Monday News

Congress Unlikely To Approve Present – Or Future Humanitarian Interventions
Walter Russell Mead writes in The National Interest humanitarian interventionists face real challenges in gaining congressional approval for Syria, as well as other actions.

“Humanitarian interventionists are stuck with two tough problems: it is always going to be hard to get the US to use force in such circumstances, and it is going to be even harder to develop reliable methods for getting it done by international organizations or even coalitions. . . . Ironically, it would be easier both politically and constitutionally for the President to bomb Syria if he credibly invoked national security as the primary justification and used Assad’s atrocities as a secondary reason,” he writes.

Have Geopolitics Prevented A Clash Of Civilizations? Twenty years ago, Foreign Affairs magazine published an article, “The Clash of Civilizations,” a thesis put forth by Samuel Huntington outlining how foreign policy would be determined by cultural events. Decades later, Zachary Keck looks back to how that thesis has held up.

“While Huntington’s thesis may have seemed prescient in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, that was an illusion. Al-Qaeda was always more a battle within a civilization than one between them, and the dozen years since 9/11 have made that unmistakably clear,” Keck argues before asking why his thesis did not come to fruition.

In addition to other factors, such as technology and decentralization of power, Keck says geopolitics played a fundamental role in preventing this clash.

“The old scourge of geopolitics has not been retired to the dustbin of history but rather has remained a central if not the central feature of contemporary international relations and, in many cases, domestic relations. For all the talk of globalization, people’s principal interactions continue to be with people in their own societies as well as neighboring ones. As thinkers like Rousseau understood so well, but which so many liberal philosophers have refused to accept, interaction and interdependence form the basis of conflict or at least the potential for it,” contends Keck.

Business Can Be A Force Against Climate Change
Jerry Patchell and Roger Hayter believe business can be an ally, not a foe, in the fight against climate change and environmental degradation – if the incentives are shown to them.

“Their global reach and tremendous capacity for the research, development, demonstration, and diffusion of new technologies offer the best chance of addressing climate change. In the United States, McKinsey estimates that multinational corporations account for 74 percent of private-sector research-and-development spending,” they note.

“As the world continues to climb out of a recession, multinational corporations are far better placed to tackle climate change than deficit-ridden or poor governments. The concentration of immense power in a small number of corporations — long a fear of concerned citizens everywhere — might turn out to be just what is needed to save the planet.”

The Next Generation
The Hindu’s Geeta Padmanabhan argues that contrary to popular belief the upcoming generation is not as self-involved as they appear to be. In fact, a new form of cosmopolitanism is shaping the new, interdependent and open-minded generation.

“Sam Bowman, a young researcher at Adam Smith Institute sees the shift as one caused by a new cosmopolitanism, brought on by the Internet. “The Internet lets you speak to people you share interests with, wherever they live. Geographical unity is fine, but I think most people prefer the unity and friendship that comes from shared interests.” Polling shows that younger people are in favour of gender equality and supportive of gay rights,” Padmanabhan contends.




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