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November 2019 Volume 53, No. 6
30 YEARS LATER The fall of the Berlin Wall & the state of democracy around the world. Featuring: A conversation with former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats Essays by Dan Twining of the International Republican Institute and Michael Abramowitz & Arch Puddington of Freedom House Plus: Mac Thornberry heads to the heartland to revitalize the foreign policy center in the United States www.riponsociety.org
A man hammers away at the Berlin Wall on November 10, 1989. $6.95 U.S./$7.95 Canada
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“Ideas that matter, since 1965.“ Volume 53, Number 6 Politics and Perspective
Cover Story (cont’d)
The Opioid Crisis: The Next Step in the Fight By Greg Walden
Brexit and the Special Relationship By Peter Kellner
The Virtue of Quiet at the Cold War’s End By Jeffrey A. Engel When the Wall came down and the Soviet Empire collapsed, President George H.W. Bush did more than anyone else to give peace the calm and quiet it needed to grow.
To Revitalize the Foreign Policy Center, Head to the Heartland By Matthew Ferraro In a series of speeches across the country, Mac Thornberry is arguing that our quality of life is better thanks in no small measure to the postWWII international order the U.S. helped build.
How Young Americans View the Fall of the Berlin Wall By Kyle Chance & Sarah Pearce Each generation has pivotal moments that help define them. For Millennials and Generation Z, it’s apparent that the fall of the Wall is just another page in the history books.
A Beacon of Hope in the Nation’s Capital By Lindsey M. Burke
Cover Story 10
The Fall of the Wall, 30 Years Later Q&A with Dan Coats A conversation with the former Ambassador, Senator, and Director of National Intelligence about America’s role in defeating communism and the role of America around the globe.
The State of Freedom Three Decades After the Fall By Michael Abramowitz & Arch Puddington Every year for the last 13 years, more countries have experienced declines in freedom than advances—the longest period of democratic regression since such reporting began in 1973.
Democracy, Dictatorship, and American National Security in the 21st Century By Dan Twining The greatest dangers to America today emanate from the ideologically driven strategies of Russia and China to weaken our democracy.
The Wall has Fallen, but Divisions Remain By Klaus Schroeder The unification of the two German states on October 3, 1990 did not occur on an equal basis. In fact, a collapsing political entity joined a larger German core state. Publisher The Ripon Society
Editor Lou Zickar
President Jim Conzelman
Deputy Editor Kyle Chance
Editorial Board Thomas Tauke Michael Castle Billy Pitts Pamela Sederholm Judy Van Rest Jim Murtha John Feehery
Editorial Assistant William Clutterbuck
The Fury of an Aroused Democracy and the False Furies of Today By Lou Zickar Eisenhower described America’s entrance into WWII as “the fury of an aroused democracy.” What the world sees today in America instead is a country consumed by false furies.
Sections 3 33 36
In this Edition News & Events - coverage of breakfast discussion with House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney. Ripon Profile - Ohio Governor Mike DeWine
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THE RIPON SOCIETY HONORARY CONGRESSIONAL ADVISORY BOARD U.S. Senators: Shelley Moore Capito - Senate Co-Chair Cory Gardner - Senate Co-Chair Marsha Blackburn Roy Blunt Richard Burr Bill Cassidy, M.D. Susan M. Collins Steve Daines Joni Ernst Deb Fischer John Hoeven Jerry Moran Pat Roberts Mike Rounds Thom Tillis Roger Wicker Todd Young U.S. Representatives: Susan W. Brooks - House Co-Chair Greg Walden - House Co-Chair Martha Roby - Vice Chair, South Darin LaHood - Vice Chair, Midwest Mike Kelly - Vice Chair, Northeast Dan Newhouse - Vice Chair, West Frank Lucas - Vice Chair, Southwest Mark Amodei Don Bacon Troy Balderson Andy Barr Vern Buchanan Larry Bucshon, M.D. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. Ken Calvert Buddy Carter Tom Cole Doug Collins Paul Cook Rodney Davis Tom Emmer Ron Estes Brian Fitzpatrick Bill Flores Kay Granger Sam Graves French Hill Bill Huizenga Bill Johnson Dave Joyce John Katko Adam Kinzinger Bob Latta Billy Long Kevin McCarthy Michael McCaul Cathy McMorris Rodgers Paul Mitchell John Moolenaar John Ratcliffe Tom Reed Tom Rice Steve Scalise John Shimkus Pete Stauber Steve Stivers Glenn “GT” Thompson Mac Thornberry Mike Turner Fred Upton Jackie Walorski Brad Wenstrup Steve Womack
In this Edition
Perhaps one of the more fascinating things to emerge from our conversation with Dan Coats in this latest edition of The Ripon Forum is who he says is the American most responsible for helping to bring down communism in 1991. The Forum reached out to the veteran Indiana policymaker to get his thoughts on the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago this month, and the state of world affairs today. Coats is in a better position than most to discuss these topics. When the Wall came down in 1989, he was serving in the U.S. Senate as a member of the Armed Services Committee. Just over a decade later, he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Germany. He arrived in Berlin just before the 9/11 terrorist attacks and helped guide relations between our two countries in the tenuous weeks and months that followed. Most recently, of course, Coats served as Director of National Intelligence in the Trump Administration. All of this is to say that Coats has seen a lot and done a lot over the course of his distinguished career. Which is why it was so interesting when he named John Davis as the fourth person -- after Lech Wałęsa, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Pope John Paul II – who had “the most critical role in bringing about the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe.” I have to admit I’d never heard of Davis, so I Googled him. As it turns out, he served as Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw from 1983 to 1988, and U.S. Ambassador to Poland from 1988 to 1990. At a time when some members of the U.S. Foreign Service are being accused of being members of the “deep state,” it is notable that a veteran Republican like Dan Coats would point to a career diplomat like John Davis as being even more responsible than Ronald Reagan for bringing down the Berlin Wall. An article that appeared in the December 21, 1989 edition of the New York Times helps explain why Coats feels this way. Published less than six weeks after the Wall came down, it is an account of how Davis gained influence in Warsaw over the years – first by hosting separate dinners with members of the Communist government and the Solidarity Labor Union, and then by hosting dinners where both members of the government and labor leaders were invited. “Communists mingled with Solidarity people,” the Times reported. “Former prisoners clinked glasses with their jailers. The result is that Ambassador John R. Davis Jr. now commands attention and respect in Poland. It is no small success.” No small success. If there were ever an understatement written about that period, it would be that one. And yet “understated” is perhaps the best word that can be used to describe America’s quiet diplomacy during that pivotal time. It was the type of diplomacy not only practiced by Ambassador Davis, but exemplified by President George H.W. Bush. In an essay in this same edition, historian Jeffrey Engel writes how America’s 41st President approached this period of upheaval. “He did not shout, he did not gloat, he did not boast,” Engel writes. “Bush instead mostly listened during those tumultuous weeks and months of promise and anxiety in 1989, knowing that every time he listened more than he talked when a foreign leader called, and every time he kept his word, faith in him grew.” Of course, faith in America grew, too -- faith in America as a force for good, and faith in America as a symbol of peace, justice, and freedom. Dan Coats touches on this sentiment in his interview with the Forum, when he talks about the hundreds of Germans who showed up outside the gates of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin to pay their respects on 9/11. “I recall with considerable emotion talking with a German woman of my generation as she laid her flowers on the mountain of bouquets at the Embassy’s entrance,” Coats stated. “She said that Americans had helped Germany at its time of greatest need in the trying times after World War II ... This woman represented the immediate post-war generation marked by deep gratitude toward the United States for our contributions to Germany’s peace and prosperity. This generation continues to love America.” It has been 18 years since the terrorist attacks, and three decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall. A lot has clearly changed during that time. What has not changed is the important role that America plays in the world, and the importance of America continuing to be a global force for good. This edition of The Ripon Forum is focused on both the challenges and opportunities the United States faces in that regard, and features some of the leading thinkers and policymakers who – through both intellect and action – are working to not only make the 21st century another American century, but to make sure the advances of the past 75 years have not been for naught. As with every edition, we thank you for reading, and welcome any comments, suggestions, or questions you may have. Lou Zickar Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org RIPON FORUM November 2019
Politics & Perspective
The Opioid Crisis: The Next Step in the Fight by GREG WALDEN “We lost a bright and intelligent human being, a visionary, Katko (R-NY), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Luis Correa (D-CA), an entrepreneur. We lost a person that loved others.” I heard and Darren Soto (D-FL). This legislation will help combat those words from a mother named Tonya, speaking about her illicit fentanyl without undermining important public health and research protections. Fentanyl was responsible for more son, Blake, at a roundtable in my Oregon district recently. Blake’s story is one we have heard far too often – a life lost than 32,000 overdose deaths in one year; it is a scourge that to the opioid crisis that has killed more Americans in one year must be reined in. A version of this legislation passed the House last year by an overwhelming than the entire Vietnam War. Another bipartisan vote. family left in its wake; another reminder H.R. 4806, the Debarment that our work to combat this crisis is far Enforcement of Bad Actor from over, just one year after President Registrants (DEBAR) Act, Trump signed H.R.6, the SUPPORT Act sponsored by Rep. Bob Latta (Rinto law. OH). This bill stems from our The SUPPORT Act is already investigation into opioid distributors making significant impacts in the fight in West Virginia and would prevent against the opioid crisis. Key provisions bad actors who have violated of the law are being implemented on the the law from manufacturing, ground, just as new preliminary data distributing, or dispensing opioids show a decline in drug overdose deaths in our communities. for the first time in nearly 30 years. H.R. 4812 the Ensuring But, as we all said from the Compliance Against Opioid beginning, just as the SUPPORT Act Diversion Act, sponsored by Rep. was not our first effort in the fight Morgan Griffith (R-VA), also against the opioid crisis, it surely will stems from our investigations, and not be our last. We cannot allow the prevents bad actor distributors progress made against this crisis to turn We cannot allow the from skirting DEA oversight, by into complacency. prohibiting the transfer of any DEA That’s why, on the one-year progress made against registration without written consent anniversary of the SUPPORT this crisis to turn into from the agency. This bill will help Act becoming law in October, we reduce the risk of drug diversion highlighted 12 bills that Congress complacency. by preventing pharmacies from should consider right now in order distributing opioids if they have not to further our efforts to combat the been vetted by the DEA. epidemic of substance use disorder (SUD). H.R. 4810, the Opioid Prescription Verification Act, These bipartisan bills represent a commitment to continue the all-hands-on-deck approach in the next front of this fight to sponsored by Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Jeff Van Drew stem the tide of addiction and save lives in our communities. (D-NJ), John Shimkus (R-IL), Bob Latta (R-OH), and Larry Bucshon (R-IN). This legislation aims to stop ‘pharmacy We should work to pass them into law this Congress: H.R. 2062, the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety shopping’ of opioid prescriptions which are then illegally Act, sponsored by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and sold on the street. H.R. 4814, the Suspicious Order Identification Act, Markwayne Mullin (R-OK). This legislation passed the House last Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan vote. It would sponsored by Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Bill Johnson ensure that we are effectively and safely treating patients (R-OH). This bill requires opioid distributors to report every suffering from SUD by giving providers appropriate access to sale, delivery, or disposal of any controlled substance to the DEA within 30 days and also establishes a Suspicious Order needed patient records, without sacrificing patient privacy. H.R. 4963, the Stop the Importation and Manufacturing Monitoring Task Force, which will help design a program to of Synthetic Analogues (SIMSA) Act, sponsored by Reps. John facilitate real time data sharing to and from registrants. 4
RIPON FORUM November 2019
