Foreign Policy (September-October 2006)

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Are Empires Past Their Prime? by Niall Ferguson


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The State of Empire


he historian Edward Gibbon once wrote, “Vicissitudes of fortune, which spares neither man nor the proudest of his works, which buries empires and cities in a common grave.” Gibbon penned those words about the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, but he may as well have been talking about the state of empire today—one instance of calamity, and the winds of history can suddenly shift the other way. One such disaster occurred five years ago in the United States, when terrorists crashed airplanes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a rural Pennsylvania field. The attacks didn’t merely shatter the tranquility of a crisp September morning; they shattered America’s imperial sense of well-being. Suddenly, the world’s most powerful nation didn’t seem so invincible anymore. To mark the fifth anniversary of 9/11, FP examines how that day altered the American empire and the world. In this issue’s cover story, FP Managing Editor William J. Dobson argues that what’s remarkable is how little the world has changed. Although it was a life-changing moment for some, the tragedy of 9/11 did not usher in a new era in the life of states. Nevertheless, conventional wisdom holds that the terrorist attacks were apocalyptic. In this issue’s Think Again, University of Michigan professor Juan Cole debunks the idea that 9/11 was a clash of civilizations, a victory for al Qaeda, or a day that spurred a new direction in U.S. foreign policy. Instead, the attacks allowed the Bush administration to carry out preexisting policy goals under the banner of a war on terror. Ironically, the U.S. response to 9/11 didn’t actually curb global terrorist attacks. In Prime Numbers, Kim Cragin and Andrew Curiel reveal how, five years later, terrorism is on the rise everywhere, except inside the American empire that declared war on it. Nowhere has the surge in terrorism been more evident than in Iraq. After toppling Saddam, the United States was supposed to build civil society and spread democracy. But instead, the proper reconstruction of Iraq never had the chance to get off the ground, argues Rajiv Chandrasekaran, the former Baghdad bureau chief for the Washington Post. The process was marred from the very beginning by the imperial hubris of Paul Bremer and his naïve minions at the Coalition Provisional Authority (cpa). “The cpa’s general approach to postwar governance and reconstruction was to delve into minutiae from hundreds of miles away,” writes Chandrasekaran. And its arrogance, condescension, and disdain for meritocracy recall some of the worst elements of colonial empire. Impervious rulers are, of course, nothing new. Historically, empires lasted for centuries. In the modern age, empires seldom last for long at all. But as Harvard University historian Niall Ferguson argues, even though the age of empires may seem over, it could snap back. “In our ever more populous world, where certain natural resources are destined to become more scarce,” he writes, “the old mainsprings of imperial rivalry remain.” Will the United States learn from empires past? It seems, no matter how much time passes, the idea of “empire” always strikes back. As always, we welcome your comments at The Editors

September | October 2006








September|October 2006


04 LETTERS Walt and Mearsheimer fire back at their critics

S ■


up the developing world.

20 IN BOX Vaccinating the war on terror Happy math

■ Buying votes at the U.N. Plus, who’s guarding the guards?



The Day Nothing Much Changed We were told the world would never be the same. But did 9/11 actually alter the state of global affairs? For all the sound and fury, the world looks much like it did on September 10. By William J. Dobson



Think Again: 9/11 The attacks on the United States were neither a clash of civilizations nor an unqualified success for al Qaeda. They were, however, a clash of policy that continues to this day. As al Qaeda struggles to strike again, the United States wrestles with a confused war on terror that won’t end until Americans are forced to choose between Medicare and missiles. By Juan Cole

How Bremer and Co. made Iraq the world’s most dangerous nation.

34 9/11 + 5 Five years after U.S. President George W. Bush declared a war on terror, attacks and fatalities from terrorism are rising around the world. The United States may be footing much of the costs for the campaign, but the rest of the world is paying with their lives. By Kim Cragin and Andrew Curiel ESSAYS

Who Killed Iraq? After the invasion, the United States was supposed to help Iraq become a model democracy. Instead, the arrogance and incompetence of L. Paul Bremer and his team of naïve neocons only helped Iraq become the world’s most dangerous nation. This is the inside story of how it all went wrong—before it ever had a chance to go right. By Rajiv Chandrasekaran


the empires of the past 100 years were short lived, none surviving to see the dawn of the new century. Today, there are no empires—officially. Will the United States and China embrace their imperial destiny, and if they do, can they avoid the fate of those who came before them? By Niall Ferguson

64 Is the U.S.-Mexico border fence a barrier or an invitation? It depends on where you look. COVER: DAVID BUTOW/CORBIS (BACKGROUND); AP WIDEWORLD (INSET)


Foreign Policy

Empires with Expiration Dates Empires drive history. But


The Kingdom’s Clock If Saudi Arabia’s new king is to stem the Islamist extremism inside and outside his kingdom, he must push through reforms that will outlast his own inevitably short reign. At 82 years old, King Abdullah’s time is already running out. By Rachel Bronson and Isobel Coleman





The Sons of the Fathers In many Middle Eastern countries,

economic and political success hinges on succession. But are the men groomed to follow in their fathers’ footsteps as committed to reform as they seem? By Parag Khanna


The skyline has changed, but the forces that built it continue to shape our world.

How Not to Build a Fence The United States may soon fortify its border with Mexico. But what about the fence that is already there? A close look at the disjointed, makeshift barrier reveals America’s ambivalent and conflicted attitudes about immigration. By Peter Skerry THE FP INDEX



Ranking the Rich Poverty is blamed for everything from terrorism

to bird flu. Rich nations have never sounded more committed to stamping it out once and for all. Is it all just hot air? The fourth annual CGD/FP Commitment to Development Index ranks 21 rich nations on whether they’re working to end global poverty—or just making it worse. REVIEWS

76 IN OTHER WORDS The Osama bin Laden I know By Fawaz A.

Gerges ■ Brazil’s man of action By Paulo Sotero ■ Plus, what they’re reading in Jerusalem.

84 GLOBAL NEWSSTAND New kid on the block By James G. Forsyth ■ What’s up, Kenya? By Alexandra Polier

92 NET EFFECT The first presidential podcast ■ Will a Web site stall Russia’s wto membership? ■ China’s cyberwar on Taiwan ■ The Euro e-mail tax ■ Plus, lexicographer Erin McKean reveals a few of the Web sites that help her define our language. MISSING LINKS


Chronic Neglect A new danger is stalking the world’s poor: The rich world’s own diseases. By Michael P. Birt

46 Will the United States learn the lessons of empires past?


| October





Debating the Israel Lobby Moisés Naím EDITOR IN CHIEF


David L. Bosco, Michael C. Boyer, Christine Y. Chen SENIOR EDITORS

James G. Forsyth, Kate G. Palmer ASSISTANT EDITORS



Aditya Dasgupta, Benjamin Fryer, Kyle Spector RESEARCHERS


Sarah N. Schumacher DESIGNER


Thomas R. Stec WEBMASTER CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Jacques Attali, Paris; Jorge I. Domínguez, Cambridge, Mass.; Yoichi Funabashi, Tokyo; Yegor T. Gaidar, Moscow; Andrés Ortega, Madrid EDITORIAL BOARD Morton Abramowitz, John Deutch, Lawrence Freedman, Diego Hidalgo, Stanley Hoffmann, Robert D. Hormats, Thomas L. Hughes, Karl Kaiser, Jessica T. Mathews, Donald F. McHenry, Cesare Merlini, Thierry de Montbrial, Joseph S. Nye Jr., Soli Özel, Moeen Qureshi, John E. Rielly, William D. Rogers, Klaus Schwab, Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Lawrence Summers, Strobe Talbott, Richard H. Ullman, Stephen M. Walt


Foreign Policy 1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036 Publishing Office: (202) 939-2230 Subscriptions: (800) 535-6343 ©2006 by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. All rights reserved. Foreign Policy and its logo are trademarks of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which bears no responsibility for the editorial content; the views expressed in the articles are those of the authors. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher.





Foreign Policy

o z z i e

“The War over Israel’s Influence” (July/August 2006) did nothing to assuage my concern that aliens have taken over the bodies of John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt. After all, how could two realist thinkers suggest that U.S. foreign policy has been influenced by a domestic lobby? Doesn’t realist international relations theory teach that a state makes decisions based exclusively on an assessment of the international balance of power? Don’t realists denigrate the “regime question,” denying that there is any difference between the behavior of a liberal democracy in the international political system and that of a more authoritarian government? If that is true, how can a domestic lobby exert such influence on American policymakers? Mearsheimer—an advocate of “offensive realism”—argues in his Tragedy of Great Power Politics that those in authority are always attempting to maximize the power position of the United States relative to other states. Surely, then, shouldn’t they be totally uninterested in the views of any domestic group? It seems to me that if Mearsheimer and Walt are correct about the power of the “Israel lobby”—a contention I reject based on my own experience—they must repudiate the realist theory of international relations they have pushed throughout their careers. —Mackubin Thomas Owens Associate Dean of Academics of Electives and Directed Research Professor of National Security Affairs Naval War College Newport, R.I.

Simplistic assumptions about the influence of the Israel lobby in the


United States fail to appreciate the differences that exist even among pro-Israel groups. Some groups in the so-called “lobby” support Jewish settlements. Others, such as Americans for Peace Now and the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace push aggressively for a Palestinian state and an end to the “occupation.” The same diversity of opinion was on display over Iraq: It is a mistake to view pro-Israel groups as monolithic on foreign policy. It is also hard to imagine that the Israel lobby played a significant role in the decision to go to war with Iraq because of the mounting evidence that President George W. Bush decided on this course in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. It was clearly on his personal agenda long before any lobby could have influenced him. Despite Mearsheimer and Walt’s assertion, Israel and the United States do share common values. Israel is a Middle Eastern democracy that demonstrates a level of religious and ethnic pluralism unrivaled in the region. Its parliament is composed of Jews, Muslims, and Christians. The public school system serves both Jews and Arabs. Bush is intent on spreading liberal democracy throughout the globe, and so his support of Israel is entirely logical and best explained by his own convictions rather than the influence of any outside group. —Shayna Abramson New York, N.Y.

Missing from the debate over Mearsheimer and Walt’s argument about the power of the “Israel lobby” was any discussion of the transformation of several American “Jewish” organizations into Israeli ones. These groups now happily tolerate anti-Semites as long as they accept U.S. support for Israel. The









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former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi—honored by the AntiDefamation League in 2003— brought into his cabinet Gianfranco Fini, a man who spent most of his adult life regretting the defeat of the Axis powers in 1945. Slovakia’s ruling coalition includes admirers of the country’s Second World War dictator Jozef Tiso, who allowed Jews to be sent to the gas chambers. Poland’s governing parties include individuals whose attitudes toward Jews are, to say the least, ambiguous. But as long as these governments back the Bush administration’s Middle East policy, they are given a free pass to tolerate anti-Semitism and nostalgia for Hitler and his allies. All of which makes it supremely ironic that it is Mearsheimer and Walt who end up being charged with anti-Semitism. The tolerance of the individuals mentioned above demonstrates that this accusation is now regarded by the Israeli lobby as little more than the most convenient way to discredit critics of America’s Israel policy. —Robert Dujarric Tokyo, Japan

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Professors Mearsheimer and Walt marshal enormous evidence to make a remarkable case that interest-group politics play a significant role in America’s Middle East policy, including the origins of the recent war against Iraq. Serious students of international affairs will have to come to grips with their argument, and I am glad that there is now a proper debate about their work emerging. I have been amazed at the charges of anti-Semitism leveled at them, not only because they are philo-Semites of the first order, but also because this is exactly what they predicted would happen. —Robert Pape Professor of Political Science University of Chicago Chicago, Ill.


Foreign Policy

Mearsheimer and Walt reject Zbigniew Brzezinski’s characterization of them as “in some respects anti-Israel”on the grounds that they “categorically support Israel’s existence.” Talk about defining down! Presumably, Mearsheimer and Walt think that any French citizen who accepts America’s right to exist is pro-American. Whereas those Americans who rant about “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” are not really anti-French, because they have no desire to see the country wiped off the map. Why, of all the members of the United Nations, is only Israel’s very existence still at issue? There seems to be an invidious double standard at work in the minds of these two distinguished professors of international relations, one which probably explains the many exaggerations and outright mistakes in their original working paper. —Menachem Kellner Professor of Jewish History University of Haifa Haifa, Israel

Reading the roundtable on the supposed power of the Israel lobby, I was struck by the fact that, though critics of Israel harp on the U.S. aid the country receives, the more than $2 billion a year that America has sent to Egypt since the 1978 Camp David accords goes unmentioned. Egypt is a dictatorship disguised as a democracy and a country where terrorists proliferate. (The lead 9/11 hijacker, Mohamed Atta, was Egyptian.) Is Egypt really a better investment for the United States than Israel? And what about that other beneficiary of U.S. largesse, South Korea? There are about 37,000 American troops protecting the country from its northern neighbor. This commitment costs roughly $3 billion a year. It would seem reasonable to expect a coun-



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FREEDOM, COMMERCE, AND PEACE A Regional Agenda Tbilisi, Georgia ● October 25 – 27, 2006 A special conference presented by the Cato Institute in association with the New Economic School of Georgia

SPEAKERS INCLUDE KAKHA BENDUKIDZE, State Minister for Coordination of Economic Reforms, Georgia ANDREI ILLARIONOV, former Chief Economic Adviser to Vladimir Putin MART LAAR, former Prime Minister of Estonia CRISTÓBAL MONTORO, former Minister of the Treasury of Spain ROBERT MUNDELL, Nobel Laureate in Economics MARAT SULTANOV, Speaker of the Parliament, Kyrgyz Republic



try with a trillion-dollar economy to pay for its own defense. Instead, South Korea’s government operates a North Korea policy at odds with our own, while its youth take to the streets to parrot anti-American sentiments at the slightest provocation. Have I made myself a member of Mearsheimer and Walt’s “lobby” by asking these questions? —Bennett Cin Chicago, Ill.

The roundtable on the power of the Israel lobby demonstrated one of Israel’s great advantages. The participants assume that it is the Palestinians who are the terrorists and that it is the Israelis who are responding to terror. On the surface, this argument is persuasive. If the logic is accepted, all Israeli actions appear justified, and the support of the United States is sensible. Yet, that ignores the fact that the Palestinians have no other response to the occupation of their land in defiance of multiple U.N. resolutions. The Palestinians are doing what occupied peoples have always done: resisting the occupier. If there were no occupation, there would be no Palestinian terrorists. —Ralph Mitchell Monterey Park, Calif.

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Mearsheimer and Walt left three important points unmade in the rebuttal of their critics. First, contrary to Aaron Friedberg’s claim, Israel is not an American-style democracy. In America, “all men are created equal.” In Israel, Jews are born with inherently greater rights than non-Jews, a distinction that, one could argue, is a fundamental reason for the current conflict. Second, Americans see Israel in a positive light in part because the press censors itself where Israel is concerned. Even the Israeli



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press—especially the liberal daily Ha’aretz—freely discusses the second-class status of the Palestinians. The American media, by contrast, is largely silent on the abuses and appalling conditions that the Palestinians must endure. Third, the Israel lobby promotes voices that discredit Arabs and Muslims, which directly undermines the equal rights of American Arabs and Muslims. It was widely reported that the historian Bernard Lewis advised President George W. Bush prior to the Iraq war that the only language Arabs understood was force. Daniel Pipes, a Middle East scholar whom Bush appointed to the board of the U.S. Institute of Peace, despises Islam, and his Web site borders on hate speech. His attempt to prevent criticism of Israel with his Campus Watch program undermines free speech. These voices, and the echo chamber

in which they reside, promote antiMuslim feeling. —Badruddin Khan San Francisco, Calif.

I applaud Aaron Friedberg for his defense of the close friendship between the United States and Israel. It is a partnership that serves the best interests of both countries. Indeed, the danger to the United States and to Israel comes from excessive distance in the relationship, not proximity. America’s failure to support Israel during the Six Day War in 1967 and its counsel against Israeli defensive precautions prior to the outbreak of war in 1973 implied a lack of commitment to Israel’s security and encouraged the Egyptians and Syrians to attack. The United States was then forced to choose between supporting Israel or appeasing the Arab world and allowing Israel to

be destroyed. America chose to support the Jewish state openly and thus invited the wrath of the Arab world and an oil embargo that devastated the U.S. economy. If America had made clear from the beginning that its support of Israel was unambiguous, Egypt and Syria never would have dared to invade. The close friendship between the United States and Israel that has developed since 1973 serves both Israelis and Americans well. It deters Arab aggression against Israel and ensures Israel’s security. With an all-out invasion of Israel effectively off the Arab world’s agenda, the United States is able to build friendships with Arab countries based on other common interests without sacrificing its moral commitment to Israel. Indeed, the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel was made possible largely because of America’s strengthening ties with Israel after 1973. Finally, it bears noting that the foreign aid Israel receives from the United States is an investment that benefits Americans no less than Israelis. By supporting Israel’s military, the United States does not have to risk the life of a single American servicemember defending Israel’s borders. And because Israel spends most of its aid on contracts with American companies or developing technologies used by American companies, the aid creates jobs here in the United States. —Stephen A. Silver Walnut Creek, Calif.

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt reply: Mackubin Owens is right that the Israel lobby’s influence over U.S. foreign policy is not consistent with realist theory. No social science theory is “always” correct,

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but we continue to believe that realism does a better job of explaining state behavior than rival theories. Moreover, realism argues that states that lose sight of their own national interest will eventually pay a significant price. The lobby’s excessive influence on U.S. foreign policy has already cost the United States a great deal, and these costs are likely to rise if its power is not reduced. Shayna Abramson highlights that pro-Israel groups sometimes have different views about Israeli policy. The key point, however, is that almost all of them work to make sure that the United States supports Israel no matter what it does. The lobby was pushing for war with Iraq long before George W. Bush became president, and it helped make the case for war after September 11. It was not the only reason the United States attacked Iraq, but its role was extremely important. Abramson also overstates the extent to which Israel and America “share common values.” Whereas the United States does not discriminate on the basis of religious differences, Israel is a Jewish state in which, as Badruddin Khan notes, non-Jews are usually treated as second-class citizens. We also agree with Khan that the American mainstream media is largely silent about Israel’s brutal treatment of the Palestinians in the occupied territories and that some voices in the Israel lobby promote negative stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims. We know only too well that, as Robert Dujarric points out, the lobby frequently smears critics of Israel by accusing them of antiSemitism, discouraging many from speaking out. We have been labeled anti-Semites, even though, as Robert Pape kindly points out, we are first-order philo-Semites.

Menachem Kellner implies that Israel’s existence is at issue and that this somehow invalidates criticism of it. This is a red herring. No state with hundreds of nuclear weapons and one of the world’s most powerful armies is going to be conquered. Furthermore, only a handful of international actors still challenges Israel’s existence— Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran’s president—and each has been widely condemned for this stance. The main reason that Israel is a constant target for criticism is its horrible treatment of the Palestinians, and more recently its onslaught against innocent civilians in Lebanon. Bennett Cin believes that it is wise to send foreign aid to Israel, but not to Egypt. But aid is supposed to go to poor countries like Egypt, not developed countries like Israel. Regardless, this money is really Egypt’s reward for having good relations with Israel, which is why large-scale aid started flowing after the 1978 Camp David accords. Ralph Mitchell is spot on when he says that the Palestinians employ terrorism against Israel because it is the only weapon available for peoples under occupation. The Israelis should understand this point, as terrorism was the Zionists’ principal weapon for driving the British out of Palestine between 1944 and 1948. We agree with Stephen Silver that U.S. support for Israel helps deter other states from attacking Israel. That is one reason Israel is so secure today. Regrettably, the lobby makes it impossible for the United States to use its power to stop Israel from pursuing self-defeating policies such as the construction of settlements in the occupied territories. Indeed, America’s unconditional support for Israel enables it to pursue

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misguided policies that have undermined Israel’s security and contributed to America’s deteriorating position in the region and in the wider world. Our bottom line remains unchanged: The lobby’s excessive influence is not good for either the American or the Israeli national interest.

Drugged Up We commend Erika Check for examining important global health challenges in “Quest for the Cure” (July/August 2006). However, readers might be interested to know that two of the diseases, mistakenly described as “abandoned by modern medicine,” onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis, are in fact being treated aggressively through programs made possible by pharmaceutical industry discoveries. More than 70 million people in the developing world are being treated each year for river blindness and lymphatic filariasis through the Merck Mectizan Donation Program. This antiparasitic drug was discovered and developed in the 1970s and 1980s and was approved for use against river blindness following clinical trials conducted in partnership with the World Health Organization and others. Realizing the impact this innovative drug could have against a widespread, disabling disease and that those most in need of it were unable to afford it, Merck made the unprecedented decision in 1987 to donate the drug to all who need it, for as long as necessary. Almost 20 years later, the drug now reaches more than 45 million people annually in more than 30 countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Merck also donates the drug to fight lymphatic filariasis in Africa,

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s Europe becomes one of the most important battlegrounds in the global fight against terrorism, U.S. cooperation with European counterterrorism efforts is more vital than ever. Despite often-heated rhetoric, authorities on both sides of the Atlantic have adopted similar methods—and faced similar difficulties—since September 11. In this timely study, Treasury Department advisor and former FBI analyst Michael Jacobson explores diplomatic, legislative, and tactical approaches that can help Western governments overcome their shared challenges. 028 oo-+ HRAM 0,822051,//,6 #08-84

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his timely monograph offers a comprehensive survey of the factors that will shape the U.S. military’s Gulf presence over the next decade. American forces have long shouldered the burden of Gulf security because regional states have been unable to defend themselves against the threats posed by Iraq and Iran. By striking a better balance of effort with the Gulf monarchies and enabling them to handle new threats on their own, the United States can help ensure the region’s security for years to come. 130 oo-+ HRAM 0,822051,/0,4 Hmbktcdr Ýftqdr+ `oodmchbdr+ `mc hmcdw #08-84

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where it is administered with albendazole, a drug donated by GlaxoSmithKline. This combination is now received by more than 25 million people each year through a broad international partnership focused on eliminating the disease worldwide by 2020. Although some developing-world diseases still lack effective treatment, readers deserve to know about these successful partnerships that point the way to future solutions. —Jeffrey L. Sturchio

drug Merck donates, ivermectin, was not initially developed for use in people. It was invented and marketed as a deworming agent for cattle, dogs, sheep, horses, and pigs before the company began distributing it to human patients through their donation program. It is doubtful that the company would have ever created a drug for treating these neglected diseases had it not been for their interest in manufacturing a profitable veterinary health medicine.

Vice President External Affairs Merck & Co., Inc. Whitehouse Station, N.J.

Foreign Policy welcomes letters to the editor.

Erika Check replies: Merck’s Mectizan Donation Program is laudable. However, it does not undermine my contention that river blindness and lymphatic filariasis are among those diseases that have been abandoned by modern medicine. The

Readers should address their comments to [email protected] or to:

Foreign Policy Attn. Letters Editor 1779 Massachusetts Ave., nw Washington, D.C. 20036 Letters should not exceed 300 words and may be edited for length and clarity. Letters sent by e-mail should include a postal address.

in Foreign Policy A






HEAD OF DELEGATION European Commission Delegation to the United States

Energy is an increasingly potent political issue these days, involving not only high prices at the pump but also complex matters of international relations. In the EU and the U.S., the world’s leading industrial powers, the issue looms large. The implications of our energy choices and policies are enormous— nothing less than the economic vitality of nations and the environmental sustainability of the planet hang in the balance.

EU Focus In-depth treatment of important European issues and the transatlantic relationship.

Future Issues The European Union and environmental policy, including climate change.

Energy issues ranked high on the agenda at the G8 in July and at the EU-U.S. Summit in June, where Europe and America agreed to reinforce our strategic energy cooperation. If the EU and the U.S. don’t see eye to eye on every issue or detail, we understand that as the world’s largest economies and consumers of energy, we share a special responsibility to lead. As always, I welcome your comments at [email protected].

