
have at a later time. In that, at least, he
was right, and the defense policy choices
made today will enable or constrain the
tactical and strategic choices made tomorrow. Professionals understand this, even
if amateurs dont.
Gideon Rose, Editor

The next president is going to


be faced with the prospect of
realigning our national
security interests with our
resourcesand for Gods
sake, getting some certainty
into the budget process, so
that we can actually plan.
Martin Dempsey

A Conversation With
Martin Dempsey

NIKLAS ASKER

Americas Awesome Military


Michael OHanlon and David Petraeus 10
Rethinking Nuclear Policy
Fred Kaplan

18

Preserving Primacy
Mac Thornberry and
Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr.

26

Ending Endless War


Andrew J. Bacevich

36

TOMORROWS MILITARY

Return to Table of Contents

Notes From
the Chairman
A Conversation With
Martin Dempsey

n September 2015, General Martin


Dempsey retired from the U.S. Army
after more than four decades in
uniform. Commissioned as an armor
officer following his graduation from
West Point, he served in both the Gulf
War and the Iraq war and eventually
rose to become chief of staff of the U.S.
Army and then chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff. He spoke with Foreign
Affairs editor, Gideon Rose, in June.
You have said that you think this is the
most dangerous the world has ever
been. Why are you so concerned?

Its the most dangerous period in my


lifetime. In my 41 years of military
experience, we often had the opportunity
to focus on one security threat or another.
First it was all about the Soviet Union,
then it was peacekeeping, then it was
terrorism. Now weve got lots of things
cropping up at the same time. We have
multiple challenges competing for finite
resourcesand grotesque uncertainty
with regard to the military budget.

We could debate how minor the threats


This interview has been edited and condensed.

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Do you worry that what Russia has done


on its periphery will escalate to a direct
challenge to NATO countries that have
an Article 5 security guarantee?

Russia is clearly trying to reestablish a


sphere of influence in the gray states
that sit between the Russian Federation
and nato. They are looking to reestab
lish a group of nations who can be their
satellites, who can help them bolster
their economy and their security, because
as they look into the period beyond 2020,
most of their trend lines are declining.
Chinas not looking to make allies; its
looking to make economic trading
partners to make sure it has the resources
it needs to fuel its economy and manage
its 1.5-billion-plus population. In contrast
to both Russia and China, our future
security is based on our alliance structure,
which goes back to World War II and its
aftermath. So here is where it becomes
something to be wary of: Russias buffer
zone is going to rub uncomfortably at
points against our alliance structure in
Europe. Chinas efforts to establish

L A R RY D O W N I N G / R E U T E R S

But are any of todays challenges at the


scale of previous ones? It sounds like
youre worried about a broad range of
minor threats rather than one or two really
big ones.

are. I would suggest that left unattended,


they could become much bigger threats
than we appreciate today. State actors
like Russia and China are challenging
our interests in Europe and in the Pacific.
Neither is a peer competitor yet, but
there are parts of their enterprises where
theyre approaching the status of peer
competitors. And then you have nonstate
actors like the Islamic State [or isis].
We are not in a position where we can
ignore any of these issues. And under
pinning it all is our inability to take a
longer viewsay, 20 yearsand support
it with the policies, authorities, and
resources necessary. Instead, we tend
to look at things one year at a time.

Niss as ipsunt eum, omniet


veliquatet eos res ut doler
Dempsey
at the
Pentagon,
omnihiliquis
abora
dem eos
September
2014 sipim.
aut labore lorem

Notes From the Chairman

supply chains and garner resources are


going to rub uncomfortably at points
against our alliance structure in the
Pacific. That causes me concern.
But isnt the alliance structure you
just described a source of strength
rather than weakness? If you add up
the United States and its allies and
partners, you end up with something
like two-thirds or three-quarters of
global defense spending. Why should
the people who have all that be so
worried about challenges from much
weaker countries with much fewer
resources and alliances?

The flash points between China and its


neighbors have come recently in the
South and East China Seas. Has the U.S.
response been too much, too little, or
just right?

I think our actions to date have been


intended to send a clear signal that
weve got several allies in the Pacific
with whom we share interests and com
mitments, and if Chinese assertions
of sovereignty threaten them, then we
have a treaty obligation to support them.
Have we done enough in that region?
I think weve got it about right. On
occasion, I argued for more frequent
freedom-of-navigation operations
Our allies and partners tend to be a bit
fonopsto make it clear that China
fragmented in terms of their interests.
can go out and do a land reclamation
If you were talking to one of my nato
project, but its not going to have any
counterparts, they might define the
effect [on the legal status quo]. Were
Russian threat as most serious, but
not going to honor a 12-mile territorial
another might consider immigration
boundary [around their newly reclaimed
or terrorism the greater threat. Russia
land]. Weve got to keep that up, because
can affect the nato alliance in two
if someone declares something and no
ways. One is by threatening it physically one challenges it, it can become accepted.
on its eastern flank, and the other is by I would have preferred more frequent
threatening to sever the transatlantic link. freedom-of-navigation operations.
There are capabilities that the Russians But I think the way weve done it has
are pursuing that are clearly intended
been prudent.
to allow them to threaten our ability to
reinforce Europe, and if they could do
Some have argued that what weve
actually done has been more innocent
that, then nato would lose credibility
passage than traditional FONOPs.
pretty quickly.
That distinction is more a matter of
What specific capabilities do you have
lawof the declaration you make, the
in mind?
way you maneuver inside that space. I
Some are still classified. But lets just
dont think that matters much to the
say, for example, capabilities theyre
Chinese. I think they recognize that our
developing in space, in cyber, with
presence there is a signal. My Chinese
ground-based cruise missiles, under
counterparts were pretty clear about
water capabilities, are all intended to
the fact that they didnt appreciate us
eventually be able to threaten the
asserting the right to do that kind of
transatlantic link and put nato in a
operation, whatever we call it.
precarious position.
4

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

A Conversation With Martin Dempsey


There have been a number of incidents
in which U.S. ships or planes have been
buzzed by foreign military aircraft. Is
the proper response to those kinds of
situations to ignore them or to escalate?

might take far longer than it would if


we were to do the job ourselves, but it
is necessary because we have to adopt a
response that can be sustained for a long
time, such as 20 years. As for individuals
who are being radicalized online, groups
like isis are losing the fight on the
ground and probably winning the fight
in the virtual environment because its
so hard to fight them there. Again, thats
a long-term problem and one that will
require us to be both vigilant and aggres
sive in trying to counter them. We have
not grappled with that as much as we can
and should.

You have to make note of them and


protest them, both in diplomatic and
in military channels. One of the things
that fascinated me about the Chinese is
whenever I would have a conversation
with them about international standards
or international rules of behavior, they
would inevitably point out that those
rules were made when they were absent
from the world stage. They are no longer
absent from the world stage, and so
those rules need to be renegotiated with Bob Gates famously said, a few years
them. We continued to make the assertion ago, In my opinion, any future defense
that in the interests of safety, if nothing secretary who advises the president to
else, we really needed to have these rules again send a big American land army
into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa
of behavior. And we were successful
should have his head examined. Do
initially in maritime rules of behavior.
you agree?
We took much longer on standards of
behavior in the air, and Im not sure we There may be times in the future when
our national security interests are so
ever closed the deal on my watch.
threatened that we would have to intro
Regarding nonstate actors, there are the duce a large force there. For example,
ones on the ground in foreign conflict
if Iran ever decided to develop nuclear
zones, such as ISIS, but then there are
weapons and the ability to deliver them
also global terrorist networks with
and threatened to do so, that seems to
affiliates, offshoots, and radicalized
me to be a case where you bring what
local supporters in many countries.
ever force you need to make sure that
What, if anything, can the U.S. military
never occurs.
do about domestic terrorist attacks
On the other hand, it seems to me
carried out by U.S. citizens?
to be counterproductive to introduce a
There are indeed two kinds of challenges large U.S. presence in response to the
from radical Islamist groups. Some
persistent instability in the Middle East
actually stand and seek to hold ground.
that generates terrorism, for two reasons.
Such groups need to be countered on
First, upon seeing our introduction of
the ground, with most of the fight coming a large force, those in the region who
from those who have the most to gain
should be dealing with the problem
and loseand that means we have to
would immediately step back and allow
work with and through people from the us to deal with it and provide very little
region who are willing to fight. This
help. Second, weve got to make sure

September/October 2016

Notes From the Chairman

that we can sustain our military power


in order to be able to credibly deter
potential threats from state actors
Russia, China, North Korea, Iran.
So in dealing with general instability
in the Middle East, we shouldnt take
ownership of it, but we should recognize
that we have interests and partners there.
We should maintain a few platforms from
which we can conduct our own military
operations in the region if necessary, from
which we can train and equip host-nation
forces, but recognize that the locals have
to do most of the heavy lifting. You have
to be dynamic enough to turn that up
on occasion and dial it back on occasion.
Were really good at dialing things up,
not so good at dialing them down.
That doesnt sound dramatically different
from what were currently doing.

Its not. I dont think acting dramati


cally differently would change anything;
in fact, it could make things worse.
A lot of commentators feel that recent
U.S. military policy in the Middle East
has not been particularly successful.
Do you disagree?

Yes. I think the overall Middle East


strategy is about what it should be right
now. But I think we did have a tendency
early on to mostly articulate what we
were not going to do. And that sent a
message that was somewhat incompre
hensible to our partners in the region.
We overcame that, and now they under
stand what we are willing to do, how
we can use our unique capabilities
airpower, reconnaissance, training,
equippingto great advantage.
In Syria, we spent half a billion dollars on
the train-and-equip program and got

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

nothing much to show for it. Is that a


comment on the execution or about the
inherently problematic nature of such
programs?

Probably a little of both. Other agencies


of government had other programs in
existence, and we were trying to see if
we could provide the president with a
dod option. One of the first proposals
that came out of Central Command
was that we should try to find moderate
Syrian fighters, bring them out of the
fight for a period of time, allow them to
form coherent units, and then reintroduce
them. The concept sounded good: if we
could do this, then we would have a
group of Syrians we could support and,
if they ultimately succeeded, influence
to help manage the future of Syria. In
retrospect, what we discovered was that
when we reintroduced these groups into
the environment, they were treated as
antibodiesnot just by the regime,
and not just by isis and the al-Nusra
Front, but even by other groups we
thought would welcome their appearance.
Where did we miss the signals that they
wouldnt be welcomed? I dont know,
but we obviously did. Eventually, we
terminated that program and began to
look for existing groups that expressed
a moderate viewpoint, and we began
to equip and train them. And the jurys
still out on that. Some of them are
doing well; some are not doing well.
But its tough, because Syria is as
fragmented and failed a state as Ive
ever seen.
What is the connection between
national security policy and defense
policy? In other words, how much does
the size and structure of the forces we
have affect the choices we make about

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A Conversation With Martin Dempsey


intervention or how to handle any
particular situation?

Theyre directly related. In 2012, in the


Defense Strategic Guidance and the
budget that was put together to implement
it, we articulated the minimum essential
requirements of a force structure necessary
to meet U.S. national security interests.
We identified that as the floor, and weve
been pushed beneath that floor in a couple
of key areas ever since. Now theres a
mismatch, and the next president is going
to be faced with the prospect of realigning
our national security interests with our
resourcesand for Gods sake, getting
some certainty into the budget process,
so that we can actually plan.
If theres a gap between resources and
commitments, is that best addressed by
reducing the commitments or by
increasing the resources?

If we were having this conversation in


academia or in a think tank, we could
talk about how we should just reduce
our commitments across the globe. But
then the challenge is to identify which
interest you will leave unattended. Were
I back in the [chairmans] job, Im not
sure that I could, in good conscience,
turn to the commander in chief and say,
Prioritize these interests out of the
eight or ten weve talked about in our
national security strategy. And even if
you did that, the fact of the matter is
that from time to time, number ten is
going to come screaming up to number
one. The Ebola crisis is a good example.
Responding to infectious diseases and
humanitarian disasters is rather low on
the scale of our priorities. But for that
period of time, it came screaming to
the top, and it pulled resources in that
direction. Weve got to restore the

resources that we identified in 2012,


and weve got to make a long-term
commitment to sustain the force and
its readiness at those levels.
Is the biggest problem the uncertainty
in the budget process, the total size of
the military budget, or the details of its
specific components? Are we spending
too much on some things and not
enough on others?

Thats the right question. In 2012, we


identified the appropriate size of the force
and the resources necessary to support
it and said that we needed three things:
time, flexibility, and certainty. If you want
the Department of Defense to absorb
budget cuts totaling, lets say, $750 billion
over ten years, OK. There may be certain
issues or points along that path where
youre going to have to extend the time
line a bit, but we can do it, if you give
us that time. But we also need flexibility.
When were told, You have to find
$750 billion to cut, and we say, OK, we
can do that; we have 25 percent excess
infrastructure, and weve got six or
seven weapons systems that are aging
and largely redundant, the Congress
shouldnt turn around and say, Not in
my district or Not my weapons system.
And we need certainty. Sequestration
hung over my head like the sword of
Damocles the entire time I was chairman.
More important, it hung over the heads
of the service chiefs, who really are the
ones that have to put the force together.
Now that youre out, are there any
specific weapons systems you want to
talk about that we need more or less of?

There are capabilities that weve always


described as high demand, low density.
The demand for intelligence platforms
September/October 2016

Notes From the Chairman

is intense, whether satellite delivered or


unmanned aerial systems. Well never
meet every combatant commanders
demand for those, but we ought to look
at coming closer to that. Well continue
to replenish our fleet of ten aircraft
carriers, but with better budget certainty,
we would be better able to schedule
ship maintenance and time in port
something that has got to be dealt with.
Were coming up on the replacement
for the Ohio-class submarine, which is
an important part of our nuclear triad.
Patriot batteries are constantly in demand.
And there are portions of the force that
are stressed at unreasonable levels.
In the past decade or two, it seems that
real increases in the defense budget
every year have become necessary just
to maintain the force structure we have.
Is that true, and if so, why? And is that
really sustainable?

There needs to be a few percent increase


annually just to keep pace with the fact
that the force is aging. Weapons systems
are aging out at a pace that was never
anticipated, because weve been using
the force at a rate that we never antici
pated. Weve done a very creditable job
of recapitalization and reconstitution.
But those are expenses that were not
anticipated in budget submissions. Beyond
that, youve got some of these huge
recapitalization challenges, like the
Ohio-class replacement I mentioned,
which come up in 25-year increments.
These conversations tend to be delayed
until they become a crisis, and were
there. The navy has to maintain the
nuclear triad.
The unit costs for cutting-edge weapons
systems like the F-35 are so astronomical,

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

we can afford to buy only a handful of


them. In a real war with a peer competitor,
could we have confidence that such a
small force could sustain much attrition
or operate effectively long enough to
avoid pressures to escalate?

Many of these systems are designed to


be two or three or four times more
capable than their predecessors. Thats
all been tested and computer simulated,
and we have reason to believe that it
will actually be true. On the other hand,
if we dont find a way to make sure that
we have an industrial base capable of
replenishing losses . . . Thats a great
concern of mine. Say you decide you
need a ship to stay at sea, so you dont
bring it back to the shipyard in its
maintenance cycle. And the shipyard
lays off workers, and those workers
become tired of the uncertainty and
they go elsewhere. Those are real issues,
and I just dont think weve unpacked
them and seen the damage that the last
four years of uncertainty have created.
What are you proudest of in your career,
and what is your greatest regret?

The proud part is easy to answer: the


people I worked with. Thank God weve
got young men and women in this coun
try who are willing to raise their hands,
set aside many of their own personal
ambitions, and become part of some
thing larger because they believe in
service. Thats the part I miss most now
that Im out of uniformwatching and
nurturing and encouraging those young
men and women to do as much as they
can for their country.
The regrets? Look, anytime you lose
a soldier, a sailor, an airman, or a marine,
there are always moments of self-doubt
about the equipment you provided, or

A Conversation With Martin Dempsey

the guidance, or the policies. Every


time we took a casualty, we did the
forensics to figure out how and why it
happened, to make sure it wasnt some
thing that we could have prevented. In
the process of being introspective about
it, you always regret the loss. How can
you not? And then when you get up to
be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, you make an argument about the
budget, you talk about readiness, you
talk about risk. Sometimes you persuade
folks; oftentimes you dont. I cant tell
you how many times I came back from
those conversations or testimonies and
I just regretted that I hadnt been able
to be more persuasive.
After Vietnam, we went to a volunteer
force. It has turned into a small profes
sional force that has actually had a
very high operational tempo. The public
doesnt get involved, and the profes
sionals are stretched thin and overworked.
Is that a good situation?

have a huge problem. The force is big


enough to do what its being asked now.
If its asked to do more, its got to grow.
Were in the middle of a hotly contested
presidential election campaign. Are you
satisfied with the level of discussion of
military policy?

No. I think that the discussions have


been superficial and emotional. What
we need are conversations that have real
depth to them. Talking about whats going
to happen in the first 60 or 90 days of a
presidency just doesnt get it done for me.
What would happen if the commander
in chief gave an order to, say, commit
torture or kill an innocent civilian
related to a terrorist?

We take our oath to the Constitution,


which is to say the rule of law. And we
are duty-bound not to follow any order
that is illegal or immoral. If an order is
illegal or immoral, we should and would
resign, because we couldnt follow it.

Thats a great question and one that we


discussed often among the chiefs. When
the volunteer force was conceived in
the mid-70s, no one thought it would
be asked to do what its been asked to
do recently. It has performed magnifi
cently. But there was a period there
when we increased the pace of deploy
ments to 15 months away and a year at
home, and we almost broke the force.
Now were back to where its nine
months deployed and, generally speak
ing, two years at home, and it feels to
me that that pace is sustainable. So as
long as we can keep the force operating
at that pace, we can do it in perpetuity.
The family members are solid. But if
we make deployments longer and allow
less time at home, then I think we will

September/October 2016

TOMORROWS MILITARY

Return to Table of Contents

Americas
Awesome Military
And How to Make It
Even Better
Michael OHanlon and
David Petraeus

he United States has the best


military in the world today, by
far. U.S. forces have few, if any,
weaknesses, and in many areasfrom
naval warfare to precision-strike capa
bilities, to airpower, to intelligence and
reconnaissance, to special operations
they play in a totally different league
from the militaries of other countries.
Nor is this situation likely to change
anytime soon, as U.S. defense spending
is almost three times as large as that of
the United States closest competitor,
China, and accounts for about one-third
of all global military expenditures
with another third coming from U.S.
allies and partners.
Nevertheless, 15 years of war and
five years of budget cuts and Washington
dysfunction have taken their toll. The
military is certainly neither broken nor
unready for combat, but its size and
MICHAEL OHANLON is Senior Fellow in
Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution and
the author of The $650 Billion Bargain: The Case
for Modest Growth in Americas Defense Budget.
Follow him on Twitter @MichaelEOHanlon.
DAVID PETRAEUS is former Director of the
CIA, former Commander of Coalition Forces in
Iraq and Afghanistan, and former Commander
of U.S. Central Command.

10

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

resource levels are less than is advisable


given the range of contemporary threats
and the missions for which it has to
prepare. No radical changes or major
buildups are needed. But the trend of
budget cuts should stop and indeed
be modestly reversed, and defense
appropriations should be handled more
rationally and professionally than has
been the case in recent years.
Most major elements of U.S. defense
policy are on reasonably solid ground,
despite innumerable squabbles among
experts over many of the details. Through
out the postCold War era, some variant
of a two-war planning framework (with
caveats) has enjoyed bipartisan support
and should continue to do so for many
years to come. Forward presence and
engagement in East Asia, Europe, and
the Middle East remain compelling
pillars of U.S. national security strategy.
Robust research-and-development
programs continue to be supported, as
does an unparalleled intelligence com
munity. The Defense Departments
procurement budgetthe first victim
of budgetary austerity in the 1990s and
in the early years of this centuryis
once again relatively healthy. Pentagon
leaders are spurring innovation, and the
men and women of todays armed forces
display high standards of professionalism,
expertise, and experience.
Yet there are also areas of concern.
Excess base capacity remains a problem.
The navys fleet and the army are too
small, and current budget trajectories
imply further cuts rather than increases.
And the scale of some hugely expensive
weapons programs in the pipeline or on
the drawing boards, such as the F-35
fighter jet and some new nuclear weapons,
needs to be reassessed. The challenge

Americas Awesome Military

for the next president will thus be how


to build on the strengths, address the
problems, and chart a course for contin
uing to maintain U.S. military dominance
in a strategic environment that never
stops evolving.
CHANGE VS. MORE OF THE SAME

The national interests that the U.S.


military needs to advance remain
constant: protecting the homeland;
safeguarding U.S. citizens at home and
abroad; and ensuring the security of
U.S. allies, the global economy, and
international order more generally. These
days, threats to those interests come from
five sources: great powers (such as China
and Russia), extremist nonstate actors
(such as al Qaeda; the Islamic State, or
isis; and the Taliban), rogue states (such
as Iran and North Korea), pandemics
and environmental turbulence, and
developments in advanced technology
that could increase U.S. vulnerabilities
(especially those related to cyberspace,
space, and weapons of mass destruction).
Fortunately, the United States has
many resources to draw on as it pre
pares for these threats, even beyond its
military forces. The countrys high-tech
and innovative sectors are the best in
the world. It has solid economic funda
mentals, including a gradually growing
population base, the worlds best univer
sities, and a large market at the center
of global finance and commerce. And
most important of all, the United States
leads a globe-spanning system of alliances
and partnerships that includes some
60 countries, collectively accounting for
two-thirds of global economic output
and military capacity.
A serious defense policy, however,
needs to take into account the way war

itself is changing. True military revolu


tions are relatively rare, as even major
changes usually occur gradually, over
decades. But there is clearly one such
revolution now in process, perhaps
halfway along: in airpower, particularly
in the effects of precision ordnance
combined with the vast increase of
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnais
sance (isr) systems on the contemporary
battlefield.
Harbingers of this revolution were
apparent as far back as 1982, in the
effectiveness of the French-made Exocet
missiles used by the Argentinian military
against British warships during the
Falklands War. Around the same time,
nato put forward the concept of AirLand
Battle, which envisioned using new types
of advanced munitions to precisely strike
critical targets behind the frontlines in
the event of a conflict with the Warsaw
Pact. (Hearkening back to the first
offsetnatos reliance on nuclear
weapons to counter its foes large land
armiessome called this the second
offset, relying on the high-tech quality
of its conventional forces to counter its
foes quantitative superiority.)
The public began to take notice of
these developments during the Gulf
War in 199091, as laser-guided bomb
ing played as well on television as it did
on the battlefield. Gps-guided bombs
arrived a few years later, and they were
eventually followed by armed drones.
All these American weapons can now
be employed in vastly greater quantities
through sensor-shooter loops that
take advantage of remarkable advances
in reconnaissance systems, such as the
unblinking eye of many dozens of
drones and satellite-based communi
cations that share targeting, video,
September/October 2016

11

Michael OHanlon and David Petraeus

and critical data across the military in


real time.
Precision-guided bombs accounted
for about ten percent of the ordnance
used in the Gulf War. In recent conflicts,
they have accounted for about 90 percent,
with a dramatic impact on the course
of battle. As a result, Pentagon officials
now talk of a third offsetthe hope,
championed by Secretary of Defense
Ashton Carter and Deputy Secretary
of Defense Robert Work, among others,
that it will be possible to rely on modernday isr and precision assets to counter,
say, larger Chinese missile, aircraft, ship,
and submarine forces in the waters of
the western Pacific.
For all this progress, however, there
are limits to what standoff warfare and
advanced technology can achieve by
themselves. To make precision bombing
effective, for example, targets need to
be located accuratelysomething that
can be difficult if those targets are in
cities, forests, or jungles, or are concealed
or underground. Moreover, advanced
sensor and communications networks
may prove fragile when fighting tech
nologically sophisticated adversaries.
Land warfare also remains complex,
particularly when fighting in cities or
against an adversary trying to hide or
disguise what is being done (such as
Russias seizure of Crimea in 2014 using
little green menmysterious soldiers in
unmarked uniforms). Future war fighting
could be complicated by the introduction
of chemical, electromagnetic-pulse, or
even nuclear weapons or take place in a
war zone affected by pandemic infectious
disease. And it is not hard to conjure up
scenarios in which U.S. forces would be
responsible for helping restore order in
a chaotic environment marked by the
12

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

breakdown of complex systems that


usually provide essential services to
millions of people.
Given all of this, how should the
next administration handle defense
policy? By building on existing policies
and concentrating on preparing the
army for multiple missions, continuing
the navys rebalance of attention to the
Pacific, countering China and Russia,
and maintaining adequate resources to
support a robust force.
PREPARE THE ARMY FOR ANYTHING

After long, difficult wars in Afghanistan


and Iraq, some critics have argued that
the entire notion of attempting to prepare
U.S. ground forces for complex missions
beyond conventional combat is a fruitless
or even counterproductive exercise.
Reprising the armys attitude in the wake
of the Vietnam War, when it eschewed
counterinsurgency and focused instead
on high-end maneuver warfare and the
natoWarsaw Pact face-off, they favor
developing a force with a more limited
orientation. The Obama administrations
2012 Defense Strategic Guidance report,
for example, stated that although U.S.
forces would retain and continue to refine
the lessons learned, expertise, and special
ized capabilities that have been developed
over the past ten years of counterinsur
gency and stability operations in Iraq and
Afghanistan, they would no longer be
sized to conduct large-scale, prolonged
stability operations. Partly as a result
of this logic, todays active-duty U.S.
Army has been cut by almost 100,000 in
recent years, to 470,000 soldiers. That
is fewer than the number fielded in the
mid- to late 1990s. Under current plans,
moreover, the army would decline
further, to 450,000 by 2018, and some

Americas Awesome Military

In fighting shape: a U.S. soldier in Laghman Province, Afghanistan, December 2014

L UCAS JAC KS O N / R E U T E R S

key Pentagon officials have advocated


cuts to 400,000 or below.
This reasoningwhich was repeated in
the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review
is flawed. Washington might declare
its lack of interest in large-scale land
operations and stabilization missions,
but history suggests that eventually it
will find itself engaging in them never
theless, driven by the pull of events and
the logic of turbulent situations on
the ground.
The 2014 Army Operating Concept,
Win in a Complex World, wisely recognizes
that the current and future army must be
ready to handle a wide range of possible
challenges. It accords with the notion
that the modern soldier must in effect
be a pentathlete, with skills across a
wide range of domains that apply to
many possible types of operations. The
document builds on earlier concepts,
such as the belief of General Charles
Krulak, former commandant of the

Marine Corps, in preparing troops for a


three-block war, in which U.S. forces
might be providing relief in one part
of a city, keeping the peace in a second,
and fighting intensively against a deter
mined foe in a third. And it reflects
awareness of what Raymond Odierno,
former chief of staff of the army, has
called the increasing velocity of insta
bility in the world, with U.S. forces
frequently participating simultaneously
in a broad range of contingency oper
ations in several different theaters
everything from combat to deterrence
to the provision of humanitarian aid.
The George W. Bush administration
took office averse to missions that smacked
of nation building, but eventually it came
to understand these realities. A Pentagon
directive issued in 2005 stated, Stability
operations are a core U.S. military
mission. . . . They shall be given priority
comparable to combat operations. A
decade on, that remains a sensible
September/October 2016

13

Michael OHanlon and David Petraeus

approach, while recognizing the imper


ative of having host-nation forces and
coalition partners do as much as is
absolutely possible to keep the United
States commitment in blood and
treasure to a minimumand thus
sustainable over what are likely to
be generational struggles.
CONTINUE THE NAVYS REBALANCE

During its first term, the Obama


administration put forward the notion
of rebalancing U.S. power and attention
toward the Asia-Pacific, reflecting the
regions increasing significance to U.S.
interests. This sensible proposal met
with broad bipartisan support and should
be fleshed out and reinforced in coming
years. To date, however, the Pentagons
moves in this direction have been rela
tively modest in scale, with a net shifting
of assets to the Asia-Pacific theater of
no more than $10 billion to $15 billion
worth out of the approximately $600
billion annual defense budget, by our
estimates. If coupled with continued
diplomatic efforts and economic measures
such as passage of the Trans-Pacific
Partnershipnot just a trade agreement
but also a crucial signal of U.S. commit
ment to the region in generalsuch
moves should suffice, at least for now.
But it will take a healthy, predictable
defense budget to fund even moves of
this scale, and anything less would
fall well short of what the strategic
challenge requires.
No pivot to the Pacific is needed
or even truly possible given the United
States other interests and commitments.
Nevertheless, the case for reenergizing
the nations emphasis on the Asia-Pacific
region is powerful. North Korea remains
a serious threat, with erratic and bellicose
14

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

behavior continuing under its current


leader, Kim Jong Un. Pyongyang has
now detonated four nuclear weapons
and apparently continues to expand
its arsenal and its missile-delivery
capabilities. China, meanwhile, has
established itself as a near peer of the
United States by many economic and
manufacturing measures, has the secondlargest military budget in the world
now, and could be spending half as
much as the United States on its armed
forces within a few years, with much
lower personnel costs and far fewer
regions on which to focus. Its stocks
of advanced combat aircraft, advanced
submarines, other naval vessels, and
ballistic and cruise missiles have grown
enormously, and the majority of its
newer main platforms in these categories
are gradually approaching parity with
the United States. Factoring in everything
from aircraft carriers to the latest planes
and submarines, the U.S. military still has
a major lead over the Peoples Liberation
Army, and the United States total stock
of modern military equipment is worth
perhaps ten times that of Chinas. But the
overwhelming superiority once enjoyed
by the United States is largely gone.
The bulk of the U.S. militarys
rebalance to the Pacific region involves
the navy. In a 2012 speech, then Secre
tary of Defense Leon Panetta stated
that by 2020, Washington would focus
60 percent of its naval assets on the
Pacific and only 40 percent on the
Atlantic. But most of those ships will
be based in the United States, and
many could still deploy to the Persian
Gulf from their new home ports on
the Pacific coast. So the scale of the
rebalance is limited, and the changes in
overseas basing arrangements associated

Americas Awesome Military

with it are modest, as well. Only four


small littoral combat ships, for example,
are currently planned to be based in
Singapore, along with perhaps two to
three more attack submarines based
in Guam.
Other services are in on the act, too,
but even more modestly. The army has
created a four-star subordinate command
at Pacific Command, in Hawaii, to
strengthen its role in the region (although
it may not get the funds to continue it).
The Marine Corps will rotate up to
2,500 marines at a time to Darwin,
Australia. New port and basing arrange
ments are being established with
Vietnam and the Philippines. In 2013,
then Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel
stated that 60 percent of many air force
assets will also focus on the Asia-Pacific
region, although their home airfields
may not need to change much to make
that possible. And regional missile
defenses are being buttressed somewhat,
as well.
Yet the success of the rebalance will
depend not just on how many U.S.
forces are deployed to the region but
also on how they are used. Wise recent
actions in this regard include steppedup freedom-of-navigation operations in
the South China Sea, which challenge
Chinas right to stake out new holdings
near man-made islands and other land
features there, and the Obama adminis
trations public commitment to treat the
group of islands known in China as the
Diaoyu and in Japan as the Senkaku as
being covered by the U.S.-Japanese
security treaty. (Washington takes no
position on the rightful owner of those
islands, but since they are currently
administered by Tokyo, it has agreed
that they are covered by the treaty.)

As concerning as Beijings actions


have been, its recent assertiveness amounts
more to moves in a long game of chess
than preparations for some imminent
war of aggression. Washington should
thus respond, but do so calmly. The
Obama administrations general policy
of patient firmness is sound and should
be continued by its successor, but the
next administration should take care
not to allow lags between rhetoric and
action, as was the case when the United
States promised to demonstrate its
support for freedom of navigation in
mid-2015 but then took months to
deliver on it, sending mixed signals
about its commitment. And if China
continues to reclaim and militarize
islands in the South China Sea, the
logical response by Washington should
be not a direct use of force but the
development of closer security ties with
various states in the region, possibly
including new U.S. deployments or
even bases.
COME LOADED FOR BEAR

The 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review


was conducted before Russias invasion and
seizure of Crimea, and like all previous
postCold War defense reviews, it did
not consider a contingency involving the
Russian Federation to be high on the list
of priorities for force planning. That was
then. Now, some members of the U.S.
Joint Chiefs of Staff have described Russia
as their top security concern. This makes
sense, because the combination of Russias
sheer firepower and President Vladimir
Putins apparent ambitions make it a
possible threatindeed, a potentially
existential onethat demands attention.
At the same time, however, perspective
is needed. Putin is no friend of the West,
September/October 2016

15

Michael OHanlon and David Petraeus

nor of the smaller states near Russia


that represent challenges to his drive for
regional hegemony. But his moves to date
have been select and calibrated. Crimea
was historically Russian, is populated by a
majority of Russian speakers, and is home
to Russias only Black Sea naval base. And
when Putin moved into Syria last fall, he
did so only after having determined that
the Obama administration was keeping
its own involvement limited. His inter
vention there allowed him to shore up
an old ally, flex Russias long-range
power-projection muscles, retain Russias
only port on the Mediterranean, and
demonstrate Russias geopolitical impor
tance. These actions may have been
cynical and reprehensible, but they were
not completely reckless or random, nor
were they particularly brutal by the
standards of warfare. And they do not
likely portend a direct threat to more
central nato interests.
The Obama administration has been
right to shore up its commitment to nato,
although it should go further and increase
its assistance to Ukraine, as well. Given
Moscows provocations of the Baltic states
in recent years and its frequent buzzing
of nato military assets in the region, it
makes sense to enhance deterrence of a
Russian military threat to all nato
member states. The dramatic downsizing
of U.S. capabilities in Europe over the
last quarter century, to the point where
the United States now has only 30,000
army troops and no heavy brigades on the
entire continent, was never intended to
signal a lack of U.S. resolve in maintaining
its ironclad support for the transatlantic
alliance, and so there is no reason not to
reverse some of those withdrawals.
At least for now, it should not take
much to reinforce U.S. commitments.
16

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Stationing a major nato force in the


Baltics, for example, not only is unnec
essary but also could provoke Putin as
easily as deter him, given his tempera
ment and his desire to restore Russias
status. Firmness and prudence should be
the watchwords, and for that, a reinforced
tripwire is more appropriate than a
robust forward defense posture. Current
efforts, under the European Reassurance
Initiative and Operation Atlantic Resolve,
to maintain a nearly continuous U.S.
presence through exercises, position four
nato battalions in the Baltic states, and
sustain modest stocks of equipment in
up to seven eastern nato countries make
sense. It also seems sensible to return a
U.S. heavy brigade to Europe, perhaps
to Germany, as is currently being consid
ered. Greater participation by other
nato countries in the reassurance and
deterrence mission, with a sustained
military presence in the eastern states
of a magnitude comparable to that of
the U.S. level, would also be useful,
demonstrating that alliance solidarity
and security are truly collective efforts.
It is heartening that nato decisions
now codify such initiatives.
Such moves in the military and
diplomatic spheres will complement the
ongoing impact of economic sanctions,
which have played an important role
both in making Russia pay a price for
its actions and in demonstrating alliance
cohesion. It is true that the drop in
energy prices has hurt Russias economy
even more than the Western sanctions
have, but the two pressures reinforce
each other and have driven Russia into
a recession for two straight years. Putin
remains popular, having wrapped himself
in the cloak of nationalism while sup
pressing domestic dissent, but he must

Americas Awesome Military

worry that his popularity will not endure


forever in the face of a protracted eco
nomic downturn. In fact, the success
of sanctions in constraining Russia and
in helping drive Iran to the negotiating
table indicates that comprehensive
strategies for dealing with regional
threats these days should involve the
Treasury Department and the Justice
Department just as much as the Defense
Department and the State Department.
STEADY AS SHE GOES

A national security strategy that main


tains international order, checks China
and Russia, and prepares properly for
handling future threats and possible
contingencies needs to be supported
by a defense budget of appropriate size
and composition. That means not only
holding off on any further cuts but also
adopting a thoughtful, measured increase.
It is also time to end the perennial threats
of sequestration and shutdown and place
the Pentagons budget on a gentle upward
path in real terms.
Those who worry about an American
military supposedly in decline should
relax. The current U.S. defense budget
of just over $600 billion a year exceeds
the Cold War average of about $525
billion (in 2016 dollars) and greatly
exceeds the pre-9/11 defense budget of
some $400 billion. It is true that defense
spending from 2011 through 2020 has
been cut by a cumulative total of about
$1 trillion (not counting reductions
in war-related costs). But there were
legitimate reasons for most of those
reductions, and the cuts were made to a
budget at a historically very high level.
We disagree with those who counsel
further cuts, and we strongly resist a
return to sequestration-level spending (as

could still happen, since the chief villain


and cause of sequestration, the 2011
Budget Control Act, remains the law of
the land). There are good reasons why the
United States needs to spend as much as
it does on defense: because it has such a
broad range of global responsibilities,
because asymmetric foreign capabilities
(such as Chinese precision-guided missiles
and Russian advanced air defenses) can
require large investments to counter
convincingly, and, most important, because
it should aim to deter conflicts rather than
simply prevail in them. To be sure, many
U.S. allies are wealthy enough to contrib
ute substantially to their own defense and
should certainly do more in that regard.
But engaging in a game of chicken to try
to persuade them to live up to their com
mitments would be a dangerous mistake.
Having reached nearly five percent
of gdp in the later Bush and early
Obama years, U.S. defense spending is
now down to about three percent. That
is not an undue burden on the U.S.
economy and is in fact a bargain given
the peace, security, and international
stability that it underwrites. There is
no need to return to significantly higher
levels, such as the four percent of gdp
that some have proposed. But nor would
it be prudent to drop below three percent.
That translates into perhaps $625 billion
to $650 billion a year in constant dollars
over the next few years for the overall
national defense budget, including war
costs (assuming they remain at roughly
current amounts). That level is sensible
and affordable, and what the next
president should work with Congress to
provide. With that sort of support,
there is every reason to believe that the
countrys fortunate military position can
be sustained for many years to come.
September/October 2016

17

TOMORROWS MILITARY

Return to Table of Contents

Rethinking
Nuclear Policy
Taking Stock of the
Stockpile
Fred Kaplan

our months into his presidency,


at a summit in Prague, Barack
Obama pledged to take concrete
steps toward a world without nuclear
weapons. Yet nearly eight years later,
he presides over a program to modern
ize the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal at a
cost of $35 billion a year through the
next decade and beyond. To those who
accuse him of hypocrisy, Obama has
said that he always regarded a nuclearfree world as a long-term goal, unlikely
to be met in his lifetime, much less his
time in officeand that his moderniza
tion program is designed not to build
more or more deadly nuclear weapons
but rather to maintain and secure the
arsenal the United States has now.
This claim is true, by and large, but
it leaves open a bigger question: Does
the United States need the arsenal it
has now? Obama seems to be mulling
this very question as his tenure winds
down. In a June 6 speech to the Arms
Control Association, his deputy national
security adviser, Ben Rhodes, noted
that the modernization plan was put
together in a different budget environ
FRED KAPLAN is the War Stories columnist
for Slate and the author of Dark Territory: The
Secret History of Cyber War and The Wizards of
Armageddon. Follow him on Twitter @fmkaplan.

18

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

ment, with a different Congress, and


that the president will continue to
review these plans as he considers how
to hand the baton off to his successor.
In one sense, Rhodes was merely
repeating the concern that Robert Work,
the deputy secretary of defense, had
expressed back in Februarythat the
nuclear plans price tag would force
tradeoffs in an era of budget constraints
and that if this meant cuts in conven
tional forces, then that would be very,
very, very problematic. But other officials
have said that the review Rhodes men
tioned is propelled not only by budgetary
dilemmas but by questions of strategy
and history, too.
Rhodes statement set off alarm bells
in certain corridors of Congress. In a
June 16 letter, Senators John McCain and
Bob Corker, both Republicans, reminded
Obama that during the debate over the
New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty
(New start) in 2010, he had promised
to modernize or replace all three legs of
the nuclear triadthe land-based inter
continental ballistic missiles (icbms),
the submarine-launched ballistic missiles
(slbms), and the long-range bombers
in exchange for Senate ratification.
They warned him not to backpedal on
this commitment.
And so a quarter century after the
end of the Cold War, the United States
stands on the precipice of another nuclear
debate. In the 1980s, nuclear weapons
dominated discussions of national security
affairs to a degree that specialists under
the age of, say, 50 would find baffling.
The arsenals of both sides had grown to
such staggering levels, and the chance
of a real war between the two super
powers had so diminished, that the
nuclear arms race entered a realm of

Rethinking Nuclear Policy

almost pure abstraction, in which such


recondite (and substantively meaningless)
measures as missile throw-weight
ratios became tokens of competition
and conflict.
Notwithstanding the tensions between
the United States and Russia in the era
of Vladimir Putin, this sort of contest
has long been abandoned. Tabulations
of each sides nuclear arsenal, which were
once parsed with scholastic flair, are now
hard to come by. No one serious would
dream of presenting such statistics as a
measure of the balance of power, how
ever that phrase might be defined. So its
an ideal timebefore the renewed debate
is taken over by baroque abstractionists
to ask some basic questions. What
does the United States need nuclear
weapons for? And how many, of what
sort, are enough?
THE DETAILS OF DOOMSDAY

Public discussion of these questions has


always been disingenuous. President
John F. Kennedys defense secretary,
Robert McNamara, devised a formula
for finite deterrence, a concept popu
larized as mutual assured destruction,
or mad: if, after a Soviet first strike,
enough U.S. weapons survived to destroy
the Soviet Unions 200 largest cities in
a retaliatory blow, then that would be
enough to deter the Russians from con
templating a first strike to begin with.
The damage done by any additional
weapons, McNamara argued, would be
so marginal as to be superfluous. In
fact, this formula was only the secretarys
way of capping the militarys appetite.
(The Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted 10,000
icbms; McNamara held them to 1,000.)
Even in McNamaras day, the U.S.
missiles were never aimed at Soviet

cities or population centers per se; they


were always aimed mainly at Soviet
military targets. Still, the warheads and
bombs were so enormous at the time
many delivering an explosive punch of
well over a megatonthat tens or hun
dreds of millions of people would have
been killed anyway, not to mention the
millions more around the world who
would have died from radioactive fallout.
The first coordinated U.S. nuclear
war plan, known as the siop (for Single
Integrated Operational Plan), was drawn
up at the Strategic Air Command (sac)
in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1960, just before
Kennedy was elected. It supplied a
rationale for as many bombs and missiles
as the military desired. Every remotely
valuable facility in the Soviet Union
(and in communist China and Eastern
Europe) was designated a target, and
officers in sacs Joint Strategic Target
Planning Staff decreed that several
particularly valuable targets had to be
destroyed with a 90 percent probability,
others with a 98 percent probability.
Under these rules, several weapons
would have to be fired at those targets
and thus the military would have to buy
several times as many weapons as might
seem reasonable at first glance.
In 1961, just after the start of
Kennedys term, McNamara revised
the siop to give the president an option
to launch limited strikes, just against
Soviet strategic military targets (icbms,
submarine pens, and bomber bases),
avoiding cities. Still, sacs requirements
remained enormous. And as the Soviets
built up their nuclear arsenal through
the 1960s, largely in response to the U.S.
buildup, the requirements grew propor
tionately. McNamaras 1,000-icbm limit
remained in place, so the U.S. military
September/October 2016

19

Fred Kaplan

developed missiles tipped with several


warheads, each of which could be flung
at a separate target. These were known
as mirvs, for multiple independently
targetable reentry vehicles. When Soviet
and American icbms were mirved,
they became at once the most lethal
weapons and, because of that, the most
vulnerable. The sheer existence of these
weapons created a new sort of instability:
in a crisis, each side might have an incen
tive to launch a first strike with its
icbms, if just to preempt the other sides
launching a first strike with its icbms.
This situation, which theorists
dubbed crisis instability, spawned a
small library of nuclear-exchange sce
narios, replete with deceptively precise
calculations. They all envisioned a U.S.
president and a Soviet premier firing
hundreds or thousands of nuclear war
heads at each others country, killing
tens or hundreds of millions of citizens,
all while maintaining the perspicacity to
lob missiles back and forth (assuming,
absurdly, that surveillance satellites
and data-processing computers would
still function well enough to assess the
damage)and that, through this curious
chess match, one side or the other would
achieve some sort of victory. In retrospect,
these books and articles (many of them
reviewed and published in journals such
as this one) seem bizarre, if not insane.
When the Cold War ended, so did
this strange discourse. And so did the
nuclear arms race. The U.S. nuclear
stockpile, which had peaked in 1967 at
an astounding 31,255 weapons, had
already been wound down to 19,008 by
1991, mainly due to the dismantlement
of tactical nukes in Western Europe and
South Korea. This number was cut by
half over the next decade and by half
20

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

again in the decade after. Some of


these cuts stemmed from nuclear arms
control accords beginning in the early
1970s. But to a much larger extent,
they occurred because, starting under
President George H. W. Bush and
continuing with President Bill Clinton,
civilian analysts in the Pentagon wrested
control of the siop for the first time
since McNamaras revision in 1961.
Taking a close look at sacs beyondtop-secret list of targets and how many
weapons were aimed at each, the civilian
analysts concluded that it was all wildly
inflated: many facilities on the list
didnt need to be targets, and many of
the targets didnt need to be hit with so
many weapons. As a result, according to
Uncommon Cause, a new book by retired
General George Lee Butler, former sac
commander, the nuclear requirements
were slashed from 10,000 weapons to
5,888. (The civilians regarded even this
many as excessive, but political com
promise prevailed.) The actual number
of weapons came down almost propor
tionately and has continued to slide
since, although much less steeply.
The most recent (and fairly modest)
reductions were the result of the New
start treaty. Obama hoped to reach a
follow-on accord but never did, a failure
that he has attributed to Putins return
to the Russian presidency. Yet even if
Obamas negotiating partner, the more
moderate Dmitry Medvedev, had re
mained Russias president, its doubtful
the two could have concluded a New
start II. Obama said at the time that a
second treaty should impose cuts not
just on long-range missiles but also on
short- and medium-range weapons. Yet
given the United States superiority in
conventional arms, no Russian leader

Rethinking Nuclear Policy

Balancing act: a ballistic missile on parade in Moscow, May 2014

MA XIM S H EM ET OV / REUT E RS

would likely have gone down that path.


When the Soviet Union and its Warsaw
Pact allies outgunned nato along the
border between East and West Germany,
U.S. presidents saw nuclear weapons
including missiles, tactical bombs, and
even nuclear artilleryas an offset to
the military imbalance. Russian leaders
similarly see nuclear weapons as offsets
today. (The United States maintains
just 184 nuclear bombs in Europe, kept
in storage and capable of being loaded
onto tactical fighter jets, but Russia is
estimated to have more than 2,000, many
of them deployed.)
Once the nuclear talks hit a dead end,
should Obama have proceeded with
unilateral reductions? In the realm of
nuclear weapons, there is no need, after
all, to match an adversary missile for
missile, warhead for warhead, or kiloton
for kiloton. Presidents must determine
what missions they want the nuclear
arsenal to accomplish and ensure that,
even under pessimistic assumptions,

the military has enough weapons to do


so. If the calculations indicate that
they need, say, 1,000 nuclear weapons,
it shouldnt matter whether Russia or
some other hostile country has two,
three, or ten times as many. But thats
not how the question has ever played
out politically.
SYSTEM UPGRADE

Today, the United States has 440 icbms,


288 slbms (on 14 submarines), and 113
strategic bombersloaded, all told, with
2,070 nuclear bombs and warheads, with
another 2,508 held in storage as a hedge
against a total breakdown in international
relations and a resumption of a serious
arms race. Russia has 307 icbms, 176 slbms
(on 11 submarines), and 70 bombers
with an estimated total of 2,600 bombs
and warheads and about 2,400 more in
storage. China has 143 icbms, 48 slbms
(on four submarines), and three bombers
with the range to hit the western United
Stateswith a total of roughly 180 bombs
September/October 2016

21

Fred Kaplan

and warheads. (These figures come from


Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris,
who have compiled the most complete
and, sources tell me, most reliable
unclassified tabulation of the worlds
nuclear arsenals.)
The Chinese have never played the
nuclear arms race game; they follow a
policy of minimum deterrence, holding
just enough to keep two enemies at bay,
Russia and the United States. (There
are, however, reports of a modest recent
buildup, perhaps in response to U.S.
progress on a missile defense system.)
The Russians, on the other hand, are
in the midst of an active modernization
program. They have retained 46 of their
old mirved icbms and are developing a
replacement for two-thirds of those.
Compared with the Russians, the
Americans arent doing much beyond
replacing old missiles and bombers
with new onesalmost none of which
will have greater destructive power
than the old onesand Washington
isnt in a rush to do even that. The
United States got rid of its mirved
icbms long ago, and a new model
(armed with just one warhead each),
called the Ground-Based Strategic
Deterrent, is not expected to debut
until 2028. A new submarine, the
ssbn-x, wont undergo sea trials until
2031. A new aircraft called the LongRange Strike Bomber is scheduled for
the late 2020s, as is the Long-Range
Stand-Off weapon, an upgrade of the
current air-launched cruise missile.
Even so, the U.S. modernization
plan, if carried out in full, will be very
expensive: according to the Congressional
Budget Office, it will cost about $60
billion for 642 new icbms (400 of which
will be deployed in silos), $100 billion
22

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

for 12 new nuclear-missile-carrying


submarines, $55 billion for 100 new
bombers, $30 billion for 1,000 new cruise
missiles, and $50 billion for faster, more
flexible, and more secure command-andcontrol systemsto say nothing of the
roughly $80 billion over the next decade
to maintain the nuclear laboratories.
The original reason for the nuclear
triad was entirely bureaucratic. The
army was building icbms, the navy was
building submarines, and the air force was
building bombers. (Eventually, the air
force won the contract for icbms, leaving
the army to field short- and mediumrange nukes in Western Europe and
South Korea, as well as conduct R & D
on antiballistic missiles to defend the
continental United States. These army
projects have since largely evaporated.)
Yet as the arms race took off in the 1960s,
the triad took on a strategic rationale.
Icbms were the most powerful and
accurate of the three legs, the ideal tool
for promptly attacking blast-hardened
Soviet missile silos. Slbms were much
less powerful and less accurate, but they
were the most secure, since they were
loaded onto submarines, which prowled
the oceans undetected. If deterrence
was defined as the survivability of a
second-strike force, slbms were crucial.
Bombers were slower, taking hours, not
minutes, to reach their targets, but because
of that, their pilots could linger outside
Soviet borders awaiting instructions or
even be called back to base if a crisis
was resolved.
The case for land-based icbms today
is extremely weak and has been since
1990, when the U.S. Navy started
deploying Trident II missiles on subma
rines. Unlike earlier slbms, the Trident II
is accurate enough to destroy blast-

hardened missile silos. In other words,


one of the icbms unique properties
its ability to hit blasthardened targets
quicklyis no longer unique. Meanwhile,
its other unique propertyits vulner
ability to an adversarys first strikeis all
too enduring. Even by the esoteric logic
of nuclear strategists, then, icbms make
the United States less secure, with no
compensating advantages.
During the Cold War, a case was
made for icbms on the grounds that the
United States needed to keep up with
whatever the Soviets were doing, if just
to demonstrate resolve and credibil
ity. A dubious notion at the time, it
makes no sense whatever today. So what
is the rationale for preserving, much
less modernizing, landbased icbms? If
they are inherently destabilizing, why
shouldnt they be dismantled?
The air force and some civilian
strategists do have a new rationale. They
call it the sponge theory. Without
landbased icbms to soak up Russian
missiles, the logic goes, there would be
only six strategic targets in the conti
nental United States: the three bomber
bases (in Louisiana, Missouri, and North
Dakota), two submarine ports (in Bangor,
Washington, and Kings Bay, Georgia),
and the National Command Authority
(otherwise known as Washington, D.C.).
The Russians could launch an attack on
those six targets with just two mirved
missiles, or possibly even one. An
American president might not strike
back, knowing that the Russians had
thousands of warheads remaining and
that, therefore, if the United States
retaliated, Russia would retaliate further.
(In the 1970s, some hawkish strategists
outlined a similar scenario, which they
called deterring our deterrent.) On

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23

Fred Kaplan

the other hand, if the United States


maintained its 400 icbms, so the theory
goes, the Russians would have to fire at
least 400 warheads to destroy them.
By any definition, this would constitute
a major attack, thus prompting certain,
massive retaliationthe prospect of
which would deter them from launching
an attack in the first place.
This is a strange theory. It assumes that
a U.S. president would tolerate a nuclear
attack that, despite its supposedly limited
scope, would kill hundreds of thousands,
possibly millions, of civilians and not
strike back with any of the hundreds of
missiles poised on invulnerable sub
marines. But lets posit that the theory
has some validitythat the military
needs to have more than six targets on
U.S. soil to act as sponges to absorb a
Russian nuclear attack. Even so, its a huge
stretch to contend that the United States
needs 400 icbms400 spongesfor that
purpose. How many would be needed? A
dozen? Two dozen? Almost certainly no
more than that. Nor would those missiles
(again, assuming the theory makes a lick
of sense) have to be up-to-date models.
In other words, a strong case can be made
that the United States does not need a
new land-based icbm at all.
Does it need a new long-range
manned bomber that can penetrate
Russian air defenses? The case for this,
too, is far from persuasive. With a range
of 1,500 miles, air-launched cruise missiles
can be fired from bombers loitering well
outside the reach of Russian air defenses.
Does this mean a new air-launched cruise
missile is a good idea? It might be, except
that the air forces Long-Range Stand-Off
missile is not simply a replacement. This
is the one new weapon in the U.S.
modernization plan that is a completely
24

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

new design. It has a longer range and


better accuracy, neither of which is
controversial, but its also built to carry
either a conventional or a nuclear war
head, and that feature has raised concerns.
Former Defense Secretary William Perry
has argued that if the Long-Range StandOff weapon were launched, the leader
of the country being attacked would
have no way of knowing which kind
of warhead the missile was carrying.
Assuming the worst (as leaders tend
to do in wartime), he or she might
assume it was carrying a nuke and
respond accordingly.
As for a new class of nuclear-missilecarrying submarines, objections here are
hard to muster. The current Ohio-class
submarines are between 20 and 40 years
old. At some point, subs get too old to
risk plunging them into the ocean for
another voyage. Does the navy need 12
new submarines? Would, as some suggest,
eight to ten be enough? Any calculus has
to take into account that some subs have
to be in the Pacific Ocean, some have to
be in the Atlantic Ocean, and some have
to be in port for refueling and repairs.
If one can safely assume that three are
enough for each location, then nine should
be fine. If thats considered excessive,
then eight would do; if thats deemed too
risky, then ten would do. The rationale
for 12 is hard to parse.
Finally, the program for more
rugged command-and-control systems
is unassailable, given the growing vulner
ability of satellite communications,
either to a direct attack or to hacking. If
the United States is stuck with nuclear
weapons, the president should at least
appear to have the ability to launch
them, or withhold them, preferably
in a controlled way.

Rethinking Nuclear Policy


THE NUKES WE NEED

The fact is that short of a transformation


in world politics, which doesnt seem
remotely in the offing, we areall of
usstuck with nuclear weapons. They
do serve a function: they tend to deter
aggression, not just nuclear attacks but
conventional invasions, as well. During
a mid-1960s border dispute, the Kremlin
considered invading a patch of China
but held back because China had a
handful of nuclear weapons. Israelis
fear an Iranian bomb not so much
because they think the supreme leader
might suddenly launch nuclear missiles
at Tel Aviv (Israel is estimated to have
roughly 200 nuclear weapons and could
easily incinerate Tehran in response)
but because a pocketful of nukes could
provide cover to other forms of Iranian
aggression.
A possible parallel: if Israel hadnt
destroyed Iraqs Osirak nuclear reactor
in 1981, and if Saddam Hussein had gone
on to build a few atomic or hydrogen
bombs, its hard to imagine so many
Western and Arab nations joining the
coalition to oust the Iraqi army from
Kuwait a decade later. The United States
might have offered to extend its nuclear
umbrella to the coalition partners,
pledging to retaliate against an Iraqi
nuclear attack, but the Arab countries,
in particular, might not have trusted it.
In the 1960s, British and French leaders,
questioning the credibility of nato,
asked whether the United States would
risk New York to protect London or
Paris; Egyptian and Saudi rulers would
rightly have doubted whether it would
do the same for Cairo or Riyadh.
But as these scenarios illustrate,
deterrence doesnt require a lot of nuclear
weapons: in some cases, a mere handful;

in others, a couple of hundred. If Obama


is serious about reassessing the nuclearmodernization plan, he should start by
reassessing the requirements of deter
rence. No civilian officials have scruti
nized the U.S. nuclear war planthe list
of targets and the number of weapons
aimed at each onesince the review of a
quarter century ago, under Bush and
Clinton. Given that the U.S. and Russian
stockpiles have shrunk since then, the
requirements could certainly be reduced
with no change in the underlying logic,
and they could probably be slashed if
the logic were questioned, as well.
Its long past time for the government
to conduct a zero-based budget review
of the siopscouring the war plan clean,
as if there were no nuclear weapons at all,
then building it up from scratch, based
on a rational assessment of how many are
needed, to do what. The reason this hasnt
happened already is simple: the military,
powerful factions of which are wedded to
nuclear weapons, and Congress, powerful
members of which have nuclear manu
facturers or labs in their districts, wont
allow it. Every time a president has signed
a nuclear arms control treaty, the Senate
has demanded an increase in spending
or, at times, the approval of new, more
lethal nuclear weaponsin exchange for
its ratification. Its unlikely that the military
or Congress would tolerate unilateral
reductions, however sensible they may be.
Even if the politics were more
amenable, Obama probably couldnt, in
the time he has left, so much as set the
stage for such a calculation. But it would
be a worthy task for his successorand
for other world leaders, too.

September/October 2016

25

TOMORROWS MILITARY

Return to Table of Contents


sanctions, but these have done little to
deter Putin.
Nor has the administrations pivot
to Asia, now five years on, been matched
A Defense Strategy for the
by effective action. China continues to
New Administration
ramp up its military spending, investing
heavily in weapons systems designed to
Mac Thornberry and Andrew F. threaten U.S. forces in the western Pacific.
As a result, it is proving increasingly
Krepinevich, Jr.
willing and able to advance its expansive
territorial claims in the East China and
South China Seas. Not content to resolve
he next U.S. president will
its disputes through diplomacy, Beijing
inherit a security environment
has militarized them, building bases on
in which the United States con natural and artificially created islands.
fronts mounting threats with increasingly The United States has failed to respond
constrained resources, diminished stature, vigorously to these provocations, causing
and growing uncertainty both at home
allies to question its willingness to meet
and abroad over its willingness to protect its long-standing security commitments.
its friends and its interests. Revisionist
The lack of U.S. leadership is also
powers in Europe, the western Pacific,
fueling instability in the Middle East. In
and the Persian Gulfthree regions
Iraq, the Obama administration forfeited
long considered by both Democratic
hard-won gains by withdrawing all U.S.
and Republican administrations to be
forces, creating a security vacuum that
vital to U.S. national securityare
enabled the rise of both Iranian influence
seeking to overturn the rules-based
and the Islamic State, or isis. Adding to
international order. In Europe, Russian its strategic missteps, the administration
President Vladimir Putin has seized
fundamentally misread the character of
Crimea, waged proxy warfare in eastern the Arab Spring, failing to appreciate that
Ukraine, and threatened nato allies on the uprisings would provide opportunities
Russias periphery. Further demonstrating for radical Islamist elements rather than
its newfound assertiveness, Russia has
lead to a new democratic order. The
dispatched forces to Syria and strength administration also failed to learn from the
ened its nuclear arsenal. After a failed
previous administrations experience in
attempt to reset relations with Moscow, Iraq when it chose to lead from behind
U.S. President Barack Obama has issued in Libya, intervening to overthrow
stern warnings and imposed economic
Muammar al-Qaddafi, only to declare
victory and abandon the country to
internal disorder. It then drew a redline
MAC THORNBERRY is a Republican Congressman from Texas and Chair of the House
over President Bashar al-Assads use of
Armed Services Committee.
chemical weapons in Syria but failed to
ANDREW F. KREPINEVICH, JR., is President
act to enforce it. The result is growing
of Solarium and a Distinguished Senior Fellow
instability in the Middle East and a
at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary
Assessments.
decline in U.S. influence.

