WILLIAM L. NASH: Okay. Shall we begin?
Okay. Welcome back. Thanks for coming back to see the B Team. We appreciate it very much. I'm the aforementioned Bill Nash here at the Council. I'm afraid to say my whole title because I might use Paul's -- I'm so used to saying it in the past. But I really appreciate you all coming. I kind of want to begin with a couple of thank-yous if you all don't mind. The first is to Les Gelb for hiring me and to Richard Haass for keeping me on, and their leadership throughout this process and the Center for Preventive Action has meant a great deal to me.
I bring you greetings from General Vessey. I talked to him over the weekend. He's a troubled man right now because he can no longer stand at attention, and as a result, he's having some knee operations taking place. He's -- for the last seven years or so he's spent most of -- much of the day standing at attention and no longer could do that so he's having some orthopedic work done. But his heart's with us and his vision and his leadership keeps us all going. And I add my thanks to Patrick Bern (ph) for all the help he's given the center, both not only in the -- his generosity but also with his wisdom and drive and inspiration. So we appreciate that very much.
Well, we're going to talk with this group up here today about what the last 10 years have wrought and try to assess that as a jumping off point for the next 10, and I'm grateful to be joined by these three gentlemen. Of course, David here to my left chairman -- president emeritus of Carnegie Corporation -- is the reason we're all here because it was 10 years ago his efforts along with Cyrus Vance brought to fruition the Carnegie Commission on the Prevention of Deadly Conflict. Joining us also, Bruce Jentleson from Duke University, where he's a professor of policy studies and political science, and Fen Osler (sic) Hampson, director of the Paterson School of International Affairs, Carelton University in Ottawa. And I just -- you have their bios in front of you -- I would just tell you in summation to these three gentlemen here they have written more books than I've read in my life so -- (laughter) -- I'm truly grateful for being there and I want to start with David as we should in this endeavor.
For those of you -- just as a quick reminder if you used your cell phone during the break I hope you turn it off now. We are on the record so watch what you say, David. Okay. David, I want to turn to you first and ask you to look at the last 10 years since the publication of the report and reflect on its impact and what's your most pleased with, and give us some hints of things that maybe not as pleased with that has happened in the ensuing 10 years.
DAVID A. HAMBURG: Sure. Well, this could easily be 10 hours. I mean, if Castro can do a three-hour speech I don't see why I can't, but I'll try to keep it to 10 minutes. You can imagine what these 10 years have been like for me, you know, Bill, very, very intensive 10 years. I first have to say the depths of my gratitude to the late Cy Vance to whom the library of this building is dedicated, and he and I cooked up the commission together in light of Yugoslavia -- not to review Yugoslavia but what might have been had the international community had certain intellectual and institutional strengths and moral strengths before disaster came. And it was foreseen -- it was foreseen particularly from the time Tito died but we won't go into that now. There's a lot of interesting things about how it came to be.
I want to thank Les Gelb and Richard Haass. Richard was involved very early. You probably don't know this but he was here -- I don't know, as a senior fellow or something, and Les asked him to help draw up a proposal to the Carnegie Corporation. The idea that we had was an activity here that would be more or less in parallel -- will do different things but will be in parallel with the commission. The commission would have a five-year life, which is long for a commission, but that this might have a 10 or even a 15-year life and might do different things in different ways but could help to build a constituency of informed people about prevention. That's where the annual meeting that was mentioned earlier came in very handy and I hope will be revived.
The annual meeting was very useful and I have -- I'm really impressed and grateful for the quality and quality of the turnout here today. We -- Vance and I, of course, knew that at least some people -- probably a lot of people -- had one time or another in their lives however briefly thought that the prevention of deadly conflict or mass violence or even genocide would be desirable but would it be feasible. There was a feasibility question to which we addressed ourselves and in the first meeting of the commission -- the commission itself had a three-year life and then there was a two-year follow-up -- the first meeting of the commission was in my judgment a total failure.
I had asked in my previous correspondence that each member think about some situation he or she had been in and cast a mind back to what might have been at an earlier stage or what kind of intellectual, institutional, or moral strength could have made a big difference, and nobody could do that. It was just so very hard to do it because they'd all been at late stage like Israel-Palestine -- they'd all been involved in conflicts where there had been 20, 30, 40 years of disaster, and to think preventively about that yes, you can say, "Well, we could prevent its getting even worse. With Humpty Dumpty smashed to pieces maybe you can paste a few pieces together." Yeah, but that's very hard. By the second meeting we got going and by the three-year period I think it was a valuable report.
We did not -- we were not looking for sort of genius new ideas. We were rather trying to scan the world and scoop up good ideas worldwide. We were perhaps more than anything trying to stimulate interest in prevention and to the extent possible use public health during primary prevention -- that is, before the disease has occurred -- when there's some indications that a disease is at high risk to be able to make an intervention that has the likelihood of preventing the outbreak of the terrible or fatal disease -- to stimulate that kind of thinking in institutions, organizations, universities, governments, the Council on Foreign Relations, other distinguished NGOs -- International Peace Academy, et cetera.
And not just in the U.S. I want to say that. We rarely use in this report terminology of U.S. leadership nor have I in my subsequent books used that very much. I speak about I hope for the day when there will be active constructive U.S. participation in preventive activities. I hope for that day but we do -- have not seen that day yet. We've had -- I should say we had when the report was published after three years a terrific response in a number of democracies. In fact, several countries -- it was amusing -- were competing who would have the first meeting on this subject in the first month after it was published. Japan, Britain, Sweden, Norway, Germany -- I forget who got in first, but they had very good meetings. I got to some and not to others. Members of the commission attended. They had their own people from their own country and their own region involved and that was great that there were democracies showing that kind of interest. And I regret to say, although the initial roll-out was in the Clinton White House, that we did not see a continuing interest.
I don't want to be partisan, the one person in the administration that was strong in a continuing interest was Hillary Clinton, not her husband. So I can't - and what's happened in the intervening years, I don't even want to discuss. But it is - it is painful to me that my own country has not been able to make, shall we say, a large contribution in this field. But the European democracies have, and some of the Asian democracies, some of the Latin American democracies and, of course, we did not expect contributions from the dictatorships, and have not found them.
But the idea was to stimulate better ideas to set in motion a long-term process.