September 2006

The European Union and Energy Looking to the Future The world today is entering a new energy era requiring global action and cooperation. importer and second largest conConcern is growing over the ability to match sumer of energy in the world. We supply and demand. With present trends, world energy demand will increase over 50 percent by depend on external sources for 50 2030, and global oil consumption is projected to percent of our energy needs [and] grow by 1.6 percent a year with Chinese and Indian needs playing an increasing role. this could rise to 70 percent by Meanwhile, the planet’s climate is getting warmer, portending serious long-term consequences for 2030. We have to do something ecosystems and economies around the world. about this, and we have to do it In Europe, the global energy situation is now… The year 2030 may seem influencing how the EU approaches energy a long time away, but it is the day policy and energy security, with Member States facing challenges and uncertainties that call for a after tomorrow in energy terms.” common European response. Historically, the nations of Europe have regarded energy policy José Manuel Barroso as a domestic prerogative, but today the EU is President of the European engaged in a broad-ranging energy debate Commission aimed at building an integrated approach. Pressure is growing for Europe to speak with a common voice through a competitive internal energy market and a strong external energy policy in order to ensure sustainable development, competitiveness, and security of supply. “The EU is already the largest



EU Energy Strategy


Promoting Energy Efficiency and Renewables



EU Neighborhood & Global Cooperation EU-U.S.: Common Challenges

Europe, like the United States, is heavily dependent on oil and gas from external sources. Fifty percent of European energy is imported, mainly from Russia, the Middle East, Norway, and Algeria. However, new investments in energy infrastructure by the EU and individual Member States are laying the groundwork for diversification of energy sources, while European companies are playing a prominent role in the development of tomorrow’s innovative energy technologies. European citizens themselves contribute by changing habits and taking steps to improve energy efficiency on a day-to-day basis. Together, the EU and the United States represent about 40 percent of the world’s energy consumption and almost 40 percent of CO2

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs discuss the EU energy plan.

emissions, although the U.S. uses considerably more energy both in total and on a per capita basis. With energy models that are unsustainable from both an environmental and energy security perspective, the EU and the U.S. share the responsibility and need to develop a strategic partnership to change current trends. In both Brussels and Washington, energy security has moved to the forefront of political debate. As in so many other public policy areas, from promoting world peace and security to fighting poverty and terrorism, Europe, the United States, and the rest of the world all have much to gain from a cooperative, vibrant transatlantic dialogue. EU Statistics Oil Consumption Per Capita (barrels of oil per capita/year)









European Union (25)



Source: European Commission Green Paper, 2006


EU Energy Strategy: Security of Supply, concrete actions. ■

Sustainability. Developing competitive renewable sources of energy, particularly alternative transport fuels; and leading global environmental efforts.

Competitiveness. Developing new sources of energy and cutting-edge technologies, stimulating investments in clean energy production and energy efficiency, and mitigating the impact of higher international energy prices on EU economies.

Security of supply. Tackling the EU’s dependence on imported energy by diversifying the energy mix, expanding energy sources, and managing shortages more effectively while also improving the conditions for EU companies seeking access to global resources.

The Commission proposed six priority areas and identified recommendations for action in each case:

“While it is up to each Member State to choose its energy mix, it is also clear that choices made by one Member State have an impact on the energy security of its neighbors and of the Community as a whole.” Andris Piebalgs EU Commissioner for Energy

EU FACTS By summer 2007, EU consumers will be able to purchase electricity and gas from any supplier in any EU Member State.


Europe has entered a new energy era requiring a comprehensive strategy that balances three fundamental needs—securing an expanding supply of energy from both domestic and foreign sources, developing a more competitive internal energy market, and encouraging and supporting environmental protection and development of clean and renewable energy resources. Those challenges also define today’s global energy landscape. Europe’s dependence on imported oil and gas, some of which comes from regions with varying degrees of stability, is rising at a time when global energy demand is increasing and world prices are at record high levels. Like the United States, Europe needs new investment in the energy sector—it is estimated that more than €1 trillion will be needed over the next 20 years to replace aging infrastructure and meet increased energy demands across the EU. To address such challenges, the EU is working on a common, Union-wide response. In March 2006, the European Commission published “A European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy,” a consultation exercise or “Green Paper” designed to stimulate new ideas and thinking on the most pressing energy challenges. Laying out the new energy realities facing Europe, the Green Paper outlined three fundamental goals, and proposed a series of

Complete liberalization of gas and electricity markets. A truly competitive, single European electricity and gas market, based on free and open competition among Europe-wide companies rather than dominant national actors, will improve security of supply and boost efficiency and competitiveness. Core areas of focus include developing a European grid by establishing common regulatory standards, stimulating new investment in the energy sector, and improving interconnections among Member State systems. Guarantee security of supply and Member State solidarity in the EU’s internal energy market. The EU must ensure that external events—such as natural disasters or terrorist threats—do not create supply interruptions, and that EU

EU Statistics EU Energy Consumption Mix 2000 vs. 2030 (percent of total) 2000








Solid fuels









Source: European Commission Green Paper, 2006

Sustainability, Competitive Markets Member States act in solidarity as they did when releasing emergency oil stocks to the U.S. in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Commission recommends a review of existing EU laws on oil and gas stocks, establishment of a European Energy Supply Observatory to monitor supply and demand patterns, greater cooperation among energy network operators, and strong, common standards to improve physical security for energy infrastructure. Develop a more sustainable, efficient, and diverse energy mix. EU Member States and energy companies each define their own particular energy mix, but choices made by one Member State affect the EU as a whole. A Strategic EU Energy Review would provide a road map to help Member States make energy decisions while laying the groundwork for agreement on overall strategic objectives. Integrate Europe’s approach to tackling climate change. The EU must continue to lead in the response to global climate change. Already one of the world’s most energy efficient regions and striving to foster economic growth despite energy and environmental challenges, Europe is working to meet ambitious targets to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by boosting energy efficiency, stimulating investment in clean and renewable energy sources, and further developing energy trading regimes that offer economic incentives to reduce energy use. The EU’s innovative Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is using market

forces to reach environmental goals, effectively putting a price on carbon and CO2 emissions. Create an energy technology strategy. European companies already lead in many areas of technological development in the energy sector, including cleaner coal, biofuels and fuel cells for automobiles, and nuclear fusion. But the EU is calling for research in every area of energy use—agriculture, industry, transport, housing, and infrastructure—to be expanded, and for a strategy to finance long-term energy research, integrating EU-wide and Member State research programs and budgets. Create a common external energy policy. The EU includes energy in its bilateral and multilateral relationships, particularly with Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, the Middle East, and the Caspian and Mediterranean regions—all important energy suppliers or transit countries for Europe. The EU's goal is to speak with a single, coherent, proactive voice on behalf of 460 million European citizens and develop deepening partnerships with foreign producers, transit countries, and the global community including key consumer countries such as the U.S., China, and India. Member States have numerous energy choices to make based on their natural preferences and economic interests. But in a world of global energy interdependence, the European Commission has mapped out the parameters of what it considers a necessary, comprehensive energy policy for all European citizens.

ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT Reconciling growing energy needs with environmental protection is a major EU priority. A global environmental leader, the Union already derives 6 percent of its overall energy and 14 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. The EU boasts four-fifths of global production capacity of wind power while European companies supply 90 percent of the world market for wind turbines. To help meet the EU’s commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, the EU created the world’s first international market in CO2 emissions. Based on a similar “cap and trade” regime first used in the United States to manage SO2 discharges, the Emissions Trading Scheme saw €5 billion in trades in 2005, the first year of operation, with volume expected to triple in 2006 as companies capitalize on the new profitability of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The EU has successfully reduced sulfur emissions by more than 60 percent since 1990 and is working to also reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and other pollutants.


A significant percentage of Europeans (40%) would be willing to pay more for energy from renewable sources.

Eight in 10 Europeans take energy consumption into consideration when purchasing energy-consuming appliances and devices.

Source: Eurobarometer Poll, January 2006 The EU is working to boost energy efficiency and use of renewable fuel sources.


Promoting Energy Efficiency “The EU leads the world in demand management, in promoting new and renewable forms of energy, and in development of low carbon technologies… Europe can lead the global search for energy solutions.” European Commission Green Paper, 2006

Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Energy, at an annual fuel efficiency competition.

Europe is more dependent than ever on foreign oil and gas as its own domestic fossil fuel resources dwindle and the demands of economic growth increase energy needs. The transportation sector especially is heavily reliant on oil imports that are increasingly expensive and have high environmental costs. The EU has been a leader in the field of energy efficiency and has put in place EU laws (“directives”) promoting energy efficiency in buildings, energy services, eco-design and ecolabeling. Member States will implement a series of EU energy-saving measures promoting energy efficiency in buildings, lighting systems, appliances, and office equipment, as well as savings resulting from new incentive-based tax policies.

ENERGY STAR: ENERGY EFFICIENCY FOR OFFICE EQUIPMENT Renewed by the EU and the United States in 2006, the Energy Star Program reduces the amount of energy used in both the standby and normal use modes of computers, monitors, copiers, printers, scanners, and fax machines. Providing an international labeling standard for energy-efficient electronic equipment, the agreement opens the way for another five years of transatlantic cooperation on energy efficiency.


Other measures designed to reduce energy waste include: ■

Increasing fuel efficiency in automobiles and transport systems.

Reducing air traffic congestion through better airport management.

Restricting automobile usage in crowded urban centers and promoting public transport.

Reducing “phantom” energy consumption in appliances.

Reducing energy loss in electricity production and distribution.

Increasing co-generation (the production of heat and electricity in one process).

Encouraging “green” architectural design and building construction.

Promoting best practices and information sharing among EU industries and companies.

Financing research and demonstration projects for alternative fuels.

Renewable Sources Lead to Energy Savings Europe also has a history and strong track record in developing renewable energy sources and related “eco-technologies.” The EU aims to satisfy at least 12 percent of its total energy needs and over a fifth of its electricity demand from renewable sources by the year 2010. To this end, the Union is providing financial support through its “Intelligent Energy–Europe” program to local, regional, and national initiatives promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency. The program has provided €250 million in project funding from 2003-2006. Meanwhile, the European Commission has proposed a significant increase in new and renewable energy research funds for the 2007-2013 budget cycle. The EU also supports and funds demonstration projects in the wind, solar, bio-electricity, hydroelectric, and geothermal sectors. Some prominent success stories involving EU support include: ■

Wind Power. Denmark, Spain, and the Netherlands have led the way, with France, Portugal, and Italy increasing their use of wind energy in recent years. Technological improvements have been considerable and results impressive: turbine output has increased 100-fold in 15 years; noise and weight levels have

and Renewable Sources dropped; cost of wind-generated electricity plummeted 600 percent between 1980-2004; the sector has created 200,000 jobs. Solar Energy. Systems have been integrated into some of the most prestigious buildings and projects in Europe, including the German Reichstag, the Berlin Bank, the Barcelona waterfront, and along highway and railway systems. The production capacity of solar photovoltaics has increased tenfold during the last decade.

Bioenergy (biomass and waste). Currently the largest source of renewable energy in the EU. Overall conversion efficiency for electricity generation has grown from 25 percent to 35 percent over the past 20 years. Waste-toenergy projects simultaneously address both energy production and waste treatment and disposal.

Geothermal Energy. Research is developing new potential for heating systems. Biofuels. Biodiesel, ethanol, and other biofuels are now used in many industrial processes. As in the U.S., ethanol is used as a gasoline additive, while biodiesel is used in fleets such as city bus systems. The EU is promoting the rapid (next 5-10 years) development and production of synthetic biofuels. Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies. The EU established the European Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Technology Platform in 2004 to accelerate technological development in the sector. Hydrogen fuel cells today power public bus systems that carry more than 3 million European citizens without noise or harmful emissions in the world’s most successful demonstration project of its kind.

In addition, the EU is supporting 28 “energy efficient cities” throughout the Union with the CONCERTO project, which is promoting best practices in electricity system management, “green” buildings, and expanding the use of urban transportation. CONCERTO cities currently include London, Stuttgart, Torino, Barcelona, and Nantes.


Janez Potocnik, EU Commissioner for Science and Research.

FUSION ENERGY RESEARCH: ITER The EU and six global partners—the United States, Russia, China, India, Japan, and South Korea—are working together to demonstrate the potential of nuclear fusion as an energy source. The €4.57 billion ITER project represents the largest scientific collaboration of its kind in history. The experimental ITER reactor will seek to realize the potential of nuclear fusion as a large-scale, safe, and abundant energy source with little impact on the environment. The EU has been chosen to host ITER in Cadarache, France, and will contribute over half the costs of construction, which is slated to begin in 2008. ITER’s organizational structure will be established by the end of 2006.


Double proportion of renewable energy in national gross energy consumption from 6 percent to 12 percent by 2010.

Increase share of green electricity in total electricity consumption from 14 percent to 21 percent by 2010.

Raise share of biofuels in transportation fuel market to 5.75 percent by 2010.

Reduce EU energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020.


Nuclear. With one-third of EU electricity generated in nuclear power plants, the sector will remain an important part of Europe’s energy mix in years to come as the EU seeks to reduce fossil fuel dependency. Since the 1950s, the European Commission has acted as a supranational regulatory authority in this field, overseeing radiation protection for industry workers and civilian populations, ensuring a supply of nuclear fissile materials, and developing and enforcing nuclear safeguards. The EU has an outstanding record of nuclear energy safety.

Coal. Coal has been a reliable energy source for Europe at stable prices for many decades, and the continent still has abundant coal reserves. Some EU countries still derive as much as 60 percent of their electricity from coal today. As recently as 1990, coal provided about a quarter of Europe’s overall energy needs, though that share is projected to fall to approximately 15 percent by 2030. As in the U.S., clean coal technologies and the development of carbon capture and storage are critical to the future of this solid fuel. Future research and investment will help reduce CO2 emissions, develop coal-to-liquid fuels and chemical products, and complement the use of renewable biomass.


Energy: On the Agenda with would provide additional opportunity for progress on issues such as climate change, energy efficiency and renewables, research and development, market access, and investment.

“The events at the beginning of [2006] between Russia, Moldova, and Ukraine were a

The EU has been engaged with Mediterranean countries to promote regional economic integration and diversify sources and supply routes. In 2003, the EU, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia signed an agreement to integrate electricity markets. Libya, Mauritania, and several sub-Saharan countries may be added in the future to develop new energy resources and the pipeline and infrastructure systems for energy delivery to European markets. The EU is pursuing the creation of a Euro-Mashrek harmonized and integrated energy market that would include the Balkans, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and possibly Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

wake-up call, reminding us that energy security needs to be even higher on our political agenda. We need to continue to pursue close energy cooperation with our partners in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus, and the Mediterranean.” Benita Ferrero-Waldner EU Commissioner for External Relations and ENP European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

EU PROMOTES MULTILATERAL ENERGY COOPERATION The EU promotes several dialogues and cooperative efforts on energy in multilateral forums, including the International Energy Agency, which plays a major role in oil stockholding. At the United Nations, the EU supports the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the UN Economic Commission for Europe. Energy issues are also addressed by the G8 and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The EU is part of the 51-country Energy Charter Treaty, a legal instrument to provide non-discriminatory access for the trade, transit, and investment of energy products.


External energy relations are an intrinsic component of the EU’s overall energy strategy as well as its own European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). Europe’s neighbors are vital to EU energy security and the Union and its energy partners are closely linked through commercial relationships as well as bilateral and regional energy dialogues including Russia, Norway, Ukraine, the Caspian Basin, the Mediterranean countries, OPEC, and the Gulf Cooperation Council. The EU has been widening its energy market to include its neighbors and bring them progressively closer to the EU’s internal market. The Southeast Europe Energy Community is the flagship of this effort, but the principle is also being applied through the EU’s ENP, the EuroMediterranean Partnership, the EU enlargement process, and in its development assistance relationships. A common European external energy policy would permit greater integration of energy objectives into Union relations with non-EU countries—especially those facing similar energy and environmental challenges such as the U.S., Canada, China, Japan, and India—and

The EU funds a variety of external energyrelated programs: Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Projects support the sourcing of oil and gas, including construction of pipeline systems and stimulation of private sector investment. Mediterranean. EU efforts support integration of electricity systems, the development of renewable energy, and improved energy efficiency. EU cooperation efforts supported the development of the natural gas industry in Algeria, now a major EU energy provider. Balkans. The EU funds energy reconstruction and market reform, and the European Investment Bank provides loans for electricity generation and transmission, as well as natural gas extraction, transport, and distribution. The EU, Russia & Energy As Russia’s largest energy customer, the EU seeks a partnership that would offer security and predictability for both sides while paving the way for the necessary long-term investments. Fair and reciprocal access to markets and infrastructure is critical, including third party access to pipelines. An energy initiative based on these principles could be integrated into the framework of EU-Russia relations and efforts

Neighbors and Global Partners “The Energy Community with Southeast Europe has taken us forward, towards the creation of a ‘common regulatory space’ around Europe, progressively developing common trade, transit and environmental rules, market harmonization, and integration.” Andris Piebalgs EU Commissioner for Energy

should be intensified in the G8 to secure rapid ratification by Russia of the Energy Charter Treaty and conclusion of Transit Protocol negotiations. Russia is the EU’s most important energy supplier and has been a reliable partner for 30 years. Sixty percent of Russian oil exports go to the EU and represent 25 percent of total EU consumption; fifty percent of Russia’s natural gas exports are consumed by the EU, a quarter of the Union’s requirements. Owing to the high level of interdependence between the Russian Federation and the European Union, both partners will pursue a common strategy of energy security on the European continent.

EU Statistics THE EU & SOUTHEASTERN NEIGHBORS: THE ENERGY COMMUNITY TREATY AND THE WORLD’S LARGEST ENERGY MARKET The 2005 Energy Community Treaty between the EU and nine neighboring countries in Southeast Europe came into force July 1, 2006, creating the world’s largest internal market for electricity and gas and extending EU law on energy and environment to the region. The initiative will help boost reconstruction efforts in the Balkans, where war in the 1990s damaged or destroyed much of the region’s energy infrastructure. Participating states must allow free movement of electricity and gas across their national borders in return for the assurance of fixed environmental and commercial standards. Becoming a central plank of EU external energy policy, the Energy Community importantly provides a means for nonEU countries to access the EU market.

Source of EU Oil and Gas (2004 percent of total) Oil








Middle East

19 10

Algeria North Africa


EU Domestic



Other Regions



Source: European Commission

Beyond extending environmental standards and market competition in the energy sector to neighboring countries, the Energy Community Treaty addresses strategic EU goals, including: providing a solid basis for macroeconomic reform by ensuring sustainable and secure energy supplies for businesses and consumers; and establishing direct connections to countries bordering the Caspian Sea and the Middle East, ensuring a single regulatory basis for energy imports from these vital nations. Energy Community Treaty signatories include all 25 EU Member States, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and UNMIK Kosovo. Negotiations are underway for Turkey, Ukraine, and Norway to join the Energy Community.


The EU and America: Common Energy Goals & Challenges “Where the transatlantic market-

agenda of the 2006 G8 Summit in Russia and the 2006 EU-U.S. Summit, where Europe and America recognized the “strategic role of security of supply, competitiveness and sustainability in the energy sector.” Key points of emphasis at the EU-U.S. Summit included energy diversification, infrastructure security, competition and market access, technology development, and investment in cleaner fossil fuel technologies and renewable energy sources. The EU and the U.S. agreed to reinforce their strategic energy cooperation and to conduct an annual strategic review.

place leads, the global economy will follow…. We can no longer afford, nor should we accept, the unpredictability of the energy market. Together, the EU and the United States must send a clear signal on the need for a paradigm shift on energy, engaging in deeper cooperation between us and with others.” José Manuel Barroso President of the European Commission


EU Focus is published bi-monthly by the Delegation of the European Commission to the United States. Anthony Gooch Editor-in-Chief Head, Press and Public Diplomacy Ben Harrison Editor

At a moment of increasing global energy uncertainty, EU-U.S. cooperation on energy security is more important than ever. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso acknowledged that reality early in 2006 with a call for a Strategic Energy Dialogue between Washington and Brussels. In a speech at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., President Barroso highlighted the potential for increased EU-U.S. energy collaboration across the globe, including promoting the development of hydrocarbon resources in the Caspian and Central Asian regions, developing global market rules and standards for the energy sector, cooperating to improve energy efficiency, and creating a permanent network of EU and U.S. energy experts to work on common policies and responses to energy crises.

Delegation of the European Commission to the United States 2300 M Street, NW Washington, DC 20037 202.862.9500 email: [email protected]


EU Statistics Oil Consumption of Leading World Economies (millions of barrels per day) 2002

2030 Projected Growth





European Union (25)
















Source: IEA

Energy cooperation was prominent on the ADDITIONAL EU-U.S. INTERNATIONAL ENERGY COOPERATION ■

Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF). International climate change initiative to develop cost-effective technologies for the separation and capture of carbon dioxide.

International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy (IPHE). International institution committed to accelerating the development of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP). Global public-private partnership structuring policy initiatives for clean energy markets and facilitating financing for sustainable energy projects.

Melinda Stevenson Assistant Editor ISSN: IQ-AA-06-004-EN-C

Together, the European Union and the United States can help shape the post-petroleum world of the 21st century. With shared values and common interests, Europe and America can lead the way and help build an energy economy that is secure, protective of the environment, and conducive to economic growth and prosperity around the globe.

For further information:

New this Fall from The National Bureau of Asian Research strategic asia 2006–07

Trade, Interdependence, and Security Ashley J. Tellis and Michael Wills, eds. Leading specialists examine how changing economic relationships are affecting regional stability and the balance of power in Asia.

Our policymakers must be well informed about countries in Asia and the strategic dynamics that link them. The Strategic Asia Program contributes enormously to that knowledge. —General (Ret.) John Shalikashvili, Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Visit to preview and order September 2006 $24.95 0-9713938-7-7 paper





Kirkuk • Kirkuk


Bring Honor, Baghdad Meaning International Capital and and District Purpose SHIITE to America.

di ma a R


NOTE: Following our call for an Iraqi Union in April, we were joined by Senator Joe Biden, Leslie Gelb, and now, by Peter Galbraith in his new book, The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End.


Hilla • Hilla Najef • Najef Basra • Basra


WHY THIS WILL WORK This idea is grounded in reality - in our time - as demonstrated by the successful transformation of Bosnia in the early 90s, from a country, Yugoslavia, torn apart by a brutal sectarian civil war to the peaceful country it has become over the last ten years since the Dayton Accords in 1995. The United States hosted those Negotiations with imagination and determination, and we can do it again! Read more about our IRAQ PLAN and other Novel and Important Foreign Policy ideas at our website:


Paul Flum, President


Biological Weapons


fter 9/11, U.S. spending on defenses against biological attacks got a shot in the arm. Between 2001 and 2006, the budget for biodefense medical research and development at the National Institutes of Health increased from $50 million to $1.8 billion. Five years later, it turns out there might be some unlikely beneficiaries of this bounty: poor people in the developing world. The extra money being poured into bioterror preparedness could result in a revolution in global public health—to the benefit of the world’s most vulnerable citizens. New vaccines, medicines, and

The war on terror’s next victim? Malaria.

techniques designed to deal with diseases unleashed by terrorists may also combat naturally occurring outbreaks. Tara O’Toole, director of the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a former assistant secretary of energy, argues that “if we do what is necessary for biodefense...we could conceivably in a generation eliminate large-scale, lethal epidemics of infectious disease everywhere.” Vaccines are notoriously unprofitable, so pharmaceutical companies have often shown little interest in developing them. But fears of a biological attack have led the U.S. government to fund new vaccine breakthroughs for ebola, the

Happy Math


appiness economics is all the rage right now. It attempts to measure indicators of life satisfaction with the same rigor that economists have long applied to financial indicators. Academics and politicians now talk of “gross national happiness” and gross national product in the same breath. So, who could object to something so benignly named as the “Happy Planet Index”? Well, a lot of economists find its results baffling: The Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu tops the list, strife-ridden Colombia comes in second, Fidel Castro’s Cuba sixth. The United States ends up at 150, two spots behind Burkina Faso. The index supposedly “strips our view of the economy back to its absolute basics” by measuring life satisfaction and expectancy against resources consumed. Nic Marks, whose London-based New Economics Foundation’s Centre for Well-Being compiled the rankings, explains that “there are other environmental and well-being indicators, but this is the first one that brings the two together.” But Robert Stavins, director of the Environmental Economics Program at Harvard University, says that “all 20

Foreign Policy

that this index reflects is the ideological inclinations of the people who produced it.” The index might have actually hurt the concept that there’s more to economics than wealth, argues Daniel Drezner, a political scientist at Tufts University. The Happy Planet Index approach is “so obviously suited toward what they think happiness should be, as opposed to what everyone else does, that it is very easily discounted.” Vanuatu is somewhere over the rainbow. If you still want to test the results for yourself, a 15-year residence permit for Vanuatu will set you back a little under $900,000. Maybe money can buy you happiness after all.



