Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

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Showing posts for "U.S. Foreign Policy"

NATO Membership Has Its Privileges (Unfortunately Ukraine Won’t See Them)

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. president Barack Obama and his Estonian counterpart, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, review troops during Obama's visit to Tallinn, Estonia, on September 3, 2014. U.S. president Barack Obama and his Estonian counterpart, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, review troops during Obama's visit to Tallinn, Estonia, on September 3, 2014 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters).

Russia’s aggression in Ukraine is the most egregious effort since World War II to forcibly alter the borders of a sovereign European state. It is also the biggest test of Western resolve since the Cold War ended a quarter century ago. If history is any guide, at this week’s summit in Wales, President Obama and fellow NATO leaders are unlikely to extend significant assistance to Ukraine, and will probably instead focus on providing reassurance to the alliance’s own membership. Read more »

NATO: Suddenly Relevant, Deeply Divided

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during an interview at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on August 11, 2014. NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during an interview at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on August 11, 2014 (Yves Herman/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Daniel Chardell, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program. Read more »

Russia Assaults Ukraine—and the Liberal World Order

by Stewart M. Patrick
Alexander Zakharchenko, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, speaks to the media on August 28, 2014. Zakharchenko claimed that Russian soldiers, on leave from their posts, are fighting Ukrainian troops alongside pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine. Alexander Zakharchenko, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, speaks to the media on August 28, 2014. Zakharchenko claimed that Russian soldiers, on leave from their posts, are fighting Ukrainian troops alongside pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine (Maxim Shemetov/Courtesy Reuters).

Accummulating reports that more than a thousand Russian troops are now engaged in combat in eastern Ukraine signals the definitive end of the “post-Cold War” world. That phrase, which framed a quarter century in terms of what it was not, was never a felicitous one. But it did come to suggest a new era in which great power frictions were in abeyance, as the focus of world politics shifted to the management of global interdependence, the integration of emerging economies, the disciplining of rogue states, the quarantining of failed ones, and (after 9/11) the interdiction and elimination of non-state terrorist actors. Read more »

Authoritarianism Undercuts Turkish Aspirations

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks before members of parliament from his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara on April 29, 2014. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks before members of parliament from his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara on April 29, 2014 (Umit Bektas/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Isabella Bennett, assistant director of the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

When the Obama administration took office in January 2009, Turkey seemed poised to join the ranks of other rising powers like Brazil and India, as a regional pivot with potentially global role. Sitting at the crossroads of East and West, riding a wave of robust economic growth, and pursuing a policy of “zero problems with neighbors,” Turkey appeared destined to finally realize its potential as a bridge between Western democracies and the Middle East and an enviable model for democratic governance in the Muslim world. Read more »

‘Our Ocean’ Summit: Stemming the Tide of Ocean Degradation

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
A scuba diver swims in the middle of a school of Jet fish near the island of Sipadan in Celebes Sea (Peter Andrews/ Courtesy Reuters). A scuba diver swims in the middle of a school of Jet fish near the island of Sipadan in Celebes Sea (Peter Andrews/ Courtesy Reuters).

Below is a guest post by Alexandra Kerr, program coordinator in the International Institutions and Global Governance Program. Read more »

Obama at West Point: He Likes Ike

by Stewart M. Patrick
West Point Obama Foreign Policy Graduation Speech Commencement U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with graduates during a commencement ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, May 28, 2014 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

Twelve years ago, having already decided on a course of war with Iraq, President George W. Bush traveled to the U.S. Military Academy on June 1, 2002, to announce a new doctrine of unilateral “preemption.”  Today his successor Barack Obama delivered a very different message to West Point’s graduating seniors: The true measure of U.S. strength lies not in its capacity to act alone but in its ability to marshall international institutions and lead coalitions to advance common interests. His speech was an eloquent, reasoned defense of moderate internationalism. At the same time, it is unlikely to satisfy either self-styled “realists” who bemoan his failure to set strategic priorities or interventionists who criticize his unwillingness to use military might to advance the cause of freeom. Read more »