We talked about decades and generations. Now that didn't mean that some things couldn't be useful very quickly, especially some forms of preventive diplomacy, some strains of preventive diplomacy, but when we were talking about the more fundamental things - to be blunt, that would make for a decent world and, therefore, much less likely to go to mass violence, that that would be decades, or generations.
Now what was the essence -- the summary of key topics of the Commission at its three-year point? And I want to come back say there was much more that's happened after that - I won't say better, but certainly building on it, and in some ways better. And I want to tell you about some things that are probably not well known - known to me because I've been more directly involved, that are extremely interesting and do offer an authentic basis for hope.
But we dealt with the nature and scope of the problem; we dealt with operational prevention, meaning strategies in the face of crisis; under that, we dealt with leadership, a comprehensive political-military response, resources, transition to post-national control; early warning and early response; preventive diplomacy became, I think, the most important part of the operational prevention; economic measures; and forceful measures, last but not least.
So these were subsidiary topics under operational prevention. Then came a structural prevention, which, in my judgment, we did not deal with adequately - for the time it was adequate, but not for now. We had root causes of deadly conflict - security, wellbeing, justice, and each one was spelled out in fair detail.
Those have now grown into the fostering of democracy, the fostering of equitable - and I emphasize "equitable" -- socio-economic development - and I emphasize "socio" not just economic growth, growing into education for survival, which is a tiny bit of our commission report constraints on weaponry, where we all knew that there were very good ideas but terrible application, and so we basically didn't deal with it. The protection of human rights through international mechanisms of justice, we didn't deal with. A lot of that has developed, in large part, since the Commission; some of it was not dealt with by the Commission because commissioners were not very optimistic about it, and some had I think unfortunate mistaken conceptions.
For example, most of our members from developing countries - by the way, we had scholars, 16 scholars and practitioners of various kinds, three or four were scholars, most were from military, diplomatic, other similar background - a marvelous group of people. The people from the developing countries -- of whom there were several, and very intelligent people with rich experience -- tended, rather to my surprise, naïvely, to assume that if we talked about building democracy, because democracy has the capability for resolving conflicts short of the threshold of mass violence, whatever its faults it has a tendency to resolve conflicts short of mass violence, they tended to think that we meant intervention by rich countries on poor, by powerful countries on weak.
It was long before Iraq, but the model they had in mind was something like Iraq, -- and the Iraq event has not helped us in this field, although I think we'll get over it. It's like a distinguished lawyer said about the 2000 election, "Will the - will the Supreme Court recover?" It will recover but it will take a long time. And that seems to be the case with the spreading of a democracy.
I personally feel it's enormously important, and that much has been learned both through research and through practice in fostering ways of spreading democracy, not at the point of a gun, it causes a fundamental advantages a democracy has in resolving conflicts below the threshold of mass violence, both internally and externally, the principles are similar.
I'm not so much talking about the theory of whether established democracies fight with each other. I don't think they do very much. They might occasionally. And I'm not saying that democracies don't get bellicose. What country are we sitting in?
But I am saying that, overall, survey research showed most countries want democracy. They don't exactly know what it is, it's vaguely formulated but they know it's something better than what they've got. That's true in Africa, Latin America, Asia -- and it waxes and wanes, of course, but the international community has only been, in the last 10 or 15 years, learning how to help -- with no violence or an absolute minimum of violence, help countries to build democratic institutions.
NASH: David, if we could hold it right there. I'll come back to you in just a moment.
But I wanted to turn to Fen. And David made a comment about root causes, and I wonder, Fen, if you could discuss with us some of your work on trying to examine those issues?
FEN OSLER HAMPSON: Well, first of all, let me say what a pleasure and privilege it is to be here on this 10th anniversary of the Carnegie Commission Report. And what I thought would be most useful to do would be to talk about two important concepts that were advanced by the Commission: The concepts of operational prevention - that is to say, what are the things that you can do through preventive diplomacy to prevent the immediate outbreak of conflict; and the second important concept, which was the concept of structural prevention - that is to say, what can be done to address the deep or underlying causes of conflict.
Over the past 10 years, I think it's fair to say the commission spawned a cottage industry in the Academy which has devoted an enormous amount of time, energy, resources and attention to studying both the deep causes of conflict in today's world, and also the effectiveness of various kinds of intervention strategies -- whether of the structural, or the more preventive diplomacy kind.
And you can boil it all down - and this is a gross simplification, but you can boil down the findings on structural causes to three main factors -- this is going to upset the academics in the audience, but we can do that to have a debate: The first is the important of economic factors in contributing to and prolonging a war. And they come in two varieties - resource scarcities, relating to population growth, legacies of land distribution, uneven food distribution, lack of access to fresh water - all are potential sources of conflict.
What's interesting is that an overabundance of natural resources can also increase the probability and duration of conflict, as actors enrich themselves through illicit means. And we see that when they engage in embezzlement of state revenues for oil and and mineral exploration, small arms trafficking, the mining of conflict diamonds and so forth.
The second important finding is the role of belligerent groups and the manner in which they foment and perpetuate violence -- their manipulation of populations through ethnicity, religion, history, myths; And that draws our attention to the role of human agency. Michael Brown at Georgetown University has a wonderful term for it. He says, "There are lots of bad leaders in the world. And guess what? Bad leaders can play a key role in manipulating ethnic and religious identities to serve their own selfish ends and perpetuate or perpetrate conflict."
The third is the fungible nature of contemporary conflicts. So-called civil wars have a nasty habit of crossing their borders to form what some call regional conflict complexes. And conflicts have a nasty habit of spilling over. They did that in the Great Lakes Region in 1997 -- or spilling in, as demonstrated by the extensive external involvement of a whole range of regional actors in the Democratic Republic of Congo's civil war.
Arguably, since the Second World War, the biggest structural conflict prevention success story lies in the Asia-Pacific region. Unfortunately, it's pre-Carnegie, but you can take credit for it. From 1946 to the mid-1970s, East Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania accounted for more than half of the world's battle deaths. But that region, statistically speaking, is now one of the world's most peaceful. And of course, one of the great puzzles is, why is that so? I think you could argue that since the 1970s, it's experienced some of the highest economic growth rates in the world and it's also been one of the chief beneficiaries of globalization processes.