H.R. 3878, the Block, Report, And Suspend Suspicious Shipments Act, sponsored by Reps. David McKinley (RWV) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI). This bill requires opioid manufacturers and distributors to report and stop suspicious orders, to help prevent the opioid pill dumping we uncovered as part of our investigations last Congress. H.R. 3927, the PDMPs Help Patients Act, sponsored by Reps. David McKinley (R-WV) and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE). This bill will help people in need locate SUD and behavioral health treatment providers in their communities. H.R. 501, the Poison Center Network Enhancement Act, sponsored by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Susan Brooks (R-IN), Diana DeGette (D-CO), and Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-WA). This legislation enhances the ability of our national poison centers to combat the opioid crisis and passed the House by voice vote in February. H.R. 4131, the Improving Access to Remote Behavioral Health Treatment Act, sponsored by Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA), Susan Brooks (R-IN), Ann Kuster (D-NH), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), and Rob Wittman (R-VA). This legislation ensures that qualified providers can use telemedicine to treat patients with substance use disorders, which is critically important for rural communities like mine in Oregon. H.R. 2281, the Easy MAT for Opioid Addiction Act,
sponsored by Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), enhances the ability of providers to care for SUD patients using medication assisted treatment by permitting practitioners to administer up to 3 days of medication to a person at one time for the purpose of relieving acute withdrawal symptoms. H.R. 1303, the Examining Opioid Treatment Infrastructure Act, sponsored by Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL). This legislation requires a full evaluation and report on the inpatient and outpatient treatment capacity, availability, and needs in the United States. This list should by no means be viewed as exhaustive, nor should it be viewed as a cure-all for the opioid crisis. Rather, these bills represent next steps Congress can take right now to continue the progress made with the SUPPORT Act. We need to put mothers like Tonya, and the countless families and patients I’ve heard from in Oregon who have felt the pain of the opioid crisis first hand, at the center of our efforts to tackle this ever-evolving scourge. These bills will help us meet that challenge head on in the future, just as we have done in the past. RF Greg Walden represents the 2nd District of Oregon in the U.S. House of Representatives. He serves as Ranking Member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
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RIPON FORUM November 2019
A Beacon of Hope in the Nation’s Capital
The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program turns 15 by LINDSEY M. BURKE The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program is unique in at When Congress established the D.C. OSP in 2003, least one respect: it’s the only school voucher program overseen policymakers mandated that researchers periodically by Congress. Support for the program, which provides vouchers evaluate the program, using the strongest research design to children from low-income families to attend a private school available. Since 2007, the Institute of Education Sciences of choice, tends to reflect Congressional and White House (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education has done so using sentiments toward school choice – a reality that has often made randomized controlled trial (RCT) methods, publishing its it a political hot potato. most recent report this year. Signed into law during the George W. Bush administration, Researchers have conducted two separate evaluations continually under threat of elimination to date. In the first one, conducted during the Obama years, and back in from 2007 through 2010, favor with the Trump administration, researchers found that the OSP the D.C. OSP has put school choice produced null effects on student in the national spotlight since its math achievement – meaning inception in 2004. Regardless of who no differences between program lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or participants and the control group the partisan makeup of Congress, the in math – but found positive OSP deserves vigorous support. It has impacts on reading achievement helped thousands of children in the for participants. nation’s capital, providing access to a That evaluation also found safe and effective education that would that parents of scholarship have otherwise been out of reach. students perceived their child’s Today, more than 1,600 students new school to be less dangerous are using a scholarship to attend a than their prior school. And private school of choice through the most notably, the evaluation D.C. OSP. Forty-three percent of those found large, significant impacts Lindsey M. Burke children are from families receiving on academic attainment, SNAP or TANF benefits, with the with voucher use increasing Today, more than average household income sitting at participants’ probability of 1,600 students are using just over $23,000 for a family of four. graduating high school by 21 Over 90 percent of program participants a scholarship to attend a percentage points. identify as black or Hispanic. The second evaluation, private school of choice Providing education choice for conducted from 2017 through through the D.C. OSP. these families has been critical. Just 2019, initially found negative 20 percent of eighth-graders in D.C. effects on student math Public Schools can read and do math proficiently; the adjusted achievement among OSP students. However, by the 2019 cohort graduation rate (meaning those students who received a evaluation, students using a scholarship to attend a private high-school diploma four years after entering ninth grade) was school had caught up to their non-scholarship peers, with any 67 percent in 2019. negative impacts on mathematics achievement disappearing Another unfortunate recurring theme in D.C. is school completely. That same congressionally mandated yearsafety. More than 15 percent of high-school students report three evaluation also found that OSP participation reduced being in a physical fight on school property, 10 percent were student absenteeism, increased students’ satisfaction with threatened with a deadly weapon, and 30 percent of middletheir school, and improved feelings of school safety among schoolers report being bullied at school. students. For all program participants – but especially for these Those outcomes are made more notable when students – school choice has been a lifeline. considering they come at a fraction of the cost: approximately 6
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Regulations should be limited to address the issue one-third of what is spent in D.C. Public Schools. Spending per pupil in D.C. Public Schools exceeds $27,000 per child, per of declining school participation. Although there are an year. The maximum scholarship award is $8,857 in K-8 and estimated 97 private schools in the District (not including $13,287 for high school. Compounded over time, taxpayers pre-K-only schools), just 48 currently participate in the spend $351,000 per child in D.C. Public Schools to get that program, accepting students on a scholarship. At least 22 operational private schools child from kindergarten to in the District could graduation. They spend a Taxpayers spend $351,000 per be participating in the little more than one-third of Opportunity Scholarship that—$132,861—to graduate child in D.C. Public Schools to Program, but aren’t doing a student through the OSP. get that child from kindergarten so. Despite this, the OSP At the same time, faces an uncertain future. to graduation. They spend a little Congress should set the D.C. Since Congress enacted more than one-third of that— OSP on stable footing for the scholarship program, $132,861—to graduate a student the future by establishing participation among private a dedicated scholarship schools (meaning private through the OSP. revenue stream through schools that accept a voucher formula funding for the as payment for tuition) has fallen from a peak of 68 schools during the 2005-06 school program and by expanding eligibility to more District residents. These updates would provide stability to participating children year to just 48 schools today – a 30 percent reduction. Reduced school participation is likely due to a combination and private schools and allow the D.C. OSP to be a model of regulatory creep, fear of future regulations, and financial school choice program for the country. RF uncertainty caused by the annual congressional appropriations process. Most reauthorizations of the program have included new Lindsey M. Burke, Ph.D., is the Director of the Center for regulations on participating schools, leading them to conform Education Policy and Will Skillman Fellow in Education at more and more to the model of the public school system. The Heritage Foundation.
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RIPON FORUM November 2019
8/21/18 12:14 PM
Brexit and the Special Relationship by PETER KELLNER Ten miles west of London, a little-known memorial would also limit Britain’s right to agree to new free trade demolishes one of the great myths of modern Britain. The agreements with other countries such as the United States. One niche issue that has captured the public imagination myth is that in the dark days of 1940, Britain stood alone – is whether Britain would admit “chlorinated chickens” from and that what we did then, we can do today. That myth is more potent than ever. Three years ago, the US – chickens that have been through a cheaper cleaning process than that allowed in the EU. the slogan “take back control” Admit such chickens (and all other secured a narrow majority in the imports made in the US that fail to referendum to leave the European meet standards required by the EU) Union. It exploited the belief that the and the barriers to Britain-EU trade more independently we act, the more will go up; refuse to admit them, we shall flourish; joining with others and Britain-US trade talks will head and relying on their goodwill is for for breakdown. suckers. The ripples from such The Polish war memorial controversies reach beyond trade. suggests a different view. It lists the Britain prides itself on its special names of almost two thousand Polish relationship with the US. Ties airmen who died in the service of of history, language, and culture the Royal Air Force in the Second matter; so, in recent decades, has World War. Polish pilots played a London’s informal role as a gocrucial role in the Battle of Britain between for Washington’s relations that defeated Germany’s Luftwaffe with Brussels, Berlin, and Paris. in the skies over southern England The true extent of that role is open – along with airmen from 14 other to debate; but at the very least, countries (including a handful of men Peter Kellner British ministers and diplomats who defied President Roosevelt’s ban have thought it worthwhile having on American citizens joining the war Next month, a general feet in both the European and against the Nazis). transatlantic camps. Next month, a general election election will determine So, where will post-Brexit will determine which of two very which of two very Britain stand in the mid-2020s, different paths Britain will travel in when the dust has settled? My different paths Britain the years ahead. If Boris Johnson’s guess is that it will bow to the Conservatives win outright, then will travel in the commercial need to stick to EU Brexit will take place by the end years ahead. trading rules. As a result, it will of January. In the short run, people make little progress in securing free and businesses will notice little trade deals with other countries. difference. For a transitional period of at least one year, and possibly up to three years, travellers In both economic and diplomatic terms, London will and trade will flow freely between Britain and the rest of have less sway in Washington. In as far as some kind of Europe, for current rules and regulations will continue to British-US special relationship persists, it will depend on continuing military and security co-operation, flowing from apply. The big questions concern what will happen after Britain’s possession of nuclear weapons and the “five eyes” that. Most businesses want to keep frictionless trade with intelligence-sharing agreement. This will matter, at times the EU. This would mean Britain agreeing to observe EU a great deal, but such a relationship will not be as rich and regulations on product standards, employment rights, and deep as it is today. (These problems will in practice persist so on – without having any say in those regulations. It whether Donald Trump is or is not re-elected next year.) 8
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There is an alternative path to the future. Suppose the from its reputation for stability, pragmatism, and ability to Conservatives fail to win the coming election. Even if they handle crises with calm professionalism. That reputation is are the largest party in the new Parliament, they may not visibly disintegrating. It could take decades to recover. have enough Members of Parliament to stay in office, if the Whichever path Britain ends up taking, it will still have combined anti-Brexit forces of Labour, the Liberal Democrats, to address the challenge posed by Dean Acheson, the great US Scottish National Party, and diplomat, back in 1962 other smaller parties can and never definitively together muster a majority. answered. He said: Whether Britain chooses in the end In that event, Britain “Great Britain has lost an to throw in its lot with the EU, US, is likely to hold a second Empire and has not yet referendum on Brexit. found a role”. Whether neither, or both, it is likely to struggle Opinion polls currently Britain chooses in the end unless it recognises the connections, point to a steady, albeit to throw in its lot with the obligations, and compromises that are narrow, lead for remaining EU, US, neither, or both, in the EU rather than leaving it is likely to struggle needed to solve today’s it. If that is the outcome, unless it recognises the big problems. then by next summer the connections, obligations, status quo will have been and compromises that are confirmed. Things will carry needed to solve today’s on as now. There will be no Britain-US free trade agreement; big problems. This means learning the lesson of the Polish war London will seek to retain its unique links across both the memorial, and accepting that “alone” has never been a serious Atlantic and the English Channel. option and certainly isn’t today. RF Except that the chaotic, dysfunctional operation of British democracy over the past few years will continue to hover like Peter Kellner is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe, a black cloud over both sets of relations. Britain’s role in the where his research focuses on Brexit, populism, and electoral world – its ability to “punch above its weight” – has gained democracy.