Marburg virus, and Lassa fever. This money will also speed the development of dengue fever and vibrio cholera vaccines. Scientists are also excited about the possibilities stemming from the military’s bigger budgets. Steven Block, a Stanford University scientist who has consulted for the U.S. government on national security, says that “the military has, literally, billions of dollars burning a hole in its pocket for spending on things biomedical.” He’s confident that any benefits will be shared with the public at large: “This doesn’t strike me as the kind of thing that the military would develop and then keep top secret.” Still, O’Toole frets that the research might be conducted as “fortress America, with a very narrow focus on countering weapons,” limiting the public-health benefits. Also, it costs more than a billion dollars to bring a new vaccine to market. That means that the level of success “comes down to how wisely they do or don’t spend this money,” says Block. Ironically, sharing these medical advances with the world could help win the war they were designed to fight in the first place.

Costly Diplomacy



hat’s a seat on the U.N. Security Council worth to a developing nation? Up to $50 million, say two Harvard economists. In a study to be published in the Journal of Political Economy this October, Ilyana Kuziemko and Eric Werker document how the 10 nonpermanent members of the Security Council receive extra foreign assistance during their two-year rotations on the council. In an average term, they can expect a massive 59 percent hike in U.S. aid and a more modest 8 percent increase from the United Nations itself. Countries lucky enough to be on the council during a crisis, such as the war in Iraq, receive even more generosity.

Going, going, gone: A seat at this table is worth $50 million.

A stint on the Security Council allows poor countries a rare chance to play power politics. The referral of pressing problems such as Iran’s and North Korea’s nuclear programs to the council “gives the nonpermanent members an importance that they would not normally have,” says Victor Bulmer-Thomas, director of the British think tank Chatham House. That importance results in considerable courting by the major powers. According to the study, most of the extra funding comes from the United States, originating predominantly from unicef—the U.N. agency where America has historically had the most leverage. Both unicef and the U.S. government refused to comment on the report. With a host of international crises bubbling up, expect this fall’s elections for the nonpermanent members to be fiercely contested. —Ryan Gawn September

| October






the day


much changed A

t 8:45 a.m., Sept. 11, 2001, we were living in the post-Cold War era. At 9:37 a.m., just 52 minutes later, as the third hijacked airliner careened into the Pentagon, the post-9/11 era had begun. Everyone told us that everything had changed. It was the beginning of a new chapter in history. The image of thousands of people perishing as the Twin Towers collapsed in a cascade of fire and dust, live on television, was a bookmark for the ages. There was a world before this tragedy, and then there was something very different that was about to follow. It is tempting to assume that this attitude was just another example of American narcissism. (The United States was attacked, so the world had changed.) But that wasn’t the case. A poll taken shortly after the attacks by the Pew Research

William J. Dobson is managing editor of Foreign Policy. 22

Foreign Policy

Center found a remarkable degree of agreement among opinion leaders around the world about what the September 11 attacks represented. In Western Europe, 76 percent of those polled said the events of that day had amounted to a turning point in world history. In Russia and Asia, 73 and 69 percent of people agreed. In the Middle East and Latin America, the percentage of opinion leaders who believed 9/11 marked the beginning of a new era rose to 90 percent. Rarely have so many agreed about the meaning of a single moment. Five years on, this response must be understood as one being born out of shock. Certainly, for some, there could not have been a more life-changing moment. Collectively, we feared what was about to end. Globalization would surely grind to a halt. Borders—in particular, the need to maintain them—would undergo a renaissance as governments looked to shield themselves from the next attack. Global trade, capital


We were told the world would never be the same. But did 9/11 actually alter the state of global affairs? For all the sound and fury, the world looks much like it did on September 10. | By William J. Dobson

Doomsday: A desk calendar covered in ash marks the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.

flows, and immigration could no longer be what they once were. National economies would cool, as the realization of a “clash of civilizations” grew hot. Industries like tourism and air travel would be crippled. Yet, if you look closely at the trend lines since 9/11, what is remarkable is how little the world has changed. The forces of globalization continue unabated; indeed, if anything, they have accelerated. The issues of the day that we were debating on that morning in September are largely the same. Across broad measures of political, economic, and social data, the constants outweigh the variations. And, five years later, the United States’ foreign policy is marked by no greater strategic clarity than it had on Sept. 10, 2001. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were theatrical terrorism of the worst kind. But, even in an age when image usually trumps substance, the tragic drama of that day did not usher in a new era. No, if there was a day that changed the world forever, it was 15 years ago, not five. New Year’s Eve, 1991. It was on that day, far away from any cameras, that the Soviet Union finally threw in the towel, dissolving itself and officially bringing an end to the Cold War. From that moment on, the United States reigned supreme—“the sole superpower,” “the

hyperpower,” “the global hegemon,” call it what you like. And from that moment on, the world was out of balance—and it still is. The tragedy of 9/11 was a manifestation of the unipolar disorder the world had already entered a decade earlier. A day after 9/11, we were still living in the post-Cold War era, we still are today, and that is precisely the problem. WHERE WE LEFT OFF

If you were in either of the two cities that were attacked on September 11, you might have picked up a copy of one of the daily newspapers. The headline of one story in the Washington Post read, “Israeli Tanks Encircle a City in West Bank.” The front page of the New York Times led with a story headlined, “Scientists Urge Bigger Supply of Stem Cells.” Inside the paper, readers might have also noticed a small item that read, “Iran: Denial on Nuclear Weapons.” The headlines on that morning—before the world learned of the attacks—suggest that our pre-9/11 preoccupations are certainly not that different from those we carry today. The global economy offered the first sign that a new, darker day hadn’t dawned. On September 10, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 9,605.51. September

| October




The Day Nothing Much Changed


Once markets reopened on September 17, it took only 40 days for the market to close above that level again. The value of the United States’ monthly exports has continued to rise steadily from $60 billion to more than $75 billion between 2001 and 2005. The value of global trade dipped slightly in 2001 from $8 trillion to $7.8 trillion. Then, once markets found their footing, they came racing back, increasing every subsequent year, topping $12 trillion in 2005. Hard-hit businesses such as the tourist industry bounced back remarkably fast. In 2001, more than 688 million tourists traveled abroad; by 2005, that number had climbed to 808 million—a 17 percent increase in four years. Confidence returned so quickly that we are not even shying away from building skyscrapers. Fourteen buildings taller than the World Trade Center have either been built, proposed, or began construction since 9/11. The United States’ openness to the immigrants of the world was supposed to be another unfortunate casualty of September 11. University presidents, ceos, and, of course, those seeking to immigrate for work or study, have complained loudly that the United States has fallen into a “Fortress America” mentality. It’s a legitimate concern, but the picture is far less dire than they claim. For example, the United States granted far more worker visas in 2005 than in 1998, 24

Foreign Policy

the heyday of America’s triumphant, open-for-business dot-com boom. Last year, 255,993 student visas were handed out—only 541 fewer than in 2002. Also in 2005, the United States rejected fewer foreigners for H1B visas—the work permit given to those who have a special occupational expertise in, say, medicine, engineering, or science—than in 2001; in fact, last year was the lowest refusal rate of the past 5 years. The number of people becoming American citizens is also on the rise. More foreigners were naturalized in 2005 than in 1998, and the number of naturalizations leapt 12 percent from 2004 to 2005. Overall levels of legal immigration may have fallen off somewhat since 2001, which was a high-water mark, but it’s hardly the case that the United States is cutting itself off from the world’s best and brightest. Surely, though, there is a growing gulf between America and the world. Otherwise, how could anyone explain the mounting anti-Americanism in recent years? It is true that anti-American sentiment runs wide and deep today, but it is also true that it is not new. Europeans had only slightly more confidence in President George W. Bush than in Russian President Vladimir Putin on the eve of 9/11. In an August 2001 poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, strong majorities—more than 70 percent—of four West European nations characterized the Bush


Standing tall: Although the New York skyline will never be the same, the tragic drama of 9/11 did not usher in a new era.

to overthrow the Arab regimes had been an abysmal administration as unilateralist. They held this opinfailure in the 1990s. Unable to accomplish his objecion before the war on terror or the invasions of tives in the Arab world, Osama bin Laden plotted Afghanistan and Iraq, which in their execution are to strike the “faraway enemy,” the United States. By far more responsible for the current antipathy striking at the colossus, which for decades had toward the United States than anything else. helped shore up the bedrock of Arab regimes, bin Anti-Americanism, however, has a far longer Laden hoped to remake the world. What Rice saw lineage than the Bush administration. Its roots are on September 11 was an explosion that had been in the world’s collective fear that U.S. preeminence building for some time. would become so great that the United States would The attacks of September 11 have not altered the come to dominate others. In 1983, a Newsweek balance of power. Instead, they only aggravated difpoll conducted by the Gallup Organization found ferences in the imbalance that already existed. Perhaps that in six countries, Brazil, Britain, France, Japan, the truest thing that changed because of 9/11 was the Mexico, and West Germany, only the Brazilians way in which the Pentagon’s budget soared. The Amerapproved of U.S. government policy. In the same ican military’s budgeted defense spending grew 39 poll, a majority in Brazil, Japan, and Mexico believed percent between 2001 and 2006. Put another way, in that a strong U.S. military presence around the 2001, the United States’ military expenditure of $325 world increased the chance of war. billion was the same as the next 14 biggest militaries Sensibly, those fears grew with the end of the combined. By 2005, the Pentagon was outspending the superpower contest. In 1995, in a survey conductnext 14 militaries by $116 billion. ed by the United States Information Agency, majoriThis monumental increase in military spending ties around the world said that the United States was has helped finance the U.S. war on terror and the intent on dominating them. Even with a president invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. And some as beloved abroad as Bill Clinton, America was would argue that these campaigns, and the general considered a bully by 83 percent of people polled in Israel, 77 percent in Morocco, 71 percent in Colombia, and 61 percent in Britain. In December 2001, resentment of U.S. power The attacks of September 11 have not altered the was still the leading reason for disliking the United States in Europe, balance of power. Instead, they only aggravated Russia, and Latin America, and a close second everywhere else. But differences in the imbalance that already existed. the fact that anti-Americanism has spiked since the U.S. invasion of American foreign policy that has undergirded Iraq is, again, entirely sensible. For the rest of the them, have made the world a far more dangerous world, it is the realization of the fears of American place for everyone—everyone, that is, except Amerdominance that they have long harbored. icans. Consider that between Sept. 12, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2005, 18,944 people around the world W H AT H A S C H A N G E D died in acts of terrorism. Only eight of those deaths In 2002, then National Security Advisor were on American soil. Condoleezza Rice said of the time following SepIf the world resented the imbalance between tember 11: “I really think this period is analogous the United States and everyone else before Septo 1945 to 1947 in that the events . . . started shifttember 11, you can understand how that resenting the tectonic plates in international politics.” ment could be so much greater today. The gulf Of course, it is tempting to see 9/11 as the beginbetween the United States and the rest of the world ning of a new era. Destruction as unexpected and has only grown wider. For better or worse, only dramatic as occurred on that day almost demands when the international system achieves some sort a label or name all its own. But the plates had of balance—whether it happens because of others’ already shifted 10 years earlier. The United States progress, American decline, or both—will the postwas a target on September 11 because it was perCold War era come to a close. Until then, 1991 will ceived to be the global hegemon. Al Qaeda’s efforts remain the year that matters most. September

| October



T H I N K A G A I N By Juan Cole


The attacks on the United States were neither a clash of civilizations nor an unqualified success for al Qaeda. They were, however, a clash of policy that continues to this day. As al Qaeda struggles to strike again, the United States wrestles with a confused war on terror that won’t end until Americans are forced to choose between Medicare and missiles.

“September 11 Changed Everything” No. The massive forces of international trade and

globalization were largely unaffected by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. China’s emergence as a new economic giant in East Asia continues, with all its economic, diplomatic, and military implications. Decades-old flash points remain. China and Taiwan still stare at each other suspiciously across the strait. The conflict between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan over Kashmir shows no signs of resolving itself. North Korea’s cycle of provocation and retreat with the United States

Juan Cole is professor of history at the University of Michigan and author of the blog Informed Comment. 26

Foreign Policy

and Japan hasn’t changed fundamentally since the Clinton administration. Even within the Middle East, there is more continuity than change. Al Qaeda’s strike didn’t answer the questions of Iranian influence in Syria and Lebanon and of the long-term impact of Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolution on the region. The world’s reliance on oil from the Persian Gulf is as strong as ever. The sclerotic but stubborn Saudi and Egyptian regimes linger on. Israel is still battling militants in southern Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. For all their visibility and drama, the 9/11 attacks left untouched many of the underlying forces and persistent tensions that shape international politics.



| October




Think Again


“9/11 Was a Victory for Al Qaeda” Only somewhat. The operation was cer-

tainly a tour de force of large-scale, theatrical terrorism. But did it really advance the goals of the organization? As a result of the attacks, al Qaeda lost its bases and its Taliban hosts in Afghanistan. Some al Qaeda strategists had wanted to expand the Taliban’s rule from Afghanistan to neighboring countries, including Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and eventually Pakistan. Instead, the movement’s leaders were forced to either flee overseas or take refuge in a remote network of caves. Military strikes and intelligence operations have disrupted

the organization, and hundreds of key operatives have been arrested in Pakistan. Intercepted correspondence and Internet postings reveal that some al Qaeda operatives are bitter toward Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, for incurring the full wrath of the United States. Although al Qaeda as a movement or franchise may have benefited from the successes of the Iraqi insurgency, al Qaeda’s leadership did not anticipate the Iraq war. The organization has capitalized on the fighting to further its message and recruiting, but the war was not part of its overarching strategy.

“Small Attacks by Local Cells Have Replaced 9/11-Style Operations” Probably. Post-9/11 terrorism—from Bali to

Madrid to London—has become the province of small, local groups who are emulating al Qaeda but not in direct contact with it. These cells can learn a few tricks on the Internet, and they can certainly inflict pain, but they cannot hope to accomplish much. At most, they can carry bombs onto trains. The economic and social disruption of these operations is limited, which is why al Qaeda itself would not bother with them. The core al Qaeda leadership prefers terrorism that has a powerful psychological and political impact. Attaining that level of impact has now become very difficult. The 9/11 hijackers exploited conceptual gaps in U.S. security procedures: American

experts did not expect hijackers to be capable of piloting jetliners, and they did not expect them to commit suicide. It would be very difficult to accomplish such an advanced operation again. The organization’s command and control has been severely disrupted, and security agencies around the world are watchful. But al Qaeda is not out of the game entirely. In February 2006, its operatives almost succeeded in bombing the Abqaiq oil refining facility in Saudi Arabia, which would have caused an enormous shortterm spike in the price of petroleum and widespread fuel shortages. But the fact that a once porous Saudi security apparatus foiled the attack highlights al Qaeda’s limited capabilities.

“9/11 Was a Clash of Civilizations” False. The notion that Muslims hate the West for

its way of life is simply wrong, and 9/11 hasn’t changed that. The exhaustive World Values Survey found that more than 90 percent of respondents in much of the Muslim world endorsed democracy as the best form of government. Polling by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press has found that 28

Foreign Policy

about half of respondents in countries such as Turkey and Morocco believe that if a Muslim immigrated to the United States, his or her life would be better. The one area where Muslim publics admit to a value difference with the United States and Europe is standards of sexual conduct and, in particular, acceptance of homosexuality. In other words, Muslims reject what


On September 27, 2006, the Princeton Project on National Security will release its Final Report. The Princeton Project is a multi-year initiative convening the nation’s top security and foreign policy experts to craft a non-partisan, sustainable, and effective national security strategy for the United States. “The Princeton Project is the most comprehensive and systematic effort in recent years to formulate a national security strategy for the 21st century.” -- Peter Bergen, CNN Terrorism Analyst “What is national security in the post-9/11 world? The Princeton Project comes closer to answering that question than anything I’ve seen since Al Qaeda attacked America in 2001.” -- Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations “Successfully strategizing national security is difficult in good times and even more difficult in hard times. The Princeton Project takes a deep breath in our post-9/11 world to ask where we stand and where we go from here. Its contribution is immense.” -- Tod Lindberg, Editor, Policy Review

For a copy of the Final Report, to access copies of Princeton Project Working Group Papers, or to learn more, please visit the Princeton Project Web site



Think Again


might be called Hollywood morality, just as do American conservatives and evangelicals. Those differences alone do not drive people to violence. If it is not a clash of civilizations, what is it? It is a clash over policy. Bin Laden has expressed outrage at the “occupation of the three holy cities”—Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem—by the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia (now ended) and the Israeli possession of Jerusalem. Before the Iraq war, polling consistently showed that Muslims were most concerned about the United States’ wholehearted support

of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians. The bloody U.S. occupation of Iraq has now created another point of tension: The Muslim world does not believe that Iraq will be better off because of the U.S. intervention. Autonomy and national independence appear to be part of what Muslims mean by “democracy,” and they consider Western interventions in Muslim affairs a betrayal of democratic ideals. September 11 and the American response to it have deepened the rift over policy, but they haven’t created a clash of civilizations.

“The War on Terror Has no End” That’s the plan. The Bush administration has

defined the struggle vaguely precisely so that it can’t end; George W. Bush clearly enjoys the prerogatives of being a war president. So, the administration has expanded the goals and targets of this war from one group or geographical area to another. There is an ongoing counterterrorism effort against al Qaeda and, more broadly, the Salafist jihadi strain of Sunni radicalism. Then there is the struggle to empower the Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan and to crush permanently the Pashtun-centered Taliban. In Iraq, the goal is to ensure the primacy of the Kurds and the Shiites over the Sunni Arabs. And then there is the effort to contain or

overthrow the secular Baathist regime in Syria and the Shiite ayatollahs in Iran. Even North Korea sometimes gets included in this sprawling campaign. It is less a coherent war than a hawk’s wish list. If the “war on terror” is indeed all these things, then it could drag on for decades. More likely, the American public will not tolerate such a costly grab bag of initiatives for much longer. If there is no major attack in the United States, pressure will build on Washington to stop fiddling with the politics of Kandahar and Ramadi, much less those of Damascus and Tehran. At some point, the American public will have to choose between paying for Bush’s ongoing wars and Medicare. And that will be the true end of the war on terror.

“9/11 Radically Changed U.S. Foreign Policy” No.

American policy has changed only at the margins. The attacks temporarily removed constraints on U.S. political elites, allowing them to pursue their policies more aggressively. As we now know, President Bush and his advisors wanted to undermine Saddam’s regime well before September 11. Absent the attacks, the administration might have employed a limited bombing campaign, a covert operation, or a coup attempt. The attacks suddenly made a yearslong land war in the Middle East politically palatable. But that energy has now dissipated, and it has left behind little fundamental change in U.S. policy. Despite talk of a “war on terror,” Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, the Persian Gulf monarchies, Morocco, 30

Foreign Policy

and Pakistan remain close U.S. allies. Relations with Libya were warming in the Clinton era, and the Iraq war didn’t alter its trajectory. American support for Israel remains steadfast. And Iran and Syria were in Washington’s sights well before 9/11. It is possible to imagine a response to 9/11 that would have been dramatically different. The United States might have allied with the Baathist secularists in Syria and Iraq, and with the Shiites in Iran, to counter the extremist Sunni threat. Instead, all Washington’s old friends in the area (including the three regimes that had recognized the Taliban—Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) are still friends, and the old enemies are still enemies.


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China and India Learning from Each Other:

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Think Again


The most dramatic changes, of course, are in Afghanistan and Iraq. But both countries have effectively been fighting civil wars for 25 years, with the United States backing the losing side (the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, and the Kurds and Shiites in Iraq). After 9/11, the Bush administration transformed the losers in those conflicts into winners. But the civil wars continue, with the unseated groups now playing the role

of insurgents. The change is significant, but the transformation is far less complete than what was imagined in the spring of 2003. The administration’s plan for liberalization and democratization in the Middle East has yielded little beyond a failed state in Iraq, an unstable Lebanon torn between Hezbollah and Israel, and polite but noncommittal noises from allies such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

“The Next 9/11 Will Be Even Worse” It’s anyone’s guess. Al Qaeda’s efforts to

acquire nuclear material have been amateurish. In 2002, U.S. agents in Afghanistan seized canisters from Taliban and al Qaeda compounds, only to discover that al Qaeda operatives had likely been duped into purchasing phony nuclear materials. The organization has pursued other tools of mass destruction, but without much success. Al Qaeda agents were reportedly planning to use poison gas in New York’s subway system, though it appears that Zawahiri mysteriously called off the operation. Perhaps the experience of the Aum Shinrikyo terrorist group in Tokyo deterred him; its 1995 attack killed 12 people rather than the thousands the terrorists had hoped to claim.

Still, it would be irresponsible to minimize the threat. Technological advances are allowing small groups to wreak major damage, and al Qaeda has often attracted skilled engineers and scientists. Breakthroughs in dna research, for example, could lead to designer viruses that would be a terrorist’s dream. The Internet has created new vulnerabilities as major engineering infrastructure, from dams to nuclear plants, has come to rely on it. The world’s financial systems are increasingly vulnerable as well. Governments, universities, and corporations must ensure that emerging technologies don’t go astray. Al Qaeda may not have fundamentally changed the world on 9/11, but that is no reason to give it a second chance.

[ Want to Know More? ] For a discussion of the roots of 9/11 and insight into what makes militants tick, see Fawaz Gerges’s The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005) and Journey of the Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy (Orlando: Harcourt, 2006). Noted Islam scholar Gilles Kepel examines the politics behind radical Islam in Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002). Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon speculate on what the next 9/11 might look like in The Next Attack: The Failure of the War on Terror and a Strategy for Getting It Right (New York: Times Books, 2005). Foreign Policy and the Center for American Progress surveyed more than 100 leading foreign-policy experts about the prospects for America’s war against terror in “The Terrorism Index” (Foreign Policy, July/August 2006). Richard Clarke offers an insider’s look at the U.S. government’s struggle to adapt to the world of global terrorism in Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror (New York: Free Press, 2004). The 9/11 Commission Report (New York: Norton, 2004) examines the attack in minute detail, assesses the policy failures that made it possible, and suggests reforms to prevent it from happening again. For links to relevant Web sites, access to the FP Archive, and a comprehensive index of related » Foreign Policy articles, go to 32

Foreign Policy

Accelerating the Globalization of America: The Role for Information Technology Catherine L. Mann “. . . essential reading for CEOs, students, and policymakers. his book goes beyond the hype, anecdotes , and political rhetoric by mining the critical data underlying the central phenomenon of globalization. It is an important book whether you are a fan or critic of globalization.”—David McCurdy, president and CEO, Electronic Industries Alliance and former congressman (D-OK)

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July 2006 ISBN paper 0-88132-392-6


US-China Trade Disputes: Rising Stakes and Rising Tides

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Since its accession to the WTO, China has become the United States’ third-largest trading partner and the sixth-largest market for US exports. As China continues its rise as a great power, the United States Congress and the administration wrestle with one another over the proper tactics and strategies to shape US-China economic relations. What major disputes now—and looming on the horizon—will shape future US-Chinarelations; and what can be done to solve, or at the very least to manage, them? his important new book examines these issues and offers suggestions for both sides.