In recent years there are four new aspects of structural conflict prevention that are receiving close attention -- and let me just quickly run through them. The first is the impact of climate change. Darfur, I think, is a very good illustration of this. Desertification in that region, which proceeds at the rate of about eight kilometers a year, was a key factor in both causing and intensifying the conflict between herders and farmers in the region. Bob Bates and his colleagues at Harvard have found that the only valid predictor or indicator for the eruption of civil violence in the sub-Saharan conflict -- sub-Saharan Africa, I should say -- is the onset of drought.
Second, the impact of growing levels of inequality within countries. The World Bank in its recent global economic prospects report predicts that globalization, which is contributing to rapid growth in average incomes in the next five years -- with, incidentally, developing countries leading the pack -- is also going to be accompanied by growing economic inequalities within countries. Those inequalities, in the eyes of some, are going to reinforce existing horizontal inequalities in societies. That is to say, the inequalities that come from political, economic and social conditions among culturally and/or geographically distinct groups, especially in low and middle-income countries. And that is going to increase the potential for conflict in those countries.
The third dimension is the challenge of rapid urbanization. In 2005, global urbanization crossed 50 percent for the first time in human history and will reach 60 percent by 2030. Cities of the developing world now account for over 90 percent of the world's urban growth and rural -- global rural populations are going to go into decline after 2015. In Latin America, about 64 percent of the poor live in urban, not rural, areas. In Africa, close to 50 percent of the population now lives in cities.
Why does that matter? Cities are increasingly the sites of four different kinds of organized violence: organized crime led by drug cartels; human trafficking networks, arms smugglers, so forth; rebel groups and paramilitaries; anomic crimes that are perpetuated by individuals; and endemic community violence led by urban gangs like the Cape Town Scorpions in South Africa or vigilante groups -- the Egbesu Boys of Africa. What's striking is the role of youth in those gangs. A 2004 multi-country study found that the average age of recruitment into gangs to be approximately 13.5 years old.
The other important aspect of conflict prevention is operational prevention or preventive diplomacy. And there I think we have kind of an interesting good news story. Just hot off the press from the University of Uppsala's peace-and-conflict data set, which has been doing probably the best work in the field of conflict prevention, they find that in the period 1993 to 2004 there were 76 low-intensity intrastate-armed conflicts in the world. These were conflicts that resulted in less than 1,000 battle deaths. That is, they're low intensity conflicts. They find that the international community acted in many of those conflicts to prevent them from escalating or spreading geographically. There were slightly more than 3,000 separate interventions taken by third parties and the years 2000 to 2002 were the high point of those interventions.
Now, there's one conflict that receives about half that attention. It's the one we were talking about in the last session: Israel-Palestine. What's also interesting is that the most commonly used type of prevention diplomacy is for third parties not to mediate, but to engage in bilateral talks with one of the warring parties. More often than not the government side of the dais. Uppsala finds that many countries, international organizations, regional organizations are actively engaged in preventive diplomacy and yes, the U.S. is still doing it -- believe it or not.
What's also interesting is that regional states are doing it: Egypt in South Africa; Gabon mediating in Congo-Brazzaville; Algeria together with Burkina Faso in Niger; France in India over the territory of Nagaland. And you also find nongovernmental organizations -- in particular the Geneva-based NGO Center for Humanitarian Dialogue, which has been an active player, along with other, mediating in the Aceh conflict in Indonesia.
Let me conclude by saying that one of the biggest challenges in conflict prevention is to find ways of making peace settlements -- making peace settlements stick. The way most conflicts ended since 1989 was through a negotiated peace settlement. And if Andy Mack of the Human Security Task Force at the University of British Columbia were here, he would show you a very dramatic graph that shows the frequency of global conflict coming down. And the reason it comes down is because there were negotiated settlements to those conflicts. That's the good news.
The bad news is that, again, if you look at the data in the 1990s, 43 percent of all conflicts that ended in negotiated settlement started again within five years, compared with just 9 percent of those that ended in a military victory. Well, what does that tell us? It tells us that if you let the parties fight it out and one side wins, you have a much more stable political solution than if the parties negotiate a settlement, because the likelihood of recidivism or the conflict re-erupting is much higher with negotiated settlements. And some would say, well, that lends great credence to Ed Luttwak's controversial thesis, "Give Wars a Chance" -- let them burn.
I think that's something we can talk about. I have some views on that subject, but I think what it does -- what those statistics underscore is the importance of really thinking about conflict prevention, not just in a pre-conflict context, but also in a post-conflict peace building context. Now, there's been a huge amount of work -- as David mentioned -- around how do you do democracy in post-conflict environments? How do you development in post-conflict environments? How do you do security in post-conflict environments? How do you do security in post-conflict environments? We still don't know how to get it right. And that really argues for projects of this kind and others to continue to look at the challenges of post-conflict peace-building.
NASH: Thank you, Fen.
Bruce, you heard some history. You heard some cause issues and some data here from a number of folks. How about sharing with us a framework for us to try to come to grips with this last 10 years?
BRUCE W. JENTLESON: Sure. Let me try to make some comments along those lines, and then people, I'm sure, will add their things.
Let me actually start by asking us to think back to 1993, which was when the sort of euphoria that followed the immediate end of the Cold War was beginning to fade in places like the former Yugoslavia, et cetera.
I was serving actually in the State Department on the policy planning staff at the time as special assistant to the director. And to be perfectly honest and frank, we were using the term preventive diplomacy all the time -- speeches, memos, national security strategies and the like.
We didn't really know what it meant. We hadn't really thought about how to fully do it. In some sense, it had fit this -- (inaudible) -- and we surely weren't ready to commit to doing what it takes to do it; us, let alone the rest of the world.
It was in this context that David Hamburg's commission really began to have huge impact. I recall some briefings in the State Department when the commission was first starting out. And much has been said by Bill and Paul and others.
And I just want to say that -- and Fen said it too -- I think the effect of the commission was not just its own pieces of work and its final report, but really David, more than any other single individual, helped create this as both a field of study and professional policy specialization. And I think that what we see now and the notion of where it's going to go is really institutionalization, whatever you want to call it -- conflict resolution, preventive diplomacy, conflict prevention and the like.