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www.aota.org RIPON FORUM November 2019
The Fall of the Wall,
30 YEARS LATER A conversation with Dan Coats about the historic events of November 1989 and the state of world affairs today.
RIPON FORUM November 2019
Dan Coats has had many titles over the course of his long and distinguished career in public service. He has served as a Congressman, Senator, and Ambassador. Most recently, the Indiana Republican served as Director of National Intelligence. In each position, Coats developed a reputation as a common sense conservative who not only understood the issues and mastered the details, but performed his duties and responsibilities with grace, intellect, and good humor. Those qualities were on full display when he took over as America’s new Ambassador to Germany in early September 2001. Coats arrived in Berlin the weekend before 9/11. After the attacks, the job became something entirely different – one that would place him in the middle of an investigation (one of the terrorist cells originated in Hamburg) and at the center of a diplomatic effort to win German support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Coats would later call his service as U.S. Ambassador to Germany “the most extraordinary experience of my life.” With the fall of the Berlin Wall occurring 30 years ago this month, the Forum recently asked Coats for his thoughts on this historic event, some of the key decisions that led up to it, and the state of U.S.-German relations in the years since. We also asked him about the role of America in bringing down communism, and the role of America around the world today.
then by regimes seeking to survive RF: Looking back on it, by loosening some of their political what do you see as some of the and economic controls. In a critical key events and decisions that way, this was fueled by the Soviet led to the fall of the Berlin Wall Union itself, as Gorbachev pursued 30 years ago this month? his dual track of perestroika and DC: What has come to be glasnost -- restructuring and the symbol of the collapse of openness. It was widely conceded communism in the DDR and even within Soviet governing circles Eastern Europe had many roots in that Polish developments forced the region. The most direct was the Gorbachev to choose between Solidarity trade union movement in two options: He could either use Poland, begun in 1980 when Lech customary means of Soviet power Wałęsa jumped over the shipyard to crush the freedom movement in fence in Gdansk, surely one of Poland, as the USSR had done in the the most heroic and consequential past, or he could choose to continue actions in our age. This movement America has always his domestic reform policies. He eventually led to a negotiated end been acknowledged as couldn’t do both. Gorbachev of communism in Poland and the chose his own reform policies, first free election in communist a beacon of freedom, gambling that the Russian Soviet Europe on June 4, 1989, five with a system of system could not survive without months before the Berlin Wall government to be meaningful reform. Of course, he fell. It is also important to note lost that bet too, but Poland was that the success of Solidarity was emulated by allowed to follow its own path, as itself a direct consequence of the others. would the other countries in the election of Karol Wojtyła, the region as communist systems of Archbishop of Krakow, as Pope control collapsed. John Paul II in 1978. Before then, In the DDR, the first response to these events the various opposition movements in Poland -- among the workers, students, or intellectuals -- were divided reflected Poland’s linkage of political and religious and crushed serially. The election of the Polish Pope freedom movements. Mass demonstrations, begun inspired the nation both spiritually and politically, and first in Leipzig and then elsewhere in the country, grew because the people felt secure that the Lutheran Church the collapse of communism was the result. This victory in turn inspired liberalizing movements was supporting them. These were first provoked by elsewhere in Eastern Europe, led first by indigenous East Germans’ demand for freedom of movement, as national protests and demands for greater freedom, and tens of thousands left East Germany to go through RIPON FORUM November 2019
Czechoslovakia and eventually to the West. The dam hadn’t yet burst, but it was leaking badly. Disintegration at the top of the DDR regime led to desperate measures to release some of the growing political pressures generated by people in the streets across the country. They belatedly and ineffectually tried the Gorbachev tactic to save the regime by reforming it -- led by the new Communist Party First Secretary Egon Krenz, who was a staunch advocate of Gorbachev and his reform policies. Among his first steps was to respond to the loud popular demand for freedom of movement by “opening” the Berlin Wall. (To this day, Krenz denies that it “fell”.) The announcement of the decision was famously bungled, which led to a chaotic breaching of the wall as confused border guards stood by. But it was in fact a deliberate state decision, compelled by rapidly escalating political pressures that had their origins in Warsaw, if not The Vatican.
Germany -- was the American Ambassador to Poland, John Davis. With the full backing of his government, Ambassador Davis was a key participant in all of the events and much of the decision-making in Poland that led to the Communist Party retiring its flags and turning the Central Committee building into Poland’s first stock exchange. With his critical help, an entrenched power elite -- with all the means of coercion at its disposal and the Red Army at its back -- voluntarily and without violence relinquished power to democratic forces through peaceful negotiation. It was the first time such a thing had occurred in all of human history. Quite an accomplishment for American diplomacy!
RF: In a speech to 200,000 Germans at the Brandenburg Gate on September 14, 2001, you said “the U.S. couldn’t wish for a more loyal and reliable friend.” Talk for a moment about the U.S.RF: Angela Merkel German relationship in called the fall of the Wall After Wałęsa, Gorbachev, and the years following 9/11, “a victory of freedom John Paul II, the fourth person and what you see as the over bondage.” To the state of that relationship with the most critical role in extent that the United today. States has been a symbol DC: The German bringing about the collapse of of freedom around the response to the 9/11 tragedy communism in Eastern Europe -- both from the government world, what role did the American example have was the American Ambassador and the German people -in the Wall’s collapse? could not have been better. to Poland, John Davis. DC: From the founding It was consoling, comforting, of our republic, America has and importantly useful -always been acknowledged exactly what you would as a beacon of freedom, with a system of government expect from a staunch ally with shared values. I recall to be emulated by others. “The flames kindled on with considerable emotion talking with a German the 4th of July, 1776,” Jefferson wrote, “have spread woman of my generation as she laid her flowers on the across too much of the globe to be extinguished by mountain of bouquets at the Embassy’s entrance. She the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they said that Americans had helped Germany at its time of will consume the engines and all who work them.” greatest need in the trying times after World War II. She Promoting freedom and democracy elsewhere has talked about the Berlin air lift, the Marshall Plan, and always been at the heart of American foreign policy and the firm defense against Soviet aggression. This woman national security strategy. Ronald Reagan famously represented the immediate post-war generation marked calling for Gorbachev to “tear down this wall!” put by deep gratitude toward the United States for our that exclamation point on that appeal, turning it into a contributions to Germany’s peace and prosperity. This demand. generation continues to love America. America’s role in a more immediate sense in the Since then, we need to acknowledge a generation events of November 1989 are not as obvious, since shift in the U.S./Germany relationship. The next things developed on their own with such lightning speed. generation is aware of America’s contributions and -Our critical role in bringing about German reunification because of modern media and shared cultural norms and would follow. But before November, the American preferences -- remains mostly pro-American. But it can contribution to those broader regional developments be critical of American policies and American leaders I described earlier was essential. Indeed, it is no too. And the most recent generation of young people exaggeration to say that, after Wałęsa, Gorbachev, and no longer finds the touchstones of their grandparents’ John Paul II, the fourth person with the most critical epoch all that compelling. America is not rejected so role in bringing about the collapse of communism in much as it has just become a lesser influence in defining Eastern Europe -- and thus five months later in East a German -- and a European -- cultural and political
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identity. We don’t matter as much. strongly supportive. Later, when we were preparing for On the other side too, things have changed. During an invasion of Iraq, German political opinion was firmly a span of over 30 years, nearly 500,000 American against us, but nevertheless, the government lived up to soldiers and their families lived among Germans for all of its alliance responsibilities, including facilitating two-to-three years at a time, for a total of maybe 25 preparations for the Iraq invasion, even though as million young Americans having direct experience a matter of policy they opposed it. They took their living in Germany, among alliance responsibilities Germans. That shared seriously because they America is not rejected so experience also has largely saw -- and continue to see faded, with the vast majority -- the long-term value of much as it has just become a of those deployments having such alliance structures lesser influence in defining a ended long ago. The absence and the state behavior German – and a European – of that shared experience that supports them. will also have an effect on cultural and political identity. the relationship between RF: Could you We don’t matter as much. our two countries. We see also discuss one of the flashpoints current that today in Congress and in the U.S.-German in the Administration where Germany increasingly is seen as just another ally among relationship – namely, the construction of the Nord many, not the firm rock in the transatlantic relationship Stream II pipeline to deliver Russian natural gas into it once was. Germany and the rest of Europe. Do you agree with Relations between German and American those who believe sanctions should be placed on governments have also changed in complex ways. companies involved in the pipeline’s construction Immediately after 9/11, the German government was and are opposed to the project moving forward?
Then-Ambassador Coats with German Foreign minister Joschka Fischer, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, and President Johannes Rau during a solidarity demonstration at the Brandenburg Gate on September 14, 2001.