Preserving Primacy

26

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Preserving Primacy

The threat of Islamist terrorism has


grown on the Obama administrations
watch. Al Qaeda and isis, both Sunni
groups, have gained new footholds in
Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and even West
Africa. Obamas negotiations with Iran,
the home of radical Shiite Islamism, have
not curbed the countrys involvement
in proxy wars in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen
or its support for Hezbollah in Lebanon
and Hamas in the Palestinian territories.
What the talks did producethe nuclear
dealmay slow Tehrans march to ob
taining a nuclear weapon, but it also gives
the regime access to tens of billions of
dollars in formerly frozen assets. The
ink on the agreement was barely dry
when, in March, Tehran tested ballistic
missiles capable of delivering a nuclear
warhead, in blatant defiance of a un
Security Council resolution. Adding to
all this instability, military competition
has expanded into the relatively new
domains of outer space and cyberspace
and will eventually extend to undersea
economic infrastructure, as well.
With the current approach failing, the
next president will need to formulate a
new defense strategy. It should include
three basic elements: a clear statement of
what the United States seeks to achieve,
an understanding of the resources
available for those goals, and guidance
as to how those resources will be used.
The strategy laid out here, if properly
implemented, will allow the United States
to preclude the rise of a hegemonic power
along the Eurasian periphery and preserve
access to the global commonswithout
bankrupting the country in the process.
ENDS AND MEANS

The chief goal of U.S. foreign policy


has long been to prevent a hostile state

from establishing dominance over a


key regionEurope, the western
Pacific, or the Persian Gulfwhere it
could accumulate sufficient power to
threaten core U.S. interests. Thus, in
the first half of the twentieth century,
the United States waged war twice in
Europe to defeat Germany and once
in the Pacific to defeat Japan. During
the Cold War, it worked with allies to
prevent the Soviet Union from domi
nating Western Europe or expanding its
influence into the Middle East and East
Asia. This goal remains valid today.
In order to preserve access to its
allies and trading partners, the United
States also needs access to the global
commons. For over 70 years, the U.S.
military has borne the responsibility
for guaranteeing access to the seas and
the air, not only for the United States but
for other countries, too. It has accom
plished this task so well that many take
it for granted. Yet preserving access to
the global commons is neither cheap nor
easy. Should the United States decline
to play this role, there is no other likeminded power that could take its place.
These two tasks have been made all
the more challenging by the revisionist
powers growing anti-access/area-denial
(A2/AD) capabilities, such as long-range
precision-strike weaponry, antisatellite
systems, and various cyberweapons. All
are designed to attack the U.S. militarys
muscle (its forward air bases and aircraft
carriers) and its nervous system (its sur
veillance, reconnaissance, targeting, and
communications systems).
What resources are available for
accomplishing these two goals? Although
the United States is no longer as dom
inant as it was at the end of the Cold
War, relative to the revisionist powers,
September/October 2016

27

Mac Thornberry and Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr.

the country enjoys an enviable position.


It possesses extensive natural resources,
an efficient free-enterprise system, and
the healthiest demographic profile of
any major power. The United States has
a proven ability to assimilate immigrants,
and its educational system, although
badly in need of reform, still ranks among
the worlds finest. Thanks to its insular
geographic position and peaceful neigh
bors, it can mount a defense of the home
land far from its shores. Its long list
of allies includes most of the worlds
biggest economies. And it boasts the
worlds best military, in terms of quality
of people and equipment, as well as in
terms of experience conducting a wide
range of operations.
Yet even as the challenges to U.S.
security grow, Washington continues to
cut its military spending. Between 2010
and 2016, the U.S. defense budget fell
by over 14 percent in real terms, and by
roughly 30 percent as a percentage of
gdp, and it will likely fall further over
the next decade, as interest payments
on U.S. government debt rise. The
United States most capable allies are
contributing even less. Of the richest
powers within nato, only the United
Kingdom budgets more than the alli
ances minimum target of two percent
of gdp. In Asia, Japan remains con
strained by its self-imposed ceiling of
one percent.
This is not to say that the United
States should simply peg its defense
spending to a particular percentage of
gdp. The level should depend on many
factors, including the types of threats
faced, the amount of risk the American
people are willing to accept, the con
tributions made by allies, and more.
Nevertheless, the decline in military
28

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

budgetsespecially in comparison to
the investments that the revisionist
powers are makingputs the United
States and its allies at ever-greater risk.
As former Secretary of Defense Robert
Gates said in 2014, cutting U.S. defense
funding sends a signal that we are
not interested in protecting our global
interests. But Washington needs to do
more than simply spend more money on
defense. It needs a strategy that allocates
these dollars more efficiently and in ways
that create a more effective military.
CHARTING A COURSE

Resources are always limited, so strategy


is about making choices. In doing so,
policymakers must consider not only the
immediacy of a threat but also its scale,
form, and trajectory. Radical Islamism
represents the most immediate threat
the United States faces, but China and
Russia have far greater potential to
threaten U.S. security. China, a rapidly
rising power, has built the most capable
conventional forces besides those of
the United States, and Russia, although
showing clear signs of decline, still main
tains the worlds largest nuclear arsenal.
The threat from Iran, meanwhile, mainly
entails the risk that its progress toward
achieving a nuclear capability will trigger
a cascade of proliferation in the Middle
East. Since the aim should be to minimize
the overall risk to its security over time,
the United States should focus principally
on preparing for the threats from China
and Russia and secondarily on checking
Iranian expansionism and supporting
like-minded partners in suppressing
radical Islamist groups.
To meet these challenges, given that
resources are limited, the U.S. military
will have to adopt a one-and-a-half-

Preserving Primacy

Access denied: during a Chinese naval exercise, April 2009

GUA N G N I U / R E U T E R S

war posturegiving it the ability to


at once deter or wage a major war with
China and send expeditionary forces to
either Europe or the Middle East. In
the western Pacific, this means pursuing
a strategy of forward defense of the
first island chain, which runs from Japan
through Taiwan and along the Philippines,
three countries with which the United
States has firm security commitments.
What it should not do is pursue a strategy
centered on a distant blockade of China
or one that relies on mobilization to retake
lost territory, as the United States did
in World War II. This would be tanta
mount to exposing allies and partners
to aggression or coercion and would be
seen as such. Instead, by positioning
sufficient forces forward, including ground
forces in Japan and the Philippines, the
United States could, along with its allies,
offset Chinas military buildup and pre
serve the peace. In Japan, the Philippines,

and perhaps Vietnam, the door is in


creasingly open to greater U.S. military
presence and assistance, but it will not
remain open indefinitely. Nor will the
United States be able to establish a
forward defense posture quickly. So the
next administration should begin the
process without delay.
The immediate problem posed by
Russia is its use of proxy forces beyond
its borders. Given the character of
this threat, Washington should deploy
more ground and air forces to front
line countries in eastern Europe. Their
mission would be to help those states
deter and, if need be, suppress the
Kremlins attempts to employ local
Russian nationals as proxies. The United
States should encourage its major nato
allies to make similar contributions.
And to further deter Russian adven
turism, it should preposition weapons,
munitions, and supplies in the region
September/October 2016

29

Mac Thornberry and Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr.

to facilitate the rapid reinforcement of


allied forces.
In the Middle East, the United States
has oscillated from too much involve
ment to too little, while announcing
unrealistic objectives, such as destroy
ing isis and defeating Iranian proxies.
Washington cannot expunge these
corrupt forms of Islam; only the local
populations can do that. It can and
should, however, support those states
and groups that seek to do so, and with
far more vigor than it has to date. Given
the greater challenges posed by China
and Russia, the emphasis should be on
quality over quantity. This means relying
more on Special Forces and military
advisers to assist local governments
and groups, supported by airpower and
cyber-operations. As in eastern Europe,
it also means adopting an expeditionary
military posture that emphasizes the
ability to send in reinforcements rapidly
in the event of overt aggression, in this
case by Iran.
North Korea, with its radical regime,
weakening economy, and growing nuclear
arsenal, poses a unique challenge. For
years, the United States agreed to give
economic aid to the country to prevent
it from becoming a nuclear power. After
Pyongyang crossed that threshold in
2006, Washington pursued still more
agreements in a vain effort to limit the
regimes nuclear arsenal, which continues
to expand. Fortunately, there are indi
cations that the Obama administration
is beginning to supplant this failed
strategy with one emphasizing tougher
economic sanctions, and both Japan and
South Korea are improving their missile
defenses. The next administration should
not abandon these efforts in exchange
for promises from the North Korean
30

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

government. It should tighten the


sanctions and remove them only after
Pyongyang takes verifiable and irre
versible actions to reduce its nuclear
capability as part of a plan to eliminate
the arsenal entirely.
GAINING THE UPPER HAND

A core element of any defense strategy


involves gaining military advantages in
certain areas to offset losses in other
areas. For example, the near monopoly
that the United States has enjoyed in
precision warfare is coming to an end as
its rivals acquire new A2/AD capabilities.
For over 70 years, the U.S. approach to
projecting power has centered on build
ing up ground and air forces at forward
bases and positioning its fleet close to
the enemys shores. But with ever-greater
numbers of missiles and aircraft armed
with precision-guided munitions, China
and other rivals are increasingly able to
target U.S. forces at greater distances.
The United States is also losing its
edge in a number of key military tech
nologies. Artificial intelligence, big data,
directed energy, genetic engineering,
and robotics all have military applica
tions, yet their development is being
driven primarily by the commercial
sector. So they are available to anyone
with the means to obtain them, includ
ing U.S. rivals.
To sustain its advantage in key areas of
competition, the U.S. military will have
to develop new operational concepts
the methods by which it organizes, equips,
and employs forces for deterring an
enemy or prevailing against one should
deterrence fail. Above all, this means
ensuring that the military is focused on
the right set of challenges, such as the
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Preserving Primacy

the United States has vital interests. The


effort should entail experimenting with
different types of forces and equipment,
since history shows that experimentation
lies at the heart of every great military
innovation. In the period between the
world wars, for example, the German
army experimented with exploiting rapid
advances in commercial technologies
mechanization, aviation, and radiothus
laying the foundation for the blitzkrieg
form of warfare; the U.S. Navy exper
imented with similar technologies to
make the leap from a fleet centered on
battleships to one organized around the
aircraft carrier. In addition to encouraging
innovative thinking, experimentation
helps ensure that new weapons systems
are sufficiently mature before large-scale
production begins, reducing the odds
that a program will have to be canceled.
History also shows that a military
will have to accept regular failures in
order to make major breakthroughs. If
every experiment is a success, then no
one is learning much. The German army
suffered many failures along its path to
the blitzkrieg, as did the U.S. Navy as it
created the aircraft carrier force. Above
all, past experience shows that because
preparing for new problems frequently
requires making major changes, there
is often firm resistance to such efforts.
Strong civilian and military leadership
is needed to overcome it.
Not only must the U.S. military
identify the right operational concepts
to exploit emerging technologies; it
must also field the forces needed to
execute them more quickly than rivals.
The faster it generates new capabilities,
the less it needs to spend on standing
forces. Currently, however, the United
States takes far longer than its adversaries

to get new equipment from the drawing


board into the hands of its men and
women in uniformmore than a decade,
in many cases. In large part, thats because
the Pentagon often seeks to push new
systems performance characteristics to
an extreme. Projects incur cost overruns
when their overseers attempt to incor
porate new technologies before they are
mature, wasting both time and money
while troops make do with old equipment.
Compounding the problem, Uncle Sam
too often spends, relatively speaking,
thousands of dollars ensuring that it
doesnt get cheated out of nickels and
dimes. Its past time to reform that system
by setting more realistic requirements and
speeding new equipment into the field.
Preserving access to the global
commons remains among the United
States most important goals. Its military
strategy must take this into account. A
little more than a century ago, the global
commons generally referred to the
high seas. Over the ensuing decades,
technological advances expanded the
definition to include the air and space
and, eventually, cyberspace and undersea
energy and telecommunications infra
structure. Once the Cold War ended,
the United States access to the commons
was taken as a given. The U.S. military
controlled the seas and the air, and it
viewed the other, more novel domains
as benign.
This is no longer the case. Revisionist
states are increasingly challenging U.S.
access to the commons. Both China
and Russia are perfecting antisatellite
weapons. As lasers grow more powerful,
more states will be able to blind or even
destroy satellites. Cyberspace has emerged
as a place for economic warfare, espionage,
crime, and terrorism. It is only a matter
September/October 2016

31

Mac Thornberry and Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr.

of time before undersea infrastructure


becomes a target. States and nonstate
actors can obtain unmanned underwater
vehicles that can reach the seabed. As is
the case with cyberattacks, it may prove
difficult to identify the source of attacks
on the United States assets in space or on
the seabed, which means that a strategy
based on deterrence is unlikely to work.
Instead, the U.S. military will have to
shift to a strategy based on defending
its assets, limiting damage to them, and
repairing or regenerating them rapidly.
A NEW NUCLEAR AGE

The United States nuclear forces remain


the foundation on which its security rests.
But the context in which these forces
function has changed dramatically. The
world has entered a second nuclear age,
having shifted from a bipolar U.S.-Soviet
competition to increasingly multipolar
regional and global competitions. These
competitions are also becoming multi
dimensional. Although nuclear weapons
retain pride of place, other capabilities
such as precision-guided munitions and
cyberweapons, as well as advanced air
and missile defenseshave entered the
discussion of strategic warfare. What
used to be called the nuclear balance
might now more accurately be described
as the strategic balance.
China and Russia, for example, have
expressed concerns about the United
States nascent prompt global strike
capability, which would allow the U.S.
military to hit a target anywhere in the
world within one hour. They have also
complained about U.S. air and missile
defenses: the Russians have protested
U.S. plans to place missile defenses in
eastern Europe to deal with attacks
launched from the Middle East, and the
32

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Chinese have opposed similar plans in


South Korea designed to guard against
a North Korean attack. Concerns that
cyberweapons could be used to disable
early warning and command-and-control
systems complicate matters even further.
Despite these profound changes, the
Obama administration has remained
firmly rooted in the Cold War paradigm
of arms control, focusing on U.S. and
Russian nuclear arsenals while envision
ing a world without nuclear weapons.
The United States principal rivals, by
contrast, are already operating in the new
nuclear age. The Russians have adopted
an escalate to de-escalate doctrine,
which calls for the use of nuclear weapons
to offset Russias inferiority in conven
tional forces, and have tested weapons
that likely violate the 1987 IntermediateRange Nuclear Forces Treaty. China
shares Russias concerns about the United
States precision-strike capabilities and
missile defenses and has refused to
provide anything but the most modest
details about its own nuclear capabilities
and intentions, even as it modernizes its
nuclear forces and expands its arsenal
of precision-guided munitions and
cyberweapons.
It is time to move beyond Cold
Warera thinking and assess the compe
tition not by merely counting weapons
but by looking at it through the lens of
the second nuclear age. A key initial
step toward adapting the U.S. nuclear
arsenal involves developing detailed
plans to address various plausible crisis
scenariosones involving the United
States, China, and Russia; the possible
use of nuclear weapons by minor powers
such as North Korea; or a conflict between
two nuclear-armed states, such as India
and Pakistan. In the meantime, the

United States must maintain a robust


nuclear posturethe ultimate guarantor
of its security. U.S. warheads, delivery
methods, and commandandcontrol
systems have been neglected to the point
where they will soon become obsolete all
at once. The United States can afford to
modernize its nuclear deterrent, which
would cost only around five percent of
the total defense budget. But it needs
to begin this effort now to ensure that it
has a nuclear deterrent that can address
future challengesnot one designed for
a bygone age.
MIND THE GAP

Even the best strategy will fail if it is


not properly resourced, and the strategy
outlined here requires significantly
greater resources than what the Pentagon
is currently projecting will be made
available. Fortunately, there is bipartisan
support for restoring funding for defense
to levels called for by the budget Gates
proposed as secretary of defense for fiscal
year 2012. Doing so would go a long
way toward closing the gap between
the United States security needs and
its ability to meet them at a reasonable
level of risk.
Yet the rapid growth in entitlements
and projected increases in federal deficits
will likely impose political constraints
on defense spending. The Obama admin
istrations policies have produced an
anemic economic recovery while burden
ing future generations with evergreater
debt, thus accelerating the erosion of the
United States position. The next pres
ident must make restoring the countrys
economic foundation a priority. The
longterm solution lies in stimulating
economic growth, making tough choices
on entitlements, and revising the outdated

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33

7/15/2016 12:55:19 PM

Mac Thornberry and Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr.

tax code. Success on this front is far from


assured, and even if progress is made, it
will not reverse the countrys economic
fortunes overnight.
There are other ways to reduce the
gap between ends and means, but they
will take foresight and political courage.
One approach involves relying more
on the United States economic power.
Sanctions exerted substantial pressure
on Iran and North Korea, yet the last
three administrations abandoned them
in exchange for promises that proved
illusory. The United States economic
might is a poorly developed source of
power that, properly employed, can
impose substantial costs on rivals, even
to the point of compelling them to divert
resources from their military efforts.
Washington should also draw more
on U.S. allies military potential. Too
often, the Obama administration has
treated allies as impediments to its efforts
to accommodate U.S. adversaries, despite
the lack of evidence that they will some
how abandon their hostile aims. Working
with like-minded governments to craft
well-designed regional strategies would
help restore allies confidence in the
United States as a capable and reliable
partner. Better relationships would prove
especially valuable in the western Pacific,
where prospective partners must decide
whether to accommodate themselves
to an increasingly demanding China or
work with the United States.
Just as important, Washington needs
to clearly articulate its strategy, so that
allies know which military capabilities
will be contributing to common objec
tives. A clear strategy should also help
reduce the gap between ends and means
by giving the military precise instructions
about national priorities, removing
34

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

much of the uncertainty that plagues


defense planning. For too long, U.S.
military planners have lacked explicit
directions, resulting in the poor allo
cation of resources. As the saying goes,
If you dont know where youre going,
any road will take you there.
A clear strategy can realign forces in
ways that not only conserve resources
but also reduce the overall risk to security.
For example, South Korea has twice the
population of the North and over ten
times its gdp. Over time, it should be
possible for Seoul to assume a greater
share of the U.S.South Korean alliances
ground force requirements, freeing up
some U.S. ground forces for other
priority missions. Similarly, developing
new operational conceptsfor example,
one that enables an effective forward
defense of the first island chainwould
further refine the militarys under
standing of which forces and capabilities
would be most useful and which could
be cut at little risk. The result would
be the more efficient use of resources
and a more effective military.
The ability to field new capabilities
quickly should also cut costs for the
United States, in part by reducing the
practice of relying on immature tech
nologies, which leads to cost overruns
and production delays. If policymakers
set realistic requirements during the
acquisition process, the military could
field equipment more rapidly and
efficiently. Whats more, such a move
would impose costs on rivals, since the
uncertainty created by a fast timeline
would force them to prepare for a wider
range of possible U.S. military capabili
ties: they would need to either spread
their resources more thinly, reducing
the threat they posed, or increase their

Preserving Primacy

spending to counter capabilities that


Washington may never end up acquiring.
The Pentagon is enjoying some modest
success in this area in the form of the air
forces Rapid Capabilities Office, which
allows the air force to bypass the dysfunc
tional acquisition system in order to
procure new equipment and upgrade old
equipment more quickly. The navy has
followed suit, creating the Maritime
Accelerated Capabilities Office this year.
The long-term solution, however, is to
fundamentally reform the system itself.
TOUGH CHOICES

During the last eight years, as a result


of the Obama administrations ineffec
tive strategy, the United States has seen
its influence decline and the threats to
its interests grow. As Henry Kissinger
observed last year, The United States
has not faced a more diverse and complex
array of crises since the end of the Second
World War.
Given that the current challenges
are both greater in scale than and dif
ferent in form from those the United
States encountered only a short time
ago, increasing the resources devoted
to national security is necessary but not
sufficient. More of the same will not
do. The United States must develop
new military advantages, and do so
faster than its rivals.
None of this will be easy. During the
Cold War, the United States allocated
an average of over six percent of gdp
to defense in order to create the shield
behind which its prosperity grew to
unprecedented heights. Yet despite sizable
cuts in military spending, the countrys
financial standing has eroded substan
tially since the Great Recession, with
the federal government accumulating

debt at an unprecedented rate. To be


sure, there is room for greater efficiency
in how the U.S. government allocates
its defense dollars, but its financial woes
have little to do with military expendi
tures; the main culprits are the govern
ments rapidly increasing debt and the
expanding costs of entitlement programs.
Simply put, the United States is fast
approaching the time when its debt can no
longer be deferred to future generations.
Thus, it is on the domestic front
where the tough choices will have to
be made in order to defend the nations
security and economic well-being. As
President Dwight Eisenhower once
warned, Our system must remain
solvent, as we attempt a solution of
this great problem of security. Else we
have lost the battle from within that we
are trying to win from without.

September/October 2016

35

TOMORROWS MILITARY

Return to Table of Contents


mood. The mere avoidance of war no
longer sufficed. Describing an inter
national order shaped by the victory
of the United States over communism
and in the just-concluded war against
Iraq, the document identified oppor
A Pragmatic Military
tunities to shape the future security
Strategy
environment in ways favorable to [the
United States].
Shaping the futurehere was an
Andrew J. Bacevich
enterprise worthy of a superpower
charged with fulfilling historys purpose.
uring the Cold War, the United Lending such expectations a semblance
States preferred to husband,
of plausibility was an exalted appre
rather than expend, its military ciation of American military might.
power. The idea was not to fight but to
By the early 1990s, concepts such as
defend, deter, and contain, a cold peace defend and deter seemed faint-hearted,
infinitely preferable to nuclear cataclysm. if not altogether cowardly. One army
When U.S. policymakers strayed from
field manual from that era credited U.S.
this principle, attempting to unify the
forces with the ability to achieve quick,
Korean Peninsula in 1950 or deploying
decisive victory on and off the battle
combat troops to Vietnam in the 1960s, field anywhere in the world and under
the results proved unhappy in the extreme. virtually any conditions. Once considered
Husbanding did not imply timidity.
a blunt instrument, force was now to
To impart credibility to its strategy of
serve as an all-purpose chisel.
containment, the United States stationed
Rarely has a benign-sounding
substantial forces in Western Europe and proposition yielded greater mischief.
Northeast Asia. For allies unable to defend Pursuant to the imperative of shaping
themselves, U.S. garrisons offered reas
the future, military activism became the
surance, fostering an environment that
order of the day. Rather than adhere to
facilitated recovery and development.
a principled strategy, successive admin
Over time, regions deemed vulnerable
istrations succumbed to opportunism,
stabilized and prospered.
cultivating a to-do list of problems that
Beginning in the 1990s, however,
the United States was called on to solve.
official thinking regarding the utility
More often than not, the preferred
of force changed radically. The draft
solution involved the threat or actual
Defense Planning Guidance prepared in use of force.
1991 under the aegis of Paul Wolfowitz,
Putting the chisel to work gave rise to
then U.S. undersecretary of defense
a pattern of promiscuous intervention.
for policy, hinted at the emerging
After 9/11, confidence in the efficacy of
American military might reached its
ANDREW J. BACEVICH is Professor Emeritus
apotheosis. With his freedom agenda
of History and International Relations at Boston
providing ideological camouflage,
University and the author of Americas War for
the Greater Middle East: A Military History.
President George W. Bush embraced

Ending
Endless War

36

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Ending Endless War

preventive war, initially targeting an


axis of evil. U.S. military policy became
utterly unhinged.
So it remains today, with U.S. forces
more or less permanently engaged in
ongoing hostilities. In one theater after
another, fighting erupts, ebbs, flows,
and eventually meanders toward some
ambiguous conclusion, only to erupt
anew or be eclipsed by a new round
of fighting elsewhere. Nothing really
ends. Meanwhile, as if on autopilot, the
Pentagon accrues new obligations and
expands its global footprint, oblivious
to the possibility that in some parts of
the world, U.S. forces may no longer
be needed, whereas in others, their
presence may be detrimental. During
the Cold War, peace never seemed
anything but a distant prospect. Even
so, presidents from Harry Truman to
Ronald Reagan cited peace as the ulti
mate objective of U.S. policy. Today,
the term peace itself has all but
vanished from political discourse.
War has become a normal condition.
The next U.S. president will inherit
a host of pressing national security
challenges, from Russian provocations,
Chinese muscle-flexing, and North Korean
bad behavior to the disorder afflicting
much of the Islamic world. Americans
will expect Washington to respond to
each of these problems, along with
others as yet unforeseen. To a consider
able extent, the effectiveness of that
response will turn on whether the people
making decisions are able to distinguish
what the U.S. military can do, what it
cannot do, what it need not do, and what
it should not do.
As a prerequisite for restoring pru
dence and good sense to U.S. policy, the
next administration should promulgate

a new national security doctrine. In


doing so, it should act promptly, ideally
within the first 100 days, when presi
dential authority is least constrained
and before the day-to-day crush of crisis
management consumes the ability to
act proactively.
The central theme of that doctrine
should be pragmatism, with a sober
appreciation for recent miscalculations
providing the basis for future policy.
Before rushing ahead, take stock. After
all, in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere,
U.S. troops have made considerable
sacrifices. The Pentagon has expended
stupendous sums. Yet when it comes
to promised resultsdisorder curbed,
democracy promoted, human rights
advanced, terrorism suppressedthe
United States has precious little to show.
THE VALUE OF DOCTRINE

Ever since President George Washington


warned against foreign entanglements
in his Farewell Address, doctrines have
played a recurring role in guiding
American statecraft. In some instances,
they provide an orientation for future
action, specifying intentions and reorder
ing priorities. Such was the case with
the eponymous doctrine of Truman in
1947, which committed the United
States to assisting countries vulnerable
to communist subversion, and that of
President Jimmy Carter in 1980, which
designated the Persian Gulf as a vital
U.S. national security interest, adding
that region to the places Washington
considered worth fighting for and
thereby inaugurating the militarization
of U.S. policy in the Middle East.
The Bush Doctrine of 2002, which
announced that the United States
would no longer wait for threats to
September/October 2016

37

Andrew J. Bacevich

fully materialize before striking, also


falls in this category.
In other instances, doctrines aim to
curb tendencies that have proved harmful.
In 1969, tacitly acknowledging the
Vietnam-induced limits to presidential
freedom of action, President Richard
Nixon warned Asian allies to ratchet
down their expectations of U.S. assis
tance. Henceforth, Washington might
provide arms and advice, but not troops.
And in 1984, Reagans secretary of
defense, Caspar Weinberger, spelled
out strict requirements for intervening
abroad. Both the Nixon and the Wein
berger Doctrines sought to preclude
further U.S. involvement in unnecessary
and unwinnable wars.
Today, the United States needs a
doctrine that combines both functions.
At a minimum, a new national security
doctrine should codify and expand on
President Barack Obamas admirable, if
cryptic, dictum Dont do stupid stuff.
Beyond that, it should establish criteria
governing the use of force and clarify
the respective responsibilities of the
United States and U.S. allies.
Such criteria will not, of course, apply
always and everywhere. Nor should they
be expected to. The Ten Commandments
and the Sermon on the Mount do not
encompass every conceivable circum
stance, yet they remain useful guides
to human conduct. It is the absence of
appropriate guidelines that invites stupid
stuffas evidenced by the persistent
misapplication of U.S. military power
in recent years.
A new U.S. national security doctrine
should incorporate three fundamental
provisions: employ force only as a last
resort, fully engage the attention and
energies of the American people when
38

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

going to war, and enjoin U.S. allies


capable of providing for their own
security to do just that.
WAR AS A LAST RESORT

Back in 1983, Reagan assured Americans


and the world at large, The defense
policy of the United States is based on a
simple premise: The United States does
not start fights. We will never be an
aggressor. As was often the case with
the Gipper, words and actions aligned
only imperfectly, with U.S. military
intervention on behalf of Saddam
Husseins Iraq in its war of aggression
against Iran offering but one example.
Still, Reagan was right that the United
States would do well to avoid starting
fights. The next president should return
to that position, explicitly abrogating
the Bush Doctrine and permanently
renouncing preventive war. He or she
should restore defense and deterrence
as the principal mission of U.S. forces.
Strong legal and moral arguments
favor such a posture. Yet the principal
rationale for using force only as a last
resortand, even then, strictly for
defensive purposesis not to uphold
the rule of law or to abide by some
moral code. Rather, it is empirical.
When weighing pain against gain,
preventive war just doesnt pay.
PostCold War illusions about
employing violence to shape the inter
national order stemmed from specific
assumptions about changes in the nature
of war that had ostensibly endowed the
United States with something akin to
outright military supremacy. Thoroughly
tested in Afghanistan and Iraq, those
suppositions have proved utterly false.
Even in an era of big data, pilotless
aircraft, and long-range precision-guided

Ending Endless War

Battle fatigue: a U.S. marine in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, June 2011

S HAM I L Z H U MAT OV / R E U T E R S

weapons, the nature of war remains


fixed. Todays war managers, accessing
battlefield imagery fed directly into
their headquarters hundreds or thousands
of miles from the fight, are hardly better
informed than the chateau generals
of World War I, who peered at maps
depicting the western front and fancied
themselves in charge. War remains what
it has always been: an arena of chance
that is exceedingly difficult to predict
or control. As always, surprise abounds.
Along with prerogatives, power confers
choice. As the worlds most powerful
nation, the United States should choose
war only after having fully exhausted all
other alternatives and only when genuinely
vital interests are at stake. The point is
not to specify a fixed hierarchy of interests
and then to draw a line, everything above
which is worth fighting for and every
thing below which isnt. Thats a losing
game. Rather, the point is to restore a

bias in favor of restraint as an antidote to


the penchant for reckless or ill-considered
interventionism, which has cost the
United States dearly while reducing
places like Iraq and Libya to chaos. No
more ready, fire, aim. Instead, keep the
weapon oiled and loaded but holstered.
SHARING THE BURDEN

When the state does go to war, however,


so, too, should the nation. Since the end
of the Cold War, the prevailing practice
in the United States has been otherwise,
reflecting expectations that a superpower
should be able to wage distant campaigns
while life on the home front proceeds
unaffected. During the wars in Afghanistan
and Iraqthe longest in U.S. history
the vast majority of Americans heeded
Bushs post-9/11 urging to enjoy life,
the way we want it to be enjoyed. The
we-shop-while-they-fight contract implicit
in this arrangement has undermined
September/October 2016

39

Andrew J. Bacevich

U.S. military effectiveness and under


written political irresponsibility.
The next administration will inherit
a deeply flawed civil-military relationship
that dates back to the Vietnam War.
Nearly half a century ago, disenchant
ment with that conflict led Americans
to abandon the citizen-soldier tradition
that until then had formed the foundation
of the U.S. military system. By rescinding
their prior acceptance of conscription,
the American people effectively opted
out of war, which became the exclusive
purview of regularsthe standing army
that the founders had warned of.
As long as the United States confined
itself to small-scale contingencies, such
as invading Grenada or bombing Kosovo,
or to campaigns of limited duration,
such as the Gulf War of 199091, the
arrangement worked well enough. In
an era of long wars, however, its short
comings have become glaringly apparent.
When the invasions of Afghanistan
and Iraq produced twin quagmires, the
United States found itself requiring
more soldiers than war planners had
anticipated. Avenues that in the past
had enabled the country to field large
armiesin the nineteenth century,
summoning masses of volunteers to the
colors, and in the twentieth, relying on
the draftno longer existed. Although
today more than enough young men
and women are available for service,
few choose to sign up. Washingtons
appetite for war exceeds the willingness
of military-age Americans to fight (and
perhaps die) for their country.
To make up the difference, the state
has resorted to expedients. It subjects
the less than half a percent of Americans
who do serve to repeated combat tours.
It offers blandishments to foreign
40

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

governments in return for token troop


contributions. It hires contractors to
perform functions previously assigned
to soldiers. The results do not comport
with recognized standards of success or
even fairness. If winning implies achieving
stated political objectives, U.S. forces
dont win. If fairness in a democracy
implies shared sacrifice, then the
existing U.S. military system is unfair.
Meanwhile, a people substantively
disengaged from their military find that
they have precious little say as to how
that military is used. As senior officials
and senior commanders experiment
endlessly with ways of translating military
might into some approximation of a
desired outcome, flitting from shock
and awe to counterinsurgency to
counterterrorism to targeted assas
sination and so on, citizens awaken to
the fact that they have been consigned
to the status of onlookers.
Remedying this defective relation
ship will not be easy. A first step toward
doing so should be to require the people
to pay for the wars that the state under
takes in their name. When U.S. forces
go off to fight in some foreign land, taxes
should increase accordingly, ending the
disgraceful practice of saddling future
generations of ordinary Americans with
debts piled up by present-day members
of the national security elite. Should
the next president decide that deter
mining the outcome of the Syrian civil
war or preserving the territorial integrity
of Ukraine requires large-scale U.S.
military action, then Americans collec
tively should pony up to cover the costs.
A second step follows from the first:
confer on Americans as a whole the
responsibility for fighting wars that
exceed the capacity of regular forces.

2016-Sept-Oct-FA-Wurst-UN_Foreign Affairs 6/27/16 3:14 PM Page 1

How to do this? While still filling the


ranks of activeduty forces with self
selected volunteers, back up those
regulars with reserves that mirror
American society in terms of race,
gender, ethnicity, region, and, above
all, class.
Of course, the only way to create a
military reserve that looks like the United
States is to empower the state to require
involuntary service. The trick is to make
that empowerment politically palatable.
In that regard, narrowly defining the
states authority will be essential, as will
ensuring that, as implemented, conscrip
tion is equitable and inclusive: no exemp
tions for the welltodo.
This twotiered formulaa standing
army of volunteer professionals backed
by conscriptionbased reserveswould
require reallocating responsibilities.
Small policing actions or brief punitive
campaigns would remain the exclusive
purview of regulars. For anything larger
or more protracted, mobilizing the more
numerous citizen reserves would give
the population as a whole an immediate
stake in an ongoing conflict, Washingtons
war thereby becoming the peoples war.
Of course, history offers few assur
ances that small wars stay small or that
campaigns designed to be brief keep to
schedule. In war, all slopes are slippery.
An appreciation of that fact might
incentivize Americans who are subject
to being called up (and their families)
to pay attention to how Washington
employs its regulars in the first place.
To be sure, funding wars on a payas
yougo basis and creating conscription
based reserves would require enabling
legislation. It is doubtful that todays
Congress possesses the requisite political
courage to enact it. Still, there is value

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41

Andrew J. Bacevich

in articulating essential principles.


This the next administration should do,
initiating a long-overdue reassessment
of a broken military system.
CUTTING ALLIES LOOSE

The final piece of a new U.S. military


doctrine should be to put an end to
free-riding. American responsibility for
defending others should extend only to
friends and allies unable to defend
themselves. The core issue here is not
one of affordability, although one may
wonder why U.S. taxpayers and soldiers
should shoulder burdens that others are
capable of shouldering. Rather, it is one
of ultimate strategic purpose.
Exercising global leadership is not an
end in itself but a means to an end. Its
purpose is not to accumulate clients and
dependencies or to justify the existence
of a massive national security apparatus.
It is (or should be) to nurture a commu
nity of like-minded nations willing and
able to stand on their own. Sooner or
later, every parent learns that there comes
a time to let go. That lesson is no less
applicable to statecraft.
Europe offers a case in point. No
where is free-riding more pronounced
and less justified. In the immediate
aftermath of World War II, the battered
democracies of Western Europe did
need U.S. protection. Today, no more.
For Europeans, the dangers that made
the twentieth century such a trial have
all but vanished. Those that remain are
eminently manageable.
With the good news come fresh
complications, of course. Chief among
them is the challenge of securing a vastly
expanded perimeter now encompassing
over two dozen nominally united, but
still largely sovereign, nation-states. In
42

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

practice, threats to that perimeter are


coming from two directions. From the
south, waves of desperate refugees are
arriving on European shores. To the
east lies Russia, nursing grudges. The
United States has rightly refrained from
assuming responsibility for Europes
refugee crisis. So, too, should it refrain
from assuming responsibility for Europes
Russia problem.
Understandably, when it comes to
Russia, Europeans are only too happy
to resurrect a division of labor dating
from the onset of the Cold War, when
it fell to the United States to carry most
of the load. Yet todays Russia hardly
compares to the Soviet Union of yester
year. More thug than totalitarian, Vladimir
Putin is not Joseph Stalin reborn. The
Kremlins roster of client states begins
and pretty much ends with Bashar alAssads Syria, not exactly an asset.
When Obama disparaged Russia as a
mere regional power after it annexed
Crimea, the appraisal stung because it
hit the mark. Apart from having stockpiles
of essentially useless nuclear weapons,
Russia lags far behind Europe in most
relevant measures of power. Its popu
lation is less than one-third that of the
European Union. Its economy, heavily
dependent on commodity exports, is
one-ninth the size of Europes.
Should it choose to do so, Europe
even after the British vote to leave the
euis fully capable of defending its
eastern flank. The next administration
should nudge Europeans toward making
that choicenot by precipitously with
drawing U.S. security guarantees but
through a phased and deliberate devo
lution of responsibility. The sequence
might go as follows: Begin by ending
the practice of always having an

Ending Endless War

American serve as the supreme allied


commander in Europe; natos next
military commander should be a Euro
pean officer. Then, establish a schedule
for shutting down the major U.S. military
headquarters in such places as Frankfurt
and Stuttgart. Next, specify a date
certain for terminating U.S. member
ship in nato and withdrawing the last
U.S. troops from Europe.
When should Washington actually cut
the transatlantic umbilical cord? Allowing
ample time for European publics to
adjust to their new responsibilities, for
European parliaments to allocate the
necessary resources, and for European
armies to reorganize, 2025 sounds about
right. That year will mark the 80th
anniversary of the victory in World
War IIan eminently suitable occasion
for Washington to declare mission
accomplished. But to get things rolling,
the next administrations message to
Europe should be clear from day one:
ready your defenses; were going home.
A drawdown in Europe should mark
just the beginning of an effort to over
haul the Pentagons global posture,
which today finds the U.S. military
maintaining an active presence in some
150 countries. In that regard, the new
administration should revisit prevailing
assumptions regarding the supposed
benefits of scattering U.S. troops across
the planet. Costs and benefits, rather
than habit or dogma or (worst of all)
domestic politics, should determine
where the U.S. military goes and what
it does when it gets there. Where the
forward deployment of U.S. forces
contributes to stabilityas is arguably
the case in East Asiathe next admin
istration should affirm that presence.
Yet where the evidence suggests that

U.S. troops have become redundant or


where U.S. military efforts show little
or no signs of succeeding, it should
reduce, reconfigure, or terminate that
presence altogether.
Call it the corollary to Obamas
stupid stuff rule. When what you are
doing isnt needed (for example, U.S.
Southern Command standing ready
to conduct joint and combined fullspectrum military operations across the
length and breadth of South America),
ring down the curtain. When ongoing
efforts, such as the never-ending war on
terrorism, show few signs of progress,
consider alternatives. Thats not isola
tionism. Its common sense.
What are the programmatic impli
cations of maintaining a more modest
overseas presence and curbing Wash
ingtons penchant for interventionism?
The Asia-Pacific would absorb greater
U.S. military attention, a trend that
would find ground forces as currently
configured particularly hard-pressed to
justify their existence. The active-duty
U.S. Army is already shrinking; it would
grow smaller still. As U.S. forces pulled
out of Europe and as the failure of U.S.
military efforts to pacify the Middle East
became ever more evident, opportunities
to trim the Pentagons overall spending
would present themselves. Here, too, pru
dence dictates an incremental approach.
Currently, the United States lavishes more
on its armed forces than do the countries
with the next seven most generously
endowed militaries combined. Pegging
the Pentagon budget to merely the size
of the next six offers a good place to
start and would free up some $40 billion
per year. The prospect of reallocating
that tidy sum should excite the interest
of liberals and conservatives alike.
September/October 2016

43

Andrew J. Bacevich

Yet such a cut, obliging the Pentagon


to get by with a mere half-trillion dollars
per year, would still leave the United
States with easily the strongest military
on the planet. The competition to ensure
that it remains the strongest would pit
the worlds best navy against the worlds
best air force, a race that should spur
innovation. Goodbye, carrier battle
groups and piloted aircraft. Hello to a
new generation of weapons that are
more precise, more lethal, and more
survivableand better suited to a
strategy of defense and deterrence.
A TIME TO CHANGE

Come November, America First may


reemerge as a central theme of U.S.
policy. Once thought to have been
permanently discredited by the events
of World War II, the phrase is today
making a comeback, with Donald Trump,
the Republican presidential candidate,
employing it to signal his own predis
position when it comes to foreign
affairs. Depending on how officials
interpret that sentiment, the American
people and the world at large may
welcome or deplore its revival.
Yet whoever wins the election and
whatever proclivities he or she brings
to office, it will be incumbent on the
next administration to undertake a
critical appraisal of the countrys recent
military disappointments. Formulating
a new national security doctrine offers
an essential step toward fulfilling that
solemn duty, but only a preliminary
one: the implications of such a doctrine
will take years to play out.
In the meantime, proponents of the
status quo will mount a fierce counter
attack. Die-hard interventionists will
insist that adversaries are likely to
44

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

misread self-restraint as weakness.


Reflexively opposing anything that
might jeopardize the Pentagons spending,
beneficiaries of the military-industrial
complex will argue for redoubling efforts
to achieve permanent military domi
nance. Leaders of the armed services,
for their part, will remain preoccupied
with protecting their turf and their
share of the budget.
All will argue that safety lies in
doing more and trying harder, leaving
intact inclinations that have warped
U.S. policy since the end of the Cold
War. In all likelihood, however, more of
the same will only make matters worse,
at considerable cost to Americans and
to others.

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Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6


The Thunderbird Difference

Allen J. Morrison

UC San Diego, School of Global Policy and Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7


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Advanced International Studies in the Capital of Europe with World Leading
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University of Denver, Josef Korbel School of International Studies .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Ideas with Impact: Policy-Relevant Research in Action

Deborah Avant

University of Washington, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10


Engaging the New World of International Affairs Stakeholders

Jennifer Butte-Dahl

Texas A&M University, The Bush School of Government and Public Service .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

12

Understanding and Dealing with Global Change

Raymond Robertson

Ritsumeikan University, Graduate School of International Relations .

The Best University to See the Changing International Relations of the Asian Pacific Firsthand

Masahisa Koyama

Boston University, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

13

Adapting to a Changing Global Landscape at the Fredrick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University

Bob Loftis

National University of Singapore (NUS), Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Preparing for the Asian Century

Kishore Mahbubani

Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15


Create Your Own Path to Global Leadership

Allison Cordell

SPONSORED SECTION

Syracuse University, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16


The Power of a Skills-and-Scholarship Mix

David M. Van Slyke

The Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17


Sparking Innovation in Energy

Allison Archambault

Sciences Po, Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

18

Study to Know, Know to Understand, Understand to Act.

Enrico Letta

University of Minnesota, Humphrey School of Public Affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19


Training Future Leaders to Advance the Common Good in a Diverse and Changing World

Eric Schwartz

NYU School of Professional Studies, Center for Global Affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20


Transnational Security: Examining Today's Risks and Tomorrow's Emerging Threats in a Strategic Context

Mary Beth Altier

Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, Vienna School of International Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21


Vicissitude and Permanence in Face of a Changing Global Landscape

Markus Kornprobst

The University of Texas at Austin, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

22

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23

Preparing Modern Policy Entrepreneurs for the World Arena

Angela Evans

Central European University, School of Public Policy .

Offering a Global Learning Environment at the Frontier of Pressing Public Policy Debates

Wolfgang Reinicke

Stanford University, Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies (IPS) .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

24

The Intersection of Global Policy and Innovation

Kathryn Stoner

Seton Hall University, School of Diplomacy and International Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25


Finding Pathways to Peace

Andrea Bartoli

The Fletcher School at Tufts University . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26


To the White House and Back: Bringing National Security Experience to the Classroom

Michele L. Malvesti

European University at St. Petersburg, International Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27


Focus on Eurasia

Ivan Kurilla

Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

SPONSORED SECTION

Joel S. Hellman

Dean
Walsh School of Foreign Service
Georgetown University

SFS: Approaching
100 Years of Service
to the World
How does SFS prepare graduate students for
changes around the world?
The SFS Centennial is quickly approaching in 2019, and
we have been thinking deeply about how to update our
approach for the 100 years ahead. Some things remain
the same, even as international concerns have shifted
from maritime trade to issues like global warming and
terrorism. As ever, SFS offers an intensive graduate education, delivered by faculty who are both top scholars
and, due to Georgetowns ideal location in Washington,
D.C., engaged practitioners with personal experience
facing complex problems. At SFS, students get to
deepen their understanding of key global issues from a
multi-disciplinary perspective and to put into practice
what they are learning through internships and direct
engagement with decision-makers and practitioners.

How is the 100 year history of SFS relevant to


todays graduate students?
Georgetown Universitys Walsh School of Foreign
Service was established in 1919, immediately after
the First World War, because of the need to adjust to
a changing world. It was the first school of international
affairs in the United States, predating the creation of
the U.S. State Department Foreign Service. The School
drew its name, rather, from the broader idea behind its
founding: building peace through a better understanding
of the world and a desire to serve the rapidly changing
global landscape. This early vision prepared students
for challenges in both the private sector and the public
sector. A passion for service, then and now, is central
to the identity and mission of our school.

What are the unique strengths of the SFS


graduate program?
SFS offers eight different masters programs, from our
thematic programs in international affairs and diplomacy, global human development, and security studies
to five regionally focused programs. This means that
at SFS, students get the best of both worlds: smaller,
intensive cohorts of like-minded students and faculty
working on particular topics housed within a larger
graduate school with the convening power to bring in
the most influential figures in international affairs. We
are constantly evolving. We have added new initiatives
to strengthen our engagement with China and India.
We have launched a new Executive Masters Program
together with the McDonough School of Business to
look at the interactions between international politics
and global business. We are expanding the graduate
offerings of our innovative Science, Technology and
International Affairs program.

How will the Centennial benefit the graduate


program at SFS?
The Centennial is, of course, an opportunity to rethink
what and how we teach, but also to ask the SFS community to reinvest in what has made us the top-ranked
graduate program in international affairs. We will
be reaching out to our network of alumniwho are
leaders in government, diplomacy, private industry,
humanitarian relief, and multilateral organizations
across the worldto ask them to provide even more
opportunities for our students and graduates. In the
years approaching the Centennial, we will engage an
extraordinary range of leaders to come to SFS to work
with students and celebrate this remarkable milestone.

sfs.georgetown.edu | sfscontact@georgetown.edu | 202.687.5696

SPONSORED SECTION

Professor Lyuba Zarsky


Joint MBA & MA in International Environmental Policy
Middlebury Institute of International Studies
at Monterey

Theres Nothing
Traditional About an
Internationally Focused
Graduate Degree from
the Middlebury Institute
As the pace of global change continues to accelerate,
how important is it for international professionals to nurture skills and capacities that move
beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries?
Global problems and solutions are remarkably similar in
their underlying economic, political, and organizational
structure. They are multifaceted problems that require
interdisciplinary research to understand them, and
multisector collaborations to nudge them in positive
directions. To work effectively in a global context, professionals must cultivate both broad and deep disciplinary
knowledge, as well as hard and soft analytical and
communication skills. Given economic globalization,
international professionals must also be familiar with the
basics of global markets and the global political economy.
In some fields, such as sustainability management and
international education management, the demand for
savvy international professionals is propelling whole
new disciplines, creating a blend of traditional business,
finance, science, policy, and management studies.

What advice do you have for the aspiring


international professional who wants to make a
difference? What tools will this student need to
have an impact in their field in the years ahead?
Three sets of tools are key. The first is collaboration and
cooperation. Professionals in, for example, the impact
investing field, must continually hone their capacity
to work with, listen to, learn from, and negotiate with
people from a range of professional, cultural, and
socioeconomic backgrounds. Language and intercultural
competence can be especially useful, as can studies in

the analytics of governing common resource spaces.


Second is a spirit of entrepreneurship: proactive innovation, creative problem solving, flexibility,
and adaptation. Many young professionals want to
establish their own businesses or organizations, while
others work in large companies and government and
intergovernmental agencies. All are seeking new
solutions to deepening problems. Development and
environmental organizations are also increasingly
seeking new business models to deliver sustained
social benefits. Entrepreneurial innovation is essential.
Third is steely commitment: a capacity and willingness to treat obstacles as learning opportunities.
Cross-cutting interdisciplinary knowledge enables
professionals to more effectively search for and manage
technical, analytical, and organizational solutions.

How should graduate programs adapt to ensure


they remain both fundamentally sound and relevant in addressing emerging global challenges?
One effective adaptation weve embraced at the
Middlebury Institute is to create opportunities for
students to merge traditional disciplines through joint
degree programsfor example, combining an MBA
with an environmental science or policy degree. More
than a green MBA, this type of joint degree program
equips students with traditional and emerging business
skills as well as breadth and depth in the economic
and scientific challenges of global resource management. Another adaptation is to provide structured and
supervised opportunities for students to apply academic
concepts in real-world, on-the-job contexts. Whether
working as consultants for clients, developing their own
businesses, or conducting publishable field research,
students encounter actual global challengesand
the practical, day-to-day solutions that they demand.
These immersive learning opportunities, combined with
skillful mentoring by both professional and academic
supervisors, often create a natural bridge to professional positions after graduation.

www.miis.edu | info@miis.edu | 831.647.4166

SPONSORED SECTION

Allen J. Morrison

CEO and Director General


Thunderbird School of Global Management

The Thunderbird
Difference
What do students need to prepare for careers in
todays rapidly changing world?
We embrace volatility and uncertainty at Thunderbird
and our promise since coming into being in the years
following World War II has always been to prepare our
students to be leaders in environments of ambiguity.
Dealing with change, uncertainty, and the unexpected
is at the core of what we teach at Thunderbird.
One of the challenges for students today, for
anyone who wants to boost his or her opportunities
in an international career, is finding a way to stand out.
How can you differentiate yourself, find your niche, and
achieve your ambitions?
In looking at a career in global management, by
definition you are looking for something different.
Thats what Thunderbird provides - starting with two
degrees that are specialized, the Master of Global
Management and the Master of Arts in Global Affairs
& Management, and that also includes our top-ranked
programs for executive education.
From the people with whom you study, to the faculty
from whom you learn, to the global settings in which
experiential learning happens, a Thunderbird experience is different from what you can get anywhere else.
We invite you to ask our alumni and judge for yourself.

What has the school done to adjust to the new


challenges in the global marketplace?

We focus on attracting people who give the school


its signature diversity. At every level of the school, it
gives us the tools to take on new challenges that emerge
in business, government, and cultures around the world.
Our degree offerings also reflect Thunderbirds
response to an evolving world economy.

Are Thunderbirds new specialized masters


degrees a response to changes in business?
In many ways, yesbut it also is a return to what
Thunderbird did for decades and the degree that built
the schools reputation. What Thunderbird offers today
is a degree that reflects the needs of an uncertain and
volatile global marketplace that is changing faster
than ever.
When Thunderbird merged with Arizona State
University in 2014, the decision was made to return
to offering the degree that established Thunderbirds
global reputation, the Master of Global Management.
A joint MBA-MGM degree is available in partnership
with ASU.
In a marketplace for talent that is now well-stocked
with MBA graduates, multinational corporations,
export/import businesses, government and NGOs
are all eager to explore opportunities with graduate
students who offer something differentthis is what a
Thunderbird experience and degree have always offered.
Today, more than ever, we believe that it is much
more than a piece of paper demonstrating academic
achievement. Our students and alumni will tell you that
the cross-cultural, hands-on, practical global experience
that happens at Thunderbird is life changingand it
is something that will only happen here.

Thunderbird has always been an innovator driven by


the people it attractsa diverse group of students,
faculty and staff who operate in a collaborative environment shaped by a shared mission. T-birds swear
to an oath when they graduate, one that was created
by Thunderbird students and focuses on being ethical
agents of change.

www.thunderbird.asu.edu | admissions.tbird@asu.edu
602.978.7100 or 800.457.6966 (US)

SPONSORED SECTION

Victor Shih

Associate Professor
School of Global Policy and Strategy
UC San Diego

Asia Expertise:
Uniting Students &
Faculty

political outcomes can use it. It would be great to have


students work on the data. And for students interested
in Chinese politics, its a great way to apply methods
they learn in class to something that can be rewarding.

At the School of Global Policy and Strategy,


you successfully debated the Chinese economy
would be in crisisand you did it with
International Affairs and Public Policy masters
students. Why is it valuable to work closely
with students?

The density of exchanges between UC San Diego and


academia in China is impressive. For that, we must
thank our 21st Century China Program. Additionally,
we have a close relationship with Fudan University
through the Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary
China, also based at the School of Global Policy and
Strategy. We are now well known in China as a premier place to exchange ideas on economic policies
and political economy.

I learned a lot about the financial industry when I


worked for The Carlyle Group before UC San Diego,
and Im grateful to be able to pass that knowledge
onto students. It was a pleasure to collaborate with
the students on the debate, and I learned a great deal
from them. At the same time, its important to provide
opportunities for them to challenge themselves in a
substantively interesting way. We had a lot of fun.

Youve created a niche with some of your


research, connecting the effects of elite politics
on financial policy in China. What are some of
your key findings?
For some reason, the literature on financial policies
and outcomes assumed that institutional factors drove
the outcomes. But when I talked to bankers in China,
everyone told me that banking policies were highly
politicized. Its a good niche because very few people
think about the connections. Now most people know
that politics is in command in banking policies in China.

UC San Diego sits at the cusp, if you will, of


Asiaties are closer than we think. How is
teaching here helpful to your work?

Explain about the power of the new degree


being offered, the Master of Chinese Economic
and Political Affairs. Whats the importance of
offering this degree?
Given our all-encompassing strength on China studies,
we can offer students a comprehensive and in-depth
curriculum on many different aspects of China. Our
coverage of China is better than some of the more
traditional powerhouses of China studies. At the
same time, we also offer a rigorous quantitative focus
and courses on general public policies, international
relations, and international political economy. I firmly
believe that the School of Global Policy and Strategy
is the best place in the world to get a masters degree
on China studies.

Your quantitative database on Chinese elite


politicians has recently been expanded. What is
its potential for students in the classroom?
We have made a huge amount of progress on the database, and anyone interested in the effect of networks on

gps.ucsd.edu | gps-apply@ucsd.edu | 858.534.5914

SPONSORED SECTION

Dr. Tom Casier

Academic Director
Brussels School of International Studies
University of Kent

Advanced International
Studies in the Capital
of Europe with World
Leading Academics
and Experienced
Practitioners
What makes BSIS different from comparable
institutions offering advanced postgraduate
teaching?
While being an integral part of the University of Kent, a
top 20 UK university, we give students an opportunity
to study international affairs in a city where key decisions are made on a daily basis, be it on the refugee
crisis or the deployment of troops on NATOs eastern
borders. Students have the opportunity to specialize in two subjects within their degreean MA in
International Migration with Human Rights Law, for
example. Although our focus is on international studies,
we link back to how this integrates with the EU and the
EUs relationship with the outside world e.g. through
our degree in EU External Relations.

How does your teaching adapt to the


changing world?
Our teaching is developed and enhanced annually by
the introduction of new modules which integrate the
specialist knowledge of our academic staff with the
changing world order. For instance, this year we are
introducing new modules in African politics and Middle
Eastern politics. This will enhance our curriculum in
many of our MA degrees, particularly Conflict and
Development.

We are also introducing a new secondary specialization in Foreign Policy, which will complement all of
our degrees and allow students the opportunity to link
their chosen specialization to theory and give a greater
breadth of study within contemporary themes. Due to
the nature of the subject, our curriculum is constantly
evaluated and developed to reflect the rapidly changing
world of international relations.

Are internships integral to your degrees?


Our focus is academic; but by being in Brussels and
exposing students to the wealth of opportunity in the
city, internships can enhance the learning experience.
There are many exciting experiences for students within
NGOs, think-tanks or larger organizations such as the
European Parliament. Its also important to factor in
the huge number of seminars, conferences, public
lectures and guest speakers that occur on a daily
basisstudents are spoiled for choice.
Achieving a balance between the theoretical and the
practical is at the heart of what we do. One example is
our module on Negotiation and Mediation; in order to
solve international conflicts, the combination of theory
and practice is essential, and this module blends these
two to equip students with these skills. EU Migration
Law is another module which provides students with a
sound grounding in the law governing regular migration
within the European Union, as well as an opportunity
to undertake an internship at the EU Rights Clinic and
put their theoretical knowledge to use.

How does this prepare students for life after BSIS?


The exposure to the world of international studies in a
city like Brussels is what really sets our School apart.
Our links within the field mean that students are able
to network with influential players which in turn leads
to job opportunities not only in Brussels but also further
afield. We present students with the necessary skills
to make a career in international affairs a possibility.

www.kent.ac.uk/brussels | bsis@kent.ac.uk | +32 2.641.1721

SPONSORED SECTION

Dr. Deborah Avant

Si Chou-Kang Chair and Director, Si Chou-Kang


Center for International Security and Diplomacy
Josef Korbel School of International Studies
University of Denver

Ideas with Impact:


Policy-Relevant
Research in Action
What is unique about the research conducted at
the Si Center?
The Si Center at the Josef Korbel School of
International Studies fosters research to advance global
peace and security that is innovative in many ways.
Our efforts focus on emerging security challenges. As
the twenty-first century unfolds, international armed
conflict is on the decline, while other forms of organized
and interpersonal violence have spread. Our research
provides rigorous analysis of this violence and the various ways and groups that affect it, all with an aim to
enable better governance and foster peace.
Our research is connected with the wider world.
We engage cooperatively and respectfully with the
range of ideas, approaches, and actors in the broader
global politics arena. We actively involve policymakers,
practitioners, and the publicfrom identifying research
questions to translating findings into meaningful contributions to the public discourse.
A significant part of our research is collaborative; we
have projects that include all eight of our full-time faculty. Three staff members, three postdoctoral scholars,
and more than 35 MA and PhD research assistants also
work on various initiatives at the Center. We are proud
to be a team that is driven to improve lives through
path-breaking, rigorous, and practice-oriented research
on mitigating and promoting alternatives to violence.

nonviolent strategies that are used by non-state actors


affect violence in armed conflict. Our collaboration
with diverse groups opens channels of communication,
allows for real-time responses to policy inquires, and
facilitates dynamic programmatic changes that respond
to rapid shifts in global politics.
In another important research project, the Center
partners with research institutes in Norway, South
Africa, and Nepal for a global effort to study how international norms and local dynamics combine to create
innovations in peacebuilding. We also have ongoing
data collection projects on nonviolent and violent
campaigns and outcomes (NAVCO), social conflict
(SCAD), corporations and human rights (CHRD),
private security (PSM), and womens participation in
protests (MicroMob).

How are students involved in the Si Centers


activities?
Students are an integral part of our team. The Si
Fellowship program was established when the Center
was founded. Each year, the program selects 10
leadership-bound MA students as Si Fellows. They
receive a free-tuition scholarship to the Josef Korbel
School, have the chance to conduct research with
faculty, and take advantage of a host of other mentoring, ethics training, cohort building and networking
opportunities. Si Fellows emerge from the program
as budding global leaders.
Faculty regularly co-author with their students
and co-present with them at major academic conferences. PhD students serve, with the managing editor,
as the production team for the newest ISA journal:
the Journal of Global Security Studies (JoGSS), which is
edited at the Center.

