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"

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 »

Refugees Take UN Center Stage: But Is It All Sound and Fury?

by Stewart M. Patrick
A rescue boat of the Spanish NGO Proactiva approaches an overcrowded wooden vessel with migrants from Eritrea, off the Libyan coast in Mediterranean Sea August 29, 2016 (Giorgos Moutafis/Reuters).

The annual opening of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) is a noisy affair and, like Churchill’s pudding, often lacks a coherent theme. This year is different. World leaders will convene two special sessions to address the flood of refugees and migrants from global conflict zones—and make promises to alleviate their suffering. Expectations for the first meeting, hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, are low. It will produce no more than a consensus declaration that is long on platitudes and short on action. The second, led by President Obama, is more promising. It should generate meaningful national pledges of aid. But to make a real dent, the assembled nations must get serious about ending chronic displacement, by focusing on cures rather than palliatives. And that, alas, is unlikely to happen. Read more »

UN Peacekeeping: Challenges Loom Ahead of London Summit

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
UN peacekeepers stand guard during a visit by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to an internally displaced persons camp in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan on May 6, 2014. (Andreea Campeanu/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.

Later this week, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and his counterparts from around the world will gather in London to assess the state of UN peace operations. The meeting is a follow-up on a summit hosted by President Obama on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in 2015. At that event, nearly fifty world leaders committed to modernizing UN peacekeeping, pledging over 40,000 troops as well as critical enablers such as helicopters and hospital units to missions around the world. Coming on the heels of a seminal review of UN peacekeeping, the conference also generated a new optimism that after years of inaction, member states were finally prepared to close the gap between the expanding mandates of and the resources and capabilities devoted to peace operations. Read more »

The G20 Hangzhou Summit: Making Globalization Work

by Stewart M. Patrick
Passengers ride a bus near the West Lake, before the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China on August 31, 2016. (Aly Song/Reuters)

On September 4-5 President Barack Obama attends his final annual summit of the Group of 20 (G20) in Hangzhou, China. The event is a fitting bookend for his presidency. The very first G20 summit took place in Washington just days after Obama’s election, meaning that his administration and the G20 have grown up together. The location is also appropriate, symbolizing how rapidly the global economic landscape has shifted—and how the Sino-American relationship, however fraught, has emerged as the fulcrum for progress on the world’s most difficult problems. Read more »