Does foreign ownership of American businesses pose a threat to the United States (like the abortive attempt by CNOOC, a Chinese company, to purchase Unocal during the summer of 2005)? his book examines foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States, national security concerns associated with this investment, and treatment of these concerns under US policy. It includes a section on the Dubai Ports World acquisition of operating rights at six US ports.

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Reforming the IMF for the 21st Century E d w i n M . Tr u m a n , e d i t o r his book provides an overview of the challenges facing the IMF today. In addition, the book studies four areas: the international monetary system and the IMF (with an emphasis on enforcing and reforming the rules), governance, financial resources (the need for additional resources and how they should be supplied), and financing from the fund.

July 2006. ISBN paper 0-88132-391-8. $23.95

Case Studies in US Trade Negotiation: Two Volume Set C h a r a n D e v e re a u x , R o b e r t Z . L a w re n c e , a n d M i c h a e l Wa t k i n s hese case studies in multilateral trade policymaking and dispute settlement explore the changing substance of trade agreements and also delve into the negotiation process—the who, how, and why of decision making. hese books present a coherent description of the facts that will allow for discussion and independent conclusions about policies, politics, and processes. Volume 1 presents five cases on trade negotiations that have had important effects on trade policy rulemaking. Volume 2 presents six case studies on key trade disputes.

May 2006. ISBN paper 0-88132-387-X. $27.95 September 2006. ISBN paper 0-88132-364.0. $39.95 “. . . Washington’s premier think tank on the global economy.” The Washington Post 1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW • Washington, DC 20036-1903 • Tel: 800-522-9139 • Fax: 703661-1501



9/11 + 5 2,991


ive years ago, 19 men sparked a global war. They were far from the first to commit acts of ter-

North America


rorism. But the devastation they wrought led U.S. President George W. Bush to declare a war “unlike any


other we have ever seen,” not simply against al Qaeda,



but against every organization capable of terror. Today, the world faces increased terrorism on nearly every



front. Attacks and fatalities are on the rise not just in


200 001


199 2002 – 8–2 001 2005 005

the Middle East, but around the world—everywhere, it seems, but where the war was first declared. The United States may be footing many of the costs for the war on terror, but the rest of the world is paying with their lives. | By Kim Cragin and Andrew Curiel

Latin America








ets of Terror Top Ten Targ

20 0


20 8–2 02–20 05 001


8–2 2–200 001 5



904 548


Isr Afg




i l T han ombi a * Pak haila a i rt sta N n i n Fra hern epal stan d I nce rel and No


Foreign Policy

I & P raq ale stin e


428 399 391



Eastern Europe Western Europe



661 528


1,237 123 272





200 199 8–2 2–200 001 5

20 8–2 02–20 05 001


199 2002 – 200 8–2 199 001 2005 8–2 2–200 001 5


East, Central, and South Asia 1,554




Middle East 1,376





Africa 215

20 8–2 02–20 05 001



200 199 8–2 2–200 001 5


199 2002 – 200 8–2 001 2005 8–2 2–200 001 5



Southeast Asia


199 2002 – 200 8– 2 199 2 001 2005 – 8–2 001 2005








199 2002 – 200 8–2 199 2 001 2005 – 8–2 200 001 5


Kim Cragin and Andrew Curiel study terrorism and political violence at the RAND Corp.


| October



Who Killed Iraq? After the invasion, America was supposed to help Iraq become a model democracy. Instead, the arrogance of L. Paul Bremer and his team of naïve neocons only helped Iraq become the world’s most dangerous nation. This is how it all went wrong—before it ever had a chance to go right. | By Rajiv Chandrasekaran 36

Foreign Policy



raq andwas thenoften he whent a black-and-white place to the for the store Bushand administration loyalists bout who served in the American occupation government. Ensconced in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, they spent more time interacting with fellow Americans than Iraqis. Still, they were convinced that they knew Rajiv Chandrasekaran is an assistant managing editor at the Washington Post, where he was Baghdad bureau chief from April 2003 to September 2004. He is the author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006). His Web site is

what was best for Iraq. The old Iraqi Army, for instance, was bad. Exiled political leaders were good. Members of the Baath Party were, of course, in the bad column. Outside the Green Zone’s 17-foot-high walls, America’s military leaders saw a more sepia-toned landscape. It was not black and white, just hazy shades of brown. The relationship between soldiers and the civilians in charge of reconstruction had faltered in the aftermath of previous U.S. military operations in Haiti, Kosovo, and Somalia. Iraq, however, was supposed to be different. It was supposed to be a chance to get military-civilian cooperation right. But, from the start, policies concocted by the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority (cpa), headquartered inside Saddam’s marble-walled Republican Palace, rarely played out on the ground as cpa leader Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III and his subordinates expected. Bremer’s first official act upon arriving in Baghdad was to fire tens of thousands of Baathists from their government jobs. But what about the 15,000 teachers that included? What about the top managers at the Ministry of Health? Or the hundreds of old soldiers who had been made honorary senior members of the party after spending years in Iranian prisoner-of-war camps? Those working for the cpa—many of whom were young civilians politically loyal to the Bush administration—didn’t grasp these nuances, or the need for pragmatic exceptions to their neoconservative edicts. But many in the military did. In the northern city of Mosul, for instance, the commander of the 101st Airborne Division, Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, considered Bremer’s de-Baathification policy to be dangerously out of touch with realities on the ground. So, instead of telling former Baathists to fend for themselves, Petraeus created job programs to employ them, reasoning that keeping them at work would dissuade them from becoming insurgents. Instead of following Bremer’s rules, which required appeals of firings to be submitted to a review board run by the controversial former exile Ahmad Chalabi, Petraeus allowed local leaders to grant exemptions. Petraeus knew he was breaking Bremer’s rules, but playing by them would have endangered U.S. troops. “We needed the latitude to make exceptions,” he said. “The policy, as it was conceived, wasn’t flexible enough.” In return, Bremer’s staff regarded Petraeus as a maverick veering off the reservation. “We make policy and it’s their job to implement it,” one of Bremer’s aides said of the military. “We’re the ones in charge, not them.” The tension between the American military and American civilians during the 15-month occupation September

| October



Who Killed Iraq?


nongovernmental organizations—who stood ready to advise the Bush administration. But the politically appointed civilians inside the Pentagon sought to marginalize and, in some cases, exclude senior military officers from the planning for postwar Iraq. A few months before the war, several Pentagon staffers saw Gen. John Abizaid, then the director of the Joint Staff, standing outside a closed door. Abizaid, the Pentagon’s highestranking officer apart from the four members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had been told he couldn’t participate in the Iraq planning meeting taking place inside, according to a person familiar with the exchange. Other senior military officials were kept out of similar sessions convened by former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith during the run-up to the war. Feith headed a secretive Pentagon staff called the Office of Special Plans that was supposed to draw up blueprints for governing and reconstructing liberated Iraq. To Feith and his bosses, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and then Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, the upper ranks of the officer corps were composed of old-school thinkers who Toy soldier: Paul Bremer and his staff often ignored what Iraqis wanted—and needed. supported an overwhelming of Iraq is one of the principal reasons that the counground force to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime but try remains unsafe today. pooh-poohed the task of nation building. At the forefront of the old guard was Gen. Eric Shinseki, who told the Senate Armed Services ComA L O N E AT T H E D A N C E mittee three weeks before the war that “several If the United States was inadequately prepared for hundred thousand soldiers” would be needed to nation building in Iraq, it was not for lack of experi“maintain a safe and secure environment” in Iraq. ence. There were plenty of military officers in the Shinseki was the highest-ranking general to contraPentagon who had planned and carried out postwar dict the Pentagon’s civilian leadership in public, but missions. There were numerous “lessons learned” several other officers voiced similar views in prireports from previous conflicts about delivering postvate. They also warned that dissolving the Iraqi conflict aid. And there were scores of people—at the Army would be a disaster and questioned the wisState Department, the United Nations, and various dom of de-Baathification. Their assessments, most 38

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matter what the people in Najaf wanted. Bremer’s playbook called for elections only after Iraqis had drafted a constitution and jumped through other hoops. The cpa’s general approach to postwar governance and reconstruction was to delve into minutiae from hundreds of miles away. Bremer’s education advisors went through textbooks line by line to determine what should be expunged. His healthcare team studied every single prescription medicine used by Iraq’s Health Ministry. American attorneys drafted a new traffic code and revised Iraq’s laws governing everything from patents to industrial design. Military commanders, by and large, didn’t believe in micromanagement. They wanted to find capable Iraqi leaders, empower them, and then get out of the business of running the country. Decisions about textbooks, traffic laws, and patents were for Iraqis to make. The military’s approach wasn’t perfect. Iraq had a decrepit infrastructure. It was hard, if not impossible, to find local leaders who The CPA’s general approach to postwar governance weren’t corrupt or perceived as illegitimate by the public. Even so, there and reconstruction was to delve into minutiae from was a logic behind the military’s desire to avoid meddling in issues Iraqis could have solved themselves. But hundreds of miles away. when military officials made that point in the Republican Palace, cpa personnel often dismissed them as whiners who wanttion projects. In the first year of the occupation, the cerp was the only way to fund infrastructure projects ed to go home instead of build a model democracy. and provide jobs to the unemployed in Iraq. Although they were doing all the heavy lifting of FROM THE TOP DOWN nation building, the military continued to be shut out Had military commanders on the ground been conwhen it came to shaping the overall strategy for postsulted and empowered by the cpa, instead of stymied war reconstruction and governance. It wasn’t brought by it, they would likely have played a far more effecinto the cpa’s decision-making process. As a result, miltive role in Iraq’s reconstruction. Doing a better job itary officers implemented stopgap solutions and with that almost certainly would have meant a reducassumed that civilian experts who spoke Arabic would tion in the strength and scope of the insurgency. But soon follow. More than once in those early months, I the relationship between the military and the civilians heard soldiers outside Baghdad tell groups of Iraqis, was poisoned from the very top. Bremer and Lt. Gen. “We’ll get this figured out when the cpa arrives.” Ricardo Sanchez, the top commander in Iraq, could It never did, at least not for months. Instead, all the barely stand each other. Sanchez, according to his military heard from the Green Zone were objections to associates, viewed Bremer as imperious. Bremer, their on-the-ground decisions, most of which were according to his aides, deemed Sanchez incompetent. made out of desperation. One example occurred in the The two men spoke because they had to, but their summer of 2003 in the city of Najaf. A Marine lieuinteractions were frequently tense and unproductive. tenant colonel sought to hold elections to select a city Among other things, the two men couldn’t agree council there. It was what the city’s elders wanted and, on how and when to deal with Moktada al-Sadr, the after all, the commander reasoned, the United States rebellious Shiite cleric whose Mahdi Army militia was supposed to be bringing democracy to Iraq. When was a constant source of trouble in Baghdad and Bremer got word of the proposed elections, he demandsouthern Iraq. Bremer wanted the military to detain ed the balloting be called off. His bureaucracy would Sadr. Sanchez was loath to run the risk of creating determine when elections should be held. It didn’t of which eventually proved correct, put them at odds with Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Feith. This animosity carried over, and worsened, when Bremer arrived in Baghdad. The cpa was supposed to be in charge of governing and reconstructing the country. But Bremer never had more than half the personnel he was promised, and for the first four months of the occupation he had just a few hundred people working for him. The cpa didn’t have enough bodies to set up satellite offices in each of Iraq’s 18 provinces. So the task of day-to-day local governance fell to the military. Infantry commanders and their civil-affairs teams set up town councils, reconstituted local police departments, and paid salaries to municipal employees. The soldiers doled out funds from the Commanders’ Emergency Response Program (cerp), a bottomless kitty that paid for small-scale reconstruc-


| October



another problem for his already stretched occupation force. If America didn’t act, Bremer argued, the Sadr threat would only become worse. Finally, in late March 2004, Bremer lost his patience. He ordered the closure of Sadr’s newspaper, without a comprehensive backup strategy for military action in case his militia

more intense than anything U.S. troops had encountered during the year-long occupation or even the initial invasion of Iraq. Of course, there were times when the military needed to be more engaged, not less. In the autumn of 2003, Sanchez assigned 24 military engineers to help increase Iraq’s electricity production. The engineers were sent to power stations across the country and told to work with the plant There were hundreds of soldiers in the Green Zone, managers to conduct a detailed many of them majors and colonels. To the CPA’s young assessment of what repairs could be made to increase output. The military engineers helped add hunturks, they were drivers, guards, and errand boys. dreds of additional megawatts to Iraq’s power grid. But, after two fought back. It did. There was no advance warning months, the troop-strapped Sanchez ordered the provided to U.S. soldiers in Sadr’s strongholds, engineers to report back to their original units, including in Baghdad’s Sadr City slum. There was no depriving the cpa of an on-site taskmaster and a reliable way to communicate with each plant. coordination between the cpa and senior Army But, by and large, Bremer’s sentiments permeated commanders. Attempts by the U.S. military to regain the ranks of civilians working in the cpa. There were control of areas seized by the Mahdi Army resulted hundreds of soldiers in the Green Zone, some of in two months of ferocious ground combat that was 40

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Zoned out: Stuck inside the Green Zone, young CPA staffers thought opening Iraq’s stock market (above) and rebuilding its hospitals would be easy.

whom were seconded to the cpa. Many of them were majors and colonels who had been in uniform for more than two decades and had been stationed in Haiti, Kosovo, and Somalia. A few had even served in Vietnam. But to the cpa’s young turks, the soldiers were drivers, guards, and errand boys. THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST?

One of the most telling examples of this dismissive attitude was the way a 24-year-old cpa staffer interacted with an Army reservist in reopening the Baghdad Stock Exchange. That job initially fell

to Thomas Wirges, an Army reservist who, in his civilian life, worked as a financial advisor. When Wirges asked the cpa for help in drawing up new regulations for the exchange, he wound up instead with a new boss: Jay Hallen. Hallen had been out of college for just a few years. He had worked briefly in real estate, but had no financial experience. He hadn’t followed American stock markets. In college, Hallen majored in political science, not economics. On Hallen’s first day in Baghdad, Wirges invited him onto a second-floor balcony of the Republican Palace. Wirges told Hallen about himself. He was 39 years old. He had served in the U.S. Navy for six years, before becoming a private investigator, then a sheriff’s deputy, then an insurance agent, a mutualfund broker, and finally a personal financial advisor. Hallen returned the favor, telling Wirges about the two jobs he had worked since graduating from Yale University. As Hallen spoke, Wirges thought to himself, he has no business being here. Still, Wirges and Hallen struck a deal. The Yale grad would interact with the higher-ups at the cpa, attend the meetings, and deliver the briefings to civilian officials in the palace. Wirges, meanwhile, would interact with the Iraqis. He’d travel outside the Green Zone and do the

Who Killed Iraq?


trips outside the Green Zone by cpa reconstruction specialists had to be scrapped because there were not enough military-police escorts. But perhaps Iraq’s hospitals paid the heaviest price. In the lead-up to the invasion, the U.S. Agency for International Development (usaid) put Frederick M. Burkle Jr. in charge of organizing America’s response to the expected public-health crisis in Iraq. Burkle is a In deep: Walled off from the reality of Iraq, the Republican Palace was an oasis of pools and palm trees. physician with a master’s degree in public health, as well as postgraduate day-to-day building of the exchange. Wirges caudegrees from Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, and the tioned Hallen to be modest in his aspirations, but University of California, Berkeley. A Navy Reserve impressed upon him the need to restart the exchange officer with two Bronze Stars, he served as a deputy as quickly as possible so Iraqi brokers and traders assistant administrator at usaid and taught at the could get back to work. Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, where he Two weeks later, Hallen called Wirges in for a specialized in disaster-response issues. During the meeting. There was a change of plans. “Jay [Hallen] first Gulf War, Burkle provided medical aid to Kurds told me that this was no longer my personal project,” in northern Iraq. He had worked in Kosovo and Wirges recalled. “I was no longer involved. It’s no Somalia. One usaid colleague called him the “sinlonger an issue for the Army. Have a nice day.” gle most talented and experienced postconflict health Hallen had decided that he didn’t just want to specialist working for the United States government.” reopen the exchange, he wanted to make it the best, But a week after Baghdad’s liberation, Burkle was most modern stock market in the Arab world, comlet go. A senior official at usaid told him that the White plete with a computerized trading system. That kind House wanted a “loyalist” working for the cpa. Burkle of innovation would take months, but Hallen mainhad a wall of degrees, but he didn’t have a picture with tained it was the right thing to do. Iraqi brokers the president. The man who replaced him was James scoffed. They wanted the exchange to operate as it K. Haveman Jr., a 60-year-old social worker largely did before the war. unknown among international health experts. HaveBut Hallen was insistent. When the exchange man did not have a medical degree, but he did have eventually opened in June 2004, five months after political connections. He had advised former Michigan Hallen promised it would, there was no computerGov. John Engler, a Republican, on health issues, and ized trading system. “The Americans should have lishis old boss recommended him to Wolfowitz. Haveman tened to Mister Tom [Wirges],” Talib Tabatabai, was well traveled, but most of his overseas trips were the exchange’s chairman said later. “He understood in his capacity as a director of International Aid, a what we needed.” Christian relief organization that provided healthcare If only it were just the stock exchange. Plenty while evangelizing in the developing world. Prior to his more projects suffered from the frayed relationship stint in Michigan’s state government, Haveman ran a between the U.S. military and American civilians. large, Christian-oriented adoption agency that urged Dozens of war-damaged government factories never pregnant women not to have abortions. reopened because Bremer’s first economic advisor, As the cpa’s senior advisor to Iraq’s Ministry of Peter McPherson, rejected a request from soldiers to Health, Haveman decided—against the advice of unfreeze the factories’ bank accounts. Hundreds of 42

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military public-health specialists—to allocate nearly all of the Health Ministry’s $793 million share of U.S. reconstruction funds to renovating maternity hospitals and building 150 new community medical clinics. His intention, he told me, was “to shift the mind-set of the Iraqis that you don’t get healthcare unless you go to a hospital.” That was a noble goal. But the decision meant no money was set aside to rehabilitate Iraq’s decrepit emergency rooms and surgical suites, even though injuries from insurgent attacks were the country’s single greatest publichealth challenge. Haveman “viewed Iraq as Michigan after a huge attack,” said U.S. Army Capt. George Gusczca, who worked on the cpa’s health team. “Somehow, if you went into the ghettos and projects of Michigan and just extended it out . . . that’s what he was coming to save.” ‘ K I L L E D B Y T H E C P A’

Because military personnel in Iraq weren’t supposed to drink alcohol, they didn’t hang out in the Green Zone bars frequented by cpa staff. They kept to

themselves, smoking in the rear portico, exercising in the gym, and playing cards in their trailers. The military maintained that Iraq would be a whole lot better if they were in charge. The cpa, they joked, stood for “Can’t Produce Anything.” “Nobody has any idea what they do back in that palace,” a senior Marine commander in Fallujah told me 12 months into the occupation. “We certainly don’t see any results.” In early 2004, a contingent of Marines was assigned to guard the cpa’s headquarters. They erected concrete barriers to limit traffic around the compound and strung coils of razor wire atop blast walls. They erected new observation posts and set up a sign-in table, where visitors had to hand over a piece of identification in exchange for a pass that had to be displayed at all times while on palace grounds. Behind the desk was a white dryerase board, upon which the Marines drew cartoons. One day a cartoon on the board depicted a grave and headstone inscribed with the words “Common Sense.” Underneath was a caption, “Killed by the cpa.”

[ Want to Know More? ] Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006) offers an unprecedented account of life inside America’s occupation headquarters. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and internal government documents, Chandrasekaran brings to light little-known travesties that expose the incompetence, hubris, and mismanagement of postwar planning in Iraq. He describes how the occupation authority headed by Amb. L. Paul Bremer iii pursued neoconservative solutions—such as a flat tax, a sell-off of Iraqi government assets, and an end to food rations—and how his underlings drew up a new traffic code and a law protecting microchip designs instead of rebuilding looted buildings and restoring electricity production. For insight into the military planning and execution of the invasion of Iraq, see Michael R. Gordon and Bernard E. Trainor’s Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq (New York: Pantheon, 2006). One soldier’s story of bringing democracy to Iraq can be found in James A. Gavrilis’s “The Mayor of Ar Rutbah” (Foreign Policy, November/December 2005). A firsthand account of the Coalition Provisional Authority’s (cpa) decision making can be found in The Occupation of Iraq: The Official Documents of the Coalition Provisional Authority (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2006), edited by Stefan Talmon. Larry Diamond provides a critical appraisal of the occupation of Iraq in Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq (New York: Times Books, 2005) and in an interview with, “Seven Questions: Larry Diamond on Iraq” (Jan. 23, 2006).

»For links to relevant Web sites, access to the FP Archive, and a comprehensive index of related

Foreign Policy articles, go to


| October



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mpire E S with

expiration dates


mpires, more than nation-states, are the principal actors in the history of world events. Much of what we call history consists of the deeds of the 50 to 70 empires that once ruled multiple peoples across large chunks of the globe. Yet, as time has passed, the life span of empires has tended to decline. Compared with their ancient and early modern predecessors, the empires of the last century were remarkably short lived. This phenomenon of reduced imperial life expectancy has profound implications for our own time. Officially, there are no empires now, only 190plus nation-states. Yet the ghosts of empires past continue to stalk the Earth. Regional conflicts from Central Africa to the Middle East, and from Central America to the Far East, are easily—and often glibly—explained in terms of earlier imperial Niall Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch professor of history at Harvard University and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His latest book is The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West (New York: Penguin Press, 2006). 46

Foreign Policy

sins: an arbitrary border here, a strategy of divideand-rule there. Moreover, many of today’s most important states are still recognizably the progeny of empires. Look at the Russian Federation, where less than 80 percent of the population is Russian, or Britain, which is, for all intents and purposes, an English empire. Modern-day Italy and Germany are the products not of nationalism but of Piedmontese and Prussian expansion. Imperial inheritance is even more apparent outside of Europe. India is the heir of the Mughal Empire and, even more manifestly, the British Raj. (An Indian Army officer once told me, “The Indian Army today is more British than the British Army.” Driving with him through the huge barracks at Madras, I saw his point, as hundreds of khaki-clad infantrymen leapt to attention and saluted.) China is the direct descendant of the Middle Kingdom. In the Americas, the imperial legacy is apparent from Canada in the north to Argentina in the south. The Canadian head of state is the British monarch; the Falkland Islands remain a British possession. Today’s world, in short, is as much a world of exempires and ex-colonies as it is a world of nation-states.


