RICHARD HAASS IS A NO NONSENSE REALIST about foreign policy issues. He is as blunt and straight shooting as they come and has on many occasions had no problem admitting his errors — or alternatively taking credit for a successful policy he designed. Of significant foreign policy hands in the Bush administration, he was the first to depart — leaving the competing team of neocon staffers one man stronger after he became President of the Council on Foreign Relations.
That is why I am astonished by the Council on Foreign Relations release today of a new video and cd-rom titled “Terrorism: Don’t Get Scared. Get Prepared.” I have not seen the production, but it is described as the Council’s collection of advice and practical tips, designed to help organizations be ready for emergencies.
The CFR stands ready to provide expert analysis as well — and here are the people the “CFR This Week” press release proposes you call:
David Braunschvig, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow and Director, Business and Foreign Policy
Contact: 212-434-9782 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen E. Flynn, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow, National Security Studies; Author, America the Vulnerable: How Our Government Is Failing to Protect Us from Terrorism.
Contact: 212-207-7362 or email@example.com.
Gideon Rose, Managing Editor, Foreign Affairs Contact: 212-434-9629 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Benn Steil, Acting Director, Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies
Contact: 212-434-9622 or email@example.com
I know Benn Steil and Gideon Rose and bet that they are going to be surprised when they find that their phone messages and email jammed with queries about whether they should get 3M or generic duct tape and how many back copies of Foreign Affairs ought to be set aside while waiting out the attack. Gideon doesn’t go for gimmicks. I can’t believe he knew about this release today — but these are strange times.
To be fair to Richard Haass, this well meaning security program may have been conceived by the earlier CFR regime as the video is blurbed not by him, but his predecessor. Council President Emeritus Leslie H. Gelb said “Homeland Security and the safety of our employees and their families are priorities for the Council on Foreign Relations.”
Now I’ll never get my membership in the CFR, but this was just too funny. I bet Tom Ridge sends the Council a plaque though.
— Steve Clemons