What are some of the new research initiatives


at the Sie Center?
The Si Center was one of five research institutes to
receive a $1 million, two-year grant from the Carnegie
Corporation of New York in 2014 as part of its efforts
to inform critical global issues with accessible expert
analysis. Our project seeks to understand how different

www.du.edu/korbel | korbeladm@du.edu | 303.871.2544

SPONSORED SECTION

Jennifer Butte-Dahl

Director
Master of Arts in Applied International Studies
Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies
University of Washington

Engaging the New


World of International
Affairs Stakeholders
What distinguishes your masters in applied
international studies (MAAIS)?
Our mid-career program is designed for professionals
looking to broaden their global perspective and more
effectively engage with governments, international
and nongovernmental organizations, foundations, and
companies to tackle critical global challenges. We
leverage the deep area expertise of the 107-year old
Jackson School of International Studies, as well as the
innovation and global engagement of stakeholders in
and around Seattle, to curate a curriculum that is both
relevant and distinct. Our faculty dive into the political, social, economic, historical and cultural drivers of
international policy and decision-making. Courses cover
the making of the modern world, views from the global
south, international legal foundations, technology trends,
energy and the environment, religion and politics, international migration, and much more. Students graduate
with a nuanced understanding of how the world works,
practical skills applicable to all international affairs sectors, and powerful professional connections.

Why is a multidisciplinary approach to international affairs important?


The international affairs arena is changing, reflecting
economic, political, and societal influences at work
in the world at large. Diplomats are no longer the
sole representatives of their nation abroad. There
is an expanding community of stakeholders outside
of government now engaged in finding solutions to
pressing global issues. To be effective, international
affairs leaders need to understand what is happening
outside of their industries and organizations at the
intersections of government, the military, business and

civil society. The MAAIS curriculum gives students a


solid understanding of this rapidly changing world and
a multidisciplinary perspective on the pressing challenges facing international affairs practitioners today.

Why study in Seattle?


The city of Seattle is a thriving center of business and
culture strategically located on the Pacific Rim, with
deep historical ties to Asia. The joint ports of Seattle
and Tacoma represent the third-largest port system in
North America, and Washington State is a top trading
partner for countries around the world. Our region is
also home to major multinational actors, including
Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks, as well
as influential philanthropic organizations such as the
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private
foundation in the world. The area boasts a robust nonprofit community, including the headquarters of PATH
and World Vision, and a strong military presence that
includes the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.
A distinct MAAIS feature is the Civic Council, made
up of corporate, nongovernmental, political and security sector figures from companies and organizations
directly influencing global policy and decision-making.
Civic Council members bring their expertise and diverse
perspectives to the MAAIS program through special
lectures, field visits, simulations and client projects. This
collaboration offers significant networking opportunities and helps our students stay current and develop
valuable skills.

Who should apply?


The MAAIS program is designed to meet the needs
of global mid-career professionals. We offer two
options: a full time 10-month program and a part
time two-year program. Prospective students hold a
bachelors degree and have a minimum of five years
of professional experience.

appliedinternationalstudies.uw.edu | maais@uw.edu | 206.221.8577

10

SPONSORED SECTION

Dr. Raymond Robertson

Professor and Helen and Roy Ryu


Chair in Economics and Government
The Bush School of Government and Public Service
Texas A&M University

Understanding and
Dealing with Global
Change
The Bush School opened its doors on the Texas A&M
University campus in 1997. The Universitys service and
leadership ideals, which reflect those of our namesake,
George H.W. Bush, are a guiding force in our instruction. We offer a high-quality and affordable education
for those who desire careers in public service and
international affairs.

How does the Bush School help students


understand the changing global landscape?
The Bush School offers an extensive curriculum that
prepares students for an array of careers in international fields. In my own specialization of international
development and economic policy, we offer courses
in international economic development, international
trade, gender, famines, field research methods, state
building and state failure, and the economic development of China, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin
America. The School also has an extensive curriculum
in our national security and diplomacy track, including courses covering international relations theories,
intelligence, civil wars, American foreign policy and
diplomacy, as well as critical regional areas.
Understanding global change requires studying
the reality of policy implementation and the theory
behind it. A number of our faculty have had outstanding careers in government, including a former director
of the U.S. Agency for International Development,
a former U.S. ambassador, and a former CIA chief
of counter-intelligence. Academic faculty include
Fulbright Scholars, recipients of major international
grants, and authors publishing in the most prestigious
and influential presses and journals.
We emphasize skills, substance, and theory in our
teaching. Our premiere hands-on research experience
is a capstone project where student teams work for

a professional client. Clients have included the World


Bank, USAID, the United Nations Development Program,
CYBERCOM, the State Department, and the CIA.

How have Bush School graduates been doing in


the job market?
The Bush School employs faculty and career services
staff who are connected and resourceful. They assist
students with their internship and employment
searches, empowering them with contacts and
guidance. Students pursue career options in federal
agencies and government contractors, local and state
government, corporate and nonprofit organizations,
think tanks, and international organizations. And they
consistently gain employment in relevant fields at a
rate of 85% or higher within six months of graduation.

What attracted you to the Bush School?


The combination of talented academics and accomplished practitioners was attractive, as was Texas
A&Ms global reach. And there is a phenomenal
culture of academic and professional excellence that
makes each day exciting. Im teaching small classes
with opportunities for interaction inside and outside
the classroom, and the School continues to expand its
opportunities for both students and faculty. There is
incredible support for research and high expectations
for students and faculty alike, creating a challenging
and rewarding environment. The Bush School is a great
place to work and learn.
I was also impressed that students receive a quality
education at a reasonable cost. Our tuition/fees are
among the lowest of APSIA schools (under $12,000
per year before scholarship) and all students earn
merit aid. I enjoy being part of a school that offers its
students unlimited potential without burdening them
with substantial debt.

bush.tamu.edu | bushschooladmissions@tamu.edu | 979.862.3476

11

SPONSORED SECTION

Masahisa Koyama

Dean and Professor


Graduate School of International Relations
Ritsumeikan University

The Best University to See


the Changing International
Relations of the Asian
Pacific Firsthand
How is your curriculum adapting to the changes
in the world and preparing for the future?
In looking at Asian region, the Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (ASEAN) has sustained high economic
growth under the political stability, peaceful relations,
and economically developed and emerging power, China.
Being held in spotlight, however, faces issues of territorial
disputes and middle income trap caused by an aging society. Japan is also not immune to these growing concerns.
In this dynamic change seen in Asia and the globalized world, our Graduate School of International Relations
(GSIR) has strengthened our research and educational
capacity by launching the Global Cooperation Program
(GCP, English-based) and the Global and Japanese
Perspectives Program (GJP, English and Japanese mixed)
to attract international students who are interested in
international politics and economics, as well as cultural
studies from Asian and Japanese perspectives.
We enrich our teaching staff by recruiting foreign
scholars and experienced practitioners in the fields
of diplomacy, development finance, and journalism.
The newly launched Professional Training course
aims at supporting foreign students to understand
Japanese ways of economic development, politics and
diplomacy, business management, and culture and
traditions through seminars and field visits. Another
course named Development Strategies focuses on
a progressed ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) as
a regional economic integration mode, and discusses
the economic and political interdependency among
ASEAN, China, and Japan. The curricula is conducted
by Dean Koyama who has rich expertize of development finance and wants to provide an academic forum
which enhances interaction between international and
Japanese students. We have constructed an academic

foundation focused on an emerging Asian economy


interlinked with Japan and China.

How is your institution keeping competitive in


the face of new challenges?
Kyoto, Japan has geographical features attracting students from the world. Kyoto is a rich culture with many
World Heritage sites. Japan is considered a peaceful
and safe country. And Asia is an emerging region,
politically and economically. Two-thirds of students
and one-fourth of faculty are not Japanese, which
shows that our GSIR at Ritsumeikan Univeresity is a
highly globalized academic institute in Japan. Students
could learn International Relations and multidisciplinary
courses under in a learning environment of peace,
freedom and innovation.
The second advantage of GSIR is that we offer a
Dual Masters Degree Program (DMDP with American
University SIS, for example) and many internship
opportunities such as UN Volunteer in Bonn for qualified
students; they aim at enhancing students international
mobility to acquire a diversified way of thinking and
more professional skills. These experiences could
contribute to nourish global citizenship for student
pursuing an international career.
Lastly, we offer a world-class education and research
opportunity to work alongside a distinguished academic
staff that includes diversified practitioners with rich field
experiences. We assign students to the most relevant
academic supervisor in line with their research topic.
We accept prospective students, including government officials from Asian countries supported
by Japanese government scholarships, so that both
domestic and international students can interact
easily and exchange their ideas for establishing an
international network for the future, valuable assets
for soft diplomacy.

www.ritsumei.ac.jp/gsir/eng | ir-adm@st.ritsumei.ac.jp | +81 75.465.1211

12

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Ambassador Bob Loftis

Professor of the Practice of International Relations


Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies
Boston University

Adapting to a
Changing Global
Landscape at the
Fredrick S. Pardee
School of Global
Studies at Boston
University

unanticipated negative effects. We want our students


to consider the challenges confronting policy makers, to
recognize that sometimes there are no right answers,
and to know that that life cannot be reduced to bumper
sticker slogans. Improving the human condition is only
possible with a strong ethical base. A second change
requires all students to have a grounding in international
negotiations: there is no challenge facing us today that
can be solved by any country or institution alone. We
are also putting a renewed emphasis on quantitative
analysis. Good decisions are made on the basis of good
information, and our students will be well-equipped to
understand what is relevant and what is not.

How is your curriculum adapting to the changes


in the world and preparing for the future?

Pardee has two unique features. The first is a strong


interdisciplinary faculty, including world-class experts
on international relations, history, political science,
sociology, international security and regional studies.
The second is the hearty collaboration between traditional academics and professors of the practice. Our
students work with professors who have spent their
careers in studying and writing on the key issues of
our times and with professors who come from careers
in diplomacy, intelligence and the military, benefitting from their experiences in policy formulation and
implementation. We also offer experiential learning,
where students, both individually and in groups, take
on projects and research opportunities for real world
clients. Indeed, two of our recent graduates were hired
to implement recommendations from their graduate
research papers. We expect our students to approach
their studies with these practical applications very
much in mind.

The key to understanding, thriving in, and improving a


world that is changing in rather unpredictable ways is
the ability to see how seemingly disparate events and
trends influence each other. Our curriculum is designed
to give our students a solid foundation in international
diplomacy and negotiations, international economics,
quantitative analysis, global governance, and research
design. Graduates will be able to discern the interplay
of different factors, such as shifting centers of economic
development, the role of religion, and the rise of nontraditional actors and how they influence the direction
of world events. With this strong foundation, students
will be able to delve more deeply into their particular
areas of interest. When they graduate, our students
will have the specialized knowledge they need with
the broad vision to put it into perspective. To do well,
both depth and breadth are required.

How is your institution keeping competitive in


the face of new challenges?

What new issues/areas in your curriculum will


address these changes?
One of the changes we are most excited about is
introducing a strong component on ethics throughout
our curriculum. Decisions and policies have consequences, and even well-intentioned actions can have

bu.edu/pardeeschool | psgsgrad@bu.edu | 617.353.9349

13

SPONSORED SECTION

Professor
Kishore Mahbubani

Dean
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS
Former Singapore Ambassador to the UN

Preparing for the


Asian Century
The 21st century will be the Asian century. This was the
main theme of my book, The New Asian Hemisphere:
The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East. Recent
developmentsAmerica's pivot to Asia, the TransPacific Partnership trade deal, Chinas One Belt, One
Road, and more ominously, maritime disputes in the
East and South China Searemind us of the imperative
of understanding the region's dynamics for future global
prosperity. The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
(LKY School), which is without peer in Asia, is uniquely
positioned to prepare future leaders for this new era.
For over a decade, it has trained students from Asia
and other parts in the world in three flagship public
policy programmes, Master in Public Policy (MPP),
Master in Public Administration (MPA) and Master
in Public Management (MPM). In August 2017, it will
launch its newest program, the Master in International
Affairs (MIA).

Why has the LKY School launched a new Master


in International Affairs program?
As power shifts from West to East, there is a growing
demand to understand the perspectives of Asia's new
powers. Located in the heart of the region, the LKY
School offers an unmatched vantage point to provide
these perspectives. Its international faculty has deep
expertise on China, India, ASEAN, the US, and other
Asian-Pacific powers. The student body is global too,
with 80 percent drawn from countries in Asia and
other parts of the world, including China, India, ASEAN,
Europe, and America. Few institutions can match this
cosmopolitan learning environment.

How will the curriculum be different?


Our distinguished faculty will expose students to the
latest debates in international affairs, from both a theoretical and practical point of view. Crucially, students
will be offered the chance to immerse themselves in
the study of Asian societies through a rich menu of
courses, many providing an Asian perspective on major
global developments. Our MIA students, I am certain,
will add to the buzz in the School, by debating these
perspectives critically and energetically. Like their fellow
MPP, MPM and MPA students, the MIA students will
have the chance to undertake practical fieldwork in
other Asian countries. Our students have met Aung
San Suu Kyi in Myanmar and former President Susilo
Bambang Yudhoyono in Indonesia; they also have
ample opportunities to engage the many distinguished
visitors to the School, who have included Kofi Annan,
Paul Volcker and Amartya Sen.

What is the advantage of getting a National


University of Singapore (NUS) degree?
NUS is now ranked #1 in Asia and #12 in the world in
the latest QS World University Rankings. Committed
individuals aspiring to an international career in policy,
business, consulting, or academia can count on receiving an outstanding educationwhich is rigorous and
relevant to their needsin international affairs from
a leading global university. They will leave the LKY
School with a top-rank degree and a global network of
fellow graduates who will remain invaluable contacts
throughout their careers.

lkyspp.nus.edu.sg | lkypostgrad@nus.edu.sg | +65 6516.8004

14

SPONSORED SECTION

Allison Cordell, MA `16

Consultant in the Anti-Money Laundering practice


Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP

Create Your Own Path


to Global Leadership
Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs MA occupies
a unique place among international affairs graduate
programs. Each candidate pursues an individualized
course of study, taking advantage of resources from
across the university. For students, this is a remarkable
opportunity to study with renowned Yale faculty from all
disciplines. Seminars with Senior Fellows--practitioners
from the public and private sector--round out the rich
offerings from which students may choose. Our small
size and approach create a dynamic atmosphere as
students become a resource to each other and a window
to the diversity and complexity of the global affairs field.

Tell us a little about yourself.


After graduating from college, I served in the Peace
Corps in Guatemala. My primary role was to advise
municipal authorities on how to be more efficient and
transparent, and I also hosted a local television show
about healthy cooking using low-cost ingredients. The
experience was life-changing and set the stage for all
of my career and academic pursuits that have followed.

Jackson offers a highly flexible curriculum. How


did you tailor your academic experience to meet
your interests and career goals?
My academic interests include violence prevention,
countering organized crime, and anti-corruption policies. The flexible Jackson curriculum allowed me to
take courses across the university that taught these
interdisciplinary topics through different lenses. In addition to Jackson's core classes, I studied anti-corruption
at Yale Law School, global social entrepreneurship at
the School of Management, and data analysis at the
Graduate School's statistics department (and that
is just to name a few highlights of my time at Yale).

How did you spend the summer between your


first and second years of the MA program?
I interned at the Ukrainian chapter of Transparency
International, a leading anti-corruption NGO, and was
based in Kiev. The internship offered me an invaluable
opportunity to research the anti-corruption reforms
that were passed after Ukraine's Revolution of Dignity.
It was an incredible opportunity to be in the country
during such a critical period in its democratic development. A Yale alumnus and the Jackson Institutes
career advisor helped me secure the position, and the
Jackson Institute provided grant support that enabled
my three-month stay in Kiev. I applied the experience
during the following semester when I wrote a seminar
paper about anti-corruption policy in Ukraine.

Any special faculty mentors?


Many Jackson Institute professors and senior fellows
offered me a superb education in the classroom, office
hours, and round table events. Casey King, a faculty
member at the Jackson Institute, mentored me beginning in my first semester at Jackson. Professor King not
only introduced me to the anti-money laundering field,
but he also has served as a regular source of advice on
both academic and career matters.

How did your MA degree prepare you for your


current role?
The master's program gave me valuable hard skills in
statistics, economics, and a foreign language (Russian).
A good education is broader than providing specific
skills, and Jackson's research seminars prepared me
to approach analytical projects with confidence that
I can find answers about topics that are new for me.

jackson.yale.edu | jackson.institute@yale.edu | 203.432.6253

15

SPONSORED SECTION

David M. Van Slyke

Dean
Louis A. Bantle Chair in Business-Government Policy
Maxwell School, Syracuse University

The Power of a Skillsand-Scholarship Mix


David M. Van Slyke became dean of the Maxwell
School on July 1, following 12 years on the faculty. A
recognized expert on public-private partnerships and
government contracting, Van Slyke has worked with
senior leadership in China, India, Peru, Singapore,
and Thailand, and has advised the World Bank, the
U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Office of Management and
Budget, and the Government Accountability Office.

How does the Maxwell School approach the


needs of todays IR student?
The attributes IR professionals need most are adaptability and breadth. The world is changing and careers
change with it.
Maxwells answer is an interdisciplinary MAIR
that is grounded in the social sciences, is attuned
to substantive and regional interests, and integrates
transferrable management and finance skills born of
our #1-ranked MPA. Its a powerful hybrid for training
the next generation of international leaders.
Plus, the world-class scholars in Maxwells social
science departments provide the IR programs theoretical and conceptual content. Add to that Syracuse
Universitys broad programming, 32 research institutes,
seven regional centers, and a neighboring SUNY campus
focused on environmental policy. Opportunities are
nearly boundless.

How does this diversity impact students?

real-world application of how theory and practice are


complementary and reinforcing.
Imagine a student interested in humanitarian aid
and conflict resolution, whose professors not only
hold appointments in economics, political science, and
geography, but are also former heads of international
aid organizationssuch as the World Food Program.
Imagine that student attending classes in Syracuse
and at the UN; learning firsthand from visiting leaders
of international NGOs; immersing herself in language,
politics, and culture through a university regional
center; and experiencing a global internship specifically designed around her career interests. We have
students on that path every year, and students building
similarly rich programs in international development,
security studies, foreign service, sustainability, and
many other fields.
And you can still finish our MAIR in 16 months
and start your new career. Its a remarkably complete
degree on a condensed schedulereally, all the degree
most IR professionals will ever need.

What is your proof that this approach to an IR


education pays off?
The easy answer is that our alumni get great jobs in
diverse sectors. More than 90 percent have fieldrelevant jobs within months of graduating.
But the real proof is something distinctively Maxwell.
When you talk to Maxwell alumni, you find they share
a commitment to making a difference in the world.
Grounded in the social sciences and management and
policy skills, they have a heartfelt connection to how
their work and careers matter. They appreciate the
difference they can make in the world, and rise to it.

Much of the core curriculumstatistics, economics,


management, and evaluationis applicable across
sectors, policy areas, and organizational type and
tailored to the international context. Many Maxwell
professors are former practitioners, bringing strong
global experience and leadership that shapes their
engagement with students. In addition to the mix
of social science, management, and policy analysis
concepts, we require a global internship, providing

maxwell.syr.edu/paia | paia@maxwell.syr.edu | 315.443.4000

16

SPONSORED SECTION

Allison Archambault

President, EarthSpark International


Johns Hopkins SAIS Alumna

Sparking
Innovation
in Energy
How did your experience at Johns Hopkins SAIS
prepare you for your current role?
Disrupting the status quo in energy infrastructure is
a bigbut necessarytask. My nonprofit organization develops business models that bring clean and
affordable energy services to populations that have
never before had electricity. Energy intersects with
finance, policy, community engagement, international
relations, technology, and a million other things. My
studies deepened my thinking about infrastructure
planning and financial modeling and informed my
thinking of these adjacent issues. When it comes to
successful execution, it really comes down to getting
all of the details right, and Johns Hopkins SAIS is
great for helping lay the groundwork for managing
all of those details.

What advice would you share


with someone interested in studying
international affairs?
Whether youre interested in working on Wall Street
or building a social enterprise from the ground up, I
would encourage prospective students to explore
what they care about and how their studies will help
them achieve their career goals. Second, I would recommend gaining meaningful work experience before
starting graduate school. Finally, I would advise that
prospective students speak with current students,
faculty, and graduates of their top choice schools.
Everyone I met at Johns Hopkins SAIS was really open
to answering my questions and very supportive. Their
enthusiasm for the institution was a great motivator
in my choosing to apply.

What would you say to someone planning to


study at Johns Hopkins SAIS?
Actually, I have a friend who was recently accepted into
the schools Master of Arts in Global Policy program
and I am thrilled for her. I have told her, and would tell
others, that she is headed to a school that has truly
earned its reputation for being a leader in the field
of international affairs. I know she will be afforded
incredible opportunities to gain new perspectives,
meet great people, and learn concrete skills that
will serve her throughout her career. I would also
encourage newly admitted students to embrace the
schools welcoming and engaged global community,
to leave their comfort zones, and to make the most of
their time as a studentwhether they are studying in
Washington, DC, Europe, or Chinabecause school
goes by far too quickly.

The Johns Hopkins SAIS alumni network is


known for being a close-knit community.
How do you stay involved?
I really appreciate the schools strong sense of
community and return to campus to attend events
whenever I can. Ive also been fortunate to recruit
student volunteers for my organization, including
one volunteer who spent seven months working on
a solar electrification project in Haiti. In fact, the
volunteers have been so enthusiastic about their
studies that one of my colleagues ended up applying
to the school! I have also enjoyed staying in touch
with former professors and classmates who work
on similar issues and seeing them at events around
DC and the world.

www.sais-jhu.edu | admissions.sais@jhu.edu | 202.663.5700


EUROPE WASHINGTON CHINA

17

SPONSORED SECTION

Enrico Letta

Dean
Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA), Sciences Po
Former Prime Minister, Italy

Study to Know,
Know to Understand,
Understand to Act.
What encouraged you to take up the
position as Dean of the Paris School of
International Affairs (PSIA) at Sciences Po
in September 2015?
PSIA is today recognized as one of the worlds leading
professional schools of international affairs, and with
my 25 years of experience in European politics and
public affairs I was eager to contribute to such an
outstanding community, in a multilingual environment
that is indeed designed to prepare for our worlds
changing landscape. PSIA truly manages to combine
both theory and practice, and from my perspective,
this is essential to best train tomorrows leaders
and change-makers at a national and international
level. Bringing together brilliant students from more
than 100 countries and world-renowned faculty and
practitioners, PSIA has created a space that fosters
dialogue, understanding and, most of all, action for
the 21st Century.

What new projects and innovations did you


instigate during your first year as Dean?
PSIA was already a highly successful school when I
joined as Dean. One priority was to further develop
the school as a platform for public debate, building
on the strong existing foundation of over 100 highlevel events already offered each year. Working with
a dedicated team of 40 students, we launched the
annual Youth & Leaders Summit in January 2016,
which welcomed over 2 days more than 40 of the

worlds most prominent international actors and


over 2000 PSIA students for a series of debates
on the Agenda for the future UN Secretary General.
Our students were also at the epicenter of the first
edition of the Youth & Leaders Talks, held in April
2016 and which saw selected student speakers take
to the stage, after several weeks of professional
training, to share their own very personal interpretations and experiences of Crossing Borders. Through
these events and more, PSIAs students are in fact
already actors contributing to a changing world,
both present and future.

What is your vision for PSIA in the years


to come?
Our aim in the coming years is to ensure that PSIA
continues to nurture ever richer and more diverse
opportunities offered to our community to study,
learn and act in a meaningful way in a highly complex global environment. At PSIA, students can
design their very own course of study thanks to
our programs, which are both highly specialized
but also flexible. We provide the most up to date
combinations of expertise to our student community,
preparing them for tomorrows challenges as they
pursue their careers across continents. One pillar
of PSIAs strategy in the coming years will be to
further develop the support we provide to outstanding students from the emerging world. They already
represent 30% of our student body, but still many
more could join PSIA, the beating heart of global
affairs in Continental Europe.

www.sciencespo.fr/psia | +33 1.45.49.50.50

18

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Eric Schwartz

Dean
Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Training Future Leaders


to Advance the Common
Good in a Diverse and
Changing World
The Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University
of Minnesota is uniquely positioned to impact complex
global challenges that demand innovative and effective
approaches. Guided by a dynamic curriculum, and with
the support of a globally engaged faculty, Humphrey
School students are trained for careers in foreign policy,
global affairs, international development, and human
rights and humanitarianism.

How is your curriculum adapting to changes in


the world and preparing students for the future?
The world needs visionaries to address daunting and
varied global challenges involving diplomacy, conflict
prevention and management, humanitarian response,
global migration, human rights, food security, climate
change, and poverty and inequality. The Humphrey
School is constantly adapting its offerings to best
train students to address these issues. Our curriculum combines core courses in policy analysis with an
array of academic offerings, and opportunities to learn
from practitioners. The Master of Public Policy (MPP)
degree program includes a Global Policy concentration
with specializations in U.S. foreign and international
security policy, international development policy, and
global human rights and humanitarianism. A separate Master of Development Practice (MDP) degree
program prepares students for careers focused on
international development, and our new Master of
Human Rights (MHR) degree prepares students to
work as human rights professionals engaged in global
challenges as practitioners, researchers, policy analysts,
and advocates. The MS in Science, Technology, and
Environmental Policy (MSSTEP) includes focus on
global issues that shape economic development, environmental sustainability, human health, and well-being.

What is new in your curriculum to address


these changes?
We are continually adapting our curriculum to respond
to new challenges. This fall, we launched our Master
of Human Rights (MHR) degree, which builds on the
University of Minnesotas extraordinary tradition of
scholarship, service, and training in human rights issues.
It is an interdisciplinary program that provides a solid
grounding in diverse, substantive, and methodological approaches to human rights issues, and it draws
on faculty expertise ranging from nongovernmental
organization (NGO) management to critical human
rights studies and global public policy. In addition
to coursework, students gain real-world experience
through internships and capstone projects with local,
national, and international human rights organizations.

How does the Humphrey School expand its


global impact?
Through our global connections, faculty scholarship
influences and informs policy issues around the nation
and the world, and internships provide students realworld experiences.
A new partnership with the Washington, DC-based
Stimson Center, one of the countrys most highly
regarded global policy think tanks, creates opportunities
for student internships and research projects.
Through his research, publications, and openGlobalRights blog, Associate Professor Jim Ron works
to bring the perspectives of the Global South to the
international human rights discussion and debate.
Professor Anu Ramaswami leads a network of
scientists, industry leaders, and policy makers on
ways to build smart, healthy, and sustainable cities
around the world and has collaborated closely with
the United Nations system on these issues.
Global Policy faculty have advised members of
Congress and the Administration on a broad range
of issues, from international humanitarianism to
nuclear non-proliferation.

hhh.umn.edu | hhhadmit@umn.edu | 612.624.3800

19

SPONSORED SECTION

PHOTO: NYUSPS/MARK MCQUEEN

Mary Beth Altier

Clinical Assistant Professor


NYU School of Professional Studies
Center for Global Affairs

Transnational Security:
Examining Today's
Risks and Tomorrow's
Emerging Threats in a
Strategic Context
You lead the MS in Global Affairs concentration in
Transnational Security. What does this concentration cover, and to what careers does it lead?
The concentration in Transnational Security runs the
gamut from conventional interstate threats to sub-state
threats including civil war, terrorism, insurgency, and
organized crime, in addition to environmental threats
including climate change; infectious disease; and food,
water, and energy security. Students grapple with the
implications of the Iranian nuclear agreement, Russias
actions in Ukraine, the rise of ISIS, the refugee crisis, a
proliferation of failed states, intelligence reform, drug
and human trafficking, homegrown radicalization,
and post-conflict reconstruction. We discuss how
technology and globalization alter the conduct of war
and challenge norms from cyber to nonlinear warfare,
to unmanned weapons, and terrorists use of social
media, encryption, and the Dark Web.
Employers find our students possess not only the
academic knowledge and analytic skills necessary to
excel, but also the practical experience and connections
in their field. Graduates work as intelligence analysts or
officers in the military or at US government agencies (or in
similar organizations in their home countries). Our alumni
are employed as intelligence or political risk analysts in
the private sector at organizations such as Kroll, RANE,
Morgan Stanley, and AIG. Others are on the front lines
of counterterrorism, monitoring and analyzing terrorist
behavior on the Internet and Dark Web for companies
such as Dataminir and Flashpoint. Many put their skills to
use as research analysts for think tanks, NGOs, or the UN.

20

Many students in the MS in Global Affairs


have served in the military or will return
to service after graduation. How is their
perspective integrated into the Transnational
Security concentration?
At the NYUSPS Center for Global Affairs, I have encountered students from all branches of the military. These
students have helped direct counterterrorism drone
strikes in the Horn of Africa, have served on the front
lines in Iraq, and have taken part in counter-insurgency
operations and reconstruction in Afghanistan. The militarys perspective permeates much of the Transnational
Security concentration and the presence of current or
former members of the military in the classroom provides operational and strategic insight in our classroom
discussions. At the same time, I find service members
are enthusiastic about the opportunity to step back
and critically examine larger international security and
foreign policy issues apart from day-to-day operational
security issues or other tasks.
One example is our course, Security Sector
Governance and the Rule of Law. It examines best
practices for rebuilding the military and police in
post-conflict and post-democratization contexts
as well as continued oversight and reform of these
organizations in developed democracies. We discuss
the structure of the military and the police, the role
of private military companies, security sector reform
and transitional justice initiatives, the reintegration
of ex-combatants, countering violent extremism, and
community relations (or winning hearts and minds).
In my experience, those who have a military or law
enforcement background are drawn to this course and
the larger concentration because it contextualizes their
experiences and provides a bridge to additional career
opportunities within the military or in civilian sectors.

15 Barclay Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10007


www.sps.nyu.edu/cga | 212.998.7100

SPONSORED SECTION

Markus Kornprobst, PhD

Chair of International Relations


Diplomatic Academy of Vienna

Vicissitude and
Permanence in Face
of a Changing Global
Landscape
Teaching and research at the Diplomatic Academy of
Vienna (DA), the Vienna School of International Studies,
are shaped by an interdisciplinary approach to embrace
the complex elements of international affairs; they rest
on multidisciplinary pillars (international relations,
international economics, international and European
law, and history) and reflect changes in the world while
preserving the tradition of the DA as an outstanding
academic institution of international affairs. Since 1754,
the DA has had strong institutional and professional
ties to diplomacy and international affairs on a national,
European, and international level. The emphasis on
and proximity to the practical world is a key element
of studying at the DA. In addition to its longstanding
one-year Diploma Programme, the DA offers a Master
of Advanced International Studies (MAIS) programme,
a Master of Science in Environmental Technology
and International Affairs, and a PhD Programme in
Interdisciplinary International Studies, all aimed at
preparing young people for international careers and
leading positions in their chosen field.

Youve held the Chair of International Relations


at the DA since 2009; since then the world
has witnessed the Arab Spring and the Syrian
bloodshed, major challenges for the European
Union such as the Greek crisis and the refugee
crisis, an expansive Russian Foreign and Security
Policy, to name just a few. Where do you set
priorities in the DAs curricula to reflect these
changes, e.g. by introducing new issues/areas?

courses that address how the interplay of domestic


and international forces shapes processes ranging from
democratisation to ethnic violence, and from religious
sectarianism to revolutions. We have numerous courses
that deal with how states and the international steering mechanisms they have put into place succeed or
fail to manage crises. Regional expertise has always
been important to us. Our area studies course offerings, including courses on the Middle East and Russia,
proceed from a thorough analysis of domestic affairs
to the international policies states pursue.

In the DAs mission statement, reference is


made to preparing talented men and women for
international careers and positions of leadership.
How do you keep your curriculum competitive in
the face of new developments in world politics
and the employability of your graduates?
Our graduates are very successful on the job market.
Our strategy for ensuring this success is threefold: First,
our curriculum provides students with interdisciplinary
breadth. They learn how to make sense of international
phenomena in scientifically rigorous fashion by combining clues from Economics, History, Law, and Political
Science. Second, our curriculum makes it possible for
students to examine areas in depth that are of major
interest to them such as international development,
international security, and diplomacy. Recent Masters
theses, for example, include studies on sustainable
development goals, cybersecurity, and e-diplomacy.
Third, we put strong emphasis on language training
(especially official UN languages) and skills, which
adds further to the competitiveness of our students
on the job market.

In order to understand our evolving world, we constantly


adapt our existing courses and course offerings. To use
the examples you mentioned above, we have several

www.da-vienna.ac.at | info@da-vienna.ac.at | +43 1.505.72.72 x120

21

SPONSORED SECTION

Angela Evans

Dean
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
The University of Texas at Austin

Preparing Modern
Policy Entrepreneurs
for the World Arena

intellectual boundaries and to examine and appreciate


the importance of diversity of thought, politics, race,
gender, geography and socioeconomics. Energized
by ideas and enriched by diversity, our students can
enter any job in the world arena with the knowledge
and practical experience to be at the table when
policy is formulated.

How is your curriculum addressing the most


pressing global issues today?

What role does location play in


preparing students for careers in todays
global environment? Is there a benefit
being in Texas?

The LBJ School has a unique legacy of tackling the


most complex policy problems of our day by creating
innovative approaches that make a difference not just
within the walls of academia, but also in the public
and social dialogue of our world. Our curriculum is
agile, geared towards a shifting global landscape
and identifying new challenges as they emerge. We
adapt our programs so that our students acquire
the skills and expertise to move directly into the
global arena and to make substantive contributions
to policy debates.
It is critical that our students anticipate the implications of blending national and world policies. We
build analytic skills to develop policy that transcends
borders, and we teach the power of interdependencies
among international intelligence, aid, security, health,
diplomacy, development and research.

How do you teach students a global perspective


to problem solving?
Policy analysis and high quality research inform problem solving. The LBJ School prides itself in advancing
scholarship that does not focus on one methodology or
discipline, but rather fosters an approach that exposes
the cycle and context of policy, including analysis
frameworks, recurring tensions around persistent policy
debates and the creation of feasible options ready for
implementation. We teach our students to stretch

Location matters when choosing where to study


the public sphere, and there is no better place in
the nation to see real-life policy implications than
Austin, Texas. This dynamic capital city provides a
complete governmental learning laboratory where
innovations are occurring at a rapid pace in key policy
areas such as trade, natural resources, security,
development, technology and immigration. The LBJ
School shares the vast resources of the University
of Texas at Austin, a Tier I research university,
providing us with interdisciplinary richness. And
our students have the ability to study and work in
Washington, DC, where we recently opened our
new LBJ Washington Center. With a population of
over 27 million, the longest foreign border in the
U.S. and close proximity to Mexico, Central and
South America, Texas is a powerhouse, serving as
a gateway to diverse international and global policy
communities. The world and its challenges are at our
doorstep at the LBJ School in Austin.

lbj.utexas.edu | lbjadmit@austin.utexas.edu | 512.471.3200

22

SPONSORED SECTION

Wolfgang Reinicke
Founding Dean
School of Public Policy
Central European University

Offering a Global
Learning Environment
at the Frontier of
Pressing Public
Policy Debates
In what ways does SPPs curriculum prepare
students for the future?
There is a severe crisis in public policy today. Policymakers seem incapable of addressing compelling public
policy problemsproblems that revolve around issues
such as the distribution of resources, identity, income
inequality, and migration. This school was established
to provide students with the knowledge and the skills
that are required to meaningfully engage with these
and other public policy issues and to ensure that policy
interventions do not do more harm than good.
All three of SPPs masters programs are firmly
grounded in the policy world. Students enrolled in
the two-year MPA program, for example, are required
to complete a series of Skills For Impact modules on
topics such as policy writing, negotiations, and presentationsall skills they will need to be effective in
the policy world.
SPP provides a truly global learning environment.
Our students come from six continents and more than
60 countries. They bring diverse perspectives to the
classroom. Their presence also enables our students to
build transnational networks that will help them have
an impact in their home countries and throughout their
careers. Diversity is also a central way of developing
emotional intelligence and the understanding that
policy-makers cannot impose top-down solutions but
must instead engage a broad array of stakeholders.

What changes have there been to SPPs


curriculum to address the changing public
policy environment?
We are a new school and so are constantly innovating
and changing our programs.
In 201516, for example, we offered two elective
courses on scenario planningpartly responding to
demand from our students who wanted to become
more familiar with this important tool. In Spring 2016,
the schools Global Policy Academy organized an especially timely course on Migration Policy in a European
Context that included visits to the International Centre
for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), the EU
Fundamental Rights Agency in Vienna, and a refugee
reception center in Hungary.
We are introducing more courses related to media
and journalism, security, human rights, and development, and are focusing more on South America, the
Middle East, India, and China. We emphasize gender
and conflict sensitivity and rights-based approaches
in our pedagogy.

What do you think is SPPs competitive edge?


SPP is truly a global institution. Our curriculum is not
grounded in the traditions of any one political system.
We also compete with other public policy schools by
offering relatively low tuition and generous scholarships.
There are new scholarship programs for students from
many regions of the world. CEU also has scholarship
programs for Roma students, and students from Syria
whose studies were disrupted by the war.
Our location in Budapest places us geographically
and politically at the frontier of pressing debates relating to the role of government, the media, and regional
and international influences, while simultaneously
sitting at a bridging point between East and West and
North and South.

spp.ceu.edu | sppadmissions@ceu.edu | +36 1.327.3110

23

SPONSORED SECTION

Dr. Kathryn Stoner

Faculty Director, Ford Dorsey Program in


International Policy Studies
Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for
International Studies and Center on Democracy,
Development, and the Rule of Law

The Intersection of
Global Policy and
Innovation
What are the distinguishing features of the
Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy
Studies (IPS)?
We are a small program (25 students per year), which
helps create a strong sense of community and common
purpose. At the same time, we are embedded in a
great research university. Students are able to take full
advantage of the wide range of classes across Stanford
while completing IPS core curriculum.
Our model is also different from that of our competitors. We believe the best solutions to international
policy problems should come from a range of perspectives and disciplines, rather than the traditional
disciplines of economics or political science. Our
students can take classes almost anywhere at Stanford,
including the Graduate School of Business, Stanford
Law School, the School of Education, and Stanfords
very popular d.School. As a result, we have a distinctly
interdisciplinary approach to the study of global policy
challenges and solutions.
Lastly, the IPS program includes a heavily subsidized spring break trip, a funded summer internship
between the first and second years of the program, and a
second-year practicum exercise where students provide
real-world policy recommendations for clients like the
World Bank, the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees, and the US Department of State, to name
but a few. This past spring break, students traveled to
India and met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And
last year, they met with Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar.

governance, security, international economic policy,


and related issues.
Our students tell us that they chose our program
in order to get a firm grounding in analytical and
quantitative skills. Core quantitative courses include
calculus-based statistics, econometrics, international
trade or international finance and microeconomics or
cost-benefit analysis. Our student must also undertake
a depth of study in one of the five areas of programmatic concentration, which include: Democracy and
Development, Energy and Environment, Global Health,
International Political Economy, and International Security
and Cooperation.
IPS graduates leave the program with a range of
skills including those in quantitative analysis, policy
writing, decision-making, and negotiation. Additionally,
since students are able to take classes in different
departments and schools at Stanford, many also obtain
skills in finance, computer science, and management,
among other fields.

Who are leading faculty members in your


program?
One of the biggest strengths of our program is our
ability to draw on faculty not just from within our program, but from around Stanford. A student can study
security and conflict with James Fearon in the Political
Science Department or democratic development with
Larry Diamond at the Hoover Institution, as well as
Francis Fukuyama at the Freeman Spogli Institute for
International Studies at Stanford. In addition, former
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice teaches in our
program, as do two former US Ambassadors Michael
McFaul and Karl Eikenberry (Russia and Afghanistan,
respectively). In this way, we are able to combine theory
and practice in our classes.

What skills do students obtain in your program?


The IPS curriculum provides students with rigorous preparation to address problems in diplomacy,

ips.stanford.edu | ips-information@stanford.edu | 650.725.9075

24

SPONSORED SECTION

Andrea Bartoli, Ph.D.

Dean
School of Diplomacy and International Relations
Seton Hall University

Finding Pathways
to Peace
How is Seton Hall Universitys School of
Diplomacy and International Relations adapting
its curriculum to changes in the world while
preparing for the future?
We are passionate about working together to find
ways of restoring stability and security in our world.
The School of Diplomacy offers a graduate degree
specialization and an online certificate in Post-Conflict
State Reconstruction and Sustainability. Many of our
instructors and guest lecturers can explore through
first-hand experience whats behind a crisis, as well
as what can be done to avoid, manage and resolve
conflict. Seton Hall University is also a leader in
global health studies and health management. We
were inspired to combine these two strengths into
a certificate program in Global Health Management
that looks at what is going on in the world today in
terms of infectious and chronic diseases, for example,
and teaches our students how to address these challenges. The program also allows us to tap into one of
the benefits of our location just outside of New York
Cityour connections to leading health professionals, area hospitals, and international organizations,
such as the UN.

(GAAMAC). Dr. Borislava Manojlovic traveled to the


Basque Country last year to present government officials with her research teams recommendations for
post-conflict development. And Dr. Martin Edwards
led a team in analyzing public opinion of the UN.
Experiences like these positively contribute to student
development by allowing them to engage actors in a
way most students and academic institutions can only
discuss in the classroom.

Are there others ways in which Seton Hall is


staying competitive in the current academic
environment?
We see a greater interest in accelerated, online programs that will upgrade the skills professionals are
seeking in order to advance their careers or to pursue
a more focused professional path. To meet these
demands, we developed online courses and 15 credit
certificate programs that get students to their academic
goals faster. We are launching an Executive M.S. degree
in International Affairs structured with the needs of
mid-career professionals in mind and anticipate the
launch of a new Certificate in Global Studies that will
empower teachers to infuse classroom learning with
a greater focus on international affairs. Good things
are happening here.

How is the School responding to changes in the


world outside of the classroom?
As a whole, our community revels in the opportunity
to contribute to the greater good. We view students
as partners in mutual learning, and are proud to be
addressing global issues together through studentfaculty research teams. For example, I have been
working with a team of students to advance the mission of Global Action against Mass Atrocity Crimes

Diplomacy.shu.edu | Diplomat@shu.edu | 973.275.2514

25

SPONSORED SECTION

Michele L. Malvesti

Professor of Practice in International Security


The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
Tufts University

To the White House


and Back: Bringing
National Security
Experience to the
Classroom
Michele L. Malvesti (F 00 and PhD 02) returned to her
alma mater in January 2016 as a full-time Professor of
Practice in International Security. Prior to enrolling as a
student 18 years ago, she worked as a terrorism analyst
in the intelligence community, and after receiving her
Doctor of Philosophy and a Master of Arts in Law
and Diplomacy, Malvesti went directly to the White
House, where she served in the Office for Combating
Terrorism on the National Security Council staff for
more than five years.

How have your experiences on the National Security


Council staff and in the intelligence community
prepared you for the world of academia?
While working in Washington, I acquired collaborative,
policy-specific skills for addressing global challenges.
Fletcher faculty members like to fuse knowledge with
practice in the classroom, so I often incorporate case
studies and real-world examples from my time in
government throughout my courses. At Fletcher, were
preparing students to define pressing global problems
and use interdisciplinary approaches to help solve them.
If I can help students expand their problem-solving
toolkit and adapt it to an increasingly complex, unpredictable world, then I have helped achieve our goal.

Fletcher class enrollment is split 50% male and


female. You teach courses on National Security
Decision-Making and International Cyber
Conflict, and you also teach a course titled
Women in National Security. How do you take
your experiences of being a woman in this field
and translate them into the classroom?
As with other members of the Fletcher community,
I have been fortunate to work in organizations that
were team-oriented, had a shared sense of mission,
and fostered trust under conditions of high stress. My
national security colleagues valued those teammates
who were committed to duty and excellenceregardless
of gender. That said, women continue to encounter situational and institutional obstacles in this field, and I am
dedicated to fostering an honest dialogue on these very
real challenges. One of the issues we tackle as a team in
that particular course is the importance of valuing and
leveraging diversityin worldview, nationalities, cultures,
and, yes, genderin exercising leadership and effecting
change. This approach aligns with the Fletcher Schools
mission of preparing the worlds leaders.

As a Fletcher graduate and now professor, what


aspects of the Fletcher community do you value, and
what advice would you have for recent graduates?
With students and faculty from more than 70 countries,
we often refer to The Fletcher School as a mini UN. We
have a culturally rich and intellectually diverse student
body and faculty, and I value the unique perspectives
that each individual brings to learning inside and outside
our classrooms. The Fletcher community is defined
by a shared commitment to creating positive global
impact, so my advice to our graduates is to continue
making a difference in your chosen field, remain open
to working in new areas based on changing contexts,
and never, ever give up.

Fletcher.Tufts.edu | FletcherAdmissions@Tufts.edu | 617.627.3040

26

SPONSORED SECTION

Ivan Kurilla

Professor of History and International Relations


IMARES program Academic Director
International Programs
European University at St. Petersburg

Focus on Eurasia
European University at St. Petersburg is among
the top research universities in social sciences
and humanities in Russia. It is sometimes
compared with Formula 1 racing. What makes
your university so different?
European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP) is not
a typical Russian university. It is a private graduate
school that attracts some of the best scholars and leading experts from Russia and abroad. We produce top
research in humanities and social sciences and teach
talented graduate students interested in studying Russia
and Post-Soviet space. The 3:1 student/professor ratio
ensures individual guidance and personal attention to
each of our students. Our international community of
professors, administrators, and students make us the
most cosmopolitan of Russian universities.
St. Petersburg is arguably the most beautiful city in
Russia, full of cultural and academic attractions, living
its vibrant life on the edge between Russia and Europe.
Our students take full advantage of its unique archives
and libraries and excellent theaters and museums.

The situation in the world, and especially


in Eurasia, has been changing rapidly in
recent decades. This also means new
challenges for universities who prepare
future experts in international relations.
How EUSP maintains up-to-date expertise
at its International Programs?

historical politics within our MA degree program


in Russian and Eurasian Studies (IMARES program),
as well as international relations, security and terrorism, and culture and social issues. We discuss the
most recent changes and trends at regular IMARES
workshops and guest lectures.
Until recently, most of our international students had
chosen intensive programs that led to an MA degree
within one year. Starting this academic year, we are
proudly opening two new two-year Masters degree
programs. One is in Russian and Eurasian Studies
(IMARES Plus). The second one focuses specifically on
Energy Politics, Energy Security and Energy Relations
in Eurasia (ENERPO Plus). Students now can choose
if they prefer to spend two years in St. Petersburg to
learn or improve their knowledge of Russian language,
do their internships or conduct in-depth research.

Your international students spend intensive and


interesting time in St. Petersburg. What about
their career perspectives after graduation?
We are proud to meet our alumni from different
countries working in their governments and in NGOs,
academia, and business. EUSP gives them an excellent
foundation for a career that requires a multicultural
competence and international experience. The life
and study in Russia and the knowledge of Russian
language are an essential competitive edge over
other graduates.

Our first Masters degree program for international


students in English started 18 years ago. Since then,
we amend our curriculum in accord with the latest
geopolitical changes and scholarship development
every year without exception. As a History Professor,
I can tell that the importance of history as a political
tool and as a bone of contention in numerous culture
wars had highly increased in the Post-Soviet space
as well as in the whole world. We study history and

eu.spb.ru/international | international@eu.spb.ru | +7 812.386.76.48

27

SPONSORED SECTION

Directory
Boston University
Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies

National University of Singapore (NUS)


Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Central European University


School of Public Policy

NYU School of Professional Studies


Center for Global Affairs

Diplomatic Academy of Vienna


Vienna School of International Studies

Ritsumeikan University
Graduate School of International Relations

European University at St. Petersburg


International Programs

Sciences Po
Paris School of the International Affairs (PSIA)

The Fletcher School at Tufts University

Seton Hall University


School of Diplomacy and International Relations

bu.edu/pardeeschool
psgsgrad@bu.edu
617.353.9349

spp.ceu.edu
sppadmissions@ceu.edu
+36 1.327.3110

www.da-vienna.ac.at
info@da-vienna.ac.at
+43 1.505.72.72 x120

eu.spb.ru/international
international@eu.spb.ru
+7 812.386.76.48

Fletcher.Tufts.edu
FletcherAdmissions@Tufts.edu
617.627.3040

Georgetown University
Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
sfs.georgetown.edu
sfscontact@georgetown.edu
202.687.5696

The Johns Hopkins University


School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
www.sais-jhu.edu
admissions.sais@jhu.edu
202.663.5700

Middlebury Institute of International


Studies at Monterey
www.miis.edu
info@miis.edu
831.647.4166

28

lkyspp.nus.edu.sg
lkypostgrad@nus.edu.sg
+65 6516.8004

15 Barclay Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10007


www.sps.nyu.edu/cga
212.998.7100

www.ritsumei.ac.jp/gsir/eng
ir-adm@st.ritsumei.ac.jp
+81 75.465.1211

www.sciencespo.fr/psia
+33 1.45.49.50.50

Diplomacy.shu.edu
Diplomat@shu.edu
973.275.2514

Stanford University
Ford Dorsey Program in International
Policy Studies (IPS)
ips.stanford.edu
ips-information@stanford.edu
650.725.9075

Syracuse University
Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
maxwell.syr.edu/paia
paia@maxwell.syr.edu
315.443.4000

Texas A&M University


The Bush School of Government and
Public Service
bush.tamu.edu
bushschooladmissions@tamu.edu
979.862.3476

SPONSORED SECTION

Directory (continued)
Thunderbird School of Global Management
at Arizona State University

University of Minnesota
Humphrey School of Public Affairs

UC San Diego
School of Global Policy and Strategy

The University of Texas at Austin


Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

University of Denver
Josef Korbel School of International Studies

University of Washington
Henry M. Jackson School of
International Studies

www.thunderbird.asu.edu
admissions.tbird@asu.edu
602.978.7100 or 800.457.6966 (US)

gps.ucsd.edu
gps-apply@ucsd.edu
858.534.5914

www.du.edu/korbel
korbeladm@du.edu
303.871.2544

University of Kent
Brussels School of International Studies
www.kent.ac.uk/brussels
bsis@kent.ac.uk
+32 2.641.1721

hhh.umn.edu
hhhadmit@umn.edu
612.624.3800

lbj.utexas.edu
lbjadmit@austin.utexas.edu
512.471.3200

appliedinternationalstudies.uw.edu
maais@uw.edu
206.221.8577

Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs


jackson.yale.edu
jackson.institute@yale.edu
203.432.6253

About APSIA
The Association of Professional Schools of International
Affairs (APSIA) brings together the leading graduate
programs dedicated to professional education in
international affairs. Members have demonstrated
excellence in multidisciplinary, policy-oriented international studies.

Visit APSIA.org to discover what you can do with


an APSIA degree, learn about hiring APSIA students
and alumni, register for admissions events around the
world and online, and find fellowship and scholarship
information.

APSIA strengthens members and affiliates by sharing


information. It promotes international affairs education through online and in-person events and supports
employers in finding highly-qualified personnel.

Association of Professional Schools


of International Affairs (APSIA)
www.apsia.org
202.559.5831

apsia@apsia.org

THIS SPONSORED SECTION IS ALSO AVAILABLE ONLINE AT

ForeignAffairs.com/GraduateSchoolForum

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FOREIGN AFFAIRS ANTHOLOGY SERIES

Brexit and
Beyond

The shocking vote for Brexit on


June 23 is only the latest twist in a
long and complex story. At Foreign
Affairs, weve been following these
debates closely for generations and
are delighted to offer readers a
guide to the subject that is as
comprehensive as it is timely.
- Gideon Rose, Editor
Get the Anthology at
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ESSAYS
No country is better
positioned than the United
States to lead in the
twenty-first century. But it
is worth remembering that
our indispensable role in
the world is not inevitable.
Joseph Biden

Building on Success
Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

46

INTS KALNINS / REUTERS

From Political Islam to


Muslim Democracy
Rached Ghannouchi

58

Chinas Infrastructure Play


Gal Luft

68

Parting the South China Sea


Mira Rapp-Hooper
Keeping Europe Safe
David Omand

The Return of Europes Nation-States


Jakub Grygiel
94
How to Fix Brazil
Eduardo Mello and Matias Spektor

102

Americas Brewing Debt Crisis


Robert Litan

111

The Strategic Costs of Torture


Douglas A. Johnson, Alberto Mora,
76 and Averell Schmidt

83

Venezuela on the Brink


Lisa Viscidi

121
133

Return to Table of Contents

Building on Success
Opportunities for the Next Administration
Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

he next administration will take the reins of American foreign


policy in a world that is more complex than at any point in our
modern history, including the twilight of the Cold War and the
years that followed the 9/11 attacks. But it is also the case that despite
the proliferation of threats and challengessome old, some newby
almost any measure, we are stronger and more secure today than when
President Barack Obama and I took office in January 2009. Because of
our investments at home and engagement overseas, the United States is
primed to remain the worlds preeminent power for decades to come.
In more than 40 years of public service, I have never been more optimistic
about Americas futureif only we continue to lead.
THE FOUNDATIONS OF POWER

From the outset, our administration has been guided by the belief that
the foundations of U.S. global leadership reside first and foremost in
our dynamic economy, peerless military, and universal values. We have
built on these core strengths by expanding and modernizing the United
States unrivaled network of alliances and partnerships and embedding
them within a wider international order of rules and institutions.
Having inherited a deep economic recession, our administration
first sought to steer an economy in collapse through an arduous recovery.
In doing so, we have reestablished our standing as the worlds strongest
and most innovative major economy, undergirded by the rule of law,
the finest research universities, and an unparalleled culture of entrepreneur
ship. Smart investments coupled with American ingenuity have also
made the United States the epicenter of a global energy revolution,
both in renewables and in fossil fuels.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN, JR., is Vice President of the United States.

46

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Building on Success

And we are seeing the results of a revitalized economyin sustained


job growth, a shift from outsourcing to insourcing, and a renewed
consensus that the United States is once again the best place for
businesses to invest worldwide, with the consulting firm A. T. Kearney
ranking it now four years running as the top destination for foreign
direct investment.
This vibrant economy is essential to sustaining our unrivaled mili
tary. We continue to outpace our competitors, spending more on our
overall defense than the next eight countries combined. We have the
most capable ground forces in the history of the world and an unmatched
ability to project naval and air power to any corner of the globe. And
thanks in no small part to our efforts to bolster U.S. special operations
forces, enhance our cyberspace and space capabilities, and invest in
unmanned systems and other game-changing technologies, were well
positioned to maintain our qualitative edge for years to come.
This is part of a layered defense that has only grown stronger with our
laser focus on homeland security, making our borders safer, improving
security and inspections at ports, and strengthening screening procedures
at airports. Our intelligence and law enforcement professionals are
coordinating at an unprecedented level among themselves and with
partners around the world, foiling countless would-be attackers. And
with U.S. assistance, our partners are now reciprocating by sharing
more information, such as passenger records, enhancing security while
protecting civil liberties.
This speaks to another reality: Americas greatest strength is not
the example of our power but the power of our example. More than
anything, it is our adherence to our values and our commitment to
tolerance that sets us apart from other great powers. I have no doubt
that future generations of Americans will be proud of the way we have
doubled down over the last seven and a half years to uphold basic human
dignity by banning torture, calling for a more enlightened immigration
system, expanding opportunities for women, and defending the rights
of the lgbt community at home and abroad.
This is not only the right thing to do; it is also the right strategy,
because our commitment to defend what is best in us inspires others
to stand with us. Thats vital, since our unrivaled network of allies
and partnersfrom our core democratic alliances in Europe and Asia
to our growing partnerships in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle
Eastmultiplies our ability to lead. Its how we mobilize collective

September/October 2016

47

Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

action to address just about every major challenge, from the Islamic
State (or isis) to Ebola to climate change.
Equally critical has been our commitment to strengthening the
open international system, embracing the time-tested approach that
spurred Americas rise in the previous century. The United States built
the basic architecture of the international order after the devastation
of World War II, and it has served us and the world well ever since.
Thats why we have invested so much energy to defend and extend the
rules of the road, signing historic arms control and nonproliferation
agreements and leading worldwide efforts to lock down nuclear materials,
expand trade, protect the environment, and promote new norms to
address emergent challenges at sea and in cyberspace.
As a result, no country is better positioned than the United States
to lead in the twenty-first century. But it is worth remembering that our
indispensable role in the world is not inevitable. If the next administration
chooses to turn inward, it could very well squander the hard-earned
progress weve made not just over the past seven and a half years but
also over the past seven decades.
Although the next president will be confronted with innumerable
issues, four tasks loom large: seizing transformative opportunities on
both sides of the Pacific, managing relations with regional powers,
leading the world to address complex transnational challenges, and
defeating violent extremism.
PACIFIC OPPORTUNITIES

The next president should deepen U.S. engagement with the most
dynamic regions of the world by seizing possibilities on both sides
of the Pacific, starting right here in the Western Hemisphere.
Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean have an outsize impact on
our domestic security and prosperity, and in the twenty-first
century, the Western Hemisphere should figure prominently among
our top foreign policy priorities.
Were already seeing the returns of a renewed focus on the region.
Because of the way President Obama and I have prioritized improving
relations with our neighbors, including the opening to Cuba, the United
States standing in the hemisphere has never been higher. The next
administration should build on this momentum to strengthen the security
and prosperity of people throughout the Americas. The table is set to
deepen cooperation with Canada and Mexico, capitalize on renewed
48

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Building on Success

ties with Argentina, sustain unprecedented engagement with Central


America, and expand our partnerships with regional leaders such as
Brazil, Chile, and Colombia.
Challenges surely remain, including undocumented immigration,
drug trafficking, widespread corruption, and fragile democratic insti
tutions, but today the region is defined more by opportunities than
crises. The opportunities include the
possibilities for stronger trade and in
Americas greatest strength
vestment, greater energy integration,
and a more peaceful hemisphere in which is not the example of our
the United States helps end long-running power but the power of our
conflicts, as we have done in Colombia. example.
Indeed, for the first time in history, its
possible to imagine a hemisphere that
is middle class, democratic, and secure from the northern reaches of
Canada to the southern tip of Chile.
On the other side of the Pacific, weve recharged our engagement
with Asia. The next administration will inherit treaty alliances with
Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea that are the strongest
theyve ever been. It isnt always easy to explain on a bumper sticker, but
its common sense that the United States is wealthier and safer because
the worlds advanced democracies are in our corner. Its also true that
being the principal security provider in Asia doesnt come for free. But
we should never underestimate the extraordinary economic costs to the
American people if Asia devolved into conflictsomething that is far
more likely to occur in the absence of sustained U.S. leadership there.
The next administration will be charged with continuing to expand
our network of relationships beyond our core alliances, building on
the historic opportunities weve created to support the democratic
transition in Burma (also called Myanmar), deepen ties with Vietnam,
manage relations with China, expand the strategic partnership with
India, and work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to
advance a rules-based order.
And because Asia is home to half the worlds population and many
of the worlds fastest-growing markets, we simply cannot afford to
ignore the economic opportunities there. Thats why securing the
Trans-Pacific Partnership remains a top priority for our administration.
The 12 economies of the tpp account for 30 percent of global trade,
40 percent of global gdp, and 50 percent of projected global economic

September/October 2016

49

Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

growth. Thanks to U.S. leadership, the deal includes provisions that


will raise international standards for the protection of workers rights,
the environment, and intellectual property. Absent these rules, the
region will likely witness a race to the bottom in the form of weak,
low-standard regional trade agreements that exclude the United States.
This deal is as much about geopolitics as economics: when it comes to
trade, maritime security in the South China Sea, or nuclear nonpro
liferation in Northeast Asia, the United States has to take the lead in
writing and enforcing the rules of the road, or else we will leave a
vacuum that our competitors will surely rush to fill.
MANAGING REGIONAL POWERS

Indeed, in nearly every part of the world, the United States contends
with regional powers that have an enormous capacity to contribute to
the international orderor to undermine it. Much will rest on how
America chooses to lead.
Nowhere is this truer than in our relationship with China. The
United States and China are the worlds two largest economies, so
our fates are inescapably intertwined. President Obama and I have
sought to define this relationship through enhanced cooperation and
responsible competition. We have found common ground with Beijing
and made historic progress to address such global challenges as climate
change, pandemic disease, poverty, and nuclear proliferation. At the
same time, we have stood firm on such issues as human rights,
intellectual property, and freedom of navigation.
This balancing act will only grow more difficult in the context of
Chinas economic slowdown and the worrying steps Beijing is taking
to reverse course on more than three decades of economic reform and
opening up to the world. As a result, the next administration will have
to steer a relationship with China that encompasses both breakthrough
cooperation and, potentially, intensified competition. And sometimes,
as when facing the mounting threat from North Korea, cooperation
and competition with China will coexist. The notion that it will be all
one or the other is shortsighted and self-defeating.
The same is true with regard to Russia, with which the United States
should continue to pursue a policy that combines the urgent need for
deterrence, on the one hand, with the prudent pursuit of tactical
cooperation and strategic stability, on the other. Russias illegal attempt
to annex Crimea and its continued aggression in eastern Ukraine violate
50

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

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Building on Success

foundational principles of the postCold War order: sovereignty and


the inviolability of borders in Europe. In response, we have rallied our
allies in Europe and elsewhere to impose real costs on Moscow, making
clear that this pressure will continue until Russia upholds its commitments
under the agreements reached in Minsk aimed at ending the conflict.
Meanwhile, the combination of our $3.4 billion European Reassurance
Initiative and natos new forward deployments in Poland and the
Baltics will strengthen our European allies and provide a bulwark
against further Russian aggression. For
years, weve also encouraged Europe
Sometimes, cooperation
to spend more on defense and to diversify
its energy supplies in order to reduce and competition with
its susceptibility to coercion. Now were China will coexist.
starting to see progress on these fronts.
And the next administration should redouble the United States
commitment to strengthening nato and our partnership with the
eu, even as London and Brussels negotiate their ongoing relationship.
Investing in the core institutions of the West does not require
reverting back to simplistic Cold War thinking, however. The United
States should remain open to cooperation with Russia where our
interests overlap, as we demonstrated with the Iran nuclear deal, as
well as with the New start agreement on nuclear weapons. It is also
difficult to envision how the war in Syria will ultimately end without
some modus vivendi between Washington and Moscow. And as new
military technologies raise the stakes of miscalculation and escalation,
we will need functional and stable channels with Russia to clearly
communicate our intentions and maintain strategic stability.
Theres an appealing moral clarity in dividing the world into friend
and foe. But in reality, progress in international affairs so often demands
working with those with whom we do not see eye to eye. Thats why
our administration seized the possibility to move beyond three decades
of conflict with Iran to lock in a nuclear agreement. Tehran is neither
a friend nor a partner. But our willingness to break taboos and engage
the regime directly, combined with our success in mobilizing unprece
dented international pressure on Iran to negotiate, peacefully removed
one of the greatest threats to global security: the specter of Iran gaining
a nuclear weapon.
One year on, the deal speaks for itself: the agreement is working.
Iran has verifiably removed two-thirds of its centrifuges, shipped out

September/October 2016

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Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

of the country 98 percent of its low-enriched uranium (enough for


about ten nuclear weapons), removed the core of its plutonium reactor
at Arak and filled it with cement, and provided international inspectors
unprecedented access to its entire nuclear supply chain to ensure
compliance. The deal blocks every pathway through which Iran might
seek to develop nuclear weapons, while opening up the possibility for
further engagement with Tehran down the road if the regime moderates
its behavior. Tearing up the deal now, as some have proposed, would
leave Irans nuclear program unconstrained, increase the threat to
Israel and our partners in the Gulf, turn the international community
against the United States, and sharply raise the prospect of another
major war in the Middle East.
Critics of engagement should remember that the nuclear deal was
never meant to resolve all our problems with Tehran. Engaging Iran
need not come at the expense of our ironclad commitments to our allies
and partners in the Middle East, including Israel. The United States has
retained all the means necessary, including targeted sanctions, to hold
Iran accountable for its ballistic missile activities, support for terrorism,
and human rights violations, and we are committed to working with our
allies and partners to push back against Irans destabilizing behavior.
TACKLING TRANSNATIONAL CHALLENGES

Transnational threats such as pathogens, environmental disruptions,


computer viruses, and malicious ideologies dont respect borders. Even
in simpler times, isolationism never offered more than a false sense of
security. And now, more than ever, we cannot wall ourselves off from
these dangers or sit back and wait for others to solve the worlds
problems for us. As the columnist Thomas Friedman aptly wrote, If
you dont visit a bad neighborhood, it might visit you.
Weve learned that true security requires finding solutions that span
borders, as when we rallied the world to address the Ebola epidemic in
West Africa in 2014. In the face of a terrifying disease, we resisted
hysterical calls for quarantines and travel bans and instead followed the
science. We drew on all our strengths, from our military to our healthcare and development professionals. And with tireless diplomacy, we
brought the world along with us to provide urgent, coordinated
assistance that ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
Beyond Ebola, we have made significant investments and built new
partnerships to fight hiv/aids, turn the tide against malaria, and improve
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f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Building on Success

the health of women and children across Africa. And through our Global
Health Security Agenda, a partnership between the United States and
some 50 other countries that our administration launched in 2014, we
are strengthening the capacity of vulnerable countries in Africa and
around the world to combat future outbreaks. Improving health security
represents just one facet of our growing relationship with Africa.
Through such forums as the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and the Young
African Leaders Initiative, we have engaged with African leaders on all
levels, from heads of state to civil society, expanding and deepening
partnerships that contribute to the continents increasingly bright future.
American leadership has also proved decisive in addressing climate
change. Our administrations landmark investments at home have
tripled the amount of electricity we harness from the wind and
increased our solar power 20-fold since 2008. Weve put in place rules
that will double the fuel efficiency of our cars by 2025, and weve set
forth an unprecedented plan to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide
that our power plants emit. These are the most significant steps the
United States has ever taken domestically to combat climate change,
and because our actions proved that we take this threat seriously, we
were able to rally other countries to make concrete commitments of their
ownstarting with China, the worlds leading emitter. Thats how we
achieved last years historic Paris agreement to combat climate change.
At the same time, were working to increase the resilience of com
munities that are already being affected by rising temperatures and
extreme weather, at home and around the world. Were implementing
strategies to address the increased risk of flooding in coastal
communities and improving our national resilience in the face of longterm droughts. Were also building climate considerations into all our
efforts to promote sustainable development around the world, including
aid programs such as Feed the Future, which supports climate-smart
agriculture. Our $3 billion pledge to the uns Green Climate Fund
will help the poorest and most vulnerable nations become more
resilient to climate change. And through a bold initiative called Power
Africa, weve set a goal of doubling access to electricity on the continent
through clean and sustainable methods.
Through all these efforts, weve laid the groundwork to protect our
planet. But the resulting opportunities can be seized only if the next
president follows the science, recognizes the dangers of doing nothing,
and musters the political will to address the threat.

