Subject of post-American global disorder for the Tri-City Badger Club


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The world is a tough place these days. Beyond the blatant horror of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, autocrats around the world felt increasingly free to test the limits of the global order created by the United States and its allies after World War II and defended by our firm response to acts of outright aggression. in the Balkans and in the Persian Gulf War.

But since then, foreign policy experts have become concerned. Our confused priorities and shifting missions during our 20-year war in Afghanistan, our indecisive record of involvement in Syria, our equally indecisive response to the Russian invasion of Crimea, and the intentional unraveling of our international relations during the Trump era Administration may have left autocrats around the world wondering whether the United States is no longer willing or able to play a leading role in maintaining global peace and stability .

On Thursday, May 5, the Columbia Basin Badger Club will present a special online program to discuss these issues. Former Ambassador Ryan Crocker is a career Foreign Service officer who served six times as U.S. Ambassador in some of the toughest missions the State Department had to offer: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon. .

Former Secretary of Defense General James Mattis said of Crocker: “He is the best diplomat around. Whenever we were in trouble, he was the diplomat sent to right the ship.

Today, Crocker is a nonresident senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Other academic appointments have included Diplomat-in-Residence at Princeton University, First Kissinger Fellow at Yale University, James Schlesinger Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia and Texas A&M where he was Dean of the Bush School of Government.

He serves on the board of directors of No One Left Behind, a non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to ensuring that America keeps its promises to Afghans and Iraqis who have risked their lives to support us. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President George W. Bush in 2009.

Are we entering a new era of global disorder and, if so, what should be done about it? Crocker noted that the United States has shown it can lead the way by supporting Ukraine. “Now we have to prove that we have resilience.”

American leadership is essential, he says, to maintain the world order. “If America doesn’t take the lead in maintaining world order, who will?” We have not lived up to that role in Afghanistan. “The Trump and Biden administrations both had similar views on Afghanistan, and they were both dead wrong,” Crocker said.

He praised the Biden administration’s handling of the Ukraine crisis so far, but worries that America isn’t very good at strategic patience. And he warns that China is also a challenge for global leadership, while there are other potential hotspots, including Taiwan, North Korea, Pakistan, Kashmir and the Middle East.

Finally, Crocker says we need to think about what we do to ourselves at home. “Our political divide is our greatest strategic weakness,” he said.

The forum will begin at a special time, 12:30 p.m. A 30-minute presentation by Ambassador Crocker will be followed by a question and answer session.

Participants can also join an informal “Table Talk” session immediately afterwards for further discussion. Register to attend Club members are not charged for meetings, while non-members pay $5.

C. Mark Smith is Chair of the Badger Club Program Committee. He has led economic development organizations at the federal, state and local levels for over 40 years and is the author of five books on history and biography.

This story was originally published May 3, 2022 12:07 p.m.

Jessica C. Bell