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DC: The two countries are not in lock-step on requires it. This is what the U.S. has been looking important policy matters, although it must be said for -- German leadership to work toward a popular that such consistent conformity is also not the case political consensus that living up to collective defense with any other bilateral relationship either. There are commitments is essential and is in Germany’s own best geopolitical issues that separate us such as how to deal interests. This, more than anything, will help remove with the Iranian threat, or Russian aggression. There the most painful thorn in our bilateral relationship -are also a host of economic and trade issues including a shared commitment for a shared purpose. In turn, tariffs and threats of tariffs, competition in aviation other European nations will follow that lead and a more and other business sectors. And, of course, energy broadly positive transatlantic relationship would be the result, not to mention a healthier, more capable defense policy. We do see Nord Stream II as a mistake, and some alliance in troubled times. other European countries do as well. It seems obvious RF: This controversy and other flashpoints to us that recent developments in Russia, including its aggressive behavior toward Ukraine and other aside, why do you believe it is important that the neighbors, should have given German decision makers United States and Germany maintain a strong pause before they handed over to the Russians the key working relationship at this time of growing to a vital energy transportation link that they could turn volatility and uncertainty around the globe? DC: I am a transatlanticist. Most of my former on or off at will. But despite that objection, which Germany has ignored perhaps only for pricing reasons, colleagues in Congress and government are as well, irrespective of any generational differences I mentioned it seems the project is nearly completed. above. No country, no Continuing American matter how powerful, can complaints and last-ditch go it alone in this dangerous efforts in Congress to threaten American pressure on our world. To whom should we sanctions on those companies allies to live up to NATO’s turn in times of danger and completing the pipeline are uncertainty? Our allies and apparently too little, too funding targets long predates friends in Asia, yes, but most late. Germany and others the current administration, of all to our rock-solid allies in Europe will live with even if the subject has been in Europe who continue to the consequences and just prove themselves even on hope that Russia behaves. getting more attention. the battlefield to share our Personally, I have a hard time objectives and values. And relying on that thin reed. to whom should Europeans RF: What about the German contribution turn? The United States remains their natural partner. to NATO? Even though Chancellor Merkel has There is no other. agreed to increase defense spending, her country RF: And what do you believe is more will still fall short of the 2% threshold that is mandated by the NATO military alliance. Do you conducive to achieving that goal – a policy that think the President is right to press Germany and promotes America first or a policy that promotes other NATO countries to meet their obligations the American example of freedom for others to follow and aspire to around the world? in that regard? DC: I believe this is something of a false dichotomy. DC: American pressure on our allies to live up to NATO’s funding targets long predates the current The old “America First” once attached to pre-war administration, even if the subject has been getting isolationism has led many to misinterpret the concept more attention. The alliance as a whole has accepted now relevant to the modern world. Isolationism was these targets -- with German agreement too. I am rejected back then as an irresponsible dream. Since aware that there is limited domestic constituency in then, American foreign policy has always been centered Germany for increasing defense spending, or perhaps on American national interests, but as properly defined even for defense spending at all. This itself may be a and accurately understood. Our core national interests -- peace, prosperity, product of reliance on American defense for decades, leading perhaps to some complacency about this most security -- have always included nurturing everywhere our core values. Extending benefits of freedom, fundamental of government’s tasks. Nevertheless, public opinion cannot be the end- democracy, human rights, and free enterprise to others all of this debate. Leadership has the task of working has always served our national interests. This is the real “America First.” RF to form that opinion when the nation’s well-being 14
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The State of Freedom Three Decades After the Fall by MICHAEL J. ABRAMOWITZ & ARCH PUDDINGTON
The year 1989 was a turning point in the 25-year surge of leading jailer of journalists and civil society activists, and progress that transformed the world from one dominated by its strongman ruler appears likely to be entrenched in power communist dictatorships, military juntas, and strongman rule for years to come. China is building an Orwellian state that to one where democracy is the norm. utilizes advanced technology to monopolize the information Within just six months, protest-driven popular movements space and control citizens’ behavior, and it is working to swept away Soviet-style regimes in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, export its tools of repression to other countries. East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. A few short Even the strongest democracies, including the United years later, East Germany had rejoined the West, and the States, have experienced erosion, according to Freedom in the other former Soviet bloc World, our organization’s countries had embraced annual report on political democratic systems with rights and civil liberties. honest elections, press Every year for the last 13 freedom, and an array of years, more countries have civil liberties. experienced declines in For the next two freedom than advances— decades, the anniversary of the longest period of the Berlin Wall’s fall was democratic regression since celebrated as a symbol of the report was launched in freedom’s victory. With the 1973. exception of the Middle A variety of reasons East, each part of the globe have been advanced had its unique stories of to explain this decline, Michael J. Abramowitz Arch Puddington tyranny’s demise. ranging from the flawed How different things economic policies of seem today, 30 years liberal democracies to the Every year for the last 13 years, after that happy event. global migration crisis or more countries have experienced In the very region where the rise of social media, the Iron Curtain came declines in freedom than advances— which have made it easier down, freedom has been for populists, extremists, the longest period of democratic knocked back on its heels. and foreign powers to regression since the report Governments in Hungary undermine elections. But and Poland have distanced one especially important was launched in 1973. themselves from liberal and perhaps less noticed democracy—Hungarian trend is the emergence of a prime minister Viktor Orbán describes his system as “illiberal new form of authoritarian rule. democracy”—and have effectively eliminated judicial Modern authoritarian systems are not simply adversaries independence, weakened media independence, and asserted of free societies. They represent an alternative model that state control over culture. simultaneously mimics, exploits, and distorts the basic This democratic decline has spread well beyond Central components of democracy. Modern authoritarians generally Europe. Practically every region in the world has experienced avoid mass violence and conduct elections on schedule; they reversals. Russia, after flirting with democracy in the 1990s, maintain constitutions, civilian courts, political parties, and has returned to a repressive authoritarianism. Venezuela, other institutions normally found in real democracies. But once a wealthy democracy, has deteriorated into a criminal leaders like Hungary’s Orbán, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and dictatorship and a major generator of refugees. Turkey is a Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are fundamentally hostile 16
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to pluralism. They use pliant legal systems and economic one another against international pressure and come to the pressure to hamstring viable opposition forces, squeeze out assistance of those at risk of collapse, as in Venezuela or Syria. independent media, neuter civil society organizations, and Although they have made gains, we must remember that silence any criticism from universities and cultural institutions. authoritarians are merely playing a weak hand well. Few people To counter freedom’s retreat, we must first recognize actually want to live under the system that Putin has created, that modern authoritarianism is not a passing phenomenon. with its propagandistic media, political assassinations, rigged It is a permanent and increasingly powerful rival to liberal elections, and pervasive corruption. The residents of Taiwan democracy as the dominant governing system of the 21st and Hong Kong, presented with the alternative of Xi Jinping’s century. Today autocracies are led by figures who are system in China, have made clear that they prefer democratic strategic, patient, confident, and determined to retain power freedoms over censorship, the repression of religious belief, indefinitely. Variations on the systems that have proved and dystopian ideological surveillance. effective in suppressing political dissent and pluralism in Indeed, there is evidence of a widening resistance Russia and China are less likely to collapse than traditional to strongman rule and domineering states. Corrupt and authoritarian states, given their flexibility and pragmatism. repressive governments have recently been replaced in Authoritarian powers can be expected to intensify their Armenia and Malaysia. In Ukraine, the forces that wrested efforts to influence the political choices and government the country from a venal pro-Russian leader in 2014 have policies of democracies. The pressure will fluctuate maintained a reformist course, despite Moscow’s military from country to country, but it will become increasingly pressure. Persistent protest movements have emerged in difficult to control due to global economic integration, new Lebanon, Sudan, Algeria, and elsewhere, seeking to replace technologies for the delivery of propaganda, and the activity demagogues and kleptocrats. And in China, Xi himself has of sympathetic leaders repeatedly warned that and political movements the whole edifice created within the democracies by the Communist Party To counter freedom’s retreat, we themselves. will come crashing down must first recognize that modern The United States unless ever more control is authoritarianism is not a passing and its allies won the Cold exercised over the people. War because we took Those who are phenomenon. It is a permanent and the competition with the demanding free elections, increasingly powerful rival to Soviet Union seriously. We civilian government, the understood that the strength rule of law, and protection liberal democracy. of democracy at home from hostile neighbors was critical to America’s continue to address their credibility as leader of the democratic world. We took pride pleas for help to the United States. According to the New in our reputation as the world’s beacon of freedom. When York Times, demonstrators in Hong Kong “wave American challenged to defend democratic capitalism, we firmly flags or Uncle Sam recruitment posters, and even dress as rejected the argument that developing nations would be better Captain America, complete with shield.” served by systems that place the state over the individual, The argument, frequently invoked by some political justify repression, and dismiss private economic initiative leaders, that the United States can no longer be the world’s as culturally or historically inappropriate for the states in policeman is dishonest and misleading, creating a false question. choice between military overreach and shameful indifference Our current adversaries are in some ways much more to the freedom of others. America has successfully promoted formidable, even as we have become less self-assured. They democracy through shrewd diplomacy, nonmilitary forms are nimble enough to take advantage of market economics of aid and pressure, and its own example as a just and and international trade, but only when it suits them. They welcoming society. All of this rests on the strength of our work full-time at undermining democracy, and they are eager system of government. Ensuring that our elections are fair to innovate. Regimes like Russia’s have proved expert at and free of foreign influence, that all citizens have easy access deploying the most sophisticated techniques of information to the polls, that government decisions are based on facts and warfare. When they cannot argue in favor of their own not empty slogans, and that the reduction of inequality is a repressive systems, they instead magnify every error of serious policy priority would not only enhance American democratic governance, every weakness, every sign of democracy, but would also restore the world’s faith in the popular discontent, aiming to convince their audiences that United States as a champion of global freedom. RF the ideal of democracy is a mirage. Today’s autocrats—in countries including China, Michael J. Abramowitz is president of Freedom House. Arch Russia, Iran, and Cuba—have even joined together in a loose Puddington is Freedom House’s distinguished fellow for confederation of oppressors. They collaborate to defend democracy studies.