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Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

Other transnational threats are only a keystroke away, whether it be


state actors pilfering commercial or government data or North Korean,
Iranian, or anonymous criminal hackers perpetrating cyberattacks
against American companies. That is why weve fortified our cyber
defenses, expanded partnerships with the private sector and with other
governments, authorized the Treasury Department to impose sanctions
against malicious hackers, enhanced our technical and attributional
capabilities, and worked to improve our ability to respond to and
recover from cyberattacks.
Meanwhile, we have secured a number of important commitments
from China on its actions online, including an agreement not to
conduct cyber-enabled economic espionage for commercial gain, and
a number of other states are following our lead and securing similar
commitments of their own. We continue to support an open, trans
parent, and interoperable Internet as an engine of economic growth
and civil society. Finally, we are building a growing coalition of likeminded states around a set of voluntary norms of responsible state
behavior in peacetime, an important effort to enhance stability in
cyberspace, which has been endorsed by leaders from a number of the
most capable countries, including those of the G-7 and the G-20.
The next administration should pick up this baton and run with it,
further refining principles to guide the digital revolution as part of a
broader effort to shape new rules of the road for space, the sea, and the
other critical domains that will define commerce and competition in
the decades ahead.
DEFEATING VIOLENT EXTREMISM

Terrorism and violent extremism provide perhaps the most vexing


example of a virulent transnational danger that demands sustained
U.S. leadership. Al Qaeda, isis, and their offshoots represent real
threats, and the attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, Brussels, Orlando,
Istanbul, and elsewhere have reminded us over and over again that
terrorism can happen anywhere. At the same time, even amid a climate
of fear and uncertainty, we must remember that terrorists cannot
destroy the United States or our civilization. They are significant, but
not existential, threatsand we should never underestimate the
strength and resilience of the American people.
Terrorism mustand willbe defeated. But more than a decade of
war in Afghanistan and Iraq has taught us some hard lessons about
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Building on Success

when and how to deploy military power to address this danger. Even
as we have removed more than 165,000 U.S. troops from combat in
Afghanistan and Iraq, President Obama has never hesitated to use
force to defend the American people when necessary. Just ask
Osama bin Laden and al Qaedas top operatives in Afghanistan and
Pakistan, the leaders of al Qaedas affiliates in Somalia and Yemen,
and more than 120 of isis top leaders
and commanders. Our administration
If the next administration
has not been hamstrung by an ideology
of restraint, as our most vocal critics chooses to turn inward, it
allege. Rather, we carefully consider could very well squander
the use of force because we understand the hard-earned progress
the tremendous human costs and unfore
seen consequences of war. We must weve made.
ensure that when we do use force, it is
effective. Accordingly, we have taken precise and proportional military
actions, guided by a clear mission that advances U.S. interests. When
ever possible, we have acted alongside allies and partners so that they
will share the burden and become invested in the missions success.
And perhaps most important, we have used force in a manner that is
sustainable. Weve learned in no uncertain terms that success on the
battlefield will not endure if U.S. military involvement outpaces
political developments on the ground or the ability of local partners to
control their own territory. Lasting victory against al Qaeda and isis
will therefore require viable indigenous forces to hold liberated areas,
rebuild shattered communities, and govern effectively. Thats why weve
worked with more than three dozen nations to train Afghan forces to
hunt down al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. And thats why weve
invested so much in building a partnership with the Government of
National Accord in Libya and with other African governmentsfrom
Nigeria to Somalia to Tunisiato go after al Qaeda and isis affiliates.
In Iraq and Syria, weve built a 66-member coalition to train local
forces, and weve provided afflicted communities with critical humani
tarian and stabilization assistance. Weve deployed special operations
forces, and as of July 2016, our coalition has carried out more than
13,000 air strikes in support of local ground forces. With enhanced
intelligence sharing and law enforcement cooperation, we have worked
with our partners to improve their border security, reduce the flow of
foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria by 50 percent, and strangle isis

September/October 2016

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Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

finances. The result: isis is losing. Over the past two years, the group
has been under siege from western Iraq to northern Syria, losing approx
imately 50 percent of the populated territory it once held in Iraq and
more than 20 percent in Syria. Weve taken thousands of isis frontline
fighters off the battlefield, and the group has lost a quarter of its overall
manpower. Its morale is plummeting, and its hold over local populations
is loosening.
Meanwhile, were working with the international community to provide
billions of dollars in humanitarian aid to displaced people in Iraq and
Syria and refugees across the region and billions more to stabilize and
rebuild communities liberated from isis. To address the grievances that
give such groups oxygen, we are engaged at the highest levels in Iraq to
encourage greater political inclusivity and reconciliation across that
countrys ethnosectarian divide. And we are aggressively pursuing
a diplomatic settlement to produce a political transition in Syria
because not only is there no military solution to the conflict; there is
also no way to end it so long as Bashar al-Assad remains in power.
It is worth recalling that what initially set isis apart in 2014 was the
groups attempt to carve out both a state and a self-described caliphate
in the heart of the Arab world. This risked creating a territorial
platform for attacks on the West. This is the threat we are systematically
dismantling in Iraq and Syria, and the one we are making progress in
undoing in Libya.
But even when isis would-be caliphate is destroyed, the jihadist
challenge will continue. Other violent jihadist movements with localized
agendassome that are distinct from isis and others that have appro
priated its brandwill likely continue to exploit ungoverned spaces
and threaten stability in key countries. Boko Haram was a threat to
Nigeria long before it renamed itself the Islamic States West African
Province, for example, and it will still have to be addressed even if
isis core is destroyed. More broadly, the Salafi jihadist ideology that
underpins such groups does not require territory to radicalize lone
wolves to carry out attacks like those in San Bernardino, Orlando, and
Nice. And foreign fighters returning home from the front may con
tinue to attempt attacks like those in Paris and Brussels.
The next administration will have to continue to address this
challenge in a smart, sustainable, and holistic manner. This will require
the disciplined application of military force, alongside the best efforts
of our intelligence and law enforcement communities, diplomats, and
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Building on Success

development professionals. It will require working with local partners


and the international community to improve governance in fragile and
failing states. And it will involve countering toxic ideologies online.
But this comprehensive campaign against violent extremism will
succeed only if it is carried out in a manner that is consistent with our
values and keeps the worlds 1.5 billion Muslimsthe vast majority of
whom reject Salafi jihadist viewson our side. We know that al Qaeda,
isis, and their ilk want to manufacture a clash of civilizations in which
Americans think of Muslims in us-versus-them terms. Last year, isis
top leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, revealed the goal of his groups at
tacks: Compel the crusaders to actively destroy the gray zone them
selves. Muslims in the West will quickly find themselves between one
of two choices: either apostatize or emigrate to the Islamic State and
thereby escape persecution.
We should never let these groups win by giving in to the religious
war they want. This only raises the premium on adhering to our values
and spurning the tactics of our enemies: torture, indiscriminate
violence, and religious intolerance. Doing otherwise not only violates
our values but also deeply damages our security.
AN ENDURING AGENDA

The next administration will have a lot on its plate: uniting the
Western Hemisphere, deepening our alliances and partnerships in
Asia, managing complex relationships with regional powers, and
addressing severe transnational challenges such as climate change
and terrorism. But because of the actions weve taken and the
boundless energy and resilience of the American people, Ive never
been more optimistic about our capacity to guide the international
community to a more peaceful and prosperous future. It bears under
scoring, however, that U.S. leadership has never sprung from some
inherent American magic. Instead, we have earned it over and over
again through hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.
There is simply too much at stake for the United States to draw
back from our responsibilities now. The choices we make today will
steer the future of our planet. In the face of enormous challenges and
unprecedented opportunities, the world needs steady American
leadership more than ever.

September/October 2016

57

Return to Table of Contents

From Political Islam to


Muslim Democracy
The Ennahda Party and the Future
of Tunisia
Rached Ghannouchi

nnahda, one of the most influential political parties in the Arab


world and a major force in Tunisias emergence as a democracy,
recently announced a historic transition. Ennahda has moved
beyond its origins as an Islamist party and has fully embraced a new
identity as a party of Muslim democrats. The organization, which I
co-founded in the 1980s, is no longer both a political party and a social
movement. It has ended all of its cultural and religious activities and
now focuses only on politics.
Ennahdas evolution mirrors Tunisias broader social and political
trajectory. The party first emerged as an Islamist movement in response
to repression at the hands of a secularist, authoritarian regime that
denied citizens religious freedom and the rights of free expression and
association. For decades, Tunisian dictators shut down all political dis
course in the country, forcing movements with political aims to operate
exclusively as social and cultural organizations. But the revolution of
201011 brought an end to authoritarian rule and opened up space for
open, free, and fair political competition.
Tunisias new constitution, which Ennahda members of parliament
helped draft and which was ratified in 2014, enshrines democracy and
protects political and religious freedoms. Under the new constitution, the
rights of Tunisians to worship freely, express their convictions and beliefs,
and embrace an Arab Muslim identity are guaranteed, and so Ennahda
no longer needs to focus its energies on fighting for such protections.
RACHED GHANNOUCHI is a co-founder of the Ennahda Party.

58

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

From Political Islam to Muslim Democracy

Ghannouchi in Tunis, January 2011

ZOUBEIR SOUISSI / REUTERS

Therefore, the party no longer accepts the label of Islamisma


concept that has been disfigured in recent years by radical extremistsas
a description of its approach. In this new democratic stage of Tunisian
history, the question is no longer one of secularism versus religion:
the state no longer imposes secularism through repression, and so
there is no longer a need for Ennahda or any other actor to defend or
protect religion as a core part of its political activity.
Of course, as Muslims, the values of Islam still guide our actions.
However, we no longer consider the old ideological debates about the
Islamization or secularization of society to be necessary or even relevant.
Today, Tunisians are less concerned about the role of religion than
about building a governance system that is democratic and inclusive
and that meets their aspirations for a better life. As the junior partner
in Tunisias coalition government, Ennahda aims to find solutions to
matters of concern to all of the countrys citizens and residents.
Ennahdas evolution is a result of 35 years of constant self-evaluation
and more than two years of intense introspection and discussion at
the grass-roots level. At an Ennahda Party congress held in May, more
than 80 percent of the delegates voted in favor of this formal shift,
which represents not so much a sea change as a ratification of longheld beliefs. Our values were already aligned with democratic ideals,
and our core convictions have not changed. What has changed, rather,

September/October 2016

59

Rached Ghannouchi

is the environment in which we operate. Tunisia is finally a democracy


rather than a dictatorship; that means that Ennahda can finally be a
political party focusing on its practical agenda and economic vision
rather than a social movement fighting against repression and dictator
ship. As the entire Middle East grapples with instability and violence
often complicated by conflicts over the proper relationship between
religion and politicsEnnahdas evolution should serve as evidence
that Islam is indeed compatible with democracy and that Islamic
movements can play a vital, constructive role in fostering successful
democratic transitions.
RESISTANCE AND RENAISSANCE

Abdelfattah Mourou and I established the Islamic Tendency Move


ment (mti), which later became Ennahda, in the 1970s. We were both
graduates of Ez-Zitouna, the first Islamic university in the world,
which was founded in 737 and has long fostered a vision of Islam
as dynamic and responsive to the changing needs of society. Our
approach was shaped by our contact with a variety of reformist Islamic
thinkers. Early on, we were influenced by thinkers in Egypt and Syria
linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, such as the movements Egyptian
founder, Hasan al-Banna, and Mustafa al-Sibai, the leader of its Syrian
branch. But as the mti developed, we increasingly drew inspiration
from thinkers in the Maghreb region, such as the Algerian philosopher
Malek Bennabi and Ez-Zitouna Universitys own Mohamed Tahar
Ben Achour, one of the fathers of the rationalistic approach to Koranic
exegesis, which emphasizes the importance of maqasid al-sharia: the
objectives, or ends, of Islamic law.
At the time, Tunisia was experiencing increasing social and political
unrest due to widespread dissatisfaction with the authoritarian regime
of President Habib Bourguiba and its crackdown on civil and political
liberties, as well as with the slow pace of economic growth, the spread
of corruption, and the persistence of social inequality. Discontent
boiled over in a series of strikes between 1976 and 1978 that culminated
in a general strike on January 26, 1978a day that came to be known
in Tunisia as Black Thursday, when the regime killed dozens of protesters,
wounded hundreds more, and arrested more than 1,000 people on
charges of sedition.
In light of a growing consensus about the need for democratic reforms,
the mti brought together Tunisians who opposed the Bourguiba regime
60

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

From Political Islam to Muslim Democracy

and felt excluded from the political system, especially owing to the
states repression of any expression of religiosity, whether in public or
private. Mti members set up discussion groups, published journals,
and organized students on university campuses.
In April 1981, the Bourguiba regime consented to the registration
of other political parties. The mti submitted a request to form a party
committed to democracy, political pluralism, the peaceful sharing and
alternation of power, free and fair elections as the sole source of
political legitimacy, the protection of moderate religious scholar
ship, and the promotion of a form of modernization that would be in
harmony with Tunisias values and cultural heritage. But the application
was ignored by authorities.
Faced with rising calls for reform, the regime instead expanded
its crackdown, arresting around 500 mti members, myself included.
Between 1981 and 1984, I was imprisoned along with many of my
colleagues. Shortly after our release, many of us were rearrested,
accused of inciting violence and seeking to change the nature of
the state. Many Ennahda members were sentenced to life in prison
after sham trials, as the regime deepened its descent into repression
and despotism.
The rise to power of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who deposed Bourguiba
in a 1987 coup dtat, seemed to signal a potential political opening.
The following year, Ben Ali granted an amnesty to all political prisoners
and announced the beginning of a new
era of multiparty democracy. The mti
Ennahdas evolution proves
again applied for recognition as a poli
tical party, changing its name to Hizb that Islamist movements can
Ennahda (the Renaissance Party). How play a vital role in successful
ever, the application was again ignored, democratic transitions.
and the hoped-for opening soon proved
to be a mirage, as the Ben Ali regime
reverted to the repressive tactics of the Bourguiba era. After the
1989 national elections, in which independent candidates linked to
Ennahda won 13 percent of the overall vote and, according to some
sources, as much as 30 percent in some major urban areas, the
regime moved to crush the party. Tens of thousands of members
were arrested, imprisoned, tortured, blacklisted from employment
and educational opportunities, and subjected to police harassment.
Many others, including me, were forced into exile.

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Rached Ghannouchi

For the next two decades, Tunisia languished under repression, and
Ennahda struggled to survive as a banned underground movement. A
turning point finally came in December 2010, when a young Tunisian
street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in front of
a local government office to protest the
harassment he had suffered at the hands
The Ennahda-led
of officials. Bouazizis action captured
government did something the public imagination, and in less than
a month, massive protests around the
never before seen in the
region: it willingly stepped country had forced Ben Ali to flee and
had sparked a series of revolts across
down.
the Arab world. Ennahda members
participated in the protests alongside
other Tunisians, but not under the party banner, partly to avoid giving
the regime an excuse to paint the demonstrations as the work of an
opposition group seeking to take power.
In the countrys first free and fair elections, in October 2011,
Ennahdas grass-roots networks and track record of opposing the dicta
torship helped it win the largest share of the vote, by a wide margin.
Seeking a national unity government, Ennahda entered into a pio
neering coalition with two secular parties, setting an important precedent
in contemporary Arab politics.
In Tunisias postrevolutionary era, when tensions have threatened
to overwhelm the countrys fragile democratic structures, Ennahda
has pushed for compromise and reconciliation rather than exclusion
or revenge. During negotiations over a new constitution, Ennahdas
parliamentarians made a series of crucial concessions, consenting to a
mixed presidential-parliamentary system (Ennahda had originally
called for an exclusively parliamentary system) and agreeing that the
constitution would not cite sharia as one of the sources of legislation.
As a result of Ennahdas willingness to compromise and work within
the system, the new constitution enshrines democratic mechanisms,
the rule of law, and a full range of religious, civil, political, social,
economic, cultural, and environmental rights.
In 2013, violent Salafi extremists carried out a series of attacks and
political assassinations, setting off a period of instability and protest.
Seeking to tar Ennahda by falsely associating the party with these
crimes, a number of parliamentarians suspended their participation in
the drafting of the constitution. In response, Ennahda and its coalition
62

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

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From Political Islam to Muslim Democracy

partners sought to forge a compromise rather than force the document


through in the midst of turmoil. To preserve the legitimacy of the
process, the Ennahda-led government did something never before
seen in the region: it willingly stepped down and handed over power
to a neutral, technocratic government. Our priority was not to remain
in control but to ensure that the National Constituent Assembly,
the supreme representative body, could complete the work of drafting
a constitution that would establish the political foundations of a
democratic Tunisia.
Following elections in 2014, Ennahda gracefully conceded its
losseven before the official results were announcedto Nidaa
Tounes, a center-right party founded in 2012. Ever since, Ennahda
has worked with Nidaa Tounes as the junior partner in a coalition
government. Although the two parties do not see eye to eye on every
issue, the coalition has held steady, and the combination of a wellconstructed constitution and political cooperation has produced the
right conditions for Ennahda to take the next step in its journey
toward Muslim democracy.
THE SEPARATION OF MOSQUE AND STATE

At its tenth party congress, in May, Ennahda announced a series of


changes that formalized its decision to focus exclusively on politics and
to leave behind social, educational, cultural, and religious activities.
In recent years, the party has gradually abandoned those pursuits,
recognizing that they should be the purview of independent civil
society organizations and not of the party or any entity related to
it. The motion to enact this change stipulated, among other things,
that the partys cadres can no longer preach in mosques and cannot
take leadership positions in civil society groups, such as religious or
charitable associations.
Our objective is to separate the political and religious fields. We
believe that no political party can or should claim to represent reli
gion and that the religious sphere should be managed by independent
and neutral institutions. Put simply, religion should be nonpartisan.
We want the mosque to be a space for people to come together, not a
site of division. Imams should not hold positions in any political party
and should be trained as specialists in their field in order to gain the
skills and credibility required of religious leaders; currently, only
seven percent of Tunisian imams have undergone such training.

September/October 2016

63

Rached Ghannouchi

The party congress also approved a comprehensive strategy to


overcome the major challenges Tunisia faces, focusing on consolidating
constitutional procedures, pursuing transitional justice, reforming
state institutions, enacting economic reforms to spur growth, creating
a multidimensional approach to the fight against terrorism, and pro
moting good governance in religious institutions.
Ennahda is now best understood not as an Islamist movement but
as a party of Muslim democrats. We seek to create solutions to the
day-to-day problems that Tunisians face rather than preach about the
hereafter. To be clear, the principles of Islam have always inspired
Ennahda, and our values will continue to guide us. But it is no longer
necessary for Ennahda (or any other party) to struggle for religious
freedoms: under the new constitution, all Tunisians enjoy the same
rights, whether they are believers, agnostics, or atheists. The separation
of religion and politics will prevent officials from using faith-based
appeals to manipulate the public. It will also restore the independence
of religious institutions: religion will no longer be hostage to politics,
as it was before the revolution, when the state interfered in and
repressed religious activities.
This separation will also help better equip Tunisia to combat
extremism. When religion was repressed and religious institutions
forcefully closed and restricted for decades, Tunisian youth were left
with no reference point for mainstream, moderate Islamic thought;
many succumbed to distorted interpretations of Islam that they
encountered on the Internet. Confronting violent extremism requires
an understanding of the true teachings of Islam, which reject blackand-white views and allow for interpretations that accommodate
the needs of modern life. The genuine separation of mosque and state
and the effective governance of religious institutions will facilitate
better religious education and reintroduce moderate Islamic thinking
to Tunisia.
A REBUKE TO TYRANTS AND EXTREMISTS

Tunisia has made significant political progress over the last five years.
To consolidate these gains, the government must prioritize social and
economic development. It must go beyond democratic institution
building and carry out economic reforms that will meet the urgent
need for jobs and growth. To this end, Ennahda has called for a com
prehensive national economic dialogue and a participatory approach
64

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

From Political Islam to Muslim Democracy

to reforms based on a vision of compassionate capitalisman


approach that balances the freedom of enterprise with the ideals of
social justice and equal opportunity.
To boost growth, the government needs to pave the way for the
resumption of production in several strategic sectors, such as the
phosphate industry, which has slowed down since the revolution
due to disagreements between labor unions and producers over pay
and working conditions. Ennahda also strongly supports reforms to
the banking sector that will make it
easier for firms and individuals to get
Tunisias democratic
access to financing. These reforms will
bring much of the informal economy development depends on
into the mainstream. The party has removing the obstacles that
also successfully pushed for increases women face in all fields.
in government assistance to small busi
nesses and farmers. In addition, the
government must diversify Tunisias trading relations and increase
Tunisias exports to neighboring countries by opening up new
opportunities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and advancing the
ongoing negotiations over a free-trade agreement with the eu.
Creating a culture of entrepreneurship is particularly critical for
Tunisias success. Tunisians have grown accustomed to thinking of the
state as the countrys main employer, and corruption under the former
regime placed many barriers in the way of would-be entrepreneurs.
Ennahda wants to encourage a shift away from this dependence, which
has historically allowed the state to monopolize resources and distribute
them in an opaque and clientelistic manner. Ennahda supports the
governments ongoing efforts to encourage entrepreneurship among
the younger generations; the minister of vocational training and employ
ment, the Ennahda member Zied Ladhari, has introduced ambitious
and much-needed reforms, launching a new program to train more
than 600,000 unemployed Tunisians, renovating job-training centers,
and creating a national authority for career guidance.
Ennahda also backs reforms that will make it easier to establish
public-private partnerships and to start new businesses. The Ennahdaled government of 201114 introduced a new law governing such
partnerships, which has recently been adopted. And a new program
proposed by Ladhari would promote new businesses by creating
mentoring programs for start-ups and by supporting entrepreneurs

September/October 2016

65

Rached Ghannouchi

through training, flexible funding systems, and a one-stop shop for


administrative procedures, to reduce bureaucracy.
Economic development cannot progress, however, without significant
changes in the educational system, which has become divorced from
the realities of the labor market in Tunisia, where the overall unem
ployment rate currently hovers around 15 percent. Education must be
a path to work, not a bridge to joblessness. Ennahda is pushing for
reforms that will help educational institutions meet the needs of the
market, including by focusing more on soft skills, providing a larger
range of technical training schemes, and connecting students to
opportunities and internships in the public and private sectors.
Consolidating Tunisias dramatic political transformation and
making progress on economic development will also require social
change, especially when it comes to the role of women in government
and business. The participation and leadership of Tunisian women
in politics, the judiciary, and civil societywere crucial to the countrys
democratic transition. Today, 60 percent of all Tunisian university
graduates are female, yet women still face higher unemployment than
men (21.5 percent compared with 12.7 percent in 2014). The countrys
democratic development depends on removing the obstacles that
women face in all fields, promoting equal participation, and protecting
womens rights. To that end, Ennahda supports mandating equal
gender representation on all party lists in the local elections that will
be held in March 2017. Ennahda members of parliament have also
proposed stronger maternity-leave rights to protect women against
discrimination and to give them greater career flexibility.
Overshadowing all these issues, of course, is the question of
security. The challenge of keeping Tunisians safe in an unstable
region is testing the resilience of the countrys new democratic
system. The state must protect citizens while ensuring respect for
individual rights and the rule of law. Ennahda has successfully
pushed for amendments to counterterrorism laws that ensure
suspects access to legal advice. We have also called for a compre
hensive national security strategy that addresses the complex causes
of extremism. Smart counterterrorism avoids counterproductive
reactions and will require a cultural shift on the part of Tunisias
security institutions, toward respecting the supremacy of the law
and protecting the freedoms of individuals, civil society groups,
and the media. Newly enacted provisions to protect the rights of
66

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

From Political Islam to Muslim Democracy

detainees, as well as the establishment of the National Anti-Torture


Commission, represent a step in the right direction.
The only way to conclusively defeat extremist groups such as the
self-proclaimed Islamic State (also known as isis) is to offer a
hopeful alternative to millions of young Muslims around the world.
In the Arab world, people have faced increasing social exclusion,
fewer opportunities, and repression at the hands of autocrats. Their
frustration has been exploited by extremist groups such as isis,
which aim to sow chaos and disorder and impose their own form of
tyranny on the region. By showing that Muslim democracy can
respect individual rights, promote social and economic opportunities,
and protect Arab Islamic values and identities, the successful con
solidation of democracy in Tunisia will serve as a rebuke to secular
tyrants and violent extremists alike.
Ennahdas recent transition will make that kind of success more
likely. We hope it will also inspire more debate in the Muslim world
about the compatibility of Islam and democracy, what it means to be
an inclusive political party, and how to build democratic systems that
promote pluralism and respect the right to difference. Of course,
Tunisias political environment is different from that in the rest of the
region. Other Arab countries, such as Egypt, Iraq, and Syria, are still
suffering under dictatorship and military rule or remain mired in ethnic
and sectarian conflicts. The more complicated a countrys internal
situation, the higher the price of change will be and the longer it will
take. But change is coming, whether as a result of civil war, peaceful
revolution, or gradual reform. And when it comes, Tunisiaand
Ennahdawill hopefully serve as a valuable model.

September/October 2016

67

Return to Table of Contents

Chinas Infrastructure Play


Why Washington Should Accept the
New Silk Road
Gal Luft

ver the past three millennia, China has made three attempts
to project its economic power westward. The first began in
the second century bc, during the Han dynasty, when Chinas
imperial rulers developed the ancient Silk Road to trade with the far-off
residents of Central Asia and the Mediterranean basin; the fall of the
Mongol empire and the rise of European maritime trading eventually
rendered that route obsolete. In the fifteenth century ad, the maritime
expeditions of Admiral Zheng He connected Ming-dynasty China to
the littoral states of the Indian Ocean. But Chinas rulers recalled Zhengs
fleet less than three decades after it set out, and for the rest of imperial
history, they devoted most of their attention to Chinas neighbors to the
east and south.
Today, China is undertaking a third turn to the westits most
ambitious one yet. In 2013, Beijing unveiled a plan to connect dozens
of economies across Eurasia and East Africa through a series of infra
structure investments known as the Belt and Road Initiative. The
goal of the B&R, Chinese officials say, is to bring prosperity to the
many developing Asian countries that lack the capacity to undertake
major infrastructure projects on their own by connecting them
through a web of airports, deep-water ports, fiber-optic networks,
highways, railways, and oil and gas pipelines. The B&Rs unstated
goal is equally ambitious: to save China from the economic decline that
its slowing growth rate and high debt levels seem to portend. The
infrastructure initiative, Chinas leaders believe, could create new mar
kets for Chinese companies and at the same time provide a shot in
the arm to the struggling banks and state-owned enterprises whose

GAL LUFT is Co-Director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security and a Senior
Adviser to the United States Energy Security Council.

68

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Chinas Infrastructure Play

disgruntled bosses might otherwise trouble the current leadership of


the Chinese Communist Party.
Also called One Belt, One Road, the B&R is a massive undertaking
that will shape Eurasias future. It will extend from the Pacific to the
heart of Europe, stimulate some $4 trillion in investment over the next
three decades, and draw in countries that account for 70 percent of the
worlds energy reserves. So far, however, the United States has either
fruitlessly attempted to undermine the initiative or avoided engaging
with it altogether. That is the wrong course. Washington should in
stead cautiously back the many aspects of the B&R that advance U.S.
interests and oppose those that dont. The United States does not
have to choose between securing its global position and supporting
economic growth in Asia: selectively backing the B&R would help
achieve both goals.
SILK ROAD TRIP

The B&R comprises two main parts: a series of land-based economic


corridors that China refers to collectively as the Silk Road Economic
Belt, and the Twenty-First-Century Maritime Silk Road, which will
traverse the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean
Sea. The first of the Silk Road Economic Belts corridors will connect
northeastern China to energy-rich Mongolia and Siberia by means of
a modernized rail network. The second, the China-Pakistan Economic
Corridor, will link Chinas western region of Xinjiang to the Pakistani
deep-water port of Gwadar, on the Arabian Sea. Beijing will open up
Chinas southwestern provinces to the Indian Ocean by investing in
rail, highways, ports, pipelines, and canals in India, Bangladesh, and
Myanmar (also called Burma). To the south, China is developing what
it has termed the ChinaIndochina Peninsula Economic Corridor,
connecting Southeast Asias 600 million inhabitants to Chinas economy
through investments in ports and high-speed rail. Beijing also aims to
complete two major rail projects: one will likely link Henan Province,
Sichuan Province, and the Xinjiang region to hubs in Poland, Germany,
and the Netherlands by way of Central Asia, Iran, and Turkey; the
other, the New Eurasian Land Bridge, will connect China to Europe
by way of Russia. Finally, Beijing is developing a corridor that will
connect ports in Djibouti (where China is building a naval base), Kenya,
Tanzania, and Mozambique to the Red Sea, the eastern Mediterranean,
and central and southeastern Europe. (Although Beijing has not

September/October 2016

69

Gal Luft

publicly identified that corridor as part of the B&R, it has taken steps
such as purchasing a controlling stake in the Greek port of Piraeus
and announcing a plan to back a high-speed railway connecting it to
Serbia, Hungary, and Germanythat make its intentions fairly clear.)
So far, state-owned Chinese construction and engineering firms
have taken on most of the projects generated by the B&R. Backed by
the deep pockets and political clout of the Chinese government, these
corporate giants are hard to outbid; that will remain the case for the
foreseeable future. As for financing, China has developed dedicated
institutions to back the projects. The Asian Infrastructure Investment
Bank, which opened for business in January, is perhaps the best known
of these. Together with the Silk Road Fund, a B&R-focused Chinese
government fund, and the New Development Bank, a multilateral
development organization formerly known as the brics Development
Bank, the aiib will lend nearly $200 billion to infrastructure projects
over the coming decade.
Most important, China has retooled its foreign policy in service of
the Belt and Road Initiative. To encourage their support for the B&R,
Beijing welcomed India and Pakistan into the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization, a regional bloc; it is likely pushing for Iran to join, too.
In Europe, China has upgraded its relations with the Czech Republic,
turning Prague into the hub of its ventures on the continent. During a
state visit in March, Chinese President Xi Jinping finalized business
and investment deals worth some $4 billion with the Czechs. Driven
by the belief that the B&Rs success depends on stability in the Middle
East, meanwhile, China has recently taken an activist approach in the
region that contrasts starkly with its historical reluctance to get involved
there. In January, Xi became the first foreign leader to visit Iran after
the lifting of international sanctions on that country; on the same trip,
he met with the leaders of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. China has also
attempted to mediate between the rival factions in Syrias civil war; has
supported Saudi Arabias efforts to defeat the Houthi rebels in Yemen;
and, in December 2015, passed a law that will allow the Peoples
Liberation Army to participate in counterterrorism missions abroad.
WASHINGTONS SNUB

The B&R will guide Chinas economic and foreign policy for the fore
seeable future. Yet many China watchers in the United States have
downplayed the initiatives importance, suggesting that it is a public
70

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Chinas Infrastructure Play

Roadwork: a map of the Belt and Road Initiative in Hong Kong, January 2016

B O B BY Y I P / R EU T E R S

ity stunt meant to portray China as a benevolent power, a vanity project intended to secure Xis legacy, or an unwieldy boondoggle that
China, which has struggled with some development initiatives in the
past, will fail to execute.
Nowhere is this underappreciation more apparent than in Washington. Congress has not held a single hearing dedicated to the B&R;
neither has the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a body that Congress created in 2000 to monitor bilateral trade
and security issues. At both the 2015 and the 2016 meetings of the
U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the highest-level annual
summit held between the two countries, U.S. and Chinese officials
detailed more than 100 areas of potential cooperation without mention
ing the B&R once, and in their public statements, U.S. officials tend
to refer to the initiative in vague terms. Washington has not only
refused to acknowledge the importance of the B&R; in some cases,
the Americans have attempted to undermine it, as when the United
States futilely opposed the creation of the aiib.
This passive-aggressive approach is misguided: it allows China to
shape Eurasias economic and political future without U.S. input; it
denies American investors opportunities to profit from major infra
structure projects; and, insofar as it seeks to weaken the initiative, it
could stifle a source of much-needed growth for Asias developing econ

September/October 2016

71

Gal Luft

omies and Europes stagnating ones. As the failed U.S. attempt to pre
vent its allies from joining the aiib shows, resisting Chinas regional
economic initiatives puts Washington in an uncomfortable position
with some of its closest partners, many of which see the B&R as a useful
tool for pulling the global economy out of the doldrums. U.S. officials
should also be mindful of history: transnational infrastructure projects
have often bred hostility among great powers when not managed
collaboratively, as the grandiose rail projects of France, Germany,
and the United Kingdom did in the years leading up to World War I.
The United States failure to properly respond to the B&R is espe
cially striking given that Washington inadvertently helped precipitate
Beijings interest in the project. The rebalance, or pivot, to Asia
that U.S. President Barack Obama initiated in 2011 has proved hollow,
but it has nevertheless reinforced Chinas sense of encirclement by the
United States and its allies, as has the Obama administrations de facto
exclusion of China from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Those actions
killed many of Chinas ambitions in the Pacific, leading Beijing to seek
strategic opportunities to its west. In addition, by opposing Chinas
calls for a larger voting share at the International Monetary Fund in
the first decade of this century, the United States pushed Beijing to
establish a multilateral lender of its own. And by backing restrictions
on projects that violated American environmental standards at the
World Bankwhere, in 2013, the United States supported a ban on
funding for most new coal-fired power plantsthe United States
made room for Beijing to develop alternative institutions with the
knowledge that it could find customers among its less scrupulous
neighbors. Even the United States unsustainable federal debt played
a role in the creation of the B&R: as it ballooned in the years after the
2008 financial crisis, the yield on U.S. Treasury bonds plummeted,
pushing China, the worlds largest foreign holder of U.S. debt, to di
rect more of its massive savings to infrastructure instead.
BACKING THE BIG DIG

Over the course of the next four years, Asian countries will need around
$800 billion annually to build the transport, energy, and communica
tions networks that they require to achieve their development goals.
The investment provided by todays development banks meets less
than ten percent of that needand even if the aiib and Chinas other
funding outfits live up to their promise, the money will still fall short.
72

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

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Chinas Infrastructure Play

The United States should not allow its concerns about great-power
rivalry to distract it from the challenges this deficit poses to global
prosperity. Above all, Washington should not attempt to leverage its
relationships with the Asian countries where China plans to back
infrastructure projects to stymie the initiatives progress. Such a
course would grant countries such as Kazakhstan, Myanmar, and Sri
Lanka inordinate power, creating new flash points between Beijing
and Washington.
Instead, Washington should approach the B&R with an open mind.
U.S. officials should publicly acknowledge Chinas initiative and the
potential benefits it offers, provided that Beijing leads the effort trans
parently and ensures that it works largely in the service of international
development rather than Chinas own
gain. The two countries should then The B&R could become
find a bilateral forumthe Strategic either a source of greatand Economic Dialogue is just one op
tionin which to discuss a joint eco power competition or a
nomic development agenda and come force for stability.
up with a role for the United States
that plays to its strengths. American defense contractors, for example,
could provide physical security and cybersecurity services to B&R proj
ects, and the U.S. military could help secure some of the more volatile
regions where Washington already has military assets, such as the Horn
of Africa. That would spare China the need to increase its overseas military
presence and bolster the legitimacy of the U.S. forces working in those
areas. The United States should reassure some of its allies, particularly
those in Southeast Asia, where anxiety about Chinas ascendance runs
deep, that the B&R is largely a force for economic development rather
than Chinese expansionism. And U.S. officials should seek a role for
Washington in the aiib, either as a member of the bank or as an observer.
Such a course would have a number of benefits. By cautiously em
bracing the B&R, the United States could ensure that American firms
and investors are not excluded from the opportunities offered by what
might become the biggest economic development project in history.
Washingtons engagement could also encourage some of the Euro
pean, Japanese, and South Korean investors who have been reluctant
to fund Chinese-led infrastructure projects to change their tune
which would have a broadly positive impact on global growth and, by
extension, on the U.S. economy. And by becoming a more active par

September/October 2016

73

Gal Luft

ticipant in the B&Rs various related institutions, the United States


would be better positioned to ensure that Chinas projects adhere to
international labor and environmental standards.
Together, China and the United States are responsible for half of
the worlds economic growth. At a time when the world economy is
facing a potentially prolonged stagnation, Beijing and Washington
would be better off harmonizing their development agendas than
stepping on each others toes.
DONT SELL THE ROPE

The United States, however, should not give the B&R its blanket sup
port, since doing so would pose serious risks. First, it would feed Russias
fears of U.S.-Chinese collusion, triggering paranoia in the Kremlin,
where there is already concern about Chinas push into former Soviet
states, and Moscow could lash out in response. India poses a similar
challenge. It recognizes the B&Rs economic promise, but like Russia, it
is wary of Chinas motives; specifically, New Delhi is troubled by the
commitments Beijing has made to Pakistan and by Chinas growing pres
ence in the Indian Ocean and the neighboring countries of Bangladesh,
the Maldives, and Sri Lanka. Any perception that China and the United
States are attempting to change the status quo in the region might feed
New Delhis anxiety and accelerate an arms race between China and
India. In both cases, Washington should tread carefully, doing every
thing it can to avoid creating the appearance of unwanted collaboration
between China and the United States. As for the Middle East, the Gulf
states will chafe at the prominent role the B&R could give Iran as a land
bridge between Central Asia and Europe. So Washington should make
clear that its support for Chinas infrastructure push will depend on Bei
jings commitment to preserving the delicate balance of power in the
Persian Gulf, and it should try to ensure that projects that provide eco
nomic boons for Iran are balanced by investments of similar benefit to
the Gulf states. And to ensure that it is seen as a leader on global infra
structure itself, Washington should launch and promote its own infra
structure projects, such as the New Silk Road initiative proposed in 2011
by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to connect Turkmenistan,
Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India with roads and pipelines.
The greatest risk that the United States would face by supporting the
B&R wholesale is that China could use American goodwill to advance its
own ascendance to the United States detrimentabove all, by attempt
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f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Chinas Infrastructure Play

ing to change the delicate status quo in Southeast Asia and the South
China Sea. If China is indeed pursuing a long-term strategy to supplant
the United States as the worlds dominant power, as some China watchers
contend, then giving it the chance to take such a course would be a grave
mistake. In response to the recent rejection of Chinas historical claims to
most of the South China Sea by an international tribunal, for example,
Beijing might try to build dual-use infrastructure that would further mil
itarize the region and intimidate its rivals there. That is something the
United States should not tolerate, as no degree of economic integration
can justify compromising the United States Pacific alliances.
Chinese officials would likely recognize that U.S. involvement in the
B&R would place some limits on Beijings ability to redraw the lines of
the Eurasian economy. But for reasons of self-interest, they should still
welcome American cooperation. Infrastructure projects tend to carry a
high risk and produce only modest returns on investment; the B&R is
too vast and expensive to rest on one countrys shoulders. American en
gagement would clear the way for co-investments by U.S.-, European-,
and Japanese-led institutions, such as the World Bank, the Asian
Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development; it would attract private capital to Chinas projects, as well.
The Belt and Road Initiative could become either a source of greatpower competition or a force for stability and collaboration. Beijing and
Washington can ensure that the latter possibility wins out. In general, the
best course for the United States will be one of selective buy-in: it should
participate in projects that advance its interests, such as infrastructure
investments aimed at improving intraregional trade in Southeast Asia,
while avoiding or resisting those that undermine them. For its part, Bei
jing should prioritize projects that benefit both China and the United
States, and it should put vanity projects on the back burner.
It will take a great deal of magnanimity for the United States to resist
the urge to oppose such a grand strategic initiative as the B&R, espe
cially since Chinas westward push comes at a time when Washington is
increasingly confused about its own role in the world. But the United
States must remember that its response to the project will help deter
mine the future of U.S.-Chinese relations and of the international or
der. And as the global economy slows down and hundreds of millions of
Asians languish with few hopes of escaping poverty, the United States
must recognize that its fate is linked to that of the developing world
and that it should give its blessing to initiatives that will lift all boats.

September/October 2016

75

Return to Table of Contents

Parting the South


China Sea
How to Uphold the Rule of Law
Mira Rapp-Hooper

uly 12, 2016, marked a turning point in the long-standing disputes


over the South China Sea. After more than three years of proceed
ings at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, an international body
in The Hague, a tribunal constituted under the un Convention on the
Law of the Sea (unclos) issued a widely anticipated decision in a
case the Philippines brought in 2013 to challenge Chinas maritime
claims to most of the contested waterway.
Many observers had expected the tribunal to rule in Manilas favor.
Theyd also expected China to reject the tribunals decision, since
Beijing, a signatory to the convention, has long opposed the pro
ceedings and had warned that it would not abide by the judgment. But
few anticipated a ruling as definitive as the one ultimately handed
down. The tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines on almost every
count, declaring nearly all of Chinas maritime claims in the region
invalid under international law.
In so doing, the tribunal has brought a substantial amount of new
clarity to a number of contentious legal issues and has set precedents
that will affect the law of the sea for years to come. But it has also
created an immediate problem: Chinas defeat was so crushing that it
has left Beijing few ways to save face. Chinese officials may feel that
the tribunal has backed them into a cornerand respond by lashing out.
Thats especially problematic because international law has no simple
enforcement mechanism, so if China decides to defy the tribunal,
neither it, nor the Philippines, nor any other interested states will be
able to do much to induce China to cooperate. Washington and its
MIRA RAPP-HOOPER is a Senior Fellow in the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the
Center for a New American Security. Follow her on Twitter @MiraRappHooper.

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f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Parting the South China Sea

local partners can still avoid a dangerous escalation, but only if they
encourage China to abide by the ruling while making clear to Beijing
that it has not been trapped by it.
ENCLAVED

The tribunals ruling was striking for several important reasons. First,
in a surprising move, the tribunal held that all the territories in the
contested Spratly Islands are reefs or rocks, not islands. That distinc
tion matters, because under unclos, reefs cannot generate a claim
to the surrounding waters or airspace, and rocks can serve as the
basis for only a small maritime claim of 12 nautical miles. Islands, on
the other hand, generate a 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic
zone; states can also assert additional rights based on the extent of
the continental shelves that underlie them. China insists that it has
sovereignty over the Spratly Islands, and the tribunal did not rule
on their rightful ownership. But by declaring all of the Spratlys
features to be reefs or rocks, it significantly limited the claims
China can make to the surrounding water and airspace. Under in
ternational law, Chinas outposts in the (now misnamed) Spratly
Islands should be considered isolated enclaves floating in a part of
the ocean that is in the Philippines exclusive economic zone, since
they lie within 200 nautical miles of that countrys territory. And
Beijing cannot use the Spratlys to justify any claims to the sur
rounding waters.
Next, the tribunal found that China had conducted illegal activities
inside the Philippines exclusive economic zone. Chinese vessels, the
tribunal ruled, had fished where they shouldnt have, had dangerously
approached some Philippine boats, and had prevented others from
fishing and extracting petroleum within the zone. Nor was this all: the
tribunal also censured Chinas construction of artificial islands in the
region, which it determined had caused severe environmental damage
and heightened geopolitical tensions.
Finally, the tribunal completely invalidated Chinas claim that it
holds historic rights to the South China Sea through its nine-dash
line, a sweeping cartographic projection that encompasses as much as
90 percent of the waterway. The line was first unveiled by the Republic
of China in 1947 and was adopted by Chinas Communist rulers after
they took power in 1949. Chinese officials have never explained the
nine-dash lines precise legal meaning, but they have repeatedly claimed

September/October 2016

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Mira Rapp-Hooper

that it demarcates an area from which China can extract resources. The
tribunal found that there was no basis for the rights that Beijing said
underpinned the line, and that even if there had been at some point,
unclos superseded those rights when China ratified it in 1996.
The tribunals decrees decimated Chinas maritime claims in the
South China Sea and handed a great victory to the Philippines in the
process. But this victory could prove a Pyrrhic one if China responds
with increased belligerence.
NO EXIT?

As noted, most observers expected the tribunal to issue a ruling that


generally favored the Philippines. But most also thought that it would
leave China some room to maneuver. One way the tribunal could have
done that would have been by implicitly invalidating the nine-dash
line without definitively striking down Chinas argument that it has
historic rights in the regionby, for example, pointing out the lines
ambiguity and indicating that all of Beijings maritime claims must
comply with unclos.
Had the tribunal opted for such a soft repudiation, it would have
given China a valuable opportunity to save face. In the wake of the
ruling, Beijing could have formally defined the nine-dash line for the
first time, reframing it as a narrow assertion of its enclaved territories
and their maritime entitlements rather than an undifferentiated claim
to the entire South China Sea. That would have brought Chinas
position in line with unclos while allowing Beijing to suggest to its
domestic audience that it was not backing down. But since the tribunal
rejected Chinas claims to historic rights in the waterway entirely,
Beijing now must either continue to reject the tribunals ruling
wholesale or offer the Chinese public a fresh explanation of why its
rights still standa tough approach, since Chinese leaders have long
stuck to exactly the narrative that the tribunal rejected.
The tribunals ruling that the Spratlys do not constitute islands
under unclos closed off another opportunity for Beijing to save face.
Before the decision was handed down, it seemed probable that the
tribunal was going to forgo issuing any kind of ruling on Itu Aba, a
Taiwanese-held feature that seemed more likely than any other part of
the Spratlys to be a candidate for the legal status of an island. If the
tribunal had indeed avoided this question, it would have given China
another off-ramp: since China maintains a claim to Itu Aba through
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f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Parting the South China Sea

Repo men: Chinese soldiers standing guard in the Spratly Islands, February 2016

its professed sovereignty over Taiwan, Beijing could have argued, at


least to the Chinese public, that the reunification of China and Taiwan
would eventually entitle it to Itu Aba and therefore to a large swath of
the South China Sea. Indeed, the exclusive economic zone that would
have extended from Itu Aba under such a scenario would have covered
many of the Spratlys other contested features. By ruling that Itu Aba,
like all the other features in the Spratlys, is not an island, the tribunal
eliminated that possibility and destroyed Chinas ability to justify its
expansive claims to the South China Sea in legal terms.
DONT FLOUT IT

STRINGER / REUTERS

China has rejected the legitimacy of the Philippines case and the
tribunals jurisdiction to hear it since Manila first brought its complaint
in January 2013. Beijing has decried the tribunals decision as illegitimate, and it will certainly not abandon its outposts in the Spratlys or
return the sand it used to manufacture them to the seabed. In fact, in
the wake of the ruling, China landed civilian aircraft on some of those
outposts, presumably to demonstrate that possession is nine-tenths of
the law.
China might now choose to flout the decision more explicitly by
deepening its de facto control of the area. It could, for example,
declare an air defense identification zone in the South China Sea, as

September/October 2016

79

Mira Rapp-Hooper

it did in the East China Sea in 2013, unsettling many of its neighbors
in Southeast Asia. It could also start to reclaim land at Scarborough
Shoal, which it wrested from the Philippines in 2012. (Former U.S.
officials have suggested that China might be preparing to do exactly
that later this year.) Chinese forces
could attempt to intercept a U.S. ship
Washington and its
or plane as it conducts a freedom-ofpartners can still avoid a
navigation operation, raising tensions
between Beijing and Washington. Or
dangerous escalation.
China could take actions that are less
dramatic but nevertheless destabilizing. It could attempt to apply new
domestic laws to the areas it controls. Or it could declare base lines, the
formal points from which states measure maritime zones, around the
Spratlys, suggesting another effort to administer the surrounding waters.
Any of those actions would be deeply worrisome for Chinas neigh
bors and would demonstrate that Beijing is uninterested in playing by
the rules of the international order. Even more troubling, however,
would be if a defiant and defeated China chose to withdraw from
unclos completely. It is possible for a country that is not a party to
the convention to observe its provisionsthe United States is the
prime example. But if China withdrew, it would almost certainly
portend Beijings rejection of the prevailing maritime order, setting
the stage for further escalation of the many disputes regarding the
South China Sea. Chinas withdrawal from the convention would
suggest not only that Beijing intends to ignore the tribunals ruling
but also that it does not want to be bound by the many other maritime
rights and provisions that unclos enshrines and that govern the free
use of the global commons.
There are good reasons for China not to take such a course. First,
although the tribunal dealt a blow to Chinas maritime claimsits rights
to water and airspace and its authority to conduct certain activities
thereit did not rule on Chinas claims to sovereignty over territory in
the South China Sea, which are beyond the scope of unclos. For that
reason, Beijing can rightly argue that its sovereignty over the contested
reefs and rocks it occupies has not been affected. It cannot legally continue
to declare military zones in the water or airspace around the reefs it
occupies, nor can it do so more than 12 nautical miles from the rocks it
controls. But if Beijing emphasizes sovereignty claims instead of maritime
ones, it could draw public attention away from its legal defeat.
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f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Parting the South China Sea

Second, after several years of vigorous island building, Beijing has


good reasons to avoid further alienating its neighbors. Many of those
statesmost notably the members of the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (asean)have become increasingly wary of Beijing in recent
years and have clearly supported resolving the regions disputes through
the mechanisms of international law. Were China to make aggressive
new moves, it would deepen their sense of alienation, encouraging them
to strengthen their militaries to further balance against Beijing.
One other path could mitigate the sting of Chinas defeat. The
Philippines new president, Rodrigo Duterte, has signaled that he is
interested in pursuing a more conciliatory approach to Beijing and has
held out the possibility of resuming negotiations with China over
resource sharing in the South China Sea. If Chinese President Xi
Jinping accepts Dutertes offer, he might be able to reach a deal with
Manila that allows China to continue to claim some rights to resources
in the far corners of the South China Sea.
HOW TO TAKE THE EDGE OFF

Satisfying as the tribunals decision may be for Manila, all parties now
have a strong stake in ensuring that the situation doesnt escalate. The
judgment sets a significant legal precedent: the principles that guided
the tribunals decision are now part of international law, and countries
must embrace and reinforce them if they want others to uphold them
in the future. The case concerned just a few of Asias many maritime
disputes. Other countries, from Japan to Vietnam, are considering cases
of their own, and the tribunals judgment must produce some positive
change if they are to pursue their own arbitrations with confidence.
And although the South China Sea disputes have deep historical roots,
they have flared up in recent years because Chinas growing military
capabilities have meaningfully improved Beijings ability to press its
claims. If China goes further by deliberately flouting the ruling or
withdrawing from unclos, it could destroy the maritime order it has
already damaged.
There are several steps that the United States and its partners can
take to reinforce the recent ruling without getting Chinas back up.
For starters, the United States and like-minded countries around the
world should continue to declare their support for the legal process,
calling on China and the Philippines to abide by it without taking a
position on the underlying sovereignty disputes. The U.S. State

September/October 2016

81

Mira Rapp-Hooper

Department should work closely but quietly with other claimants that
are considering bringing cases of their own to help them ascertain
how this ruling might affect their efforts. And the United States should
make clear that it will investigate the implications of the decision for
its own island claims.
The U.S. Department of Defense, for its part, should resume freedomof-navigation operations that reinforce the decision after a pause of
several weeks to allow tensions to cool. It should conduct those operations
without pomp or fanfare: their message should be legal rather than
military, and their audience should be Beijing.
Finally, U.S. officials should work closely with their Chinese coun
terparts, encouraging them to negotiate with the South China Seas
other claimants, particularly the Philippines, and to make progress on
a binding code of conduct with asean, a long-sought multilateral
agreement that would create a strict set of guidelines for behavior in
the South China Sea. A code of conduct would likely also freeze the
waterways political and territorial status quo, helping China reassure
its neighbors that its long-term intentions are not threatening. U.S.
officials should remind their counterparts in Beijing that these
remaining avenues to negotiation will close if China makes another
assertive move, such as beginning construction at Scarborough Shoal,
but that if it does not, there will be ample room for cooperation
between China and its neighbors and between Beijing and Washington.
The United States and China should also press ahead with the
confidence-building measures they agreed to at Junes U.S.-China
Strategic and Economic Dialogue, to reduce the risk of an accidental
clash between them. That would help each demonstrate to the other
and to the region that neither wants to see a great-power conflict over
the South China Sea or any other maritime issue and that both are
committed to acting responsibly. More generally, U.S. officials should
make clear that the arbitration decision has brought China to a legal
crossroads, but that Beijing still has reasonable options available to it.
Resolving the current showdown peacefully and legally would be in
everyones interestsincluding, and especially, Chinas.

82

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

SPONSORED SECTION

JORDAN

Photo: Andrei Seleznev | shutterstock

A Truly Great Investment Destination


Known for its peaceful global stance, Jordan is a strong ally of the U.S. and Europe, and
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Enjoying excellent relations with its
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H.E. Eng. Imad Fakhoury
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Dr. Ziad Fariz, Governor of the Central Bank, commends
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Our focus on free trade and the private sector has ensured
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The Leading Bank in the


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The Housing Bank for Trade and Finance pursues a competitive strategy for expansion
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Established in 1973, The Housing Bank
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Ihab G. Saadi
and retail banking.
Chief Executive Officer
Today, HBTF stands at the helm of
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across varied industries, from real estate and hospitality, to gas and
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Meanwhile, as the largest retail bank in the country with an overall
market share of 15%, and a 38% market share of saving deposit
accounts, matched by an extensive network of 129 branches and 215
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of services to retail clients, in addition to commercial clients wherever
they are located in Jordan. On an international level, HBTF is present
through branches and subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Algeria,
Key Facts of the Housing Bank. USD Million
Item / Year
2014
2015
June 2016
(Unaudited)
Total Assets
10,712 11,174 10,814
Total Deposits
8,552
8,950
8,506
Total Credit Facilities
4,201
5,327
5,638
Total Equity
1,465
1,466
1,423
Profit before Tax
229
250
141
6.1%
4.8%
4%
Net NPL
Coverage Ratio
107.1% 111.6% 118.1%
Capital Adequacy Ratio
18.2%
17.0%
18%
Return on Assets
1.63%
1.58%
1.8%
Return on Equity
11.95% 12.01% 13.5%
Market Capitalization
3,230
3,360
3,292
Profit before tax for June 2015:

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USD 122 million

The New Headquarters for Housing Bank.

