Insights, analysis and must reads from CNN's Fareed Zakaria and the Global Public Square team, compiled by Global Briefing editor Jason Miks.
October 10, 2018
The Big Lesson of Haley's Tenure
Nikki Haley was surprisingly effective at balancing US and foreign interests at the United Nations, writes Richard Gowan for Politico Magazine. If the Trump administration wants to replicate what she got right, it should avoid the temptation to replace her with a "die-hard anti-multilateralist."
"[I]f the administration does opt for a hard-liner who alienates other powers and hollows out the UN system, it will ultimately only reduce its own diplomatic clout. Haley was always ready to defend Trump's anti-UN maneuvers in public. She made some—such as quitting the Human Rights Council over its persistent criticisms of Israel—hallmarks of her tenure," Gowan writes.
"But when it came to crises like North Korea, she knew multilateralism had to work. Haley was never, as she often pointed out, an unquestioning friend of the world organization. But, just as diplomats from other powers learned to respect her, Haley learned to respect the UN as a place where the US can cut urgent political deals."
China Scores a Diplomatic Own Goal
China may have scored an own goal by detaining Interpol's Meng Hongwei over corruption allegations, suggests Adam Minter for Bloomberg. If Beijing is serious about wanting greater prominence in international organizations, this is no way to build trust.
By "abducting (Meng) without any notice to Interpol (much less a public accounting of charges), China has clearly demonstrated its lack of respect for international standards of governance. The damage will be lasting. Global organizations will be understandably wary of putting another Chinese into a leadership position, and the Chinese government—rarely willing to admit a wrong—is unlikely to offer assurances that it will respect international norms in the future. That's a setback for China, and a tragedy for international organizations that depend on global cooperation to manage or solve issues that impact us all."
The Danger of a Brexit Vote 2.0
Opponents of Brexit pounced on reports that the British government "is seeking to recruit a team of 'resilience advisers' to handle the potential fallout from a chaotic Brexit," CNN reports. But those campaigning for a second referendum in hopes of overturning the first are being shortsighted, argues Robert Shrimsley for The Financial Times. Doing so would undermine democracy—and could unleash even more chaos.
"The phenomenon of populism cannot be wished away and one of its causes was the sense of a political class that does not listen. It is a lesson EU leaders are still failing to learn. Leavers will view a second referendum as a plot by the political class to frustrate their decision. They will not be wrong," Shrimsley writes.
"If the previous campaign was ugly and divisive, imagine the next: a full assault on every institution of political stability with added venom for foreigners. From there a descent into pure populism is a small step and the next group of leaders will be less loveable than Nigel Farage. For all this, Remainers are uniting in a way that Brexiters are not. Parliamentary paralysis may leave another referendum the only option and many Remainers are thus invested in maintaining deadlock."
"Despite the speculation that erupted in response to Trump's negative comments about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and other alliances during the 2016 election campaign (and occasionally since then), the substance of US policy has remained largely unchanged. Indeed, NATO has continued to expand its membership with Trump's blessing—adding Montenegro and planning to add Macedonia," Carpenter argues.
"Indeed, Trump's principal complaint about NATO has always focused on European free-riding and the lack of burden-sharing…Trump's emphasis on greater burden-sharing within the Alliance is simply a less diplomatic version of the message that previous generations of US officials have tried sending to the allies."
How the US Can Counter China (Without Any Shooting)
The United States is going to have to learn to live with a rising China in the Indo-Pacific region, writes Robert Kaplan for The Washington Post. If the Trump administration wants to push back against Beijing and rally support, it needs to think carrots, not sticks.
"Unless the United States wants a shooting war in the South China Sea, its only defense against China's policy of gradual encroachment is a US system of free trade and democratic alliance-building that buttresses its military posture and counters China's own imperial system," Kaplan writes.
"Power is not only military and economic, but moral. And by moral I do not, in this instance, mean humanitarian or moralistic. I mean something harder: the constancy of one's word so that allies can depend upon you. Only with that will littoral states such as Vietnam and the Philippines—to say nothing of Taiwan and South Korea—see it in their own interests to keep a safe distance from China."
"Geography still matters. And because the United States is so far away, its only hope is to offer an uplifting regional vision that anchors its military one."
"Brown coal, a greasy, low-grade fuel also known as lignite, isn't just controversial because of the greenhouse gases its burning spews into the atmosphere. It is mined in vast, open pits that devour landscapes and villages, leaving Martian vistas of desolation roamed by gigantic excavators straight out of 'Mad Max,'" Hackman notes. "Germany is its largest producer."
"Though Germany has championed the use of clean energy, several German brown-coal mines are expanding, which requires government permission. And though Germany's greenhouse-gas emissions began trending downward in 1990, emissions have climbed since 2015."