Empires drive history. But the empires of the past 100 years were short lived, none surviving to see the dawn of the new century. Today, there are no empires, at least not officially. But that could soon change if the United States — or even China — embraces its imperial destiny. How can they avoid the fate of those who came before them? | By Niall Ferguson


Empires With Expiration Dates


Even those institutions that were supposed to reorder the world after 1945 have a distinctly imperial bent. For what else are the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council if not a cozy club of past empires? And what is “humanitarian intervention,” if not a more politically correct-sounding version of the Western empires’ old “civilizing mission”? I M P E R I A L D AT I N G

We tend to assume that the life cycle of empires, great powers, and civilizations has a predictable regularity to it. Yet the most striking thing about past empires is the extraordinary variability in the chronological as well as geographic expanse of their dominion. Especially striking is the fact that the most modern empires have a far shorter life span than their ancient and early modern predecessors. Take the Roman case. The Roman Empire in the West can be dated from 27 B.C., when Octavian became Caesar Augustus and emperor in all but name. It ended when Constantinople was established as a rival capital with the death of the Emperor Theodosius in 395, making a total of 422 years. The Roman Empire in the East can be dated from then until, at the latest, the sack of Byzantium by the Ottoman Turks in 1453, a total of 1,058 years. The Holy Roman Empire—the successor to the Western empire—lasted from 800, when Charlemagne was crowned emperor of the Romans, until Napoleon ended it in 1806. The “average” Roman empire therefore lasted 829 years. Such calculations, though crude, allow us to compare the life spans of different empires. The three Roman empires were uncharacteristically long lived. By comparison, the average Near Eastern empire (including the Assyrian, Abassid, and Ottoman) lasted a little more than 400 years; the average Egyptian and East European empires around 350 years; the average Chinese empire (subdividing by the principal dynasties) ruled for more than three centuries. The various Indian, Persian, and West European empires generally survived for between 200 and 300 years. 48

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After the sack of Constantinople, the longestlived empire was clearly the Ottoman at 469 years. The East European empires of the Habsburgs and the Romanovs each existed for more than three centuries. The Mughals ruled a substantial part of what is now India for 235 years. Of an almost identical duration was the reign of the Safavids in Persia. It is trickier to give precise dates to the maritime empires of the West European states, because these had multiple points of origin and duration. But the British, Dutch, French, and Spanish empires can all be said to have endured for roughly 300 years. The life span of the Portuguese empire was closer to 500. The empires created in the 20th century, by contrast, were comparatively short. The Bolsheviks’ Soviet Union (1922–91) lasted less than 70 years, a meager record indeed, though one not yet equaled by the People’s Republic of China. Japan’s colonial empire, which can be dated from the acquisition of Taiwan in 1895, lasted barely 50 years. Most fleeting of all modern empires was Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, which did not extend beyond its predecessor’s borders before 1938 and had retreated within them by early 1945. Technically, the Third

Dying Young

Reich lasted 12 years; as an empire in the true sense of the word, exerting power over foreign peoples, it lasted barely half that time. Only Benito Mussolini was a less effective imperialist than Hitler. Why did the new empires of the 20th century prove so ephemeral? The answer lies partly in the unprecedented degrees of centralized power, economic control, and social homogeneity to which they aspired. The new empires that arose in the wake of the First World War were not content with the successful but haphazard administrative arrangements that had characterized the old empires, including the messy mixtures of imperial and local law and the delegation of powers and status to certain indigenous groups. They inherited from the 19th-century nation-builders an insatiable appetite for uniformity; these were more like “empire states” than traditional empires. The new empires repudiated traditional religious and legal constraints on the use of force. They insisted on the creation of new hierarchies in place of existing social structures. They delighted in sweeping away old political institutions. Above all, they made a virtue of ruthlessness. In pursuit of their objectives, they were

willing to make war on whole categories of people, at home and abroad, rather than merely the armed and trained representatives of an identified enemy state. It was entirely typical of the new generation of would-be emperors that Hitler accused the British of excessive softness in their treatment of Indian nationalists. The empire states of the mid-20th century were to a considerable extent the architects of their own downfalls. In particular, the Germans and Japanese imposed their authority on other peoples with such ferocity that they undermined local collaboration and laid the foundations for indigenous resistance. That was foolish, as many people who were “liberated” from their old rulers (Stalin in Eastern Europe, the European empires in Asia) by the Axis powers initially welcomed their new masters. At the same time, the territorial ambitions of these empire states were so limitless—and their combined grand strategy so unrealistic—that they swiftly called into being an unbeatable coalition of imperial rivals in the form of the British Empire, the Soviet Union, and the United States. September

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Empires do not survive for long if they cannot establish and sustain local consent and if they allow more powerful coalitions of rival empires to unite against them. The crucial question is whether or not today’s global powers behave in a different way than their imperial forebears. Publicly, the leaders of the American and Chinese republics deny that they harbor imperial designs. Both states are the product of revolutions and have long traditions of anti-imperialism. Yet there are moments when the mask slips. U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s 2003 Christmas card asked, “And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?” In 2004 a senior advisor to President Bush confided to journalist Ron Suskind, “We’re an empire now and when we act, we create our own reality.… We’re history’s actors.” Similar thoughts may cross the minds of China’s leaders. Even if they do not, it is still perfectly possible for a republic to behave like an empire in practice, while remaining in denial about its loss of republican virtue. The American empire is young by historical standards. Its continental expansion in the 19th 50

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century was unabashedly imperialistic. Yet the comparative ease with which sparsely settled territory was absorbed into the original federal structure militated against the development of an authentically imperial mentality and put minimal strain on the political institutions of the republic. By contrast, America’s era of overseas expansion, which can be marked from the Spanish-American War of 1898, has been a good deal more difficult and, precisely for this reason, has repeatedly conjured up the specter of an imperial presidency. Leaving aside American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which remain American dependencies, U.S. interventions abroad have typically been brief. During the course of the 20th century, the United States occupied Panama for 74 years, the Philippines for 48, Palau for 47, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands for 39, Haiti for 19, and the Dominican Republic for 8. The formal postwar occupations of West Germany and Japan continued for, respectively, 10 and 7 years, though U.S. forces still remain in those countries, as well as in South Korea. Troops were also deployed in large numbers in South Vietnam from 1965, though by 1973 they were gone.

as the ballooning unfunded liabilities of the This pattern supports the widespread assumpMedicare system, have precluded the Marshall Plan tion that the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan for the Middle East that some Iraqis had hoped for. and Iraq will not last far beyond President George W. Bush’s term in office. Empire—especially unstatFinally, and perhaps most importantly, there is ed empire—is ephemeral in a way that makes our the American attention deficit. Past empires had litown age quite distinct from previous ages. tle difficulty in sustaining public support for proIn the American case, however, the principal tracted conflicts. The United States, by contrast, cause of its ephemeral empire is not the alienation has become markedly worse at this. It took less of conquered peoples or the threat posed by rival than 18 months for a majority of American votempires (the principal solvents of other 20th-ceners to start telling pollsters at Gallup that they tury empires) but domestic constraints. These take regarded the invasion of Iraq as a mistake. Comthree distinct forms. The first can be characterparable levels of disillusionment with the Vietized as a troop deficit. In 1920, when it successfully nam War did not set in until August 1968, three quelled a major Iraqi insurgency, Britain had one years after U.S. forces had arrived en masse, by soldier in Iraq for every 23 locals. Today, the Unitwhich time the total number of Americans killed ed States has just one soldier for every 210 Iraqis. in action was approaching 30,000. The problem is not strictly demographic, as is All kinds of pat theories exist to explain the sometimes assumed. For the United States is not diminished durability of empires in our time. Some short of young people. (It has many times more say that the reach of the 24-hour news media males aged 15 to 24 than Iraq or Afghanistan.) It is just that the United States prefers to maintain a relatively small proportion of its Publicly, the leaders of the American and Chinese population in the armed forces, at 0.5 percent. Moreover, only a republics deny that they harbor imperial designs. small and highly trained part of this military is available for comYet there are moments when the mask slips. bat duties overseas. Members of this elite group are not easy to sacrifice. Nor are they easy to replace. makes it too hard for would-be imperialists to Each time the newspaper reports the tragedy of conceal abuses of power. Others insist that military another death in action, I am reminded of the lines technology has ceased to confer an unassailable of Rudyard Kipling, the greatest of the British advantage on the United States; improvised exploimperial poets: sive devices are the ten-rupee jezails of our time, negating at a stroke the superiority of American A scrimmage in a Border Station weaponry by rendering most of it superfluous. A canter down some dark defile Yet the real reasons why today’s empires are Two thousand pounds of education both ephemeral and undeclared lie elsewhere. Drops to a ten-rupee jezail Whether we acknowledge them or not, empires The Crammer’s boast, the Squadron’s pride, repeatedly emerge as history’s actors because of the Shot like a rabbit in a ride! economies of scale that they make possible. There is a demographic limit to the number of people most The second constraint on America’s unstated nation-states can put under arms. An empire, howempire is the U.S. budget deficit. The costs of the ever, is far less constrained; among its core functions war in Iraq are proving significantly higher than the are to mobilize and equip large military forces administration forecast: $290 billion since the invarecruited from multiple peoples and to levy the taxes sion in 2003. That figure is not much in relation to or raise the loans to pay for them, again drawing on the size of the U.S. economy—less than 2.5 percent the resources of more than one nationality. of gross domestic product—but it has clearly But why fight wars? Again, the answer must be proved insufficient to achieve the swift postwar economic. The self-interested objectives of imperireconstruction that might have averted today’s al expansion range from the fundamental need to incipient civil war. Other spending priorities, such ensure the security of the metropolis by defeating September

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Empires With Expiration Dates


enemies beyond its borders, to the collection of rents and taxation from subject peoples—to say nothing of the more obvious prizes of new land for settlement, raw materials, and treasure. As a general rule, an empire needs to procure these things at lower prices than they would cost in free exchange with independent peoples or with another empire if the costs of conquest and colonization are to be justified. At the same time, however, an empire may provide “public goods”—that is, benefits of imperial rule that flow not only to the rulers but also to the ruled and, indeed, to third parties. These can include peace in the sense of a Pax Romana, increased trade or investment, improved justice or governance, better education (which may or may not be associated with religious conversion), or improved material conditions. Imperial rule is not just about boots on the ground. Not only soldiers but also civil servants, settlers, voluntary associations, firms, and local elites can all, in their different ways, serve to impose the will of the center on the periphery. Nor must the benefits of empire flow exclusively to the empire’s rulers and their clients. Colonists drawn from lower income groups in the metropolis may also share in the fruits of empire. Those who stay at home may derive emotional gratification from the victories of distant legions. Local elites may also figure among the winners.

An empire, then, will come into existence and endure so long as the benefits of exerting power over foreign peoples exceed the costs of doing so in the eyes of the imperialists; and so long as the benefits of accepting dominance by a foreign people exceed the costs of resistance in the eyes of the subjects. Such calculations implicitly take into account the potential costs of relinquishing power to another empire. At the moment, in these terms, the costs of running countries like Iraq and Afghanistan look too high to most Americans; the benefits of doing so seem at best nebulous; and no rival empire seems able or willing to do a better job. With its republican institutions battered but still intact, the United States does not have the air of a new Rome. Although the current president has striven to empower the executive, he is no Octavian. But all these things could change. In our ever more populous world, where certain natural resources are destined to become more scarce, the old mainsprings of imperial rivalry remain. Look only at China’s recent vigorous pursuit of privileged relationships with major commodity producers in Africa and elsewhere. Or ask how long a neoisolationist America would remain disengaged from the Muslim world in the face of new Islamist terrorist attacks. Empire today, it is true, is both unstated and unwanted. But history suggests that the calculus of power could swing back in its favor tomorrow.

[ Want to Know More? ] For more on the challenges facing modern-day empires, see Niall Ferguson’s Colossus: The Price of America’s Empire (New York: Penguin Press, 2004). In “Imperial Amnesia” (Foreign Policy, July/August 2004), John Judis draws parallels between America’s current imperial experiment in Iraq and its failed efforts in the Philippines and Mexico decades ago. Edward Gibbon’s classic Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (New York: Hurst and Company, 1880) explores the longevity of the Roman Empire. For a look at the history of Eastern empire, see John Julius Norwich’s Byzantium (New York: Knopf, 1989). The seminal work on empires of the modern world is The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000 (New York: Random House, 1987) by Paul Kennedy. Mark Mazower’s Dark Continent: Europe’s Twentieth Century (New York: A.A. Knopf, 1999) examines the failings of 20th-century European empires.

»For links to relevant Web sites, access to the FP Archive, and a comprehensive index of related

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The Kingdom’s

clock If Saudi Arabia’s new king is to stem the Islamist extremism that continues to inspire violence inside and outside his kingdom, he must quickly push reforms that will outlast his inevitably short reign. It’s a race against the clock. At 82 years old, King Abdullah’s time is already running out.

| By Rachel Bronson and Isobel Coleman



long the desert coast of the Red Sea, the most ambitious real estate project in the Middle East is taking shape. The $26.6 billion development includes luxury waterfront villas, golf courses, a deep-water port, a “financial island” to house offices of the world’s largest financial institutions, new schools, and the requisite jaw-dropping skyscrapers. Emaar Properties, the slick, Dubai-based developer, is pitching the project—one that is expected to attract some 2 million residents within a few years—as a socially relaxed alternative to the strict conventions that have long defined Saudi Arabia. Brochures geared to investors show women in shorts, golfing alongside men, something unheard of in the kingdom today. But then, King Abdullah Economic City was never intended to look like the Rachel Bronson is adjunct senior fellow for Middle East Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of Thicker than Oil: America’s Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006). Isobel Coleman is senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of a forthcoming book on women and social change in the Middle East.

rest of the country. It’s Saudi Arabia’s answer to Dubai—the wild west of the Middle East. As its name suggests, the project enjoys the support of Saudi Arabia’s new monarch, King Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz, the 13th son of Ibn Saud, the kingdom’s founder. King Abdullah Economic City is the most obvious example of the new king’s effort to thrust Saudi Arabia into the 21st century. It is also a critical part of the government’s attempt to draw private investment to meet the demands of its rapidly growing population. For reformers, the new city not only generates much-needed jobs and foreign investment, but it also redirects resources away from the highly conservative power center of Riyadh. Five more cities are on the drawing board. But unlike other, relatively liberal Arab countries with booming metropolises and unlimited potential for growth, there is but a small window of opportunity for such rapid development in Saudi Arabia. At 82, the king is already the same age as his predecessor, his half brother, at the time of his death in August 2005. King Abdullah knows that the surviving half brothers who will succeed him are deeply vested in the existing financial and social conditions and show little interest in substantive September

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change. That means that his struggle to put out the ideological fires that have fed Islamic radicalism for 25 years is a race against the clock—his own biological clock. Five years after September 11, the leader of the country that produced 15 of the 19 hijackers must quickly lay foundations for change that will survive his rule. King Abdullah is neither a radical nor a revolutionary, but it is up to him to push the country far enough ahead during his reign that it will have no choice but to move forward with reforms once he is gone. And time is already running out. DEALING WITH THE ‘DEVIANTS’

As much as King Abdullah Economic City represents the king’s vision of the possibilities for Saudi Arabia’s next generation, it also serves as a painful reminder of the gulf between what Saudi Arabia could be, and what it now is. The country that King Abdullah inherited last year continues to wrestle with the internal demons whose fury was unleashed upon the world five years ago. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, broad swaths of Saudi society actively denied Saudi complicity in the attacks, including senior officials such as Interior Minister Prince Nayef. Although some still refuse to own up to the country’s role, the accession of King Abdullah corresponds with a growing acknowledgment 56

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that domestic realities inside Saudi Arabia shoulder some of the blame. Whereas September 11 convinced the world of the urgency of Saudi reform, it was the wave of domestic terrorism that began in May 2003 that roused Saudi Arabia from its complacency. Until then, domestic terrorists had largely refrained from attacking the royal family and local Saudis for fear that the fingers of the royal family would curl into a fist against them. Now, Abdullah routinely refers to religious radicals as “deviants,” and the king and other high-level officials promote religious scholars who issue fatwas against jihad. The government is deploying reformed extremists inside Saudi prisons to “reeducate” and deradicalize jihadi terrorists. It’s a markedly different strategy from the 1980s, when the royal family bought plane tickets for Islamist fighters destined for Afghanistan. Abdullah is also a markedly different king than his predecessor. And in Saudi Arabia, it matters very much who is king. He sets the tone for which reforms are acceptable and which are not. Fortunately, King Abdullah is widely viewed as a pious, uncorrupt, modest leader who understands the need to break away from the most radically zealous elements of Saudi Arabia’s recent past. Unlike the late King Fahd, who reigned from 1982 to 2005, King Abdullah enjoys broad popularity across Saudi society. One Saudi activist told us that “people love him,” and if


A desert mirage? Plans for King Abdullah Economic City portray Saudi Arabia’s futuristic answer to Dubai.

there were an election tomorrow, “all Saudis would vote for him.” Because defeating the fanatics his country helped create will largely be an ideological battle, King Abdullah’s image as a just, reasonable ruler is central to fighting radicalism. That is, he just may be the right ruler at the right time. The king has made clear that he is serious about tackling many of the kingdom’s challenges—but he will do so cautiously. In a statement before the Consultative Council in April 2006, King Abdullah laid out his priorities and the pace at which they should be addressed. “We cannot remain rigid while the surrounding world is changing,” he said. “Thereby we will continue, God willing, in the development process, strengthening national dialogue, liberalizing the economy, fighting corruption, uprooting monotonous habits, increasing efficiency of government institutions. We will enlist the efforts of all sincere workers, both men and women. All that will be done incrementally and moderately.” The king’s emphasis on incrementalism frustrates the most ambitious proponents of change. Reformers hoping for bold, sweeping actions are growing concerned that King Abdullah might not move fast enough to save Saudi Arabia from its crushing problems. It’s hard to overestimate the precariousness of Abdullah’s position; he must weave between these forwardleaning reformers and the country’s entrenched, conservative religious establishment, which provides the royal family with legitimacy. Although the king is not

pursuing revolutionary change, shifting governmental control seems to benefit the reformers right now, at least those who are willing to work slowly through the system. One member of the Consultative Council stated in no uncertain terms that the leaders of Saudi Arabia’s reform moment include King Abdullah “first, second, third, and fourth.” Now is a rare and precious moment for the reformers. But it’s unclear how long this moment will last. After all, none of Abdullah’s likely successors commands the same amount of respect or popularity with everyday Saudis, and therefore will be more constrained in his abilities to contain hard-core Islamic conservatives. Crown Prince Sultan is widely perceived as a self-absorbed black hole of corruption. Prince Nayef, a potential successor and no friend to reform, seems more comfortable with the retrograde religious forces in society. Prince Salman, the governor of Riyadh and a full brother of Sultan, Nayef, and the late King Fahd, draws mixed reviews. The grandsons of the kingdom’s founder are regarded as relatively promising by some reformers, but their fathers are likely to precede them and could reverse many of the strides made during Abdullah’s tenure. The question for today’s reformers—and for the king—is how to create facts on the ground in terms of social, political, and economic reform that are of such obvious benefit to the health of the kingdom, and the royal family, that it will not be in the interest of Abdullah’s immediate successors to reverse them when they come to power. O I L , O I L E V E RY W H E R E — A N D N O T A JOB IN SIGHT

After the towers fell and the fires burned out, the questions inevitably moved from what happened to why; the answers often ended with “angry, young Arab men with no options but terror.” The explanation wasn’t lost on Abdullah. Even as far back as 2000, in a private interview in Riyadh, then Crown Prince Abdullah stated quite candidly that “unemployment is our No. 1 national security challenge,” notwithstanding the fact that both Iraq and Iran menacingly sat nearby. Forty percent of the population is under the age of 15, and unemployment is said to be around 30 percent for men and 90 percent for women. Drastic changes are needed to prevent idle, poorly educated youth from becoming easy targets for radical Islamist groups. “I don’t know when the revolution will start,” one human rights activist told us. “But it’s not going to be because of a lack of democracy but because people are angry. September

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The Kingdom’s Clock


The ministry announces the creation of 50 jobs, and 7,000 apply.” With oil prices hovering around $75 a barrel at press time, the new king ought to be enjoying the petro-bonanza. After two decades of steeply falling per capita incomes and nearly bankrupt government coffers, the windfall would seem to be the answer to solving some of these much-publicized demographic realities. But even with oil prices as high as they are, the economy is unable to absorb the millions of young people entering the job market. The urgency of the youth bulge is exacerbated by a sense of losing out on opportunities to more nimble neighbors. “Dubai Envy” is a growing phenomenon. The kingdom’s rigid conservatism makes it unable to compete for a slice of the booming tourism, leisure, banking, and media business in the region, problems King Abdullah Economic City and the other projects in the works must address. A senior Bahraini official notes that “most of the investment infrastructure in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates really should be in Saudi Arabia,” because it is, after all, the largest regional market. However, the kingdom’s oppressive social atmosphere and sclerotic bureaucracy have forced major financial companies to locate near the kingdom, rather than in it—costing the kingdom millions, if not billions, in potential revenue. “We have become laughingstocks in the Muslim world,” says one well-placed prince who is likely to play a key role in shaping Saudi Arabia’s future. In response to these challenges, King Abdullah spearheaded Saudi Arabia’s controversial but ultimately successful bid to join the World Trade Organization to encourage greater economic accountability and transparency. He is supporting new privatization efforts, foreign direct investment, and even encouraging limited tourism, viewed as taboo by Wahhabi purists, including several of Abdullah’s potential successors. He is strongly backing a “Saudization” campaign—an effort to hire more indigenous Saudis—even though the business community, a loyal constituency, opposes such measures. Whether another terrorist attack prompts even more hand-wringing about the desperate situation of angry, unemployed Arab youths largely depends on what Abdullah will be able to accomplish on the economic front. The youth bulge isn’t going away. Neither is investor interest in the Middle East. But sooner or later, the king will. And he will leave behind a generation of young Saudis who demand his attention now. 58

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The Sons of the Fathers Saudi Arabia isn’t the only Arab country where economic and political success hinges on succession. These Middle Eastern scions have been groomed to continue their family’s rule. But are they as committed to reform as they seem? | By Parag Khanna


hat if Qaddafi proclaimed that President Bush is right? The Middle East needs more democracy. And Libya should work with Europe and America to promote human rights. Or what if Mubarak, in a secret visit to the White House, defended crackdowns on Egypt’s dissidents to a crowd that included George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, and Stephen Hadley? Qaddafi and Mubarak did just that—that is, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi and Gamal Mubarak, the sons groomed to follow in their fathers’ footsteps. Qaddafi, Mubarak—and Assad, Mohammed, and Abdullah—are all names that won’t disappear from the headlines for at least another 20 to 30 years, even after the men we associate with them fade from power. The sons of the rulers that have been either American puppets or the bane of American foreign policy for a generation or longer are coming of age—as new and aspiring leaders. And their lives may be a litmus test for the future of Arab democracy.

Parag Khanna is a fellow at the New America Foundation and author of The Second World (New York: Random House, 2007).

Libyan in waiting: Seif Qaddafi must choose between politics and partying.




Receding heir line? Gamal may be the last Mubarak.

So who are they? The caricatures are well known: Jet-setting playboys with thuggish tendencies and Western diplomas. But, in truth, they tend to not be as eccentric and entertaining as their fathers. More important, they seem to be more aware of the rapid changes under way in the world. Indeed, rather than the postcolonial lineup of Arab strongmen, what is most striking about the next generation is that none of these sons even wants to wield the degree of power—or accept the responsibility for it—as their fathers did. Ironically, therefore, if democracy does take hold in the Middle East, it could very well be due to, rather than in spite of, the influence of these young scions. For the heir apparents, there are already a few examples of relatively young men called to walk the fine line between the complacency of family expectations and the demands of democracy. Both Morocco’s King Mohammed VI and Jordan’s King Abdullah II have sat on their respective thrones for less than a decade, and there are signs that they will maintain the traditions that underpin stability while leading their societies into modernity. Mohammed sees himself more as a manager than an arbiter. And it’s undeniable that Abdullah is pursuing social, economic, and political liberalization—even if in a top-down fashion. In the words of one Jordanian entrepreneur, Abdullah “is even willing to invest in his own opposition.”