Bahrain, Syria, and Palestine, and through representative offices in


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The banks outstanding performance and leading role in the
Jordanian banking sector has been recognized both in the region and
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the HBTF The Arab Worlds Leading Bank in Financial Inclusion
and the bank also won the award for Best Bank in Jordan 2016. In
addition, Forbes Magazine rated the Housing Bank among the top

In 2016, The World Union of Arab


Bankers named HBTF The Arab Worlds
Leading Bank in Financial Inclusion.
Ihab G. Saadi, the HBTFs Chief Executive Officer
three of the top 100 solid companies in the Arab world.
In a region prone to conflict, the Housing Bank for Trade and
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offer the lowest rate of 5.99% in the country. With nearly 40% of the
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The country has a strong will to


promote both international and
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Ihab G. Saadi, the HBTFs Chief Executive Officer
high-profile energy projects: in 2003 and 2004, HBTF led a debt
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Today, HBTF continues work in Aqaba with its financing of the
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As a leading bank in Jordan, HBTF undertakes its responsibilities
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While financial markets in the regions neighboring countries are
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For foreign investments, Jordan confidently offers a healthy
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structure and incentives in Jordan are established and the bank is
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businesses for foreign investors in Jordan. The country has a strong
intention to promote both international and local investments.
With small and medium-sized enterprises making up a big part of
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HBTF closely collaborates with organizations like the Jordan Loan
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and efficient. With a growing number of


branches and ATMs and mobile banking
service, the Housing Bank for Trade and
Finance will remain in first place among
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Amman, the nations capital, further boosting to its growth. The
prestigious building can accommodate up to 1,200 employees with a
built up area of 78,000 square meters, while the high-tech design also
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In the future, Ihab Saadi will continue to look at all business drivers
instead of focusing on just one. The bank will realize opportunities in
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you are thinking of going abroad to the Middle East, Jordan is your
best bet. Jordan is a stable country, neutral, safe, and strategically
located, heForeign
says. Affairs Magazine - Final - OTP.pdf 1 6/21/16 3:02:32 PM

CM

MY

CY

CMY

Housing Bank for Trade and Finance


Amman / Abdali, Parliament Street, P.O.Box: 7693
Postal Code 11118, Amman, Jordan
Tel: +962 6 500-5555 | Website: www.hbtf.com

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ASEZA positioning makes Aqaba as a World-Class


Gateway of Jordan for Business, Trade & Leisure
A pivotal export center that links Asia
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the crossroads of four countries and three
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Chief Commissioner
The areas growth in terms of people and
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Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC)


ADC acts as a development driving force for Aqaba and Jordan.
Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC)
is run by a Jordanian team and supported
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mulitnational companies. A private
shareholding company governed by a
board of directors, ADC is wholly owned
by the Government of Jordan and ASEZA.
Each has a 50% stake with a mandate to
develop ASEZ through building new or Eng. Ghassan Ghanem
CEO
expanding existing infrastructure and the
required superstructure, creating business enablers for ASEZ, and
managing or operating its key facilities.
As Eng. Ghassan Ghanem, CEO of ADC, acknowledges:
Jordans stability has boosted the confidence of investors in
Aqaba, which aims to become a hub of imports and exports in the
region.
Plans are afoot for a new group of terminals to be either
expanded or constructed, including terminals for liquefied natural
gas (LNG) at a cost of $140 million and another for liquefied
petroleum gas (LPG) at a cost of $25 million. From one port in
2000, to 10 specialized ports in 2016, and 12 by 2018, the
industrial possibilities are massive, as are the incentives for SMEs
to establish themselves. The King Hussein International Airport
has been developed in line with international standards and has
a capacity of two million passengers per year. The industries in

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At the crossroads of four countries and three continents.

the Southern Industrial Zone have been given the infrastructure


needed to receive new industrial and logistic investment. The
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it has been in operation, it has marketed land PBI Aqaba
areas spanning 700,00 square meters. It
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materials, machinery and equipment and 70% foreign labor permitted
automatically.
Sheldon Fink, whose experience ranges from industrial and logistics
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Middle East management experience, explains the ethos:

PBI is by far the most financially


competitive industrial estate in Jordan
and ranks very well internationally.
Sheldon Fink, Chairman and CEO, PBI Aqaba

PBI is by far the most financially competitive [industrial estate]


in Jordan and ranks very well internationally. We are competing
with companies that are 10 times bigger. More than 65% of our
1,000-strong workforce is Jordanian and once we have completed
our growth trajectory we will have brought around $600 million to
Jordan.
PBI is looking to bring investors and companies to Jordan that
produce renewable energy devices. In particular, we have been focusing
on companies that produce solar energy and LED lighting. Weve made
agreements with both U.S. and Chinese manufacturing companies to
help them move part of their operations here. I would recommend U.S.
companies to take a serious look at Aqabawe know how things work
here and its easier to conduct business.
At the Aqaba Container Terminal, CEO Jeppe Nymann Jensen puts

forward his views: Jordan has to prepare for


growing trade; this will happen domestically
through a growing population, and
regionally when the borders to its neighbors
countries, Iraq and Syria, are opened up. This
alone could result in trade growth of up to
30%, he says. Privatization is another way
of acquiring knowledge and His Majestys
Jeppe Nymann Jensen
vision calls for multiple opportunities for
CEO, Aqaba
investors to participate in tenders for publicContainer Terminal
private partnerships.
Since APM Terminals won the concession of Aqaba Container
Terminal in 2006, total investments have grown to a worth of $300
million. The most significant investment is the quay expansion that
was completed at the end of 2013 and doubled the quay length to
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The eighth-largest potash producer worldwide by volume of
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JORDAN

SPONSORED SECTION

Arab Potash Company (APC) is a firm in a


million.
As well as contributing a huge amount
to the Jordanian economy, it also has
one of the best track records among
Jordanian corporations for work safety,
good governance, sustainable community
development,
and
environmental
Brent Heimann
conservation.

CEO
Arab Potash Co.

A Huge Success Story


Established in 1956 as a pan-Arab venture, APC operates under a
concession from the Government of Jordan that grants it exclusive
rights to extract, manufacture and market minerals from the Dead
Sea until 2058. In addition to its potash operations, the company also
invests in several downstream and complementary industries related
to Dead Sea salts and minerals, including potassium nitrate, bromine
and other derivatives. APC employs more than 2,200 workers in
Amman and Aqaba.
In recognition of its amazing work, His Majesty King Abdullah II
awarded APC an Order of Independence of the First-Class medal for
supporting the national economy, employing Jordanians and corporate
social responsibility.
CEO Brent Heimann is justifiably proud. Weve been producing
potash since 1982; this is by far our biggest year for production as

we hit 2.35 million tons, he says. We


are very happy with the work we did last
year to increase the capacity of the plant
without capital investment. Despite serious
challenges such as high energy costs, we have
managed to remain competitive within the
industry.
We are financing two dams here in Jordan
H.E. Atef Tell, Chairman, that will lower water costs and provide fresh
King Abdullah II Design
water to local communities near our plants.
& Development Bureau
We also have plans to expand by 250,000
tons a year to reduce our production costs.
We operate in one of the poorest areas, if not the poorest area in the
country Jordan valley so we feel that, one, it is very important to
hire from the local community; and two, it is important to give back.
We have supported the local hospital and built several schools locally.
We offer scholarships to any student in the area who scores highly
enough to go to medical school: anything we can do to enhance and
help the local community. Our CSR over the past five years has been
about 10 million JD per year. Last year, it was about 8-9% of our total
net income. This is an extremely unusual percentage.
Our growth prospects are positive because potash is a necessary
ingredient for providing balanced fertilization for soil, and demand for
food crops will continue to rise.
King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB)
An independent government organization that exists within the Jordan
Armed Forces, the KADDB was established by Royal Decree in 1999 to
be a center of excellence. The company has strengthened its industrial
capabilities by partnering with local companies, as well as some of the
worlds leading defense and technology firms, and is aiming to be the
globally-preferred partner in designing and developing defense and
security products and solutions in the region.
Jordan and KADDB have a lot to offer its partners and investors
and can help generate very attractive ROIs, Atef Tell, Chairman of
KADDB says. We also benefit from the Special Operations Forces
Exhibition (SOFEX) and Conference Center to emphasize these unique
assets in pursuit of our set goals and objectives.

Your gateway
to Jordan
and beyond

Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT) www.act.com.jo

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Return to Table of Contents

Keeping Europe Safe


Counterterrorism for the Continent
David Omand

ust before 11 pm on Thursday, July 14, a 19-ton truck turned onto


a seaside promenade in Nice, France, where crowds had gathered
to watch Bastille Day fireworks. The truck sped up, plowing into
the people on the promenade. By the time French police shot the
driver, the truck had traveled 1.1 miles, killing 84 people and injuring
hundreds more. That attack came less than four months after three
terrorists killed 32 people in explosions in the departure hall of Brussels
Airport and a metro car near Brussels Maelbeek subway station. And
it came eight months after a group of young men killed 130 people
in Paris, in the deadliest attack on France since World War II. The
self-proclaimed Islamic State, or isis, claimed responsibility for all
three attacks.
These attacks have exposed deep flaws in continental Europes
approach to counterterrorism. European intelligence agencies do not
share information with one another fast enough. Europes porous
borders allow terrorists to cross the continent with ease. Other European
governments have lagged behind the United Kingdom in developing
capabilities and legal frameworks for digital intelligence gathering
and in cultivating effective cooperation between their many agencies.
In the aftermath of the attacks, continental Europe now has a unique
opportunity to reform its intelligence infrastructure. Its leaders
recognize the need for action. After the Paris attacks, French President
Franois Hollande imposed a state of emergency, declaring that
France is at war. A French parliamentary commission of inquiry
into the Paris attack concluded that Europe was not up to the task of
fighting terrorism, identifying failures in French intelligence and in
DAVID OMAND is a Visiting Professor in the Department of War Studies at Kings College
London and at Sciences Po, in Paris. He served as the United Kingdoms Security and
Intelligence Coordinator from 2002 to 2005.

September/October 2016

83

David Omand

the communication between intelligence and law enforcement bodies.


Belgian authorities have accepted that their counterterrorism policies
are inadequate: the Belgian interior and justice ministers offered their
resignations over the evident failures in Belgian intelligence.
European governments must now commit to lasting reforms,
ramping up investment and breaking down barriers to information
sharing. The United Kingdoms vote to leave the eu will not make
things easier. Yet it also creates an opportunity to create other,
stronger networks for international cooperation across the continent
and beyond.
As they respond to isis threat, governments would do well to heed
four main lessons from history. Governments must not forget the
importance of understanding the enemy, formulating realistic goals
that are consistent with democratic values, remaining flexible in the
face of a threat that is unlikely to remain static, and, above all, forging
partnerships based on earned trust.
UNDERSTAND THE ENEMY

Episodes from the 1990s and early years of this century illustrate the
first key lesson of successful counterterrorism: the importance of
understanding the nature of the threat. When intelligence agencies
misdiagnose the danger after a plot is uncovered or after an attack,
governments are less likely to invest to preempt future threats.
Throughout the 1990s, despite several warning signs, British and
U.S. intelligence agencies failed to grasp the potential significance of
the threat from Islamist terrorist groups. In 2000, the British Security
Service uncovered the first cell of Islamist bomb-makers in the
United Kingdom. But it treated the discovery as a one-off event,
since at the time it did not seem similar to other threats that the
intelligence agency had encountered. Later that year, the Security
Service arrested a Pakistani microbiologist who was seeking pathogen
samples and equipment suspected to be suitable for making biological
weapons. Once again, however, the intelligence agency viewed the
episode as an isolated incident. In fact, British and U.S. intelligence
agencies later discovered that it was part of an al Qaeda plan to
develop biological weapons. It would not be until after 9/11 that the
British intelligence and security community would grasp the potential
scale of the threat from radicalized extremists and would invest
enough resources in response.
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Keeping Europe Safe

En garde! Near the Eiffel Tower, Paris, March 2016

PHILI PPE WOJAZE R / REUTE RS

The U.S. intelligence community was similarly slow to understand


the extent of the danger al Qaeda posed. In January 1993, Mir Aimal
Kansi, a Pakistani jihadist, shot two cia employees outside the agencys
headquarters, in Langley, Virginia. The cia responded by fortifying
its perimeter security, but its assessment of its counterterrorism
strategy did not change. Just one month later, an al Qaeda truck bomb
exploded under the North Tower of the World Trade Center, killing
six but failing to topple the building. Intelligence agencies tend not to
examine the causes of a near miss as seriously as they do the causes of
an actual disaster. (Airlines, by contrast, routinely scour close calls for
lessons.) Thus, after the 1993 attacks, they learned valuable tactical
lessonshow to protect a building from attack, for examplebut
missed the larger message: that al Qaeda was actively plotting to cause
mass casualties on U.S. soil.
Five years later, al Qaeda blew up the U.S. embassies in Kenya and
Tanzania, killing more than 200 people. Within weeks, U.S. President
Bill Clinton ordered cruise missile strikes on targets in Afghanistan
and Sudan. Osama bin Laden became a high-priority intelligence
target. But the U.S. government still massively underestimated the
risk of a terrorist attack on the United States itself and did little to
strengthen homeland security; the subsequent attacks on 9/11 came as
all the more of a shock.

September/October 2016

85

David Omand

When intelligence agencies understand the threat they face, theyre


more likely to adopt prudent reforms. In April 1993, the Provisional
Irish Republican Army detonated a massive truck bomb in the City of
London, inflicting more than $700 million worth of damage, killing
one, and injuring 44. The British authorities, who understood the
nature of the threat after decades spent fighting the ira, assessed that
the group had the explosives, personnel, and funds to continue to
pose a danger. The case for boosting investment in security was clear.
Within a few months, the British government had set up the ring of
steel, a security cordon of checkpoints and surveillance cameras around
the City of London that covered every entry point and major building.
The police, local government, and private companies worked together
to make Londons infrastructure more resilient.
France also successfully adapted its counterterrorism strategy after
the Armed Islamic Group launched a series of attacks in the 1990s,
hoping to deter France from intervening in the groups struggle to seize
power in Algeria. The French authorities understood the groups motives
and the methods it was likely to use and rapidly strengthened Frances
security apparatus. The government made it a crime to associate with
terrorists, by providing them with a vehicle, for instance, and intro
duced flexible pretrial procedures led by specialized counterterrorism
magistrates and trials in dedicated courts. These moves made it easier
to convict terrorists and deprived them of local support.
Today, however, many European intelligence agencies have been
slow to recognize the threat that isis poses. They have largely failed to
combine the work of their domestic and external intelligence services
and have failed to integrate the work of the police with that of their
security and intelligence agencies. For too long, they have ignored the
risks inherent in the Schengen system of open borders, which leaves
their security dependent on the effective intelligence of their neighbors.
As a result, networks of terrorists, hardened by fighting in Iraq and
Syria, in possession of European passports, and hiding among Europes
many undocumented refugees, now reach across the continent.
KEEP CALM

The second lesson is the importance of setting a clear and realistic


strategic aim, one that European governments can meet while staying
true to their democratic values. After 9/11, U.S. President George W.
Bush declared that his administration would do whatever it took to
86

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Keeping Europe Safe

destroy al Qaeda. He authorized measures unheard of in peacetime,


including extraordinary rendition, detention without trial, torture,
and the targeted killing of enemy combatants far from any recog
nized battlefield.
Yet much of the United States response to 9/11 has proved counter
productive. The rhetoric of the so-called war on terror expressed
resolve, but it led policymakers to overreact in their desperation to
secure wins. Prevailing in a long war is not the same as winning
tactical engagements or even a battle or two, and many of the extra
ordinary measures the United States implemented, such as the use
of torture, helped reinforce extremist
narratives and damaged the United
Many European
States standing in the world. The
invasion and occupation of Iraq helped intelligence agencies have
produce a new generation of terrorists. been slow to recognize the
The Bush-era drone program, which threat that ISIS poses.
President Barack Obama has since
expanded, has killed much of al Qaedas
senior leadership and disrupted its ability to mount organized attacks.
But the organization still represents a significant threat through its
links to the al-Nusra Front in Syria, and the inevitable accidental
killings of civilians in drone strikes have provided ready material for
extremist propaganda.
The 9/11 attacks also shocked the British government. (Sixty-seven
British citizens died that day, the largest single loss of British life in a
terrorist attack.) At first, the United Kingdom responded in a similar
fashion to the United States; by October, U.S. and British armed
forces were fighting alongside each other in Afghanistan. But their
counterterrorism strategies soon diverged. As the United States
pressed on with its war on terror, the British government adopted a
counterterrorism strategy known as contest, which aimed to reduce
the risk to the uk and its interests overseas from terrorism, so that people
can go about their lives freely and with confidence. The government
sought to reassure tourists, encourage investment, and stabilize markets.
This approach emphasized the continuation and resumption of ordinary
life. In contrast, the United States, in adopting extreme measures,
preserved an abnormal situation, playing into the terrorists narrative.
So far, the British approach has worked. Since 9/11, there has been
only one major successful attack in the United Kingdom: the bombings

September/October 2016

87

David Omand

on Londons public transport on July 7, 2005, which killed 52 people.


But the threat remains severe. British intelligence has thwarted several
major al Qaeda attacks, including a sophisticated attempt to down U.S.
airliners over the Atlantic in 2006. In
February, the British security minister
Investing more in
said that at least seven attacks had been
digital intelligence
stopped in the previous 18 months alone.
Through tight cooperation between
should be a priority.
the Security Service and the police, sup
ported by the other British intelligence
agencies, the government has successfully identified and prosecuted
hundreds of terrorists (there were 255 terrorism-related arrests in just
one year, between March 2015 and March 2016) without significantly
infringing civil liberties.
This lesson is an important one for Europes current leaders. Since
the attacks in Paris and Brussels, governments have ramped up
protection at crowded public events. But there are limits to what they
can do. A combination of effective intelligence and protective security
measures can almost eliminate the risk of attack for a small number of
high-value targets, such as a world leader or a nuclear power station.
(Isis may well be considering such targets; last November, investigators
found video footage at the apartment of a militant linked to the Paris
terrorist attack of a senior official at a Belgian nuclear facility.)
Yet there will always be a risk that terrorists will instead focus on
softer targetssubway stations, cultural centers, concert venuesas they
have recently done in Denmark, Belgium, and France. In response,
authorities should do what they can to ensure that people feel safe
when they use public transportation or congregate in public spaces,
even if the government cannot eliminate the risk. They should deploy
more armed police officers to areas of high risk and train rapid-response
units to react to the sorts of attacks that have hit Mumbai, Nairobi,
Copenhagen, Paris, and Brussels, where small groups of armed men
have rampaged across the city.
States of emergency, such as the one France imposed, can empower
authorities to take sensible immediate steps to protect the public. But
they do not represent a long-term answer. If measures such as the
widespread deployment of soldiers on the streets persist for too long,
authorities risk creating a new normalone that the public will think
terrorists have imposed on them.
88

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

The Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy &


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David Omand

When officials communicate with the public about the risk of


terrorism, they should temper expectations. It is difficult to stop
those who are prepared to use extreme violence in the pursuit of
an ideological end, especially if they are willing to die for their
cause. Statements that pledge to eliminate the risk of a future
attack may promise too muchand they may convince publics to
accept weaker protections of their human rights in the pursuit of
absolute security. Instead, governments should provide a truthful
and convincing narrative to explain the causes of the attacks and
lay out a clear road map for what the public can expect next.
ADAPT AND EVOLVE

A third lesson is that policymakers must remain open to adapting


their strategies and methods as the jihadist threat evolves. To become
more flexible, intelligence agencies should adopt a joint approach to
counterterrorism, just as modern armed forces rely on joint mission
planning and command. In 2003, for example, the United Kingdom
created the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, in which staff from the
intelligence agencies, the police, the military, and other government
agencies analyze and process information together. One year later,
the U.S. government launched a similar organization, the National
Counterterrorism Center. The French parliamentary commission of
inquiry set up after the 2015 Paris attack has called for the French
government to establish a similar joint organization in Paris to
overcome coordination problems between the many French police
services and security agencies.
The British Security Service provides a case study in how an
intelligence agency can become more flexible. After the July
2005 attack in London, the agency set up eight regional counter
terrorism hubs, based alongside police counterterrorism units,
outside the city in the places it considered most vulnerable to
radicalization. By decentralizing its investigations and cooper
ating closely with regional police departments, the Security
Service could better understand local communities. Other coun
tries affected by jihadist radicalization should consider this model.
In a promising first step, France has already announced the cre
ation of a dozen regional reinsertion and citizenship centers to
help identify potential jihadists and prevent extremists from rad
icalizing them.
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f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Keeping Europe Safe


LEARN TO TRUST

The final and most important lesson is that countries must build
partnerships based on earned trust. On the national level, policymakers
should reexamine the relationships between police and intelligence
agencies, between external and internal security and intelligence
services, between civilian and military services, and between govern
ment agencies and the private sector, looking to build trust wherever
possible, by arranging more cross-postings, for example.
On the international level, European governments need to earn
the trust of partners inside and outside the eu to protect sensitive
intelligence that can lead to shared leads and joint operations. And
they need to establish good relationships with the U.S. technology
companies that may hold data vital to stopping future attacks. To do
so, they should negotiate bilateral agreements with the United States
that provide the necessary legal safeguards for companies to respond
to legitimate requests without breaking U.S. law. Eu governments
should also consider revising their data-retention laws. An insistence,
for privacy reasons, on short data-retention periods has hindered
prosecutions in the past.
Investing more in digital intelligence should be a priority.
Intelligence professionals understand the value of having bulk
access to Internet communications (between Syria and Europe, for
example), being able to hack the devices used by terrorists and
criminals, and using data-mining techniques to identify suspects.
In 2010, for example, British authorities foiled the plans of a group
of jihadists to bomb the London Stock Exchange by uncovering
their electronic communications. But the revelations of U.S. and
British government electronic surveillance programs by the former
National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden have
diminished public trust in the use of such techniques. It is essential
to rebuild confidence across Europe in the use of these methods
under strict legal safeguards and with independent oversight.
Leaders should acknowledge the important role that intelligence
agencies play and defend their methods as essential to public
safety. To get smaller states on board, the larger powers, such as
the United Kingdom and France, should reach out to them to offer
support and training. The Club de Berne, a non-eu body where
the heads of the internal intelligence services of the eu countries,
Norway, and Switzerland meet regularly and oversee the Counter

September/October 2016

91

David Omand

Terrorist Group, which liaises with the eu, would be a good forum
for coordinating such efforts.
BREXIT BLUES?

The United Kingdoms vote to leave the eu, or Brexit, has introduced
great uncertainty for at least the next two years over the United
Kingdoms relationship with Europe. The United Kingdom is Europes
major intelligence power and has long benefited from its close
coordination with the United States on security and intelligence
gathering. It remains at the cutting edge of digital intelligenceit
has around 5,500 people working in this area, compared with
Frances 2,800 and Germanys 1,000. At the moment, the United
Kingdom enjoys excellent bilateral and multilateral relationships
with other European intelligence services. That should continue,
but politicians will need to show steady nerves to ensure that the
security needs of Europe as a whole are placed above the political
interests of its individual leaders.
Policymakers must be prepared to cooperate internationally through
informal networks, rather than waste time dreaming of new eu
institutions, such as a European cia or fbi. An effective international
network could develop among counterterrorism centers, for example,
especially to share threat assessments (preferably based on an agreed
set of warning levels). The various European national intelligence
coordinators, working with the U.S. director of national intelligence,
could form another such network. And the United Kingdom will
remain a major player in the Club de Berne. Intelligence and security
professionals across Europe sincerely hope that the United Kingdom
will remain fully engaged, even as they understandably regret the
wider disruption that Brexit will cause.
The eu has done much to foster police and judicial cooperation
while safeguarding fundamental rights. The common European Arrest
Warrant speeds up the extradition of suspects between eu member
states, a mechanism the United Kingdom used to return a suspected
terrorist to Italy to face trial after the second wave of attempted attacks
on London in 2005. Europol provides a valuable avenue through
which police can liaise with one another. The Schengen Information
System II allows police to share information about suspects, and the
Schengen III information-sharing arrangements provide a network
for sharing dna, fingerprints, and vehicle registration databases (the
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f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Keeping Europe Safe

United Kingdom had recently joined this network, but after Brexit, it
will have to negotiate a new agreement). Policymakers will now need
to put in place arrangements to ensure continued cooperation on law
enforcement once the United Kingdom withdraws from the eu.
Close British-eu cooperation should not get in the way of creating
a wider network of states, including the United Kingdom, to improve
intelligence gathering on terrorist and criminal organizations within
and outside Europes borders. But it will take good statesmanship on
all sides to navigate the tough negotiations over the United Kingdoms
new relationship with the eu, while creating more powerful, mutually
beneficial networks for intelligence sharing and security cooperation
across Europe and beyond.
European countries were slow to respond to the rise of isis. But
they now have the opportunity to override old prejudices, reexamine
their counterterrorism strategies, and invest in modern intelligence
methods. Even those states that justifiably pride themselves on their
police and their ability to access and analyze intelligence can learn
from recent events.
Above all, the goal should be to maintain normalityand to
increase the ability to swiftly restore it when necessary. This will
deprive terrorists of what they seek most: to stoke public fear and
disrupt the everyday life of free and democratic societies. They must
not be allowed to succeed.

September/October 2016

93

Return to Table of Contents

The Return of Europes


Nation-States
The Upside to the EUs Crisis
Jakub Grygiel

urope currently finds itself in the throes of its worst political


crisis since World War II. Across the continent, traditional
political parties have lost their appeal as populist, Euroskeptical
movements have attracted widespread support. Hopes for European
unity seem to grow dimmer by the day. The euro crisis has exposed
deep fault lines between Germany and debt-ridden southern European
states, including Greece and Portugal. Germany and Italy have clashed
on issues such as border controls and banking regulations. And on
June 23, the United Kingdom became the first country in history to
vote to leave the eua stunning blow to the bloc.
At the same time as its internal politics have gone off the rails,
Europe now faces new external dangers. In the east, a revanchist Russia
having invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimealooms ominously. To
Europes south, the collapse of numerous states has driven millions of
migrants northward and created a breeding ground for Islamist terrorists.
Recent attacks in Paris and Brussels have shown that these extremists
can strike at the continents heart.
Such mayhem has underscored the price of ignoring the geopoliti
cal struggles that surround Europe. Yet the eu, crippled by the euro
crisis and divisions over how to apportion refugees, no longer seems
strong or united enough to address its domestic turmoil or the
security threats on its borders. National leaders across the continent
are already turning inward, concluding that the best way to protect
their countries is through more sovereignty, not less. Many voters
seem to agree.
JAKUB GRYGIEL is a Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis.

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f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

As Europes history makes painfully clear, a return to aggressive


nationalism could be dangerous, not just for the continent but also for
the world. Yet a Europe of newly assertive nation-states would be
preferable to the disjointed, ineffectual, and unpopular eu of today.
Theres good reason to believe that European countries would do a
better job of checking Russia, managing the migrant crisis, and com
bating terrorism on their own than they have done under the aus
pices of the eu.
EVER-FARTHER UNION

In the years after World War II, numerous European leaders made a
convincing argument that only through unity could the continent es
cape its bloody past and guarantee prosperity. Accordingly, in 1951,
Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Ger

September/October 2016

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Jakub Grygiel

many created the European Coal and Steel Community. Over the next
several decades, that organization morphed into the European Eco
nomic Community and, eventually, the European Union, and its
membership grew from six countries to 28. Along the way, as the fear
of war receded, European leaders began to talk about integration not
merely as a force for peace but also as a way to allow Europe to stand
alongside China, Russia, and the United States as a great power.
The eus boosters argued that the benefits of membershipan inte
grated market, shared borders, and a transnational legal systemwere
self-evident. By this logic, expanding the
eastward wouldnt require force
A Europe of nation-states union
or political coercion; it would simply
would be preferable to the take patience, since nonmember states
disjointed, ineffectual EU would soon recognize the upsides of
membership and join as soon as they
of today.
could. And for many years, this logic
held, as central and eastern European
countries raced to join the union after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Eight countriesthe Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia,
Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Sloveniabecame members in 2004;
Bulgaria and Romania followed in 2007.
Then came the Ukraine crisis. In 2014, the Ukrainian people took to
the streets and overthrew their corrupt president, Viktor Yanukovych,
after he abruptly canceled a new economic deal with the eu. Immediately
afterward, Russia invaded and annexed Crimea, and it soon sent
soldiers and artillery into eastern Ukraine, too. The eus leaders had
hoped that economic inducements would inevitably increase the unions
membership and bring peace and prosperity to an ever-larger public.
But that dream proved no match for Russias tanks and so-called little
green men.
Moscows gambit was not, on its own, enough to cripple the eu.
But soon, another crisis hit, and this one nearly pushed the union to
its breaking point. In 2015, more than a million refugeesnearly half
of them fleeing the civil war in Syriaentered Europe, and since
then, many more have followed. Early on, several countries, especially
Germany and Sweden, proved especially welcoming, and leaders in
those states angrily criticized those of their neighbors that tried to
keep the migrants out. Last year, after Hungary built a razor-wire
fence along its border with Croatia, German Chancellor Angela
96

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

The Return of Europes Nation-States

Merkel condemned the move as reminiscent of the Cold War, and


French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said it did not respect Eu
ropes common values. But early this year, many of these same leaders
changed their tune and began pressuring Europes border countries to
increase their security measures. In January, several European govern
ments warned Greece that if it did not find a way to stanch the flow
of refugees, they would expel it from the Schengen area, a passportfree zone within the eu.
Consciously or not, the European politicians advocating open
borders have failed to prioritize their own citizens over foreigners.
These leaders intentions may be noble, but if a state fails to limit its
protection to a particular group of peopleits nationalsits govern
ment risks losing legitimacy. Indeed, the main measure of a countrys
success is how well it can secure its people and borders from external
threats, be they hostile neighbors, terrorism, or mass migration. On
this score, the eu and its proponents are failing. And voters have
noticed. The British people issued a strong rebuke to the bloc in June
when they voted to leave the eu by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent,
ignoring warnings from the International Monetary Fund, the Bank
of England, and the United Kingdoms Treasury that doing so would
wreak economic disaster. In France, according to a recent Pew survey,
61 percent of the population holds unfavorable views of the eu; in
Greece, 71 percent of the population shares these views.
Back when Europe faced no pressing security threatsas was the
case for most of the last two decadeseu members could afford to
pursue more high-minded objectives, such as dissolving borders within
the union. Now that dangers have returned, however, and the eu has
shown that it is incapable of dealing with them, Europes national
leaders must fulfill their most basic duty: defending their own.
BACK TO BASICS

The eus architects created a head without a body: they built a unified
political and administrative bureaucracy but not a united European
nation. The eu aspired to transcend nation-states, but its fatal flaw
has been its consistent failure to recognize the persistence of national
differences and the importance of addressing threats on its frontiers.
One consequence of this oversight has been the rise of political
parties that aim to restore national autonomy, often by appealing to
far-right, populist, and sometimes xenophobic sentiments. In 2014,

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Jakub Grygiel

the uk Independence Party won the popular vote in an election


for the European Parliamentthe first time since 1906 that any party
in the United Kingdom had bested Labour and the Conservatives
in a nationwide vote. Last December
in France, Marine Le Pens far-right
Individual countries will
National Front won the first round of
provide the kind of safety
the countrys regional elections; then,
in March in Germany, a right-wing
that Brussels cant.
Euro
skeptical party, Alternative for
Germany, won almost 25 percent of the vote in Saxony-Anhalt. And
in May, Norbert Hofer, a candidate from the far-right Freedom Party,
narrowly lost Austrias presidential election. (Austrias Constitu
tional Court later annulled that result, forcing a rerun of the elec
tion that will be held in October.)
Some of these parties have benefited from the enthusiastic support
of Russia, as part of its campaign to buy influence in Europe. Until
recently, Moscow could rely on European leaders who were friendly
to Russia, including former German Chancellor Gerhard Schrder
and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. But now, as new
parties take the place of established ones, the Kremlin needs fresh
partners. It has given money to the National Front, and the U.S.
Congress has asked James Clapper, the U.S. director of national intel
ligence, to investigate the Kremlins ties to other fringe parties,
including Greeces Golden Dawn and Hungarys Jobbik. Yet such
parties would be surging even without Russian backing. Many
Europeans are disenchanted with politicians who have supported
eu integration, open borders, and the gradual dissolution of national
sovereignty; they have a deep and lasting desire to reassert the
supremacy of their nation-state.
Of course, most of Europes Euroskeptical politicians dont seek to
disband the union entirely; in fact, many of them continue to see its
creation as a historic victory for the West. They do, however, want
greater national autonomy on social, economic, and foreign policy,
especially in response to overreaching eu mandates on migration and
the demand for controversial continent-wide laws on issues such as
abortion and marriage. Many in the United Kingdom, for example,
pushed for a British exit from the eu, or Brexit, out of frustration
with the number of British laws that have come from Brussels rather
than Westminster.
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f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

The Return of Europes Nation-States

The bet against sovereignty has failed. But sovereigntys resurgence


has conjured up many dark memories of the nationalism that twice
brought the continent to the brink of annihilation. Many observers
now worry that European politics are coming to resemble those of the
1930s, when populist leaders spewed hate to whip up support. Such
fears are not wholly unfounded. The strident xenophobia of Austrias
Freedom Party recalls the early days of fascism. Anti-Semitism has
risen across Europe, sprouting up in parties that span the ideological
spectrum, from the United Kingdoms Labour Party to Hungarys
Jobbik. And in Greece, some members of the radical left-wing party
Syriza have advocated Greek withdrawal from nato, a prime example
of a growing anti-Americanism that could undermine the foundation
of European security.
Yet affirming national sovereignty does not require virulent nation
alism. The support for Brexit in the United Kingdom, for instance,
was less an expression of hostility toward other European countries
than it was an assertion of the United Kingdoms right to self-govern.
A return to nation-states entails not nationalism but patriotism, or
what George Orwell called devotion to a particular place and a
particular way of life. Its also worth noting that one of the greatest
threats Europe faced in the twentieth century was transnational in
nature: communism, which divided the continent for 45 years and
led to the deaths of millions.
BEYOND THE EU

A renationalization of Europe may be the continents best hope for


security. The eus founders believed that the body would guarantee a
stable and prosperous Europeand for a while, it seemed to. But today,
although the eu has generated wealth through its common market, it is
increasingly a source of instability. The euro crisis has exposed the
unions inability to resolve conflicts among its members: German leaders
have had little incentive to address Greek concerns, and vice versa. The
eu also suffers from what the German Federal Constitutional Court has
called a structural democratic deficit. Of its seven institutions, just
onethe European Parliamentis directly elected by the people, and
it cannot initiate legislation. Finally, the recent dominance of Germany
within the eu has alienated smaller states, including Greece and Italy.
Meanwhile, the eu has failed to keep Europe safe. Since 1949,
Europe has relied on natoand, in particular, the United Statesto

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Jakub Grygiel

secure its borders. The anemic defense spending of most European


countries has only increased their dependence on the United States
physical presence in Europe. The eu is unlikely to create its own army,
at least in the near future, as its members have different strategic
priorities and little desire to cede military sovereignty to Brussels.
Many of the eus backers still insist that in its absence, anarchy will
engulf the continent. In 2011, the French minister for European
affairs, Jean Leonetti, warned that the failure of the euro could lead
Europe to unravel. In May, British Prime Minister David Cameron
claimed that a British exit from the eu would raise the risk of war. But
as the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote in the 1940s,
the fear of anarchy is less potent than the fear of a concrete foe.
Today, the identifiable enemies that have arisen around Europe, from
Russia to the self-proclaimed Islamic State (also known as isis), seem
far more worrying to most people than the potential chaos arising
from the dissolution of the eu. Their hope is that individual countries
will provide the kind of safety that Brussels cant.
SPECIAL RELATIONSHIPS

From the United States perspective, the fraying of the eu presents a


serious challengebut not an insurmountable one. In the decades after
World War II, Washington sought to contain the Soviet Union not just
through nuclear deterrence and a sizable military presence in Europe
but also by promoting European integration. A united continent, the
thinking went, would pacify Europe, strengthen the economies of U.S.
allies, and encourage them to cooperate with Washington to ward off
the Soviet menace. Today, however, the United States needs a new
strategy. Because the eu no longer seems up to the task of protecting
its borders or competing geopolitically, more American pressure
for Europe to integrate will simply alienate the growing number of
Europeans who have turned their backs on the eu.
Washington need not fear the dissolution of the eu. Fully sovereign
European states may prove more adept than the union at warding off
the various threats on its frontiers. When Russia invaded Ukraine, the
eu had no answer besides sanctions and vague calls for more dialogue.
The European states that border Russia have found little reassurance
in the union, which explains why they have sought the help of nato
and U.S. forces. Yet where the eu has failed, individual countries may
fare better. Only patriotism has the kind of powerful and popular appeal
100 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

The Return of Europes Nation-States

that can mobilize Europes citizens to rearm against their threatening


neighbors. People are far more willing to fight for their countryfor
their history, their soil, their common religious identitythan they
are for an abstract regional body created by fiat. A 2015 Pew poll
found that in the case of a Russian attack, more than half of French,
Germans, and Italians would not want to come to the defense of a
natoand thus likely an eually.
The return of nation-states need not lead Europe to revert to an
anarchic jumble of quarreling governments. Increased autonomy
wont stop Europes states from trading or negotiating with one another.
Just as supranationalism does not guarantee harmony, sovereignty
does not require hostility among nations.
In a Europe of revived nation-states, countries will continue to
form alliances based on common interests and security concerns.
Recognizing the weakness of the eu, some states have already done so.
The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, for example
normally a disjointed grouphave joined forces to oppose eu plans
that would force them to accept thousands of refugees.
The United States, for its part, needs a better partner in Europe
than the eu. As the union dissolves, natos function in maintaining
stability and deterring external threats will increasestrengthening
Washingtons role on the continent. Without the eu, many European
countries, threatened by Russia and overwhelmed by mass migration,
will likely invest more heavily in nato, the only security alliance
backed up by force and thus capable of protecting its members.
Its time for U.S. leaders and Europes political class to recognize
that a return to nation-states in Europe does not have to end in tragedy.
On the contrary, Europe will be able to meet its most pressing security
challenges only when it abandons the fantasy of continental unity and
embraces its geopolitical pluralism.

September/October 2016 101

Building
Latin Americas
Logistics Platform
The
much
awaited
Telecoms
and
Broadcasting Reform was followed by the
announcement of significant budget cuts to the
2013-18 National Infrastructure Program in
early 2015. Today Mexican infrastructure projects
are benefiting from public-private partnerships
(PPPs) as the Aztec nation finds formulas to fund
its ambitious infrastructure conduit in line with
market ailments. Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, Mexicos
Minister of Communications and Transport,
shares with us how this administration is further
connecting Mexico to the world.
President Peas speech projected
Mexico as the Logistics Platform of Latin
America. Strides taken to this end and
impact achieved.
From the start our priority has been to
transform Mexico into a leading logistics platform
with high added value as part of the National
Infrastructure Plan 2013-18 aimed at providing
the infrastructure and modern logistic platforms
that will unclench added value activities and
promote balanced regional development.
To achieve that we have built and modernized
more roads, rural and feeder roads as well as
drawdowns and bridges that will reinforce the
trunk road network to the longitudinal runners
that link the North to the South, the Pacific
Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally we
are developing infrastructure that will be linked
to the other transport networks such as rail,
ports and airports that will provide value to the
supply chain and will purvey global markets with
multimodal logistic platforms.
In mass transport systems we have boosted
projects that aim to improve transfer times
to reduce time/person and environmental
costs, e.g. passenger trains which are efficient
environmental alternatives and they facilitate
transfers between cities.We are also modernizing
and expanding maritime terminals so they offer
the required conditions to enable ports to be
more competitive in line with fomenting tourism
and foreign trade.
The Mexico City New International
Airport (NAICM) is a new greenfield
airport being built in the city of Mexico,
Sponsored Section

MEXICOS MUSCLE
REVEALING
THE STRENGTH
in partnership with

to replace the existing Benito Juarez


International Airport which was announced
by Mexican President Pea, who allocated
$9.2bn for its construction in September
2014. It is one of the worlds biggest airport
infrastructure projects and is expected to
be the biggest airport in Latin America.
What stage is it at today?
Air activity had been growing in Mexico
more than the economy. While GDP growth
was 3.5 % between 2009 and 2013, the annual
growth of passengers reached 5.4% during
that same period. In line with the OCDE the
New International Airport responds to a need
that goes back 20 years to expand the airports
capacity proportionately to the countrys growth.
Since the airports growth reached its
maximum operational capacity, passengers and
trade have been connecting via other airports
postponing the opportunity for Mexico City
to become Latin Americas leading passenger
and cargo hub.
As a result and to overcome this, President
Pea publicly announced the construction of
the new airport on September 3rd 2014. When
completed and in full development it will boast
six runways and will transport approximately
120 million passengers yearly quadruplicating
its current capacity. The go-ahead decision was
based on technical studies carried out by experts
from renowned world organizations such as
the MITRE Corporation, the International Air
Transport Association (IATA) and the Civil
Aviation Organization (OACI).
We have already moved from planning and
design to execution. Therefore today the most
important project of this administration is
meeting is going to plan. So far the project has
concluded leveling and cleaning of 1143 hectares;
the removal of 2 million cubic meters of waste
material; the construction of 48 kilometers
of internal ways and the construction of the
perimeter bard to be finalized before the end
of 2016. By the end of June 292.7 million dollars
have been invested.
Additionally six of the 21 bidding packages were
announced including runways 2 & 3, the foundation

of the Terminal building and the Control Tower.


Environmentally, the process for the
certification of the Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED) was developed and
a commissioning company was hired to ensure
the criteria for the ecological sustainability of the
building is met.
The Ministry of Environment is conducting
reforestation activities in approximately 2,000
hectares and is contemplating the construction
of a metropolitan forest of 670 hectares.
Works on Texcocos Lake Hydraulic System
(Hydraulic Master Plan) will represent an
investment of US$1.157 billion out of which
28 works have been already contracted for
more than US$491 million. Twenty out of 28 of
these works have concluded and represent
US$125 million.
Next steps include further leveling of the
ground and storm drain. Further bids of 16
projects are expected for this year.
Will the international community
view the Mexico City - Toluca train as
a springboard for future passenger rail
development?
During the first half of the 20th century
the passenger train was a symbol of modernity,
progress and future. Railways that connected
several parts of the city had a considerable
expansion and by 1964 there was a network of
23,000 kilometers. But their development was
neglected in recent decades and rail use declined
to become obsolete despite being a friendly and
efficient mean of transport. This administration
seized the advantages rail transport provides
as modern, safe, fast and price accessible with
the objective to create a new paradigm in mass
urban mobilization. Within the Communications
and Transport Sectorial Program 2013-2018 it
was recognized that trains provide a substantial
advantage by using efficient and clean energy
sources helping reduce emissions causing climate
change.
Following this criteria, current projects
underway are:
1) The Interurban Mexico City - Toluca train:
a modern, efficient and safe rail service to
connect the Toluca Valley with the Northern
part of Mexico City in approximately 39 minutes
reducing actual time by 50%.
2) Guadalajara Light Rail: aims to efficiently
link the municipalities of Guadalajara, Zapopan
and Tlaquepaque with 18 stations, in 33 minutes
allowing a reduction of 40 minutes.

We expect the benefits of these works to


catapult a golden era in passenger and cargo
rail, in turn generating innovative train proposals
across the nation raising quality of life and
complimenting existing connectivity in line with
the Presidents announcement that Mexico will
once again count on trains to connect its cities.
Does Mexico qualify as the Regional
Logistics and Innovation Platform of Latin
America?
The relevance of the National Infrastructure
Plan from its inception was to transform the
country into a value added global logistics platform
profiting from our competitive advantages such
as: geographic location between the US, the
largest market in the world and Europe and Asia; more that 11,000 km coastline, demographic
bonus and specialized workforce, participation
in 11 commercial treaties with 46 countries, in
addition to the recent adherence to the Trans
Pacific Partnership (TPP) integrated by 12
nations. Important international recognitions
confirm that we are on the right track - in only
three and a half years competitiveness conditions
have improved and set the foundations for a
prosperous, inclusive country.
For instance: the aeronautic industry has been
driven towards growth. Proof of it is the sustained
increase in the number of transported passengers
year-on-year by 12%. Our participation in
world aviation has been further strengthened
through the new Aerial Transport Agreement
with the US providing better services, promoting
regional development through more routes,
flight frequencies and better prices. Additionally
bilateral agreements of aerial transport have
been signed with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
We have achieved more agreements than ever
before reaching 302 new national and 259
international routes.
In port development we have increased our
capacity by 40 percent and by 2018 we will have
duplicated it. With regards to rail cargo we have
attracted more than double the investment. Given
its importance for the logistic development of
Mexico we have prioritized port infrastructure
modernization in addition to the implementation
of better technology for an updated rail system.
Road infrastructure is the nations main mean
of transport for which we are constructing
and modernizing eight trunk axes, building
52 new highways and 80 federal roadways having
delivered already 17,000 km of highways, roads
and rural ways.
Sponsored Section

Financing infrastructure What measures


is the government putting in place to
safeguard infrastructure investments and
provide transparency and legal certainty to
investors?
Firstly a responsible spending policy has been
implemented for the Ministrys entire program.
In a bid to ensure transparency, for the first time,
the Ministry of Communications and Transport
has electronic proof of all of the processes on
its major requests for bids that allows anyone
to check, through the internet web site, all the
different procedures, from the initial bid request
to the final contract issued. Bidding processes
are streamlined with the participation of public
notaries to provide testimonies of the content of
proposals submitted by the companies.
We have conducted 9,695 bidding processes
and granted contracts to more than 5,055
companies and there has not been a single legal
nonconformity and all the projects have been
contracted by public biddings under the principle
of a Social Witness, appointed by the Public
Function Secretary. Prestigious international
specialized entities have been invited to certify
the legality, the law observance and the technical
validity of the bidding process.
The Secretariat and the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) signed an agreement in 2015 to
promote the integrity, transparency and public
biddings good practices, for the construction
of the Mexico Citys New International Airport.
Additionally a legal protocol was signed with
the National Construction Chamber to further
promote this between builders and civil servants.
Mexicos Public Private Partnerships
(PPPs) seem to be blossoming to fund
infrastructure projects such as rail, road and
port operations. Private sector investment
is expected to reach as much as US$11.1bn
(MXN200bn) in the countrys ongoing
projects. Will PPPs compensate for a lack
of resources due to recent budget cuts?
Objectives
within
the
Sectorial
Communications
&
Transport
Program
2013-2018 established the promotion of
the PPP schemes to attract larger private
sector participation. Works being financed
in this way include:
1. The design, construction, operation,
exploitation, conservation and maintenance
of the Viaduct La Raza Indios Verdes- Santa
Clara in Mexico City.
Sponsored Section

2. Two road sections: from the states


of Queretaro to San Luis Potos and from
Coatzacoalcos in Veracruz to Villahermosa in
Tabasco.
3. Development of shared network which
will provide coverage to more than double
the number of Mexicans using 4G by using
an innovative PPP scheme for the design,
installation, deployment, operation, maintenance,
upgrade and commercialization of the
wholesalers telecoms services. An investment
of approximately US$10 billion over a 10 year
period is expected through a PPP.
PPPs have proven to be an ideal mechanism
to ensure financing for different essential
infrastructure projects within an adverse
economic scenario.
Given the huge economic potential of
the Trans- Pacific Partnership, what plans
are there to develop a port infrastructure
on Mexicos Pacific coast, along with arterial
roads to transport goods to the Atlantic?
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is an exciting
project because of the potential spread in the
maritime trade flows between Mexican, Asian
and American Ports in the Pacific Ocean. It
will open a fresh window to 200 million new
potential clients. Mexican companies will enter
new markets and will consolidate their presence
in Latin America and North America.
Mexicos monopolized telecommunications
sector desperately needed to be liberalized
with provider Telmex charging some of the
highest tariffs in the world. How has the
Telecommunications Reform benefitted
users?
Providing benefits for the end-user was
the top priority for the Telecommunications
Reform. It delivered direct and immediate savings
to Mexican families of up to 23%, due to the
elimination of charges in telecommunication
services. Since January 2015 costs for domestic
long distance calls on wireline and wireless
telephones were eliminated representing annual
savings for users US$1 billion.
Together with price reduction, consumers
will
also
experience
improvements
in
telecommunication services. Regarding mobile
telephony, for instance, connection in all Mexican
territory is guaranteed regardless of the service
provider. Additionally, prepaid service users are
now be able to consult their balance. Regarding
internet, there was an increase from 42 million
users to 62 million users; subscriptions to

mobile bandwidth increased from 21 to 54 per


100 inhabitants considerably reducing the digital
gap. By the end of 2015 the transition to Digital
Terrestrial TV was completed and the analog
blackout took place. More than 10 million digital
TVs were granted to homes with scarce resources
benefitting one in three homes nationwide.
Now families spend less in electricity and have
access to double the number of digital channels.
On the broadcasting sector, the Reform has
set ground rules for the must carry and must
offer procedure that allows broadcasters to
retransmit pay TV signals with no cost for viewers,
while pay TV providers are allowed to transmit
broadcasted signals on their systems with no
charge for the consumer, thus allowing access to
the same contents for all TV viewers.
The above-mentioned benefits did not come
about by chance; they were the result of better
competition conditions originated by the Reform.
This fact is acknowledged by the Organization
for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD). In its 2015 OECD Economic Survey of
Mexico it praises Mexican regulation for being in
accordance with competition, and it even places
the Mexican regulation index from number 93
to number 4 in the World Economic Forum
connectivity accessibility.
According to the sign of the times and
aligned with its strategic intent of boosting
telecommunications as development and digital
inclusion tools, the Federal administration is
responsible of bringing this to fruition by fostering
infrastructure development, creating conditions
for accessibility and connectivity, and promoting
the use of the Information and Communications
Technologies (ITC). It is also in charge of
providing suitable conditions for the development
of digital skills among the population. With
this, it is intended that at least 70 per cent of
households and 85 per cent of micro, small
and medium sized companies can benefit from
high-speed internet access at world class
standards and affordable pricing.
These connectivity goals will be reached by
embracing an ambitious infrastructure plan that
guarantees greater coverage for more Mexicans.
To meet the challenge, actions are being taken to
expand and strengthen the backbone broadband
fiber optic network owned by the Federal Electricity
Commission (CFE, by its initials in Spanish), and
deploy a Shared Wholesaler Network that will
provide services for both, Mobile Virtual Network
Operators (MVNOs) and concessionaires.

The Program Connected Mexico further aims


to reduce the digital gap by connecting schools,
hospitals, libraries, community centers and other
public places free-of-charge via broadband. To
date more than 100,000 establishments and
public areas have been connected benefitting
millions of people in urban and rural areas of
difficult access. Furthermore the digital inclusion
network Puntos Mexico Conectado has been
launched and consists of 32 centers across the
country to educate and train people in I.T. Today
the network counts with 221,000 members.
Finally,
the
Federal
Institute
of
Telecommunications
was
created,
a
body committed to efficiently develop
telecommunications and broadcasting for user
and audience benefit.
How would you characterize the
response from foreign telecoms/internet
providers to the reform so far?
As one of the first major steps to enhance
effective competition in the industry, the new
regulation allows foreign direct investment up
to a 100 per cent ceiling in telecommunications
and satellite sectors, while in the broadcasting
area is capped at 49 per cent. As envisioned
this has attracted private investment in telecom
infrastructure to grow 35% in 2015 compared
to 2014, while accounting for more than
US$8.72 billion over the past three years. FDI
in the telecom sector has also grown significantly
after the reform and now it represents
10% of the total..
For example, in January 2014, Eutelsat, leading
global provider of satellite communications,
purchased Satmex, Mexican satellite services
provider in an operation worth more than 800
million dollars. AT&T followed with the purchase
of Iusacell, a Mexican carrier with more than
4 million subscribers and NII Holdings,
Nextel Mexico. Both operations involved nearly
US$4 billion.
The new competition environment and the
more flexible regulation within the sector also
prompted the entrance of new players to the
Mexican mobile market. Mobile Virtual Network
Operators (MVNOs) with global presence, like
Virgin Mobile and Tuenti, from Telefnica, have
started operations in the Mexican market by
offering low cost service packages to pre-paid
mobile users.
Full report: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/country-focus
Information: info@nationroadshow.com

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Return to Table of Contents

How to Fix Brazil


Breaking an Addiction to Bad Government
Eduardo Mello and Matias Spektor

razil has rarely had it so bad. The countrys economy has col
lapsed: since 2013, its unemployment rate has nearly doubled, to
more than 11 percent, and last year its gdp shrank by 3.8 per
cent, the largest contraction in a quarter century. Petrobras, Brazils
semipublic oil giant, has lost around 85 percent of its value since 2008,
thanks to declining commodity prices and its role in a massive corruption
scandal. The Zika virus has infected thousands of Brazilians, exposing
the frailty of the countrys health system. And despite the billions of
dollars Braslia poured into the 2014 World Cup and this years Olympic
Games, those events have done little to improve the national mood
or upgrade the countrys urban infrastructure. Meanwhile, many of
Brazils long-standing problems have proved stubbornly persistent:
half of all Brazilians still lack access to basic sanitation, 35 million of
them lack access to clean water, and in 2014, the country suffered
nearly 60,000 homicides.
But Brazils biggest problems today are political. Things first came
to a boil in the summer of 2013, when the police clashed with students
protesting bus and subway fare hikes in So Paulo. Within days, some
1.5 million people took to the streets of Brazils big cities to protest a
wider set of problems, including the governments wasteful spending
(to the tune of some $3.6 billion) on the construction and refurbishment
of a dozen stadiums for the World Cup. In the months that followed,
when Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff appeared on television to
soothe the unrest, Brazilians across the country drowned out her voice
by rattling pots and pans from their balconies. In October 2014, after
EDUARDO MELLO is a Ph.D. candidate at the London School of Economics. Follow him on
Twitter @ejamello.
MATIAS SPEKTOR is Associate Professor of International Relations at Fundao Getulio
Vargas, in Brazil. Follow him on Twitter @MatiasSpektor.

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How to Fix Brazil

promising to increase public spending and bring down unemployment,


Rousseff managed to win reelection by a thin margin. But she quickly
backtracked on her major pledges, announcing a plan to cut state spend
ing and rein in inflation. The publics anger mounted.
The deathblow to Rousseffs government came from another source,
however: a corruption investigation that had been brewing even as
she campaigned for reelection. In March 2014, Brazilian prosecutors
exposed a scheme under which business leaders and government officials
had been colluding to generate kickbacks worth some $2 billion since
2004one of the largest corruption scandals in history. Operation
Car Wash, as the investigation has come to be known, found that private
companies had been sending politicians cash through intermediaries
at Petrobras in exchange for juicy contracts with the oil giant, the
board of which Rousseff had led before becoming president. As new
revelations involving high-ranking officials hit the Brazilian media
over the course of 2015, Rousseff s reputation suffered irreparable
damage; in August of that year, her approval rating sank to eight
percenta historic low. Even Luiz Incio Lula da Silva (known as
Lula), Rousseff s once wildly popular predecessor, was drawn into the
vortex: in March 2016, prosecutors began investigating his ownership
of an undeclared property in the beachside city of Guaruj that had
been renovated by a construction firm implicated in the Petrobras
scheme, among other possible offenses.
In May, as the congressional coalition led by Rousseff s Workers
Party crumbled, legislators voted to suspend her from office and
began impeachment proceedings on the charge that she had manip
ulated the budget to hide a gaping deficit. (No one has suggested that
she personally profited from the graft at Petrobras.) Her vice president,
Michel Temera savvy operator who cut his teeth in the Chamber of
Deputies (the lower house of the National Congress, Brazils legislature)
took over as acting president, despite the fact that he, too, was the
target of an investigation. Just a week before Temer stepped in on
May 12, Eduardo Cunha, a lawmaker in Temers Brazilian Democratic
Movement Party (pmdb), was removed from his duties as the Speaker
of the Chamber of Deputies on charges of obstructing justice, lying to
prosecutors, and hiding millions of dollars in a Swiss bank account.
(Cunha formally resigned from the speakership in early July but kept
his seat in Congress.) Temer soon lost three members of his cabinet
to Operation Car Wash; in the coming months, as the judiciarys

September/October 2016 103

Eduardo Mello and Matias Spektor

investigation of pmdb operatives moves forward, he might end up


facing charges himself.
All these revelations seem to suggest that Brazils current crisis is
the product of widespread criminal behavior by its leading politicians.
But the real source of the trouble goes deeper. The chaos roiling the
country is the product not of individual malfeasance but of flawed
political engineering. At the heart of Brazils problems with corrup
tion and inefficiency lie the rules that govern the relationship between
the countrys executive and legislative branches, which encourage ex
actly the kind of graft that the Petrobras scandal has revealed. To re
turn their country to political solvency, Brazilians must take on a
mighty task: they must make sweeping electoral and political reforms
to eliminate the incentives that lead so many officials to break the law
in the first place.
A GREASY WHEEL

In many presidential systems, including the United States, clashes


between the chief executive and the legislature are common. Brazils
1988 constitution addresses that problem by granting the president
extraordinary powers to break gridlock. Brazilian presidents can issue
provisional legislation by decree (although all laws must eventually be
approved by Congress), dislodge pending legislation from congres
sional committees, force Congress to vote on urgent measures, and
veto bills in part or in whole. Those powers have long helped Brazils
presidents avoid deadlock and pass many needed reforms.
It would be a mistake, however, to assume that Brazilian presidents
are all-powerful. To the contrary: their ability to avoid gridlock comes
at a high price.
Because Brazils Congress has more than two dozen political parties,
its nearly impossible for a single one to win a majority. That forces
Brazils presidents to form coalitions in order to govern effectively.
And thats where the problems start. Brazils political parties lack coherent
ideological agendas; instead, they are loosely knit alliances whose
members have no qualms about forming or dissolving coalitions at any
time. As a result, members of Congress constantly renegotiate their
political loyalties, based largely on the parochial interests of the con
stituencies they represent.
Making matters worse, Brazils electoral rules allow candidates to
switch parties relatively easily, undermining any chance of ideological
104 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

How to Fix Brazil

Game over: Dilma Rousseff after being suspended by the Senate, Braslia, June 2016

U ESLEI MARCELINO / REUTE RS

unity within coalitions. And candidates are elected to Congress based


not on the number of votes they receive individually but on the total
number their party pulls in. That creates an incentive for politicians
to change allegiances on a regular basis: jumping ship for a party led
by a popular candidate can often boost less popular aspirants to office
(or keep them there). Brazilian politicians thus tend to ride on the coattails
of powerful allies instead of focusing on party loyalty, ideological
consistency, or the details of policy. All of that makes it hard for most
voters to know what ideas individual candidatesor partiesstand
for. As a result, Brazilians tend to pick their leaders based on their
personal appeal rather than the quality of their platforms.
These problems are all intensified by the fact that once Brazilian
lawmakers take office, few rules enforce loyalty. Not only can they
switch parties; legislators can also vote as they wish, even if it means
voting against their own party or the presidential administration their
party ostensibly supports. Few pay a price for breaking ranks in this
fashion. Members of Congress seldom get booted out of their party
and parties seldom get kicked out of their coalitionfor disobeying
party whips. Since those whips cant control their own members of
Congress, presidents must bargain with lawmakers on an individual
basis in order to pass legislation. The need to win over so many
individual allieswho all have their own interests and constituencies

September/October 2016 105

Eduardo Mello and Matias Spektor

to pleasehas led Brazilian presidents to pump vast amounts of pork,


patronage, and protection into the system. This year, for example, the
federal government granted tax subsidies to well-connected families
in the state of Gois to help them pay to hire local musicians to play
at their relatives weddings. And in recent years, the Brazilian press
has reported on the construction of several roads and bridges that
seem to lead to nowhere.
In many democracies, of course, logrolling is neither rare nor
necessarily bad. But in Brazil, the practice has proved deeply counter
productive. For one thing, it has led to inefficient government spending.
In 2015, tax revenues accounted for some 35 percent of gdpmore
than they do in a number of wealthier nations, including South Korea
and Switzerland. Yet despite this income, the countrys public goods
are in dire shape. Take education: in an
assessment of 65 countries completed by
Brazils inefficiencies
the Organization for Economic Coop
stem directly from its
eration and Development in 2012 (the
most recent year for which such data
dysfunctional political
are available), Brazilian high school
process.
students ranked near the bottom in
mathematics and readingbelow their
peers in Kazakhstan and Thailand. Or consider infrastructure: since
spending money on expensive public goods doesnt bring in many votes,
the Brazilian government tends to favor investing in cheap roads
designed for private cars rather than costly public transportation systems.
As a result, Rio de Janeiro, a metropolis of 12 million people, has fewer
miles of subway track than Lisbon, which is home to just 530,000.
Such inefficiencies stem directly from Brazils dysfunctional
political process. Legislators and the president alike regularly
raise taxes not so they can invest in better public services but so
they can replenish the war chests they use to please the special
interest groups that help them stay in power. With government
spending benefiting thin slices of the electorate rather than the
majority of Brazilians, the discrepancy between revenue and the
quality and extent of public services is enormous. To be sure,
many governments experience tugs of war between narrow interests
and the public good, but the extent to which the electoral rules in
Brazil favor the former over the latter has made the situation there
particularly egregious.
106 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

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How to Fix Brazil

And yet, bad as they are, these inefficiencies pale in comparison to


the other big problem engendered by Brazils flawed political rules:
endemic corruption. In many cases, the pork and patronage doled out
by presidents prove insufficient to win Congress support; presidents
therefore often sweeten the pot by allowing legislators to appoint
their allies to plum jobs in Brazils powerful state-owned companies
and regulatory agencies. Once in these posts, the new officials gain a
say over which companies will receive lucrative government contracts.
And many of them have proved all too happy to make those decisions
based on bribes, which they then share with their patrons in Congress.
Operation Car Wash has exposed just how widespread this kind of
corruption has become. According to prosecutors, numerous Petrobras
executives were political cronies who saw their main job as charging
illegal fees on deals with private-sector contractorsand then channeling
those fees to their backers in government (after pocketing a portion
for themselves). As for the contractors in question, they included many
of Brazils mightiest corporations, including the construction giant
Odebrecht and the multinational conglomerate Andrade Gutierrez.
Estimates released by the attorney generals office suggest that since
1997, the companies involved in the graft secured some $20 billion in
subsidized credit from the Brazilian Development Bank, which is
underwritten by taxpayers. To ensure continued access to this gold mine,
the companies lavished gifts and other favors on cooperative politicians
and contributed large sums, both on and off the books, to their reelection
campaigns. Corruption was the rule, and Congress had strong incentives
to ensure that public spending remained high and poorly regulated.
THE BETTER OLD DAYS

The state of Brazilian politics has not always seemed so bleak. From
1995 to 2010, two social democratic presidents, Fernando Henrique
Cardoso and Lula, managed to cut inflation, grow the economy, and lift
millions of people out of poverty. But even though both leaders brought
about a good deal of reform, neither set out to transform Brazilian
politics. Rather than tackle the systems structural problems, Cardoso
and Lula cleverly worked around them, enacting policies that benefited
most Brazilians while allowing the wheels of the patronage system to
turn undisturbed. For a time, this tactic worked well, since both Cardoso
and Lula were careful to insulate their pet economic and social policies
from pressure from interest groups and their representatives in Congress.

