The North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union are in disarray. The former has fulfilled its mission. Were it not for Russia’s seizure of the Crimea and invasion of Ukraine and the refugee crisis in Europe spawned by the sectarian Muslim conflict raging in Iraq and Syria, it would be an empty shell without any obvious function. The latter has overreached. A great success as a customs union, it is a disaster as a currency union; and the attempt to turn it into a federation—oligarchic in governance and equipped with an intrusive administrative apparatus—will end in tears.
George Shultz Conference Room, Herbert Hoover Memorial Building
Tim Kane, JP Conte Fellow in Immigration Studies at Hoover, discussed his research for his forthcoming Hoover Press book, Total Volunteer Force, that offers a blueprint for Pentagon personnel reform, including the Leader/Talent analytical survey and reform ideas for jobmatching, compensation, and performance reviews.
A robust NATO remains a vital interest of the United States. The greatest threat to its credibility comes not from Brexit, but the dangerous erosion of American power and purpose eight years of President Obama's Dangerous Doctrine has wrought. The restoration of American military power is the single most important measure the United States can take to ensure that NATO serves its essential purpose of keeping Putin out of Central Europe, keeping Germany pro-Western, and keeping the United States engaged as the default power in Europe and globally. Paradoxically, Donald Trump's Presidency may spell the revival of NATO if he follows through on his commitment to increase defense spending substantially and sheds his illusions about Putin.
Historian Niall Ferguson has won the fifteenth annual Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Arthur Ross Book Award for Kissinger: 1923-1968: The Idealist (Penguin Press), the first in a two-volume biography of the former national security advisor Henry A. Kissinger, and will receive $15,000.
According to the conspiracy theorists, it is, or used to be, the Jews, the Freemasons or the Bolsheviks who ran the world. Or Bilderberg and the Council on Foreign Relations. Wrong. It is Goldman Sachs, as a very sober, factual piece in the Financial Times has it.
My good friend, Dodong Nemenzo, professor emeritus of politics and former president of the University of the Philippines, recently gave me an intriguing book. The title alone, “The Dictator’s Handbook” (2011), is sufficiently beguiling, and I couldn’t wait to read it. But, halfway through the book, I realized it is not just about tyrannical regimes; it is also about democratic rule.