- Dangerous Delegation: Military Intervention & the U.S. Public, with Kori Schake
Are Americans too deferential to the armed forces, becoming increasingly willing to "outsource" judgement to the military? Senior Fellow Nikolas Gvosdev talks with Dr. Kori Schake of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, co-author with James Mattis of "Warriors and Citizens: American Views of Our Military."
- An Uncertain Ally: Turkey Under Erdoğan's Dictatorship with David L. Phillips
"We need to face the fact that Turkey under Erdoğan has become a rogue regime," declares David L. Phillips. It's a corrupt, repressive, Islamist dictatorship. The U.S. should no longer regard it as an ally, but as a strategic adversary.
- Ziad Haider: U.S.-Asia Economic Ties Under Trump
In this post-TPP world where the U.S. has taken a step back from Asia, the vacuum is being filled by China's initiatives, such as the One Belt One Road, says Ziad Haider, former State Department special representative for commercial and business affairs. Nevertheless, we shouldn't fall into the narrative of "The United States and China are locked into competition." China's actions also offer opportunities for the U.S.
- George Friedman: The End of the International Order and the Future of Asia
Tired of conventional wisdom? Check out geopolitical forecaster George Friedman. The period that began at the end of World War II was a freak, he says. "We're returning to a more normal structure in which the nation-state is dominant, international trade is intense but managed by states for their own benefit, and where this idea that the nation-state is obsolete goes away." And find out why he's bullish on Japan and thinks we overestimate China.
- General Donald Bolduc on the U.S. War in Afghanistan
In this inspiring interview, Brig. Gen. Bolduc discusses his time in Afghanistan and his assessment of the situation there as well as in Africa, where he was in charge of countering violent extremism. He also reveals his experiences with PTSD, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and multiple other physical injuries, explaining how he finally got help and how he is working hard to help others with the same issues.
- Limiting Civilian Casualties as Part of a Winning Strategy
"Limiting civilian casualties is always morally and ethically the right thing to do," declares Joseph Felter, speaking from both his research and personal military experience. "But in some situations, it is also part of winning."
- The Coming War with China? The Ethics of Confrontation in the Pacific
Are the United States and China on the brink of war? Can the two nations avoid miscalculation and instead find common ground? Find out what this expert panel has to say.
- The Intersection of Religion, Identity, and Peacemaking with Rev. Robert Chase
Rev. Robert Chase has spent 10 years as director of Intersections International, working "to bring disparate groups together in search of peaceful and socially just resolution to long-held conflicts." In this wide-ranging talk, he discusses his time in Pakistan and Kazakhstan, working with New York's Muslim community, and how then-Senator Obama inspired him in 2004.
- A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order
Concerned about where the world is heading? Don't miss this measured and comprehensive overview from Richard Haas, in which he lays out the global situation facing President Trump and what may lie ahead. Topics include the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Russia, NATO, the UN, and the main factor behind job losses.
- Geoeconomics and Statecraft: Is China Outdoing the United States?
Co-author of "War by Other Means: Geoeconomics and Statecraft," Jennifer Harris defines geoeconomics as "the use of economic instruments to achieve specific geopolitical results." Why and how are the Chinese so good at this and how will Trump do? While the verdict is still out, says Harris, "Trump's instincts run exactly 180 degrees in the opposite direction."
- Will Trump be a "Madman" in Asia?
Are there advantages to Trump being seen as an unpredictable "madman" when dealing with Asia, as Nixon was once described in relation to Vietnam? Or will it just make things worse? Devin Stewart discusses Trump's potential foreign policy approaches to Asia with former State Department official Daniel Markey.
- Jamal Sowell on Leadership, Veterans, & Escaping the "Bubble"
"I want to do everything I can to make a difference on the Earth while I'm still here," says Jamal Sowell. Currently a fellow at Indiana University, he discusses his journey from shy boy to student body president, from U.S. Marine to the University of Florida's staff, and offers advice on how to serve, lead, and succeed.
- Donald Trump. . . . . Commander-in-Chief
Donald Trump is now president-elect. Despite the bitter opposition that occurred throughout the campaign, all Americans should want him to be successful. This is particularly true for his most important role as commander-in-chief, as he must deal with a variety of significant threats.
- Honoring Those who Served:
Veterans Day 2016
For this Veterans Day, we present a collection of resources recognizing the tireless and often thankless work of the U.S. military. There are legitimate arguments about ethics and policies when it comes to war, but nobody can deny the commitment and patriotism of the men and women who serve and the debt that is owed to them when their service is over.
- Robert Kaplan on the Underlying Forces that Drive our "Post-Modern" World
"To understand the events of the next 50 years, then, one must understand environmental scarcity, cultural and racial clash, geographic destiny, and the transformation of war." Robert Kaplan wrote these prescient words back in 1994. In this fascinating discussion, he analyses how his predictions are playing out and where we are headed.
- What the Realities in China Mean for U.S. Policy
A frequent visitor to China, Professor Eisenman is an astute observer of the cataclysmic changes taking place there, from the emptying-out of the countryside to the ubiquitous use of the Wechat app. What's his advice for U.S. policy? Americans should try to understand China better, and be far more realistic and modest in their objectives.
- Instagram Take-Over #5: Rob Pinney, "The Jungle" Migrant Camp, Calais
For its fifth Instagram take-over by photographers from around the world, Carnegie Council presents photos by Rob Pinney. For the past six months he has focused on the unfolding crisis in "The Jungle"—the migrant encampment outside Calais, France, which has become a temporary dwelling spot for migrants waiting to enter other parts of Europe.