September/October 2016 107

Eduardo Mello and Matias Spektor

In order to deal with Brazils corrupt and inefficient public healthcare system, for example, Cardoso expanded the parallel Family Health
Strategy, sending doctors into poor neighborhoods to provide preventive
care and reduce the pressure on Brazils public hospitals. For his part,
Lula launched Bolsa Famlia, a conditional
program that cut poverty in
The chaos roiling Brazil is cash-transfer
Brazil by 28 percent and cost a mere 0.8
the product of flawed
percent of the countrys gdp. The program
was so cheap, and its benefits so obvious, that
political engineering.
it eventually won widespread public support
even from Brazils conservatives, who initially opposed it. Both Cardoso
and Lula also protected Brazils Central Bank and Finance Ministry
from political pressure, giving them a free hand to pursue policies
that helped the economy stabilize and then grow.
Cardoso and Lula weathered their fair share of corruption scandals,
but their public-oriented policies and the strong economic growth
the country enjoyed during their tenures convinced voters to look the
other way. At their peak, these presidents were popular enough that
lawmakers found it hard to openly oppose them or to extract fat
concessions from them in exchange for their support. But Lula and
Cardoso also benefited from the fact that when they entered office,
Brazil was, by many measures, in far worse shape than it is today. That
meant there was a lot of low-hanging fruit to be picked, and both
leaders could bring about major improvements by making relatively
small changes to the existing system. As things improved and Brazilians
became more demanding of their politicians, new gains proved harder
and harder to engineeras Rousseff learned the hard way when she
became president in 2011.
Having never held elected office before, Rousseff had a difficult
time navigating the give-and-take of Brazilian coalition building. She
also had to weather the difficult aftermath of the global financial crisis
and preside over an economy that was shrinking, due in part to falling
commodity prices. Wedded to mercantilist and interventionist economic
theories, Rousseff tried to stimulate Brazils sagging economy by
increasing public spending. But this turned out to be a bad bet, since
the flood of cash encouraged members of Congress to chase more
pork and kickbacks. The combustible mix of rising unemployment,
public frustration, and growing scandal that resulted would eventually
seal her fate.
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How to Fix Brazil


DONT HATE THE PLAYER . . .

Unlikely as it may seem, Brazils current troubles might just have a


silver lining: business as usual has become so costly that many Brazilians
have finally accepted that the system has to change. Operation Car Wash
has laid bare the misdeeds of the countrys political class, and for the
first time, dozens of politicians and business leaders have gone to jail.
In the past, officials were able to shrug off corruption investigations
by relying on a lenient justice system, a weak congressional ethics
committee, and a public that seemed inured to graft. That is no longer
possible. The judges, investigators, and prosecutors running Operation
Car Wash represent a new generation of civil servants, with new
values, and they are using a new set of rules and tactics, including
the threat of serious sentences and the carrot of leniency deals, to
break the silence that politicians and businesspeople have maintained
for decades. Just as important, according to public opinion research
by the polling group Datafolha, most Brazilians now believe that
corruption is their countrys biggest problem. And whereas the
protests in 2013 were mostly about irrational government spending,
more recently, Brazilians have taken to the streets specifically to
protest official corruption.
For all his shortcomings, Temer seems to understand the need for
change. He is pushing for Brazils first-ever cap on public spending, a
measure that would limit government expenditures to current levels
for the next 20 years, thereby forcing interest groups to compete for a
fixed amount of resources instead of pushing for tax hikes or bigger
deficits. He has introduced measures that will allow the government
to reward efficient bureaucrats across the vast expanse of the Brazilian
state. And crucially, he has raised the possibility of constitutional
reforms that would reduce the number of political parties and restrict
their ability to merge their electoral lists. Both measures would make
it easier to get things done in Congress without graft.
Getting Brazil back on track, however, will take even more sweep
ing reforms. In short, lawmakers must rewrite the rules of the game
so that elected officials stop working only for their backers and start
focusing on good governance for the majority of the population. Ac
ademics, policymakers, and pundits have offered a number of ideas
for how they might do so. One radical proposal would have Brazil
drop its presidential system in favor of a parliamentary one akin to
the United Kingdoms. By fusing Congress and the executive, that

September/October 2016 109

Eduardo Mello and Matias Spektor

change would make legislators directly responsible for the success or


failure of the government, and since lawmakers would be threatened
with fresh elections if they challenged the governments major deci
sions, such a reform might reduce corrupt dealmaking and encourage
the development of stronger political parties. Other experts have ar
gued for a semi-presidential system, in which a prime minister ac
countable to the legislature conducts day-to-day politics and a
president retains the power to dissolve parliament and call new elec
tions. Shifting to such a system could make lawmakers more account
able for the results of policy decisions while preserving the presidents
status as a national figurehead. Yet another proposal would keep Bra
zils current presidential system intact but reduce the number of exist
ing parties to between six and eight and push them to commit to
coherent policy platforms, in part by abandoning the open-list pro
portional representation that defines todays electoral system.
It is too early to say which of these proposals would be most
effective. What is certain, however, is that Brazils political system
will remain dysfunctional until the countrys president and legislators
can work together effectivelyin the name of party platforms, not
clientelistic bargains. To get there, Brazil must reduce the number of
parties in Congress and empower them to discipline their own members.
Operation Car Wash, Rousseff s impeachment, and the overall
economic decline have created an opportunity for Brazil to pursue
just this kind of reform. Now the countrys politicians must seize the
rare opening these cascading crises have afforded them.

110 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Return to Table of Contents

Americas Brewing
Debt Crisis
What Dodd-Frank Didnt Fix
Robert Litan

lmost as soon as the financial crisis struck in late 2007, policy


makers began working to prevent another one. The roots of
the crisis, they contended, lay in reckless lending and excess
debt. Banks had made massive loans to subprime borrowers, who
had little ability to repay them, and the banks funded these investments
with borrowed money. When the U.S. housing bubble burst, millions
of Americans defaulted on their mortgages, and the overleveraged
banks collapsed. The government had to bail them out, and U.S.
taxpayers picked up the bill.
In July 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank
Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Reformers hoped
that the actknown as Dodd-Frank, after its Democratic co-sponsors,
Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Congressman Barney Frank
of Massachusettswould make another financial crisis less likely.
And to some extent, Dodd-Frank has succeeded. During the crisis,
too many financial institutions lacked enough capital to withstand
losses on their loans. But now, thanks in part to the act, banks have to
fund themselves with more capital and less debt, which equips them
to absorb more losses in a future downturn. And banks have largely
stopped making subprime loans, since Dodd-Frank rules require those
who give loans and securitize them to bear some losses in the event
they sour.
Nevertheless, during the 2016 presidential campaign, Dodd-Frank
has come under attack from both sides of the aisle. In the Democratic
primary, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont argued that its reforms
ROBERT LITAN is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a
partner at Korein Tillery.

September/October 2016

111

Robert Litan

did not go far enough. He called for the government to break up the
largest U.S. banks and reinstate Glass-Steagall, the 1933 act that separated
commercial from investment banking, until Congress repealed it in 1999.
Republicans, meanwhile, including the presidential candidate Donald
Trump, believe Dodd-Frank went too far, and Republican legislators
have sought to repeal it at every opportunity, arguing that its regula
tions are crippling U.S. banks and stifling growth.
Both criticisms distract from the real problem with the act, which is
that it left some key problems unaddressed. In dealing with reckless
lending and excess leverage, it misses one of the most important causes
of the crisis: runnable liabilities, or short-term debt that the govern
ment does not insure. The U.S. financial sector holds trillions of dollars
of such debt, including uninsured bank deposits and the short-term
liabilities of other financial institutions, such as overnight loans. What
makes this kind of debt so dangerous is that during a crisis, short-term
lenders, unlike long-term ones, can demand their money back imme
diately, leaving borrowers unable to pay all their creditors quickly. The
financial sector stops lending money, credit dries up for consumers and
businesses, and the economy grinds to a halt. This is what happened in
2007 and 2008, when massive runs on short-term debt spread panic
throughout the financial sector and helped trigger the Great Recession.
Although short-term debt poses one of the greatest threats to the
financial stability of the United States, Dodd-Frank has done little to
mitigate it. Fortunately, several experts have proposed ambitious ways
of dealing with the problem, including expanding federal insurance of
bank deposits, allowing the Federal Reserve to lend money to more
firms in the case of a panic, and banning unregulated financial institu
tions from issuing runnable liabilities. These are good ideas, and if
Congress passed any of them into law, the odds of a future financial
crisis would be significantly lowered.
AFTER DODD-FRANK

The Dodd-Frank Act set out to solve one of the central problems with
the U.S. financial system: that some banks, such as Citigroup and J.P.
Morgan, were too big to fail. When those banks were faced with
collapse, the government had to come to the rescue, or else risk allow
ing the whole economy to go down with them.
Dodd-Frank was supposed to solve this problem in two ways. First,
the act raised the minimum capital requirements for all banks and
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Americas Brewing Debt Crisis

imposed especially strict requirements for those with $50 billion or


more in assetsthe systemically important financial institutions
(sifis). Dodd-Frank also requires banks to hold more liquid assets,
money they can use to pay back depositors during a sudden panic.
And the act gives a new body, the Financial Stability Oversight Council
(fsoc), the authority to designate certain large financial institutions
as sifis, which the Fed can then regulate more stringently.
Second, Dodd-Frank gave Washington new powers to preemptively
shut down large, complex banks and other financial institutions,
making bailouts unnecessary. The act gave the Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation (fdic) powers to close sifis without taxpayers bearing
the cost; instead, shareholders, creditors, and managers would lose
out without causing wider damage to the financial system. Banks must
now prepare living wills, plans that detail how regulators can shut them
down in case of emergency.
The act also took aim at financial derivatives, which many politicians
blamed for the crisis. Derivatives are contracts whose payout depends
on the performance of another asset, such as oil or a foreign currency.
One particular type of derivative, credit default swaps, which allow
buyers to insure against the failure of a company to pay back its loans,
has been especially controversial. The insurance giant aig issued far
too many of these contracts without insisting on enough collateral, and
when the mortgage market collapsed, aig collapsed as well, prompting
a massive rescue by the Federal Reserve. Whats more, before the crisis,
the market for derivatives was opaque: instead of trading derivatives on
formal, transparent exchanges, individual firms bought and sold them
privately with little oversight. Dodd-Frank requires many derivatives to
be settled through central clearing-houses, where regulators can more
easily monitor them.
BORN TO RUN

These measures to rein in subprime loans and excessive leverage have


no doubt strengthened the U.S. financial system. But the problem is
that these factors, although they contributed to the Great Recession, did
not lie at the heart of the financial panic; runs on short-term debt did.
In 1933, after roughly 9,000 banks collapsed as savers rushed to
withdraw their money during the Great Depression, Congress created
the fdic to insure deposits up to a certain amount (initially $2,500,
but by 2007, the number had reached $100,000). The move helped

September/October 2016 113

Robert Litan

prevent bank runs, since people no longer worried that they might
lose all their savings if their bank collapsed.
Then, in 2008, as the financial crisis spread panic throughout the
economy, Congress raised the amount of the deposits that the fdic
would insure from $100,000 to $250,000, covering roughly half of the
$12 trillion that the country now holds in bank deposits. Bank runs
have thus become even less likely, although not impossible.
But for other financial institutions, for which the government has
not stepped in to provide insurance, the risk of runs remains high.
Shadow banks are financial institutions that are similar to banks, in
that they also issue very short-term
but are not regulated as such.
Massive runs on short-term liabilities,
These include investment banks, moneydebt helped trigger the
market mutual funds (a low-risk, lowyield investment option), and various
Great Recession.
financial firms. These shadow banks and
other issuers of short-term debt collectively account for roughly
$16 trillion in short-term debt (dwarfing the $6 trillion of insured
bank deposits), and no equivalent of the fdic exists to prevent the
holders of these instruments from running on the institutions that
carry this debt. Meanwhile, even in banks, deposits above $250,000
are still at risk of a run, as are Eurodollar deposits (dollar-denominated
accounts in foreign banks), which the fdic does not protect.
In the years leading up to the financial crisis, shadow banks relied
increasingly on runnable debt. Until the mid-1990s, such debt was
equivalent to around 40 percent of U.S. gdp, but by 2008, the figure
had reached 80 percent. This debt carried lower interest rates than
longer-term debt and was thus a cheaper source of funding. It took a
number of forms, including commercial paper, a kind of short-term
debt issued by corporations; money-market mutual funds; and
repurchase agreements, or repos, a type of short-term loan that allows
a borrower to sell a bond and promise to buy it back within a few days.
In a crisis, lenders could run on all these financial instruments.
In 2008, they did. The investment banks Bear Stearns and Lehman
Brothers experienced runs on their short-term debt. Investors also
began to flee money-market mutual funds, which started to collapse;
the Treasury Department had to step in and issue an unprecedented
blanket guarantee of all of them. And federal regulators, afraid that
there would be a run on bank deposits above $250,000, merged failing
114 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Americas Brewing Debt Crisis

Cash back? Depositors crowding a bank, Cleveland, Ohio, 1933

banks with stronger ones and temporarily guaranteed all accounts. All
of this happened in just six months, and mostly in September 2008.
PROBLEM SOLVED?

F R A N K L I N D. R O O S E V E LT L I B R A R Y

Today, runnable debt remains a major problem. Dodd-Frank focused


on reforming the banks, but shadow banks remain out of the regulators
reach. The act did create the fsoc to eliminate debt bubbles before
they burst. But the fsoc will not spot every emerging bubble. After
all, almost every economist missed the signs of the last financial crisis.
The fsoc also barely mitigates the risk of a run on uninsured deposits.
Its power to designate certain banks as systemically important may
indirectly address the problem, by signaling that the government
would be more likely to bail out these institutions than others. So
might a Dodd-Frank provision that enables the fdic to borrow from
the Treasury to pay short-term creditors who might otherwise pull
their money out of a failing financial institution. But a fair amount of
uncertainty remains; it isnt clear how willing a future government will
be to take such action, given the backlash against the bailouts of too
big to fail banks and the forced mergers during the last crisis.
Compelling large banks to hold more capital reduces their risk of
failure, but as the last financial crisis demonstrated, during a wide
spread panic, investors and lenders lose all faith in the values banks

September/October 2016 115

Robert Litan

have assigned to their assets, and many mistrust banks that claim to
have enough capital. Depositors with more than $250,000 may still
run on their bank at the first hint of trouble.
Regulators have also forced banks and other financial institutions
to hold more liquid assets, which they can use to pay back depositors
who want their money back immediately. But even this measure
may not do enough to meet the demands of creditors in a full-scale
panic, since no bank can have all its assets in liquid form and still
turn a profit.
As inadequate as the existing measures are, however, the popular
ideas for bolder reform would do little more to reduce the risk of a run
by uninsured depositors or short-term debt holders. Consider Sanders
proposal to break up the too big to fail banks. Turning one $2-trillionasset bank into four or five smaller banks would not make uninsured
depositors any less likely to withdraw their money if one of the smaller
banks faced difficulties, since their large deposits would still be unin
sured. Such depositors would rationally conclude that if one of the
smaller banks was in trouble, theirs might also be, potentially triggering
a run. Nor would reinstating Glass-Steagall prevent runs if panic
caught on, because separating commercial from investment banking
would do nothing to stop uninsured depositors from running on com
mercial banks or repo lenders from refusing to roll over their loans to
the investment banks.
Republican proposals, meanwhile, could exacerbate the risks posed
by short-term debt. Conservative academics at Stanford Universitys
Hoover Institution, for example, have suggested designating a special
district court to expedite bankruptcy cases. But making it easier for a
financial firm to declare bankruptcy could make it more likely that
lenders would lose their money if the firm collapsed, which might make
them quicker to pull their money out. The special bankruptcy court
could lessen this risk if it asked the Federal Reserve to act as the lender
of last resort for short-term creditors to prevent them from panicking,
but this would offer little improvement over the current system.
FIXING FINANCE

Yet the problem of runnable debt has solutions. One idea comes from
Morgan Ricks, a former official in the Obama administrations Treasury
Department. In his new book, The Money Problem, Ricks argues that
the government should drop the pretense that its insurance extends
116 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

ISIS
A History
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Americas Brewing Debt Crisis

only to $250,000 worth of deposits. In fact, the government implicitly


insures more than that, but only if depositors place their money in
the big banks that governments have a strong incentive to protect for
the sake of financial stability. Indeed, since the crisis, Americans have
concentrated their assets in the largest banks. If the fdic formally
abolished the insurance ceiling and thus promised to insure all accounts,
regardless of size, it would eliminate the risk of runs on banks. It would
also put smaller banks on a level playing field with bigger ones, since
people would no longer eschew the former for fear that the government
would bail out only the latter. The move would make the financial
sector less concentrated, which could introduce more competition.
Critics of this proposal argue that it would create a moral hazard.
If the government insured everyones deposits, the logic goes, banks
might feel emboldened to take greater risks, for example, by lending
to riskier borrowers at higher interest
rates. But this problem already exists
Republican proposals could
today: customers with large accounts
have moved their deposits to the biggest exacerbate the risks posed
banks, gambling on future government by short-term debt.
protection in the event of a crisis, pro
tection that the banks themselves are gambling on. The best way to
limit this moral hazard is through the stiff capital requirements that
regulators have imposed on large banks, measures that provide
cushions for the banks in case of losses from bad decisions. But
regulators need to enforce these standards more effectively than they
have in the past.
Ricks has an even more controversial solution for the risks that
shadow banks pose. He proposes banning any financial institution
that isnt a bank from issuing runnable liabilitiesin other words, he
calls for the end of shadow banking. Under his plan, the government
would essentially outlaw money-market mutual funds, repos, shortterm commercial debt, and Eurodollar deposits. To cushion the blow
to financial institutions, which would find it costlier to raise money,
Ricks also suggests eliminating Dodd-Franksomething many banks
have been advocating since Congress first passed the act. To put it
mildly, this would be a big deal.
Hal Scott, a professor of international finance at Harvard Law
School, has put forward a more traditional approach to mitigating the
risks of short-term debt. In his new book, Connectedness and Contagion,

September/October 2016

117

Robert Litan

he argues that the government should expand the Feds authority to


step in as the lender of last resort. By setting clear ground rules for
emergency lending in advance, rather
than acting in an ad hoc fashion in the
Among all the potential
heat of a crisis, the Fed would remove
causes of the next crisis,
uncertainty about when institutions are
eligible to receive liquidity support. This,
the massive amount of
Scott claims, would leave creditors with
short-term debt ranks as
no reason to run on the debt. It would
the most probable.
put an end to the concept of too big to
fail and give regulators time to reor
ganize and close failing financial firms, wiping out shareholders equity
in the process but preserving the stability of the system as a whole.
As effective as Ricks and Scotts proposals may prove, however,
they would face major political problems. Ricks plan to outlaw shadow
banking would surely invite fierce opposition from the firms in
question. And his proposal to repeal Dodd-Frankwhich he envisions
as a bipartisan compromise in which Democrats agree to get rid of the
legislation they support in exchange for measures that eliminate the
possibility of future financial panicsseems unlikely to get very far
in Congress. Scotts idea to expand the Feds ability to lend to troubled
firms runs counter to a rule the Fed adopted in 2016 to limit lending
of last resort to specific institutions. Its hard to imagine such a quick
reversal of policy happening at a time when much of Congress is
openly hostile toward the Fed.
Jeremy Stein, a former member of the Board of Governors of the
Federal Reserve, and Robin Greenwood and Samuel Hanson, both
professors at Harvard Business School, have offered a more practical,
but also more limited, plan. They argue that the government should
increase the supply of public, or government, short-term debt to
accommodate investors demand for safe financial instruments and
so that investors do not have to rely on privately issued short-term
debt. They suggest that the Treasury could unilaterally and gradually
replace longer-term Treasuries with these shorter-term government
obligations, which are immune from runs because investors view
them as safe assets.
Their solution is not as far-reaching as either Ricks or Scotts,
but at least it does not require congressional approval, since the
tactic would amount merely to a change in Treasury Department
118 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Americas Brewing Debt Crisis

policy. The problem, however, is that issuing short-term government


debt would expose Washington to swings in short-term interest rates,
introducing more volatility into the federal budget. In the end, then,
the strategy might prove more expensive than other approaches.
Long-term interest rates have fallen to their lowest levels since the
early 1950s, and the government could save money by issuing longerterm, rather than shorter-term, debt.
But perhaps the boldest proposal comes from Mervyn King, who
was governor of the Bank of England during the financial crisis. In his
book The End of Alchemy, King argues for even higher capital and
liquidity standards for both traditional banks and shadow banks. King
would phase in these tougher requirements over a period as long as
20 years. And like Scott, King wants clearer policies from central
banks on when they will act as a lender of last resort. He argues that
central banks should lend to almost anyone with sufficient collateral,
and not just to banksa significant expansion of central banks lenderof-last-resort role, but one that would help provide liquidity when it
is most needed.
Kings idea is clear and logical. Yet it is likely to face as much
hostility as Ricksif not more, since King is tougher on banks. And
Congress would likely have the same reaction to Kings plan as it
would to Scotts, since it also expands the role of central banks.
ONE STEP AT A TIME

Most of the reforms that politicians have advocated have neglected


the problem of runnable debt, and the academics proposals are
currently politically impractical. But there is a way forward: regula
tors should focus on more moderate reforms that reduce the role of
short-term and other uninsured debt in the financial system. Some of
these reforms would be possible under existing law, while others
would probably require new legislation.
The Federal Reserve has already suggested one useful reform: man
dating that issuers of repos back those instruments with extra collateral.
The requirement should discourage investment banks from using repos
for funding and, in a crisis, reassure those lending through repos that
their loans are sound and will be repaid.
Regulators could also discourage investment banks from issuing
short-term debt by requiring them to hold capital in an amount that
increases in proportion to their short-term liabilities (an idea similar

September/October 2016 119

Robert Litan

to the risk fee that the Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary


Clinton, has proposed for banks and sifis that rely on short-term
debt). U.S. regulators could take this step on their own now,
although it would make the global banking system safer if they
could persuade regulators in other developed economies to adopt a
similar system.
Meanwhile, Congress could downsize money-market funds, stopping
short of outlawing them altogether. To do so, it should eliminate the
current $250,000 ceiling on insured bank deposits. The change would
make money-market funds less attractive to large investors, since they
could invest in banks with full protection without having to take on
extra risk.
Among all the potential causes of the next financial crisis, the
massive amount of runnable debt ranks as the most probable. Yet
so far, policymakers have overlooked this problem, perhaps believing
that all will be fine if they simply cut big banks down to size or
promise never to protect any of their large depositors. This is
wishful thinking. The financial system will never be immune from
crises, but solutions exist that may go a long way toward reducing
the risk.

120 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

SPONSORED SECTION

SUDAN

Photo: shutterstock

New Viable Investments Flow In

Sudan is a vast country where lucrative business opportunities are growing by the day.
With new investment laws in place, the scope is tremendous. Read on to find out more.
Modern, dynamic and vibrant are not the words usually associated
with Sudan yet this is the reality in a country of entrepreneurs
taking the initiative to create global investment opportunities,
despite inner strife and regional conflict.
As it prays for US sanctions to be liftedPresident Obama
has been negotiating with Sudan officials through a special envoy
since 2013this determined country, having lost a great deal
of its oil industry with the cessation of South Sudan, is moving
forward with reforms and initiatives to diversify the economy.
Reforms have already led to massive investment surges in the raft
of opportunities on the table.
While there are lucrative openings growing in infrastructure,
mining, agriculture, tourism and renewable energies, the Sudanese
government is also investing in its people; more children are
entering primary education than ever before, and GDP per
capita has grown from $350 in 2000 to almost $2,000 today.
Khartoum, the countrys affluent capital, is a shining jewel of a
city, with coffee shops, office blocks and resplendent shopping
malls bustling against a backdrop of historic monuments and the
confluence of the White Nile.
Sudan has also recently been named by the World Bank as one
of the easiest places to start a business in Africa. As Minister of

Foreign Affairs Prof. Ibrahim A. Ghandour explains: I would love


people to come and see this with their own eyes. The business
environment in Sudan is very friendly, and is not only supported
by laws and the commitment of the authorities, but by the
Sudanese business personalities themselves.

The business environment is not only


supported by the authorities, but by the
Sudanese personalities themselves.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Ibrahim A. Ghandour
At the Ministry of Investment, Dr. Mudathir Abdulghani A.
Hassan adds: The government is privatizing some public entities,
plants and production projects to give private partners a chance
to participate in successful PPPs. If you come to Sudan to work in
an export-oriented production business, you will generate twice
the profit, thanks to a wide profit margin when exporting and
the difference in currency. We are inviting people from all over
the world to come here, use our resources, transform our raw
materials, and access local, regional and international markets. We
are ready and fully adapted to meet investors needs.

www.worldfocusgroup.com

SUDAN

SPONSORED SECTION

Sudatel: The Pride of Sudan


An exclusive interview with Eng. Tarig Hamza Zain Elabdin, the visionary President and
CEO of Sudatel Telecom Group (STG), now one of the most admired telcos in Africa.
Since its foundation on 13th September 1993, STG has grown
steadily from a local operator to a major regional player
after a highly successful privatization. As the bridge for the
telecommunications movement between the Arab world, Africa
and beyond, the company is investing $267 million over the next
three years to achieve an even greater global reach. Eng. Tarig
Hamza (TH) sat down with World Focus (WF) to discuss Sudatels
evolution and future objectives.
TH: The global telecoms sector has witnessed a tremendous
revolution in the last 15-20 years. A poor family living in a rural area
with little connectivity would still have a small phone, giving them
access to communication and additional services such as health care
or education. In Sudan and Africa, the telecoms sector is arguably even
more crucial as we simply dont have the banking infrastructure of the
west. Telecommunications allow our citizens to access basic financial
services via their mobile, and they also play a pivotal role in education.
E-learning is now being welcomed by the Sudanese government, and it
is also looking seriously into e-government. It is now time to put pressure
on all the ministries to adopt this process as it will only bring benefits to
the overall system. For instance, it will help to eradicate corruption.
Sudan is now connected to Saudi Arabia through two enormous
submarine cables from Cape Town in South Africa, and to the west
coast of Africa though the Africa Connecting Europe (ACE) submarine
cable. There is also a cable from Cape Town that goes all the way to
the east of Africa through Port of Sudan, thereby linking us to Chad,
Egypt and South Sudan. Telecommunications have made an enormous
impact on the quality of life of the Sudanese people and is vital for the
ongoing development of the country.
WF: How do you see Sudans telecoms sector in comparison to other
SAMENA members?
TH: In terms of infrastructure, Id say we are more or less on the
same level as the other members. In technology, however, we are much
more competitive. Sudan is now deploying 4G which truly shows how
advanced we are. Business-wise, we need to have diversity, so I am
trying to bring Ericsson, Motorola and some US companies on board,
but due to the US sanctions, it is a complex story.
WF: Sudatel celebrated an impressive financial performance in 2015 and
the core areas of services currently offered and the benefits Sudatels data
center will add to its portfolio. Where do you go from here?
TH: Our data center is certainly a competitive advantage as it is
only the second one after South Africa in the region. We are now in an
excellent position to compete with Africas main telecoms players. I took

www.worldfocusgroup.com

over as President and CEO in May 2014 and


we presented profits of up to $52 million in
2015. We intend to generate between $120150 million in profits by 2020. This year, we
are focusing on the liabilities, especially on
the suppliers, so we can maintain a healthy
and long-term relationship with them. Since
2014, we have paid 94% of all our liabilities.
Our strategy now is to carry out heavy
investment. This year, we intend to invest Tarig Zain Elabdin
$174 million in totalwe have already CEO, Sudatel
invested $100 million. I call it the Smart
Investment, which is basically focusing on those areas which can give
us appealing net profits with less cost. I want to maximize our bottom
line and the dividend for the shareholders.
WF: How is the transition to Sudatel as an ICT platform going?
TH: It took us almost nine months to prepare the strategy for our
board of directors and we invited international firms to help. The board
meeting was held in Dubai and attended by the Sudanese State Minister
of Finance, Chairman of the Board as well as many investors from
outside Sudan. The main pillars to focus on are developing our human
capital, maximizing our Key Performance Indicators and transforming
our technology to become a world-class ICT platform. Each week we
carry out comparisons in order to see where we stand in relation to the
objectives we have set. Sudan will play a pivotal role in the development
of world affairs in the coming years. It is an exciting time.
WF: What can you tell us about your CSR activities?
TH: Our social activities started in 1998 to execute sustainable
development projects for the benefit of the needy population across all
our operations in Sudan and West Africa. Over the last years, our CSR
activities have been concentrated in many areas; in the health sector, we
have contributed to the construction of, and provided equipment for,
many hospitals and clinics. We funded more than 500 water projects
out of which 150 projects are in the western regions of Sudan. Civil war
has affected the population in Darfur and such projects contributed
positively on the stability of the population. With regards to the
education sector, STG has funded the construction and rehabilitation
of many schools and the equipment of many college laboratories. More
than 200,000 students across the country are benefiting from the
desks and seats donated by STG. Since 1998, STG has spent more than
$40 million on CSR activities to ensure a better life for the population.
Unfortunately, the US sanctions hindered our activities so we are not
able to offer better social services for our communities.

SUDAN

SPONSORED SECTION

Keeping Sudan Moving Ahead


For an impoverished countrythe third-largest in Africagetting around is a challenge.
Luckily, the will for development is there and the gates are wide open for joint ventures.
For any country on the verge of a new
growth plan, the need for good transport
links and reliable infrastructure to better
assist increased business demands and
the transit of goods and people cannot be
under-estimated.
For centuries, Sudans main business
advantage was its natural inland waterway
systemit has easy access to the Nile Makkawi Mohmed
River and its tributaries and was the final Awad,
Min. of Transport,
destination for Silk Road merchants. It is
Roads & Bridges
also home to one of the most important
deep-water ports in the region, the Port of Sudan on the Red Sea,
with other smaller ports also in operation.
These factors makes Sudan a natural logistical hub; however for
the country to fully develop, there is a lot of work ahead. Minister
of Transport, Roads and Bridges Eng. Makkawi Mohmed Awad
outlines how he is rising to the challenge:
Sudan is a very important country connecting east and west, so
our responsibility is immense. The transportation sector is a vital
part of the equation for Sudans economic development. We are
improving the road and railway networks, connecting the country
to Port Sudan, and improving the passenger terminals, as Sudan
is an important platform for pilgrims going to Mecca. China, our
main foreign investor, is also looking to upgrade the former Silk
Road links.

We are creating free zone areas for


foreign investors, similar to those in Dubai
and Jeddah, and invite interested parties
to come and discover the opportunities
within the free zone sector here in Sudan.
We want to benefit from international
partnerships, including those with the
US. Our infrastructure has been heavily
Eng. Gaffar Hassan
affected by the sanctions: they are the main
General Manager
bottleneck for the countrys development.
National Highway
The train is arguably the safest mode
Authority
of transport in Sudan today. The country
currently has 4,578 kilometers of narrow-gauge, single-track
railroads that serve the northern and central parts. The main line
runs from Wadi Halfa on the Egyptian border to Khartoum and
southwest to Al-Ubayyid via Sannar and Kusti, with extensions to
Nyala in Southern Darfur and Wau in Bahr al Ghazal. Other lines
connect Atbarah and Sannar with Port Sudan, and Sannar with
Ad Damazin. A 1,400-kilometer line serves the al Gezira cottongrowing region
Sudan Railways, operated by the government-owned Sudan
Railways Corporation (SRC), is the main linkage to most of
the countrys production and consumption centers, but as Eng.
Mohamed Taha Ahmed explains, Sudanese railroads are very old
and need to be rehabilitated in order to improve the connectivity
throughout the whole country.

Paving the way for foreign investment


With mega-road projects leading to national and regional growth
under way, Sudans highway authoritya driving force in the fast
developing countryinvites interested partners to jump on board.
National Highway Authority
Gaabaa Street, Khartoum, Sudan
Tel: +249 183 730 458 | Fax: +249 183 730 459
mha_unit@yahoo.com | www.nha.gov.sd

Close to the main east-west shipping route, our ports


are the natural choice for transhipment and logistics

Sea Ports Corporation (Sudan) P.O Box 2534 Khartoum, Sudan


Tel: +249 311 822 061 | Khartoum Office: +249 183 775 869 | Fax: +249 311 822 258 | spcp21@sudanports.gov.sd | www.sudanports.gov.sd

www.worldfocusgroup.com

SUDAN

SPONSORED SECTION

The US sanctions have had a major


impact on the volume of freight transport
in Sudan; it has reduced from 2 million
tons per year to less than 1 million. We are
doing our best to maintain the lines and
rehabilitate the locomotives without US
products, and are importing from other
countries, particularly China.
Our priority now is to find adequate Eng. Mohamed Taha
financing for our 2029 strategic vision, Ahmed
when we expect to be transporting more General Manager
Sudan Railways Corp.
than 7 million passengers per year and
more than 20 million tonnes per year in freight. By then, we also
hope to have standardized all of our lines and be connected to all
four of our neighbors.
With the cost of this project estimated at $16 billion, the railway
chief is naturally looking for partners.
Connecting People
When the railroads became neglected, Sudans highway network
started to emerge. In 1990, there were only between 20,000 and
25,000 kilometers of highwayan extremely sparse network for
the size of the countryand only 3,000 kilometers of this were

Our priority now is to find adequate


financing for our 2029 strategic vision.
Eng. Mohamed Taha Ahmed, General Manager
Sudan Railways Corp.

sufficient and strong enough to take the strain of heavy traffic


and wet weather. Links were forged from Khartoum to Port of
Sudan, and even Kenya, and smaller private companies, chiefly
owner-operated trucks, ran the gauntlet to build most of the road
transport needed, followed by more private investment. Since
2005, thousands of kilometers of tarmacked roads have been built
and a new program is underway.
Eng. Gaffar Hassan is the General Manager of the National
Highway Authority (NHA). As he says: Sudans roads are the
backbone of the transport network and at the heart of many of
the infrastructure projects. Roads guarantee industrialization,
with the natural consequence of generating more jobs and higher

GDP. The growth potential of the roads


sector is tremendous in Sudan, with a fastgrowing economy and an increasing need
for world-class infrastructure paramount
As the country is the gateway into
Africa especially in terms of its access to
the four neighboring landlocked countries,
a revitalized roads sector is paramount.
Dr. Jalal Eldin M. A.
For this reason, the NHA is seeking more
Shelia
finance and technology, especially funds
General Manager
for investment in transport networks and
Sea Ports Corporation
services. It hopes foreign partners will
participate and cooperate in mutually viable projects.
The government provides various incentives for private and
foreign sector investment in the roads sector. 100% of foreign
direct investment (FDI) is allowed for support services to land
transport such as operation of highway bridges; services incidental
to transport, such as cargo handling is incidental to land transport;
construction and maintenance of roads, bridges; and construction
and maintenance of roads and highways offered on build-operatetransfer (BOT). NHA is also open to co-construction, upgrades
and improvement in regards to financing (loans) and highwaywidening projects that qualify for tax breaks.
Most foreign investors in the Sudanese roads sector can form
consortiums with local companies and/or the NHA to participate
in the development of road projects in the country.
Ports and Shipping
As the only port authority in Sudan, Sea Ports Corporation handles
all Sudanese exports and imports. It provides all the facilities to
manage ports operations and ensure all the port handling and
storage business is well handled in the port.
Sea Ports Corp. also provides marine services for port
operations as well as crude oil terminals and oil drilling platforms
requirements. It handles all main operations for all the Sudanese
ports for its clients, which tend to be shipping liners, imports and
export companies, ship owners and agencies. The prospects for
improving this sector are good and attainable, but it is crucial the
whole system of operations, management, manpower and training
aspects are modernized.
Over the years, the Port-Sudan harbor has acquired great
economic importance as it is the only port through which Sudans
oil products were exported before South Sudan was formed, and it

Sudan Railways Corporation:


Connecting Sudan and beyond
Providing a first-class service to the major
production and consumption centers in the region.
Sudan Railway Corporation
Tabya Street North, Khartoum, Sudan
Tel: +249 183 774 009 | Fax: +249 183 770 652
mohtaha123456@hotmail.com | www.sudanrailways.gov.sd

www.worldfocusgroup.com

SUDAN

SPONSORED SECTION
is still exporting South Sudans oil today.
Jalal Eldin M. A. Shelia, General Manager says: Sea Ports Corp.
encourages exports in this area, especially iron, minerals and
agriculture products. Because of their locations, our ports benefit
from easy access to roads and railways between western and eastern
worldwide markets, as well as inland and transit countries. They
also provide links to the Northern and Western African countries.
The ports export livestock, liquefied petroleum gas, and bitumen.
Sea Ports Corp. seeks to make Port Sudan a major global
shipping and transshipment hub. A look at the countrys
development shows that expanding transshipment activity is
now an important growth strategy. We are emphasizing the
development of our transshipment business, as this will form the
basis for port expansion and infrastructure upgrades.
The company seeks to attract new transshipment cargoes in
Oceania, Africa, Europe, and South America where they experience
a strong growth potential of logistics. Sudans strategic geographical
location in North East Africa means it can serve as a bridge between
the Arab and African regions. We are therefore repositioning
ourselves as a transshipment hub for the region. Sea Ports Corp. sees
its goals of diversifying the economy, bringing in more commerce,
and having a better gateway for exports.
An Ever-Growing Sector.
Infrastructural upgrades will do much to help the agricultural
sector, the backbone of the Sudanese economy. It represents 40%
of the GDP and employs around 80% of the populationa large
part of which are subsistence farmersand plays a major role in
securing food security for the East African region.
Resources are not the problemthe country is the worlds
number one producer of Arabic gum and a key manufacturer
of sugar and animal feed. It also has livestock, and a vast array

Muslih Ahmed El
Sanosi
Ag. General Manager
Hashim Hago Group

Hashim Hago Group (HHG). Acting


General Manager takes up the story:
We work in many different fields such
as construction and agriculture which is
the historical activity of the company. We
also work in the fields of export and import,
exporting Sudanese crops like sesame
and nuts. Importing mainly agriculture
machines, we have been the only dealer of
the US company CASE international. We
used to buy a lot of machinery from them
however due to the US sanctions, this has

stopped.
Hashim Hago Group also operates in the field of construction
and roads, conducting many projects with the National Highway
Authority in order to rehabiliate the national road network. We
are more than ready to work hand in hand with foreign investors.
We have many potential projects that need partnerships or direct
finance.
HHG is most interested in finding financing for projects in edible
oils processing, plastics, mining, and agricultural services. It wants
to develop these projects and enable mechanisms that can trigger a
self-reinforcing virtuous cycle. In order to make this vision a reality,
the company needs access to financing and in exchange we will
provide the equipment and expertise.

Our dream is to convert Sudanese


natural resources into commodities that
will help address global food security.
Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Prof. Ibrahim El-Dukheri
of crops, such as sorghum, cereal grains, vegetables and fruit,
including lemons, mangoes, grapefruit and oranges. The challenge
is that of the 57% of land suitable for cultivation, only 8.5% is being
used. There are excellent incentives available and a good climate for
sustained investment: a fact noted by the UN Food and Agriculture
Organization in a recent report. Whats needed is capital, good
management capabilities and sound technologies.
As Agriculture Minister Ibrahim El-Dukheri says: Our dream
is to convert Sudanese natural resources into commodities that
would help address global food security. Sudan is ready to share its
potential and resources.
One of the local players offering partnership options is the

Partner of choice for foreign investors


With progress comes responsibility. The Hashim Hago
Group, active in manufacturing, agriculture, construction
and a range of other sectors, is proud to play a key role in
Sudans growth, as well as being a reliable business partner.

Hashim Hago Group


H. Q. Bldg No. 26 - Al-Zubair Hamad Al-Malik St. No.12 Sq.10.
Al-Riyadh City, P.O Box 459 Khartoum Sudan
Tel: 249 83 560201 / 560205 FAX: +249 83 491831 / 491833
info@hagogroup.com | www.hagogroup.com

www.worldfocusgroup.com

SUDAN

SPONSORED SECTION

A treasure trove of minerals


Sudan is a hugely untapped nation when it comes to its gold and other gems, but it needs
technology and capital to mine the potential. Read on for where the opportunities lay. .
Our plan this year is to produce 70 tons of gold both
The mineral extraction sector is another economic
from traditional mining and using high technology.
pillar the government is building on. There are plenty
This is an indicator that we have so much potential and
of resourcesparticularly goldbut, because of the
this is spreading throughout the 16 states of Sudan,
large surface area of Sudan and a very diverse geology,
says the Minister of Minerals.
the potential has never been fully explored.
We are also amending the Mineral Wealth and
Six years ago, the government set up the Ministry of
Mining Development Act to accommodate new
Minerals, marking an important turning point in the
development and encourage more investment in the
sectors fortunes.
fields of transfer of technology scientific research and
The mining sectors contribution to GDP has Dr. Ahmed M. M.
institutional capacity building.
increased to more than 8%, says Minister of Minerals, Alsadig Al-karory
Minister of Minerals
Dr. Ahmed M. M. Alsadig Al-karory. A million
Taking Mining To A New Level
jobs have been created, and the sector has helped to
Nasr Eldin Elhussein, General Manager of the Ariab Mining
accelerate rural development because the gold reserves are located
Company (AMC)Sudan and East Africas mining leader
in remote areas. Minerals are widespread in each of the Sudanese
shares his views on the situation.
states. There is gold in 12 of them and other minerals, such as iron,
I believe Sudan is on the road to becoming one of the most
chrome, copper, silver, zinc, lead, aluminium, cobalt, and nickel
attractive mining sectors in the world, he says. The Sudanese
across the country. We are currently dealing with a number of
mining sector is relatively young with fast growth in the
companies, both local and foreign to enter the mineral fields.
opportunities and the production outcome. It hasnt yet properly
tapped into the full potential of other minerals and is still
Minerals are widespread in each of the
focusing on gold, although possibilities in other minerals, such as
Sudanese states. There is gold in 12 of
gemstones, are limitless.
With the current recession in the global mining markets due
them, and others, such as iron, copper,
to
the heavy extraction that has taken place over the years, Sudan
silver and zinc across the country.
is
still
a virgin area with a high concentration of mineral deposits.
Minister of Minerals, Dr. Ahmed M. M. Alsadig Al-karory
As a company, our intention is to shift into other minerals apart
from gold in the near future due to the large amounts of zinc and
There are 403 companies working in this field in Sudan; 52 of
copper we have discovered. We are developing the worlds secondwhich are foreign.
largest super pit after Australia and expect this to increase our
Challenges exist, however, one of which is the lack of added
productivity five-fold.
value: We still export these minerals as raw materials, iron
The US embargo remains the biggest challenge for the sector
is exported as a raw material, for example, and we import
as a whole.
manufactured iron. Chrome is also exported raw, the Minister
It is hindering us from importing the technology needed not
explains.
only from the US, but also other countries that dont want to
But the solutions are there, with technology and further
deal with Sudan because of the sanctions, Eldin says. Despite
investment providing the key.

Bringing added value to Sudans economy


With superior onsite services and a customer-centered
ethos, let us help your company strike gold and obtain
long-term prosperity.
Sudamin No.36, Block 28, Al-Mansheya, Khartoum Sudan
P.O. Box 7770 Postal code: 11123
Tel: +249 183 286 230 | Fax: +249 183 286 233
sudamin.company.ltd@gmail.com

www.worldfocusgroup.com

SPONSORED SECTION
adversity, however, we see the positive
side of things and have been encouraged
to be more creative.
Born from a highly successful
collaboration
between
Sudanese
government and Cominor, a Canadian
French company, in 1991, the Ariab
Mining has developed excellent skills
and competences. These are not only Kamal Hassan Alhaj
being implemented in Sudan, but other Rahma
countries that former employees have General Manager
Sudamin
gone on to work in.
More recently, the shareholding was restructured to 95% for the
Sudan government and 5% for the Industrial Development Bank.
Our main mission is to deliver production at optimal cost;
this makes us one of the companies with lowest operational
costs in the region, the Ariab chief says. We want to lead the
mining industry in Sudan and Africa, by setting a benchmark
in operational excellence, enhancing the efficiency and level of
extraction, adopting latest technologies, responsibly managing
the HSSE and environmental issues, attracting and retaining
diversified talent and contributing to the development of local
communities.
Sudamin Assists Investors
Established in 2012, Sudamin it a vital force in the mining sector,
providing ancillary services in all areas to most of the mining
companies in Sudan so help them reach their targets successfully.
Its field of expertise includes: logistics, camping sites, civil
works, catering, moving the earth, water supplies (which involves
making long pipelines and pumping stations, drilling wells and
linking them to company facilities, and providing tankers),
maintenance services, and providing limousines and transport.

SUDAN
Some 80% of this production comes
from artisan miningpeople working
with their bare hands, rather than
machinery.
More than 100 companies are here to
invest into the gold sector, and many of
them are in the state of exploration, while
15 of the 100 companies are in the actual
Nasr Eldin Elhussein
state of production.
General Manager
Sudamin has made various joint
Ariab Mining Company
ventures with many international
companies and is keen to make more in
the next five years, especially in the field of creative laboratories,
the GM says: We have the know-how and the financial capital,
but we need foreign technology. We can assist any investor
who is eager to invest in Sudan. Creative laboratories are crucial
for the development of Sudamin as analyzing samples takes far
too long at the moment.
We have to take our samples to international laboratories. For
that reason we plan to attract big companies who are specialized
in the field of laboratories. Future investments would be very
profitable for these companies as the return rate is high. Also
further investment in the field of drilling is needed, and especially
foreign machinery is something we try to attract. Right now is a
good time for these potential companies to invest.

Safe, responsible, high-tech


activity in mineral-rich Sudan

We want to lead the mining industry


in Sudan and Africa by setting a
benchmark in operational excellence
and enhancing efficiency.
Nasr Eldin Elhussein, General Manager, Ariab Mining Co.
We also distribute the chemicals the companies need for
processing minerals and are also active in extracting gold from the
tailing, Kamal Hassan Alhaj Rahma, General Manager, Sudamin
explains. This tailing contains about 30% gold, while the rest is
waste. We remove the mercury from this waste, as it is harmful.
Working directly under the Ministry of Mining, Sudamin has
been extremely proactive in its mission. After the separation of
South Sudan and Sudan, Sudan lost a lot of money from petroleum
revenues. It does, however, have good mining resources an gold
production has hit almost 100 tons per year.

The nations leading operator in gold


exploration and exploitation, we dig deeper to
unlock added value in existing mines and new
prospects through sustainable development.

Ariab Mining Company


Corner Baladia & Osman Digna Streets, Khartoum East, P.O. Box 2350
Tel: +249 183 770 127 / 742 133 | Fax: +249 183 770 404
public@ariabmining.com | www.ariabmining.net

www.worldfocusgroup.com

SUDAN

SPONSORED SECTION

The Sweet Smell of Success


Kenana Sugar Company is broadening its global reach thanks to a pioneering business
model, a full range of sugar by-products, new ventures and a happy, healthy workforce.
revered for its superb quality and enormous versatility.
One of the largest and most diversified sugar producers
Added to all this, being situated on the Red Sea means
in the world, Sudans Kenana Sugar Company, is
Kenana can easily serve export markets, including the
enjoying its journey to becoming a leading global
US, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
agro-industrial conglomerate. On an estate that spans
The ultimate sugar company sees itself as a three100,000 acres of irrigated land between the White
way partnership of Sudanese natural resources, ArabNile and the Blue Nile, the company produces a range
world financing, and Western technology. It is, of
of value-added goods that include ethanol, animal feed,
course, ripe for expansion.
milk and dairy products, poultry, meat, wood products
We have identified 17 projects through which
and certified seeds, as well as sugar.
Abdel Sayed Taha
we can boost the business, Sayed Taha says. This
The first seeds of this success story were sown in Managing Director
will increase our economic competitiveness, our
1975, when the governments of Sudan, the Kingdom Kenana Sugar
Company
environmental sustainability and the market potential
of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait joined forces to create a
within the next five to 10 years.
company that would provide food security for the Arab world.
The MD and his team are actively seeking the best partners
In just over 40 years, Kenanas worth grew to more than $5
to help bring the projects to fruition. Kenana is looking to invest
billion and some 5,000 employees keep the huge operation from
$94 million to have its own terminal and dry bulk facility in
toppling over as business orders continue to pour in.
Port Sudan that will bring the loading time for a vessel going
Managing director Abdel Sayed Taha explains the companys
to Europe, for example, down from seven days to one. Factory
business model and activities in more detail:
modernizations are another major focus, with an investment of
We use a diversification strategy within which we have
$165 million needed to get sugar and ethanol production figures
adopted business units that work for themselves, he says. Each
up, and there are also plans to open a meat-processing factory.
of these has a general manager responsible for profit and loss,
and who ensures the unit makes a positive contribution to the
Kenana - A Champion for Social Welfare.
company, within the realm of added value. This set-up, which we
Meanwhile, Kenana Sugar Company is proud to have been
call an integration model, has been designed around the cane itself
practicing the art of corporate social responsibility before the
terminology became fashionable. The vision of its founders was to
We were invited to share our business
develop the plantation areas and set up a responsible business in a
way that people could work in a safe and comfortable atmosphere
model with the ACP states so they
with
clear rights and duties. Before the initial project was launched,
too could diversify, and overcome the
the founders built a complete township for the workers and their
hazards in commodities markets.
families. Following safety regulations and rules is common culture
Abdel Sayed Taha, Managing Director, Kenana Sugar Co.
in Kenana as it gets passed through the generations.
Interestingly, as the project grows, services have expanded
simultaneously providing all the amenities needed for a healthy,
and the idea that it doesnt just produce sugar but ethanol and
modern society completely free. Within the sugar industry area,
animal feed, and by that token, the capacity to produce red meat.
there are now 48 primary schools (entrance is 95% compared with
The model we use was praised by the African, Caribbean
63% in the rest of Sudan), five high schools, 23 nursery schools,
and Pacific (ACP) Group of States summit in 2012 in Fiji, when
a hospital, two pharmacies, eight health centers, 12 social clubs,
Kenana was invited to provide a model that sugar industries in the
a training center and a sports center. There are also 22 mosques
least developed countries in that region could adapt. The idea was
and two community mosques. Most impressive is how the sugar
that they too could diversify and overcome the hazards involved
industry area compares with the rest of the country in terms of
in the commodities markets.
infant mortality rates (10 in every 1,000 compared to 104 in
Sudans strategic location on fertile scrubland between the Niles
every 1,000) and maternal death during childbirth (14 in every
has helped the sugar industry take off. Not only does the country
1,000 compared to 60 in every 1,000. Kenana is clearly a beacon
boast the highest yield of sugar cane per acre in the world, it is also
for companies to emulate all over the world.
one of the most cost-efficient producers. The sugar cane itself is

www.worldfocusgroup.com

Kenana Sugar Company:


A leading integrated sugar business
achieving sustainable food security
in the Arab world and beyond.

A beacon for diversified sugar industries around the


globe, KSC has developed a unique and highly effective
business model, using sugar byproducts to add value to
the economy and create thousands of jobs. Over 40 years,
we have expanded our core sugar industry to include:
animal feed, dairy products, poultry, meat, wood products,
certified seeds, and ethanol, as well as other engineering
goods and services. We are also a pioneer in CSR,
offering basic infrastructure and services to the Kenana
community, including education, electricity, treated water,
roads, transport and healthcare, free of charge.

Kenana Sugar Company


Obeid Khatim Street, Riyadh, Khartoum, P.O. Box 2632
Tel: +249 187 152000 | Fax: +249 183 220563
info@kenana.com | www.kenana.com

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Return to Table of Contents

The Strategic Costs


of Torture
How Enhanced Interrogation Hurt America
Douglas A. Johnson, Alberto Mora, and
Averell Schmidt

t has been more than seven years since U.S. President Barack Obama
issued Executive Order 13491, banning the U.S. governments use
of torture. Obamas directive was a powerful rebuke to the Bush
administration, which had, in the years after the 9/11 attacks, authorized
the cia and the U.S. military to use enhanced interrogation tech
niques in questioning suspected terrorists. Some detainees were shackled
in painful positions, locked in boxes the size of coffins, kept awake for over
100 hours at a time, and forced to inhale water in a process known as water
boarding. Interrogators sometimes went far beyond what Washington
had authorized, sodomizing detainees with blunt objects, threatening
to sexually abuse their family members, and, on at least one occasion,
freezing a suspect to death by chaining him to an ice-cold floor overnight.
By the time Obama came to office, the cia had apparently abandoned
the most coercive forms of torture. Obama sought to ensure that the
United States had truly turned the page. Today, however, many Americans
are considering electing a president who wants to bring such abuses back.
During a February debate among the Republican presidential candidates,
Donald Trump vowed to reinstate torture, including treatment that
would be a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding. Asked in a subsequent
talk show if he stood by his proposal, Trump replied, It wouldnt bother
DOUGLAS A. JOHNSON is Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the
John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
ALBERTO MORA is a Senior Fellow at the Carr Center. From 2001 to 2006, he served as
General Counsel of the Department of the Navy.
AVERELL SCHMIDT is a Fellow at the Carr Center.