Voting Against Accountability for Syria

by Stewart M. Patrick
Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin votes in the United Nations Security Council against referring the Syrian crisis to the International Criminal Court for investigation of possible war crimes at the U.N. headquarters in New York May 22, 2014 (Lucas Jackson/Courtesy Reuters). Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin votes in the United Nations Security Council against referring the Syrian crisis to the International Criminal Court for investigation of possible war crimes at the U.N. headquarters in New York May 22, 2014 (Lucas Jackson/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Claire Schachter, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

Today the UN Security Council voted on a French draft resolution referring the situation in Syria—where government forces have systematically slaughtered civilians—to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Russia and China vetoed the resolution. While not surprising, the double veto is enormously frustrating to those demanding a stronger international response to war crimes in Syria. To some observers, the failure of this referral may signal the impossibility of ensuring accountability in a context of geopolitical rivalry. But the Obama administration’s decision to support the resolution, even in the face of near certain defeat, was appropriate and necessary—appropriate in light of its evolving relationship with the ICC and necessary given its limited options for ending the conflict in Syria. Read more »

“Still Ours to Lead:” Bruce Jones Explains Why the World Still Looks to the United States

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. president Barak Obama surrounded by leaders during the NATO summit in Lisbon, November 19, 2010.  (Yves Herman /Courtesy Reuters) U.S. president Barak Obama surrounded by leaders during the NATO summit in Lisbon, November 19, 2010. (Yves Herman /Courtesy Reuters)

Manifestoes about U.S. “decline,” have become a publishing juggernaut. But this literature is demolished in a beautifully written, persuasive new book from Bruce Jones, the Brookings Institution senior fellow. In Still Ours to Lead: America, Rising Powers, and the Tension between Rivalry and Restraint, Jones explains that the declinists have it all wrong. First, on nearly every measure of material power, the United States is the world’s dominant player—and will remain so for some time. Second, there is no plausible alternative to U.S. leadership, given weaknesses within and divisions among major emerging powers. Third, the United States remains the undeniable and indispensable pivot of world politics; it is the only player capable of forging effective global partnerships to confront pressing transnational threats. Lastly, most rising powers in today’s world have at least as many incentives to exercise strategic restraint as they do to engage in rivalry with the United States. In short, the United States is an “enduring” rather than declining power. And the world is still its to lead. Read more »

Brazil’s Internet Summit: Building Bridges to Avoid “Splinternet”

by Stewart M. Patrick
In this photo illustration, a man holds an iPad with a Facebook application in an office building at the Pudong financial district in Shanghai, September 25, 2013 (Carlos Barria/Courtesy Reuters). In this photo illustration, a man holds an iPad with a Facebook application in an office building at the Pudong financial district in Shanghai, September 25, 2013 (Carlos Barria/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Claire Schachter, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

Netizens of the world are in Sao Paulo this week for the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance (April 23-24). The Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br), which organized the gathering in partnership with ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), have high hopes for “NETmundial,” where they hope universal principles for Internet governance will be negotiated. The good news for the United States is that participants seem committed to establishing consensus-based public policies to safeguard the web’s open architecture—as well as to rebooting rather than replacing a multistakeholder governance model that gives equal weight to governments, the private sector, and civil society. Read more »

Lessons of the Rwandan Genocide

by Stewart M. Patrick
The skulls and bones of Rwandan victims rest on shelves at a genocide memorial inside the church at Ntarama just outside the capital Kigali, August 6, 2010. Some 5,000 people, mostly women and children, sought refuge near the church in April 1994, but were massacred by Hutu extremists who used grenades, clubs and machetes to kill their victims. Rwandan voters go to the polls on Monday for the second presidential election since the genocide 16 years ago (Courtesy Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters). The skulls and bones of Rwandan victims rest on shelves at a genocide memorial inside the church at Ntarama just outside the capital Kigali, August 6, 2010. Some 5,000 people, mostly women and children, sought refuge near the church in April 1994, but were massacred by Hutu extremists who used grenades, clubs and machetes to kill their victims. Rwandan voters go to the polls on Monday for the second presidential election since the genocide 16 years ago (Courtesy Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters).

Coauthored with Patrick McCormick, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

Twenty years ago yesterday two surface-to-air missiles ripped into a plane carrying Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira. Hutu militias responded by launching a violent genocide against Rwanda’s Tutsi minority. Over the next 100 days, the country became an abattoir. Read more »