- Blood Year: The Unraveling of Western Counterterrorism
ISIS consists of three interlocked threats and is quite different from al-Qaeda, says counterterrorism authority David Kilcullen. To come up with a workable strategy going forward, we have to understand exactly what went wrong in the years since 9/11 and admit that everyone bears part of the blame, from "reckless" Bush to "feckless" Obama.
- A Conversation with Sarah Chayes on Corruption and Global Security
Around the world from Afghanistan to Nigeria, systemic corruption is fueling instability, declares Sarah Chayes in this electrifying conversation. And the United States and other enablers are part of the problem. "If we don't prioritize corruption more—and that means here as well as there—the world is going to become an increasingly dangerous place."
- The Unprecedented Jihadi Threat in Europe
"At this very moment, ISIS is recruiting probably 100 people a week from all over the world, including this very country. So it is not a European problem, it is not an Arab issue; it is a global threat and global challenge. That is why I insist on the fact that the threat has to be dealt with at the source, which is basically Syria."
- Back to the Future? Battlefield Nuclear Weapons in South Asia
In this information-filled talk, Jeff McCausland, a retired U.S. Army colonel, explains why the India/Pakistan border may be the most dangerous place on the planet. With nuclear weapons, a contentious history, and world powers vying for influence, a crisis could easily escalate to a "catastrophic" level. Are there lessons to be learned from the Cold War?
- Bearing Witness to War and Injustice: Ron Haviv, Photojournalist
From the Balkan Wars to both invasions of Iraq to the current refugee crisis, photojournalist Ron Haviv has been at the center of many of the world's most dangerous conflicts over the last three decades. In this fascinating talk, Haviv walks us through some of his most striking photographs and discusses the complicated ethics of being a journalist in a war zone.
- Violence All Around
What is terrorism, and how is it different from other violence? How does technology affect rates of violence? How and when can nonviolence be effective? John Sifton of Human Rights Watch reflects on these issues and more, including the intersection between nonviolence and Christian Realism, as exemplified by his grandfather, Reinhold Niebuhr.
- Will China Promote Autocracy along its New Silk Road?
China's ambitious "One Belt One Road" project is planned to span across Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. It's estimated that it will affect the lives of 4.4 billion people and generate $2.1 trillion in gross production. Is this the beginning of a sinocentric "New Asian Order"--and would that be such a bad thing?
- Afghanistan and Pakistan: The Re-emergence of the Taliban and the Arrival of ISIS
Ahmed Rashid and Barnett Rubin dissect the complicated situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan--a region of many competing terrorist groups--and also comment on ISIS in the Middle East and Europe. ISIS is actually a war within Islam, declares Rashid, and the West's main task should be to help mobilize and unite the Muslim world to fight it.
- ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror
ISIS is often portrayed as a mysterious force that came out of nowhere. It's nothing of the kind. This grim, unforgettable talk gives us the full, terrifying story, from the initial mistakes made in Iraq to the carnage going on now in Syria. (The TV show made from this talk won a Telly award.)
- NATO in the 21st Century: Addressing New and Urgent Challenges
NATO is now in its third historical phase, says U.S. Ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute in this informative, useful talk. "There is now a sense that NATO faces maybe not just one threat, a newly aggressive, newly assertive Russia, but also concerns from the Southeast with ISIS and potentially from instability in the South across the Mediterranean as well."
- Carnegie Council Announces the Publication of "Eurasianism and the European Far Right: Reshaping the Europe–Russia Relationship"
Carnegie Council is pleased to announce the publication of Eurasianism and the European Far Right, which marks the culmination of an intensive, two-year project spearheaded by the Council's U.S. Global Engagement Program (USGE).
- Bridging the Civilian-Military Gap with Veterans4Diplomacy's Jayson Browder
"I think there's a new breed of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are very entrepreneurial. A lot of the missions that they had in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other parts of the world really lent to this entrepreneurial spirit."
- To Sow the Wind: An Argument Against the War on Terror
The just war tradition--a tradition that once thought war tragically endemic and sometimes justified, but never simply, unambiguously just--has lost its profound Augustinian political skepticism and moral realism, argues David Widdicombe. Wasn't the restraint of force always a better (foundational) idea than the pursuit of justice?
- Migrant Deaths Worldwide
There is no going back to a world in which migration can be prevented. The only solution to the global crisis of migrant deaths is to merge humanitarian efforts to aid and rescue migrants with coordinated, cooperative efforts to open safe, long-term migration channels throughout regions, and even the world.
- Ethics in U.S. Foreign Policy: Spymaster Jack Devine on the CIA
"The thing that attracted me to the Agency was a sense of mission," says 32-year CIA veteran Jack Devine. In this discussion he talks candidly about Allende's fall, Iraq, Iran, Edward Snowden, torture, drones, and more. And when asked if he were young would he join today's post-9/11 CIA, he replies without hesitation: "You betcha!"
- Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution
The Middle East needs a double revolution--not just a political one, but a social/sexual one as well, says fiery, courageous feminist Mona Eltahawy. It's time to destroy the oppressive patriarchy of "the trifecta:" the state, the street, and the home. But Arab women don't need "rescuing." Misogyny exists everywhere in varying degrees. Fight it at your own, local level.
- ISIS is the Product of Muslim Humiliation and the New Geopolitics of the Middle East
Since the end of the Cold War, a third wave of geopolitics is starting to take hold in the Middle East, one that will be characterized by failed states, political chaos and revolt, inter-state conflict, and foreign interventions. Yet this is not inevitable. The course of these disastrous developments can and must change.