September/October 2016 121

Douglas A. Johnson, Alberto Mora, and Averell Schmidt

me even a little bit. And this is hardly a fringe view: according to a 2014
Washington Postabc News poll, a majority of Americans now think that
the cias use of torture was justified.
In 2014, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released
a series of reports as part of a five-year investigation into the cias
detention and interrogation program. The committees Democratic
majority, joined by the Republican senator Susan Collins, argued that
the use of torture had not produced unique intelligence. The Republican
minority claimed that it had. Meanwhile, several former senior cia
officials launched a website, cia Saved Lives, on which they declared
that the agencys interrogation program had disrupted terrorist plots
and helped the United States find and capture al Qaeda leaders.
Despite their disagreements, all these perspectives share one key
assumption: that whether the torture was good or bad depends on
whether or not it workedthat is, whether it produced lifesaving
results. Leaving aside the very real human and legal consequences of
torture, a truly comprehensive assessment would also explore the policys
broader implications, including how it shaped the trajectory of the socalled war on terror, altered the relationship between the United States
and its allies, and affected Washingtons pursuit of other key goals, such
as the promotion of democracy and human rights abroad. To assess the
overall effect of torture on U.S. national security, one should consider
not only its supposed tactical benefits but also its strategic impact.
Our team of researchers at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
at the Harvard Kennedy School has begun the first such review, and
weve found that Washingtons use of torture greatly damaged national
security. It incited extremism in the Middle East, hindered cooperation
with U.S. allies, exposed American officials to legal repercussions,
undermined U.S. diplomacy, and offered a convenient justification
for other governments to commit human rights abuses. The takeaway
is clear: reinstating torture would be a costly mistake.
THE GREATEST RECRUITING TOOL

In 2004, reports surfaced that U.S. soldiers had tortured and humiliated
prisoners at Abu Ghraib, a prison 20 miles west of Baghdad that held as
many as 3,800 detainees. Our preliminary analysis has found that these
revelations, alongside allegations of torture at the U.S. detention center
in Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, spurred foreign extremists to join insurgents
in Afghanistan and Iraq, contributing to the violence in both places.
122 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

The Strategic Costs of Torture

The human toll: at Guantnamo Bay, January 2002

STRINGER / REUTERS

According to State Department cables made public by WikiLeaks,


in the spring of 2006, a group of senior U.S. officials gathered in
Kuwait to discuss how to stem the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq.
Their conclusion was startling: that the mistreatment of detainees at
Abu Ghraib and Guantnamo Bay was the single most important
motivating factor in persuading foreign jihadists to join the war. U.S.
Senator John McCain reached a similar conclusion in 2008, when he
asked a captured senior al Qaeda leader what had allowed the group to
establish a foothold in Iraq. Two things, the prisoner replied, according
to a State Department cable. The chaos after the success of the initial
invasion, and the greatest recruiting tool: Abu Ghraib. Of course, the
claims of a captured terrorist are easy to discount. But in 2009, a Saudi
official echoed this sentiment, when, according to another cable, he
concurred with the Obama administrations decision not to release any
more photos of Abu Ghraib, alleging that when the scandal first broke,
Saudi authorities arrested 250 people attempting to leave the country
to join extremist groups. And Robert Pape, a political scientist at the
University of Chicago, has lent further credence to this assertion by
identifying 26 martyrdom videos in which the suicide bombers cite
torture at Abu Ghraib as the motivation for their attacks.
Even though the total number of foreign fighters in Iraq remained
relatively low throughout the warless than ten percent of all insur

September/October 2016 123

Douglas A. Johnson, Alberto Mora, and Averell Schmidt

gents were foreigners, based on a 2007 estimate by the director of the


U.S. Defense Intelligence Agencytheir brutality gave them dispro
portionate influence on the character of the conflict. According to U.S.
and Iraqi officials, foreign fighters conducted more than 90 percent of the
suicide bombings in Iraq between 2003 and 2005, killing thousands.
The revelations about mistreatment at Abu Ghraib and Guantnamo
Bay made it easier for Sunni jihadists in Iraq to paint the United States
as a villain. Images of Americans torturing prisoners became a motif in
their propaganda, used to justify the targeting, kidnapping, and behead
ing of Shiites, Kurds, and anyone else
suspected of cooperating with the United
Images of Americans
States and its allies. When, in 2004, Abu
torturing prisoners
Musab al-Zarqawi, then the leader of
al Qaeda in Iraq, beheaded an American
became a motif in
contractor named Nicholas Bergthe
jihadist propaganda.
first beheading of the conflicthis group
claimed that it had acted in retaliation
for the abuses at Abu Ghraib. Even today, U.S. torture plays an impor
tant role in the propaganda of the descendant of al Qaeda in Iraq, the
self-proclaimed Islamic State (also known as isis). Isis fighters regularly
force prisoners to wear orange jumpsuits similar to the ones the detain
ees wear at Guantnamo Bay, and they have reportedly waterboarded
captives. Of course, jihadists in Iraq likely would have adopted cruel
tactics even if the United States had not tortured prisoners. Yet the
United States nevertheless helped legitimize such tactics by allowing
terrorists to cast them as justified forms of vengeance. In lowering the
bar for acceptable behavior, the United States signaled that in the war on
terrorism, standards of humane treatment did not bind either side.
The torture revelations also made it harder for the United States to
recruit potential Iraqi allies. Part of the U.S. Armys strategy in Iraq
included persuading locals that they would be better off siding with U.S.
soldiers than with insurgents. After the photographs of detainee abuse
at Abu Ghraib emerged, however, many Iraqis no longer saw the United
States as trustworthy, and they rejected requests for help. As General
Stanley McChrystal, the former head of the U.S. Joint Special Operations
Command, acknowledged in a 2013 interview with this magazine, The
thing that hurt us more than anything else in the war in Iraq was Abu
Ghraib. He continued: The Iraqi people . . . felt it was proof positive
that the Americans were doing exactly what Saddam Hussein had
124 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

The Strategic Costs of Torture

donethat it was proof [that] everything they thought bad about the
Americans was true. Without much cooperation from local populations,
coalition forces found it difficult to develop the kind of intelligence
sources necessary to identify and target insurgents.
A PARIAH STATE

At the same time that the United States use of torture was inspiring
extremists in the Middle East, it was also undermining counterterror
ism cooperation between Washington and its allies. Consider the case
of the Netherlands. According to U.S. State Department cables from
2003, the Dutch armys leadership wanted to contribute troops to the
U.S.-led effort in Afghanistan. But intense public opposition to
torture led Dutch political leaders to fear they would face domestic
backlash if their army helped apprehend al Qaeda or Taliban members
who then ended up at Guantnamo Bay. These concerns helped delay
parliamentary approval for the deployment of Dutch troops until
early 2006. Speaking before the Dutch legislature in November 2005,
Foreign Minister Bernard Bot warned that if Washington was not
forthcoming about its torture policies, the Dutch might not deploy
troops to Afghanistan. It was only after the United States provided
additional assurances concerning the treatment of Afghan prisoners
that the Dutch parliament voted to deploy troops.
Similar concerns impeded cooperation among the coalition forces. In
2005, a U.S. military attorney told one of us (Alberto Mora, then general
counsel to the U.S. Navy) that the British army had captured an enemy
combatant in Basra, Iraq, but released him because it did not have
adequate detention facilities and did not trust U.S. or Iraqi forces to
treat him humanely (aiding and abetting torture is a crime under British
law). Later, in 2005, Australian, British, Canadian, and New Zealand
military lawyers approached Mora at a military conference sponsored by
U.S. Pacific Command in Singapore and advised him that their countries
cooperation with the United States across the range of military,
intelligence, and law enforcement activities in the war on terror would
continue to decline so long as Washington persisted in using torture.
The problems went far beyond Afghanistan and Iraq. The Finnish
parliament delayed ratifying a U.S.-eu treaty on extradition and legal
cooperation from late 2005 until 2007 over concerns that the United
States use of torture and extraordinary renditionthe governmentsponsored practice of abducting and transporting terrorist suspects from

September/October 2016 125

Douglas A. Johnson, Alberto Mora, and Averell Schmidt

one country to another for detention and interrogation without judicial


oversightmight violate Section 7 of Finlands constitution, which
prohibits torture and specifies that the deprivation of liberty may be
imposed only by a court of law. In 2008, British authorities, fearing that
the United States was transporting suspects to secret prisons through
British airports, began requiring the U.S. embassy in London to request
permission before landing military planes in the United Kingdom.
Around the same time, the United States use of torture endangered
its access to Shannon Airport, in Ireland, a vital stop for transatlantic
military flights. For segments of the Irish public, a WikiLeaks
cable reads, the visibility of U.S. troops at Shannon . . . made the
airport a symbol of Irish complicity in
U.S. wrongdoing in the
Governments that assisted perceived
Gulf/Middle East. These concerns led
the CIAs detention and
the Irish government to impose new
interrogation program paid cumbersome notification requirements
on U.S. military aircraft to prevent tor
a legal price.
ture victims from crossing Irish ter
ritory, prohibit the United States from
shipping munitions to Israel through Shannon during the 2006 Israeli
conflict with Lebanon, and bar U.S. deportations through Shannon,
lest there be any confusion over the prisoners legal status.
The United States treatment of detainees also antagonized foreign
courts. Overriding the opposition of their countries leaders, who did
not want to undermine intelligence cooperation with the United States,
judges in Canada and the United Kingdom ordered their governments
to release classified information relating to the interrogation of their
countries citizens in U.S. custody. In 2010, the British government
reportedly paid a large (and classified) settlement to several victims of
extraordinary rendition rather than risk airing details of British com
plicity in U.S. torture in court proceedings.
Meanwhile, the Spanish Supreme Court annulled a six-year prison
sentence of a convicted terrorist, Hamed Abderrahaman Ahmed, because
some of the evidence presented by Spanish prosecutors in the case had
been obtained while Ahmed was at Guantnamo. That information was
inadmissible, the court ruled, because it had been attained under
circumstances impossible to explain, much less justify. And in 2010, in
a demonstration of how the use of torture jeopardizes the prosecution
of defendants, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani was acquitted of 284 out of 285
126 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

The Strategic Costs of Torture

charges of conspiracy and murder in the 1998 terrorist bombings of the


U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, after a
U.S. federal judge barred prosecutors from using a key witness whom the
government had learned of during Ghailanis interrogations while in cia
custodyinterrogations that Ghailanis lawyers argued constituted torture.
HOW TO LOSE FRIENDS AND ALIENATE PEOPLE

Worldwide, the scandals involving Abu Ghraib, cia secret prisons,


and Guantnamo Bay also soured attitudes toward the United States
more generally, compounding the damage done by the 2003 invasion of
Iraq. A 2006 Pew poll found that even after controlling for respondents
views of the Iraq war, people in Jordan, Pakistan, Spain, and the
United Kingdomall U.S. allies in the war on terrorismreported
less favorable views of the United States if they were aware of U.S.
abuses at Abu Ghraib, Guantnamo, and elsewhere.
Governments that assisted the cias detention and interrogation
program paid a legal price. Shortly after the human rights violations at
Abu Ghraib became public knowledge, Canadian and European officials
launched investigations into the complicity of their governments in the
torture of U.S. detainees. These included public inquiries launched in
Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom, as well as by
the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. At the European
Court of Human Rights, torture victims brought cases against Italy,
Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, and Romania, charging that by hosting
cia secret prisons, the governments of those countries had violated
Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits
torture. In 2012, the court ruled against Macedonia, ordering it to pay
60,000 euros in damages to Khalid el-Masri, a German and Lebanese
citizen whom the Macedonian police had abducted and handed over to
the cia; two years later, it ruled against Poland, which had to pay the
suspected terrorists Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who
had been held at cia black sites in Poland, 130,000 and 10,000 euros,
respectively. And in 2016, the court ruled against Italy, making it pay
115,000 euros to the Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr (also
known as Abu Omar) and his wife, Nabila Ghali. The cases against
Lithuania and Romania are still pending, but the rulings so far have sent
a clear message to U.S. allies: complicity carries consequences.
By the end of the Bush administration, Washingtons international
credibility had fallen so low that even its closest allies appeared to distrust

September/October 2016 127

Douglas A. Johnson, Alberto Mora, and Averell Schmidt

the United States. According to leaked cables, for example, in a 2004


meeting with U.S. Republican Senators McCain and Lindsey Graham,
Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern voiced his fear that the United States
was transporting prisoners through Ireland, even though U.S. officials
had said they werent. He told McCain
Graham that he did not want to ap
Even if torture may have and
pear foolish after defending the U.S.
sometimes produced helpful militarys use of Ireland as a transit hub
intelligence, it also led U.S. to his parliament on the basis of U.S.
assurances that enemy combatants have
policymakers astray.
not transited Shannon [Airport] en route
to Guantnamo or elsewhere. Am I all
right on this? he asked them. McCain pledged to relay Aherns concerns
to the Bush administration and to underscore how very important it is
that the U.S. not ever be caught in a lie to a close friend and ally. (Al
though there is no evidence that detainees were onboard flights traveling
through Shannon, several flights that stopped there did later pick up
detainees and transport them elsewhere.)
It was only a matter of time before the United States itself became the
target of foreign legal proceedings. In 2005, Swiss prosecutors opened a
criminal investigation into the United States use of Swiss airspace
for extraordinary renditions. Between 2004 and 2009, the Center for
Constitutional Rights and the European Center for Constitutional and
Human Rights filed cases in France, Germany, and Spain against Donald
Rumsfeld, who was U.S. secretary of defense until the end of 2006, and
other senior U.S. officials for war crimes committed at Abu Ghraib and
Guantnamo Bay. Cases were also filed against Rumsfeld in Argentina
in 2005 and in Sweden in 2007. Just this year, a French court summoned
Geoffrey Miller, the U.S. general who ran the Guantnamo Bay detention
facility, for questioning as part of an investigation into his role in the
torture of three French citizens. (Miller did not show up.)
Although not every case has led to formal charges, a few have. In
2005, Italy launched an investigation into the cias kidnapping and
extradition of a Muslim cleric in Milan in 2003. The subsequent criminal
proceedings led to the conviction of 23 U.S. officials in absentia. Even
though the United States continues to refuse Italys extradition requests,
the case has restricted the movement of the implicated officials. In 2013,
at the request of Italian authorities, police in Panama briefly detained
one of them, the former cia station chief in Milan, Robert Seldon Lady.
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The Strategic Costs of Torture

In April, authorities in Portugal arrested another former cia official


charged in the case, Sabrina De Sousa, and are in the process of extraditing
her to Italy. Similar legal risks continue to limit the mobility of several
former high-ranking U.S. officials, including former President
George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, and
John Yoo, a key legal adviser to the Bush administration. Once in command
of the worlds most powerful country, today they cannot travel to states
that assert universal jurisdiction for acts of torture, such as France,
Germany, Spain, and Switzerland, without risking detention and prose
cution. Likely due to such concerns, Rumsfeld cut short a trip to France
in 2007 and Bush canceled a trip to Switzerland in 2011. Adding insult
to injury, Russia has repeatedly imposed travel restrictions on former
Bush administration officials for their participation in medieval torture.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE

U.S. foreign policy has long supported the advancement of international


law and human rights, since doing so promotes peace, security, and the
rule of law overseas; encourages the spread of democracy; and shores
up popular support for American values. The use of torture demonstrably
undermined these objectives, making the United States both less influ
ential and less secure.
Even before news of U.S. abuses first broke, other governments began
citing U.S. practices to justify their own human rights abuses in the war
on terrorism. As early as January 2002, according to cables released on
the WikiLeaks website, the State Department received intelligence that
Russia was carefully studying U.S. treatment of detainees in search
of useful precedents to justify its treatment of Chechnya prisoners.
In 2003, Colombian President lvaro Uribe adopted the U.S. concept
of illegal combatants to suggest that certain Colombian rebels were
ineligible for protection under international law.
U.S. torture of detainees did more than merely provide other gov
ernments with a convenient way to justify their own bad behavior: it
also presented countries with a specific set of practices to emulate. Our
research shows that of the 54 governments that assisted the cia in
kidnapping, extraditing, and torturing suspected terrorists, many began
to adopt similar policies at home, subjecting their citizens to worsening
human rights abuses. In 2008, Human Rights Watch reported that
Ethiopia and Kenya had adopted a policy of extraordinary rendition for
Somali militants. And following the Abu Ghraib revelations, several

September/October 2016 129

Douglas A. Johnson, Alberto Mora, and Averell Schmidt

Egyptian human rights groups found that Egyptian police had adopted
tactics of sexual humiliation similar to those the United States had used.
Gambia provides another case in point. In 2002, the Gambian govern
ment helped U.S. officials extraordinarily render two suspected terrorists,
Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna, to a secret cia prison in Afghanistan.
Four years later, in the aftermath of an alleged coup attempt, the Gambian
government arrested at least 28 people, detaining them in secret prisons
and subjecting some to torture. In July 2006, according to leaked State
Department cables, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, then the U.S. deputy
assistant secretary for African affairs, met with Belinda Bidwell, Speaker
of the Gambian National Assembly, and raised objections to Gambias
human rights record. Bidwell responded that the world is different since
9/11 and al Qaeda, and when it comes to matters of national security and
the safety of the population, extraordinary measures must occasionally be
taken. She then compared those detained in Gambia to the suspects held
at Guantnamo Bay, pointing out, according to the cable, that such things
even happen in developed countries.
U.S. interrogation policies also provided an easy pretext for states to
disregard multilateral institutions that safeguard human rights, such as
the un. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir cited U.S. behavior in
justifying his refusal to allow un peacekeepers into Darfur in 2006:
We dont want another Abu Ghraib in Darfur; we dont want our
country to go to Guantnamo, he said. According to European diplomats,
the United States refusal to grant un special rapporteurs full access to
Guantnamo strengthened the hand of other countries that sought to
deny them access as well.
U.S. policies have also allowed chronic human rights abusers, such as
China, Cuba, Iran, and North Korea, to dismiss Western condemnations
as hypocritical. After the Senate released its torture reports in 2014, for
example, Chinas state news agency, Xinhua, ran a story headlined How
long can the US pretend to be a human rights champion? In 2006,
when U.S. officials expressed concern over a lack of accountability for
Hindu-Muslim riots in the Indian state of Gujarat four years prior,
Narendra Modi, then the states chief minister, fired back that the United
States was guilty of horrific human rights violations and thus had no
moral basis to speak on such matters.
In December 2007, then U.S. Republican Senator Arlen Specter
and then Democratic Representative Patrick Kennedy visited Damascus
to meet with Syrias president, Bashar al-Assad, and its foreign minister,
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The Strategic Costs of Torture

Walid Muallem. In both meetings, Kennedy raised concerns about the


Syrian governments jailing of opposition figures. When Kennedy
threatened to issue a public dmarche protesting the regimes political
detentions, Muallem responded by suggesting that he would pen one
of his own criticizing the United States for its actions in Abu Ghraib
and Guantnamo Bay. At a time when U.S. officials were actively
courting Assad, who appeared to be more democratic and reformminded than his father, the torture allegations damaged Washingtons
credibility and influence in the region. In China, India, and Syria,
accusations of U.S. hypocrisy were not just cheap talk: they signaled
the waning influence of U.S. diplomacy.
AN UNTENABLE DEFENSE

In the years since the details of the cias rendition, detention, and
interrogation program became public, the agency has vigorously
defended its conduct. In its response to the Senates torture reports,
the cia claimed that information obtained from cia interrogations
produced unique intelligence that helped the [United States] disrupt
plots, capture terrorists, better understand the enemy, prevent another
mass casualty attack, and save lives. At the same time, however, the
cia took no position on the question of whether intelligence obtained
from detainees subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques could
have been obtained through other means or from other individuals. . . .
The answer to this question is, and will remain, unknowable.
By insisting on this uncertainty, the cia has obscured the long-standing
consensus among interrogation professionals that rapport-building
methods are both more humane and more effective, even when dealing
with hardened terrorists. This was the experience of former fbi Special
Agent Ali Soufan, who successfully used such methods to interrogate
the suspected terrorist Zubaydah in Thailand before Zubaydah entered
cia custody. These methods are also a chief recommendation of two
multiyear studies by the Intelligence Science Board. This emphasis on
uncertainty is also a distraction; it draws attention to the tactical effi
cacy of torture, rather than to its strategic consequences, and places the
burden of proof on those who oppose torture, rather than on those who
advocate breaking U.S. and international law.
And even if torture may have sometimes produced helpful intelligence,
it also led U.S. policymakers astray. In November 2001, Pakistani
authorities captured Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, a suspected leader of an

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Douglas A. Johnson, Alberto Mora, and Averell Schmidt

al Qaeda training camp, as he fled Afghanistan. U.S. officials moved


him to Egypt, where, after local interrogators tortured him, he claimed
that Iraq had trained al Qaeda members to use chemical and biological
weapons. Although the cia ultimately renounced Libis testimony, the
Bush administration cited it as evidence of the link between Saddam
Hussein and al Qaeda in the months leading up to the U.S. invasion of
Iraq. Trained interrogators often warn that false confessions waste time
and resources. In this case, a false confession played a critical role in the
disastrous decision to invade Iraq, a choice that cost the United States
over $3 trillion and thousands of American and Iraqi lives.
LAZY, STUPID, AND PSEUDO-TOUGH

During crises, leaders often find themselves under incredible pressure to


craft policies that will safeguard those theyre tasked to protect. American
officials have talked about how, in the terrifying months after 9/11, they
greatly feared another attack and felt an enormous responsibility to
prevent one from happening. Such fear can easily tempt politicians
to put even the most odious options on the tableas it did in this case.
Yet it is precisely at such moments that leaders must exercise the
greatest restraint. As policymakers decide whether or not to use torture,
they should not simply consider whether it will yield helpful intelligence;
they should also assess the likely consequences of the policy beyond the
interrogation chamber. By all accounts, the Bush administration, the
cia, and the Department of Defense failed to think through the costs of
abusing detainees and then refused to acknowledge those drawbacks
once they began to become manifest.
How little weve learned since then. In June, after suicide bombers
killed 41 people at an airport in Istanbul, Trump reiterated his support
for the very methods that got the United States into so much trouble
a decade ago. You have to fight fire with fire, he said at a rally in
Ohio, adding, of waterboarding, I like it a lot. I dont think its tough
enough. Yet torture is not the answer. Far from being a weapon of
strength, it has proved to be a strategic liability, a careless shortcut
used by those too hasty to conduct a proper analysis and too shortsighted
to anticipate its consequences. In the words of John Hutson, a retired
U.S. Navy rear admiral, Torture is the technique of choice of the lazy,
stupid, and pseudo-tough. We canwe mustdo better.

132 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Return to Table of Contents

Venezuela on the Brink


How the State Wrecked the Oil Sector
and How to Save It
Lisa Viscidi

enezuela is in the throes of its most tumultuous political and


economic period in decades. The collapse of global energy
prices has wreaked havoc on the countrys economy. Estimates
vary, but oil production has fallen from a peak of around 3.2 million
barrels per day in 1997 to somewhere between 2.2 million and 2.5 million
barrels per day today. Oil and gas account for more than 95 percent of
Venezuelas revenues from exports, and the country produces few other
goods. Without the money it makes from exporting energy products,
Venezuela has struggled to import everything else its people need. As
a result, Venezuelans are facing widespread shortages of food, medicine,
and other basic supplies. Citizens wait in line for hours at supermarkets
to buy staples such as rice; many have resorted to sifting through trash
to find food. Military forces have been dispatched to oversee food
production and distribution. Last year, a group of Venezuelan researchers
estimated that, in contrast to relatively rosy official statistics, more
than three-quarters of Venezuelans are living in poverty. And there is
no relief in sight: by the end of the year, the economy will probably
have contracted by eight percent and the inflation rate will likely reach
720 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund.
For a country that boasts the worlds largest proven oil reserves, this is
an extraordinary state of affairs. Venezuelas leaders desperately need
to take action to save the countrys sole economic engine. But political
instability, bordering on chaos, has stood in the way. The president,
Nicols Maduro, took office in 2013 as the handpicked successor of
Hugo Chvez. Maduro is now the head of the United Socialist Party
of Venezuela and the standard-bearer of Chavismo, which is the

LISA VISCIDI is Director of the Energy, Climate Change, and Extractive Industries
Program at the Inter-American Dialogue.

September/October 2016 133

Lisa Viscidi

term Venezuelans use to describe Chvezs mix of populism, socialism,


and cult-of-personality strongman leadership. But Maduro does not
enjoy the fierce loyalty that Chvez inspired among working-class and
lower-middle-class voters, and he is now fighting for his political
survival. For the past two years, anti-Maduro protests and riots have
rocked Venezuelas cities. In response to his slipping support, Maduro
has cracked down on dissent, even jailing prominent critics. In July, he
reorganized the state bureaucracy, putting the defense minister directly
in charge of all economic affairs. Maduro has clung to power only by
maneuvering to prevent the opposition from holding a national recall
referendum that would remove him from office.
With his leadership under assault and his support in doubt, Maduro
might not complete his term in office. But if he, or whoever might
succeed him, wants to stop the economys free fall, there are some
relatively simple, modest steps he could take to stabilize the oil sector.
Doing so would insulate global oil markets from the shock they would
endure if chaos in Venezuela further reduced its ability to produce
oil. More important, rescuing the countrys oil industry would spare
Venezuelans from even worse deprivations and would help pull the
country back from the brink.
CRUDE MANAGEMENT

Venezuelas oil production has been steadily declining for years, and
its exports are now at historic lows. In recent months, output has
begun to drop precipitously. Multiple sources have reported record
declines in production this year: according to the International Energy
Agency, output fell by 190,000 barrels per day between January and
June. As Venezuelas aging fields produce less light oil, the country
has become increasingly dependent on fields producing heavy, less
valuable grades of oil and has been forced to import light crude, which
it needs to mix with its heavier output in order to make it transportable
through pipelines and able to reach the market.
These problems stem not just from the drop in global oil prices but
also from flawed policies. For years, the Venezuelan government has
relied on the state oil company, Petrleos de Venezuela (pdvsa), to
finance social programs, such as free housing and health care, which
has strained the companys finances. In 2014, pdvsa spent $26 billion
on social programs, more than double its $12 billion profit. In 2015, as
the effects of the sustained oil-price collapse began to take hold, social
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Venezuela on the Brink

No ms: at a drugstore in Caracas, Venezuela, February 2016

MARCO BELLO / REUTE RS

spending fell along with oil export revenue but still exceeded pdvsas
profits by $5.8 billion, according to Venezuelas oil ministry. Every year
for the past decade, except for 2009 and 2010, pdvsa has spent more
on social programs than on exploration and production.
Making matters worse is a government policy that has frozen do
mestic gasoline prices at about one cent per liter for almost two dec
ades, costing pdvsa billions every year. The lower oil price has forced
the company to operate some fields at a loss, contributing to a critical
lack of cash flow, according to multiple Venezuelan sources and news
reports, and pdvsa is reportedly not investing in basic maintenance
of its equipment and facilities, such as pipelines and refineries. In a
recent sign of pdvsas weakness, four tankers destined for Venezuela
and carrying more than two million barrels of U.S. light crude were
held up at sea for a number of weeks beginning in May, unable to
unload at a Caribbean terminal. According to Reuters, the supplier,
bp, had halted the delivery because Venezuela had not paid for the
cargo. In late June, bp released one shipment after receiving a partial
payment, but the other three remain at sea.
Having run up massive debts during a global oil boom that lasted
from 2010 to 2014, both the Venezuelan government and pdvsa now
face challenging payment schedules, with combined payments due in
the fourth quarter of this year totaling $4.3 billion. The country will

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Lisa Viscidi

not be out of the woods in 2017, either: a $7.3 billion payment will be
due in the second quarter, according to an analysis published by the
investment bank hsbc. The cash-strapped government has been issu
ing bonds through the oil company to
obtain new loans at lower interest rates,
Venezuelas state oil
but pdvsa has run out of money to pay
company routinely spends its debts. Venezuela is also struggling
to pay back billions of dollars in oilmore on social programs
backed loans from China that have
than on exploration and
helped keep it afloat for the past decade.
production.
Although China has already extended
the repayment deadline for some of
those loans, Maduro is seeking additional flexibility. The Chinese
government has yet to respond to his request.
With less cash to repay these mounting debts, both the Venezuelan
government and pdvsa are at risk of defaulting, although the state
appears determined to make its payments this year by aggressively
drawing down its foreign reserves, delaying vital investments in the
energy industry, and cutting back on importseven as warehouses
and store shelves sit empty. If pdvsa defaults, it will not be able to
borrow, and unpaid creditors could seize its global assets, including
fuel shipments, tankers, and refineries abroad. The companys ability
to sell oil to the United States, its largest export market, would be
restricted because bondholders could take possession of shipments in
lieu of payment. And Venezuela would struggle to sell leftover oil to
other buyers because, in an already oversupplied global crude market,
other exporters are fiercely protecting their existing market shares by
pumping as much oil as possible and offering discounts to buyers.
As pdvsa struggles to maintain its dominant role in the countrys
oil industry, private players are increasingly reluctant to fill the gap.
The state company has held majority stakes in most oil projects since
the industry was nationalized under Chvez in 2007. Pdvsa is not
making payments to its private partners or suppliers, focusing instead
on meeting its operating expenses in order to simply stay afloat.
Controls on foreign exchange in the country also pose a major obstacle
to foreign operators. Although the unofficial exchange rate has risen
to more than 1,000 Venezuelan bolivars per U.S. dollar, the government
forces international oil companies to adhere to the absurdly low official
rate of ten bolivars per dollar for some of their oil sales. In Venezuela,
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Venezuela on the Brink

private energy firms pay an average of 70 percent of their project costs


in the local currency, so they have seen their expenses soar as inflation
has run rampant.
Venezuelas crisis has rattled the Western Hemisphere. As one of the
largest economies in South America, Venezuela has long been a major
trading partner for a number of countries, especially Colombia. Since
2005, many Central American and Caribbean countries have relied
on Venezuelan aid through the Petrocaribe alliance, through which
Venezuela provides them with oil on favorable terms, including low
interest rates and a long payback period. As a result, many Petrocaribe
members have accrued substantial debts with Venezuela, giving the
country political leverage over some of its neighbors. But in recent
years, Petrocaribe shipments have declined, and they will likely cease
completely if Venezuelas crisis worsens. Venezuela has also tradition
ally been an important political power in the region, and its economic
woes have undermined regional cooperation through the Organization
of American States and other international institutions, dividing the
region between Venezuelan allies, such as Argentina, Bolivia, and
Jamaica, which have declined to denounce the Maduro governments
inaction, and a few critics, such as the United States, which have
received little backing from other countries in the area.
Beyond the Western Hemisphere, what happens in Venezuela also
matters for global oil markets, which have been volatile ever since
November 2014, when Saudi Arabia announced that it would no
longer curtail its production to keep a floor under prices. Although
prices have recovered from the extreme lows they reached earlier this
year, supply has continued to outstrip demand. Production disruptions
in Venezuela, as well as in Canada, Nigeria, and elsewhere, have
helped support an oil-price recovery in recent months and have moved
the market toward a supply-demand balance. A more extensive pro
duction drop in Venezuela could tip the market into a supply deficit,
leading prices to rise further.
RUNNING ON FUMES

Venezuelas economic collapse is directly linked to its political upheaval;


together, the two developments form a damaging feedback loop, each
one contributing to the other in a seemingly endless downward spiral
of bad news. It seems increasingly unlikely that Maduro will be able
to hold on to powerat least not without resorting to extraordinary

September/October 2016 137

Lisa Viscidi

measures. In national elections held last December, the opposition


coalition, the United Democratic Roundtable (mud), won a majority of
the seats in the National Assembly, promising to fight inflation, en
courage private investment, and decentralize the economy by lifting
price controls and gradually moving toward a free-floating exchange
rate. The opposition has not put forth many specific energy policies,
but its leaders have pledged to increase transparency in the oil sector
and end the Petrocaribe aid program, which they claim Venezuela can
no longer afford.
The mud also promised to oust Maduro within six months by pro
posing a recall referendum. The opposition has gathered almost ten
times the number of signatures required to hold a referendum, and
recent polls show that around 75 percent of Venezuelans would vote
to remove Maduro from office. But the National Electoral Council,
which is controlled by Maduro allies, has delayed validating the signa
tures, stoking fears that Maduro and his supporters will manage to
push the referendum off until next year. Under that scenario, a
successful recall would replace Maduro with his more moderate but
still loyal vice president, Aristbulo Istriz, instead of requiring new
elections. (By law, when a president has less than two years left in
power, as Maduro will next year, the vice president takes over after a
successful recall referendum.)
As the economic crisis has deepened and threatened Maduros grip
on power, the president has not seemed willing or able to take the
measures necessary to stem the decline in oil production. Maduro
relies heavily on a small group of advisers, but his inner circle is itself
divided, with some calling for a more pragmatic approach that would
boost foreign investment and others taking a harder, nationalist line.
The government has made some concessions: for example, agreeing
to give more control over oil project operations to some of its private
partners. But these changes have either stalled or not gone far enough.
Maduro is facing some internal pressure to step down. Many of his
fellow Chavistas blame him for failing to carry on the revolution. A
more competent and decisive Chavista leader could move forward
quickly with reforms to stabilize oil production that would not require
any legislative changes. But in order to encourage a significant
increase, a new leader would need to signal that he intended to improve
conditions for private investment, and this is unlikely to happen
unless an opposition-led government takes over.
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Venezuela on the Brink

Maduros intransigence has a tragic quality to it, because Venezuelas


economic predicament, although difficult, is not irreparable. A set of
relatively simple regulatory and macroeconomic reforms could stabi
lize production within two years. To incentivize private investment in
the energy sector, the government could allow oil and gas companies
access to a more competitive exchange rate. (The Venezuelan govern
ment fixes exchange rates for different sectors of the economy.) Ideally,
the government would allow companies access to a floating rate. But
even the semi-floating dicom rate, which is currently at about 600
bolivars per dollar, would significantly help energy companies.
Venezuela charges energy companies one of the highest tax rates in
the world: royalties of up to 33.3 percent of the oil they extract, plus an
additional income tax of 50 percent of net profits and a host of other
taxes. Altogether, the state winds up taking about 90 percent of the
total revenues the firms collect from their oil and gas operations. The
state could lower these taxes and fees so that the governments take
would be closer to that in most energy-producing countries, where the
state typically collects between 50 and 80 percent of energy revenues.
A new administration could also opt to give more financial and
operational control to pdvsas private partners in joint ventures, for
example, by allowing them to choose which suppliers to use. Addition
ally, the government could establish independently managed escrow
accounts for oil revenues to ensure that joint venture partners receive
their rightful share of earnings. Authorities have already taken this
step for Chevron and a few other companies, but they could extend it
to other private partners. The government could also gradually raise
domestic gasoline prices to shore up pdvsas finances. Even Maduro
has shown some willingness to do this: in February, his administration
announced the first gasoline price increase in 17 years, from around
one cent per liter to around ten cents per liter for lower-grade fuel and
60 cents per liter for premium fuel. The move has saved pdvsa about
$800 million, but that represents only a small fraction of the yearly
cost of maintaining the governments massive fuel subsidies. Mean
while, domestic oil consumption remains very high, diverting oil that
could be sold at much higher prices on international markets.
CLEANING UP MADUROS MESS

Many members of Maduros party understand that moderate adjustments


would stabilize the oil sector. But none of them would openly advocate

September/October 2016 139

Lisa Viscidi

a complete reversal of the Chavista approach to socialist economic


management. In contrast, the opposition has stated its intention to
move toward more market-friendly policies. Influential academics
and experts close to the mud have proposed more far-reaching, longerterm reforms of the oil sector, and the opposition would hope to
implement such reforms if it succeeds in ousting Maduro.
Looking past the immediate crisis, Venezuela will ultimately need
to transform its energy sector if it hopes to avoid a repeat of the current
disaster. The necessary reforms include creating an independent
regulator to oversee the sector and separating the oil ministry and
pdvsa: currently, the head of pdvsa negotiates directly with foreign
companies rather than structuring competitive bid rounds run by an
oil regulator, which is standard industry practice and ensures trans
parency and stability for investors. Venezuela also must stop relying
on pdvsas revenues to fund massive social programs. Although the
government can continue to use oil revenues for social spending, as all
oil-producing countries do, pdvsa would operate more efficiently and
profitably if it focused solely on its oil business.
Broader economic reforms would also include gradually dismantling
foreign exchange controls and eliminating the system of multiple foreign
exchange rates. Eventually, the government will have to drastically
reduce fuel subsidies, or even eliminate them altogether. Finally, pdvsa
will have to improve its human capital, or it will face a critical shortage
of skilled labor and management.
With the right reforms, oil production could return to pre-crisis
levels within five years, allowing Venezuela to begin importing enough
basic goods again and ameliorating the countrys intense shortages.
In the long term, the Venezuelan government should look to diversify
its economy to end its unhealthy reliance on oil and gas. However,
none of that will be possible without dramatic political change in the
short term. As long as Maduro or his allies remain in office, there will
be little progress; someone else will have to step up.

140 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

REVIEWS & RESPONSES


Can the Islamic world arrive
at some form of Muslim
democracy by following a path
different from Europes?
Malise Ruthven

AK H TAR S O O M RO / R E U T E R S

Mosque and State


Malise Ruthven

142

How to Fix Americas Infrastructure


Aaron Klein
149
Spains Foreign Fighters
Sebastiaan Faber

155

Worth the Trip?


Eric R. Terzuolo; Sanford J. Ungar

162

Recent Books

165

Letters to the Editor

191

Return to Table of Contents

Mosque and State


The Future of Political Islam
Malise Ruthven
Islamic Exceptionalism
BY SHADI HAMID. St. Martins Press,
2016, 320 pp.
Islamism: What It Means for the Middle
East and the World
BY TAREK OSMAN. Yale University
Press, 2016, 328 pp.

n January 2015, after jihadists


attacked the Paris offices of the
satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo,
killing 12 people, European leaders linked
arms to lead a procession of millions
through the French capital, chanting
Je suis Charlie (I am Charlie) in an
expression of solidarity with the victims
and contempt for their killers. Muslims
all over the world also condemned the
attacks, as did a number of Islamist
organizations, including perhaps the
most influential onethe Egypt-based
Muslim Brotherhood, which posted a
statement on its English-language
website denouncing the criminal attack
and stating that true Islam does not
encourage violence.
Not all of the groups adherents
approved of that message, however. A
month after the killings, a Muslim
Brotherhood activist in Tunisia told
Shadi Hamid, an expert on political
MALISE RUTHVEN is the author of Islam in
the World.

142 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Islam, that she disagreed with the organi


zations decision to issue the statement.
Like many other mainstream Islamists,
she opposed the Paris attack but felt that
Islamists should refrain from loudly
condemning it because few in the West
had spoken out after Egyptian security
forces massacred 800 Brotherhood mem
bers who were peacefully protesting in
Cairo in August 2013. Our blood is
shed day and night and no one pays any
attention, she said. Our blood is licit,
but theirs isnt. . . . The worlds balance
is off.
That sense of imbalance pervades
Islamist organizations of all stripes.
Perceived as aggressors, they see them
selves as victims; condemned as intolerant,
they complain about intolerance of their
views. What is indisputable is that even
after 15 years during which the inter
section of politics and Islam has been a
major theme in world affairs, Islamism
remains poorly understood, especially
in the West. Two recent books tackle
the subject, primarily by considering
the crises roiling the Middle East and
examining Islams role in the turmoil.
Both books succeed in explaining the
dilemmas, paradoxes, and confusion
facing political actors in the worlds most
volatile region, although each author
emphasizes different factors.
Hamid, an Egyptian American who is
a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution
and who served for a number of years as
the director of the think tanks center in
Qatar, structures Islamic Exceptionalism
around a specific question: In order for
the regions Muslim-majority states to
become liberal democracies, must Islam
undergo the kind of reformation through
which, in the West, Christianity was
ultimately subordinated to the principles

Mosque and State

of the Enlightenment, such as freedom


of speech, religious choice, and the idea
that legal governance should issue from
the popular will? Or can the Islamic world
arrive at some form of Muslim democracy
by following a different path whereby
Islam would maintain its centrality as a
private faith and public discourse even
though it would remain at odds in many
ways with Enlightenment ideals? Hamid
argues that the second outcome is more
likely. In his view, politics is far more
integral to Islam than to Christianity
which has traditionally relied on the
God/Caesar distinction to separate the
holy from the worldlyand thus the
Muslim world is unlikely to witness a
replay of the Wests journey toward
liberalism, which depended on separating
church and state.
In his book, Tarek Osman, an Egyptian
writer and broadcaster known to British
radio audiences for his 2013 bbc series
The Making of the Modern Arab World,
considers many of the same issues as
Hamid. But in contrast to Hamid, who
takes a comparative historical approach,
Osman views Islamism through a more
sociological lens, identifying it as the
site of a social battleover identities,
frames of reference, the role of religion,
the nature of governance, and the mean
ing of being Arab, Turkish, or Persian.
Although Osmans account is more
nuanced, Hamids approach offers greater
clarity. By exploring the provenance of
Enlightenment ideals and questioning
their claims to universality, Hamid argues
that Islam is fundamentally different
from Christianity and that this difference
has profound implications for the future.
He adds:
This admittedly is a controversial,
even troubling claim, especially in

the context of rising anti-Muslim


sentiment in the United States and
Europe. Islamic exceptionalism,
however, is neither good nor bad. It
just is, and we need to understand it
and respect it, even if it runs counter
to our own hopes and preferences.
WATCHING CAIRO FROM TUNIS

Although both books delve into Islamic


history, they are primarily concerned
with recent developmentsespecially
the failure of the Arab revolts of 201011
to generate what Hamid terms a legiti
mate, stable political order. That failure
has resulted in the restoration of au
thoritarian structures and at the same
time has opened up space for more radi
cal forms of resistance, such the jihadist
violence of the self-proclaimed Islamic
State (also known as isis). Hamid is
particularly interested in the contests
that pitted Islamists against secularists
after the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia
that led to the fall of the Mubarak and
Ben Ali regimes, respectively. After
toppling their tyrannical leaders through
popular movements, both countries
elected governments dominated by
Islamists. But at that point, their paths
divergedalthough not quite as dramat
ically as it might appear.
In the summer of 2013, Egypts military
ousted the elected Islamist president,
Mohamed Morsi. General Abdel Fatah
el-Sisi assumed the presidency and ushered
in the return of authoritarian rule. The
military coup was preceded by massive
demonstrationsperhaps the largest in
Egyptian historyorganized by Tamarod
(Rebellion), a movement spearheaded
by liberals and secularists alarmed by
what they saw as Morsis plan to Islamize
Egyptian society. Egyptian media
September/October 2016 143

Malise Ruthven

outlets fanned these anxieties, as


Osman relates:

In Tunisia, a similar contest between


Islamists and secular forces emerged after
the dictatorial president Zine el-Abidine
Dozens of articles by leading journalists
Ben Ali was toppled in January 2011.
decried the path towards becoming
Educated elites and the upper-middle
Afghanistan. Artists and prominent
classes had long benefited from Ben Alis
women activists accused the Islamists
rule and were adamantly opposed to the
of a condescending view of women:
long-outlawed but suddenly resurgent
seeing us as mere sexual objects,
Islamist party Ennahda, which won the
they think with their lower halves.
largest number of seats in the elections
Some swore to fight for the right of
Egyptians not to be led by imams,
held in October 2011 and formed a coali
even if those imams had come to
tion government with two left-leaning
power through the ballot box. Irrespec
parties. Although Tunisia remained calmer
tive of the change in the Brotherhoods
than Egypt during the period of Islamistthinking and rhetoric since the [midled government, it experienced the same
twentieth century], its dramatic move
level of polarization. Confrontations
from being an illegal group to the party
sometimes violenterupted between
ruling Egypt left many Egyptians,
Islamists and various secular-minded
especially in the upper-middle classes,
groups, ranging from the youth activists
disoriented and fearful.
who had started the original protests to
Alaa Al Aswany, perhaps the best-known remnants of the Ben Ali regime. The
contemporary novelist in Egypt and the Ennahda government faced a series of
Arab world, warned in a series of articles general strikes launched by the countrys
that the Islamists were using religious
influential, secular-oriented labor unions
slogans to convince the lower-middle
the first time such strikes had happened
classes and the rural poortraditional
in more than three decades. In 2013,
Brotherhood supportersthat being a
mass protests erupted after the daylight
good Muslim meant supporting a
assassinations of two opposition leaders,
conservative agenda that ran counter to Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi,
Egypts long, beautiful, resplendent,
which were widely blamed on hard-line
and plural identity. Osman sees this
Islamists. The ensuing political crisis,
polarization, fanned by media organiza fueled by opposition parties that blamed
tions with close links to Mubarak-era
Ennahda for being soft on Islamist
power groups, as crucial to the public
violence, was resolved only when the
delegitimization of Morsis government, Ennahda-led coalition stepped down
which was already reeling from the collapse and was replaced by a caretaker govern
of foreign investment and tourism. The ment in October 2013.
stage was set for the coup after Morsi
The main catalyst for Ennahdas
responded to such challenges by issuing decision to give up power may have been
a constitutional declaration granting
watching the coup unfold in Egypt,
himself unlimited authority to enact
which concentrated Islamist minds
legislation and investing his presidential greatly in Tunisia. As an Ennahda
decrees with retroactive immunity from
deputy told Hamid:
executive or judicial review.
Were sorry for what happened in
144 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Egypt, but it led to a result which


was in a kind of way positive for our
base. They saw how the Brotherhoods
insistence on unilateral acts might
benefit you in the short term, but
you lose in the long run. Your existence
in the political scene is tied to the
guarantee of democracy.

In addition to dissolving its ruling


coalition, Ennahda also took an accom
modating approach to the process of
drafting a new constitution, which had
begun in 2011 and continued under the
caretaker government. The Islamists
compromised on a number of critical
areas, dropping their demands that the
new constitution criminalize blasphemy,
cite Islamic law as the source of legisla
tion, give men the right to marry more
than one woman, and refer to women
as complementary, rather than equal,
to men. These were major concessions
that sacrificed core elements of the
Islamist agenda. What is more, there
was a good deal of public support in
Tunisia for making religion more
central to governance, even after the
Islamists had stumbled while in power.
In 2014, a Pew Research Center poll
found that more than half of Tunisians
believed that the countrys laws should
follow the values and principles of
Islam; 30 percent of respondents took
an even more conservative position,
agreeing with the statement that laws
should strictly follow the teachings
of the Koran.
Ennahda, however, seems deter
mined to survive Tunisias transition to
democracy even if doing so requires
adopting a de facto separation between
religion and government. At a party
congress in May, its members over
whelmingly supported a motion to

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but all leaders
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145

Malise Ruthven

separate the groups political affairs


from its religious and cultural activities,
while retaining Islam as its primary
ideological source.
Among modern Middle Eastern
states, Tunisia may be unique in several
respects. It experienced a long period
of secular government and institutional
state building, first under its founder,
Habib Bourguiba, who negotiated the
countrys independence from France
during the 1950s, and then under his
successor, Ben Ali. Tunisia also has the
advantage of having an Islamist leader
of rare intellectual stature in Rached
Ghannouchi, co-founder of Ennahda
and the groups guiding force. After
returning to Tunisia in 2011 follow
ing more than 20 years of exile in the
United Kingdom, Ghannouchi has
apparently come to see that his move
ments survivaland perhaps that of
Islam itselfdepends on some level of
separation of mosque and state. As
Hamid argues, the basic project of
Islamist movements such as Ennahda
is to reconcile premodern Islamic law
with the modern nation-statea nego
tiation in which the state usually gets
the better end of the deal, Hamid
writes, because the very process of state
building, buttressed by the international
system of state recognition, is inherently
secularizing and forces Islamists to limit
their ambitions.
That, of course, did not happen
in Egypt. The difference in the two
countries outcomes may be attributed,
in part, to differences in the qualities
of their Islamist leaders. In Egypt, the
increasingly paranoid Morsi tried to use
the presidency and the state apparatus
to face down his liberal opponents. In
Tunisia, by contrast, Ghannouchi saw
146 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

that his movement could survive only


through compromise.
IMMODERATE TIMES

Ennahdas pragmatism and gradualist


approach run counter to the religious
fervor of the many Islamists who have
joined the jihadist droves flooding
Iraq and Syria; indeed, it might be no
coincidence that Tunisia is one of the
largest suppliers of foreign jihadists to
those countries. Ennahdas accomoda
tionism is out of sync with the messianic
and utopian currents that are coursing
through Islamic thought today, anchored
in the belief that the word of God, as
revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in
the Koran, is destined to supplant the
flawed or distorted versions of divine
locutions preserved in the Jewish and
Christian Scriptures. The theological
problem such extreme views pose can
be addressed, if not resolved, through
sophisticated discussion between
religious specialists. But the social
forces unleashed by religious passions
are proving much harder to contain.
The Sunni Muslim tradition suffers
from an especially acute problem that
stems from what I have referred to
elsewhere as the argument from manifest
successthe notion that the absolute
truth of the Koran and the rectitude of
Muhammads mission were proved by
the success of the Arab conquests in the
Middle East that followed the Prophets
death in 632. That view, which took
hold during centuries of hegemonic
Islamic rule in the Middle East and
North Africa, has been difficult to square
with the unpalatable reality that during
the nineteenth and twentieth centuries,
virtually every part of the Islamic world
came under the rule of Christiansand,

Mosque and State

in one particularly contentious case, of


Jewswhose beliefs were supposed to
have been superseded by the finality
of Islam.
Osman admirably captures how the
gap between the vision of Islamic
supremacy and the reality of Muslim
subjugation has fueled in Islamist circles
a mixture of anger, nostalgia, and disen
chantment with pragmatists such as
Ghannouchi. Although a majority of
Islamists may have come to accept the
reality of the modern nation-state, Osman
notes that most have not yet abandoned
the notion of seyadat al-Islam: Islams
sovereignty and its superiority over
any other religious and man-made
framework. This . . . means that
beneath the acceptance of equal
citizenry and secular nationality as
the basis for an individuals belong
ing to any society lurks the idea that
any non-Islamic social or political
framework is threatened by its status
as inferior, if not flawed.

Ennahdas official rhetoric intelligently


adheres to the vernacular of any party
functioning in a secular democracy, he
writes, but it is not clear how long it
will succeed in sustaining this posture
in the face of the reality that Salafist
jihadist ideas have captured significantly
large areas of the Islamic world. He
maintains, however, that considering
the persecution that party members
had suffered prior to 2011, Ennahda
had done the best that could have
been achieved in a short space of time.
Still, the groups quotidian language
and modest accomplishments pale in
comparison to the soaring rhetoric and
lofty aspirations of more hard-line
Islamists, such as the influential Qatar

based Egyptian scholar Sheik Yusuf alQaradawi. In their analyses of the


problems facing Muslims, Qaradawi
and other hard-liners tend to reduce a
century and a half of complex inter
actions between Islamists and the state
to a simple confrontation between
Islam and secularism. Dismissing
social polarization, conflicting iden
tities, and opposing views of national
security or economic challenges as
mere secondary issues, Qaradawi and
others favor a narrative that sets the
Islamists rise and fall in a much longer
historical context, in which the abolition
of the Ottoman caliphate by Kemal
Ataturk after World War I becomes an
affront to Gods rule, Osman explains.
The emphasis on victimhood and
losswhich can be remedied only by
vindication and restorationalso
defines the vision of violent jihadists,
such as the self-styled caliph of isis,
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In a recorded
sermon released on the Internet last
year, Baghdadi urged Muslims to leave
the abode of war (comprising all
the infidel lands, including those
governed by nominally Muslim leaders)
and join isis in the only true abode
of Islam. We call upon you so you
leave the life of humiliation, disgrace,
degradation, subordination, loss, empti
ness, and poverty [for] a life of honor,
respect, leadership, [and] richness,
Baghdadi declared, promising new
recruits victory from Allah and an
imminent conquest.
THE IRAN PROBLEM

How can the Muslim world escape the


dual curse of secular authoritarianism
and religious extremism? Hamid
persuasively challenges the idea
September/October 2016 147

Malise Ruthven

advanced by the activist and writer


Ayaan Hirsi Ali, among othersthat
Islam must undergo a reformation akin
to the Christian one. As he writes,
lessons learned in Europe are not
necessarily applicable in the Middle
East. There is a curious absence in
his book, however: Iran, which for
nearly 40 years has served as the
clearest testing ground for political
Islam. Hamid claims that Iran falls
outside the scope of his study because
the ideas that guided the Iranian
Revolution are relatively recent Shiite
innovations, whereas he is concerned
with only the Sunni world. But he
overplays the importance of that
distinction, and it is far from certain
that his thesis about Islamic excep
tionalism could survive an analysis of
Iran without severe modification.
In Iran, which arguably boasts the
worlds only Islamist government, clerical
governance has led to a steep decline in
religious observance; in 2011, the Iranian
Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance
lamented that after more than 30 years
of theocratic rule, only three percent of
Iranians attended Friday prayers. (Prior
to the revolution, the figure was almost
50 percent.) And yet Iranian society and
governance have not liberalized in any
meaningful ways: the theocracy represses
dissent at home and supports militants
abroad, such as the Lebanese group
Hezbollah. This poses a problem for
Hamids view: put simply, the argument
that political Islam can evolve into Muslim
democracy would be more persuasive if
the worlds most prominent Islamist
country offered more impressive evidence
of that possibility.
Perhaps a better way to rebut the
idea that the Islamic world can follow
148 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

only the European path toward


modernity, by way of reformation,
would be to note that even Europe
didnt really follow that pathat least
as it is often portrayed. The Enlight
enment was the outcome not only of
the Reformation but also of centuries
of violent religious conflict, after
which sensible people concluded that
they were not improving their lots by
killing one another in the name of
God. That is the grim lesson that
Muslims in the contemporary Middle
East may yet find themselves learning
from European history.

Mexicos
Transformative
Urban Direction
Mexicos urban future is being built on
a fundamental shift in practice: developers
and the government are committed to
building sustainable, smart, efficient, and
interconnected cities under the changing face
of housing and urbanism.
After more than 50 years of government
initiatives to fulfill much-needed social housing,
coupled with the effects from the US crisis,
incoming President Enrique Pea Nieto was
prompted to immediately enforce a National
Housing & Urban Development Policy in 2013.
Its objective was to shift the governments
focus from single-family to vertical housing.
Rosario Robles, Minister of the newly created
Ministry of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban
Development, claims its impact is aligned
with more urban development. This housing
policy devises housing as an organizational
instrument, as an axis to build cities and not
only houses.
Moreover the policy establishes contention
perimeters for new and existing housing,
including services and facilities linked to
attractive subsidies aimed at re-densifying the
metropolitan zones.
Indeed, it was a far cry from the social
housing options provided some decades ago
when most of the population couldnt afford
homes, and the prospect of a home in the
suburbs led to millions of city residents to
flee to remote urbanizations. With housing
agencies doling out subsidized mortgages and
healthy relocation packages, social housing
construction made a much-needed transition.
Progress towards diminishing the housing
deficit was achieved, but the model was
unsustainable. People moved away from the
pick of the jobs and services, increasing traffic,
reducing productivity and, in all, quality of
living. Urban stains were created and we now
need to fix the scars of abandoned properties
and social segregation, says Robles.
Grey hills swamped by precarious self-built
shacks, where entire families live in one single
room, now aim to be replaced with better,

MEXICOS MUSCLE
REVEALING
THE STRENGTH
in partnership with

bright and luminous accommodation units.


We are now working towards building
inclusive cities that provide the basic benefits
of agglomeration: lower transportation
costs, security, better schools, lower carbon
emissions, innovation clusters and proper
public services. But above all to rescue the
citizens dignity by tackling overcrowding and
violence caused by families living in one same
room.
For this highly urbanized country three
out of four Mexicans live in cities, of which
almost 60% live in 59 Metropolitan areas
the urban reform is committed to the United
Nations HABITAT III New Urban Agenda for
the 21st century.
It is a tall order indeed, Robles agrees,
Habitat III puts human rights to the forefront
and we believe its a new generational need to
be incorporated in our Magna Carta.
Leaders agree the turning point in urbanism
was the creation of the Ministry, which provides
coherence, structure and development to the
sector. What is underway remains the total
recovery of state rectory, centralizing compact,
sustainable and resilient housing commitments,
and adhering to the creation of one million
homes in the most impoverished regions.
The immediate challenge is to resolve
the metropolitan management and planning,
which currently cannot be undertaken
individually by municipalities as the laws that
apply are from the 70s and happened prior
to the urban sprawl.
Metropolitan planning will allow us
to reorganize the land equipped with
infrastructure, contribute to sustainability,
and avoid the occupancy of risk zones,
explains Robles.
Blatant strides are being taken towards the
Smart City concept in line with the creation of
a long-term holistic 2030 Vision.
For many years planning was overlooked.
Now we are working towards compact
cities and some progress has been made - we
need to instill this way of thinking in mayors
Sponsored Section

RECOVERED TRUST, Reinvigorating


Housing Prosperity
Paloma Silva, General Director of the
National Housing Commission, explains that
the positive data is a result of a concerted
effort between the private and public sector.
We have applied resources responsibly
in an efficient and transparent manner,
enabling to overcome housing deficit, ensuring
decent housing, in line with the Mexicans
needs, helping them consolidate their heritage
and to prosper.
Mexico is exemplary proof of how emerging
nations can drastically overturn direction
with the right reforms in place. Since President
Enrique Peas appointment in 2012, he
has partnered with Congress to approve a
total of 11 key structural reforms, each aimed
at uplifting productivity, expanding citizen
rights, and essentially consolidating into a
more efficient democracy.
The federal government has shown a
strong commitment with this sector. At the
beginning of 2015, President Pea announced
fiscal and financial measures supporting
Housing Macroeconomics
housing financing and development with aims
Macroeconomic stability has certainly to provide 1.1 million new housing solutions
contributed to housing and urban development with an expected investment of $19.85 billion.
market stability. Mexico has achieved By the end of year the figure increased to
significant progress in macroeconomic stability $22.75 billion, resulting in the creation of 1.3
over the last decade, with relatively the low million housing solutions, a 14.6% increase to
inflation rates around four percent (+/-1), low the announced investment, says Silva.
interest rates, healthy public finances, and a
Housing market problems are not easily
solid banking system that stimulates business fixed; the ruling administrations well-intended
investment and supports consumer sentiment structural reforms should boost both the
and spending. It should come as no surprise countrys productivity and competitiveness,
that this years expected GDP growth will and it should also generate sustainable
most likely not surpass 2.6 percent. Experts economic growth in the region of five percent
from international financial institutions and and upwards by 2018.
major world economies under the Financial
Having braved the US housing crisis
Stability Board Program (FSB) have recognized relatively well due to the fact there was no
the strength of the Mexican financial system, price bubble in Mexico, the sector fought hard
which can be explained by recent years efforts to keep pace with lending both to mitigate
to improve financial regulation and supervision. the decline in housing supply and to secure its
Among all of the G20 countries, Mexico is affiliates access to housing.
one of the best placed by the IMF regarding
The market today is a complete
economic overheating indicators, showing no transformation from the crisis-stricken
internal nor external financial risk factors.
climate of 2008-2013. Bolstered by its fair
The housing sector represents 14% of share of macroeconomic stability, Mexico
the GDP in goods and services with a more has solid economic fundamentals that should
prominent participation than agriculture, allow the country to cope with any global
education and mining. It employs close to three adversities. The federal government has also
million people, directly or indirectly, or 7.3% of demonstrated sound financial responsibility in
the nations workforce.
the face of crisis and managed to adjust public
and governors. This will definitely be the
hardest part.
Robles staunch commitment to the recently
promulgated Special Economic Zones (SEZ)
Law aimed to foster economic development
in four lagging regions in the south of Mexico
is to address the gap between the north and
the south of the country. The transversal,
institutional project includes the deployment
of important investments in infrastructure
and the establishment of special labor, fiscal
and trade conditions to firms establishing in
those Zones, with the objective of attracting
industrial investments in those regions.
SEDATU will be investing $537 million dollars
in the SEE and 59 metropolitan areas.
We will be working along with the Ministry
of Finance towards the urban development
component - demand for homes, schools,
services - which we want to anticipate and
plan in order for them to be forward-planned
and avoid errors committed in the past.
We will help to overcome lags, promote
legal certainty and attract investments.

