tv Cross Talk RT August 19, 2019 3:30am-4:01am EDT
hello and welcome to cross talk where all things are considered i'm peter lavelle a new foreign policy think tank will start a business challenging foreign policy orthodoxies it's called the quincy institute for responsible state this is not an ordinary think tank it is funded by charles koch and george soros among others talk about strange bedfellows can these establishment billionaires take on the foreign policy blog. talking strange bedfellows i'm joined by my guest on the bar in new york he's host
of the c.p.r. news a daily radio newscast in london we have been he is a professor of international politics at city university of london with research interest in american foreign policy and its thing thanks as well as author of several books including think tanks and power in foreign policy and foundations of the american century and in oxford we crossed to ted see he is a senior policy consultant and british american security information council retired u.s. diplomat and an expert on strategic intelligence and conflict resolution all right gentlemen crosstalk rules in fact that means you can jump in anytime you want and i always appreciate let me go to london and we were talking before this recording about the novelty of this quincy institute coming into being the media has commented on i was obviously because of the who is going to be funding it someone very much to the left and somebody very much to the right before we talk about the principles involved in it what do you think of the idea itself i mean it is coming out. against endless war wars that do not need to be started in the 1st place i
mean there is a need for it and i'm all for it i raise my hand in agreement we'll talk about what's problematic about it go ahead in london. yeah i think well when i read about it in the last couple of days i it was a surprising development but when one kind of sits on the thinks about it a bit more it's quite clear that since the end of the cold war and particularly since $911.00 there have been tendencies both on both right and left and probably longer as well if you look at the cato institute and right through the year after the iraq war into libya there's been a kind of growth of a kind of right wing anti military intervention feeling among military families and so on in the tea party including that is also against military spending so and as well as on the left so i think it's interesting that we've got this kind of union occurring at this particular time so it's a very interesting development and we need to wait
a little bit longer to see exactly what the the principles are and how they're going to be put into practice but to say that you're against endless walls which has been a big complaint of most americans really for the last 25 years or so i think in that is a very progressive principle but we need to see the practice or a little bit of the meat let me go to ted it could be a very conservative principle as well there's a lot of conservatives like me that are against these foreign interventions and i've been making a living are on this for 10 years on this program fighting against the senseless wars ted what is your reaction to the quincy institute because i mean it on the face of it yeah this is a good idea but i'm just a little worried about the fund the funding of it go ahead ted in oxford. i'm not particularly worried about the sources of funding i find it interesting that 2 such disparate sources have both decided this is a good idea but that doesn't stop me from thinking that it's a good idea too and looking at the contributors i see in andrew basin. rich and
who's very much along my lines of sort of conservative libertarian on a lot of international issues i see parsi from georgetown with whom i agree on almost nothing but the whole idea i would think is to have people of various points of view coming together to discuss these issues and get people outside of their echo chambers that's one to please put don ok i'm going to start throwing some cold war well water on it here ok you have george soros and his relationship with the atlantic council a very you know that is the mouthpiece of nato it's staunchly anti russian and if you look at the koch brothers they have been supporting this illegal who and venezuela i could go on and on ok so i'm i'm just happy i'm left but will drink by all of this because are they going to separate themselves from their business interests and and this is going to be an intellectual process i find that hard to believe go had done well the question is this is 13 chick change or tactical one
and i'd argue clearly it's the latter their interests as you mentioned haven't really changed the playing field has changed the rules of the game have changed we've seen expressions of this certainly and that's when the 16 election when you saw trump who wasn't even a republican really rise on to the top of 16 candidates in the republican party essentially because people said as they told me at the r n c he said he's going to get me a job that's how desperate people were these saw sanders rise in the democratic party the same way and you saw up and over the same issues essentially and you saw people who streets every time something happened when a kid got killed or some other event happened people had one foot out the door were already the institutions in the west have not been responsive to the needs of working people for at least one generation. well 30 years 40 years you've seen
a steady erosion of people's purchasing power and wealth their equity so that now people who used to own their homes or have a very secure rental place to live our home and secure their food and secure they have massive debt for education they have health care is security and there's no solution in sight the thing that really got me at the r. and c. when people said to me well trump said he's going to get me a job and i said look he's a politician what does that mean they said no one else is even saying that yeah that's a good point that i mean let me go back to london interview i mean you know if we look at in the past few weeks here and i don't want to micromanage management too much but it seems quite obvious that donald trump is looking for other advice outside of his inner circle because i would argue and argue strenuously that he's getting very bad advice from his inner circle and he should do in a lot of she do a lot of firing i would say and i think everyone knows who i'm talking about with
