Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

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Showing posts for "International Cooperation"

Canary in the Coal Mine: The Arctic as a National Imperative

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, in the midst of their ICESCAPE mission, retrieves supplies for some mid-mission fixes dropped by parachute from a C-130 in the Arctic Ocean in this July 12, 2011 NASA handout photo obtained by Reuters. (NASA/Reuters)

The following is a guest post by Theresa Lou, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

The Arctic is changing rapidly. It is warming at twice the rate as the rest of the planet, causing sea ice to melt and water levels to rise. Once considered the world’s least accessible ocean, the Arctic Ocean now contains additional sea routes for shipping and commercial activity. Countries such as China and Russia—eager for emerging economic opportunities—are investing new resources in the region as the United States lags behind.  Meanwhile, rising sea levels and erratic weather patterns are endangering coastal communities in all Arctic nations. Read more »

Trump’s Misguided National Security Budget: Every Problem is Not a Nail

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. President Donald Trump's overview of the budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2018 are displayed at the U.S. Government Publishing Office on its release by the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, U.S. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

President Trump’s unapologetic “hard power” budget reveals an alarming ignorance about the threats to U.S. national security and the instruments needed to advance U.S. global interests. The document would slash already-modest outlays for U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance, while increasing the current gargantuan Pentagon budget by ten percent. The result is a fundamentally unbalanced national security budget that guts the State Department and USAID on the erroneous assumption that the U.S. military alone can somehow meet America’s foreign policy needs. If approved as drafted, Trump’s budget would signal the definitive surrender of any pretense to U.S. global leadership. Read more »

Inequality and the Rise of Authoritarianism: International Studies Association Panel

by Stewart M. Patrick
Demonstrators supporting Brexit protest outside of the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

As part of CFR’s Academic Outreach Initiative, I recently had the privilege of moderating a panel on inequality and the rise of authoritarianism with Jack A. Goldstone, Virginia E. and John T. Hazel professor of public policy at George Mason University; Shadi Hamid, senior fellow in the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution; and Kate McNamara, professor of government and foreign service at Georgetown University, and 2016–2017 distinguished scholar in residence at American University’s School of International Service. The panel was held at the International Studies Association annual convention in Baltimore, Maryland, on February 15. Read more »

President Trump and the Future of Global Governance

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. President Donald Trump waits to speak by phone with the Saudi Arabia's King Salman in the Oval Office at the White House. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The following is a guest post by Miles Kahler, senior fellow for global governance at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Recent comments by then President-Elect Donald J. Trump—applauding the breakup of the European Union and declaring the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) “obsolete”—appear to confirm his deep skepticism or hostility toward major multilateral organizations. In the Trump worldview, bilateral deal-making among great powers is preferred; regional and multilateral organizations that might constrain the United States are suspect. Read more »

Trump’s UN Executive Order Would Cut Off America’s Nose to Spite Its Face

by Stewart M. Patrick
A United Nations logo is seen on a glass door in the Assembly Building at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

As first reported in yesterday’s New York Times, President Donald J. Trump’s White House has prepared two executive orders that would slash U.S. funding for the United Nations and place a moratorium on any new multilateral treaties. Both of these draft documents (which this author has seen) are consistent with Trump’s hyper-nationalist, “America First” agenda. As such, they will play well with his populist base. But they reflect a short-sighted conception of U.S. national interests and signal a reckless abdication of U.S. global leadership. Read more »

An Open World Is in the Balance. What Might Replace the Liberal Order?

by Stewart M. Patrick
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump hugs a U.S. flag as he comes onstage to rally with supporters in Tampa, Florida, U.S. October 24, 2016. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States imperils the liberal international order that America has championed since World War II. That open world was already operating under strain, challenged by rivals and upheaval abroad. But suddenly, it is vulnerable at home, too. A wave of angry populism has propelled to power a nationalist leader who campaigned on a promise to put “America First.” As a candidate, Trump questioned longstanding U.S. alliances like NATO, criticized international institutions like the United Nations, and promised to abandon major trade, arms control and climate agreements. Little wonder that liberal internationalists are shuddering. Writing in the New York Times, outgoing Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken frets that the new administration will “become complicit in dismantling” the very world that America made. Read more »

Steering a World in Disarray: Ten Summits to Watch in 2017

by Stewart M. Patrick
Leaders pose for pictures during the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

After a tumultuous 2016, the world holds its breath for what the coming year may bring. Angry populism is on the march. Great power relations are tense. The Middle East has imploded. Meanwhile, President-Elect Donald J. Trump proposes to upend U.S. foreign policy in areas from trade to climate, alliances to nonproliferation, terrorism to human rights. In a world in disarray, can multilateralism deliver? Ten major summits during 2017 will help provide an answer. Here’s what to look for at each. Read more »

Goodbye to All That? World Order in the Wake of Trump

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, on November 9, 2016. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Among its many implications, Donald Trump’s election as president calls into question the open liberal international order this country has championed and defended for more than seven decades. The edges of that order were already fraying, thanks to disenchantment with the global economy and the return of geopolitical competition, particularly with Russia and China. Trump’s triumph will accelerate its disintegration, by undermining the network of rules, institutions, and alliances that twelve presidents, Republican and Democratic alike, have nurtured since 1945.  The results of the election suggest that the main threats to the liberal world order are no longer foreign but domestic. Read more »

The UN’s Ninth Secretary-General is António Guterres

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Nominated U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a news conference at Necessidades Palace in Lisbon, Portugal October 6, 2016. (Rafael Marchante/Reuters)

The following is a guest post by Megan Roberts, associate director of the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations. Read more »

Obama’s UN Address: An Enlightened Man in an Unreasonable World

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York September 20, 2016 (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters). U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York September 20, 2016 (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters).

President Barack Obama used his eighth and final address to the UN General Assembly to share his noble vision of a world order in which equality, liberty, and unity trump injustice, oppression, and division. Part sermon, part pep-talk, the speech exuded an unflinching faith in liberal ideals and a progressive optimism that humanity can surmount any economic, political, and ecological challenges it faces. All that is required, the president suggested, is that leaders and citizens listen to the better angels of their nature. The big-picture speech contained little guidance about how to resolve intractable problems, from mass migration to North Korea’s nukes. But it was an eloquent effort, delivered by a reasonable man living in unreasonable times. Its biggest flaw was in ignoring the practical difficulties and inherent trade-offs of applying such high-minded ideals to a fallen world. Read more »