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Tomak

Khalilzad comments on his '95 article

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A debater called in on a live interview with Khalilzad on C-Span's Washington Journal. He asked whether he still believes the arguments he made back in his '95 Washington Quarterly article.

 

Khalilzad's response (transcribed by me)

With regard to my article of '95, I think I stand behind the essential argument, which is that, given the changes that happened after the end of the cold war, we don't want the world to go back to a multipolar balance of power arrangement of the 19th and early 20th century, which brought about two world wars, or to a bipolar system of the cold war period, but rather to preserve American global leadership by adapting and adjusting our alliances and expanding the zone of peace, democracy, and security, systematically and incrementally worldwide. And I believe that as a level of a grand strategy, I think the concept is pretty much accepted. If you look at the articles written even in the last issue of Foreign Affairs by senator Obama and some of the others, this concept of US global leadership is broadly embraced now.

 

The interview was conducted 08/02/2007 and is currently viewable here (the debater calls 14 minutes in).

 

EDIT: Minor fix in the transcription. 8/11

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Well, there's nobody really to persuade any more. Like ZK said, most everyone in Washington agrees that the US should be the world's leading power. So I would say unlikely. Though many of his comments at the UN are along similar lines, it's for a very different reason and speaking to a different crowd.

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The Obama article is the worst trash I've ever read. His fopo plan is to recoup the military and then re-deploy them preventatively. That's the exact same thing that Bush does...WTF?

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The article has dozens if not scores of cards, depending on how you cut it, not one. The full citation is:

 

Khalilzad, Zalmay (1995). "Losing the moment? The United States and the world after the Cold War". The Washington Quarterly 18:2: 03012.

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Well, there's nobody really to persuade any more. Like ZK said, most everyone in Washington agrees that the US should be the world's leading power.

 

 

Everyone in Washington thinks US should have unipolar power hardly means that everyone thinks the US should hold unipolar power. There's still a lot of debate among IR scholars about whether unipolar, bipolar, or multipolar arrangements are best, and many others who reject that entire paradigm. And how many people outside the US do you think say the US should be the world's sole superpower?

 

I'm not trying to start a debate, I just found that bit I quoted funny.

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Everyone in Washington thinks US should have unipolar power hardly means that everyone thinks the US should hold unipolar power. There's still a lot of debate among IR scholars about whether unipolar, bipolar, or multipolar arrangements are best, and many others who reject that entire paradigm.
Unless you're using a different definition of "IR scholars" than I am, there is relatively little of such debate. Open up not just this issue of Foreign Affairs, but any issue in the last five years. There are some contrary voices in the minority of academia who speak up when UN reform is discussed, but for the most part American leadership is accepted as inevitable and embraced as the first arrangement of global power that could preserve peace.

 

And how many people outside the US do you think say the US should be the world's sole superpower?

I understand that quite well, thank you. I specifically said, "Though many of his comments at the UN are along similar lines, it's for a very different reason and speaking to a different crowd."

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anyone have a authentic transcript that i can cut and cite - this is a great update to the Khalizad card

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I doubt it was transcribed. Viewer call-ins rarely are. Just transcribe it yourself and say so in your cite. Or you can cite my transcription and post URL if you believe I did a loyal job. I got all the words in the right order - choosing where to put the punctuation is the only iffy part.

 

I don't think it's really a "great update." The specific scenarios from the '95 article are what made it great evidence, and they're all out of date. But it does make for an interesting "no brink" card if the neg is still running the old Washington Quarterly evidence for the impact.

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I found a more permanent link at http://www.c-spanarchives.org/library/index.php?main_page=product_video_info&products_id=200102-4

 

Here's a full cite for you to copy/paste

 

Khalilzad '07

Zalmay Khalilzad (Former CFR fellow, RAND director, and State Department advisor. Current ambassador to UN) interview with C-SPAN Washington Journal on 8/2/07, http://www.c-spanarchives.org/library/index.php?main_page=product_video_info&products_id=200102-4 (accessed 8/11/07), transcribed by Steven Tomak at http://www.cross-x.com/vb/showthread.php?p=1489846

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Is it legit to have a transcript created by a user of cross-x? I'd be honestly skeptical if I were a judge without internet to confirm the video...

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Yes, it is. Given that one could just transcribe it themselves and use that, the source of the transcription seems immaterial, so long as it is faithful. It's no worse that posting correspondance on eDebate and carding that.

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Unless you're using a different definition of "IR scholars" than I am, there is relatively little of such debate. Open up not just this issue of Foreign Affairs, but any issue in the last five years. There are some contrary voices in the minority of academia who speak up when UN reform is discussed, but for the most part American leadership is accepted as inevitable and embraced as the first arrangement of global power that could preserve peace.