the quincy instituted that could be a new source for trump to you know you guys kind of talk about both sides here i think they see themselves as an issue and i think they would find themselves they could get closer to power and that's exactly what think tanks want to do they want to get their ideas in front of people who have power and i think this is a very good gambit as long as it's a good idea that they're pushing go ahead in london. i think you're right i think when we look at some of the scholars and what they've been saying about american foreign policy and its overstretch overreach in the last 2025 years they come from both the right and from the liberal kind of. part of the spectrum so steve alter harvard johnny smith a tough for example a very representative and what each of them is saying is that they basically fundamentally agree that america has been trying to do good in the world but they are the argue that there's been a lot of hubris involved too and overstretch and they're both urging restraint and
one of the key things that steve what says it in book the hell of good intentions for example is that there is no if you like set of the cagers or trained people from a kind of more realist perspective that the administration he had been straight in washington can really choose from and in his book a towards a deeper virtue people told a manifesto which would suggest how that cadence set of cages might be might be generated and and we know that in that book hell of good intentions steve alter actually acknowledges the support the financial support of the koch foundation in any case so i think that is exactly what is happening here and i think that will kind of possibly bolster some sorts of advice of president trump may get to back up some of his his own instincts ted you know bill kristol came out. with a very solid criticism a very pretty big one as usual coming from bill kristol it kikuyus is the idea of
the quincy institute of is a promoting isolationism if so i mean i find that just absolutely absurd rethinking a failed foreign policy is not isolationism it's always the 1930s for bill kristol go ahead in oxford in oxford. here it's a case of same stuff different day from crystal i'm sorry to say. hey look this is a necessary point of view being put forward it has been put forward individually by a number of people and when you find people as disparate as rand paul and bernie sanders agreeing on american military foreign policy needed to take a backseat to american diplomatic foreign policy and i say that as a diplomat of 26 years experience with the u.s. foreign service then i think something good is blossoming here now if we're still worried about the koch brothers and show us you know half a 1000000 each that's that's a rounding error on their petty cash account sure they they're not deeply invested
here but they're certainly making a point of investing and i think there's a difference ok don you seem to be more of the skeptic on the program react to that . well 1st you know the objective conditions are such that imperial retreat is you know on the agenda of the ceci and trump represents that certainly the policy that he espoused as and that he muttered out loud to out all the air receipts that he spoke that provoke such a massive response from from the elites here had to do with imperial retreating does nato obsolete can't japan defend itself that we have to have military bases all over the world do we need to have of wargames around korea all the time they're so expensive you know that he's looking at it or in any event whoever is making policy around are looking at the overhead of you know of empire and seeing it as
a drag on an economy that is out trying to compete with china that has no such drag . so you have that objective condition now you have people like soros and the koch brothers and others who resist very strongly trump articulating this you know soros wrote almost the same things back in 2003 in december he wrote a piece in 2003 called the bubble of american power or exceptionalism or or some such thing but you know what criticize the war in iraq and similar water yeah but don but at the same time to. have solid evidence that he was funding n.g.o.s in ukraine and georgia i mean and that is and that's probably for the ring and agenda and it's a it's a nato agenda ok so i mean i could i could really care less about his op ed i care about how he spends his money and that's perhaps brought up the money because i happen 1000000 is not a lot to him but it can be a lot for people in ukraine and georgia going to 10 more seconds go ahead go ahead
up bed and so that's what that's exactly my point right now we're talking about another op ed let's see what kind of policy comes out. you know where it stands up ok gentlemen i'm going to jump in here we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on strange bedfellows say with. his community there are people who believe that it's ok to sell fractional food on my table it's really hard there are no jobs and you see that i've got kids that ask
and as a parent. i can come up with lots of arguments there's a lot of conflict in the game between the 2 most of the conflict i would say over balls around money and most of them money is made. close one on each of those he knows each other is good because the state of california alone makes $6000000000.00 and you have to preserve complexes to get some 20 a life where. you don't care and one of my cares about you so you'll hear mine anything. what politicians do you should. put themselves on the line they get accepted or rejected. so when you want to be president. some want. to go and. this is what the. 3 of them can't be that. interested in the.
