Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

Patrick assesses the future of world order, state sovereignty, and multilateral cooperation.

Secretary Clinton’s Valedictory: “Widening the Aperture of Our Engagement”

by Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, January 31, 2013
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton answers questions from the audience at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington on January 31, 2013 (Yuri Gripas/Courtesy Reuters).

In a valedictory address delivered today at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for a new era of American global leadership. The United States remains the world’s “indispensable” power, she insisted. It is the cornerstone of a “just, rules-based international order.” But she warned against complacency. “Leadership is not a birthright,” she insisted. “It has to be earned by each new generation.” To lead in the twenty-first century, the United States will need to “adapt to these new realities of global power and influence,” by exploiting its entire array of policy levers, cultivating diverse partnerships and networks, and forging a “new international architecture” tailored to new global challenges and emerging powers. Read more »

Collateral Damage: How Libyan Weapons Fueled Mali’s Violence

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick and Stewart M. Patrick Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Anti-Qaddafi fighters salvage weapons from a pro-Qaddafi weapons and ammunition compound in a village near Sirte on September 19, 2011. Munitions stockpiles in eastern Libya remain for the large part unguarded through today, despite pledges by the interim government to secure the country's massive arsenal (Goran Tomasevic/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Isabella Bennett, program coordinator in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

The violence that has plagued once-stable Mali since late 2011 should have come as no surprise to Western governments, for it is a direct function of NATO’s Libyan intervention. By adopting a “light footprint” approach in Libya, the alliance unwittingly contributed to a security vacuum that allowed countless weapons  to stream out of Libya and fuel insurgency, extremism, and crime in neighboring countries. One of these countries was Mali, where the flood of weapons from Libya helped a rebel coalition topple the democratically elected government in Bamako in May 2012 and—until the recent French intervention—allow a jihadist alliance to gain control over the country’s entire northeast. The relevant policy question is why neither the United States nor its international partners did anything to  staunch or mitigate the flow of Libyan weapons south. Read more »

Denying Jihadists Safe Haven in Mali

by Stewart M. Patrick Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Militiaman from the Ansar Dine Islamic group sit on a vehicle in Gao in northeastern Mali on June 18, 2012 (Adama Diarra/Courtesy Reuters).

France’s decision to intervene forcefully in Mali is a welcome development in the campaign to eradicate transnational terrorism in Africa. It comes after weeks of diplomatic dithering over how to respond to jihadist gains in that country.  Some four weeks ago, the UN Security Council authorized the deployment of a West African force led by the “African Union in close coordination with ECOWAS,” without as usual providing adequate logistical  and military support. The ensuing delays permitted rebels to spread from their stronghold in the northeast and consolidate control over half of the country.  As of mid-January the rudiments of an African intervention force, with limited counterinsurgency capability,  were only beginning to coalesce. By intervening in its former colony at the request of the Bamako government, France is doing a double service: freeing Mali’s traditionally moderate Islamic population from draconian sharia law, and preventing the establishment of a permanent safe haven where al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and affiliated groups have free rein to attack regional and Western targets. Read more »

Time for a Coalition of Capable, Like-Minded Democracies?

by Stewart M. Patrick Monday, January 7, 2013
U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd R) speaks to fellow heads of state from Japan, Italy, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom at a working session at the G8 Summit at Camp David, on May 19, 2012. Ash Jain proposes including these democracies (minus semi-authoritarian G8 member Russia) in a new group, along with the EU, South Korea, and Australia to forge a concert of democracies (Philippe Wojazer/Courtesy Reuters).

Could a coalition of democracies help the United States address some of its more daunting global challenges?  In a new CFR working paper, Like-Minded and Capable Democracies: A New Framework for Advancing a Liberal World Order Ash Jain argues that the answer is yes. The title may be cumbersome, but Jain’s inclusion of “like-minded” and “capable” is critical. Democratic solidarity is possible only if the United States judiciously includes democracies that truly share U.S. preferences and have tangible resources to leverage for collective action. Failure to think soberly about these two criteria has doomed previous proposals to harness democracy  to U.S. strategy. Read more »

A New Year’s Agenda for Russia’s G20 Chairmanship

by Stewart M. Patrick Wednesday, January 2, 2013
St Petersburg, Russia will be the site of the next G20 meeting Fireworks light up the sky over the Neva River and Peter and Pawel Fortress in St. Petersburg, the site of the next G20 meeting. (Alexander Demianchuk/ Courtesy Reuters)

The new year is a time of hope. As 2013 dawns, optimists yearn for a period of sustained global economic growth after five years of recession, turbulence, and sluggish recovery. Achieving this scenario will require close policy coordination among governments of the world’s major economies. This places a heavy burden on the Russian Federation, which on December 1 assumed the rotating chairmanship of the Group of Twenty (G20). Read more »