 

Are you kidding? Do you know who Christopher Layne is? Also, there was a back-and-forth debate between Layne and Thayer in the National Interest in 06 and Layne has an 06 book.

 

Oh, and I guess all the realists who call for restrained foreign policy are just "contrary voices in the minority of academia"?

 

Yeah sure, in DC everybody accepts leadership--thats because its the god damn capitol of the US. In academia... not so much.

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Remember your recent history.

 

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was a real question of what the US' role in the world, if any, should be. Many were advocating different levels of noninterventionism and even radical isolationism. Khalilzad's '95 article was a direct response to this group. Now the isolationists have more or less disappeared from serious discussions. Most of today's discussions are over what the US should do with its leadership role, rather than whether it should abdicate it.

 

Consider the following claims:

"The world would have a better chance of peace if China were to raise a military capable of rising the US."

"Clinton's passive response to the Rwanda genocide was the right thing to do. There was no international consensus, and the US had no right to encroach on the country's sovereignty."

"Power should be spread more equally at the UN. The US should negotiate with the other four veto powers in the Security Council to mutually eliminate all parties' veto power."

"PEPFAR was not in the US's interests, and ought not have been passed."

 

You don't see articles in important publications with these kinds of views. There are people who actually make claims similar to those above, but they are very much in the minority. You see this mostly among libertarians and those from the far left (anarchists) and far right (reform party) of the political spectrum.

 

Are you kidding? Do you know who Christopher Layne is? Also, there was a back-and-forth debate between Layne and Thayer in the National Interest in 06 and Layne has an 06 book.
Libertarians are definitely in the minority.

 

Oh, and I guess all the realists who call for restrained foreign policy are just "contrary voices in the minority of academia"?
Restraint is different from isolationism, balance of power, or whatever it is that you think is a remotely popular challenger to the idea of US leadership.

 

Yeah sure, in DC everybody accepts leadership--thats because its the god damn capitol of the US. In academia... not so much.
Sarcasm is an AWESOME argument. I concede.

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I'm not aware of too many anarchists who advocate China rivaling US hard power (or even soft power for that matter) as some sort of goal we should aspire to. The same thing goes for the bit about inaction being the right course in the Rwandan genocide.

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Remember your recent history.

 

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was a real question of what the US' role in the world, if any, should be. Many were advocating different levels of noninterventionism and even radical isolationism. Khalilzad's '95 article was a direct response to this group. Now the isolationists have more or less disappeared from serious discussions. Most of today's discussions are over what the US should do with its leadership role, rather than whether it should abdicate it.

 

Thanks for the history update. But its absurd of you to claim that people dont advocate non-interventionism or even isolationism now. There was a good 2005 book by a dude named Donald Schmidt which had some of the better isolationism good cards I've ever read. Layne still writes a ton. Bandow. All the critical IR scholars--Wendt and crew. Even Mearsheimer says that the idea of hegemony is impossible. Your statement that "IR scholars" all agree on hegemony is absurd or the topic wouldnt have been the main focus of the national interest this past year. Your two examples are Khalilzad and Obama which proves my "sarcastic" point that in DC people accept leadership as inevitable and debate what to do with it because they are in that position.

 

Consider the following claims:

"The world would have a better chance of peace if China were to raise a military capable of rising the US."

 

No, but there are scholars who say that China's economic strength is a counter-balance to the US which creates stability.

 

"Clinton's passive response to the Rwanda genocide was the right thing to do. There was no international consensus, and the US had no right to encroach on the country's sovereignty."

 

Consider how many people would make this arg:

 

"[bush's interventionist] response to the [iraq situation] was the [wrong] thing to do. There was no international consensus and the US had no right ot encroach on the country's sovereignty."

 

 

You don't see articles in important publications with these kinds of views.

 

Sure you do. I think your definition of "important publications" is skewed and doesnt really provide an accurate representation of what "IR scholar" literature encompasses. If by "important publication" you mean Foreign Affairs then yes, there are very few opponents of american leadership who write in foreign affairs. If you include any number of other very qualified journals the debate still rages. Journals like, I dont know Foreign Policy, National Interest International Security, Journal of Strategic Studies, Security Studies, Orbis, etc.

 

Libertarians are definitely in the minority.

 

While he did work at CATO, he also taught at the Kennedy school of government the Naval postgraduate school and about 3 other places. His views dont get blown off.

 

Think about it--if these voices were such a minority in academia then why did Mandelbaum have to write an 05 book called "In Defense of Goliath"? Why did Thayer have to have a debate with Layne in the national interest? Because these questions are far from resolved.

 

Restraint is different from isolationism, balance of power, or whatever it is that you think is a remotely popular challenger to the idea of US leadership.

 

Restraint in the sense of prioritizing national interest/pure realism exclusively over other ideals. When many people defend this idea they actually are accused of being isolationist.

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