- Militarization in India & Beyond: Suchitra Vijayan & the Borderlands Project
What's it like to live in a disputed, militarized border region with a tangled history? In this fascinating podcast, Carnegie New Leader Suchitra Vijayan discusses two such places: Arunachal Pradesh, which lies along the Tibet/India border, and the much fought-over Kashmir. She also talks about her 2009 trip across Sudan.
- The Afghan Challenge
With a new president in charge, can Afghanistan find a way out of decades of conflict and oppression? What will be the effect of the U.S. troop drawdown? UN Ambassador Zahir Tanin and Afghan expert Barnett Rubin discuss Afghanistan's future.
- Top Risks and Ethical Decisions 2015
"The world in 2015 looks a lot more dangerous, a lot more vulnerable," says global political risk specialist Ian Bremmer in his annual forecast. He notes that while the United States and China, the world's largest and second-largest economies, are doing better economically, the global environment is geopolitically much worse.
- A Conversation with Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster
How can U.S. soldiers be trained to maintain ethical and legal standards in today's complex and often brutal environment? How is the Army preparing for current and future conflicts, in terms of military hardware, technology, and even social media? In this wide-ranging talk, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster discusses these challenges and more.
- America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder
America is not in decline, but it's certainly in retreat, says Stephens, and this is a mistake. He argues that the United States is the ultimate guarantor of a relatively decent, stable, liberal world order, governed by a sense of rules and the knowledge, both among its friends and adversaries, that it has the will and the wherewithal to ensure its interests.
- Strategies for Countering Violent Extremists
Jean-Paul Laborde, executive director of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) discusses the role of the UN in countering terrorism worldwide.
- From "Indispensable Nation" to "Realism-Based Restraint": Reconsidering U.S. Engagement with the World
Former ambassador Chas Freeman has had a wide breadth of diplomatic experience, from the Middle East to Africa, East Asia, and Europe. In this conversation he eloquently speaks his mind on the negative effects of sanctions, the folly of U.S. unqualified support for Israel, the U.S. strategy and diplomacy deficits, and much more.
- Citizenship, Identity, and Conflict in South Asia's Borderlands
The intrepid Suchitra Vijayan is working on a 9,000-mile journey through South Asia, which has taken her to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the disputed territory of Kashmir, and India's borders with Burma and China. What has she learned so far about the effects of borders on human lives?
- From Paris to Moscow: The Rise of New Far-Right Movements Across Europe
What effect has the Ukraine crisis had on the rise of ultra-nationalist forces in Russia and what has been the impact on Russia's neighbors? What is the situation among Europe's different far-right movements? Russia/Eurasia/Europe expert Marlene Laruelle has answers to these complex questions and more.
- Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy
What are the requirements for a liberal democracy? It's not just voting, says Fukuyama. It needs a distinction between public and private interest; rule of law; and accountability. Although the U.S. started off as a weak, corrupt state, it became a liberal democracy. Yet all political systems are subject to decay, and that's what's happening to the U.S. today.
- A Conversation with Lieutenant-General Roméo A. Dallaire
In this inspiring conversation, Dallaire talks about his faith in the principle of R2P--"one of the great innovations of our time"--and how to go about actually implementing it; the tragedy of Rwanda; and most of all, his work to prevent the use of child soldiers.
- A Conversation with Law Professor and Columnist Rosa Brooks on Obama's Foreign Policy
With an insider's perspective, Rosa Brooks candidly discusses U.S. foreign policy, from Kosovo to Afghanistan, Syria, and Ukraine, along with her views on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Would Clinton have made a better president?
- The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union
Serhii Plokhy presents a bold new interpretation of the Soviet Union's final months, which places Ukraine at the center of the drama. And by providing the historical background for what is happening now, he shows that there are many key points linking 1991 to today.
- Ukraine and U.S.-Russian Relations
With balance and objectivity, seasoned Russian policy expert Tom Graham tackles the thorny question of Ukraine and the wider scope of U.S.-Russia relations across the board.
- Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific
No wonder the South China Sea is important to China, says Robert Kaplan. It's the Mediterranean of Asia, the center of international commerce, including energy shipments. Plus, if the Chinese control it and thus gain access to the Indian Ocean, China will have a two-ocean navy, transforming it in military terms from a regional power into a world power.
- Ethics Matter: A Conversation with Sebastian Junger
Journalist Sebastian Junger knows about war from the inside: the horror and pain, the excitement and heightened awareness, and the fierce brotherhood between soldiers. In this moving conversation he talks about his life and work, and ponders on what everyone owes their country, whether they choose to fight or stay home.
- "War on Terror," an Insider's View: A Conversation with Harold H. Koh
As legal adviser to the State Department from 2009 to 2013, Harold Koh was responsible for making judgments about the most difficult issues in the "war on terror": drone strikes, military tribunals, preventive detention. This fascinating and revealing conversation explores Koh's moral convictions and the inner workings of government.
- The Future of American Warfighting: Lessons of the Contemporary Battlefield
What are the ethical and legal questions raised by unmanned aerial vehicles, drones, and surveillance? How do they affect combatants, decision-makers, and civilians? An expert panel explores these crucial issues.
- The Fog of Peace: The Human Face of Conflict Resolution
The courageous Gianni Picco played a central role in negotiating the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, met with Saddam Hussein to bring an end to the Iran-Iraq War, and traveled to both Beirut and Tehran to rescue 11 hostages and 91 other prisoners. How did he do it? By treating adversaries as individuals, not just government representatives.
