Madame X, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Speaks Live this Morning at 8 am EST

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annemarie_slaughter_200_1.jpgAt the 3rd Talking Points Memo Policy Roundtable hosted at the New America Foundation, State Department Policy Planning Director Anne-Marie Slaughter will share her views on America’s international engagement — particularly regarding the world’s crisis and not yet crisis (but almost) regions.
Slaughter holds what I consider to be one of the best jobs in government as head of policy planning, the role that “Mr. X”, George Kennan, author of the “long telegram”, once held. Slaughter, who will be returning at the end of this week to a faculty position at Princeton University, drove the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) process which recently issued its first report.
Join us for live streaming here at 8 am EST.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

9 comments on “Madame X, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Speaks Live this Morning at 8 am EST

  1. WigWag says:

    It is a fascinating and rarely talked about irony that China itself is now witnessing negative population growth. Obviously this is because of the one child policy, but it will be interesting to see whether Chinese population growth picks up once this policy is ended. Most raidly developing nations witness a decline in fecundity. China may prove to be no different; they may, in time, even come to rue the one child policy (especially because it has led to a mismatch in the number of male and female children being born). I have read some demographers who have suggested that in time the population of India will come to exceed the population of China.
    As for Russia, it is experiencing a population implosion but so is Japan. Declining fecundity is also a major problem in Europe; not only Western Europe but also in the former Warsaw Pact nations.

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  2. David Billington says:

    “The United States needs Russia as an ally; there’s nothing about Russian interests and
    American interests that are inherently incongruent.” (Wigwag)
    I’m inclined to agree. The question is whether Russia is a viable partner. Its government
    lives off the rent from exports of natural resources. They need to develop a more
    diversified private sector and for political reasons that has been slow to happen.
    Population is also falling except in the Muslim south, and the recent terror bombing in
    Moscow suggests that insurgency down there is not going away.
    NATO and the EU want Russia to reform before they will agree on its admission, but
    Russia may not be willing or able to change until it is admitted. I don’t think a reset in
    relations can have substance until we make the first move and at least get them into
    NATO.
    “So would the hero of his World War I books, Chancellor Bismarck.”
    What I think Kennan admired about Bismarck was his caution once Germany was unified
    in 1871, and it was Bismarck’s firing in 1890 by Wilhelm II that set Britain and Germany
    on a collision course. Our relationship to China could follow this pattern if we seek to
    contain China, causing a younger generation of Chinese leaders to be more assertive, and
    then forcing us to defend a diminishing and increasingly expensive maritime position.
    It may be a default position for us but I wonder if a balance-of-power strategy can really
    work to our benefit. India won’t have the wherewithal to be an effective ally for a long
    time, and a remilitarized Japan would only make China hyper-aggressive. A Russian-
    American alliance against China would be very dangerous to Russia given its declining
    population and power. I really hope we can encourage caution in all of the Asian great
    powers and pursue it ourselves.

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  3. WigWag says:

    “Wigwag, my take on Kennan’s “The Fateful Alliance” was that he thought any government which expected to present an opportunity for humiliation to a sworn blood enemy to be ignored deserved to be removed. It also highlighted how two long time opponents could overcome their differences at the altar of national interest in order to pursue higher goals.” (PrahaPartizan)
    Perhaps we have read different books with the same title by the same author because I don’t think the book was related to either of the things you mentioned.
    I do agree with you, however that the United States needs to craft a radically new relationship with Russia. The approach of neoconservatives to Russia is so 20th century. The Soviet Union is dead and gone and it’s time to stop refighting the Cold War. There’s something vaguely pathetic about listening to people who are so nostalgic for the Cold War animosities that they are anxious to relive them over and over again. Of course the left has its equally foolish and anachronistic nostalgic urges.
    The United States needs Russia as an ally; there’s nothing about Russian interests and American interests that are inherently incongruent. The United States needs to acknowledge Russia’s sphere of influence in its “near abroad.” That doesn’t mean the former Warsaw Pact nations, but it does mean the former Soviet Republics.
    The United States should interfere far less often when it comes to the Ukraine and Georgia. We should revoke our recognition of Kosovo and start treating Russia

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  4. PrahaPartizan says:

    Wigwag, my take on Kennan’s “The Fateful Alliance” was that he thought any government which expected to present an opportunity for humiliation to a sworn blood enemy to be ignored deserved to be removed. It also highlighted how two long time opponents could overcome their differences at the altar of national interest in order to pursue higher goals. Sometimes I wonder why the American foreign establishment has had such a difficult time in understanding that in its relations with Russia when other powers are potentially far more dangerous. Kennan’s new version of the “long telegram” would probably tell Washington to get in gear and craft a truly radical new treaty with the Russia. That would be a truly “fateful alliance.”

