31 March 2018   Leave a comment

Richard Haas is the Director of the Council on Foreign Relations, an organization that has represented mainstream views of US foreign policy for many years.  He has written an essay on the passing of the liberal world order, which he describes in these terms:

“The United States, working closely with the United Kingdom and others, established the liberal world order in the wake of World War II. The goal was to ensure that the conditions that had led to two world wars in 30 years would never again arise.

“To that end, the democratic countries set out to create an international system that was liberal in the sense that it was to be based on the rule of law and respect for countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity. Human rights were to be protected. All this was to be applied to the entire planet; at the same time, participation was open to all and voluntary. Institutions were built to promote peace (the United Nations), economic development (the World Bank) and trade and investment (the International Monetary Fund and what years later became the World Trade Organization).”

Haas then outlines the forces that have led to the precipitous decline in support for this world order and argues that the world is returning to a balance of power system characterized by regional subsystems.  His prognosis for the future is bleak:

“America’s decision to abandon the role it has played for more than seven decades thus marks a turning point. The liberal world order cannot survive on its own, because others lack either the interest or the means to sustain it. The result will be a world that is less free, less prosperous, and less peaceful, for Americans and others alike.”


France24 has released dramatic satellite photographs of the destruction of the city of Sanaa in Yemen.  Since, 2015, Yemen has been wracked by a conflict largely engineered by Saudi Arabia over its concerns that Iran has a high degree of influence of an Yemeni ethnic group, the Houthis, that aided the overthrow of the government of Yemen.  Tens of thousands of people have been killed, and the people of Yemen are suffering from malnutrition and disease as an embargo has prevented vital supplies from entering the country.  The US has materially aided Saudi Arabia in its war effort and there was a bipartisan effort in the US Senate to stop that assistance, but it failed due to the opposition of the Trump Administration.

Posted March 31, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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