- Rules of Engagement: The Legal, Ethical and Moral Challenges of the Long War
Can the drone campaign be legally and morally justified? What are the limits to the president's authority when it comes to targeted killing? Don't miss this discussion with Robert Grenier, former CIA counterterrorism director; Charles Blanchard, former general counsel of the U.S. Air Force; and Kenneth Anderson, professor of law at American University.
- The Limits of Partnership: U.S.-Russian Relations in the 21st Century
Sochi, Snowden, and Syria--these are just a few of the issues complicating the U.S.-Russian relationship, says Georgetown's Angela Stent in this dynamic and informed talk. But, because of Russia's strategic location, nuclear arsenal, and presence in the UN, it's a partnership worth working on.
- The Future of Transatlantic Security Cooperation after 2014
2014 may be a turning point for transatlantic security cooperation. This paper identifies the three most relevant "drivers" in this regard: financial and resource constraints, a turn towards a more inward-looking perspective in EU and NATO capitals, and shifting power relations in the international system. The paper concludes with policy recommendations.
- Ethics Matter: The Future of War, with Andrew Exum
Andrew Exum is a scholar, author, and former U.S. Army officer. In this revealing talk, he describes, in vivid detail, his days leading platoons in Iraq and Afghanistan; insights gained while working at the Pentagon; the successes and failures of America's counterinsurgency efforts; and the growing civilian-military divide, especially in the Northeast.
- The Constitution Project: Task Force Report on Detainee Treatment
In many instances, U.S. forces used interrogation techniques which constitute torture; the nation's most senior officials bear ultimate responsibility; and there is no evidence that torture produced significant information of value. These are the unanimous conclusions of the task force on detainee treatment, as discussed here by two of its members.
- Important Choices: Foreign Policy and Defense Spending
How much does the U.S. actually spend on defense and where does that money go? Lawrence Korb, an expert on the federal budget, the military, and national security, discusses the tough choices the U.S. needs to make on defense spending; relations with Iran; Syria; NATO; and nuclear weapons.
- U.S. Policy on Iran and the Middle East: Where Do We Go From Here?
Are we on the brink of a new era in Iran-U.S. relations? Maybe. Iran expert Gary Sick discusses President Rouhani's UN speech, which took place just before this event, plus previous missed opportunities and the current possibilities of rapprochement. While condemning the regime, he sees an opening for constructive negotiations.
- Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God
Created and armed by Iran, Hezbollah's reach stretches around the world, including inside the United States. Matthew Levitt traces its terrifying activities and discusses how Iran/Hezbollah might retaliate in response to a U.S. strike on Syria.
- The Fate of Cultural Property in Wartime: Why it Matters and What Should Be Done
Cultural property protection in conflict is often neglected as people argue that the lives of individuals in warzones are far more important than old buildings, pots, and books. However, it is not a question of prioritizing. We must not dismiss cultural property protection in conflicts as secondary to humanitarian tragedy, but as part of the effort to save humanity.
- Ethics Matter: Jeremy Scahill on the World as a Battlefield
In the name of the "war on terror," the U.S. is conducting covert warfare and targeted killings, and it dismisses the resulting deaths of innocent civilians as "collateral damage." What are the ethical and practical repercussions of these policies? Jeremy Scahill's blistering talk ranges from Iraq to Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia.
- Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order
We have been guilty of overreaching abroad and underachieving at home, says Richard Haass, and these sins are really two sides of the national security coin. After all, "our capacity to act abroad is obviously directly limited and affected by the capacities we have created here at home, whether the capacities are military or economic or human."
- Afghanistan: What Went Wrong?
Review essay in "Washington Monthly" by Global Ethics Fellow Roland Paris, based on four books that offer insights into “what went wrong” with the international effort to stabilize Afghanistan after 2001.
- Shefa Siegel on the Ethics of Mining
Mining harms the environment irreversibly, yet this is often ignored, and mining is on the increase, often without clear ecological or economic development benefits. "We're still using the model created at the end of the 19th century, but in a very different period, where the resources are increasingly scarce and the economy has changed dramatically."
- Public Affairs: China's Search for Security
In this masterly and comprehensive talk, Andrew Nathan looks at the world from Beijing's viewpoint and sees a very challenging environment for China. He identifies four rings of security concerns: inside China's territory; its 24 surrounding countries; six regional systems; and the rest of the world.
- Going to Tehran: Prospects for U.S.-Iranian Engagement
Americans' view of Iran as an illegitimate system in imminent danger of overthrow is wrongheaded, wishful thinking, say the Leveretts. The U.S. needs to come to terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran, not as a favor to Iran, but to save its own position in the Middle East and avert another war. Nixon went to China. Obama needs to go to Iran.
- Prospects for U.S.-Iran Relations
Iran and the U.S. have a long list of common interests, including Afghanistan, stability in Iraq, and fighting drug trafficking. A good way to start creating trust between the two nations would be to cooperate on these issues, instead of always focusing on divisive ones like nuclear capability.
- Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion
"Talibanistan" is the nickname for the embattled territory from Kandahar in Afghanistan to Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Two experts explode some of the myths about Afghanistan and discuss the U.S. presence there, both past and future.
- The New Assassination Bureau: On the 'Robotic Turn' in Contemporary War
When the film "2001" first came out, the plot--in which a robot faces an ethical decision--seemed like pure science fiction. Today it's becoming reality. This essay examines the legal and ethical dilemmas created by increasing automation in warfare, including what the authors believe is the most problematic area of contemporary war: the use of drones.
- Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad
David W. Lesch has traveled to Syria repeatedly since 1989 and met President Bashar al-Assad several times in the mid-2000s. He discusses the conflict in the influential Middle Eastern nation, why an American intervention is a dangerous idea, and why Assad has cracked down so absolutely.
- Public Affairs: America in the 21st Century: A View from Asia
The good, the bad, and the ugly: distinguished Singaporean Kishore Mahbubani politely but firmly tells Americans how Asians see them, and warns, "the world that is coming is a world outside your comfort zones."
- Senator Richard Lugar on Nuclear Weapons Reduction
Senator Lugar tells the dramatic story of his bipartisan work on the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (also known as Nunn–Lugar), which provides funding and expertise for states in the former USSR nations to reduce nuclear weapons.
- Is the World Becoming More Peaceful?
In this vigorous discussion, two leading thinkers in global affairs--Harvard professor Steven Pinker and "Atlantic" correspondent Robert D. Kaplan--take on the subject of world peace, a core interest of Carnegie Council.
- From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia
Pankaj Mishra explores the little-known history of the first generation of Asian intellectuals, such as China's Liang Qichao and the Persian political activist al-Afghani, and discusses how their ideas influenced Asia's postcolonial state-building programs.
- America in the 21st Century: A View from the Arab World
The key is still the Arab-Israeli conflict, says Muasher. "The U.S. is not going to be able to regain its credibility in the region if it tells the Arab public that 'If you are Egyptians or Tunisians or Syrians or Libyans yearning for freedom, we are with you, but if you are Palestinians yearning for freedom, it's complicated.'"
- Global Ethics Corner: Is a "Kill List" of Terrorists Ethical?
After a recent "New York Times" story on Obama's "kill list" of terrorists, many are questioning the president's counterterrorism strategy. Is it ethical for President Obama to be selecting targets? Should the United States be doing more to keep civilians from becoming collateral damage?
- Global Ethics Corner: When Are Drones Strikes Ethical?
President Obama's top counterterrorism adviser recently defended drone strikes, saying they are legal, wise, and moral. But, citing international law, many critics question this approach, especially in a non-combat zone like Pakistan. Is it ethically problematic to rely on drone strikes?
- Global Ethics Corner: A Warrior Ethic: Can Military Ethics be Taught?
After the recent highly publicized stories of American military members desecrating the remains of Taliban soldiers, many in the U.S. armed forces are learning about the ethics of war through workshops. Will these lessons work? Can warfare morality be learned in a classroom?
- Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan
Courageous journalist Ahmed Rashid discusses the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan as the U.S. approaches its scheduled withdrawal in 2014. He goes on to analyze the deepening crisis in Pakistan, which he considers to be even worse.
- Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Shari'a Law from the Deserts of Ancient Arabia to the Streets of the Modern Muslim World
In the wake of the terrorist attacks and wars of the last decade, for many non-Muslims "shari'a" has become both a loaded word and an all-encompassing explanation. But the history and practice of shari'a is actually complex and varied, as Sadakat Kadri discovers.
- The Race for What's Left: The Global Scramble for the World's Last Resources
As we run out of resources, the human race is at a pivotal point. We have two options: We can continue along the same path, leading to much of the planet becoming uninhabitable. Or we can create an alternative future where we use resources in a much more sustainable and frugal way.
- Iran: A Diplomatic Solution
In this knowledgeable and detailed talk, Ambassador Pickering cuts through the current hysteria about Iran, stressing that we still have time for diplomacy. In fact it may finally be the right moment for both sides to engage in constructive talks.
- The Responsibility to Protect: A New International Norm?
What is Responsibility to Protect exactly? Dutch Ambassador Herman Schaper gives an expert talk on how it developed, how it is defined, how it was implemented in Libya, and what are the implications for the future.
- The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Wealth Shapes the Development of Nations
According to Michael Ross, it's no coincidence that major oil-producing countries have less democracy, fewer opportunities for women, more frequent civil wars, and more volatile economic growth than the rest of the world.
- All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals
David Scheffer was at the forefront of the efforts leading to criminal tribunals for the Balkans, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Cambodia. His quest has been to "to discover the right formula, in ever-changing international circumstances, to confront monstrous evil and to do so in the courtroom."
- The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior Is Almost Always Good Politics
Cynics or realists? Just follow five rules and you can be a successful dictator, say Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith--at least until old age or sickness catch up with you. They go on to argue that these precepts apply to all systems of governance, including U.S. democracy.
- The Unraveling: Pakistan in the Age of Jihad
U.S. Foreign Service officer John Schmidt explains how the complex, dangerous relationship between the leaders of Pakistan and various jihadist groups came about, and how it all began to unravel after 9/11.
- Carnegie Council's Program on U.S. Global Engagement: a Two-Year Retrospective
These materials from a June 2011 international conference examine U.S.-Russian relations; nuclear arms control and nonproliferation; European and NATO security challenges for the future, including Afghanistan; and competition and cooperation in the Arctic region.
- European Security and Arms Control
Although Russia and the West are confronting each other on a number of issues, it is premature to write off their strategic partnership. The New START Treaty establishes stability of the nuclear balance for the next decade. This will help them eventually move to mutual assured security.
