Saturday, December 26, 2009

U.S. Foreign Policy Challenges

Mary Elise Sarotte. University of Southern California. International Relations Professor.

She refers to punctuated equilibrium from Biology and Thomas Kuhn. You know you're in one if you think so, if you have to ask, you're not in one. Punctuational moments are self-evident. (But from whose perspective?!?!)

-Her thinking is overly simplistic and doesn't answer anything except to defer to common perceptions or even misperceptions. Elites may consider something to be life changing whether it is or not. This seems to me to be an acknowledgement of hysteria, not actual values of events! Furthermore Thomas Kuhn?!?! Are you kidding me?!?! And to try to link evolutionary biology and geo-politics is preposterous. Should we now include Social Darwinism now too?!?! Well-spoken articulate garbage, is still garbage.

William Wohlforth. Dartmouth College. Government Chair.

He contends that the scholar community is historically wrong in global changing events such as The fall of the Berlin Wall, the expansion of NATO, and 9/11. There was general agreement amongst security experts that supported Afghanistan action. But they were wrong with their predictions on NATO expansion, and the rapid reunification of Germany. They were most correct about Iraq, but their criticism were divorced from their own theory and what they had argued in the past. John Meerscheimer opposed reunification of Germany, wanted to prop up the GDR and the Soviet Union.

-My problem with this, is he ignores the broader effects of American Empire and global military expansion. He tacitly rubber stamps U.S. expansion globally leaving little room to problematize U.S. Foriegn policy.

Bruce Cumings. University of Chicago. History Professor.

Disagrees that 9/11 was a punctuated event. There were numerous anarchist attacks, yet they weren't considered world changing. 9/11 was merely taken to be one by the Bush Administration.

How do we know we're in a tranformative moment? Other suggested Punctuational Events. 1953 end of Stalin. 1945. Sino-Soviet split. Perestroika started then a lot of these other events became more likely. Aren't all these transformative moments, yet are not always considered as such?

The Cold War already ended in Asia in 1970's and economics changed things. Deng Xiaoping already did what we expected (wake up and throw off Mao) so we don't think of it as earth changing.

NATO is meant to keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down. That sounds about right to me.

Bob Zellick in 1990 mentioned NATO moving into Eastern Europe. Poles and Hungarians are publically mentioning it. Gorbechav even suggested to Baker to have the Soviet Union join NATO!!

University of Virginia- Miller Center

No comments:

Post a Comment