Source: American Action Forum
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Democracy, Dictatorship, and American National Security in the 21st Century by DANIEL TWINING
The old debates pitting interests against values in to the non-democratic values that make us suspicious American foreign policy fall away in a new era when of their power, as can be seen with China, Russia, and revisionist authoritarian powers are using sharp power Iran today. instruments to subvert and weaken democracy in order How should values matter in American foreign to build out spheres of influence hostile to American policy? One answer to the question is to unpack the interests. Authoritarians in Beijing and Moscow primary security risks to the American people today – believe disrupting the democracies in no case can hard power alone – through various combinations of manage the dangers they pose. disinformation, misinformation, The greatest dangers to America united-front tactics, corruption, emanate from the ideologically and subversion – is central to their driven strategies of Russia and goal of separating America from its China to weaken our democracy and allies and undermining the capacity those of allies and partners; from of the United States to project violent extremism that flourishes power and influence globally. in ungoverned spaces and among If our great power competitors populations that are politically understand the contest underway alienated by poor governance; and as an ideological one pitting free from mass migration that threatens societies against authoritarian to overwhelm our borders and state capitalists, why would we in which no wall can contain without the United States shy away from addressing root causes that push describing the challenge in similar desperate people to flee their own terms? nations. Daniel Twining The United States defines our interests with respect to our values Managing Great as a nation. We seek to promote The greatest Power Competition democracy in the world because In his National Security dangers to America we understand that the health of Strategy, President Trump put emanate from the our democracy is predicated on the challenge we face from the a global balance of power that so-called “return of geopolitics” ideologically driven favors freedom. We support free starkly: strategies of Russia trade because we believe in the China and Russia want to power of markets, not just for our and China to weaken shape a world antithetical to U.S. people but in uplifting all people, values and interests. China seeks our democracy. creating a richer world that is in to displace the United States in the turn a better market for American Indo-Pacific region, expand the businesses. Our most intimate military alliances are reaches of its state-driven economic model, and reorder with fellow democracies in Europe and Japan, with the region in its favor. Russia seeks to restore its great our mutual security anchored in institutionalized ties power status and establish spheres of influence near its between free peoples rather than personalistic ones with borders. strongmen whose whims can change. We define our The National Defense Strategy similarly warns that peer competitors with reference not to their material Russia and China both seek to export their authoritarian power – otherwise Germany and Japan would have been models in order to undermine U.S. leadership and the adversaries not allies for the past 70 years, and India democratic world order the United States built with our would be seen as a rising challenger – but with respect allies after the Second World War. 18
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As the National Endowment for Democracy’s Established and developed democracies may be able report on authoritarian “sharp power” explains, to more effectively address such foreign authoritarian Over the past decade, China and Russia have influence – but even Australia’s mature democracy was spent billions of dollars to shape public opinion and penetrated for years by agents of the CCP before the perceptions around the world. This foreign authoritarian government in Canberra cracked down on these fifth influence is not principally about attraction or columns. Chinese influence has also spread perniciously persuasion; instead, it centers on distraction and in Europe, undermining transatlantic solidarity on a manipulation. These ambitious authoritarian regimes, unified Western response to the Chinese grand strategic which systematically suppress political pluralism and challenge. free expression at home, are increasingly seeking to Yet the problem is worse in many developing apply similar principles internationally to secure their countries, where CCP penetration succeeds in part interests. because governments caught in Chinese debt traps have The Chinese government, led by the Chinese no choice but to work with the Chinese government and Communist Party (CCP), utilizes sophisticated tactics government-linked companies and organizations. In most to build and wield political influence around the world, cases, the West has not sought to actively compete with with the aim of challenging, and ultimately supplanting, China nor provide alternatives for host governments. America’s global dominance. China’s vast economic It is well past time for the U.S. to confront this resources and its efforts to tout rapid economic challenge. Helping countries build political resiliency development under strongman rule as an alternative to corruption and state capture by a hostile authoritarian model to Western democracy allow it to have a deep power is an American national security interest. One and often hidden impact in important way of doing this any given country. is to invest in bolstering In Europe and beyond, the The CCP’s authoritarian democratic institutions so political model and that they can represent the Putin regime is deploying the role of the state in interests of their people a sophisticated information steering Chinese economic and resist this cryptoengagement abroad for warfare campaign to undermine colonization. grand strategic purposes Democracies also need democratic institutions, exploit pose grave risks to smaller protection from Kremlinsocietal divisions, and erode countries by pulling them sponsored subversion. In into China’s orbit in ways Europe and beyond, the citizens’ confidence that undermine political Putin regime is deploying in democracy. pluralism. In addition a sophisticated information to authoritarian sharp warfare campaign— power tactics, the Chinese including cybersecurity government and government-linked companies use attacks on electoral systems and political parties and financial leverage and influence operations in other coordinated campaigns of disinformation—to undermine countries to silence critics of China’s authoritarian democratic institutions, exploit societal divisions, and model and influence domestic political decision- erode citizens’ confidence in democracy. Moscow’s making in China’s favor. aim is to create an environment in which the post-war Whether through sharp power tactics or leveraging American-led democratic order is diminished and the economic investments, the CCP seeks to build political Putin autocracy is free to continue stealing from its influence in target countries through such efforts. These own people, deny the Russian people their basic rights, activities are often meant to influence local government and extend Russia’s sphere of influence into the heart of decisions over time—contributing to societal divisions Europe – and in the process weaken NATO, America’s and political corruption, which in turn lead to state most important security alliance. capture by China and an expansive illiberal sphere of What makes this form of political warfare particularly influence hostile to the United States. insidious is that it uses some of the core features of It is becoming clear that fragile democracies our democracy against us—exploiting free media to and authoritarian states are most susceptible to such manipulate and spread false information and attempting influence. Weak governance structures are further to undermine confidence in our electoral systems. Our undermined by the influence of large sums of Chinese approach to this challenge must be to harness the strengths investment that is linked back to the party-state in of democracy to expose these practices and create Beijing, feeding corruption and derailing non-Chinese coordinated policies with our allies to push back against leaders from representing the interests of their citizens. this campaign to subvert our open societies. RIPON FORUM November 2019
Countering Violent Extremism flee the breakdown of law and order and governance in Eighteen years after 9/11, we have grown places like Venezuela and Central America in search of accustomed to the ever-present threat of terrorism, a decent life elsewhere. and we are all too used to seeing lives destroyed The fallout from uncontrolled migration around the and nations torn apart by this scourge. As the Trump world for U.S. interests is enormous—undermining core Administration’s National Security Strategy points out, security interests, weakening our allies, radicalizing violent extremist organizations “thrive under conditions new generations of young people, and costing billions of state weakness and prey on the vulnerable as they in both direct humanitarian assistance and in the indirect accelerate the breakdown of rules to create havens from problems caused by this destabilizing trend. which to plan and launch attacks on the United States, Any successful approach to this complex problem our allies, and our partners.” must address the drivers of mass migration, often In order to successfully combat extremism, we must caused by the failure of government institutions to look to the source of the problem. Sobering experience provide the conditions in which people can live with has taught us that a kinetic response, while necessary, is security and provide for their families. Corruption, not sufficient to address violent extremism. We cannot the breakdown of law and order, and citizen insecurity simply fight our way out of this problem, but must also are key drivers of mass migration. If the United States look to preventative measures grounded in the values can help foreign governments provide a minimum of of open societies. citizen security and opportunity to their citizens, people The dynamics that enable are less likely to want to come violent extremists to flourish to the United States and more In order to successfully are not just confined to the likely to invest in their own Middle East – we see them in country’s future. combat extremism, we Africa’s Sahel, in South and must look to the source of Conclusion Southeast Asia, and even in Europe, to which many foreign Democracies must make the problem. fighters returned from the common cause in an era when Syria front chastened but still they are under new forms of radicalized and inclined to violence. In many countries, external authoritarian assault as well as pressures from political alienation seeds extremism, with chasms violent extremists and mass migration. They should also between citizens and government creating feelings of strive to continue providing a powerful counter-example hopelessness and exclusion that drive some toward the to the new authoritarianism – that free societies are the illusory promises of violent extremism. surest guarantors of human liberty and security, whereas Our approach to this challenge must be tech-empowered dictators are a danger to their own multifaceted. Democracy assistance is a vital tool on people and to others. the preventative side—helping to create the conditions An important component of sustaining the free in which populations that might otherwise be vulnerable world lies in the digital domain: China’s deployment and to recruitment by violent extremists have peaceful export of surveillance technologies is a dictator’s dream outlets to express grievances and have a stake in their and could put at risk the way of life Americans and our societies. Support for the development of free markets democratic allies have taken for granted for generations. to create jobs and opportunity would also help, as the As more of life moves online, sustaining an open internet statist economies of countries like Egypt reinforce the commons, at least within the free world, becomes a power of dictators to repress dissent even as they stifle national security imperative – as recent debates over broad-based prosperity. Huawei have demonstrated. Finally, civic education is essential to help American Mitigating Uncontrolled Mass Migration citizens understand that our democracy risks penetration We are in the midst of the most significant refugee by hostile foreign actors – and that America has risen crisis since the Second World War—more people are to the challenge of ideological, totalitarian great-power fleeing across borders today than at any point since 1945, competitors before, but that our victory in the Cold War creating monumental security and societal challenges required a degree of national cohesion, self-sacrifice, and destabilizing entire regions, including not just and mobilization that is not fully evident today. RF conflict states in the Middle East but also our close allies in Europe. In our own hemisphere, uncontrolled Daniel Twining serves as President of the International mass migration caused by failures of governance fuels Republican Institute. This essay is drawn from a paper transnational crime, including human trafficking and he presented at the Reagan Institute Strategy Group in the drug trade, as increasingly desperate populations Beaver Creek, Colorado this past July. 20
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The Wall has Fallen, but Divisions Remain by KLAUS SCHROEDER Three decades after the Berlin Wall came down, Germans at one-third of the figure for the Federal Republic of Germany. in the East and West have remained strangers to each other in In absolute numbers, GDP per capita in the GDR in 1989 many respects. Many East Germans complain about the alleged had reached West German 1950s levels. Taking figures of financial degradation vis-à-vis West Germans. The latter, on the productivity into account, the contrast becomes even more other hand, deem their countrymen in the East unappreciative in evident. Depending on the measurement, productivity in light of the enormous financial transfers from West to East (about the GDR in 1989 ranged from 13 to 30 percent compared to 2.3 trillion Euros between 1990 and 2018). The AfD’s electoral West Germany. Compared to this initial situation, the first five success, as well as a stronger right-wing extremist scene in the years after reunification witnessed a historically unprecedented “Neue Bundesländer” (new federal increase in wealth and prosperity in East states in East Germany), are evidence of Germany. the political and cultural trench running The actual numbers are far through Germany. Many political better than the atmosphere. Taking commentators fail to unearth the reasons the continued existence of regional behind these developments and stick to variations in purchasing power into an oversimplified characterization of account, East German household East Germans as right-wing extremists. incomes range between 85 to 90 percent The continued alienation between of West German household incomes. at least minorities of East and West Taking only regional purchasing power Germans is caused by two factors: the into account, this figure reaches 94 decade-long division of Germany in two percent (although in terms of GDP opposing social and cultural systems per inhabitant and productivity, East and the social upheaval following the Germany reaches only 75 and 80 unification which hit East Germans percent, respectively). The alignment in particularly hard. For them, almost wealth occurred during the first years of everything changed as the process of the transformation process. Since then, Klaus Schroeder reunification tore clear social settings the gap has remained the same. The and predictable living conditions apart. East German economy still lags 25 to 30 The unification of the two German years behind the West German economy. The unification of the states on October 3, 1990, did not occur Therefore, if ever full convergence will on an equal basis. In fact, a collapsing be realized, that is only going to happen two German states political entity joined a larger German in a few decades. on October 3, 1990, core state. Almost all of the GDR The continued existing differences citizens sought German unity in order to are, however, less relevant in terms of did not occur on an reach the same living standards as West material goods, but more so in terms equal basis. In fact, Germans. The vast majority of the latter, of political and mental differences. a collapsing political however, wanted to take on neither their Many older (but recently, also younger) “brothers’ and sisters’” way of life nor East Germans remain strangers to the entity joined a larger the “GDR’s socialist achievements.” democratic political institutions and German core state. Following this initial situation, two instead count on the state rather than distinct characteristics evolved: an East on personal initiative. A critical attitude German attitude of defiance which towards capitalism which sometimes functioned as a building block of identity formation, as well as a culminates in sheer anti-capitalism has been growing stronger in West German sense of superiority. the last years despite or maybe even because of the supremacy The federal government pursued a consumption-oriented of the social market economy in the rivalry of economic systems strategy of transformation that led to fast convergence of that shaped German history during the Cold War. Apparently, prosperity. In 1989, the real GDP per capita in the GDR stood many East Germans have forgotten or suppressed the memory 22
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of the centrally planned economy’s utter failure. A few years ago, a poll found that only half of the East German population (among the younger generation even only one fourth) associate shortages of goods with a planned economy (in the West 71.3% or 73.1% of the younger generation). A little less than half of the East German population thinks of security and almost one-fourth of prosperity (in the West 29.4% and 10.8% respectively). Associations with the market economy are the exact opposite: almost twice as frequent as West Germans, East Germans think of exploitation (East 81.6%, West 43.3%). Among the younger generation the numbers stand at 95% of East Germans and 51% of West Germans who associated exploitation with the market economy. East and West also differ in their political attitudes. In the East, voter turnout is significantly lower and populist parties receive greater support. In the most recent federal election of 2017, leftwing and rightwing populist parties in the East collectively received almost 40% of the vote share (in the West 18.1%). Furthermore, the number of people oriented towards the extreme right is far higher in the East than in the West. Already during the times of the GDR, this figure was relatively high despite being hushed by the ruling Socialist Unity Party (SED). Today, this leads to rightwing acts of violence which occur five times more in the East than in the West. Most of the time, public perception focuses on the
continuing differences and problems of the unification process, thereby ignoring its positive aspects. Thus, overlooked is the fact that the environmental situation has significantly improved in the East. Furthermore, comprehensive investments in infrastructure have resulted in splendidly renewed city centers. But also the individual has benefited from the rapid prosperity convergence and the health sector improvements. At the time of reunification, life expectancy was significantly lower in the East, but today it is almost at the levels in the West. Additionally, since the early 2000s, Germans in the West and the East agree that reunification is a cause of joy rather than concern. Among the historically uniquely difficult starting conditions for the transformation process were (1) the GDR’s disastrous final situation in terms of economy, infrastructure and ecology, (2) the regime’s sudden and unexpected breakdown, (3) the lack of historic role models for the transformation process, (4) the lack of an established elite in opposition to the SED, and (5) different or even opposing socialization in terms of norms and values as well as life experiences in East and West. Taking all these factors into account, German Reunification clearly stands out as a history of success which all of us can be proud of. RF Dr. Klaus Schroeder is a professor at the Otto Suhr Institute of the Free University Berlin, where he also serves as Scientific Director for the Research Association on the SED State.
