A Reply to Kissinger at the CFR

Hi all,

I replied to a piece written by Henry Kissinger over at the CFR’s foreign affairs magazine.

In this article Kissinger is basically stealthily selling the Slaughter Fallacy, which I linked in my response below:

Thank you for the passionate effort to lend support to international cooperation, even if I disagree with your particular approach.

I can’t say that this is the author’s intent but I will simply describe this article as how I read it. What I read is an attempt to draw Asia into the collection of “disaggregated” states that Ann-Marie Slaughter has described in the past as a viable path to global rule of law. This is, imo, a non-starter and I’ve discussed the fallacy at length at http://wp.me/p26aPU-ff.

The reason for this is that Asia has, for some time, been particularly resistant to integration with other countries through multilateralism, a term referring to global governance by other means; to wit, by using unaccountable bureaucratic institutions to reach agreements and take action ex parte, that party being elected government officials of western democracies.

In November 2009 Evan A. Feigenbaum and Robert A. Manning wrote a report called “The United States in the New Asia” in which the Asian ‘problem’ was described:

” … some multilateral institutions that exclude the United States have become the locus of economic and financial trends that will increasingly disadvantage U.S. firms and work against U.S. objectives. Certain preferential trade agreements and financial arrangements, as well as regionally based regulations and standards, threaten American interests. And some of the new institutions created without U.S. involvement, notably ASEAN, hold the potential to marginalize the United States in Asia over time.

For this reason, America’s traditional “hub and spokes” approach to the region—with the United States as the hub, bilateral alliances as the spokes, and multilateral institutions largely at the margins of U.S. policy—is unsustainable. The United States will pay increasing costs to its interests, credibility, and influence unless it acts to shape multilateral trends in Asia.”

In my view the only viable method of achieving global rule of law is through explicit, transparent, ratified codification of a global constitution. Anything less could be viewed by future observers as criminal negligence. And the reason for that is explained in the piece linked supra.

– kk

united states currency seal - IMG_7366_web

united states currency seal - IMG_7366_web (Photo credit: kevindean)

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