Sponsored Section

expenditures accordingly in an enduring low


oil price environment.
Due to Mexicos macroeconomic stability,
both commercial banks and governmental
institutions are increasingly becoming credit
lending for the housing sector. On the one
hand, commercial banks are lending more
money for the high-end market. On the other,
governmental institutions are fostering credit
for developers and both subsidies and more
credit for low-income households, says Silva.
The government is also expanding its
solutions to build better and more sustainable
housing closer to city centers, where jobs
are more readily available and transportation
costs are lower. It is leading the way in
promoting better coordination from all the
relevant stakeholders, which will ultimately
bring people to consider formal jobs, improve
the sectors productivity and overall quality
of life for the average citizen.
The vertical housing segment, in parallel, has
received an impressive push - its share in the
Unique Register of Housing has increased from
eight percent during the 2007-2010 period to
27 percent from 2013-2016.
Since not all investment can come from the
government, the sector is actively seeking to
attract private investment from the US and
Europe. Real estate companies operate with
shares and other companies with emission
trading. The REITs (Real Estate Investment
Trusts) market has been triggered, and there
is also a big opportunity for investors willing
to promote the development of sustainable
housing through green bonds that housing
developers will start submitting very soon.

was founded in 1972 as an autonomous


organization. Its institutional governance
consists of the equal representation of workers,
employers and government. David Penchyna,
its new Director General, explains that the
organization allows Mexicos workforce to
boast one of the largest mortgage lenders in
the world and the largest in Latin America. The
institution, which started operations in 1972
has granted 88,000 credits. Forty-four years
later, Infonavit has consolidated its existence
following the granting of its nine millionth
credit.
Housing is the basic axis for social inclusion
and the first item on the agenda of policies
aimed at improving family welfare. To this end,
Infonavit has become the most solid financial
institution of the social security system
based on the governments efficient austerity
scheme. It provides for Mexican workers
current housing needs through cheaper loans
with installments that better meet their
payment facilities. Consequently, the Institutes
consolidation is based on the implementation
of actions that respond to the workers housing
demands and not the supply.
SHF: The private sector trigger. Mexicos
Housing Development Bank (SHF) has become
the sectors leading bank, in line with its
General Directors well-defined objectives
for 2018. Jesus Alberto Cano says, It is a
structured, well-capitalized bank in tune with
its legal mandate: to boost the housing sector.
After the crisis in 2008, SHF received a nonperforming loans ratio of above 50%. When
Cano assumed the management of SHF, the
banks role apart from managing its loan
portfolio was not all that clear.
FINANCING UNIQUE HOUSING &
We realized we had to make our products
URBAN DEVELOPMENT
more flexible and go out to find our clients
Long-term financing and mortgages are and help the private players in housing. As a
the catalysts for the entire housing process. result, direct or induced credit granting has
The financial system is undergoing constant grown fast. Last year, SHF placed more than
development, including the saving and pension $5 billion more than the nine times placed in
fund schemes. In 2016, it shows optimistic 2012. SHFs performance has mostly been felt
trends with resources flowing from banks to in the housing construction sector.
national housing organizations loans.
FOVISSSTEs mission: home shortage
The transformation of the urban housing policy eradication The National Housing Fund for
is thanks to well-oiled teamwork between the State Workers (FOVISSSTE) has committed
national housing organizations.
itself to eradicate the housing deficit in the
The directors of these organizations share country with 120,000 loans destined to
their optimism below.
promote housing actions for both new and
INFONAVIT: The Institute of National used houses.
Housing Fund for private sector Workers Luis Antonio Godina, General Director of the
Sponsored Section

Fund, will meet objectives with an investment


of more than 40 billion Mexican pesos ($2.11
billion) in the form of 80,000 loans per annum
which is valued in 110 billion pesos ($ 5.8
billion)
Since President Pea Nieto has been in power,
$5.81 billion worth of loans have been granted
to this end approximately 80,000 loans per
annum.

market leaders who have embraced the overall


new direction of the sector, shifting from sorely
building homes to building fully integrated
communities and/or small smart cities.
Carlos Medina, President of the National
Chamber for Housing Development &
Promotion, justifies their success thanks to
the flexibility in joint decisions being taken
between the public and private sectors. He
says, The sector has enjoyed ongoing growth
REAL ESTATE BUOYANCY
during the past 24 months. It is therefore
Mexicos real estate market has been essential for us to continue working together
buoyed by a return in strong demand in resort to boost housing in a fashion that contributes
communities in 2015 from American and to the creation of sustainable cities in line with
Canadian buyers after a several-year slump, government incentives which will motivate
thanks to low oil prices and the strong US the private sector to keep on creating worthy
dollar, pushing home values up.
homes for Mexican families.
American buyers are very important
Carlos Medina, President of the National
consumers as they are owners of beachfront Chamber for Housing Development &
properties, which were badly affected by the Promotion, justifies their success thanks to
slump of 2009-10 in areas like Baja California the flexibility in joint decisions being taken
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deficient or obsolete. Bridges are carrying


more traffic, with heavier vehicles, than
they were originally designed to handle,
and in 2013, the average bridge was
42 years old.
The problem with the United States
infrastructure is much broader than failing
bridges. The nations roads are congested
Build, Baby, Build
and full of potholes. In 2014, the typical
urban commuter spent 42 hours stuck
Aaron Klein
in traffic, up from 20 hours in 1984.
Americans consumed over three billion
gallons of gas as they sat in gridlock for
The Road Taken: The History and Future
almost seven billion hours, at a cost of
of Americas Infrastructure
$160 billion in wasted fuel and time.
BY HENRY PETROSKI. Bloomsbury,
In March, meanwhile, the entire
2016, 336 pp.
subway system of Washington, D.C.
the second-largest in the countrywas
ust after 6 pm on August 1, 2007, at completely shut down for a day for emer
the peak of rush hour, 111 vehicles
gency safety inspections. The inves
were driving across the I-35W bridge tigation exposed so many problems that
over the Mississippi River in downtown officials have warned that they may
Minneapolis when a thin metal plate
have to close large parts of the system
in the bridges central span ripped. The for as long as six months for repairs.
bridge collapsed, plunging vehicles and
The root of the crisis is clear: the
passengers into the river more than 60
United States has underinvested in its
feet below. Thirteen people died, and
infrastructure. The federal gas tax is the
145 were injured.
main source of federal funding for roads,
This was not an isolated incident. In bridges, and subways. But Washington
May 2013, a bridge on the I-5 north of
has not increased that tax, of 18.4 cents
Seattle collapsed, injuring three people, per gallon, since 1993; in real terms, its
value has thus fallen by over 40 percent.
when a truck carrying an oversize load
Expert groups such as the American
crashed into it. And in February 2015,
a chunk of concrete fell from the bottom Society of Civil Engineers, business
of the I-495 overpass in Maryland, crush associations such as the U.S. Chamber
ing a car.
of Commerce, and unions such as the
These incidents should not have come afl-cio have all called for trillions of
as a surprise: according to the American dollars of new investment. But Wash
Society of Civil Engineers, a quarter of ington has failed to act.
the United States bridges are structurally
The Road Taken, a timely and insight
ful book by Henry Petroski, a professor
AARON KLEIN is a Fellow in Economic
of civil engineering and history at Duke
Studies and Policy Director of the Initiative on
University, helps explain why Washington
Business and Public Policy at the Brookings
Institution.
has been unable to solve this problem.

How to Fix
Americas
Infrastructure

September/October 2016 149

Aaron Klein

In part a history of infrastructure, in part


an appeal for greater investment, Petroskis
book offers a rare engineers perspective
on a debate too often dominated by
economists and politicians. Yet engineers
can do only so much on their own. A
healthy national infrastructure requires
not just competent engineers but also a
governmentand a publicwilling to
pay for it.
LICENSE TO BUILD

In the years after independence, the


Founding Fathers debated whether
the Constitution allowed the federal
government to play a role in funding
what were then referred to as internal
improvements. In 1791, Treasury
Secretary Alexander Hamilton delivered
the famous Report on the Subject of Manu
factures to Congress, in which he argued
that many internal improvements of
primary magnitude might be promoted
by an authority operating throughout
the Union, which cannot be effected as
well, if at all, by an authority confirmed
within the limits of a single State.
Hamiltons view was rejected by
President James Madison and his
successor, James Monroe, who both
vetoed major infrastructure legislation
passed by Congress. They believed
that the Constitution did not grant
the federal government the authority
to fund infrastructure and that it would
take a constitutional amendment to
establish that authority. Yet as he vetoed
the legislation in 1817, Madison acknowl
edged the need for infrastructure invest
ment, writing, I am not unaware of
the great importance of roads and
canals and the improved navigation of
water courses, and that a power in the
National Legislature to provide for
150 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

them might be exercised


with signal advantage to
the general prosperity.
Still, five years later,
Monroe vetoed a bill
that sought to repair a
road running from Cum
berland, Maryland, to
Wheeling, in what was
then western Virginia,
arguing that the states
through which the road
passed should pay for it
because Congress lacked
the authority to do so. His
veto helped end the Era
of Good Feelings, when
the country was united
behind one party, the
Democratic-Republicans,
and contributed to the
revival of partisan politics.
From that point all
the way up to the early
twentieth century, Wash
ington provided little
funding for roads and
bridges. Yet with the growth in automo
biles, the building of the Panama Canal,
and, in 1907, a favorable ruling from the
Supreme Court in Wilson v. Shaw on
the constitutionality of federal spend
ing for infrastructure, public support
grew for federal action. In 1916, U.S.
President Woodrow Wilson signed the
landmark Federal Aid Road Act, the
nations first federal highway funding
legislation. Five years later, the Federal
Highway Act of 1921 mandated a national
highway system.
But the real heyday of federal action
came with the presidency of Dwight
Eisenhower. In 1919, as Petroski writes,
Eisenhower had traveled in a military

convoy from Washington, D.C., to


San Francisco and was dismayed by
what he saw. Later, during World War II,
he encountered firsthand Germanys
superior Autobahn. After the war, as
president, he made infrastructure
spending a priority. In 1956, he signed
a law that established the interstate
highways that still traverse the United
States. Eisenhower saw infrastructure
as both an economic and a national
security priority. On the campaign
trail, he had argued that a network of
modern roads is as necessary to defense
as it is to our national economy and
personal safety. The law itself made a
similar point, reading, Because of its
primary importance to the national

defense, the name of such system is


hereby changed to the National System
of Interstate and Defense Highways.
Eisenhowers highways were part of a
series of great infrastructure projects that
helped usher in unprecedented prosperity.
Government investment and private
entrepreneurship laid railroads across
the continent; built huge power plants,
such as the Hoover Dam; and provided
universal phone coverage. Those projects
generated economic growth and united
the nation.
But they required public investment,
and in recent years, that has been lacking.
Since Eisenhower launched the inter
state highway system, and President
Ronald Reagan expanded it, the national
September/October 2016 151

Aaron Klein

gas tax has served as the main source of


federal funding for highways, bridges,
and public transit. The gas tax used to
generate substantial revenue, and it
could still raise significant funds now
to upgrade the countrys roads, fix its
bridges, and expand its transit systems.
Gasoline sales are at an all-time high.
Although electric cars may one day
dominate the roads, today they make
up less than one out of every 1,000 cars,
and suv sales are at record levels. Yet
Congress has not raised the tax in more
than 20 years. Since the tax is not
indexed to inflation, the rate actually
declines in real terms every year. In
1993, it made up almost 20 percent of
the price paid at the pump; today, it
makes up around seven percent.
In 2009, U.S. President Barack
Obama signed an $800 billion stimulus
bill. It provided some additional infra
structure funding, but, as Petroski points
out, only four percent of the bills total
went to transportation projects, roughly
the same amount of federal investment in
a non-stimulus year. Instead, Washington
used most of the stimulus for temporary
tax cuts for individuals and businesses,
amorphous aid to the states, and a host
of other initiatives unrelated to infra
structure investment. The United States
is still waiting for a genuine infrastruc
ture stimulus.
BRIDGE TO NOWHERE

Even when Washington has invested


in public infrastructure, the results
have sometimes been disappointing.
Historically, the federal government
has funded infrastructure projects by
distributing money to the states, thus
empowering state legislatures and
bureaucrats in the executive branch
152 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

at the state level to decide which


projects to fund.
Congress did occasionally pick
projects itself, through a process known
as earmarking. Although earmarking
always made up a relatively small portion
of overall government spending, well
under five percent, it grew dramatically:
there were six earmarks in a 1980s high
way bill and over 6,000 in a similar bill
in 2005. The most famous earmark was
the bridge to nowhere, a proposed
$400 million project in Alaska, which
prompted so much outrage that Congress
ultimately banned the practice of earmark
ing. This has shifted even more control
over infrastructure spending to the
federal executive branch and to elected
officials at the state and local levels.
At those levels, Petroski demonstrates,
vocal minorities wield great influence
over infrastructure choices, often in
undesirable ways. Take speed bumps on
local roads. Small groups of committed
citizens who want to discourage speed
ing in their neighborhoods often push
for municipalities to install such obstacles.
But as Petroski points out, the money
spent on them could be better used to
fill potholes. Speed bumps, he writes,
create a classic infrastructural dilemma
of choice: to spend money deliberately
raising for a complaining individual or
small group an otherwise undesirable
bump in the roador to spend it for
the good of all by filling unwanted holes
in the pavement.
Given these problems with the
political processes that shape infra
structure, its worth considering whether
engineers ought to have more influence
on decisions about what to build and how
to pay for it. After all, a 2013 Pew Research
Center poll found that 63 percent of

Americans believe that engineers con


tribute a lot to society, a figure that
far exceeds that for public trust in
government, which has hovered at
around 20 percent for several years.
Yet left to their own devices,
engineers often overshoot their budgets,
creating signature projects that priv
ilege aesthetic choices over the cost of
construction and maintenance. Petroski
never resolves how to balance these
competing incentives. Policymakers
should give engineers free rein to
innovate within a constrained budget.
Both should ensure that decisions made
at the beginning of a project, which
have an outsize impact on its success or
failure, are not just cost effective in the
short run but likely to yield low operating
and maintenance costs in the long run.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN

The problems that plague American


infrastructure are deepseated and
complex. Yet there is a way out.
Washington and the public must
recognize that worldclass infrastruc
ture does not come cheap. High
quality infrastructure is vital to global
economic competitiveness, and the
United States is falling behind. The
United States invests less than two
percent of its gdp in infrastructure;
Europe, by contrast, invests five per
cent. Furthermore, the bureaucratic
system that oversees public infra
structure spending has become hope
lessly siloed, with separate agencies
at each level of government dedicated
to different modes of transport. Each
has its own stakeholders, champions,
and opponents. Its a wasteful, inef
ficient system; reforming it will
require several steps.

Deforestation
in the Amazon
A CFR INFOGUIDE PRESENTATION

Go on an immersive journey through


Brazils Amazon rainforest to explore
the countrys challenges in controlling
and reversing deforestation.
www.cfr.org/amazon

153

Aaron Klein

First, governments should eliminate


silos. A unified department should merge
the federal highway, transit, aviation,
maritime, and railroad administrations;
the Army Corps of Engineers, which
controls investment in ports; and the
Environmental Protection Agencys water
programs, which provide federal fund
ing for sewer systems and drinking
water. This unified department of infra
structure should incentivize state and
local authorities to make smarter choices
with federal funding. For instance, it
could coordinate the timing of different
projects, such as a sewer-line expansion
and a road repair, so that the govern
ment has to dig only once. It should
also consider instituting a so-called
corridor-based approach, similar to
the one the United Kingdom uses, in
which the government evaluates a set
of projects designed to solve a particu
lar problem and chooses the most cost
effective among them. For example, to
improve the flow of people between
Washington, D.C., and New York City,
policymakers should compare the costs
and benefits of investing in highways,
high-speed rail, increased airport capac
ity, and more efficient freight rail and
shipping to decide how best to solve the
problem, rather than doling out funds
to each of the various transportation
agencies without coordination.
Perhaps most crucial, however, is the
need for the United States to invest
more. For some time now, it has been
depreciating its capital stock, free-riding
on the efforts of past generations. When
previous generations built the interstate
highway system, they faced a choice:
pay for it themselves with a large gas
tax and bequeath it to their children, or
issue bonds that they and their children
154 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

would later have to repay. Eisenhower,


thinking it necessary to make his pro
posal politically palatable, proposed
relying on bonds. Yet Congress instead
chose the former, asking Americans to
pay more than their fair share to lay
the groundwork for the prosperity of
future generations. Presidents from
both partiesEisenhower, Reagan,
George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton
have raised the federal gas tax and
increased infrastructure investment.
The public is much more willing to
support user fees that are dedicated to
infrastructure projects than amorphous
tax-and-spend proposals. So todays
Republicans need to exempt user fees,
such as the gas tax, from their broader
no taxes mantra. And Democrats need
to accept that the gas tax is meant
solely for infrastructure and not for
other purposes (in 1993, Clinton raised
the gas tax for deficit reduction).
Finally, policymakers should not fear
the private sector. Good ideas frequently
come from sources outside the govern
ment. Cities and states should allow
both the public and the private sectors
to submit unsolicited proposals for
innovative infrastructure projects. Of
course, these projects would have to be
rigorously and publicly evaluated. But
the fact that private companies are moti
vated by profit is no reason for the
government to ignore them.
The United States has reached a fork
in the road. It can let its infrastructure
crumble, its bridges collapse, and its
roads grow ever more congested. Or it
can raise the gas tax, allow people to
travel faster and more safely, and grow
its economy. Which path Washington
chooses will make all the difference.

Return to Table of Contents

Spains
Foreign Fighters
The Lincoln Brigade and
the Legacy of the Spanish
Civil War
Sebastiaan Faber
Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the
Spanish Civil War, 19361939
BY ADAM HOCHSCHILD. Houghton
Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, 464 pp.

n March 30, 2008, several


hundred people gathered at the
waterfront in San Francisco.
They had come to witness the unveiling
of a monument to the Abraham Lincoln
Brigade: 2,800 Americans who joined
some 35,000 other volunteers from more
than 50 countries to defend the Spanish
Republic against fascist forces during
Spains civil war. The conflict, which
raged from 1936 until 1939, led to the
deaths of around half a million people,
including at least 750 Americans, and
ended with the victory of General
Francisco Francos Nationalist faction.
The monument, a 40-foot-long steel
structure, contains rows of translucent
onyx blocks encased with written texts
and photographs. Its better to die on
your feet than to live on your knees,
reads one, with the words attributed to
the Spanish Communist icon Dolores

SEBASTIAAN FABER is Professor of Hispanic


Studies at Oberlin College.

Ibrruri. At the unveiling, Mayor Gavin


Newsom addressed the crowd. The
spirit of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade,
he declared, is a legacy that we have
inherited. The microphone was later
passed to one of the 11 surviving American
veterans of the war in attendance. At
the age of 21, Abe Osheroff had traveled
from his home in Brooklyn to fight in
Spain. In his speech, the 92-year-old
left no doubt that his view of the world
hadnt changed. The bastards will never
cease their evil, he growled from his
wheelchair in a heavy New York accent,
and the decent human beings will never
stop their struggle.
Not long after San Francisco put up
its monument, the Spanish port city of
Santander took one down: an equestrian
statue of Franco, who ruled Spain with
an iron fist from the end of the war until
his death in 1975. That his likeness had
remained standing for more than three
decades after his demise suggested that
not everyone in Spain shared Osheroff s
ideas about good and evil. Indeed, to this
day, many Spaniards continue to look back
on the Franco eraand on the dictator
himselfwith some fondness. In 2006,
the Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported
that, according to a poll it had conducted,
a third of the Spanish public believed
that Franco was right to overthrow the
republic. No surprise, then, that not
everyone in Santander was happy to see
the statue of Franco torn down: as workers
readied their torches and drills, a group
of protesters laid flowers in memory
of their beloved caudillo. Even the
citys government was less than thrilled;
it had decided to remove the statue only
after prodding from Spains parliament.
Such ambivalence might seem
strange given the well-documented ills
September/October 2016 155

Sebastiaan Faber

of Francos tenure. But avoiding a direct


confrontation with the recent past had
been a crucial ingredient in Spains
transition from fascism to democracy.
While in power, Franco had arranged
for King Juan Carlos I to succeed him,
and after Francos death, Juan Carlos
ascended a throne that had been vacant
since 1931. As soon as the monarchy
was restored, however, the king turned
around and negotiated an agreement
with Spains opposition parties to ensure
a peaceful three-year transition to democ
racy. Among the pacts key elements
was a general amnesty for representatives
of the regime and for members of the
anti-Franco opposition. This amnesty
enjoyed broad popular support: having
finally been freed from Francos rule,
few Spaniards at the time were interested
in settling accounts, correcting the record,
or providing justice for the regimes many
victims. As a result, most preexisting
institutions and sitting officials were
left in place. So, too, were the thousands
of unmarked mass graves of the Spaniards
who had been summarily executed during
the war and whose remains the Franco
regime never bothered to exhumea
task that citizen groups began to take
on around the turn of the millennium,
without state support.
Things really started to change only
in 2007, when civic groups successfully
pressured the Socialist-led government
to pass the Historical Memory Law.
The measure called for the elimination
of many public traces of the Franco
regime: for example, streets named for
Nationalist generals, plaques commem
orating the martyrs who fell for God
and Fatherland, and statues of the former
dictator such as the one in Santander.
The law also stipulated that the Spanish
156 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

government would provide some assis


tance to family members seeking the
remains of loved ones who had perished
in the civil war or at the hands of Francos
regime. And it made it easier for foreign
volunteers who had helped defend the
republic, such as Osheroff, to obtain
Spanish citizenship.
Despite growing public sentiment
in favor of such a shift, legislators from
the countrys center-right opposition
party, the Partido Popular (pp)which
was founded by a former Franco-era
ministervoted against the bulk of the
laws provisions. During the debate in
parliament, a pp senator condemned
the law as unnecessary, useless, and
senseless and said that by break[ing]
the constitutional pact, it would inspire
dissention and discord. The legislation
passed anyway, but Osheroff never got
a chance to file for Spanish citizenship:
he died shortly after the inauguration
in San Francisco, before the law was
fully implemented.
Today, all 2,800 members of the
Lincoln Brigade are dead. Their stories
live on, however, in Adam Hochschilds
riveting new book, Spain in Our Hearts,
which narrates the fates of a dozen
English-speaking participants in the
conflict. Rigorously researched and
masterfully narrated, Hochschilds book
will become the standard account of the
Spanish Civil War for the next genera
tion of Americans. Hochschild makes
clear why the story that U.S. progressives
continue to tell about the Spanish Civil
Wara tale of idealistic rebellion and
heroism followed by tragic defeatis
quite unlike the stories about the war
that are told in Spain. Its one thing to
recall a time when a deeply felt political
commitment drove thousands of

Spains Foreign Fighters

The good fight? American prisoners of war released in Spain, 1938


Americans to risk their lives in a foreign
war. Its quite another to make sense
of a violent political conflict that tore
through a national community, divided
families and friends, left hundreds of
thousands dead or exiled, and led to four
decades of repression. Different stories
are called for when victims, perpetrators,
and their descendants have to find a way
to continue to live together in a demo
cratic country.

G O O G L E C U LT U R A L I N S T I T U T E

he writes in the prologue. I remember


asking one of them . . . how he looked
back on the war. Over the clatter of
manual typewriters and teletype machines
and the whoosh of pneumatic tubes that
carried our stories to the typesetters,
he said with great feeling, so unlike the
usual banter of the newsroom, I wish
wed won.
Hochschilds emotional attachment
to the Lincoln veterans in his orbit was
typical of his generation. In the 1960s
I WISH WED WON
and 1970s, older leftists and younger
The author of a number of best-selling, activists didnt see eye to eye on every
prize-winning books, including histories thing, but the war in Spain was an
of World War I (To End All Wars) and
unquestioned touchstone. To this day,
the colonization of the Congo (King
it still stands as a fundamental chapter
Leopolds Ghost), Hochschild first became in the history of the American left.
interested in the Spanish Civil War in
The Spanish Civil War began in
the mid-1960s, when he was a young
the summer of 1936 after an attempted
military coup failed to overthrow the
reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle.
Two older journalists at the paper were recently elected government of the
veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, republic, led by the left-wing Popular

September/October 2016 157

Sebastiaan Faber

Front. The Nationalist military rebels,


allied with the powerful Catholic Church
and the immensely wealthy landowning
class, saw the modernizing, secular Popular
Front as a threat to their economic and
political interests and to the tradi
tional religious values that in their
view embodied Spains greatness. Nazi
Germany and fascist Italy supported the
Nationalist cause. But rather than stand
with a fellow democracy and come to the
republics aid, the major Western powers,
including the United States, stayed out of
the conflict. Still, the war drew massive
attentionThe New York Times ran more
than 1,000 front-page headlines about
itand it sharply divided public opinion.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans,
including many celebrities, supported
the republic in various ways. In many
cases, their involvement would leave
indelible marks on their lives and work.
The writer Ernest Hemingway filed war
dispatches, collaborated on a documentary
about the conflict, and wrote a best-selling
novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, set in war
time Spain. His partner, Martha Gellhorn,
covered the war for Colliers magazine and
other outlets, launching her career as one
of the best-known female war correspon
dents in the United States. And the
African American poet and playwright
Langston Hughes wrote about Spain for
the Baltimore Afro-American, focusing
on black volunteers from the United
States who saw the fight against Franco
as an extension of the struggle against
racist oppression at home. (In Spain, for
the first time in U.S. military history, a
black officer, Oliver Law, commanded a
unit that included white soldiers.)
Hochschild mostly eschews such
well-known figures, although one of his
main characters is a young British
158 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

writer named Eric Blair, who joined a


Republican militia and was severely
wounded in 1937and later became
famous under the pen name George
Orwell. The other cast members are
less celebrated but no less fascinating.
Robert Merriman was a tall, charismatic
son of a lumberjack who grew up to
become an economist at the University
of California, Berkeley. A committed
leftist, he traveled to Moscow in 1935
to conduct research on Soviet farming,
but the outbreak of the Spanish Civil
War interrupted his research. In 1937,
he arrived in Spain, where he became
commander of the Lincoln Battalion
which, along with other English-speaking
battalions, made up the republics XV
International Brigade. Merriman died
a year later, in enigmatic circumstances.
Conflicting accounts exist, but it seems
that his unit stumbled into enemy forces
during a chaotic retreat. Most likely, he
was executed on the spot, but his body
was never recovered. Merriman served
as the inspiration for the hero of For
Whom the Bell Tolls, and Hochschild
shares Hemingways admiration for the
economist whom history turned into an
effective military commander.
Hochschild also tells the story of the
American journalist Louis Fischer, who
had reported from the Soviet Union in
the years following the Russian Revolu
tion and written sympathetically about
the Bolsheviks. Fischer covered the war
in Spain for the left-wing magazine The
Nation while also serving as an informal
adviser to the Republican leadership,
after a brief stint as a quartermaster in
the XV International Brigade. (These
shifting roles were not unusual; as the
historian Paul Preston has shown, many
of the foreign correspondents in Spain

Spains Foreign Fighters

couldnt help getting involved in one way


or another.) Fischer was drawn to leftist
causes, Hochschild writes, not just by
youthful idealism but also by the hunger
for recognition and closeness to power of
someone who had grown up with neither.
In the wake of Stalins purges, however,
Fischers enchantment with communism
gave way to disillusionment; he later
contributed an essay to The God That
Failed, a 1949 collection of testimonials
from former Communists that became
a classic of Cold War anticommunism.
The issue of Soviet involvement in
the Spanish Civil War remains almost
as controversial today as it was in the
1930s. Soviet support increased the
Communist Partys influence within
the republic, and Soviet agents worked
with the Republican authorities to
suppress dissidents, echoing the purges
going on at the same time in Moscow.
Still, as Hochschild points out, Soviet
power in Spain had clear limits and
has frequently been overstated. He also
debunks the notion, prevalent among
some conservative historians, that a
Republican victory would have turned
Spain into a Soviet satellite statean
illusion that bolstered Francos Cold War
image as the anticommunist sentinel
of the West.
A journalist at heart, Hochschild is
especially interested in how reporters
covered the war, how they balanced
their political commitments with their
professional duties, and how editors and
newspaper owners shaped the coverage.
He finds that many journalists were prone
to herd behavior and missed important
stories, including the extent and signifi
cance of the social revolution that took
place in Catalonia and elsewhere during
the first months of the war, when

workers organizations took over the


economy and Spaniards briefly wrote
a new chapter in Europes centuries-old
battle between classes.
Hochschild also shares an explosive
scoop that never made it into the main
stream media during the war: the story
of how Torkild Rieber, the Norwegianborn chief executive of Texaco, who was
fond of a number of fascist dictators,
helped Franco win the war. Rieber offered
Franco some 380 tankers worth of fuel
on credit, an arrangement that constituted
a clear violation of U.S. neutrality laws.
But Rieber went ever further: by tapping
his global network for detailed infor
mation on shipping routes and times,
Rieber helped Franco and his Nazi
German allies sink oil tankers headed
for the republic.
MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS

The international brigades served as


shock troops for the Republican forces at
major battles, but many of the volunteers
were inexperienced soldiers, and their
equipment was less than adequate. As
Hochschild points out, the American
volunteers suffered the highest death
rate of any U.S. military force during
the twentieth century. Many of those
who did survive went on to fight during
World War II and to lead long, politically
active lives. By the late 1960s, many of
them had achieved mythical status. I saw
Lincoln Brigade veterans enthusiastically
cheered when they appeared in demon
strations for civil rights or against the
Vietnam War, or against U.S. interven
tion in Central America in the 1980s,
Hochschild writes. All of us who care
about social justice feel a need for politi
cal ancestors, he notes. In the Lincoln
Brigade volunteers, the postwar
September/October 2016 159

Sebastiaan Faber

American left found just that. But it


also inherited their sometimes narrow,
highly partisan view of the conflict. (When
one Lincoln commander, Milton Wolff,
returned to Spain in 2006, he visited a
war cemetery near Gandesa. These are
the fascists? he asked with disdain after
stumbling accidentally onto the tomb
stones of pro-Franco soldiers. There
arent enough of them!)
In the United States and the United
Kingdom, lasting disagreements over the
wars meaning and legacy stem from a
number of factors. For one thing, the
conflict was incredibly complex: a wide
range of outside powers intervened in
it, and both sides included members of
many different political movements:
anarchists, socialists, and various forms of
communists all fought for the republic,
while both fascists and Catholics backed
the Nationalists. For another thing,
narratives about the conflict were shaped
by the Cold War, when the United States
entered into a formal alliance with Francos
Spain. As a result, most accounts of the
war have inevitably been colored by
ideology. The conservative-religious
account maintains that Franco had no
choice but to rebel in order to save Spain
from communism. The center-right
version emphasizes the republics revo
lutionary nature and argues that the
Republicans and their international
supporters were hijacked by a global
communist movement subject to Stalins
devious designs. The anti-Stalinist left,
meanwhile, blames the Communistdominated Republican authorities for
losing the war by ruthlessly squashing
anarchist-led efforts to collectivize
factories and estates and by persecuting
anyone who dissented from the party
line. And finally, theres the account that
160 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

dominated among the Lincoln veterans


(most of whom were members of the
Communist Party or socialist fellow
travelers), which stressed the legal legit
imacy of the republic, the cruelty of
Francos fascism, and the wisdom of
accepting Soviet support.
Hochschild navigates these narratives
with skill and sensitivity. Although he
does not hide his admiration for those,
such as Merriman, who gave their lives
for progressive ideals, he doesnt shy
away from the less admirable qualities
of the eras leftist politics. Above all,
Hochschild makes clear that the story
of the Spanish Civil War offers more
questions than answers, especially when
it comes to issues in international affairs
that remain pressing today, such as the
wisdom of great powers intervening in
faraway conflicts.
THE PAST IS NEVER DEAD

In Spain itself, of course, the debate over


the civil war has its own unique contours.
Franco justified the 1936 rebellion as a
crusade to save Spain from communism,
republicanism, Marxism, Judaism, Free
masonry, and other nefarious creeds.
Following the defeat of Francos fascist
allies in World War II, Spain was initially
shunned by the international community.
But a treaty with the United States in
the early 1950s and admittance to the
un in 1955 helped normalize its inter
national status. By the 1960s, as the
Spanish economy boomed and the
Franco regime presented itself as a
guarantor of order and peace, the
dominant narrative of the war shifted;
many Spaniards came to accept the
Francoist view that the chaos of the
Republican years had given way to three
years of collective madness. By the time

Spains Foreign Fighters

Franco died, the widespread fear of a


new civil conflict helped cement broad
support for the brokered solution between
the regime and the opposition, in which
both sides made significant concessions.
For many years, Spains democratic
transition was considered a model of
moderation and common sense and served
as a significant source of national pride.
By the late 1990s, however, a growing
number of Spaniards began wondering
why no one had ever been held account
able for the thousands of human rights
abuses committed during and after the
war. In the subsequent decade, a series
of culture wars broke out over issues
such as abortion, gay marriage, the Iraq
war, and the unity of the Spanish state.
In a suddenly more polarized political
environment, consensus about the recent
pastor at least an unwillingness to
argue about itbegan to slip away. The
left lost its shyness about linking the
conservative pp (which ruled from 1996
until 2004) with the Franco legacy, and
right-wingers accused the Socialist
government that held office from 2004
until 2011 of repeating the confronta
tional politics of the republic. Meanwhile,
an expanding network of citizen organi
zations, denouncing Spains pact of
silence, began exhuming the bodies of
the Nationalists victims from unmarked
mass graves. Pressure from such groups
led to the 2007 Historical Memory
Law and, a year later, to an (ultimately
unsuccessful) attempt by a high-profile
Spanish judge to open a criminal
investigation into more than 100,000
murders and forced disappearances
perpetrated from the mid-1930s until
the 1950s.
Today, Spains political landscape is
undergoing its biggest changes in 35 years.

The uneasiness with the democratic


transitions reliance on amnesty that was
first expressed by the historical-memory
movement has evolved into more wide
spread discontent with the functioning
of the post-Franco political system. In
the spring of 2011, thousands of Spaniards
took to the streets, rallying around the
slogan Democracia real ya! (Real democ
racy now!); that movement has coalesced
around the anti-austerity party Podemos
(We Can), which draws inspiration
from the republic and favors ending
amnesty. Even some conservatives have
begun to acknowledge that revisiting
the past is not tantamount to opening
old wounds. In 2015, Madrid elected a
progressive-leaning city government
headed by a retired judge and former
Communist activist, Manuela Carmena,
who has pledged to implement the
2007 Historical Memory Law, which
her predecessors had ignored.
To be sure, dozens of Madrid streets
today are still named for Franco and
his generals. But last November, the
Spanish capital chose a location for a
square dedicated to the foreign volun
teers who fought against them; the site
will be called la Plaza de las Brigadas
Internacionales.

September/October 2016 161

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s one of the leading economies in Asia, the Kingdom of Thailand has not lost its potential for
growth despite the political challenges of recent years. Capitalizing on its unique culture and
breathtaking natural attractions, the country has built a strong tourism industry, while still
diversifying its economic base.
Thailand is currently going through some significant
changes, led by government
policies aimed at building a
sustainable, high-value economy. These changes are vital
in keeping us relevant for the
future and in further enhancing Thailands attractiveness
to the international community, Bangkok Bank President
Chartsiri Sophonpanich said.
Bangkok Bank is the undisputed leader in the Thai banking sector and the preferred
partner for international investors wishing to do business
in the country and the rest
of Asia. The bank company
serves SMEs and large companies, and boasts the largest retail customer base in Thailand.
Surmounting the political
turmoil of the past few years,
Thailands financial system is
on the road to recovery. It has
limited its dependence on
international business, promoted domestic demand and
encouraged productive investments.
We continue to provide
high-quality, convenient financial services to our customers both local and international. We will continue
to support Thai companies
expanding internationally, as
well as help foreign companies
looking to invest in Thailand
and the wider region, Sophonpanich also said.
And this steady and strong
financial system has won over
international investors. While
foreign companies have begun
looking into Thailand again,
the countrys industry giants

Bangkok Bank President


Chartsiri Sophonpanich

are looking for more opportunities abroad to further their


growth.
PTT Public Co. Ltd., the
countrys energy giant and
the only Thai company in the
Fortune 500, has been eyeing investment opportunities
outside Asia to further grow
its business. Given the current trend to use renewable
energy, PTT aims to diversify
its business in order to protect
itself better from any downward cycle in oil prices.
We have to venture around
the world. PTT has invested in
more than 20 countries, such
as Canada, Australia and Mozambique. We have to grow
beyond Thailand and behave
like our peers, while making
sure our groups are aligned,
said PTT Chief Financial Wirat
Uanarumit.
PTTs robust growth, evident
across the country has gained
the respect of the Thai people.
PTT is so predominant in
Thailand. It is our goal to be
the pride and treasure of the

country, Uanarumit stressed.


Like PTT, property developer Singha Estate, already
with an established reputation
locally, is looking to expand
overseas to achieve growth.
While looking into acquiring and developing real estate abroad, solely or through
partnerships, the company is
also purchasing built assets to
manage and expand.
Singha Estate is new, but
the management is not. Everyone on the team has been
in the industry for more than a
decade. We develop our own
competitiveness and M&A is
our competitive tactic currently, CEO Naris Cheyklin said.
Its overseas strategy has already yielded success in the
UK, where it plans to expand
further. Singha Estate wants
widen its portfolio of properties that currently include
resorts, residential developments, commercial buildings
and industrial parks in new
markets, such as Southeast
Asia and Europe.
Wed like to collaborate
with developers or strategic
partners in key areas and are
open to discussions because
we are new. There is always a
possibility to welcome investors, Cheyklin said.
As an important industrial
center in Asia, Thailand has
several success stories to share
with the world, among them
ThaiNamthip, the local bottler
for global drinks giant CocaCola. The company runs five
facilities, accounts for around
90 percent market of CocaColas business in the coun-

try and caters to more than


300,000 customers.
Having resolved longrunning internal and external
disputes, ThaiNamthip underwent a drastic overhaul of its
workforce and management.
It took a long time. The biggest challenge was changing
the mindset of the employees
on how a business should be
run, ThaiNamthip Chairman
Porwut Sarasin recalled.
Not looking back, Sarasin
said the company has doubled
its business and tripled its
profits in the last seven years,
making Thailand one of its top
20 markets in the world,
In another industry, Thai Airways has served as the most
visible global ambassador of
the countrys business. Known
for its exemplary and friendly
service, the flag carrier encountered turbulence the last
few years but has found itself
flying through clear skies lately.
After a rough 2014, Thai
Airways has also shown signs
of recovery after having reorganized its company structure
and remade its brand as a premium brand and carrier.
Thailand is a country with
many popular destinations.
And as the national carrier,
THAI supports the main economic engine of the country,
which is tourism, THAI Airways President Charamporn
Jotikasthira said.
With the combined strength
and image of these incredible
industry titans, Thailand has
maintained its reputation as a
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Return to Table of Contents


new ideas, stronger personalities, and a
better sense of who they were, after
transformative adventures that allowed
them to see their own country . . . more
Debating the Value of
clearly and having observed things
Study Abroad
abroad that the United States might be
able to learn from. Alas, having taught in
two study-abroad programs in Europe
between 2007 and 2010, I could provide
anecdotes that would paint a very dif
Dont Believe the Hype
ferent picture of study abroads outcomes.
Eric R. Terzuolo
But its not necessary to rely solely
on competing impressions. In recent
years, researchersincluding some
n The Study-Abroad Solution
affiliated with the Forum on Education
(March/April 2016), Sanford Ungar Abroad, which is recognized by the
argues that a lack of overseas
U.S. government as a standard-setting
education among American college and
body, and some at ies Abroad, a major
university students hinders the creation study-abroad providerhave applied
and implementation of a rational, con
sophisticated research tools to analyze
sistent, and nuanced foreign policy that the effect of overseas education. Their
reflects American values. Ungar contends findings paint a complex and contradic
that only a major commitment of govern tory picture. Participants in study abroad
ment and private-sector resources to a do not necessarily come back changed
dramatic long-term expansion of study in the expected or desired ways, and the
abroad will allow the United States to
changes that do occur are mostly incre
begin building a more healthy relation
mental. It does not appear that study
ship with the rest of the planet.
abroads benefits reliably accrue to all
Ungars belief in the value of know
participants, nor are they equally dis
ing and understanding others better is
tributed. My own research on study
undeniably sincere, and in 20-plus years abroads impact suggests that, on average,
as a U.S. diplomat, I learned that inter
participants shift toward a more inter
national understanding is always in
cultural (as opposed to monocultural)
short supply. But the specific benefits
worldview compared with students who
of study abroad that Ungar mentions remain on their home campuses in the
higher four-year graduation rates for
United States. However, the effect is
study-abroad participants and increased relatively minor. Perhaps more signifi
earning potentialdo not seem terribly cant, I have found that three student
relevant to improving U.S. foreign policy. characteristics are closely linked to the
What is more, Ungar treats study abroad development of a more intercultural
as unquestionably beneficial for all and, outlook while studying abroad: being
like many of its advocates, argues anec
female, identifying as a member of
dotally, referring to the stories of students more than one national culture, and
who returned from study abroad with
having a grandparent who was born and

Worth the Trip?

162 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

Worth the Trip?

raised outside the United States. On the


other hand, according to my research,
the characteristics of the study-abroad
programs in which students participate
do not seem to influence the outcomes.
In other words, it appears that changes
in the ways that study-abroad partici
pants understand and address cultural
differences are more a function of their
preexisting personal characteristics than
of their experiences abroad.
These findings pose a challenge for
efforts to make study abroad reliably
beneficial for all participants and call into
question whether it should be mandated
for all undergraduates, even if it were
possible to do so. Given the expense of
study abroad for participants and their
families, it is worth exploring more
cost-effective approaches to fostering
students intercultural skills, methods
that would be more readily accessible
to students outside the group of elite
and aspiring elite institutions that con
tribute a disproportionate share of U.S.
study-abroad participants. A recent,
large-scale study by education researchers
at Augustana College and the University
of Iowa suggests that on-campus expe
riences with diversity may be the single
most important factor in determining
whether students increase their inter
cultural competence during their under
graduate years. It would be relatively
inexpensive to maximize such experiences,
drawing on resources already present at
colleges and universities and in their
surrounding communities.
Its true that employers like to see
study-abroad experiences on students
resums, and colleges and universities
would no doubt welcome additional
public and private subsidies to bolster
their students career prospects. But

massive, state-engineered subsidies for


study abroad would mostly benefit the
private good, and Ungar presents no
clear evidence for his assertion that
expanding study abroad would contrib
ute to the public good by somehow
leading to better U.S. foreign policies.
Ungar presents an appealing picture
of young Americans going abroad as
cultural ambassadors, showing a sensi
tive understanding of what others see
as wrong in U.S. society and policies,
and returning energized to change the
United States for the better. But he
seems to be looking at study abroad
through rose-colored glasses. The
United States objective weight on the
international stage inevitably generates
criticism and antagonism, even apart
from anger at specific U.S. policies. In
my experience, when American students
abroad interact with their foreign counter
parts, they spend much of the time
distinguishing their views from those
of the U.S. government and from those
of other Americans. Perhaps some come
back with a positive drive to change U.S.
policies, in one direction or another. But
many others come back weary of such
conversations, saying, Im glad thats
over with.
I favor more modest objectives for
study abroad. It would be a major
achievement if study-abroad programs
could reliably provide participating
students with enriching experiences
that demonstrably improved their
intercultural skills. Such programs are
not there yet, by any means.
ERIC R. TERZUOLO was a U.S. Foreign Service
Officer from 1982 to 2003.

September/October 2016 163

Ungar and His Critic

Ungar Replies

ric Terzuolo provides an inter


esting perspective on his and
others research into the effect
of overseas education and on his own
disappointing experience teaching in
study-abroad programs in Europe. It
is true, of course, that participants in
study abroad do not necessarily come
back changed in the expected or desired
ways, as he writes, just as not all college
or university students, enrolled in every
manner of institution, get as much out
of their overall education as they might
hope. But unlike Terzuolo, Ive never met
a student who was glad the experience
was over.
I dont argue that study abroad
should be mandated for all undergradu
ates everywhere, even though we found
that doing so at Goucher College, where
I served as president, had a profound
and demonstrably positive effect. What
I propose is that within a decade, at least
a third of all American undergraduates
should have access to an affordable studyabroad program, with a goal of univer
sal access (but not necessarily required
participation) by midcentury. And surely,
any increase would be an improvement
over the current, frankly pathetic studyabroad participation rate of 1.5 percent
of U.S. college and university students.
Terzuolos direct personal experience
is apparently limited to study-abroad
programs in Europe, some of which
may well be in need of improvement,
including greater academic rigor and
less clustering of students from a single
institution. He might feel differently if
he were to visit some of the Goucher
programs I did in Cuba, Honduras,
and India, or if he were to talk with
164 f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

students who spent an intense semester


in Brazil, China, Rwanda, or South
Africa. He also misses a broader point:
if Americans are to understand and
cope more satisfactorily with events
around the globe, they will have to see
with their own eyes and absorb with
their own minds the challenges their
country faces. Several generations have
already experienced the dangers of
allowing foreign policy to be designed
only by experts and carried out primarily
by official representatives, many of whom
have had limited exposure to the rest
of the world.

Return to Table of Contents

Recent Books
Political and Legal

for geopolitical purposes often backfire.


And crucially, U.S. support for a rulesbased system is itself a profoundly
geoeconomic strategy that has paid
dividends for decades.

G. John Ikenberry
Shaper Nations: Strategies for a
Changing World
War by Other Means: Geoeconomics
and Statecraft
BY ROBERT D. BLACKWILL AND
JENNIF ER M. HARRIS. Harvard

EDITED BY WILLIAM I.
HITCHCOCK, MELVYN P. LEF FLER,
AND JEF F REY W. LEGRO. Harvard

University Press, 2016, 224 pp.

University Press, 2016, 384 pp.


Accommodating Rising Powers: Past,
eoeconomics, the use of economic Present, and Future
instruments to advance foreign EDITED BY T. V. PAUL. Cambridge
policy goals, has long been a
University Press, 2016, 335 pp.
staple of great-power politics. In this
impressive policy manifesto, Blackwill
Two recent books offer insights into
and Harris argue that in recent decades, how the world might change in the
the United States has tended to neglect
coming decades as U.S. hegemony fades
this form of statecraft, while China,
and the world becomes increasingly
Russia, and other illiberal states have
defined by multipolarity. Shaper Nations
increasingly employed it to Washingtons represents one of the best snapshots yet
disadvantage. China looms especially
of this emerging era, focusing on countries
large in the book, which details Beijings whose economic and military capabilities
reliance on economic carrots and sticks
make them increasingly significant in
to bring smaller and weaker countries
their regions and beyond: Brazil, China,
into its political orbitfor example,
Germany, India, Israel, Russia, Turkey,
launching a new development organi
and the United States. None of the
zation to rival the World Bank and
contributors considers any of these states,
laying the groundwork for a new Silk
including China, to be a revisionist
Road across Eurasia. Blackwill and
power, one that seeks to upend the rules
Harris worry that economic statecraft
and institutions of the existing order.
has become a lost art in postCold
Rather, shaper nations are themselves
War U.S. foreign policy and that the
shaped and constrained by domestic
American penchant for separating
politics, regional rivalries, and historical
economics from politics and Washingtons memories and grievancesa fact that
commitment to a rules-based inter
will make world politics increasingly
national order have constrained U.S.
messy and dysfunctional as such countries
policymakers. But as the authors ac
become more influential. Paradoxically,
knowledge, Chinese and Russian
todays rising states combine greater
attempts to use trade and investment
international influence with profound

September/October 2016

165

Recent Books

domestic weaknesses and unsettled


national identities. Legro speculates
that shaper nations will create a global
order that is less global and less orderly:
as rising powers focus on their own
development and neighborhoods, they
will deliver fewer public goods.
A multipolar world might also
prove to be a dangerous place: many of
historys bloodiest wars have been con
flicts between ambitious rising powers
seeking greater sway in the world and
declining leading states struggling to
hold on. In his impressive collection,
Paul leads an interdisciplinary group of
scholars in exploring how rising powers
and more established rivals have dealt
with this dilemma in the past. The best
example of peaceful accommodation is
the United Kingdoms acceptance of a
rising United States in the late nine
teenth century. In contrast, Europes
inability to integrate post-Bismarck
Germany in the early twentieth century
stands out as the most disastrous case
of failed accommodation. The book also
surveys the contemporary efforts of Brazil,
China, and India to find their way in
the U.S.-led global order. Interestingly,
that order has made it easier for rising
states to join and assume leadership
roles, but prevailing norms of sovereignty,
territorial rights, and the rule of law
have made it harder for the great powers
to cut deals with smaller rivals over
spheres of influence. The book makes
clear that long-term shifts in power
among states do foment insecurity
and conflict, but diplomacy and steady
strategies of reciprocity and self-restraint
can bring countries back from the brink
of war.

166

f o r e i g n a f fa i r s

The Fix: How Nations Survive and


Thrive in a World in Decline
BY JONATHAN TEPPERMAN. Tim
Duggan, 2016, 320 pp.
It is easy to look at the world today
and see nothing but a spiral of disorder,
dysfunction, and decline. In this wonder
fully engaging book, Teppermanthe
managing editor of this magazinetours
the world looking for political success
stories that cut against this gloomy
outlook. The book identifies ten com
mon but particularly difficult problems,
including inequality, immigration, civil
war, corruption, and political gridlock,
and argues that they are fixable when
leaders act boldly. For each problem,
Tepperman finds a free-thinking and
experimental leader (or leaders) who
defied the odds and achieved success.
In the early years of this century, for
example, President Luiz Incio Lula da
Silva of Brazil developed a ground
breaking poverty-fighting program,
Bolsa Famlia, that gave small monthly
grants to mothers to feed and educate
their families. And for the past two
decades, the democratic leaders of
post-Suharto Indonesia have steered
their country toward a moderate form
of politics that has undercut Islamist
radicalism. From his fascinating trave
logue, Tepperman offers lessons for a
world in trouble: leaders need to think
outside the box, embrace the possibil
ities that crises present, and respect
systems of checks and balances. The
pragmatic reform tradition that the
book illuminates is apparently still alive.

Recent Books

The Four Freedoms: Franklin D. Roosevelt


and the Evolution of an American Idea
EDITED BY JEF F REY A. ENG EL.

Oxford University Press, 2015, 248 pp.


U.S. President Franklin Roosevelts
Four Freedoms speech, delivered in
January 1941, is widely seen as a land
mark statement of American foreign
policy. Roosevelts purpose was to rally
a skeptical U.S. Congress and public
to the coming war against the Axis
powers and their new order of tyranny
by offering a lofty vision of a liberal
order that would protect American
interests and ideals. This thoughtful
book of essays attempts to recover the
historical momentwhat the historian
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., called those
angry dayssurrounding Roosevelts
speech and assess its long-term legacies.
Chapters look at each of the four great
rights and protections: freedom of
speech and religion and freedom from
fear and want. One theme of the book
is that very prosaic circumstances
and instrumental purposes lay behind
Roosevelts soaring rhetoric: he was
under pressure to convince a reluctant
Congress to approve military spending
and aid for countries aligned against
Nazi Germany and its allies. But another
theme is that ideas have consequences.
Whatever his immediate goals, Roosevelt
ushered in an expansive new conception
of international order. As the historian
Elizabeth Borgwardt has put it elsewhere,
Roosevelt was offering a New Deal for
the world.

Economic, Social, and


Environmental
Richard N. Cooper

The Power of a Single Number: A Political


History of GDP
BY PHILIPP LEPENIES. Columbia
University Press, 2016, 208 pp.
The Great Invention: The Story of GDP
and the Making (and Unmaking) of the
Modern World
BY EHSAN MASOOD. Pegasus Books,
2016, 352 pp.

n recent decades, the acronym


gdpshort for gross domestic
producthas entered popular and
political discourse as a measurement
of economic activity; gdp per capita,
meanwhile, has emerged as a rough
measure of overall well-being. In his
informative book, Lepenies describes
the tortuous path by which gdp became
so crucial, beginning with the conceptual
work on economic measurement carried
out by the English economist William
Petty in the mid-seventeenth century,
to the consolidation of gdps role in
assessing and managing the British and
U.S. economies during World War II,
to Washingtons postwar insistence that
European recipients of Marshall Plan aid
adopt gdp as a metric and collect the
data needed to calculate it.
The subsequent Western embrace of
gdp ultimately led countries around
the world to adopt it as a benchmark
measurement. In recent decades, Masood
argues in his interesting book, that
September/October 2016

167

Recent Books

process has gone too far. Masood decries


the increasing use of gdp for purposes
it was never intended for, such as esti
mating overall economic performance
and strength. Such concerns are not
new, as Masood shows by recounting
the vigorous debates among economists
in the 1930s who disagreed over gdps
utility. In the view of Masood and
others, gdps main flaw is its exclusion
of most nonmarket activities and its
inability to factor in some negative
consequences of growth, such as air
pollution and climate change. But
Masood doesnt merely criticize the
overreliance on gdp: he also explores
ongoing efforts to develop a satisfac
tory substitute or supplement that
would yield a more accurate picture of
economic activity and its effects.

occur from time to time owing to what


King calls the radical uncertainty of
modern, dynamic economies. In addition
to serving up fascinating tidbits of
banking history, King proposes a radical
transformation of the contemporary
banking system. Under his plan, central
banks would agree to make loans to
cover a banks short-term liabilities
during a time of crisis as long as the
bank had offered acceptable collateral
ahead of time. This would greatly
bolster the safety of banks but would
also require a major revision of how
they function.
Prisoners of Reason: Game Theory and
Neoliberal Political Economy
BY S. M. AMADAE. Cambridge
University Press, 2016, 360 pp.

Amadae argues that neoliberal thought


derives in great part from elements of
game theory, particularly the so-called
prisoners dilemma, which emphasizes
how final payoffs affect the strategies
King, who served as the United Kingdoms of potential adversaries. American and
top central bank official from 2003 until Soviet strategists used game theory to
2013, reflects on what the financial crisis develop their countries nuclear postures
of 2008 and its aftermath revealed about during the Cold War. Since then, the
modern economies. It is not a pretty
rise of pro-market, pro-globalization
picture. He concludes that the existing
neoliberalismwhich favors decisionbusiness model followed by banks is no making based on rational choice and
longer viable; soon enough, it will once narrow self-interesthas encouraged
again present political leaders with the
the spread of game theory into many
dilemma of having to choose between
other aspects of life and society, partic
massive bank bailouts and economic
ularly the realms of business and finance.
catastrophe. There are two fundamental The author draws an unfavorable contrast
problems: banks are still overleveraged, between neoliberalism and classical
and they suffer from a mismatch between liberal thought, which emphasizes respect
the liquidity and maturity of their assets for individuals and procedural fairness,
and those of their liabilities during
counsels decision-makers to do no harm,
times of stresswhich will inevitably
and considers outcomes other than final
The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and
the Future of the Global Economy
BY MERVYN KING. Norton, 2016,
448 pp.

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payoffs. Like many philosophical inquiries,


the book is a bit heavy at times, but it
offers a thoughtful examination of the
fundamental assumptions on which
modern society is based.
International Monetary Cooperation:
Lessons From the Plaza Accord After
Thirty Years
EDITED BY C. F RED BERGSTEN
AND RUSSELL A. G REEN . Peterson

Institute for International Economics,


2016, 300 pp.
The administration of U.S. President
Ronald Reagan was philosophically
committed to free markets, in particular
the foreign exchange market. It was
therefore a major surprise when, in
September 1985, the finance ministers
of France, Japan, the United Kingdom,
and West Germany met at the Plaza
Hotel in New York City with the
secretary of the U.S. Treasury, James
Baker, and publicly announced that
the U.S. dollar was overvalued and
that they would take collective action
to encourage its depreciation and a
corresponding appreciation of the four
other major countries currencies. The
Plaza Accord was followed 17 months
later by the Louvre Accord, in which
the same group declared that the depre
ciation had gone far enough and that
they would consequently take steps to
stabilize exchange rates. How to properly
manage exchange rates remains a vexing
question for many countries today, one
for which there seems to be no enduring
correct answer. The 16 contributors to
this bookwhich include Baker and then
Fed Chair Paul Volcker, the leading
U.S. participants in these events

evaluate the effects of the accords and


argue that they serve as an exemplar
for macroeconomic cooperation among
major countries. That position was
controversial at the time and remains
so today, partly because some influential
Chinese economists maintainwrongly,
as this books demonstratesthat the
accords led to the bursting of the Japanese
stock market and real estate bubbles at
the end of the 1980s, an outcome that
present-day China, with its overheated
equity and land markets, is eager to avoid.
Collapse and Revival: Understanding
Global Recessions and Recoveries
BY M. AYHAN KOSE AND MARCO E.
TERRONES. International Monetary

Fund, 2015, 304 pp.


The result of a collaboration between
the International Monetary Fund and
the World Bank, this is a fine primer
on the four global recessions that have
occurred since the Great Depression
of the 1930sin 1975, 1982, 1991, and
2009and on how economies recovered
from them, with an emphasis on the
Great Recession of 2009. It features
useful summaries of the factors that
caused the recessions and examines the
dynamics of the recoveries, drawing
largely from scholarly literature. It
also provides a good deal of informed
commentary on the practice of macro
economic analysis and on the transmis
sion of economic shocks across national
borders. The publication includes
many charts and tables, so its not for
numerophobes. It also comes with a
dvd that contains documentary-style
interviews with the authors and other
economists.
September/October 2016

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Recent Books

Military, Scientific, and


Technological
Lawrence D. Freedman

Waging Insurgent Warfare: Lessons From


the Vietcong to the Islamic State
BY SETH G. JONES. Oxford
University Press, 2016, 328 pp.

Most recent books on insurgencies have


concentrated on how to counter them.
Pivotal Countries, Alternate Futures: Using Jones turns this around by instead asking
Scenarios to Manage American Strategy
what it takes for an insurgency to succeed.
BY MICHAEL F. OPPENHEIMER.
This allows him to look at recent conflicts,
Oxford University Press, 2015, 272 pp.
including those in Kosovo and Libya,
in which Western powers supported
overnments do not like being
insurgents. He combines quantitative
caught by surprise, but it
data with careful observations to craft a
happens all the time, leaving
thoughtful, original, and comprehensive
them looking foolish when they fail to
analysis of how insurgencies start; the
anticipate events that challenge the
strategies, tactics, and organizational
foundations of their policies. Oppen
approaches they adopt; and their need
heimer believes he has a remedy for
for foreign support. Not surprisingly,
this problem. He does not try to fore
the most successful insurgents tend to
cast the future; instead, he constructs
be those who can challenge the state
detailed scenarios that could plausibly
on its own terms by using conventional
take shape, by starting with what is
force with support from an external
known about the current situation and
power. Guerrilla warfare is a less
then imagining different ways in which
promising option, since it relies on
events and decisions might unfold.
exhausting ones enemies rather than
Oppenheimer explains his methodology defeating them. One slightly misleading
and details a number of scenarios he
element of Jones analysis is the firm
developed in the recent past for coun
distinction he draws between some of
tries such as China, Russia, Syria, and
the communist-inspired insurgencies
Ukraine. These illustrate the value of
of the Cold War era and the Islamist
the exercise but also, as Oppenheimer
ones that have arisen since the early
acknowledges, its limits. The scenarios
1990s, which has the effect of obscuring
reveal more about what was known and the essentially anticolonial character
understood at the time that Oppenheimer of both kinds of movements.
drew them than about what actually
happened. Oppenheimer makes a persua
sive case that scenario planning can
Pumpkinflowers: A Soldiers Story
encourage more agility and flexibility
BY MAT TI F RIEDMAN. Algonquin
in policymaking. He also presents a
Books, 2016, 256 pp.
scathing indictment of U.S. grand
strategybut his proposed remedies
There was a time when military
for it are not convincing.
memoirs focused on climactic battles of
great historic importance. But like other

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contemporary additions to the genre,


Friedmans describes a war without any
real battlesa conflict in which the
weaker side used ambushes and booby
traps to demonstrate to the notionally
stronger party that its position was
untenable. In 1998, Friedman was
deployed to the Pumpkin, an Israeli
military outpost in southern Lebanon.
(Flowers refers to a code word for
casualties.) The outposts value had by
that time been called into question,
notably after a collision between two
Israeli helicopters that took 73 lives.
Helicopters had become necessary
because of the vulnerability of Israeli
vehicle convoys to improvised explosive
devices laid by the militant group
Hezbollah. After the Israelis withdrew
from Lebanon in 2000, Friedman used
his Canadian passport to return to the
area as a civilian, meeting people who
were friendly but also encountering a
good deal of anti-Semitism. Friedman
is a gifted writer, able to capture the
tedium and anxiety of life at the Pumpkin
with a spare, restrained, laconic style
that keeps the reader engaged even when
Friedman narrates incidents that lack
drama. The result is a thoughtful medi
tation on both the nature of modern war
and a changing Israeli society.
Losing Afghanistan: An Obituary for the
Intervention
BY NOAH COBURN. Stanford
University Press, 2016, 264 pp.
The title of this book suggests yet
another polemic on the Western failure
to appreciate just how difficult it would
be to defeat the Afghan Taliban. Yet
Coburn writes more in sorrow than in

anger, focusing less on the military side


of the nato intervention in Afghanistan
than on the developmental side. As an
anthropologist working in Kabul during
and after the surge of U.S. forces that
began in 2009, he tried to figure out why
efforts to improve the lives of ordinary
Afghans fell far short. His book reveals
an intervention that developed its own
culture and ways of doing business,
neither of which was well suited to the
task. One unfamiliar but alarming
problem he identifies is the role played
by professional grant writers, who were
employed by large nongovernmental
organizations and contractors because
they knew the precise terminology to
use when seeking funds from the nato
bureaucracy, which allowed their clients
to sweep up money, often at the expense
of smaller and more modest groups that
might have done more good.
Hiding in Plain Sight: The Pursuit of War
Criminals From Nuremberg to the War on
Terror
BY ERIC STOVER, VICTOR PESKIN,
AND ALEXA KOENIG. University of

California Press, 2016, 504 pp.


Human rights activists maintain that
the perpetrators of atrocities must be
brought to justice. Diplomats agree in
principle but worry in practice. What if
the pursuit of justice disrupts a valuable
spy network, or produces administrative
chaos as key government personnel are
purged, or leads to political upheaval if
one social group considers itself to be
unduly targeted? That tension is at the
heart of this fine and troubling book,
which describes the efforts to track down
individuals responsible for terrible
September/October 2016

171

Recent Books

crimes who have been hidden by


sympathetic regimes or protected by
those who fear that raking over the past
will prove destabilizing to the present.
The book covers the Nazi hunters, the
international tribunals set up in response
to crimes against humanity committed
in Rwanda and during the Bosnian war,
and the establishment of the Interna
tional Criminal Court and the cases it
has sought to address, almost all of
which have involved crimes committed
by African leaders. The authors also
argue that in the afterm