And I think that's a huge contribution that reminds me -- and I want to come back to this at the end -- what happened in places like Iran at the end of World War II with things like deterrence, which we then took for granted, for better or worse, for 50 years, but wasn't a familiar concept. And I think that's the huge contribution that David, as an individual in his leadership, and the Carnegie commission made.
So let me try to answer Bill's question really in very summary form. I think we've learned three things in this period of 10 years and even longer. First, I think we've learned that prevention is possible. One of the crucial things was making the analyses -- and Fen's discussion and his own work on the sources of conflict made a fundamental point. He said these conflicts we saw around the world were historically shaped but not historically determined. You know, the expression that Samantha Power uses in her book, "A Problem From Hell," was the sense that they've been fighting each other for 600 years. What are we going to do about it?
When you sat down and analyzed it, it wasn't this straight line. And history was very important, but it was shaped, but not determined. Indeed, in the former Yugoslavia context, there were all sorts of examples of Croat Serbs and Bosnian Muslims getting along, and the like, that many people are familiar with.
To say that something is historically determined means, hey, let's move on to some other problem we can affect. To say it's historically shaped is to recognize that historical forces are powerful but that actors, the demagogues like Milosevic and others, or in Rwanda, the extremists, were acting on historical grievances to have an effect.
Well, that really means that policy can also have an effect. And I think this was part of understanding that prevention was possible, that once you understood the causal dynamic, you understood that something could be done.
There's always this sort of evidentiary caveat of success, because you're defining success as either nothing happened, we prevented it from happening, or things didn't get worse. And you can't really know for sure, sort of like deterrence in the Cold War or preventive medicine. If I keep my cholesterol down, we'll never really know whether I would have had a heart attack or not. I'd rather not find out, of course.
But we also had many cases which we could look at fairly strongly. There was Macedonia in a couple of different instances; the preventive deployment in 1993 being one. There were efforts in Burundi that didn't totally prevent the conflict, but surely contained it. There were things like the Russian minorities in the Baltics; that if we go back and think about the early 1990s, those were very explosive situations. So there are many examples we could cite that made the point that prevention was possible.
I think the second thing we learned, that prevention, while possible, is difficult. And here is where my reference at the beginning to sort of using the phrase in speeches was "belying the difficulty." The difficulties were not to be underestimated. Some of that we learned the hard way. As our keynote speaker talked about, diplomatic strategies have a level of detail that we often just -- when we think of military strategies, we game them out. We think them through. We look at them left, right and sideways.
We actually need to do that about diplomatic strategy. It's not just a process; it's a strategy. Mediation -- is that the right strategy to use? How do you use carrots and sticks? These are real difficulties.
I understand the distinction between traditional peacekeeping in interstate conflicts for the U.N. and others and peace operations in which there wasn't a peace to be kept and the logistics, the military strategy, what we meant by a robust mission. How did you think about impartiality distinct from neutrality? The responsibility to protect commission of Gareth Evans and Mohammed Sanoon (sp), I think, did an amazing work on this in trying to think this through.
Decision-making, discussed at the end of the last session -- you know, when is it a U.N. Security Council issue and when is it not? The responsibility to protect commission -- for example, put up a proposition that the U.N. Security Council was the preferred but not exclusive decision-maker in these situations.
The overall efforts at an integrated strategy; we began to think about post-conflict reconstruction, which became both a buzz word and organizing concept in the latter part of the Clinton administration and the Bush administration. That's okay, but that's still post-conflict. And that shouldn't be the best we could do. That's not prevention.
And so it's important to stress that it's not enough to just, you know, sort of do something, the "At least let's try; let's not just stand there," that you can actually make consequences worse. You can worsen the conflict you get involved with per se. You can have fallout for the next conflict, which I think Somalia did for Rwanda and the like. So we needed to know that it was difficult as well as possible.
But I think the third point that we learned, and to me the most important, is that prevention is necessary. And there's many points to be made in this regard, and much has been said by colleagues here and on other occasions about the nature of the world we live in. Richard Haass started us off with that in his opening remarks.
Let me just make three points along this line. One is, there's no such thing as a non-position for the United States or the international community. Okay, when we did the "We don't have a dog in that fight" in the former Yugoslavia, that was a position that the Milosevices of the world took account of, and it affected their tactics and strategy; not to say that Yugoslavia ever would have been a perfect little democracy, but there's a difference between deadly conflict and less deadly conflict.
There's no non-position for the U.N., the U.S. or others that the strategic and tactical interaction with the parties to the conflict happens. Look at what the Sudanese government is doing today in terms of whether it's really taking seriously the U.N. Security Council or anybody else.
So we can't say to ourselves, you know, "Terrible thing; it's not our interest." There's no non-position. We have to understand, if we do that, it affects the conflict. It's not neutral.
Second is what I think of as the Type A/Type C problem. There was a tendency, as we were trying to figure out this confusing world, pre-9/11 particularly, to say, "You know, look, there's three types of problems in the world. There's the Type A problems -- emerging problems in Russia, China, the big powers. And then there's the Type B, the major regional conflicts -- the Middle East, the Korean peninsula. And then there's Type C, all these little countries out there that are failed states and have conflicts -- 'Isn't it a terrible thing?'"
Well, that's a category that we actually kept Afghanistan in, in between once, when the Soviets got out, and 9/11. And if there's an enduring lesson from 9/11, it's that Type C problems can have Type A effects. And again, I think Richard made the point, and others, we can think of that in terms of global pandemics, not just terrorism. But we don't have -- we can't make every part of the world a priority, but we don't have the luxury of writing off inherently any part of the world.
And the third point why it's necessary, I think, is -- I'll be very simple -- my second point was about interests. The third point is it's the right thing to do from a humanitarian perspective, from ethics, from man's inhumanity to man. I've sometimes said, only semi-facetiously, that we should ban the use of the term "international community" until we genuinely are prepared to go from what we pledged after the Holocaust never again and stop having the world be yet again genocide after genocide because if we can't -- we need to be an international community on a whole host of things -- global warming, our former boss has already just received the Nobel Peace Prize for today in Oslo. There are many things that are about being international community. But if we can't do it on man's inhumanity and man, it's not clear that we can do it on anything else.
And so as we think about this, I guess for all of the difficulties that we'll talk about and the next panel will talk about, I'm reminded of a little bit of a paraphrase I'm stealing from Churchill on his statement about democracy to say that prevention is probably the worst strategy except for all the others.
