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Algora Publishing - Foreign policy mandarins have more to learn
                                               For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Tuesday,
Foreign policy mandarins have more to learn
... unfortunately this message does not even now seem to have reached all parts of the newly shaping US foreign policy establishment, where the pundits keep calling for a re-assumption of American leadership and asking how the US can again impose its will and values on a turbulent world. But that is the wrong question.
The Financial Times

From Lord Howell of Guildford.

Sir, It is good that Richard Haass and Martin Indyk have reached the conclusion that the US now needs regional partners, including China and Russia, and plenty of diplomacy to meet its foreign policy goals (“Middle East needs Obama’s touch”, December 17). This is a view that some of us were putting forward well over a decade ago (for instance in my Demos pamphlet “Easternisation” in 1996).

We pointed then to the coming rise of Asian power, not just in economic terms but in terms of superior moral and social cohesion and, in due course, of decisive political influence in tackling world challenges. And we explained how the underlying forces within the informational revolution were going to accelerate this process, and how western ascendancy was going to pass not just from the US but from both sides of the Atlantic basin into a new global network with quite different power centres.

All this has come to pass with a vengeance, but unfortunately this message does not even now seem to have reached all parts of the newly shaping US foreign policy establishment, where the pundits keep calling for a re-assumption of American leadership and asking how the US can again impose its will and values on a turbulent world. But that is the wrong question. What the world asks from the great, generous and well-meaning republic, with its own fine, if today somewhat tarnished, beliefs, is indeed partnership rather than leadership – for US foreign policy to sound less assertive and more co-operative and understanding of the position, values and political structures of others.

Dr Haass and Dr Indyk are clearly getting there, even though some of their colleagues are slow learners!

David Howell,
UK House of Lords

Foreign policy mandarins have more to learn