The Libyan regime may not be going that far, but the eldest son of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi has sought to improve his country’s—and his family’s—image abroad. Though the detritus of his hedonistic rituals litters beaches from St. Bart’s to Bodrum, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi has never been merely a jet-set heir to an oil-soaked dictatorship. Now 34, he learned at a young age the price of inherited prominence. When he ventured abroad to Western schools, he faced the scorn directed at his pariah father, as when Switzerland refused to extend his visa even though he was just a business school student. As his 63-year-old father’s trusted and pragmatic informal advisor, Seif has been instrumental in the campaign to abandon Libya’s nuclear program and complete the $2.7 billion payout to the families of the victims of the 1988 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. As a result, Seif is perhaps already something of a roving foreign minister. With his cosmopolitan travels and Ph.D. from the London School of Economics, Seif has stepped on too many toes in Tripoli to attain an aura anything like his father’s. Even so, with Libya’s tiny, concentrated population and massive energy and tourism potential, it is not unthinkable that Seif could achieve in about three years what his father failed to do in more than three decades. Libya is a small country at the periphery of the Arab world. Egypt, on the other hand, has always considered itself the leading Arab nation, from its pan-Arab diplomatic pretensions to its dominance of the region’s television and cinema. In Egypt’s succession, therefore, the very notion of Arab democracy is at stake. Even if the ailing 78-year-old Hosni Mubarak makes it to the next presidential election in 2011, two things are certain: He will not run again, and until that time, he—and first lady Suzanne, ever the Cleopatra—will do whatever they can to ensure that their 42-year-old son, Gamal, succeeds him. Estranged from politics for most of his life, Gamal has quickly but subtly become the face of the political establishment. Since becoming the deputy secretary-general of

the National Democratic Party (NDP) earlier this year, the former London investment banker has even become a competent arbiter among competing political factions in Egypt’s parliament and technocratic class. In addition to pushing through the appointment of a number of young, reformist cabinet ministers and helping to deregulate the economy, Gamal can allegedly claim credit for banishing his father’s classic dictator shades. But no matter what Gamal does, his very name elicits groans from many politically minded Egyptians. Far from being the divine custodian of the enfeebled masses, Mubarak’s regime is corrupt and decadent to the core. Most wouldn’t mind if it were swept down the Nile. A Cairo engineering student put it to me most bluntly, “People want a president who has used public transportation.” Thus far, Gamal’s boilerplate rhetoric has sounded more spoon-fed than inspired. But Gamal has managed to score some points with the public. In a revealing interview with establishment magazine Rose Al Youssef, he made the surprising statement that the NDP was no longer the “government party,” as in the old days, but rather would have to either win a majority or form a coalition to stay in power. Indeed, Gamal is partly responsible for the fact that, for the first time in decades, no one can confidently state who the next Egyptian president will be. As each Egyptian election becomes increasingly competitive, Gamal will have to campaign a hard extra mile to restore the credibility of the Mubarak name. If and when he runs for president, one official told me, “It won’t be a slam dunk.” That hereditary succession is even cast in doubt in several of the Middle East’s most entrenched regimes is a small triumph for the reformers of the region. Nevertheless, the men who will likely carry on these dynasties are more grounded in the realities of international politics and economics than fantastic cults of personality. Each has had his first shot at leadership handed to him—but none will be guaranteed a second. September

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The Kingdom’s Clock

] 1964, women’s literacy has jumped from 2 percent to 70 percent a generation later. Women’s colleges are popping up in major cities across the country. They often boast strong curricula, including instruction in English, easy Internet access, and the occasional screening of international films, a rare treat in a country where movie theaters are banned. In a land known for its broken education system, the graduates of such schools are scooped up by foreign businesses, eagerly looking for competent Saudis to employ. For King Abdullah, advancing women’s rights in Saudi Arabia is a key to pleasing reformers and improving the economic situation. But opposition to such developments remains stiff. The conservatives who dominate the country’s institutions continuously find technical reasons why they cannot reverse past precedent. The creation of opportunities for women in employment and education will prove to be among the best measures of just how vigorously King Abdullah can fight for progress against the powerful religious conservatives who have held the upper hand for more than two and a half decades.


If the skyrocketing number of young Saudis looking for work is an urgent signal of what the king must accomplish during his reign, the changing role of women is a rare area of positive reform where he has already proven a willingness to move the country forward. It’s also probably the most dynamic and politically explosive issue that King Abdullah must handle. Above all, the new king has raised expectations. Reformers are still talking about Abdullah’s first trip abroad as monarch, in which he included women in his delegation to China and India. Last December, his daughter Adila took a leading role in a prominent workshop that examined women’s issues in the kingdom. Women are increasingly obtaining identity cards, crucial to operating somewhat independently in the kingdom. In addition, Abdullah has reenergized the debate about women driving automobiles, and a controlled pilot program is likely to begin. It could set a precedent for all Saudi women driving some day. And in Saudi Arabia, establishing a precedent is politically meaningful. Luckily for King Abdullah, a precedent for reform—though limited—on women’s issues was set before he took the throne. Since King Faisal opened the first government school for girls in 60

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Although incremental change may move Saudi society ahead in most areas, it may not be enough to solve the country’s education crisis. In the aftermath of 9/11, U.S. scrutiny of Saudi curriculum exposed endemic jihad promotion and downright hatemongering. Critics contend that although the most blatant passages have been removed, more reform is needed. One schoolteacher whose own previous fanaticism gives him a unique perspective as a reformer today, readily admitted to us, “Yes, the curriculum has been edited. They took out the passages glorifying death and promoting hatred. But it’s not enough just to delete. We must replace the hatred with a new philosophy.” A recent report from the U.S.based Center for Religious Freedom at Freedom House questions the authenticity of even these modest changes. Today, what is needed is a top-to-bottom overhaul of the entire educational system. With change deeply contested, some creative reformers are attempting to sidestep the entrenched educational bureaucracy by aggressively investing in private education. There are plans, seemingly supported by the king, to open some 4,000 private primary and secondary schools, which will have more flexibility in terms of curriculum and teaching styles. The government is trying to lure foreign (usually


The future perfect: Development hinges on the king’s ability to see it through.

religious interpretations that have stifled social life American) universities to the kingdom and seeking in the kingdom. opportunities abroad. Just last year, King Abdullah King Abdullah is now offering reformers in Saudi announced scholarships for 5,000 students to attend Arabia an opportunity, however fleeting, to fix a brouniversities in the United States. ken system. These next few years will determine All of these efforts are laudable, but they are simwhether the kingdom is positioning itself to engage ply insufficient to solve the mounting education crisis inside the kingdom, where a record number of schoolchildren enter the system every year. Sooner rather than later, real change will require King Now is a rare and precious moment for the reformers. Abdullah to confront directly the religious conservatives who still control But it’s unclear how long this moment will last. state education, where the bulk of students are educated. The resistance the outside world, or whether retrograde religious to change in this one sector could undermine all the and political forces still hold the kingdom in their other reforms the king is endorsing. grip. The challenges are as clear as they are difficult. The question today is not whether the House of THE LAST BEST CHANCE Saud will survive, but rather which members will The al-Sauds will not undo their historical pact define its future. with the religious establishment. Doing so would Now, it is King Abdullah’s turn to steer the destroy any claim to domestic legitimacy. But they kingdom’s course. He has the opportunity to levercan redefine it, which is what King Abdullah seems age the country’s resurgent wealth and the region’s to be trying to do. Leading members of the royal political fluidity to push through difficult reforms. family now have license from the king to reward The crux of the problem is that if King Abdullah clerics who call for judicial reform and question the moves too quickly, he risks backlash; too slowly, and concept of takfir—the ability for one Muslim to the changes will not survive his tenure. Five years define another as an apostate, a concept from which after 9/11, King Abdullah has a distinct chance to al Qaeda legitimizes much of its violence. Perhaps ensure that his people are never again forced to that is why developers like Emaar in King Abdulask themselves why so many of their young citizens lah Economic City and elsewhere are allocating turned so angry, and so violent. He must act as if space in new malls to house movie theaters in the his life depended on it—because the life of his future. They sense the tide is turning on the strict country surely does.

[ Want to Know More? ] For more on the political challenges of the House of Saud and its complicated relationship with the United States, see Rachel Bronson’s Thicker than Oil: America’s Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), Paul Aarts and Gerd Nonneman’s (eds.) Saudi Arabia in the Balance: Political Economy, Society, Foreign Affairs (New York: New York University Press, 2005), and the Frontline documentary The House of Saud (Boston: PBS, 2005), available on dvd. In “How to Save Saudi Arabia” (Foreign Policy, September/October 2004), F. Gregory Gause iii offers then Crown Prince Abdullah advice on rescuing the country from extremists. Several works delve into Saudi Arabia’s religious opposition, including Holier than Thou: Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Opposition (Washington: Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2000), by Joshua Teitelbaum, and Saudi Arabia and the Politics of Dissent (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999), by Mamoun Fandy. For links to relevant Web sites, access to the FP Archive, and a comprehensive index of related » Foreign Policy articles, go to September

| October



Stanley Foundation Conference on National and Global Security

Leveraging US Strength in an Uncertain World

Thursday December 7, 2006 Scheduled speakers include: • Coit Blacker • Giandomenico Picco • Nina Hachigian • Bruce W. Jentleson • Lawrence J. Korb • Steven E. Miller • George Perkovich • Nancy Soderberg • John Steinbruner • Julia V. Taft

Today, US national security increasingly relies on regional and international security. This interconnectedness demands multilateral efforts to address critical issues. It also requires the United States to examine how it can best leverage its strength to develop a compelling vision for 21st-century leadership.

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC

Conference topics: • Effective Counterterrorism in a Globalized World • Enforcement of International Norms • Rethinking the US Military Revolution • Strengthening Nuclear Nonproliferation and Expanding Nuclear Energy • The United States and Rising Powers in the 21st Century • Why Are We Failing Failing States?

The objective of the conference is to advance US debate on issues and policy considerations that must be addressed if the United States is to meet the real security challenges of the post-9/11 world while also maintaining its legitimacy in the global arena.

For preliminary information, visit Check back often for updates. The Stanley Foundation brings fresh voices, original ideas, and lasting solutions to debates on global and regional problems. It is a nonpartisan, private operating foundation, located in Muscatine, Iowa, that focuses on peace and security issues and advocates principled multilateralism.



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How Not to Build a

Borderline policy: U.S. officials acknowledge that the fence was never designed to halt illegal immigration—just slow it down.

Fence T

he United States is in the midst of an intense debate over its borders. Immigration is approaching historic levels, and an all-time high of 12 million people—one third of the foreign-born population— are in the United States illegally. Fifty percent of them are from Mexico, and another 30 percent are from elsewhere in Central and South America. Most have entered across the 1,950-mile U.S.-Mexican Peter Skerry is professor of political science at Boston College and nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. 64

Foreign Policy

border. In recent months, the two houses of the U.S. Congress have each passed immigration reform bills. The differences between the two versions are yet to be resolved, but they do have at least one important thing in common: Both mandate that hundreds of miles of new physical barriers be added to the existing 125 miles of fence along the border. That remote, often forbidding border has now become the focus of a symbolic struggle over how Americans see themselves in the world. But symbols are open to interpretation. To many Americans, border barriers promote national security. To others, they


The United States may soon fortify its border with Mexico. But what about the fence that is already there? A close look at the disjointed, makeshift barrier reveals America’s ambivalent and conflicted attitudes toward immigration. | By Peter Skerry

smack of fortification and militarization by empireconcerned about protecting plant and wildlife habitats. building Washington bureaucrats. Meanwhile, marketFaced with so many parties capable of delaying or even oriented conservatives at the Wall Street Journal and stopping construction, the fence’s political sponsors human rights activists at the American Civil Liberties were determined to drive stakes into the ground as Union have both denounced the border fence as a quickly as possible. Finally, there was the Border Patrol new “Berlin Wall”—though its purpose is to keep itself. As scores of interviews reveal, this agency did not foreign nationals out, not citizens in. In this controversy, few have bothered to consider the mundane, physical details of the border fence The remote, often forbidding U.S.-Mexico border itself. But when one looks at it closely, one encounters neither a has become the focus of a symbolic struggle over particularly imposing structure nor a gold-plated military project. how Americans see themselves in the world. Instead, it is a jerry-rigged example of American ingenuity that reflects not merely ambivalence about immigration but also want a fence so difficult to climb that there would be the competing objectives and compromises characinjuries, taking up the valuable time of its agents and teristic of America’s decentralized and fragmented resulting in a mountain of liability claims. political system. Moreover, immigration control Set back about 130 feet from the primary fence is alone was never the driving force behind the builda more intimidating “secondary fence,” which begins ing of the barriers. Instead, border-control policies a few miles from the Pacific and continues east for 10.5 have had to piggyback on other overriding nationmiles through the most heavily populated part of the al concerns. The result is a fence that is neither as border in San Diego County, California. This barrier draconian and militarized as critics claim, nor as has a continuous, deeply sunk concrete footing and effective as supporters would like. rises up to 15 feet. Constructed of tight, heavy-gauge The oldest section of the existing border fence steel mesh, it affords very little toehold. The mesh begins at the Pacific Ocean and continues inland for also allows the Border Patrol to see the other side—a 42 miles. When construction began in 1990, this safety priority for its agents. With a well-graded road, densely populated area was the busiest site of illegal high-intensity lights, and 24-hour surveillance cameras, entry into the United States. This “primary fence” this precision-crafted fence has far more infrastructure averages only 10 feet high, and is made of corrugatthan one finds on most of the border. It also cost ed steel panels about 20 inches wide and 12 feet long, about twice as much per mile as the primary fence. welded onto upright posts. But because the corrugaYet, despite all the trappings, Border Patrol agents tions run horizontally, they form a kind of ladder that report that individuals routinely manage to scramble makes scaling the fence easy for young and old. And over both the primary and secondary fences in less than because there is no continuous concrete footing, this one minute. Officials now acknowledge that the fence fence is easy to dig under, especially given the region’s was never designed to stop illegal immigrants cold, just gravelly, erosion-prone soil. Contrast that with Israel’s slow them down so they could be apprehended. “The security fence on the West Bank, which in some places fences were never meant to be more than a filter,” one is a daunting, 25-foot-high, smooth concrete wall. Border Patrol officer explained. Why build such a user-friendly structure? Well, the Perhaps most revealing about both fences is what corrugated steel panels—military surplus used to build they lack. For example, nowhere on the primary fence, emergency landing strips in Vietnam—were plentiful sitting directly at the border, is there a south-facing and free. And making the fence higher and harder to flange—out of concern that it would offend Mexico. climb would have required placing the panels vertically Nor is there any barbed or razor wire on either fence. instead of horizontally, a far more complicated and costAgain, the contrast with Israel’s security fence is strikly undertaking. This project also had to be approved ing. Although most of that structure is a chain-link by a welter of state and federal agencies, including fence outfitted with sophisticated electronics, the Israeli Native American tribal jurisdictions. Then there were Ministry of Defense still relies on razor wire to stop the nongovernmental organizations: immigrant rights potential terrorists from making the climb. Or, comadvocates and well-organized environmentalists pare America’s fences to the two razor-wire-topped September

| October




How Not to Build a Fence


The No-Offense Fence

fences that Spain has placed on the boundary between its North African territories and Morocco, on which scores of people have been injured and at least 17 have died. True, hundreds have perished along the U.S.Mexican border, but that is because of heat and exposure, not because of a fence that maims and kills. There is even less of a “filter” in more remote areas. In the sparsely populated eastern half of San Diego County, there is no secondary fence, only the primary fence. For several miles, it runs only 5 feet high. Further east, close to the Imperial Desert, the fence is not even constructed of steel panels, but of two metal rails, welded to vertical posts. The Border Patrol prefers a low fence for the same reason it prefers wire mesh: Its agents can see what they’re up against on the 66

Foreign Policy

other side. Then, too, stopping illegal immigrants directly at the border is less critical in remote, unpopulated areas than in densely settled neighborhoods where they can quickly disappear. As for the rail fence, it was designed to accommodate flash flooding that would knock down a more substantial structure, and in a few stretches, it is preferred because it permits the free movement of protected wildlife. Obviously, a rail fence does little to stop the free movement of illegal immigrants. Does this mean that the whole reason for building the fence was forgotten amid all the bureaucratic jockeying? No, because as it turns out, the primary rationale for building the entire border fence was never about stopping illegal immigrants. It had more to do with the interdiction of


America’s border with Mexico isn’t marked by a monolithic barrier. Rather, it was built in sections to fill different needs in different places. The result? Fences that can be climbed in less than a minute.

illegal drugs, a policy goal for which there was much more political consensus. As one congressional staffer directly involved with the fence bluntly stated, “Drugs is the money train.” To be sure, illegal immigration and drug traffic overlap at the border, allowing policy entrepreneurs to blur the distinction. But when the primary fence was first built in the early 1990s, choices had to be made. The result was a rail barrier in eastern San Diego County that can stop a drug smuggler’s 4 x 4 vehicle, but not illegal aliens on foot. Today, the counter-drug rationale has been superseded by counterterrorism. In 2005, the U.S. Congress granted Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff the authority to waive all laws necessary to

achieve border security. Last September, he invoked that authority to end a decade-long court battle by environmentalists who were lobbying against completion of the final segment of the secondary fence, near the Pacific. As U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Robert C. Bonner put it, “Maybe this [kind of protracted dispute] was acceptable in the pre-9/11 days… But in the era of global terrorism, we just can’t wait around forever to get these things done.” Once again, immigration control comes in second. But if public outrage over illegal immigration continues to grow, it could overcome the constraints built into the American political system. At that point, immigration control may itself become the top priority at the border. September

| October



Ranking the Rich

Poverty is blamed for everything from terrorism to bird flu. Rich nations have never sounded more committed to stamping it out. Is it all just hot air? The fourth annual CGD/FP Commitment to Development Index ranks 21 rich nations on whether they’re working to end global poverty—or just making it worse.


ast year was dubbed the “Year of Development.” Leaders of the world’s richest nations made impassioned pleas to help the poor at a summit in Gleneagles, Scotland. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, French President Jacques Chirac proposed an airline ticket tax to fund foreign aid. At a world trade summit in Hong Kong in December, rich countries offered to phase out subsidies for their agricultural exports. U2 rocker-activist Bono jetted everywhere from Nigeria to the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, touting The One Campaign to end global poverty, and movie stars donned insignia bracelets in support of his cause. “There can be no excuse, no defense, no justification for the plight of millions of our fellow human beings,” British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in March. “There should be nothing that stands in the way of our changing it.”


Foreign Policy

But are the world’s richest countries actually making things better for those most in need? Each year the Center for Global Development and Foreign Policy look past the rhetoric to measure how richcountry governments are helping or hurting poor countries. How much aid are they giving? How high are their trade barriers against imports such as cotton from Mali or sugar from Brazil? Are they working to slow global warming? Are they making the world’s sea lanes safe for global trade? To find out, the index ranks 21 nations by assessing their policies

and practices across seven areas of government action: foreign aid, trade, investment, migration, environment, security, and technology. In large part, the deeds of the last year did not live up to the talk. In most policy areas that matter for poor countries, a majority of rich-country governments either failed to follow words with meaningful action— or they simply remained silent. At G l e n e a g l e s , British and American nego-

tiators pushed through an agreement to “drop the debt” for up to 40 poor, mostly African countries. It may sound extraordinarily generous, but this debt relief package equals a mere 1 percent increase in aid. The Group of Eight (G-8) industrialized nations also “committed” themselves to “substantially reducing” subsidies and tariffs that protect their farmers at the expense of farmers in poor countries. Again, it may have sounded good, but the G-8’s offer, spelled out later in the year, was only equivalent to cutting the European Union’s import barriers by 1 percent. The feebleness of the offer is one reason why world trade negotiations remain hopelessly deadlocked. No development news of the past year commanded more headlines than immigration.


| October




Ranking the Rich
















In the United States, millions of Latin American migrants marched in the streets and boycotted their jobs in an effort to draw attention to the positive contributions they make to America’s economy. In France, demonstrations in the Paris suburbs turned violent as the country’s interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, announced he might deport tens of thousands of immigrants back to their home countries. Yet this hotly debated issue was followed by precious little action. Prime Minister Blair convened a Commission for Africa, but it studiously avoided talking about how Britain could make it easier for someone from Kenya or Ghana to immigrate, get a job, develop skills, and send money home. In the United States, immigration legislation brewed in the U.S. Congress, but then stalled. And the subject was equally taboo for French politicians. A less publicized event of 2005 was the notable growth in total foreign aid given by rich countries. It shot to a record $106.5 billion, thanks largely to reconstruction efforts in Iraq. But some $19 billion of that aid came in the form of the cancellation of old loans to Iraq and Nigeria. These write-offs, though long overdue, put little new money in the hands of Iraqis and Nigerians. These aid figures should also be kept in perspective. Consider that India and China added some $400 billion to their combined economic output last year alone. That’s proof that internal, not external, forces more often drive economic 70

Foreign Policy



development. China’s export of goods and India’s export of services to rich countries have helped produce economic growth and poverty reduction so rapid that the Millennium Development Goal of a 50 percent cut in the number of people living on $1 a day has probably already been met on a global level. Internal factors may drive development, but external ones can facilitate it—or stand in the way. That point was made by Andrew Natsios, the former head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, when he challenged America’s longstanding food aid program before stepping down in January. Natsios criticized a law that requires the U.S. government to buy food from U.S. farmers, ship it on American boats, and deliver it to famine-stricken regions via U.S.-based organizations. The U.S. government must deliver food aid this way even when it depresses local food prices, pushing more farmers into poverty, and even when it could buy food from farmers just outside a famine zone for much less. Some nongovernmental organizations that get a large fraction of their funding from the program defended the status quo, arguing that dropping the “made in America” requirement would undermine the program’s support among American farmers and shippers. Congress quickly axed Natsios’s proposal for reform. That the U.S. government must pay off American interests to feed the starving is a sad commentary on how low the commitment to development may still be.

It also helps explain why the United States finishes 13th in this year’s index. The Netherlands, meanwhile, ranks first on the strength of its generous aidgiving, falling greenhouse gas emissions, and support for investment in developing countries. Japan improved, but remains in last place as the rich country least committed to helping the poor. It might seem strange that small nations such as the Netherlands beat

out large economies such as Japan and the United States. But the index measures how well countries are living up to their potential. In truth, even the Dutch could do better. They are party, for instance, to Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy, which effectively levies a 40 percent tax on farm imports from poor countries. That certainly doesn’t help the world’s poorest countries, no matter what anyone says.

And the Winner Is...


his year, the Netherlands beat Denmark to take the No. 1 ranking in the index. A new policy to limit imports of illegally cut timber from tropical nations and its support for an international effort to control bribery helped land the country in the winner’s circle this year. But the main reason the Netherlands came out on top is because others stumbled. The Danes, who have historically been among the index’s best performers, registered the largest overall drop. Copenhagen was hurt by a shrinking of its foreign aid spending by 14 percent between 2001 and 2004, while its economy grew by 9 percent. New Zealand also fell, as the number of immigrants it admitted from developing countries plunged from 48,000 in 2001 to 29,000 last year.









              o o o o o o o

One country that made strides this year is Japan, which has finished dead last every year since the index was launched in 2003. It reportedly put an end to a long-held practice of lobbying poor-country governments against enforcing labor, human rights, and environmental standards for Japanese-owned factories. The United States improved its score, due in part to falling farm subsidies and rising foreign aid. Spain posted the most spectacular gains, thanks to a 3BOLCZ *NQSPWFNFOU migration policy that makes it eas ier for immigrants to enter and  work legally.  For the 21 rich countries as a   whole, the overall trend continues  to be one of little change. The aver age score for all the index coun tries climbed modestly from 5.0 in  2003 to 5.3 in 2005, then fell slight  ly to 5.2 this year. Still, twice as  many countries have seen their  score improve as have seen their  score decline in the past four years.   That’s an encouraging trend,  because development is about more  than just giving money; it’s about  the rich and powerful taking   responsibility for policies that affect the poor and powerless. September

| October




Ranking the Rich



ast year was a record-smasher for foreign aid. Total aid given by index countries climbed 31.4 percent in 2005, to $106.5 billion. Not surprisingly, flows to Iraq accounted for most of this increase. This sharp rise in generosity, however, is not as much a cause for celebration as it might appear. Rarely has so much been given, and so little received. Some $6.3 billion of the 2005 aid total was U.S. aid to Iraq, probably the largest singleyear transfer between two countries since the Marshall Plan. But the index counts aid to Iraq at just 10 cents on the dollar, because the World Bank puts the country ahead of only Somalia when it comes to combating corruption and enforcing the rule of law. Sadly, events in 2005 confirmed fears about the country’s rampant graft and violence. Senior Iraqi government officials estimate that as much as 30 percent of the country’s budget is lost to corruption—ranging from bribery to padded contracts and influence peddling. It isn’t just the Iraqis who are poor administrators. Even the


Foreign Policy

U.S. government estimates that $8.8 billion disappeared during the first 14 months that the Coalition Provisional Authority ran Iraq. As of early 2005, at least 40 percent of U.S. reconstruction aid was spent on security. “I’d say that 60, maybe even 70 percent [of what] we see as reconstruction aid goes into nonproductive expenditures,” says Ali Allawi, Iraq’s minister of finance. Nor are donors as generous as they would have us believe. Of the reported aid to Iraq, $14 billion came in the form of debt relief. Back in the 1980s when Saddam Hussein had warmer ties with the United States, France, and other Western governments, he borrowed heavily from them. The loans went bad after the 1991 Gulf War. But, on paper, interest and penalties piled up until the formal write-off of the debts in late 2004. Although long overdue, in reality this debt relief put almost no additional cash into the coffers of the new Iraqi government, because most of the debts would never have been repaid anyway. Commitment? Yes. Development? Hardly.