NASH: Very good, Bruce. And thanks to you and thanks to everybody.
Little bit of squeeze of time so I'm going to ask a question to the panel and give you all just a minute or two to kind of come grips with it -- maybe we can follow along your comments.
Fen, you sent us an article Friday and I think it's your latest article but it was Friday since you sent it so maybe you've written another one since. (Laughter.) But one particular phrase had certain resonance with me. You said, "Today's wars are driven by local elites maneuvering to corner as large a share of national compliments of power and wealth as possible."
And so the question to all three of you is, if that's true -- and we could probably have a discussion about that -- but this finding the formula, if you will, for the sharing of power and wealth for the country may be a fundamental issue related to preventing conflict. If that's true, are we spending too much time on other peripheral areas and not coming to grips with this -- what I would define as the center of gravity issue that we need to as we look at a wide variety of situations?
You wrote it, you talk about it first.
HAMPSON: (Laughs.) Maybe I should look at things more carefully before I write them down. (Laughter.) There's no question that the challenge in any post-conflict peace building environment is to set up rules for competition that don't end up reigniting the conflict and destroying the very fragile institutions of the state that you're trying to create.
And one of the continuing problems that we see is that -- and it was talked about earlier in the first panel -- that the rules that are imposed on the parties are the Democratic Queen of Marksbury's rules of political competition which as we've seen time and time again don't work very well.
And there're really three tasks of state building -- one is to get the security environment right so that individuals feel that their own human security is not at risk -- and that's in the physical sense. The second is to get state building right so that state intuitions are in the business of providing key public goods that build legitimacy for the state. And then the third is to do democracy right.
Now, we've seen a debate -- a very active debate about what should be the sequence there. And generally speaking the conventional wisdom is you do security first, they're the security firsters, that say, you know, that's what matters, that's what the third party interveners should do, and then leave the rest because it will follow and come naturally. Well, there are two striking restorations recently, Iraq and Afghanistan, where that isn't working. And I think the emerging conventional wisdom is that it's not a sequencing problem, it's a simultaneity problem. How do you at least do the first two in a way that gives the state a chance and gives those elites who are in competition because competition is natural at least an opportunity to play by a different set of rules?
NASH: David, the same basic question to you but push it before the resolutions, if you will, or before the intervention -- in outside players during or better yet, prior to the conflict have an influence on this power sharing formula?
HAMBURG: Oh, I think without any question -- no question at all and almost everywhere in the world. But I want to mention something that I think is genuinely new and it follows similar from what's been said by both speakers. I mean, Bruce has made a terrific contribution to the -- his book for the Carnegie Corporation is magnificent in preventative diplomacy. But he almost said what we're looking for is a decent world. If we get toward a decent world, probability of war and genocide and so on would be much less.
But I want to say something on the question of who can do what -- who can do what? We really have to think very hard about the current capacities and limitation both of individual governments and of multilateral organizations. I've devoted a lot of my time in these 10 years -- well, since the first three years first of all to getting out the publications like Bruce as we put out 20 books and 50-some papers and try to begin to get around the countries is a very complex subject and it's then -- it's sort of a cottage industry or maybe even respectable academic and policy-orientated industry of serious people working on prevention. It's very hard; it's very complex. I've tried to do it; I couldn't personally foster that in a number of universities and NGOs like this one right here.
But the most interesting thing that I've had to do which I doubt if many of you are familiar with is take gross misconcept. I came to the position that most of the tasks we want, like Fen was just talking about, require years to do -- they're complex, they require a lot of intellectual and financial and technical and moral commitment, and, therefore, they must be in some way multilateral. It's unrealistic to think of any single country in most cases as doing what needs to be done -- and especially if we're talking about the hard cases in prevention -- long-term prevention.
So therefore I wanted to see what could be done to strengthen, A, the U.N. and B, the EU in respect to this subject. And the concept was you need a focal point for prevention. (Inaudible) -- who made such a great contribution here used to say, "Prevention has no address. Who do you go to? Who do you write to if you want to do prevention?" And he was right. I think you need a focal point and you need a sort of critical map in the U.N. and the EU -- I'll just focus on those two because that's where I worked mostly -- where there is to the maximum extent possible the world's knowledge and skill and best practices with respect to prevention of genocide. I went to genocide -- as I get older I think easier problems. First it was civil war and low intensity prevention but in recent years it's been prevention of genocide. Of course it's all part of one prevention approach, you just keep building and putting on certain twists but it's one prevention approach.
But with respect to prevention of genocide, we now have -- as some of you know -- a unit that has existed for about two years in the U.N., a very small scale first and now on a larger scale -- headed now by Francis Deng, who is a world-class figure, enormously respected person, very suited to the task in building a unit -- where there will be this critical mass of knowledge-driven best practices on preventing genocide. It doesn't mean that they're going to do it. It means that they can simulate the various departments and agencies in the U.N. that have a strength in this field, and also strengthen some others outside the U.N. -- stimulate others who can make contributions. They will know, to the maximum extent it's humanely possible to know, in due course, who could do what. And that is a very fundamental question the chairman asked of us.
Now, in the EU -- the EU came out of the interest of the European democracies in this subject. The European democracies took to the Carnegie Commission like a duck to water -- or whatever the proper cliche would be. Their interest began early and has continued and is consistent. Sweden, of course, has been the leader, but others have been very important. And so the European democracies basically took me to Javier Solana and Solana and I began working together in the same way that I'd been working with Kofi Annan.
I must pay a tribute to Kofi Annan. He paid a tribute to me and Cy Vance in his final General Assembly remarks, which Paul Stares knows, about how much the Carnegie Commission had done in his 10 years to stimulate his efforts toward a culture of prevention. Very difficult -- I could tell you stories and stories about the obstacles he faced, but also many that he overcame. It was my privilege to work with him. Similarly with Javier Solana, who has fewer obstacles, actually, because of 27 cooperating democracies. Yeah, they have differences of opinion and they hassle and so on, but they are 27 cooperating democracies and we've never had that in the history of the world. And he will soon, I think in a few months, announce a director of and a unit similar to that in the U.N. -- and with probably a memorandum of understanding so that the two will cooperate, which would give a lot of synergy. So I just wanted to call that to your attention.