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The Virtue of Quiet at the Cold War’s End by JEFFREY A. ENGEL We were lucky. The Cold War should not have ended so influential for two reasons embedded within his sense of the peacefully. Great powers rarely cede their empires without power of his office: he was trusted, and he was composed. an ensuing great power war. Neither do they typically The two went hand-in-hand. Known on the international transform their very social and political superstructures stage for more than a generation by the time he won the without mass violence. History offers few if any other White House, Bush brought to the presidency a resume examples where both occurred simultaneously, none with and rolodex unmatched since Dwight Eisenhower, having 20,000 nuclear weapons in the mix. served in Congress and then without complaint domestically We recall the heady events that marked the Cold War’s and overseas under three successive Republican presidents. end most often as a story of crowds, People knew what to expect when forgetting much of the anxiety. Time he walked in the room, a familiarity and again, from Budapest to Leipzig, that when interpreted as a dearth Prague to Kiev, and ultimately of energy and originality, nearly Berlin to Moscow, crowds of Eastern cost him the 1988 election and then European citizens, ordinary people ultimately did ensure his defeat four confronting extraordinary times, years later. “We know what works,” demanded reforms their governments he announced at his 1989 inaugural. could in no way endorse and still “Freedom works. We know what’s survive. The volatility of these right: Freedom is right. We know moments cannot be overstated. Any how to secure a more just and of those aforementioned crowds, or prosperous life for man on Earth: police ordered to stop them, could through free markets, free speech, have sparked a conflagration that free elections, and the exercise of consumed the continent. The June, free will unhampered by the state.” 1989, crackdown that transformed The confidence embedded in Tiananmen from a place to an event that statement reeks of hubris, or in global consciousness offers a at least thirty years later during mere taste of what, thankfully, never a period of autocratic rise and occurred in Europe. seemingly endless conflict, as wildly So we were lucky, but also well George H.W. Bush did overoptimistic. But global events led. Just as any anonymous protestor appeared to confirm his belief as more than anyone else 1989 unfolded. The crowds chanting or policeman could have destroyed the peace by picking up a brick or to give peace the calm in Tiananmen “share our values,” his leveling a rifle, George H.W. Bush Secretary of State declared. Those and quiet it needed did more than anyone else to give who demanded freedom in Eastern to grow. peace the calm and quiet it needed Europe, “want our freedom,” and to grow. Soviet leader Mikhail “what America has to offer.” The Gorbachev deserves more credit than Soviet Union itself embraced anyone for the Cold War’s surprisingly sudden end, but as democratic reforms, and for the first time in its short and President of the United States, and thus as the world’s most bloody history, the first strains of a free market. influential leader, Bush did more to keep those crowds quiet Nothing Bush said in response to these tectonic changes and their troglodyte governments passive than any other shocked or surprised, which was his goal: “I don’t aim to statesman. lead a crusade,” he’d stated when declaring his presidential Note I did not say Bush was the world’s most powerful bid in late 1987. He and those around him overestimated leader. He was that to be sure, but the immense power at his the universal appeal of American ideals, but one cannot disposal as head of the world’s largest military power and overstate how fully they perceived the world going their economy was not the key to his success. He was instead way, democracy’s way, as the Soviet Union faltered. 24
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So Bush was trusted because he was known, no firebrand, and had not progressed up the political food-chain by proving false to his word, but the second part to his success in 1989 was his ability to urge calm on governments and crowds alike. Shocked as everyone else by the Wall’s unexpected fall, Bush’s political allies and underlings urged him to celebrate, to in effect spike the ball on the multi-generational Cold War effort, to declare ‘we won.’ He refused. It would have been good for his poll numbers, but “I’m not going to dance on the wall,” Bush told his aides, no matter how his apparent indifference in the midst of democracy’s apparent victory hurt his popular image. He was there to lead, not to be loved. “I’m not going to poke a finger in Gorbachev’s eye,” making the reforms the Soviet leader had initiated even harder to enact by riling up his domestic rivals, Bush further explained. Given similar circumstances other leaders might have beat their chest, or in more recent days tweeted, taking personal credit for the free world’s multigenerational accomplishment, but Bush knew well that every defeated enemy was tomorrow’s potential ally. He’d only recently come from the funeral of the Japanese Emperor whose soldiers had shot him down over the Pacific forty-five years before. And other leaders were calling, constantly the night the wall fell and in the weeks and months that followed, seeking guidance, or merely a strong anchor for a rapidly transforming international system. Britain’s Margaret Thatcher called; so
too Germany’s Helmut Kohl and France’s Francois Mitterand. Even Gorbachev called, wondering like all the rest if Bush somehow knew what to do. What he did, ultimately, was so very little and yet so very much. He did not shout, he did not gloat, he did not boast. Bush instead mostly listened during those tumultuous weeks and months of promise and anxiety in 1989, knowing that every time he heard more than he talked when a foreign leader called, and every time he kept his word, faith in him grew, and a sense of calm responsibility he’d later put to good use when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, and when those conservative opponents of Gorbachev ultimately enacted the coup they’d long threatened. Bush was hardly perfect as a president. He was cautious, unoriginal, and showed little flair for the pageantry of presidential politics. He overinflated his own credentials as an expert on China when Tiananmen rolled, and failed to remove the Iraqi despot who’d ultimately prove the bane of his own son’s presidency. He was not perfect. But during a moment when the world could very well have ended, his prudence was exactly what the world needed most. RF Jeffrey A. Engel is the Director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University and author of When the World Seemed New: George H.W. Bush and the End of the Cold War (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017).
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To Revitalize the Foreign Policy Center, Head to the Heartland
Mac Thornberry Calls for Renewed American Internationalism by MATTHEW F. FERRARO
Forty-five years ago, Secretary of State Henry “[B]itter experience” showed that America’s safety and Kissinger engaged in an unusual form of shuttle affluence were “inextricably linked” to world peace diplomacy. He did not jet between Middle Eastern and prosperity, he told a Detroit audience in November capitals and conciliate among heads of state on matters 1975.4 of war and peace. Instead, he flew to cities in the Kissinger’s addresses returned repeatedly to this American interior and lectured dozens of times to and other key themes. First, the United States had been ordinary civic groups about the moral foundations and indispensable in designing and maintaining a global, practical purposes of U.S. foreign policy. rules-based system.5 The United States “undertook Kissinger delivered what became known as these efforts not as charity, but in our enlightened the “Heartland Speeches” self-interest,” he said from 1974 through 1976 in St. Louis in May Before chambers of to foster support for his 1975, because its commerce and civic groups policy of détente with “international effort the Soviet Union and saved American lives in cities from Aspen to Memphis, fortify America’s resolve and preserved American Thornberry has made the argument as an international jobs.”6 Second, unity leader after a decade of domestically and with that the quality of life of most domestic disunity, a lost allies was fundamental Americans is better thanks to the war, and a presidential to success.7 Third, the 1 American-led, seven-decadesresignation. Given such United States could not traumas, Americans found thrive if “isolated… old international system. themselves “doubtful of from the international our virtue and uncertain economy.”8 And of our direction,” Kissinger said in Minneapolis in July fourth—perhaps surprising to Kissinger’s critics—U.S. 1975. “Amid frustration, many Americans questioned policy should further moral purposes “in a world where the validity of our involvement in the international power remains the ultimate arbiter,”9 because foreign arena; in the wake of our disappointments, some abroad policy “without moral purpose is like a ship without a now doubt our resolve.”2 Americans were asking: “The world may need us, but do we need the world?”3 Kissinger’s response was a resounding “Yes.” 1) Henry Kissinger, “America’s Destiny: The Global Context,” The Department of State Bulletin, 74, no. 1914 (Mar. 1, 1976): 249 (address at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyo. on Feb. 4). Kissinger’s speeches are hereinafter short-cited as “Kissinger, [city of address], [page number].” 2) Henry Kissinger, “The Moral Foundations of Foreign Policy,” The Department of State Bulletin, 73, no. 1884 (Aug. 4, 1975): 161 (address before the Upper Midwest Council and other organizations at Bloomington (Minneapolis), Minn. on July 15). 3) Henry Kissinger, “American Unity and the National Interest,” The Department of State Bulletin, 73, no. 1890 (Sept. 15, 1975): 389 (address before the Southern Commodity Producers Conference at Birmingham, Ala. on Aug. 14).
4) Henry Kissinger, “Building an Enduring Foreign Policy,” The Department of State Bulletin, 73, no. 1903 (Dec. 15, 1975): 841 (address before a dinner meeting sponsored by the Economic Club of Detroit and other local organizations in Detroit, Mich. on Nov. 24). 5) Kissinger, Laramie, 249-250. 6) Henry Kissinger, “The Challenge of Peace,” The Department of State Bulletin, 72, no. 1875 (June 2, 1975): 706 (address before the St. Louis World Affairs Council at St. Louis, Mo. on May 12). 7) Kissinger, Detroit, 843. 8) Henry Kissinger, “Strengthening the World Economic Structure,” The Department of State Bulletin, 72, no. 1875 (June 2, 1975): 713 (address before the Kansas City International Relations Council at Kansas City, Mo. on May 13). 9) Kissinger, Minneapolis, 161.