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  5. WigWag says:

    “Kennan would be denounced today by the neocons. And he would have been repulsed by the neocons mendacity and stupidity.” (Jonst)
    That may be the case, but not necessarily. Kennan was a complex guy and his take on issues could be hard to predict.
    Kennan suggested that the version of containment that he would have preferred was a soft version rather than the muscular version that was pursued by the United States for 40 years. He specifically opposed the Viet Nam War.
    But it is also true that after the Iranians took American hostages during the Carter Administration, he forcefully suggested that the United States declare war on Iran and that if necessary begin a bombing campaign that would completely destroy the Iranian infrastructure. He believed that the Shah was a legitimate ruler and that the creation of an Islamic Republic in Iran was the beginning of a nightmare. He criticized President Carter severly for being weak on Iran.
    It’s amazing how, when commenting on foreign policy today, so many people want to claim Kennan as their ideological soulmate. Mostly this is done by people who don’t know very much about Kennan. How many people have actually read his “long telegram” or actually read any of his books?
    Anyone who really wants to get to the heart of Kennan’s thinking about world politics and how to maintain the peace should read his two great books on the genesis of World War I; “The Decline of Bismarck’s European Order: Franco-Russian Relations, 1875

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  6. JohnH says:

    More on America’s policy of “engagement” from Juan Cole: “in a cynical Great Power calculation, Washington continues to sacrifice the prospects of the region’s youth on the altar of “security”. It is now forgotten that America’s biggest foreign policy headache, the Islamic Republic of Iran, arose in response to American backing for Mohammad Reza Pahlevi, the despised Shah who destroyed the Iranian left and centrist political parties, paving the way for the ayatollahs’ takeover in 1979.”
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MA27Ak04.html
    Instead of calling the policy engagement, they should call it what it is: “how to alienate potential friends and anger everyone else.”
    Cheney, the poster boy Ugly American, must be smiling at the State Department’s pathetic performance.

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  7. jonst says:

    mentioning her in the same breath as George Kennan is some kind of cosmic joke. And Kennan wrote the X letter, and did the all of his govt work, before he ever lived in Princeton.
    Kennan would be denounced today by the neocons. And he would have been repulsed by the neocons mendacity and stupidity.
    And like Chas Freeman, I would bet there would be no place in the Obama Admin for a man like Kennan.

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  8. WigWag says:

    Slaughter holds what I consider to be one of the best jobs in government as head of policy planning, the role that “Mr. X”, George Kennan, author of the “long telegram”, once held. (Steve Clemons)
    Like Dr. Slaughter, George Kennan had a long connection to the Princeton area. Slaughter is a Professor at Princeton Univeristy; Kennan was a scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies which is no more than a ten minute walk from the University (although the institutions are not affiliated with each other). Kennan is buried in the Princeton Cemetary which is also walkable from Slaughter’s office (but it’s a long walk).
    George Kennan’s son Chris still owns a home in the Princeton area (Lawrenceville) although he now spends most of his time living in suburban New York. Unless I’m mistaken, Chris has been married three times; first to a local girl who was an heir of Robert Wood Johnson, Jr. (of J&J fame). She also grew up in Princeton.
    There must be something in the water in Princeton that predisposes people to illustrious careers in international relations.

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  9. JohnH says:

    Is this a joke? She will share “her views on America’s international engagement.” America engages? Is this a new program?
    “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently took a four-day tour of the Middle East, at each stop telling various allies and enemies, in classic American fashion, what they MUST do.”
    http://original.antiwar.com/engelhardt/2011/01/25/american-policy-on-the-brink/
    The world could use an America that is understands problems and is constructively engaged in solving them. Instead, it appears that the Ugly American attitude still rules, 50 years later.

    Reply

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