Are transfers of wealth to Third World governments really an aid to economic development? Hoover fellow Thomas Sowell says no and explains why “foreign aid” is more often foreign hindrance.
During a distinguished Army career, Chris Gibson, who spent a year as a Hoover national security fellow, displayed brains, determination, and courage. Now he’s testing his mettle in Congress.
Hoover fellow Michael Spence ponders India, China, and the one essential element in economic growth: innovation. An interview with Peter Robinson.
Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist, insists that we humans must face the truth about ourselves—no matter how good it might be. An interview with Peter Robinson.
The Nobel economist says the health-care bill will cause serious damage, but that the American people can be trusted to vote for limited government in November. . . .
Is colonialism to blame for the woes of former colonies? Not in Ghana. By Niall Ferguson.
Russia had positioned tanks and troops for an invasion long before it was “provoked.” By John B. Dunlop.
Presidents George Bush and Vladimir Putin will hold a summit at the end of September that will focus on economic and other ties between the United States and Russia. The two presidents have long recognized the central position of energy in our bilateral relations, and in that sphere, nothing is as critical as oil. Today Russia may again be the largest oil exporter in the world, but very little yet comes to the United States. Russia’s oil industry is dominated by rich and aggressive young private companies. Generally, they are eager to deal with foreigners, but despite significant state reforms they often are still inhibited by a dilapidated, state-controlled delivery system and a residue of traditional thinking and institutions. Many of Russia’s as-yet-unresolved post-Soviet prob-lems exploded in mid-2003 when the prosecutor general’s office attacked Yukos, the country’s most modernized, productive and pro-American private oil company. Thus even as Washington and American oil industry leaders actively sought alternatives to unstable sources in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, basic questions re-emerged in Russia about the privatizations of the 1990s, the security of private property, the mixing of law and politics, and the exercise of power in the Kremlin. Today Russians, with the support of American and European allies, must create conditions that will welcome the foreign funds, technology, and expertise needed to develop the critical oil industry but also to lay foundations of law and infrastructure that will help make Russia a stable member of the world community. Americans must decide how much involvement Russia can constructively absorb to promote not only short-term oil supplies but also long-term Russian development and broader U.S. foreign policy goals. Finally, the critical long-term lesson of 9/11 and other recent experiences for Americans is that even as we cultivate Russia as an ally and major source of oil, we must actively develop alternative sources of energy. In an unstable world, the United States must not forever be held hostage by other nations with their often very different cultures, institutions and interests.
Despite the economic storm, European voters refuse to let the traditional left take the wheel. By Patrick Chamorel.
The Bush administration always insisted that encouraging democracy abroad was critical for international security. Europeans—surprise!—now agree. By Amichai Magen.
How should we deal with the reality of a United States that a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall is the world’s ideological reference, economic innovator, and only global superpower? Hoover fellow Ken Jowitt offers some suggestions.
Hoover fellow Michael McFaul, who has the president’s ear on Russia, argues that promoting freedom is both moral and wise.
China has come to Africa. Can U.S. policy makers find ways to mesh, not clash, with Beijing’s interests? By Christopher C. Starling.
The advantage of moderation
Hoping for change isn't enough.
The Scheinman collection brings to life the story of how two friends, a white American and a black Kenyan, helped African democracy bloom. By Tom Shachtman.
Restoring America’s image around the world
For almost three decades the U.S. embargo of Cuba was part of America's cold war strategy against the Soviet bloc. It should have been lifted after that ‘‘war’’ ended since Castro ceased to threaten the United States and its neighbors and adopted the standard rules of international behavior. But inertia, a powerful Cuban American lobby, and misguided politicians set new demands: democracy, improved human rights, and economic reform. When Castro demurred we tightened the sanctions in 1992 and again in 1996 with the Helms-Burton Law. The United States has never committed the resources necessary to overthrow Castro, however, and the pressures we have applied have utterly failed to advance the three objectives. Worse yet, in the post–cold war world the policy and political outlook that sustain it have become a strategic liability. They promote conflict, both within Cuba—where a crisis might draw in the U.S. military—and abroad, as occurred in 1999–2000 after the arrival in Florida of the rafter boy, Elián González. They allow pressure groups to stand in the way of the policy-making process of the U.S. government. For example, the lobby manipulated wishy-washy politicians in 1998–1999 and got the president to turn down a widely supported proposal for a bipartisan commission to conduct the first comprehensive evaluation of the policy in four decades. Finally, the imperialistic Helms-Burton Law alienates allies worldwide and will poison relations between the United States and Cuba for decades to come. Castro will benefit no matter what we do, but on balance he gains more if we maintain the sanctions because they provide a scapegoat for his own repression and economic failures even as they enable him to maintain his cherished global image as the ‘‘scourge of U.S. imperialism.’’ Castro can wage a worldwide campaign against the embargo to bolster his image knowing Washington is too inflexible to change it. Indeed, whenever Washington has lightened up, Castro has tightened up and effectively prevented further improvement. Lifting sanctions need not mean establishing friendly relations with Castro—which he would reject in any event—or supporting his efforts to get international aid without meeting standard requirements. The ultimate responsibility for maintaining this antiquated and potentially dangerous policy falls on politicians who either do not understand the need for, or for political reasons are afraid to support, a new policy to benefit both Americans and Cubans in the post–cold war world.