Wasting Aid in Iraq

The Government Trough




ich countries spend $84 billion a .ÖMĉa‰jÄˬjÁËj?aˬjÁË:j?ÁË®‰™Ë2±.±Ëg¯ year subsidizing their farmers. ‰aˬjÁˬÁˬjÁĝ™Ë That’s nearly as much as they spend on


?Í͐j †‰Wj™Ä +‰~Ä .†jj¬ ‰™ËajÜj¬‰™~ËݝÁa foreign aid, which is about $29 a year

2ˤy g¤Èš±Ôo ¤[ gš±Ô| gÔo±šÏ g¤É±¤¤ for each of ÖÄÍÁ?‰? g¤È±¤Ô Ϛ[ gɱ|š š|[ y|[ the world’s ?™?a? gÉo±yš ¤y[ g¤o±šš å[ šy[ g¤ÉϱÔÏ Ô¤[ gϱšÔ å[ gÔ±Ïo 2.7 billion ?¬?™ gÔ±ÉÉ ¤Ï[ gÔ±¤| ¤š[ o[ people who live on !jÝË=j??™a !ÁÝ?ß gšÉy±ÈÔ g¤±|o gϚ±šo gš|±åÉ oÏ[ less than $2 a day. .݉ÍãjÁ?™a gšoȱyo gȱÉÏ g¤Ïš±ÉÔ g¤É±¤¤ ɤ[ Poor people often 2™‰ÍjaË.Í?ÍjÄ gԚ±åÉ yo[ gš±åÏ g|±¤Ô gȱÉÈ get less assistance than  gšÔ±yš Ïo[ g¤å±yo g¤Ô±oy gԚ±¤È the rich world’s farm animals. The European Union, each cow gets nearly $1,000 of the government’s for example, doles out money a year. These subsidies push down globalmost $30 per year for al agricultural prices and undermine farmers in each sheep living there. In poorer countries. Bellying up to the governNorway and Switzerland, ment’s trough has never been so costly.

Hooray for High Gas Prices




.6 8

most vulnerable to the consequences of climate change, including rising sea levels, floods, and the spread of infectious diseases. The United Nations, for instance, estimates that a mere 1.5-foot rise in sea level could flood more than 6,000 square miles of Bangladesh, displacing 12 million people. Because taxes on gasoline are one factor that drives up prices, the higher a country’s gas taxes, d Unite m o d g s in the better it does in the index. The United States, d K n Netherla 4 ly a .9 It 5 $ 3 .3 Canada, and Australia have the cheapest gas 6 $ Japan $5.73 4 among the 21 index countries, mainly $4.9 ited due to low government taxes. Their n Portugal U da a ustrali Cana 6 States 5.37 A $ citizens also consume the most fuel. $3.21 $2.8 $2.49 Total: For instance, U.S. gasoline taxes avere .39 pric 6 7 9 . age just 39 cents per gallon, where2.3 1.38 as in Europe they range 2.10 Con 1 between $2.56 and .1 sump 1.90 3.59 4 t i Taxn) 3 o $4.18 a gallon. 8 n (gallo 1. o 4.18 ns/pe 7 er gall p 5 . $ r . 2 s When gas taxes on/d (U.S ay) 3.37 1.83 are low, it is the 6 .2 2.14 poor in devel4 .2 .15 t 2 s 0 o oping countries C llon) .2 Gasoline Prices, Taxes, 0 0 . er ga p 2 $ 8 who pay the .1 (U.S. and Consumption heaviest price. .13



he price of oil has tripled since 2002. That has rich people in the developed world complaining. But for poor countries, it’s good news when the rich world pays high prices at the pump. That’s because higher gas prices encourage more fuel-efficient cars, less driving, and, ultimately, slower global warming. Poor countries are the


| October




Ranking the Rich


Development Begins at the Ballot Box


emocracy has its virtues. Democratic nations, for instance, rarely go to war against each other. Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen has noted that democracies tend to avoid famines. In the 1960s, while China’s Great Leap Forward killed 30 million people, democratic India found ways to feed its growing population. To this list of democratic virtues, the index can add one more: A commitment to democracy at home means a greater commitment to development abroad. At the World Bank, researchers have built a measure of the quality of democracy, which they call “Voice and Accountability.” It is a mathematical synthesis of expert judgments gathered by groups including Freedom House and the Economist Intelligence Unit, which measures elements of democracy such as free and fair elections and how much the government represses dissent. Governments in wealthy countries haven’t been shy about using these scores to make favorable comparisons between themselves and developing countries. But the mirror is equally revealing when turned the other way. When the World Bank’s data are compared to the index, it is clear that the

more accountable a government is to its own people, the more it does for those to whom it is not accountable. It’s not just that a handful of Nordic nations give lots of foreign aid. In fact, as Jörg Faust of the German Development Institute has found, the pattern persists when aid is dropped from the index. The Netherlands, for instance, not only gives aid generously, but is reducing its greenhouse emissions, has put in place policies that support investment in developing countries, and actively contributes to peacekeeping operations around the globe. At the opposite extreme, Japan, which has the second-least accountable government after Greece, has a small aid program and high barriers to workers and agricultural imports from poor countries. This pattern likely stems from the fact that in wealthy democracies with less accountable governments, special interests hold more sway. They divert government spending away from foreign aid, force aid to be “tied” to spending on donor-country companies, and promote selfinterested trade barriers. Development may take place abroad, but the index shows that it often begins at home.

Democracy at Home, Development Abroad More democracy means a greater commitment to development. J apan

Gr e e c e

Unite dS


Austr ia


Irelan d C Germanad Aust any a


d n itzerlan a l a Ze Sw New d nlan i F ay

w Nor

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Neth Swed erla en nds

e Franc gal Portulgium Be ingdom dK Unite d


I t al y


Foreign Policy

Don’t Blame the Brain Drain




ealthy nations are waging a global war for serious illnesses are never seen by a doctor or talent. They lure nurses from the Philip- nurse. But the brain drain isn’t to blame. Instead, pines, engineers from India, and most nurses and doctors are lab technicians from China with unwilling to work in the villages Out of Africa and slums where these patients high pay and no-hassle visas. Percentage of physicians live. Awful working conditions More Kenyan-born doctors work who live and work outside of Kenya than in it, and and low pay in public hospitals outside their the same can be said for 15 other lead many of these professionals country of birth to devote much of their time to African nations. But don’t poor countries need these profesprivate clinics catering to the relsionals more than rich atively well-off. Media and govones do? ernment officials in Kenya may It’s not that simple. scapegoat the 3,000 nurses who The much-feared “brain have left to work in wealthy drain” from developing counnations, but such attacks ring tries may even do some good. The hollow when there are more same forces that push workers out of than 6,000 people currently Africa and Asia also give frustrated living in Kenya who are professionals a chance to advance their qualified to work as careers and send large amounts of money nurses—but don’t. back home. Latin America received $32 billion Denying workers the in remittances in 2002, six times what it received chance to go abroad to in foreign aid. make their fortune only hurts Consider the healthcare industry in Africa. In would-be migrants and the family members they Mozambique, about 40 percent of children with could help from far away.

[ Want to Know More? ] Details of the 2006 CGD/FP Commitment to Development Index can be found in “The Commitment to Development Index: 2006 Edition,” by David Roodman, available at The Web site contains reports on each of the index’s 21 countries, as well as background papers organized by policy area: Roodman on foreign aid, Roodman and Scott Standley on tax incentives for private charity, William Cline on trade, Theodore Moran on investment, Elizabeth Grieco and Kimberly A. Hamilton of the Migration Policy Institute on migration, B. Lindsay Lowell and Victoria Carro also on migration, Amy Cassara and Daniel Prager of the World Resources Institute on environment, Michael O’Hanlon and Adriana Lins de Albuquerque on security, and Keith Maskus on technology. A critical look at the foreign aid practices of major donor nations can be found in William Easterly’s The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good (New York: Penguin, 2006). International migration is the subject of Devesh Kapur and John McHale’s Give Us Your Best and Brightest: The Global Hunt for Talent and Its Impact on the Developing World (Washington: CGD, 2005).

»For links to relevant Web sites, access to the FP Archive, and a comprehensive index of related

Foreign Policy articles, go to


| October












The Osama Bin Laden I Know By Fawaz A. Gerges The Secret History of al-Qa’ida By Abdel Bari Atwan 236 pages, London: Saqi, 2006


n November 1996, five months after al Qaeda’s bombing of the Khobar towers in Saudi Arabia and less than five years before al Qaeda would attack New York and Washington, Osama bin Laden’s “ambassador” to Britain approached the editor in chief of the Londonbased Arabic-language newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi. After exchanging some pleasantries, Khaled al-Fawwaz got to the point. His offer? A trip to Afghanistan to meet and interview Osama bin Laden, who had recently gone into hiding. For the editor, Abdel Bari Atwan, an influential critic of both authoritarian Arab regimes as well as U.S. foreign policy, the proposal was both intriguing and odd: Usually it is the journalist who requests an interview. Nevertheless, Atwan wasn’t about to let the usual protocols stand in his way. He took alFawwaz up on his offer and several weeks later would spend two days interviewing, talking to, observing, Fawaz A. Gerges, author of Journey of the Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy (Orlando: Harcourt Press, 2006), is a Carnegie scholar and Christian A. Johnson chair in Middle East and international affairs at Sarah Lawrence College.


Foreign Policy

and sleeping next to the internationally sought terrorist leader. The result is Atwan’s new book, The Secret History of al Qa‘ida. In it, Atwan describes why he was called to meet the man who he “fully expected ... would play a significant role in the history of his homeland, Saudi Arabia, and the Muslim world in general.” Bin Laden “developed a very good sense of how to use the media over the years, and when he decided to declare war on the United States, he wanted it to be known the world over.” Early on, bin Laden recog-

member of al Qaeda. Abu al-Walid was among the most senior of the Afghan Arabs (mujahideen) to break with bin Laden over the September 11 attacks and take his grievances public. He painted a dark portrait of bin Laden as an autocrat, running al Qaeda as he might a tribal fiefdom. The most revealing part of Abu alWalid’s memoirs is his description of bin Laden’s “extreme infatuation” with the international media. He basked in the limelight, Abu alWalid recounts, and not even Taliban leader Mullah Omar could restrain him. Bin Laden was pre-

This portrait of Osama bin Laden fits perfectly with the image that al Qaeda’s leader wanted to project to the world—virtuous, humble, and venerated by his followers. nized that the media war is as important, if not more so, than the real war. He invited selected foreign journalists, such as Atwan, whom he considered sympathetic to Muslim causes. Atwan is not the first to detail the media savvy of al Qaeda’s notorious leader. In the summer of 2005, the Arabic-language newspaper Asharq al-Awsat published the memoirs of Abu al-Walid al-Masri, a senior

pared to sacrifice Afghanistan and Mullah Omar at the altar of his public relations campaign. So concerned was bin Laden about his image that he refused to have his voice taped during Atwan’s interview. Why? Bin Laden’s media advisor later explained to Atwan (off the record, of course) that the “sheikh” was afraid he might make some grammatical or theological mistakes which, if these were recorded,


could tarnish his public image. “I realized how conscious he must be of his image in the Islamic world,” Atwan notes, “and that he desired to be a mufti (an authority trained in Shari’ah [Islamic law], who can pronounce fatwas).” In contrast to Abu alWalid, Atwan’s portrait of bin Laden fits perfectly with the image that al Qaeda’s leader and his men wanted to project to the world—virtuous, charismatic, humble, nonauthoritarian, courageous, and venerated by his followers. On meeting bin Laden, the author says he was “transfixed” by him: “He embraced me warmly and asked about my trip. I felt like an honored guest and was treated with the greatest respect.” Bin Laden’s charm worked on Atwan, who says that he felt at ease in his presence and seemed very familiar to him, even though he was meeting him for the first time—“perhaps that is the essence of charisma,” writes Atwan. He also takes for granted bin Laden’s claim that he possesses no personal political ambitions and that he only aspires to paradise through martyrdom, sooner, rather than later. But surely bin Laden is a more complex political animal than Atwan gives him credit. He has labored hard to construct a public image of himself as a moral leader ready to replace corrupt and submissive Arab rulers. He portrays himself as the “vanguard’ of a new selfless and sacrificing generation. Of course, it’s easy to look back at

a pre-9/11 Bin Laden as an almost quaint militant figure, and Atwan readily admits that even he could not predict how much blood would be on bin Laden’s hands in just a matter of years. But if bin Laden’s goal in inviting Atwan (and other notable journalists) to his hideout in Afghanistan was to disseminate a perception of himself in the wider media as a pious advocate of the Arab people, he succeeded. Bin Laden’s careful cultivation of his image has won him widespread popularity among the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims—as well as more than a few willing to die for his cause. Atwan details how the charismatic leader is perceived to have given voice to feelings of alien-

ation, demoralization, and neglect, filling a huge gap for a strong Muslim leader to unify the global community of Muslims, the umma, in battle against America and its allies and to restore the world of Islam to its former glory. Equally important, bin Laden, Atwan reminds us, has become a figurehead for a resurgent Muslim “identity,” one that is political and linked with a Salafist, ultraconservative interpretation of Islam. In this sense, the al Qaeda phenomenon reflects a profound political crisis, not a cultural or civilizational one, that plagues a Muslim world weighed down by decline and defeat. This crisis, according to Atwan, propels young Muslims toward al Qaeda, which promises them either September

| October




In Other Words


victory or heaven. Far from being the weakened organization that U.S. officials would have it, Atwan contends, al Qaeda has transformed itself into an ideology and a global umbrella for activists who share its ideology and is “growing more powerful.” In Atwan’s judgment, there is no longer a need for a physical and geographic base; no need for a centralized leadership; no need for a command-and-control decision-making process. There is not even a need for bin Laden. These are undifferentiated, absolute assertions that deserve critical scrutiny. September 11 was not all the blessing for al Qaeda that Atwan describes. It was bin Laden’s attempt to turn the wheels of political fortune in his favor—by proving to the Muslim world that he and his brethren now represented the vanguard of the umma. He believed that the outrageous boldness of the attacks would attract new recruits. But the success of the

plan depended entirely upon America’s response. Were the United States to expand its war against al Qaeda into countries that had nothing to do with the attacks, bin Laden knew that fellow Muslims would react with anger—with jihad. But the vast majority of Islamists and former jihadists did not join al Qaeda. In fact, September 11 showed how deep the fissures within the jihadist movement ran. It illuminated the split between the ultramilitant wing represented by al Qaeda and a nonviolent majority that commands greater political weight. Surely, if al Qaeda cannot speak for jihadists, it cannot claim to represent the umma. Moreover, the umma might sympathize with al Qaeda’s grievances but, as multiple studies and surveys show, it rejects its terrorist methods. This civil war within the jihadist movement has been overshadowed by the war in Iraq, which was a godsend to al Qaeda because it

diverted attention from its zero-sum game and lent it an air of credibility. By the end of 2002, al Qaeda was not only militarily crippled but also internally encircled within the Muslim world. Al Qaeda was in a coma and only a miracle could revive it. Until, that is, the second war in Iraq. And if the American-led invasion and occupation of Iraq fell right into bin Laden’s hands, it reflects a real miscalculation of Arab and Muslim public opinion on the part of the United States. Which is exactly why Atwan’s account demands to be heard. Disagree with him or not, Atwan is one of the leading oppositional voices in the Arab world, one who has his finger on the pulse of Arab and Muslim public opinion. His narrative reflects widely held sentiments and opinions in that part of the world. As important, his book is a primary source on one of the most reviled and important figures of our time.

Brazil’s Man of Action By Paulo Sotero A Arte da Política: A História que Vivi (The Art of Politics: The History That I Lived) By Fernando Henrique Cardoso 699 pages, Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 2006 (in Portuguese)


here are those who govern. There are those who study politics and write about those who govern. And then there are those few, like Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the former 78

Foreign Policy

president of Brazil, who do both. A university professor who had gained international recognition as the foremost development sociologist by the time his country’s military dictatorship banned him from teaching in 1969, Cardoso is hardly the first intellectual turned politician. He is fairly unique, however, in his choice to apply the tools of his former academic trade to analyze his own political legacy. The result is A Arte da Política: A História que Vivi (The Art of Politics: The History That I Lived),

a fascinating inside story of his rise to power and the nine and a half years in which he tried, first as finance minister and later as president, to transform Brazil into a stable democracy willing to face the inequities of its society and the inefficiencies of its economy. The Art of Politics is far from a selfglorifying political memoir. It’s a detailed and reasoned analysis Paulo Sotero is the Washington correspondent for the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo.

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In Other Words


about reforms made or postponed under severe pressure and the rationale behind them. It reveals a leader guided by a clear sense of purpose and a deep knowledge of the society he was charged to govern at a time of profound political and economic transformation on the global scene. A good social scientist who once confessed to overanalyzing his actions while in power, Cardoso dictated his thoughts and recorded hundreds of hours of conversations in his executive office. They were later transcribed and stored at his presidential library in downtown São Paulo. It’s a rare wealth of information that serves both the author and the reader well. The book is essentially Cardoso’s case study of his own administration, having used this information to check reports of events against what he was thinking about those events as they were unfolding. And no issue shaped events more during his presidency than the country’s volatile economy. By the time Cardoso ascended to Palácio do Planalto on Jan. 1, 1995, the imperatives of globalization had already forced Brazil to abandon the inward model of development the country had followed for more than 400 years. The former social scientist now led a country whose elites had resigned themselves to living forever with inflation, a country that, for its entire history, “lurched from one crisis to another, mainly because of our refusal to follow rules,” he writes. “[This] refusal . . . was, in reality, just another product of our deeply unjust society.” Stabilizing the economy—and society in general—was a tall order. The devaluation of Brazil’s new currency, the real, would dominate these efforts during his

What They’re Reading

Living in the Land of the Book Despite living in a constant state of war, Israelis have always found time for books. FP spoke with David Ehrlich, owner of Jerusalem’s Tmol Shilshom bookstore and cafe, and found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that themes of political and religious identity run deep in Israeli literature. FOREIGN POLICY: What nonfiction books are Israelis reading? David Ehrlich: Biographies of political leaders are a big field here. Israelis look at their political figures sort of as family members. I’m reading a new biography about [former Prime Minister] Shimon Peres by Michael Bar-Zohar. It’s called Like a Phoenix, because of politicians’ and terrorists’ nature to rise back again and again into the center of the Israeli political scene. It’s a very popular book these days, even though it’s more than 700 pages.


FP: What makes Israeli writers different than those from other countries? DE: A lot of our great writers do more than just writing. They write fiction, they publish books for kids, and they also publish essays and books of thought about Israel, contemporary political issues, etc. In a way, they feel responsibility. They seem to say that if people like their writing, they might as well carry [political] messages. Such writers as Meir Shalev, David Grossman, and Amos Oz

have a stand on current issues. The media will go to them to interview them when things happen. In the U.S., maybe the media will go to Hollywood stars or to big economic people. But here, they go to writers as a source of inspiration for contemporary dialogue. FP: How important is reading to Israeli culture? DE: The Jewish people like to think of themselves as a people of the book. The book, of course, is the Bible, but on top of that there’s a huge, rich literature of commentary— essays and fiction. Here in Israel, [there’s] a very happening literary scene which is not provincial. It gives and takes from what is happening abroad.

FP: Who are some of the young, up-and-coming writers? DE: Ron Leshem’s first book, If There Is Heaven, just won the Sapir, a prestigious literary prize here. He’s only 30. The book deals with a bunch of soldiers in a fortress on top of a mountain in Lebanon. The book, which is based on research that Leshem did as a journalist, is about how Israeli soldiers felt being bombed by Hezbollah militants, knowing that Israel was supposed to leave soon. It’s like one of those existential, Catch-22 situations. It’s funny and morbid and deep, giving a sense of nonsense. It’s an interesting example of what Israeli literature does. Here’s a story of something from years ago. The conflict it describes is not

exactly like the conflict we’re having now. But the bottom line hasn’t changed. We’re still at war, we’re still fighting, we’re still sending young soldiers to dangerous posts. FP: Is there any interest in Palestinian writers? DE: Yes and no. With the exception of one great poet who sits in Ramallah—Mahmoud Darwish—I haven’t heard of great Palestinian writers. As far as I know, Palestinians don’t read Israeli books. Their society seems to be less interested in literature than ours. Maybe it’s because they have fewer resources than we do, because they feel they need to use their time for survival. Interview: Christine Y. Chen, senior editor at FOREIGN POLICY.


In Other Words


tenure. It’s a subject he rightly lingers on. As finance minister in the early 1990s, he had adopted the Plano Real, a strategy to do away with the inflation that had plagued Brazil for decades and that catapulted him to the presi-

the road to reform. By 1998, though he had cleaned up the banking system and consolidated some public debt, he had made little progress on the fiscal front. Cardoso was eventually forced to float the currency and,

Cardoso is hardly the first intellectual turned politician. He is fairly unique, however, in his choice to apply the tools of his former academic trade to analyze his own political legacy. dency. As president, Cardoso found that the plan was much harder to implement because events outside Brazil—the Asian and Russian financial crises, to name two—sometimes blocked


Foreign Policy

with support from U.S. President Bill Clinton, sought the help of the International Monetary Fund to avoid a financial meltdown. It was a complicated and risky move. At the time, the real was a currency

with a five-year history of stability. “The fear that we could fall back into the inferno of hyperinflation tormented us,” Cardoso writes. The result? Although executed rather inelegantly, the move proved to be the first successful transition from a fixed to a floating currency exchange regime among developing nations. But the former leader doesn’t deny his doubts about the depth of the transformations his government brought to Brazil. He lists the many tasks yet to be performed to modernize the country and denounces the return of massive corruption under his successor, Luis Inácio “Lula” da Silva, whose Workers’ Party has, he charges, “crushed the country’s soul.” His skepticism has been reinforced by new suspicions of economic mismanagement, the collapse of ethics among public officials, and the spectacular implosion of Brazil’s role as a regional leader. There are mea culpas, too, including his decision to invest the considerable political capital he still had in 1997 to amend the constitution so he could run for a second term, instead of focusing on his reform agenda. Controversial to this day, the move was then supported by nearly two thirds of the public and the bulk of the political class. “I think it would be better if there was an alternative other than reelection,” he said at the time. “[I]t may be even presumptuous on my part, but I searched [for an alternative], talked to the parties, [and] nobody accepted other names. I don’t know if I am rationalizing, but it is certain that for me, personally, it is not good to remain four more years [as president].” Despite this personal reluctance, Cardoso’s candidacy for a second term

helped to instill some discipline in his political base and secure approval for some reforms. History will tell if Cardoso’s second term was the right thing for Brazil. More admired abroad than at home these days, the former president registers low ratings when compared to the current one. According to a recent cniIbope poll, only 18 percent of Brazilians believed Cardoso’s administration did a better job in office than Lula’s, despite a series of corruption scandals that paralyzed Lula’s administration for more than a year. The growing doubts about Cardoso’s legacy suggest that his reservations about running for reelection were well founded. As president, Cardoso was keenly aware of Brazil’s position in the international arena. Indeed, ever

the globalist, he even released a simultaneous autobiography written for an American audience. Much shorter than the political memoirs of his eight years in power, the work is an enticing history of Brazil in the 20th century. In both the American and Brazilian works, the former president suggests that what was accomplished during his presidency was too little, too late. “As much as we have done, as much as Brazil has changed, the world has not stopped and, looking around, one does not know for sure the relative degree of progress.” That his task was only partially completed makes the Brazil story under Cardoso a sobering reminder of the obstacles most countries in Latin America face in catching up with the fast-emerging nations of Asia and Central

Europe. Indeed, in comparing Brazil to China and India, he acknowledges that the country is losing ground. As Cardoso trains his sociologist’s eye on Brazil’s current situation, he finds much to criticize—not only about the path that his successor has led the country down, but also the real and perceived regrets of his own stunted reforms for Brazil. Yet the former president’s special capacity to analyze his own experience of his time in government hardly left him bitter. “Despite many limitations and the mistakes that I may have committed, … I remember those eight intense years with a sense of mission accomplished.” Perhaps now, with The Art of Politics, Cardoso will persuade his fellow citizens who remain unconvinced of the legacy he left behind.