- Ending War [Full Text]
In "The Ethics of America's Afghan War," Richard W. Miller argues that reflecting on whether and how to end the war in Afghanistan exposes serious deficiencies in just war theory. I agree, though for different reasons than those canvassed by Professor Miller.
- Does the Elephant Dance?: Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy
Former Canadian High Commissioner to India David Malone gives a comprehensive survey of contemporary Indian foreign policy. He begins by focusing on India's geography, history, and capability, and covers relations with the U.S., China, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
- What Should be the Next Phase in U.S.-Russia Relations?
Reflecting on U.S.-Russia relations, Thomas Graham and Nikolas Gvosdev agree that there is an urgent need to find a common strategic purpose that suits the interests of both the U.S. and Russia.
- The Soviet and U.S. Experiences in Military Intervention in Afghanistan and Current U.S.-Russian Cooperation
This paper examines the similarities and differences in the 1980s Soviet experience in Afghanistan and the current U.S.-led coalition effort, and the mutual interests for Washington and Moscow to avoid the kind of end-game of 1992, when the Najibullah regime fell.
- European/Eurasian Security and the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE)
What is the role of the CFE Treaty as part of contemporary European security architecture? How has it performed since its signing and what is its current status? What steps must be taken to ensure that this agreement remains relevant and continues its "cornerstone" role?
In this thoughtful and very personal talk, Junger ponders what attracts young men to war, the difference between friendship and brotherhood, the question of when nations should intervene, and lastly, the issue of his own mortality.
- Anatol Lieven on Pakistan
Pakistan expert Anatol Lieven unravels Pakistan's troubled and complex relationships with the U.S., Afghanistan, the Taliban, and its own army--and adds a special note on what bin Laden's death means for U.S.-Pakistan relations.
- Behind the Headlines: Pakistan
With its mix of militants, nuclear weapons, and chronic domestic unrest, Pakistan's problems have implications for the entire world. Prize-winning author and journalist Ahmed Rashid gives a chilling account of the situation in his homeland.
- The Future of Power
"In the information age, the mark of a great power is not just whose army wins, but also whose story wins," says Joseph Nye. This talk includes his thoughts on China, Egypt, Afghanistan, Iran, and more.
- Just Business: Susan Davis on Business Solutions to Fight Poverty
"Although there is no magic bullet, social entrepreneurship unlocks everybody's ability to be a change maker and to participate in the solutions to their own problems," says Susan Davis of BRAC, the world's largest development agency and a microfinance pioneer.
- How Wars End: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle
Pax Americana is a good thing, declares Gideon Rose. The problem is that even when the U.S. wins militarily, it often botches dealing with war's aftermath because it fails to define its political objectives.
- Suicide Terror and the Preoccupation with Occupation
According to Robert Pape, suicide bombers the world over are not motivated by religion; they are all secular nationalists resisting foreign occupation. Is there really a single explanation? Erik Schechter disagrees and musters evidence to prove it.
- Water, Water Everywhere
A constructive engagement over water supply and stewardship might just create an atmosphere conducive to constructive dialogue on more contentious problems in the Middle East and other areas of conflict.
- One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy
Allison Stanger shows how contractors became an integral part of U.S. foreign policy, often in scandalous ways, but maintains that the problem is not contractors, but the absence of good government. Outsourcing done right is, in fact, indispensable to U.S. interests today.
- Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War
It is time to examine the Washington consensus on national security and why it must change, says Professor Bacevich--and to acknowledge that fixing Afghanistan should not take precedence over fixing Detroit.
- Just War, Jihad, and the Study of Comparative Ethics [Full Text]
What can the study of the comparative ethics tell us about the similarities and divergences between the just war and jihad traditions? How can the discipline help locate shared concerns, identify persistent differences, and reveal common narratives?
- NWFZs: Pursuing a World Free of Nuclear Weapons
Today there are five Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (NWFZ) treaties, yet only one has been fully ratified. Sadly, the reservations of the nuclear weapon states, specifically those of the United States, hinder the success and complete denuclearization of these designated zones.
- Global Ethics Corner: Who Dies in Afghanistan: Soldiers, Civilians, or the Mission?
How do you choose missions to fight a war effectively, while minimizing civilian deaths and meeting the obligation to your soldiers?
- Captive: My Time as a Prisoner of the Taliban
Journalist Jere Van Dyk tells of his decades-long involvement with Afghanistan, and gives a harrowing account of his 2008 kidnapping and imprisonment by the Taliban in the no-man's land between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- Activism and Policy: Prospects for Change in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan is one of the most closed societies in the world. Its media and education system are propaganda tools and all opposition is crushed. Meanwhile, other countries are competing hotly for its vast resources of natural gas. What pressures can help bring about change?
- The Bloom is off the Rose--and the Orange, and the Tulip
What went wrong with the "Color Revolutions" in Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan? It was a combination of excessive expectations of the new leaders, and some policy missteps, primarily at the hands of the U.S. and the West.
- Rebuilding War-Torn States: The Challenge of Post-Conflict Economic Reconstruction
After wars end, what steps should countries take to consolidate peace? Graciana del Castillo identifies five premises that are necessary for war economies to transition into sustainable and productive markets.
- The Responsibility to Protect—Five Years On [Abstract]
States' Responsibility to Protect vulnerable populations has become a prominent feature in international debates about preventing genocide and mass atrocities and about protecting potential victims. But profound disagreements persist about RtoP's function, meaning, and proper use.
- Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War
Washington has squandered the opportunity for a fundamentally new U.S.-Russian relationship after the Cold War, says Stephen Cohen.
