By Nicholas Burns
(This is an excerpt from my latest Boston Globe column on Friday, March 30. See that piece for a longer assessment of these challenges.)
At a recent conference in Brussels sponsored by the German Marshall Fund, I heard from countless European officials how simplistic, shallow, and plain wrong the pundits are in forecasting the declining importance of Europe for Americans. Europe still matters greatly to the United States, these officials say, and we should be skeptical about predictions of its imminent demise. Read more
By Nicholas Burns
The death of Muammar Qadhafi is the decisive event in the nine-month civil war in Libya. In the minds of most Libyans, the war could not end without his departure from the country or death on the battlefield.
As British Prime Minister Cameron reminded us today, it is important to remember Qadhafi’s many victims, including the hundreds of Americans and other nationals who died in the Lockerbie terrorist attack of December 1988. Qadhafi was a tyrant who ruled mercilessly for over forty years and left most of the people of his oil-rich country impoverished. His brutal, authoritarian rule extinguished all independent movements and denied the building over time of the civil society organizations that are the foundation of most countries and all democracies. Read more
By Juliette Kayyem
(This post first appeared on Fareed Zakaria’s blog on CNN.com, Global Public Square.)
With the death of Muammar Gadhafi today in Libya, the conventional wisdom has already taken form. First, that this was a success, albeit a delayed one, for the Obama Administration’s “leading from behind” strategy. This was always a NATO effort, with strong French accents, and one which we would support but not manage. The fact that Obama was in Brazil when the mission started had symbolic meaning: the U.S. did not own this.
Second, that while Gadhafi’s death is an important milestone for closure, the challenges for Libya will endure. It is a nation with almost no civil society to rely on, and rebels who are hardly unified. Read more
By Richard N. Rosecrance
Adjunct Professor and Senior Fellow, International Security Program; Director, Project on U.S.-China Relations, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
My colleague Steve Walt and I agree that we may need a balance of power against China to reverse the US pattern of decline. Recently a Chinese official dubbed the U.S. “conceited” and claimed that China’s new aircraft carrier was “longed for by the Chinese people,” a somewhat romantic expression of popular sentiment.
Where we disagree is what to do about China. (See Walt’s initial blog post on Foreignpolicy.com, my response to him, and his re-response to me). Read more
By Richard Clarke
In the late 19th century, American Admiral Alfred Mahan described the rise of sea power and its relationship to a nation’s global strength. In the early 20th century Italian General Giulio Douhet was first to develop theories about the essentiality of air power to future military superiority. Today America’s “cyber warriors” have begun to talk about the need for their nation to be the “dominant” cyber war power in order to be assured of continued global military superiority.
Although no Mahan or Douhet has yet emerged, America’s cyber generals have described cyberspace as a domain similar to sea, air, and outer space as a potential battleground. In some documents, the cyber warriors have admitted that without dominance in cyberspace, a military power will likely lose the battle in the other domains. With that in mind, the US Navy has created a new 10th Fleet, to accompany the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean and the 7th Fleet in the Pacific. The 10th Fleet will fight in cyberspace. A new US Cyber Command will coordinate Navy, Army, and Air Force cyber warriors. Read more