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New Kid on the Block By James G. Forsyth ■ First News, June 23–29,

2006, Woking


atch ‘em early, catch ‘em young,” goes the saying. In that spirit, British Chancellor Gordon Brown hosted a Downing Street reception in May for the launch of First News, the first modern British newspaper published exclusively for children. The venture is designed to reach an untapped market. In Britain, nearly 200 magazines are targeted at the Harry Potter set, but none has serious news content. And with overall newspaper readership steadily falling (in the past 40 years, the circulation of British dailies has plummeted by 27 percent), there’s plenty of room to grow. If First News succeeds in instilling a lasting newspaper-buying habit in the next generation, it will deserve the undying thanks of an ailing industry. Although the paper is aimed at 9- to 12-year-olds, it doesn’t steer away from serious subjects. First News cleverly uses maps to present visually appealing summaries of domestic and international news. For example, items on prison breaks in Russia and military developments James G. Forsyth is assistant editor at Foreign Policy. 84

Foreign Policy

in Iraq and Afghanistan appear in the June 23–29 issue. There are also useful primers that accompany stories—a particularly clear and informative one on apartheid complements a neighboring article on children in Africa. Yet, at times, the language can obscure as much as it reveals. For example, a piece about hiv/aids states that the virus “is passed on through blood and other body fluids.” Why not just say outright that it can be transmitted through sex? Are the publishers too afraid of disturbing the delicate sensitivities of their readers (or, more likely, their parents)? After all, the newspaper is aspiring to be a quintessential British tabloid. And for the most part, it’s certainly achieving those goals. Another June issue has a large photo of a water-skiing squirrel splashed across the front page. Look inside, and you’ll find plenty of shots of the rich and famous, juicy celebrity gossip, and a hefty dose of sports. Celebrities such as Virgin founder Richard Branson and pop singer Pink write regular columns. And just like the language of the grown-up tabloids, the sentences are short, the words are blunt, and the graphics are king. The only thing missing from its pages are nudie pics, like the

(in)famous photos of Page 3 girls that appear in The Sun. Perhaps First News’s direct style isn’t so surprising, considering that the brash tabloid veteran Piers Morgan is the editorial director. Morgan has himself often been the subject of gossip columns. In 1994, Rupert Murdoch put him in charge of the Sunday tabloid News of the World, making Morgan, at age 28, Britain’s youngest national newspaper editor since World War ii. His antics at press awards ceremonies are legendary—he has brawled, hurled profane abuse at fellow editors, and gotten drunk enough to elicit cloudy memories of Fleet Street’s heyday. Morgan is most famous for being fired in 2004 from his job as the editor of The Daily Mirror for publishing what turned out to be fake images of British troops abusing Iraqis. Many critics think he should have been sacked even sooner. Four years earlier, he was investigated and rapped on the knuckles by the Press Complaints Commission for purchasing large quantities of shares in a computer company the day before his own newspaper tipped it as a good buy. Morgan’s track record might make him an odd choice to run a children’s newspaper. But his publishers seem to think that he can


convert an Internet generation into newspaper readers. Are they right? The initial signs seem promising. First News already boasts a circulation of at least 50,000, and Morgan claims that up to 300,000 readers are well within its grasp in the next 12 months. Publishing a children’s newspaper is a bright idea that, for journalism’s sake, one wants to see succeed. But in its present form, it’s doubtful that First News can create a new generation of newspaper readers, however many copies wellmeaning adults purchase. After all, they’re the only ones who can afford it. At one pound ($1.85) per copy, First News is almost three times more expensive than the other tabloids, 75 cents more than The Times, and the exact same price as the Financial Times. It’s hard to imagine children spending a greater percentage of their income on newspapers than adults do. (The average British child receives only $15 a week in pocket money.) If the editors of First News do manage to convince parents to purchase the paper for their kids’ edification, it still might not translate to a loyal young readership. By constantly nagging their offspring to include some news in their leisure diet, mothers and fathers could make newsprint the publishing equivalent of Brussels sprouts. The patronage of concerned parents might keep the presses rolling, but tweens will soon conclude that no one reads a newspaper for pleasure. First News also lacks an authentic age-appropriate voice, with articles that are often too saccharine for children’s tastes. The headline for a front-page story about children against war in the June 23–29 edition reads, “Give Peace a Chance.” Ten-year-old Rebecca Rothwell informs First News, “The point of [a] petition is to tell the Prime Min-

Crikey! First News, a new British tabloid for kids, hopes to attract a new generation of newspaper readers.

ister that fighting isn’t the way to solve problems.” It’s hard to imagine this goody-two-shoes tone going over very well in the school playground. As the liberal columnist Philip Hensher recently opined in The Independent, “I can well imagine the fate, too, of any kid caught reading [First News] by his or her peers…. Mockery [and] derision.” It’s also difficult to see what First News offers that children can’t

find elsewhere. The showbiz stories are extensively covered in numerous magazines, and the sports are in mum and dad’s paper. That leaves you with the waterskiing squirrel—who may be cute, but isn’t worth a pound of anybody’s money. It’s more likely that many copies will suffer the fate of the one I handed to a 9-year-old for feedback: He instantly tried to turn it into a paper airplane. September

| October




Global Newsstand


What’s up, Kenya? ■ Kwani?, Vol. 4, Fall 2006, Nairobi


enya is a nation of rich oral tradition, where stories of history and ritual, tribalism and war, and God and nature have been passed down for centuries. Kenya, at only 40 years old, is also a very young country. The voices of 1960s intellectual leaders, trained in English by their colonial rulers, helped Kenya forge a new humanistic, postcolonial identity and committed it to paper. Writers such as Ngugi wa Thiongo and Grace Ogot told brutal stories of Kenya’s struggle under colonial rule. It was the birth of a literary movement, one that is still heralded today. These days, young Kenyans have little tangible connection to the literary references of their colonial past. Today’s great exploiters of Africa are Africans themselves. The presidencies of Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi left Kenya an economic and cultural desert by pillaging the country’s wealth and silencing its greatest assets: its thinkers. For more than two decades under Moi’s dictatorial regime, freedom of speech was denied, novelists were jailed, and even political cartoonists were Alexandra Polier is a freelance journalist based in Kenya. 86

Foreign Policy

censored. The freedom of self-criticism and self-examination only arrived when a new government took power in 2002, and a new generation of literature was born. It was in this political environment that Kwani? was created. Three years

ago, 35-year-old writer Binyavanga Wainaina was in an online chatroom with other young Kenyan scribes when someone raised the idea of putting their own words and grievances in print. With funding from the Ford Foundation, Wainaina founded Kwani?, an independent literary magazine that publishes everything from poetry

and cartoons to short stories and nonfiction. So far, the magazine has received an enthusiastic response. Kwani?—Swahili slang for “what’s up?”—has published three annual issues with more than 12,000 total copies sold. Its fourth issue will hit newsstands later this year. And its Web site,, is flourishing, too. Kwani? is unafraid to tackle hot-button topics, publishing stories about sexuality, politics, poverty, and death. It is the voice of a new generation that doesn’t address the postcolonial topics that older Kenyan writers grappled with. “Our parents had a straight idea of who they were and what they needed to do,” says Wainaina. “Things are different now. I don’t know what kind of patriot I am, [so] I publish things that start conversations.” Whether it is brilliant literature is arguable. Wainaina may have won the coveted Caine Prize in 2002 (known as the “African Booker Prize”) for his short story “Discovering Home,” about a young man’s return to Kenya after a long absence. But many of the other writers are less polished, and their articles often read more like personal journal entries than moving prose. Critics and loyal followers alike often refer to it as pop culture rather than a literary magazine. But pop culture has its place. This creative writing experiment has


By Alexandra Polier educated mind.

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] much to the consternation of the public. Daily newspaper coverage of the trial was spotty, but the magazine’s profile gave voice to the frustration that millions of Kenyans were feeling. And it gave them a hero. It was a story that probably wouldn’t have been told otherwise. The autumn issue of Kwani? will also be a response to the political climate. It goes even further than before, opening the door to subjects such as rape, which is currently a controversial topic as Kenya’s parliament recently passed a Sexual Offences Bill. It’s not an easy task in a country where some leaders have an empty appreciation of women’s rights. For example, legislator Paddy Ahenda recently stated in parliament that Kenyan women always say “no,” but they mean “yes.” Kenya remains a patriarchal society where the changing roles of men and women, combined with poverty and

created an outlet in which fresh Kenyan writers can hone their skills. With stories written in a mixture of Swahili, English, and sheng (local slang), it is especially appealing to a younger audience. “We need to try out new ways of making our realities and fantasies come alive in print and spoken word, in any and every language we can,” says Wainaina. Published in July last year, the third volume of Kwani? tackled some of the political and social issues plaguing Kenya, topics that once rarely found their way into print. When a high-profile corruption scandal erupted—in which billions of dollars were stolen from the national treasury by politicians who had set up fake companies— Kwani? profiled the graft whistleblower in another major corruption case. The travesty had been halfheartedly tried in the courts,

unemployment, have led to a rise in violence, alcoholism, and divorce. Kwani? may be an experiment that’s still in its infancy, but it is an essential one. Kenyans have started demanding basic human rights and accountability from their leaders. The magazine’s provocative language, with its underground slang and controversial prose, creates the kind of dinner-table dialogue that inspires youth and challenges adults. During the early days of postcolonialism, literature drove the message home that Kenyans were not slaves or second-class citizens. That message has now broadened to include equality in the larger sense, the human sense. The birth pains of this movement may be awkward, self-conscious, and sometimes unsophisticated, but they are also powerful and raw, as Kenyans have once again found their voice.

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2007 Gelber Prize

CALL FOR BOOKS The Lionel Gelber Prize was established in 1989. It seeks to deepen public debate on significant global issues by broadening the readership of important non-fiction books on international affairs. The Lionel Gelber Prize is presented annually by The Lionel Gelber Foundation in partnership with the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto and FOREIGN POLICY. To be eligible for the 2007 Gelber Prize, books must be published between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2006. The deadline for submissions is 31 October 2006. Manuscripts to be published between 31 October and 31 December 2006 may be submitted in galley form. Complete rules of eligibility are available on our website at This year’s Gelber Prize winner was Adam Hochschild of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, for his book Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves, published by Houghton Mifflin.

For more information contact: Prize Manager, The Lionel Gelber Prize Munk Centre for International Studies University of Toronto 1 Devonshire Place Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3K7 Telephone: (416) 946-8901 Fax: (416) 946-8915 Email: g[email protected] Website:







Endgame in the Balkans Regime Change, European Style Elizabeth Pond 300 pp., cloth, 0-8157-7160-6, $29.95 Includes maps


Protecting the Homeland 2006/2007 Michael d’Arcy, Michael O’Hanlon, Peter Orszag, Jeremy Shapiro & James Steinberg 212 pp., paper, 0-8157-6459-6, $22.95

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy Confronting Today’s Threats George Bunn & Christopher F. Chyba, eds. Foreword by William J. Perry Copublished with the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) 360 pp., paper, 0-8157-1365-7, $29.95

Integrating Islam Political and Religious Challenges in Contemporary France Jonathan Laurence & Justin Vaisse 300 pp., cloth, 0-8157-5150-8, $52.95 paper, 0-8157-5151-6, $22.95

Security by Other Means Foreign Assistance, Global Poverty, and American Leadership Lael Brainard, ed. Copublished with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) 176 pp., cloth, 0-8157-1362-2, $44.95 paper, 0-8157-1361-4, $18.95 NEW IN PAPERBACK

The Idea of Pakistan Brookings Institution Press Phone: 800-537-5487 or 410-516-6956 Fax: 410-516-6998 Available at your local bookstore or order online at

Revised edition Stephen Philip Cohen 382 pp., paper, 0-8157-1503-x, $24.95

The Elliott School of International


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WAR & SURVIVAL Journalists under Fire The Psychological Hazards of Covering War Anthony Feinstein foreword by Chris Hedges “Dr. Feinstein has provided us with research that is a chilling reminder that war journalists are human, as well as a searing indictment of major news conglomerates who have refused to acknowledge or address the suffering of their own.” —Chris Hedges, former New York Times war correspondent and author of War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning $25.00 hardcover

Strategies of Dominance The Misdirection of U.S. Foreign Policy P. Edward Haley foreword by Lee H. Hamilton In a critical overview of U.S. foreign policy since the end of the Cold War, P. Edward Haley draws surprising connections between key elements of George W. Bush’s foreign policy and those of his predecessor, Bill Clinton. Haley further shows how these elements in both cases produced disastrous results, and he proposes an alternative that is constructive and tolerant but not amorally “realistic.” Woodrow Wilson Center Press

$22.95 paperback



Pod Politics


he podcast opens with a slick video montage of a smiling woman shaking hands with world leaders: George W. Bush, Jacques Chirac, Bono. But then the action slows down—way down. Because this isn’t Angelina Jolie visiting the United Nations. It’s the first weekly video podcast by a head of state, German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In the podcasts, which began in June, a clearly uncomfortable Merkel holds forth each week on such topics as “Federal Reform,” “Key Points of Health Policy Reform,” and “Retirement Funding.” All in a near expressionless monotone. Each podcast reportedly costs the German government $8,200 to produce. But the German public

doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, they appear to be fans of this technosavvy political messaging. Merkel’s first four speeches, which are available on Apple’s iTunes, were down-

Tunes Too Cheap


he world’s most notorious virtual black market makes its home on an Internet server in Russia. Or so says the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which places the Russian music download Web site atop its new list of the worst violators of intellectual property rights. Allofmp3 sells music below market rate—a little too far below market rate—at about 10 cents a song. And, according to the recording industry, it isn’t paying royalties, despite being one of the Internet’s largest music download sites. The site is considered so dangerous that it threatens to jeopardize Russia’s bid for membership in the World Trade Organization (wto). “It’s the first time we’ve made a particular Web site a focus in our bilateral negotiations” for wto membership, says Victoria Espinel, an assistant U.S. trade representative. Which means the folks at Allofmp3 may soon be singing a different tune. —Sally McGrane


Foreign Policy


loaded almost 200,000 times in the first month. “We think it’s been really successful,” says a German government spokesman. So successful, in fact, that opposition parties from both ends of the political spectrum are now streaming their own video podcast responses. Some critics see the streamed speeches as part of a larger strategy by Merkel to dodge hard questions. “She’s given very few public interviews since becoming chancellor,” says Sascha Kneip, an analyst at Berlin’s Social Science Research Center. “She may be hoping that journalists use the podcasts as a source and spread the government’s views . . . without her having to defend and justify them.” Of course, that would hardly be a political first. —Andrew Curry

Caught in the Net:

Europe’s E-Mail Alain Lamassoure, a former French budget minister and current member of the European Parliament, is drawing up the continent’s new proposals for financing the European Union. One of his ideas? Tax every e-mail and text message sent in Europe. “A small tax on text messages between Paris and another French town could be allocated to the French government, but taxes on e-mails and texts from Paris to Rome, for example, could be paid to the European budget,” says Lamassoure. He proposes a charge of nearly 20 cents on text messages and a fraction of a cent on e-mails. It’s the kind of idea only a French bureaucrat could love.



China’s Cyberwarriors


any cybersecurity experts in the United States and Taiwan worried when Microsoft provided the Chinese government with access to the source code of its Windows operating system in 2003. Their fear was that access to the code would make it easier for

Expert Sitings Erin McKean is the editor in chief of the New Oxford American Dictionary and other American dictionaries for Oxford University Press. She is also the editor of VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly ( and writes a blog, Her new book is Totally Weird and Wonderful Words, and she is actually really terrible at Scrabble. This blog is written by a bunch of top-notch linguists who comment, usually hilariously and with elegant turns of phrase as well as actual evidence, on silly language stories in the news. If it’s bunk, they debunk it. If you aren’t reading the award-winning blog BoingBoing, “A Directory of Wonderful Things,” you aren’t actually online.


The military code: China is looking for a few good nerds.

China’s People’s Liberation Army (pla) to develop and carry out new information-warfare techniques. A recent series of cyberattacks directed against targets in Taiwan and the United States may confirm that “those fears now appear justified,” says a Taiwanese intelligence officer. Taiwan and China regularly engage in low-level information-warfare attacks. But the past few months have seen a noticeable spike in activity. “‘Blitz’ is an accurate description” of the recent attacks, says the Taiwanese security source. “It’s almost like . . . a major cyberwar exercise.” For many years, observers believed that the balance of cyber war power was tipped in Taiwan’s favor. It has a sophisticated information-warfare program under the control of the Communications, Electronics, and Information Bureau. But China is quickly closing the gap, experts say. In particular, the pla has been very effective in developing a cadre of young hackers. Information warfare “will be crucial in the opening phases of [any] military offensive against Taiwan, knocking out the communications infrastructures that could be part of the defense strategy,” says Gary Rawnsley, who heads the University of Nottingham’s campus in Ningbo, China, and is a leading expert on cross-strait cyberattacks.

Lexicographer Grant Barrett finds the words that dictionaries have overlooked, such as “hump strap” and “briffit,” and posts them on Double-Tongued, with full citations. These are words that are actually in use, not the ones made up by teens for cheap thrills. At 43 Folders, productivity blogger Merlin Mann tests anything from notebooks and to-do managers to outlining software, all with the goal of finding items that will make you more productive and help you get things done. The recent attacks appear to be an attempt by China to take advantage of an ongoing political crisis and a series of government corruption scandals on the island. In addition to “hard” attacks, such as information theft and viruses, China’s current information warfare is angled more at disinformation than at actual disruption of Taiwanese technical abilities. In early June, for instance, hackers were able to electronically send a series of fraudulent press releases that appeared to originate from Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense. Hacking, after all, is as much about psychological warfare as it is about crashing the grid. —Mac William Bishop Andrew Curry is a writer living in Berlin. Sally McGrane is a journalist based in Germany. Mac William Bishop is a Taiwan-based correspondent for Jane’s Defence Weekly. September | October 2006


[ Continued from page 96

over the age of 20 have diabetes. Neighboring India ranks second with an estimated 30 million, or 6 percent of its population. In some countries in the Caribbean and the Middle East, 12 to 20 percent of the population is diabetic. Seven of the 10 countries with the most diabetics are in the developing world. The world’s leading killer, cardiovascular disease, is also stalking poor countries. Eighty percent of all deaths from heart disease now occur in low- to middle-income countries.

Missing Links


chronic diseases are storming the developing world. The poor and uneducated in developing countries are increasingly smoking, eating diets rich in saturated fats, and leading sedentary lives. The body-mass index (bmi) and total cholesterol levels increase rapidly as the national income of poor countries rises. In China, bmi and cholesterol levels have spiked sharply in urban areas. One study found that between 1984 and 1999, mean total cholesterol levels among 25- to 64-year-olds in Beijing jumped 16 percent. A

The poor in developing countries are increasingly smoking, eating diets rich in saturated fats, and leading sedentary lives. Between 1990 and 2020, heart disease is expected to increase by 120 percent for women and 137 percent for men in developing countries, compared with increases of only 30–60 percent in developed countries. When it comes to chronic diseases, the trend lines in the rich world and the developing world are moving in opposite directions. In highly industrialized countries, aggressive public-health measures and medical intervention have cut cardiovascular mortality dramatically. Death rates for heart disease have fallen by as much as 70 percent in Australia, Britain, Canada, and the United States during the past 30 years. Last year, the United States saw the first decline in the number of cancer deaths in more than 70 years. By contrast, the victims of heart disease in the developing world are growing younger and more numerous. In China, 300 million men smoke cigarettes and 160 million adults are hypertensive. Many of them will contract chronic diseases at young ages, and the economic consequences will be profound. China alone lost an estimated $18 billion in national income in 2005 to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The cumulative loss between 2005 and 2015 will likely be $556 billion, a staggering sum for an economy that is still modernizing. The causes of the looming health storm are not mysterious: The risk factors for chronic disease are the same in every country. What is so surprising is the speed with which

similar story is unfolding in Vietnam, where 15 percent of people in the Hanoi area are now overweight. Overhauling the public-health systems of poor countries is an obvious solution. But that kind of change can take decades and often depends as much on politics as on money. International aid agencies and private donors should focus on cheap and effective tools, such as tobacco advertising bans, public information campaigns, and simple medical intervention. A recent study in India, for example, found that treating suspected heart attacks with aspirin could save millions of lives at a mere $3 per life saved. In Mauritius, substituting soybean oil for palm oil has slashed cholesterol levels. Vietnam, which faces an acute dual challenge of infectious and chronic diseases, is working with the World Health Organization on a chronic disease control plan that emphasizes reducing tobacco use and increasing physical activity. International funds and expertise can help launch similar programs elsewhere. The money and minds of the rich world are finally focusing on the health of the poor. That is a good thing. But when the rich world looks to fight the diseases of the developing world, it may be surprised to encounter enemies it knows all too well. Michael P. Birt is director of The National Bureau of Asian Research’s Center for Health and Aging. Moisés Naím returns next issue. September

| October







Chronic Neglect Meet the developing world’s new health emergency: The rich world’s diseases. By Michael P. Birt


he forgotten diseases of the poor world are

finally getting some attention. Warren Buffett’s $31 billion donation to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is just the latest and most spectacular milestone in an increasingly aggressive campaign against infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, and hiv/aids. But even as the rich world finally grapples with this challenge, a new and more menacing threat to the developing world’s health is gathering. Chronic ailments such as diabetes, cancer, and heart and respiratory disease are hitting poor countries faster and harder than expected. Perversely, economic growth and development is hastening the arrival of rich-world diseases before poor countries’ health systems can prepare. Revolutionary changes in transportation, advertising, and food production have conspired to alter lifestyles abruptly in many parts of the developing world. Popular Western junk food, cheap cigarettes, and a flood of new automobiles mean that many citizens of poor countries eat worse and exercise less than they did only a decade ago. The movement of people from the countryside to more

lucrative jobs in the cities has exacerbated the trend. Public health awareness in most poor countries hasn’t caught up. This new affluence means that the poorest countries are now fighting a two-front war on disease. Diabetes—a disease usually associated with affluent societies—is particularly dangerous. In countries with weak health infrastructures, it is anything but the manageable condition it can be in the rich world. A person in Mozambique who requires insulin injections, for example, will probably live no more than a year. In Mali, the average life span after onset is 30 months. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the number of people around the world suffering from the disease has jumped in the past two decades from 30 million to 230 million. Almost 40 million Chinese Continued on page 95

FOREIGN POLICY (ISSN 0015-7228), September/October 2006, issue number 156. Ride-along enclosed, version 1-1 only. Published bimonthly in January, March, May, July, September, and November by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace at 1779 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036-2109. Subscriptions: U.S., $24.95 per year; Canada, $33.95; other countries, $39.95. Periodicals postage paid in Washington, D.C., and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send U.S. address changes to FOREIGN POLICY, P.O. Box 474, Mt. Morris, IL 61054-8499. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: P.O. Box 503, RPO West Beaver Creek, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 4R6. Printed in the USA.


Foreign Policy

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