- Sebastian Junger and David Speedie on Afghanistan (NEWSWEEK On Air Interview)
Sebastian Junger recounts some of his experiences while embedded with U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Referring to a recent Carnegie Council panel, David Speedie discusses the ethics of withdrawal, given that the U.S. has set a timetable for leaving and is in negotiations with the Taliban.
- Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization
Everything hinges on water; it is essential to life and to civilization. Will there be enough fresh water for 9 billion of us by 2050? In this talk, journalist Steven Solomon discusses the impending global water crisis.
- The Ethics of Exit from Afghanistan
Katherine Brown and Robert Diamond, Truman Fellows with first-hand experience in Afghanistan, discuss just how and when--both ethically and pragmatically--the U.S. can leave that troubled country. Their prediction? Not for a long time.
- Good Neighbors? The Shanghai Cooperation Organization
The West has largely dismissed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as some kind of empty anti-U.S., anti-NATO rhetorical flourish, writes David Speedie. Yet in fact its expanded role and reach are demonstrable, impressive, and likely to continue.
- Obama's Foreign Policy: What Matters and What Doesn't for America's Future
Elections and campaigns are about options. Governing is about constraints. For Obama--and every president--what happens when foreign policy options meet foreign policy constraints?
- Afghanistan Briefing
"Afghanistan makes Iraq look easy," says U.S. Army Colonel (Ret.) Senior Fellow Dr. McCausland. His comprehensive and evenhanded briefing analyzes the situation on the ground and the possible consequences of sending more troops.
- Future Challenges: The UN and the UNA. David Speedie Interviews Ambassador Thomas Miller
President and CEO of the UN Association of the USA, Ambassador Miller discusses the U.S. role in the world and the power of grass roots commitment. Citizens can change policy by reminding leaders of their obligations on issues such as climate change.
- Troops in Afghanistan and Fighting Foreign Wars
When war is a foreign insurgency, balancing human risks and possibility of success is a fundamental ethical dilemma for leaders. What do you think should happen in Afghanistan?
- David Speedie Interviews Baroness Shirley Williams: A View from the United Kingdom on Transatlantic Relations
In a wide-ranging conversation, Baroness Williams discusses the Obama administration's foreign policy; the situation in Afghanistan and in Iran; U.S. and British politics, including voter representation and corruption; and her work on nuclear disarmament.
- Afghanistan and Japan: Joel Rosenthal on Public Television
What impact will the recent elections in Afghanistan and Japan have on U.S. interests? Joel Rosenthal is interviewed on Worldfocus, along with Carol Giacomo of The New York Times editorial board.
- Afghanistan, August 2009: A Turning Point--But Which Way Is it Turning?
August 2009 may be a turning point in the war in Afghanistan, according to McCausland, due to a dramatic increase in violence and a national election. But the future of the country, and U.S. involvement there, remain unclear.
- U.S./NATO-Russia Cooperation on Afghanistan and Central Asia
This set of four papers focuses on U.S./NATO-Russia cooperation on Afghanistan in its regional context, looking at common interests in Afghanistan's stability, the changing terms of the U.S. war, and the future of NATO.
- Obama's War
As President Obama and his administration lead the nation and their coalition partners in a renewed effort in the war in Afghanistan, what can be learned from the past and what are the challenges that must be overcome if his new strategy and team are to be successful?
- State of Denial? NATO at 60 and the War in Afghanistan
In Afghanistan, NATO is proving itself the wrong alliance, fighting an enemy that defies precise definition in a war for which it is ill suited and for which support is rapidly eroding. How will NATO adapt to guarantee that its storied past can endure an uncertain future?
- Prospects for U.S.-Russia Cooperation in Central Asia
Yuri Morozov proposes several ways that the United States and Russia can expand their cooperation in Central Asia, particularly in Afghanistan, in order to neutralize security challenges in the region.
- Pakistani, Afghan, and Iranian Factors of Influence on the Central Asian Region
This article is an attempt to define the possibilities for changing the disconnect between the U.S. and Russia which limits the potential for cooperation between the two nations on Afghan, Pakistani and Iranian issues.
- The Afghan Challenge
Rebuilding Afghanistan will be a long process, says Stewart, and so our presence there needs to be much lighter. It's inconceivable that for the next 30-40 years we can sustain annual investments of $85 billion and up and maintain 90,000 troops.
- Timelines or Time Windows for Afghanistan?
With violence now subsiding in Iraq, some policy-makers seem to assume that we can now turn our attention back to the Afghan "timeline" and pick up where we left off. This is misplaced. We must not mistake a timeline for a time window.
- Descent into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia
"Almost every single important extremist leader is living on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan," says Ahmed Rashid. Compared to this threat, Iraq is a sideshow.
- Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World
Drawing on his background at the World Bank and as the first post-Taliban finance minister of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani (and co-author Clare Lockhart) develops a comprehensive framework for understanding the problem of state-building. In 2014, Dr. Ghani became president of Afghanistan.
- Invisible Nation: How the Kurds' Quest for Statehood Is Shaping Iraq and the Middle East
Quil Lawrence tells the story of the Kurds, the only Iraqi ethnic group that want the Americans to stay. Divided among Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria and numbering 25 million, the Kurds are the largest ethnic group without their own nation.
- Dealing Fairly with Developing Country Debt
Barry Herman, Lydia Tomitova, and Jonathan Shafter of the joint Carnegie Council–New School Ethics and Debt Project present the new book, Dealing Fairly with Developing Country Debt.