You asked the question, who could do what? This is one piece of it that I've addressed. It is frankly, a big and ambitious and difficult piece, but since it has moved in the U.N. and is moving in the EU, it is worth thinking about that. And I hope that a new American administration will think about that too -- although, I say again, not in the sense of the U.S. alone, but what the U.S. can do constructively with others -- with others in answering the question: Who can do what to prevent deadly conflict, mass violence or even genocide.
On further quick point: Ted Sorenson and Richard Haass both raised questions about where should certain repositories of information be? And I really want to emphasis very strongly: the universities! It's not the only place. The NGOs are important -- the best of them like this one -- but universities have historically been weak in this subject, but they're getting stronger. I could name for you half a dozen in this country, half a dozen in Europe, a few in Asia. I don't know any in Latin America -- no doubt there are some. But universities ought to be taking up the whole prevention subject as a major enterprise. Even universities like Berkley, where there's a very good war-and-peace, peace-and-security major -- which I've often lectured -- but there was nothing explicit until I made a hassle about it, on prevention. Just -- they didn't think of it. But we've got to think of it and some universities are and they're finding that it's fascinating and they can add greatly to feasibility of prevention.
NASH: Great. Thank you, David.
Bruce, I'm going to ask you to defer. I'm going to come to you with the first question from the audience.
So what we're going to do now -- I want to get all of you involved -- and I see the microphones are up. So come right in. We'll start right over here, sir. Again, name, affiliation.
QUESTIONER: Thank you. My name is Tony Holmes. I'm the Cyrus Vance Fellow here at the council and I work on Africa.
I would be most interested in your views on two key constraints to American engagement in conflict prevention. The first is how you develop the political will and sustained engagement and reconcile a four-year election cycle with the inherent long-term nature of preventing most enduring conflict situations?
And the other is, within the United States government the lack of capacity. There are 6,500 Foreign Service officers in the State Department, about a third of whom do political and economic and development issues. And we heard from Richard Haass and from Terje Rod-Larsen earlier about the lack of repository. I mean, Foreign Service officers essentially get no training in this whatsoever. I mean, we manage diplomatic relations. We're not the equivalent of the British Colonial Service. So there are inherent impediments to sustained U.S. engagement that really militate against a long-term U.S. approach to conflict prevention. How would we -- what can we do about this?
NASH: Okay. Well, thank you very much for that question, because that's what I was going to follow up, as Bruce well knows, with Bruce.
So talk about the politics of all this and we'll come back to the capacity as well.
JENTLESON: The political will question's a really good one, because when you read studies you get into this circular thing: well, we didn't do it because we didn't have political will, even when we knew what to do. And how do you get political will? We don't know.
I actually think that it actually undersells the American public. And I think academics, politicians, underestimate the American public on this issue. One of my few successful bumper stickers -- both in politics and policy and it's academic -- was I wrote an article about 20 years ago about how the public then was perceiving the use of force coming out of the so-called Vietnam syndrome. And I called it "The Pretty Prudent Public", right? Got my iteration going and everything. And the argument was the public actually made some differentiation. It was neither knee jerk on the use of force nor trigger-happy.
If you look, for example, at polls done just a few months ago on Darfur, you know: Would you support not only U.S. support for it, but U.S. sending troops as part of a multinational force? You had 55 percent that said, yes. And it was a coalition that you're finding increasingly on the Darfur issue between, you know, some coming out of sort of the Christian right and some coming out of the liberal human rights groups and stuff. Anita Sharman's (sp) here. I know she's working a lot on this issue. It's a hypothetical question: What would happen? On the other hand, it doesn't show the rally effect that you always get in public opinion when a president actually supports something.
I think the public is pragmatic enough to know that its question will be kind of, what's your strategy? You know, give me some sense that it's going to work. And people aren't asking for the United States to send a lot of troops to these areas, but it is to play a leadership role in some operational ways and other ways. So I actually think that some of the political will is not as problematic as we think it is.
There is a question of: Do I want to invest the political capital? Congress is a bigger problem than the public. I mean, if you remember, '93-'94 it was the Democratic Congress and the Clinton administration and it wasn't exactly helping think through the Bosnia issue. So it's not just partisanship. I worry a lot -- talk about short-term time frames and what people call Congress's tendency towards credit claiming and blame avoiding, right? So I think that's a problem, but I actually think it's a manageable problem, because of the reasons why: the pragmatism of interest combined with humanitarian appeal.
The capacity question, I think, is not only a problem; it's an effect, but it's also a cause, right? It's the way we choose to organize ourselves. It's the way we choose, you know, to budget. If it really was a priority for a new administration, then I think you could see some efforts in that direction. I know this is the whole, bureaucracy is, you know -- it's not a battleship. It's a carrier that's going to turn very slowly. But your absolutely right on the capacity point, because it's back to, you know, if we do it we have to do it right, because we can make the conflict worse and then we can discredit the next one. But I don't think either one is an unmanageable problem. And I think we need to at least kind of point in the right direction and do better in the next five years or four years than we've done before.
NASH: I must share with you an incident that happened when we unveiled the council's task force on post-conflict capabilities in the wake of war. And our chairmen were Sandy Berger and Brent Scowcroft. And somebody asked a question very similar to yours about political will and the capacity -- you know, building the capacity to do what we needed to. And Brent Scowcroft leaned forward, looked the questioner in the eye and said, "Presidential leadership." There was silence in the room and I was unable to avoid the vacuum. And I leaned forward to explain what Mr. Scowcroft said and I got about a half a word out of my mouth, and Sandy Berger said, "Bill, the question's been answered." Okay. So it's a leadership issue.
Bob De Vecchi, and he will come up to Tony (sp).
QUESTIONER: Bob De Vecchi, former president of the International Rescue Committee, now president emeritus. There's one sector I think that has been omitted in conversations, and that is the NGO community and what's happened inside that community in the last 10 years. The extraordinary challenges that have been met by NGOs in the field -- often at great personal danger, often at loss of life, and the contacts and relationships that have been forged between government officials, military and civilian and professional NGO staff, whether they're health workers or educators, or sanitarians, or whatever -- I think we've, without realizing it and without giving it appropriate recognition, have developed a pretty good response mechanism, and a cadre of younger people for whom this is the natural, this is what they want to spend their lives doing.
