Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Dr. Kiron K. Skinner - Red, White and Peaceful: Advancing U.S. Security through Peaceful Means

National security and environmental well-being can go hand in hand with solving major disputes without the use of force. America can help make this happen.

The National Interest

The government of the United States has faced unusually severe threats to national security over the past year. These events, of course, are not independent of one another. Rather, they form part of a path of reinforcing experiences that have encouraged boldly assertive actions that seem contrary to American interests in the Middle East, in the East and South China Sea and most especially in Ukraine. We set out here how these developments are interrelated and how corrective action might be taken through unilateral, nonmilitary shifts in policy, especially energy and environmental policy.

 To understand the proximate origins of many of the challenges to American security interests, it is useful to begin our discussion with the summer of 2013. President Obama had earlier declared that if Bashar al Assad’s government used chemical weapons against his opposition, that would be a “game changer.” After it became clear that he had used such weapons on a large scale, an idea was set out (seemingly by Vladimir Putin, but we cannot be sure) that Assad would surrender his chemical weapons for destruction by the United Nations. The moment of that proposal created an opportunity to learn about Putin’s sincerity and Obama’s resolve.

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