- The Real "Surge" of 2007: Non-Combatant Death in Iraq and Afghanistan
While overall violence declined in Iraq in the last few months, civilian deaths at U.S. hands in both Iraq and Afghanistan were up approximately 70 percent in 2007 compared to 2006.
- Expanding Europe: The Ethics of EU-Turkey Relations [Full Text]
The possible future EU membership of Turkey has become one of the most hotly debated topics both in the EU and within Turkey itself. Underlying this debate are competing principles of international ethics.
- Transatlantic Relations After the G8
Lieven explores the increasing complexity of US-EU-Russian relations due to energy interdependence, stalled eastward expansion of the EU, and the overall diminished power of the West, the delicate balance making it more difficult to resolve issues in places like Kosovo and South Ossetia.
- Jere Van Dyk Discusses Afghanistan
Jere Van Dyk talks about Afghanistan past and present, the resurgence of the Taliban, and the possible whereabouts of Osama bin Laden.
- Van Dyk Diary: Khost, Southeast Afghanistan
Despite an American military presence here, the Taliban are back and Khost is more dangerous than it was a few years ago. There are suicide attacks, killings in the streets, and corruption is rife. A newspaper predicts that the Taliban will regain complete control by 2010.
- ROUNDTABLE: Baluchistan and the War on Terror
Is the rugged province of Baluchistan a haven for al-Qaeda and the Taliban? How do Pakistanis and Afghans view the situation there?
- Van Dyk Diary: Kabul, November 2006
Jere Van Dyk reports on the current situation in Kabul, describing the changes since his first visit in 1970.
- We Could Fight Drugs Together
In the growing confrontation between the United States and Iran, there is one area which has been overlooked and could provide an area of mutual cooperation: the fight against drugs.
- The Forgotten War: Afghanistan
Recent elections mark the last formal step towards democracy in Afghanistan. Yet the past year has seen a steady increase in political violence. What is being done to ensure that democracy and stability take hold?
- Interview with Dr. Barnett Rubin
"It's very difficult to be optimistic," says Dr. Rubin, one of the world's foremost experts on Afghanistan. "Still, five years ago we could never have imagined having the good fortune to confront the kind of problems that we are dealing with today."
- Sons of the Conquerors: The Rise of the Turkic World
Hugh Pope discusses the past, present, and future of the Turkic world, which stretches from Central Asia to Turkey. His topics include oil, trade, and the question of Turkey and the EU.
- Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001
Coll spotlights the interactions among the CIA, Pakistani intelligence (ISI), Saudi intelligence, and other hidden networks (particularly al Qaeda and its affiliates) decades before 9/11/01.
- Afghanistan: Between Hope and Abyss
Since the time of the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan, much of the Afghan population has endured enormous hardship. Dr. Reinhard Eroes, the founder of Children's Aid Afghanistan, discusses the current issues and challenges in humanitarian assistance.
- A Struggle on Two Fronts
Zehra F. Arat responds to Leylâ Pervizat.
- In the Name of Honor
Women’s rights advocates in Turkey, Leylâ Pervizat writes, are combating the pervasive belief that so-called honor killings do not rise to the level of human rights abuses.
- Holding Investors to Account
Kate Geary and Nicholas Hildyard describe how activists in the United Kingdom and Turkey mobilized to stop construction of the Ilisu Dam, a project that was funded by the export credit agencies of nine different countries.
- Turkey: Islamic Secularism or Secular Islam?
Does the election of an Islamist party in Turkey represent a challenge to the secular Turkish system? Council Fellow Ishan Dagi's take on recent political developments and their implications for U.S.-Turkey relations, EU-Turkey relations, and the human rights situation.
- The New Killing Fields: Massacre and the Politics of Intervention
Humanitarian intervention does not "belong in the shadows" because it has the moral urgency of self-defense, which puts it ahead of preventive war, say Walzer and Maass.
- From a Reporter's Notebook: Afghanistan One Year Later: The Struggle for the Soul of a Nation
Afghanistan is less stable today than it was six months ago because of U.S. reluctance to provide security outside Kabul and the international community's failure to deliver the full amount of the reconstruction aid it promised, says Ahmed Rashid.
- The Fragmentation of Afghanistan: State Formation and Collapse in the International System
Afghanistan is "hard to rule" for the same reason it's hard to conquer: it does not have many resources, the settlements are far apart, and there is not much water, contends Barnett Rubin.
- Afghanistan: The Challenges of Post-Conflict Assistance
The international community should look to Rwanda for lessons in post-conflict assistance that apply to Afghanistan, argues Johnson. Also, profound knowledge of local conditions is a necessary precondition for a successful involvement.
- Behind the Headlines: Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Rise of Militant Islam
Central Asia will remain precariously unstable until the repressive governments are forced to reform, asserts Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid. There is reason for optimism, he says, but also a need for vigilance -- especially as the U.S. war on Afghanistan has further embittered Islamic extremists.
- Building Peace and Civil Society in Afghanistan: Challenges and Opportunities
Participants examine the social costs of the conflict in Afghanistan -- exacerbated by the policies of the ruling Taliban regime -- and the local, regional, and international communities' responses. The symposium considers U.S. and international policy options and mechanisms to support reconstruction.
- When the Chinese Came to Tibet
In this compelling first-hand account, Dowa Norbu explains the Chinese strategies for taking over Tibet. These included co-opting the ruling class, presenting themselves as modernizers rather than Marxist revolutionaries, and doling out generous payments in silver dollars to rich and poor alike. But as he shows, the brutal face of the occupation soon became plain.