Carry on.

AID Conference Notes – Day 2

On day 2 of the conference, we talked about global ethical idealism and global security – two topics that have a significant impact on us as future business leaders. When we expand our businesses to overseas markets, the political situation can have a significant impact on how (or if) we operate. As a multinational company, do we have a responsibility to develop the cities and neiborhoods in which we work in? This round of talks will focussed primarily on the role of multi-national organizations such as Nato, the UN and the European union.

Peter Busch

Mr. Busch is the Director of Research Studetns & Postgraduate Admissions, Department of War Studies, King’s College, London.

  • Is NATO obsolete? Is there a future for NATO and other similar multinational organizations?
  • Enlargement and partnerships are possible onlife of partners agree on its purpose.
  • NATO has three main divisions in its military operations that need to be transformed:
  • Operations Forces
  • Balistic Missiles
  • Reaction Forces
  • International Security Force must deal with two issues at this time:
    • They must decide on the focus of their operations: Reconstruction? Fighting opposition forces?
    • How do they deal with the drug economies in the theatres they’re in (Particularly in Afghanistan where the drug economy is the sole source of income for many farmers)
  • Kosovo, which has been out of the media radar for several years is now at a critical point. What role will Nato be in an independent Kosovo?
  • Should NATO be involved in peacekeeping or peacemaking?
  • Currently NATO and US relations are at an all time low due to mistrust and lack of communication
  • Things to think about
    • Representation of NATO in Kosovo in the media, was initially highlighted very well.
    • In Afghanistan, the media has hardly shown NATO’s role in this country, probably resulting in mistrust and lack of confidence in NATO’s ability to keep the peace there – and opposition to member state’s involvement in the area.

    Dr Gwyn Prins

    Dr. Prins is the principal research fellow of the European Institute of the London School of Economics. Prior to his current position, he worked with the NATO secretary general as an advisor. He also works as an advisor for the UN.

    • NATO, the UN, the EU and other multinational organizations face a very big problem – they find it difficult to develop a useful framework to find solutions to world problems. Why?
    • The Law of Unintended consequences
    • This law is the one that matters the most
    • For example, the 9/11 terrorist attacks resulted in the following:
    • It reversed a decline in Sino-American Relations
    • It resulted in the entry of China as a strong power
  • Japan, China, India and the US – the Pacific Quartet will be very important and most powerful in shaping the world’s future
  • Look for where the power is.
    • Problem: The balance of power between nations is changing so quickly from Countries to individuals.
    • For example, a group of terrorists, with little money and with little political power was able to drastically change the foreign policy of the United States by flying planes into the financial center of the world.
  • As a result of this shift, we now have many, many contending sources of power
  • Many people live in an era of clashing civilizations. This statement is WRONG.
    • Inside each civilization, there is a huge clash of ideologies.
    • Muslim extremists vs. Muslims
  • Don’t be afraid to learn from History
    • All major multilateral institutions are losing power.
    • UN – North and South couldn’t make a deal because the South got too greedy
    • EU – It’s dying. People who run it are trying to use a scorched earth policy to make it difficult to leave the UN.
    • It’s going back to the 19th Century. We should study the 19th century to learn about how to deal with Europe
  • US – has an 18th century constitution that focuses on the power of the individual – This is good.
    • Take a look at the recent midterm elections – the nation was able to change the focus of the government by electing a Democrat government

    Shadi Hamid

    Shadi Hamid is founding member and Associate at The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), a newly-incorporated organization dedicated to examining how genuine democracies can develop in the Middle East and how the US can best support that process.

    • The role of idealism is very crucial when dealing with Democracies in the Middle East
    • There has been a shift in US policy on how they perceive the US role in the region from establishing Democracy to maintaining stability
    • A definition of Idealism: Power can be used to promote noble ends.
    • We, the US, need a democracy centered on Foreign policy
    • However, we have a conflict:
    • Reason of intellect vs. Idealism
  • What’s the Danger?
    • In reacting to the US perversion of idealism (Our Democracy is the best and we can force it on a country) we’ll move away from true democracy and away from the protection of human rights.
    • Neocons (Bush) have taken idealism for themselves and now it’s associated with the Conservative agenda
    • Now, the establishment of Democracy (idealism) is associated with the Conservative agenda. Pity. Establishing democracy is a good thing.
  • Policies must have a moral purpose to bring sides together. What is our role as Americans?
  • Arabs have no outlet to express themselves
  • We must re-incorporate idealism in a proper manner
  • However, there are dangers to idealism that we must be aware of:
    • If unchecked, it can be abused (Bush agenda)
    • We must back our rhetoric with policies and actions
  • We must not lose sight of the costs along the way to our goal
  • We must ground our idealism with reality
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