And I think, for august organizations like the Council, and so on, should recognize that, that their future -- there's a whole cadre, as I say, of young people who are making a dedication of their lives -- new programs in graduate schools and colleges, new scholarship opportunities; young people coming out of the military for whom their experience has been life-changing.
I'm a bit of an evangelist on this because this is what happened to me 25 or 30 years ago. And I would hope that those of you who are in responsible positions, particularly in government or in the academic community, would recognize that the younger generation who are anxious to be involved in these issues, need to be recognized and need to be encouraged to do so.
PAUL B. STARES: I think Bob answered this question as well, but provide a comment would you?
JENTLESON: Well, it relates to a political will question, I think. During the work of the Commission, we had several powerful commissioners who were always banging on the table about political will. They were typically non-American, banging on the lack of American presidential will - and I must say, (Jane Hall-Luten ?) and I got a little bit irritated with that. But we used to say there are some leaders, American presidents or others, who have the capacity to build a case for a particular important issue -- in the way Gore is doing, has done and is doing, for global warming, and provide political will for leadership to build a constituency behind them.
On the other hand, it seemed to (Jane ?) and me that more often what you needed was a constituency first, and the leader could run around and get in front of the constituency and say, "I'm here. I'm here. I'm leading. I'm providing your political will." Now there - in a forthcoming book by the way, "Preventing Genocide," March, I've put a big vote on the NGO for weapons. I'd say that the NGOs, aside from the landmine issues in recent years, have not done nearly enough on weapons. As the world is covered wall to wall with weapons, that we really need a world-wide NGO movement, relating the more analytical NGOs with the more advocacy NGOs, in a strength that I think could be very powerful, and at least in some democracies could provide the constituency for which the leader could run around in front and be - provide the political will.
STARES: Tony. (sic?)
QUESTIONER: I'm still Toni Chase (sp) from Fletcher. (Laughter.) I'd like to ask all three of the panel members, what is your position - what new thinking is there on the responsibility to protect in a situation where you don't get Security Council approval, and it is then a violation of international law, but a necessity.
QUESTIONER: Is there new thinking on this, this dilemma?
HAMPSON: Well, that's an easy one to answer. There's not a lot of new thinking going on around it - at least I haven't seen any evidence of it. And I think that it's actually the thrust of the article that I shared with our chair.
The Commission on the responsibility to protect, that was co-chaired by Mohammed Sanoon (sp) and Gareth Evans, clearly raised a very important issue, "what do you do when there are major human rights violations, and there isn't a whole lot of appetite in the international community to do something about it?" and they came up with a series of benchmarks for progressive activity.
Where I think the Commission, in some ways, could have done more was around the issue that we're talking about today, which is prevention. There is not simply a responsibility to protect when things are going horribly wrong, there is also a responsibility to prevent things from going horribly wrong. And that is where I think that the prevention and the protection agenda really need to converge. Because, in one sense, R2P got it right by enunciating a doctrine -- which international lawyers get very excited about, (laughter) and that's a good thing, that's a good thing.
Where they were much weaker was on the, "What do you do before you're calling on the Security Council to send in force?" They were weak on the diplomacy side. Rwanda began with a colossal failure of diplomacy. And I think the Commission could have said more about it. I think where Carnegie, you know, in the next 10 years, needs to really do some serious work is, you know, how do we - how do we get a new set of normative principles and frameworks around the obligation and responsibility to prevent.
This point was brought home to me when I had conversation with Jan Eliasson some most ago -- it was not too long after he'd been appointed as the S.R. for Sudan, and he said it was an enormously frustrating exercise because, as he put it, and he had a great metaphor, he said "There's not a whole lot you can do as a firefighter after the house has burned down." And that is true.
And so I think that the R2P, it really should be an "R2PP" agenda - prevention and protection, and that is where we need to do some serious thinking. Part of it is, obviously, in a bureaucratic context, organizational context, but, you know, bureaucracies change -- and you can rearrange chairs and appoint special people, but unless there's a normative culture, and a legal culture around prevention, I don't think we're going to get a lot of traction on this issue.
STARES: Okay. Bruce, you wanted to add something?
JENTLESON: I would just add to that, in response to your question, just two quick points. One, I think is, you know, sort of, what's really starting, I think, to come about is the mainstreaming of prevention into broader strategic thinking. And Paul's been thinking about this a lot as he's taken on this new role.
I mean, for example, you know, we talk about deterrence being a Cold War doctrine. Well deterrence (has existed ?) throughout our history, we need to figure out how to make deterrence, you know, fit the nature of threats and challenges in the post-Cold War world. And so I think when it comes to prevention, not only are some of the structural prevention aspects that were in the report, and that Fen said, from environmental - preventing environmental degradation, and the like, necessary to deal with it -- but I think there has to be a deterrent component because the Milosevics of the world make cost-benefit calculations in their own way. And that gets into some areas that go back before we're actually looking at - you know, Kosovo is defined as a reasonable success because we stopped the killing from getting worse but we didn't prevent it.
And so that's - that's part of it. I think - the other part I think is the sovereignty issue. And I think this is a crucial issue globally. You know, the notion of sovereignty - you know, in Sudan we constantly hear it; we heard it at the EU-African summit the other day, even defending people like Mugabe. If you think about the issues we face -- whether it's challenge inspections for nonproliferation, public health pandemics, or "you can't come into my country to prevent me from killing my people without my permission" -- you know, I think that we've been wrestling with this notion of rights, sovereignty is the "rights" of states versus the "responsibility," and that's what R2P and others tried to get.
And it's one of the most seminal questions of this era. And, frankly, I think post-Iraq, it's even harder for the United States to make an argument on this realistically. But I also thinks it's sort of a cover that so many leaders hide behind, you know. And there was a statement from Kofi Annan at Ditchley once where he said, you know, the U.N. charter was made in the name of the peoples of the world, not the states. And so I think at a normative, legal, and political issues -- and we see that in a lot of places when we think -- (inaudible) -- this question of how we think about sovereignty is really central.
NASH: Mr. Sorenson will ask the last question, but we're going to take all three at once so we can then wrap up at the last comment.