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rudder, drifting aimlessly from crisis to crisis.”10 I wrote then that, whether he knew it or not, The short-term success of the Heartland Speeches McCain was echoing Kissinger’s Heartland Speeches is difficult to measure, but the United States remained and that McCain’s efforts, promoting what I called an the guardian of the rules-based, rights-oriented system “ecumenical internationalism” to Americans beyond the for decades. Beltway, should be embraced and emulated by others.14 But in just the past three years, we have witnessed I was pleased to learn recently of an under-thethe most sustained challenge to American global radar effort over the past year by Texas Congressman leadership in generations. And it has arisen not only Mac Thornberry, the ranking member of the House from rivals without but from skeptics within. Some Armed Services Committee, to bring such a message have become “doubtful of our virtue,” as Kissinger said, to communities outside the Acela corridor. It is an believing America is too flawed and fallen to meliorate important effort that deserves recognition and the a vexed world. Others—President Donald Trump flattery of imitation. first among them—have Before chambers “questioned the validity of commerce and civic of our involvement in the groups in cities from international arena,” to Aspen to Memphis, and quote Kissinger, seeing Huntsville to Houston, America’s overseas among others, Thornberry commitments not as has made the argument valuable investments in that the quality of life a safer, richer, and more of most Americans is democratic world that better than it was for their redounds to its benefit, but parents and grandparents, a money pit for ungrateful thanks in no small free-riders. Because of measure to the Americanthis frustration, the United led, seven-decades-old States has begun to discard international system that its responsibilities to regular citizens have the Thornberry delivers a Heartland Speech to the Greater maintain the world order opportunity and obligation New York Chamber of Commerce in July. it has built, even though to fortify. that system has not failed He begins his speech but succeeded to an extent “without precedent in human with charts showing how life expectancy, GDP per history,” as Kissinger said.11 We see this turn in the capita, and democratic governance have exploded since foresaking of multilateral agreements like the Trans- the end of World War II. Lines that represent the level Pacific Partnership (TPP), needless trade wars with of extreme poverty and global deaths from conflict allies, and the desertion of the Syrian Kurds, among drop like ski slopes. others. “The progress of the last 70 years was not In the last year of his life, Sen. John McCain spoke inevitable,” Thornberry says.15 What changed was out against this brewing quasi-isolationism. Twice that the United States made two key decisions after the in speeches in October 2017, McCain argued that the Second World War. First, it decided to stay consistently United States has a “moral obligation” to champion engaged in global affairs through institutions like abroad its ideals and the security of itself and its the World Bank, the Marshall Plan, and the United friends.12 He lamented how many Americans “seek Nations. Second, it invested in a strong military and escape from the world we’ve led so successfully” and national security establishment to undergird these are “asleep to the necessity of our leadership and to the institutions, support friends, and deter foes. This opportunities and real dangers of this world.”13 strategy, Thornberry argues, was historically unique and reflected a bipartisan consensus that persisted despite mistakes. 10) Henry Kissinger, “Moral Promise and Practical Needs,” The Department of State Bulletin, 75, no. 1951 (Nov. 15, 1976): 598 (address before the Synagogue Council of America at New York, N.Y. on Oct. 19). 11) Kissinger, Minneapolis, 161. 12) John McCain, “Remarks by Senator John McCain at 2017 Liberty Medal Ceremony,” Oct. 16, 2017 13) John McCain, “McCain Remarks to Brigade of Midshipmen at
U.S. Naval Academy,” Oct. 30, 2017 14) Matthew F. Ferraro, Speak to the Heartland: Lessons from Kissinger’s Defense of Détente, Real Clear Defense, Jan. 3, 2018, 15) I draw these quotes from Rep. Thornberry’s prepared text, his slide deck, and the video of a speech he gave in Denver, all provided by his office.
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Foreign rivals have, unsurprisingly, sought to undermine and fact-free exudations that constitute contemporary political this system, Thornberry says. But what has been surprising is communication. Other leaders, whether elected politicians, that America’s central commitments “to be strong and to stay veterans, or engaged citizens, would do well to follow his engaged are being challenged here at home in both parties.” example. Thornberry warns that if the U.S. withdraws from global When so little seems to unite Americans, all can take leadership, others will fill the void, particularly China, which pride in what McCain called “the better world” that their is no friend of liberty. “If China sets the rules, more nations country helped build decades ago. A shared commitment will follow,” he says. “As we saw in the 1930s, the infection to global leadership may even help renew Americans’ of authoritarianism tends to spread, and we should never think frayed bonds. Thornberry and others should consider we are immune even here at home.” giving further addresses with members of both parties to To ensure that American values and interests continue to show as much. And while criticism of past (even grievous) predominate, Thornberry misadventures—by argues the country must Kissinger and many reaffirm its fundamental others—are warranted, commitments to the all can recognize that international system. He the United States does says Americans can help not have to be perfect to by taking three steps. be a force for good. First, they can be Thornberry’s wary of what they read speeches are laced, as and share on social media. Kissinger’s were, with He makes a deft point a tragic sensibility. that aerial bombing was “History tells us that once used to damage an civilization can and adversary’s economy and has gone backwards,” undermine civilian morale; Thornberry says, disinformation on social lamenting that many Thornberry delivers a Heartland Speech at the University media is having the same Americans may be Club in Memphis, TN this past April. effect without the kinetics. oblivious to “what man Second, he encourages is capable of doing to his audiences to remind fellow man.” But he others of America’s is also hopeful that accomplishments and individuals have the To ensure that American how precarious they are. ability to make the values and interests continue And third, he encourages nation a force for good. his listeners to press their Kissinger would to predominate, Thornberry argues representatives to favor recognize that, too. “This the country must reaffirm its policies that preserve country’s foreign policy fundamental commitments to international structures and is not a burden; it is a U.S. strength. success and a promise,” the international system. Thornberry, who read he said in Detroit in Kissinger’s Heartland November 1975, “We Speeches before giving his own, told me in an interview that have done great things. There are great things yet to do.”16 his goal has been to “plant a seed” with community leaders, Accomplishing them will take a renewed faith—embraced with to remind them that “what happens over there matters in neither cynicism nor sentimentality—that peace, prosperity, and a dollars and cents, economic well-being way.” While human dignity can best advance under American stewardship, if Americans will disagree over specific policies, he targets the the country is willing to lead the way. RF “broad middle of American thought” and hopes to “advocate for a mindset that we can’t roll up our tent” internationally; An attorney and former intelligence officer, Matthew we need to remain engaged in organizations and agreements, F. Ferraro is a term member of the Council on Foreign including the TPP. At bottom, if America steps back, others Relations and a Visiting Fellow at the National Security will step forward, he says, and “the world will become darker Institute at George Mason Law School. and more dangerous.” Thornberry’s addresses—clear, factually-grounded, and serious—are a welcome respite from the often bilious, glib, 16) Kissinger, Detroit, 850. 28
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How Young Americans View the Fall of the Berlin Wall “It’s just another page in the history books.” by KYLE CHANCE & SARAH PEARCE Each generation has pivotal moments that help define While the fall of Soviet control of East Berlin is not them. For many Americans over the age of forty, one such personally relatable for young Americans, it was real life event was the fall of the Berlin Wall. It marked the resolution for their German peers – yet sentiment for heightened of a 50-year Cold War and the demise of the Soviet Union, government involvement is spreading in both countries. an epic geopolitical occasion to say the least. Yet, thirty Here in the United States, 70% of Gen Z (ages 14-22) years later, it’s apparent that for Millennials and Generation agrees with the statement “government should do more Z, it’s just another page in the history books. to solve problems” compared to 49% of the Boomer Ask nearly any American under the age of 38 what generation. experiences they see as the most influential on the The movement around “democratic socialism” has upbringing of their generation and you’ll hear: 9/11, the gained traction in recent years in American politics, and War on Terror, and the Great Recession. As a result, we it has because it goes hand in hand with this growing have a cohort of Americans that are skeptical of the norms openness for increased government involvement over other generations readily accepted and resentful that their businesses and individuals among younger Americans. elders seem indifferent to the unique Whether the policy proposals on the challenges they now face. There is far left are truly socialist or not is For those too young to a growing level of fatigue among up for debate, but it is very clearly remember, the fall of today’s youth with the status quo, and a platform centered on skepticism of that means more frequent calls for free markets and championing the the Berlin Wall is just sweeping change. centralization of duties and power to another piece of Today’s high school curriculum the federal government. incorporates Reagan’s iconic speech For those too young to the past. where he commanded “tear down remember, the fall of the Berlin Wall this wall” as part of post-Cold War is just another piece of the past— American history units, but there is not much evidence right up there with the Vietnam War, Moon landing, and the to suggest that the fall of the Berlin Wall is exceptionally attack on Pearl Harbor. It’s history, but nothing personal. significant to those who didn’t live through it. This is important to know if you want to better understand Chris Gueffroy, one of the last victims shot at the young Americans and understand what they envision for Berlin Wall, was 20 years old when he planned his escape this country in the coming decades. The demise of the from East Germany. When he refused to join the National Evil Empire was one of the most significant events of the People’s Army, he was denied a university admission twentieth century, where members of the Silent Generation, and became increasingly bitter about his educational and Baby Boomers, and Gen Xers saw the long-awaited career limitations. On February 5, 1989, he and his friend, resolution of a half century standoff between capitalism and Christian, came under fire as they ran to attempt to climb communism. The presence of a communist political rival the barrier. Gueffroy died at the scene and Christian was defined much of the politics of these older generations’ sentenced to three years in prison. coming of age. But that’s in the past. In an article from 1988, The New York Times covered a New generations are coming of age and are beginning story on unrest among youth in East Germany. “Some young to vote in larger numbers and show their presence East Germans are organizing groups to trade information electorally. If we are to understand what this means for on emigration to West Germany. But mainly, what marks the future of America, and why a political shift seems to the new movements is a desire to stay and change things.” be taking place, take a look at the lives of Millennials and Despite the oppression they faced and the movement among Generation Z and the world they grew up in. RF youth at the time to fight against Soviet norms, socialism is making a comeback in modern Germany with the rise of Kyle Chance is the Deputy Editor of The Ripon Forum new radical political leaders on the left. and Sarah Pearce is an Editorial Intern for the Forum. RIPON FORUM November 2019
The Fury of an Aroused Democracy and the False Furies of Today by LOU ZICKAR I have found myself reading and writing a lot about of the bravery of these heroes who risked and sacrificed Dwight D. Eisenhower in recent months. In part, that’s their lives, and the Allied armada that delivered them because this has been a year in which we marked the ashore. In all, over 156,000 troops, nearly 7,000 ships anniversaries of two events that Eisenhower helped shape. and landing craft, and over 3,000 aircraft and gliders In June, we marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day. As descended on the Normandy coast that June morning. Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during World War The historian Stephen Ambrose described the scene in his II, Eisenhower was the architect magnificent book, D-Day. “At of the Normandy landing – the first light,” Ambrose wrote, “the General who commanded the bombers were overhead and an troops, approved the invasion, incredible number of ships began and was ready to accept lone to appear on the horizon. Small responsibility for the risky and craft, small ships, big ships … an massive undertaking had it endless fleet. Heavy warships failed. cruised along as if passing for And then in July, we review.” commemorated the 50th In the book, Ambrose anniversary of the Moon also recounts how Eisenhower landing. NASA was established described America’s entrance during Ike’s presidency, and the into WWII. Ike called it “the fury race to catch and surpass the of an aroused democracy.” It Soviet Union in satellite and was in Normandy, Ambrose rocket technology following the wrote, that America and the launch of Sputnik was largely other Western democracies accomplished before he left “made their fury manifest.” As Eisenhower described office. So, while JFK is rightly Ambrose also makes clear, the America’s entrance into credited with kick-starting the fury unleashed that June morning space program with his bold was not just the result of military WWII as “the fury of an challenge to land a man on the planning and preparation. It aroused democracy.” Moon, it was Eisenhower who was also the result of political started the space program and leadership and industrial might got things off the ground. that came together in a collective The other reason I have been reading more about and focused way to meet and ultimately defeat the greatest Eisenhower is that my family and I visited Normandy in threat the free world had ever faced. August. It is impossible to visit Normandy without being “In 1939,” Ambrose writes, “the United States produced reminded of what it means to be an American, and what 800 military airplanes. When President Franklin Roosevelt America has meant to the world. If a house in Normandy called for the production of 4,000 airplanes per month, had a French flag flying outside, we found that it probably people thought he was crazy. But by 1942, the United States had an American flag flying outside, as well. Lining the was producing 4,000 a month, and by the end of 1943, 8,000 streets of Bayeux, Port-en-Bessin and many of the other per month. There were similar all-but-unbelievable great cities and towns we visited were light posts with posters leaps forward in the production of tanks, ships, landing craft, bearing the black and white photos of American soldiers. rifles, and other weapons.” Ambrose concludes: “What Printed on each poster was the soldier’s name and military made D-Day possible was the never-ending flow of weapons unit, along with the words, “WWII HEROES.” from American factories…[and] the cooperation of business, Standing on the cliffs of Pointe-du-Hoc or on the labor, and government in the United States and the United sands of Omaha Beach, it is also impossible not to think Kingdom, all summed up in the single word ‘teamwork.’’’ 30