QUESTIONER: Ever since Fen made the comment, I've been thinking of the gleeful headline on Fox television which would say the Center for Preventive Action in the Symposium on the Future of Conflict Prevention concludes: give war a chance. (Laughter.) But I'd like to set -- (inaudible) -- in terms of the hierarchy of the conflicts that the previous -- (inaudible) -- I would precisely put that even though if 9 percent of those where the war settled the issue did not occur do not apply to some of the largest conflicts, whether they are in the Middle East or Afghanistan or anywhere else where one would say there is no military solution. Would you agree with that?
My question is that people do things when it benefits them. And it appears to me that there is not enough effort made, let us say in the United States, to get the message across why prevention and protection is a benefit. Reminds me, Ambassador Talbott (sp), Phil Talbott (sp) just wrote a book about being in India at the partition in the court of Winston Churchill and he was asked to write could he get the Indian Muslims and the Indian Hindus together. He said, "Why? If we get them together, we'll leave faster."
NASH: Okay, hand it to Mr. Sorenson please. Ted, stay right there.
QUESTIONER: Well, I'm still Ted Sorenson of Paul Weiss. I want to add -- I can play alliteration, too -- I want to add another P to your list, and that's provocation. But I want to ask David, who's my guru on the subject, and the other panelists without a crystal ball or omnipotence or omniscience, how does one distinguish one from the other in advance? I ask this because just last week in a speaking engagement, I complained about the Bush plan to move military installations under the guise of a missile shield, of which I don't have a lot of technical confidence, into central Europe. And in the Q&A period, a gentleman from that region rose and chastised me for complaining about it because he said having a U.S. military installation of any kind in that bridge that's been trampled on by both the Russians and the Germans too many times, having a U.S. military installation there would prevent one of any of their neighbors from trampling in. So what I thought was a provocation, he thought was prevention.
NASH: Very good. We're really very short on time. I'm going to ask for very precise answers, about 60 seconds each. We'll start inverse order. So we'll begin with Bruce and then we'll go to Fen and then David, you're going to --
JENTLESON: Well, hopefully we'll cover all three questions between us. On the not enough effort made, I like the way you phrased that because it comes back to the earlier point about presidential leadership that Bill (ph) made. It's not that it wouldn't happen if the effort was made, it's that not enough of the effort is made. And, again, I think the politics are such that a new president could define him or herself in some fundamental ways in this area, including getting some successes, as well as reclaiming American leadership and the like.
And then just one comment on predictability. If I had to think of conflicts, picking up the other section, I would talk about Iran as an area in which one can really -- really needs to and think about in a very comprehensive way preventive strategies that might, in a comprehensive ways, deal with a whole host of issues in which the United States really needs to be more of a leader than a laggard.
HAMPSON: I'm just going to answer question and that was the -- (inaudible) -- give war a chance. Why is he wrong? Quite simple why he's wrong. Wars that are allowed to burn don't always burn themselves out. And that's in part because they have a tendency to drag others in. They're fueled by the adverse side, or the bad side, of globalization. The parties also wrongly feel that they have escalation control in those kinds of conflicts and they miscalculate, and so you often get an escalation of the conflict. So I think it's an interesting hypothesis, but ultimately a faulty one, and there's obviously the humanitarian dimension that wars that continue lead to more lost lives.
HAMBURG: Okay, a comment that has, I think, wide applicability in the prevention field. In working on this book, Preventing Conflict -- Preventing Genocide -- sorry, I came across the shibboleth that's widely believed about political leaders, including some of our most prominent living presidents and ex-presidents, that you never can know until the last minute. You know a week or so in advance, and by then it's too late except for a big military intervention, which nobody can do or will do. That's so terribly wrong. The well-documented lead time, warning time, gross warning time -- don't need satellites, don't need high technology -- gross warning time for all the 19th and 20th centuries has been years, typically 20, 30, 40 years. You know, to put it simply, small massacres, medium massacres, big massacres, and, oh, my god, genocide, over a period of 20 to 30 years.
And the second thing is what to do about it. And it was for a very important point that you made, where do we have the resources? Now, I'm trying to push this in the U.N. and the EU with some, at least early, success. We should have, certainly in our government, and a few of the democracies in Europe do have, but not enough, capacity, knowledge of contingency plans, some generic, some specific, based on a knowledge of very deadly conflict, if you have the years of warning time, you know, work on it and think of what are some of things you could do that would prevent from going to level A of small massacres to level B of big massacres.
NASH: Well, thank you very much, the three of you. I just wanted to make a couple of comments if I could. And, Paul, I'm just going to take a minute.
Ten years ago, I was still reflecting on coming out of Bosnia after spending the first year there -- (off mike). And I was on my path to this job that also ran through time with the United Nations in Kosovo. And then reflecting on the last half dozen -- or a little bit longer than that -- years here, there's a couple of comments I would make. First of all, I think we need to look at conflict as a spectrum. We have to look at it before, during, and after conflict. We have to look at prevention and mitigation, as well as recovery, for conflict. And it's interesting because many of the issues related to one apply to the other as well.
And, you know, we tell the story that came out in Carnegie about mitigation associated with Romeo Dallaire's advocation to bring troops to Rwanda to stop the genocide. He said with 5,000 troops, the right mandate, I could have prevented it. And I've said I don't necessarily, militarily, think that it would have occurred like that, but what if he only got it half right?
What a service to mankind if he'd saved half a million people, instead of 800,000 or so that died. So I think that we have to look at prevention, the mitigation, as well as the recovery of the post-conflict, because we do know that all too many post-conflict situations return to a conflict situation. So we have to (recognize?) that. And if we don't come to grips with the power and wealth issue, the formula for sharing power and wealth before, during and after conflict, it's going to keep coming up on us.
The second point: everybody likes the toolbox metaphor. I would offer to you to think about an artist's palette with plenty of tubes of paint, plenty of brushes, some broad some narrow, and don't forget the rags and the turpentine. (Laughter.)
I want to say thank you to Barney Rubin, who is in Islamabad or Kabul or Kandahar or someplace, the founding --
MR. : Ottawa.
MR. : Ottawa.
NASH: Is he in Ottawa? Oh. (Laughter.) So much -- forget anything I said about Barney Rubin. I thought he was working -- Fred Tipson (sp) who followed Barney in the job to me. On behalf of the three of us -- (inaudible) -- go forth and prevent. Thank you very much.
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