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Seventy-five years later, we clearly are not facing a time. Unfortunately, given the state of America’s current threat as grave and immediate as the combined force of political environment, it is hard to imagine that such a Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. But we do face an co-operative effort will happen anytime soon. Indeed, increasing array of challenges that will not only threaten instead of the fury of an aroused democracy, what the our health, security, and well-being, but will also require world sees today in America is a country consumed by the same sort of collective effort and teamwork if they false furies. are going to be overcome. The Atlantic Council spelled What is even more unfortunate is that so many out a number of these challenges last month when it of these furies are being fueled by the President of released “Global Risks 2035 Update,” a report, former the United States. Make no mistake — we live in an Ambassador Thomas Pickering writes in the foreword, outrage culture, with people taking offense at someone that “calls our attention to the biggest threats that can no or something every hour of every day of the year. But longer be ducked by decision makers.” Donald Trump holds the Oval Office, the most important These threats include an uncertain economic outlook bully pulpit in the world. He also has nearly 70 million and a national debt that is growing larger with each passing followers on Twitter, more than Fox, CNN, and MSNBC day. “Despite the Trump administration’s confidence,” the combined. And how is he using this outsized reach and report contends, “the U.S. economy has been settling into authority? From questioning the size of the crowd at a lower band of average annual growth—closer to 2.0-2.2 his inauguration to attacking the late Senator and war percent—rather than the more hero John McCain to claiming than 3 percent that the president a hurricane was going to hit is counting on. Meanwhile, the the state of Alabama when Instead of the fury of an annual deficit is rising at record in fact that was not the case, aroused democracy, what the speed. Under even the most the sad fact is that President optimistic forecast, federal world sees today in America is Trump has done more to divert debt rises to a dangerous level America’s attention from the a country consumed by of over 118 percent of GDP in real problems we face than any false furies. 2038. Alternative scenarios— President in recent history. which some experts believe In part as a result, he is may be more realistic—show now on the verge of becoming even larger annual deficits and overall debt up to as much the third President in U.S. history to be impeached. as 165 percent of GDP by 2038.” The other result is that the positive things he has Globally, the report argues, the challenges facing the accomplished — and he does have an impressive list of United States are just as daunting and perhaps even more accomplishments, from unemployment being at a 50complex. “We must recognize that the old historical year low to the stock market soaring to an all-time high rhythm that laid the foundations of the Western liberal — are being obscured. But, of course, the real tragedy is order has come to an end,” the report argues. “The world that America is being unnecessarily distracted from the now faces momentous challenges with climate change, threats we face down the road. the return of state-on-state conflict and an end to social “We need to get ahead of the curve in making cohesion with increasing levels of inequality. Without a innovative changes,” Ambassador Pickering writes in political, intellectual and, some say, spiritual renaissance the Atlantic Council report. “The challenge is whether that addresses and deals with the big existential tests we can mobilize the will and the funding, the brains and facing humanity, we will not be able to move together the brawn, to do that.” into the future.” In other words, can we channel the fury of our Looked at another way, the report argues that what democracy? We know the course Eisenhower followed. America needs — and what the world needs — is another The question is if we are capable of following a similar effort similar to that which was undertaken at Normandy; course today. RF a collective endeavor that would channel all of our energy and resources into meeting the greatest challenges of our Lou Zickar serves as Editor of The Ripon Forum.
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Cheney Discusses Focus on Impeachment & How It May Impact Focus on National Security WASHINGTON, DC – In remarks on November 14th before a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society, House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (WY-At Large) discussed the current debate over impeachment and how it may impact the ability of the Intelligence Committee – and Congress – to focus on national security in the weeks and months ahead. “The House Intelligence Committee is one of the most important committees in Congress when it comes to the security of our nation,” Cheney stated. “When you take the Intelligence Committee and consume it with impeachment, that means the Committee’s members are not spending their time getting
briefings on what’s happening around the world, whether it’s in Syria or North Korea or China or Russia. “These are areas that matter deeply to our security, and areas in which the Committee has direct oversight. But for whatever reason, Speaker Pelosi decided not to have an impeachment process go through the Judiciary Committee, as is the norm and has always been the case. Instead, the Speaker has hijacked the Intelligence Committee. It’s a really serious thing.” Cheney was elected to the House in 2016 and was selected by her colleagues to be GOP Conference Chair in November of last year. As Chair of the Conference, she is
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the third-ranking Republican in the House. She is also a member of the Armed Services Committee. In both of these positions, she has proven to be a leading voice for ensuring military strength and projecting U.S. leadership in a volatile world. “When I look around the globe,” she said, “I am concerned that we have members of both parties, frankly, who don’t understand the important role America has played and needs to continue to play. You can be sure that there are those of us who are going to continue to make sure that we get that message out and continue to fight hard on behalf of our own security here at home.” The Wyoming lawmaker has
also shown herself to be a smart Republican women running for doesn’t matter what the candidate is saying to you when they’re at hawk who’s not afraid to buck the office next year. party line. “Right now,” she stated, “we home in your district. If they are “I’ve been pretty public about have a record number of Republican going to go to Washington and my opposition to the decision the women candidates who’ve declared if they are going to vote for the Administration made to withdraw for office in districts around the Democrat for Speaker in the House our forces from the border,” Cheney country. It’s fascinating to me of Representatives, the dynamic said in response to a question about as I travel around the country the in the Democratic Party is that the Turkey’s recent invasion of Syria number of Republican women who radicals are in control. We see that and President Erdoğan’s visit to the are inspired to run by ‘the Squad.’ in the House, we see it among the White House this week. They are inspired both from the presidential candidates, and we “I have had many conversations perspective of how radical the see it in the whole mix of policy with representatives from the socialists are, saying, ‘You know, prescriptions that the vast majority Administration about this. This we’ve got to stand up and fight. of the American people do not idea that somehow the Turks were We can’t let the country go that want.” Contrast these far left policy coming and that we couldn’t leave direction.’ But they’re also inspired our forces there because they into believing, ‘If they can do it, I prescriptions, Cheney added, with would be caught in a crossfire is can do it.’ And so I think the Squad the commonsense conservative p o l i c i e s fundamentally Republicans have wrong. I think been able to put in that if we had “The Speaker has hijacked the Intelligence place in such areas been very clear Committee.” as tax reform and and we had said Liz Cheney, Remarks to regulatory relief. to the Turks, ‘Do “If we can not come, and The Ripon Society get through on if you do come, Nov. 14, 2019 substance, there’s you will face simply no contest,” c o n s e q u e n c e s . We have air superiority and will has had a really positive impact for she declared. “And I do think that strike if you come across the border us in terms of Republican women the Democrats know that too. I think that’s why you see the jockeying and put our troops at risk.’ If we had choosing to run.” Cheney was also asked for that’s going on their side. So we’ll said that, the Turks would not have engaged in an effort to essentially her thoughts on the effort by both see what happens. It is a long shot parties to win the support of voters to see somebody like Deval Patrick go to war with the United States.” or Michael Bloomberg effectively “I think the Turks have in the political center next year. “I think the announcement jump in. But I think the fact that demonstrated they are not our ally, and I think the extent to which that that Deval Patrick is going to get they’re even contemplating it is an kind of behavior is something that into the race for the Democrats indication that Democrats are not the Administration seems willing to is a pretty interesting indicator satisfied with that current crop of accept and live with puts America of the dynamics with respect to candidates on their side.” The Ripon Society is a public at risk. It’s good the President has who’s going to be able to get the decided he’s going to actually leave independent vote,” she observed. policy organization that was some additional forces there. From “People knew Elizabeth Warren founded in 1962 and takes its my perspective, the key thing is to was pretty radical. But when she name from the town where the make sure we’re countering ISIS. I put out the actual price tag for Republican Party was born in 1854 think that’s crucial. We need forces the health care plan, I think that – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the on the ground in order to counter was sort of like a bridge too far main goals of The Ripon Society is ISIS. We can’t rely on the Turks to even for some socialists. There to promote the ideas and principles do it for us.” is concern among the Democrats that have made America great and In addition to her comments on about making sure they nominate contributed to the GOP’s success. the impeachment debate and U.S. somebody who isn’t completely These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low security around the world, Cheney radical. “From our perspective, I think and having a federal government was also asked for her thoughts on the upcoming election and the what that means is making sure that is smaller, smarter and more RF effort to increase the number of we remind people that it really accountable to the people. 34
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Name: Mike DeWine Occupation: Governor of Ohio First job & lesson(s) learned from it: My first job was working for my father’s seed company in Cedarville, Ohio. My father’s company was something he was extremely proud of and passionate about. This passion radiated off of him, and I grew to also be very proud of my work in family business. My father also taught me what it meant to work towards a stronger future. Even with his declining health, my father continued to plant seeds, knowing that he may not be around in the spring to see them bloom. This mindset is something I still utilize today- even though we may not be around to see the impact, we still need to work towards implementing those changes. Book(s) you’ve read that you’re recommending to friends: The Pioneers by David McCullough and Tigerland by Wil Haygood Top challenge(s) facing Ohioans that you are working hard to address as Governor: Two challenges that are of particular interest to me are kids and the ongoing drug epidemic. We’ve recognized that far too many kids throughout Ohio do not have equal access to resources and services. On my first day in office, I signed an executive order establishing the Governor’s Children’s Initiative to focus on providing early childhood education and intervention programs. Newborn home visits, early childhood education, mental health professions in schools, foster care and drug abuse prevention education are some of the many subject areas the initiative is focusing on. Another challenge that Ohio is facing is the drug epidemic. Ohio, like many other states, has experienced the repercussions of the drug epidemic, which have touched the lives of all Ohioans. RecoveryOhio, also created on my first day in office, is another initiative to ensure that we as a state act aggressively when addressing this crisis, and invest in the health and well-being of Ohio’s citizens. RecoveryOhio has focused on providing resources to Ohioans impacted by the drug epidemic, reducing the stigma and providing impactful prevention education for Ohio’s children beginning at an early age. You’ve served in Congress and you’ve served in the Statehouse. What’s the main difference between the two? My job as Governor is an executive job, and my job as a member of Congress was a legislative job. In each job I have found that you can get things done! Finally, a prediction – what Bowl game will the Buckeyes be playing in at the end of the year? I’m predicting they’ll play in two Bowl games: the College Football Playoffs semifinal game at the Peach Bowl, as well as the College Football Playoff National Championship in New Orleans. 36
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