next guys are. looking forward to your mention of the. yanks this is what happens to pensions in britain. watched as a report. welcome back to cross talk we're all things considered i'm peter lavelle remind you we're discussing strange bedfellows. ok let's go back to london and one of the problems here is i think we have all
described. the current situation with think tanks and how they enter influence policy but that's for a good reason because the military industrial complex really likes it here i mean don was absolutely right about the condition of the american public ok over the last 40 years or so i don't there's no i have no disagreement with it whatsoever on the flip side here there are some people a small group of people that are become fabulously rich off of this gambit and the status quo is just jim dandy with them that's why when trump says he's going to pull out of syria washington went into a meltdown i mean. absurdly so it that was patently obvious there's a lot of money at stake here and they don't want that to go away because they need a threat they need a threat to stay in business i don't think they necessarily want to go to war but they want to have a threat they have to have multiple threats here how can a think tank like the quincy institute fight against that because that is really
the beast you have to slay and you're and it's a david and goliath situation you can have these and wonderful man steps manifestos and good people like ourselves in our audience will read it but will it have any impact go ahead. well i think the 1st thing that i would say to that peter is that i don't think we should dichotomize the new think tank from the military industrial complex i spect that this is a readjustment or recalibration of elements of that and the fact is that there's a self-perpetuating character to the to kind of the existing think tank community and its relations with big corporations and so on and that has actually led america down a kind of a dead end when you look at around the world the united states despite having spent so much money on so many wars is actually has lost positions whereas other countries which have not wage wars on anything like that kind of scale of actually improving their position so i think what is going on here is really
a kind of self-criticism from groups which are slightly outside of the mainstream establishment which are arguing that actually america stands to lose even more position unless there's a recalibration so the likes of steve alten others whose work i know well who are arguing for a new position is not that the u.s. retreats away from the world but what basically argues is that basically you park your aircraft carriers in 3 spaces which are all at sea which is the east asia regarding china that is a threat in persian gulf. in regard to iran and other countries and in northwestern europe in regard to russia so it's not like that there aren't people in this new can. who are not arguing about the existing these threats they're just saying that there are different ways in which we can conceive of strat threats and deal with them and thereby maintain american global power through a policy of
a bit more restraint than liberal hedge money has been has been doing over the past 25 to 30 years so i don't think it's a kind of fundamental challenge i think it's a recalibration but politically they will have a lot of problems because there's an entrenched elite which has got great levels of power and that is what this this is a titanic battle i think beginning within 10 you were nodding your head in agreement were you agreeing with go ahead. pretty much all of the above but i'm thinking that what's called for here is not a realignment it's not a retrenchment it's actually a massive paradigm shift because it's going to take that to get people out of that old way of thinking and frankly a think tank which is dedicated to demilitarizing and bringing diplomacy up is pretty much an ideal bench to start doing experiments in paradigm shifting now what i'm thinking is we have to get away from what i call the para bellum paradigm which
is this idea that's been with us for at least a century and a half that it's necessary to continually prepare for war to achieve peace and the classic quote there is probably j.f.k. saying we dare not tempt them with weakness but what no one ever seems to focus on is the other side of that same coin which is we dare not terrify them into attacking us preemptively and god knows that's happened before this is been a bad idea ever since the crimean war and it's still a bad idea that saber rattling is somehow going to improve diplomacy and what we need instead is a new way of looking at things and i actually think that as a businessman donald trump is ideally suited to be sort of benevolently in the background running things while these new ideas are coming forward because he'd much rather be trading with moscow than pointing this is at them it's a very good point don i mean some people have argued this quincy institute it's a trojan horse i mean it will say one thing but really what it wants is to be able to walk the corridors of power what do you say to that. well you have to consider
both the intent of the parties and then the actual role that it's going to play in events that are still unfolding regardless of the intent of the parties. you know again it's a reaction to the reality of rising multiple arity of you know this system sort of collapsing under the weight of its own history with military budgets with you know placement of troops and materiel and $800.00 bases around the world the expense of maintaining empire you know it's big big made empire almost not profitable and so what they're trying to do in my opinion at least some small part of some part of the elite is looking to either. not just 3 evaluate the tactical mode of attaining global hegemony but the question of whether or not the gemini should be the goal and rather if there can be a more collegial way of managing the affairs of the planet and so you know i see
the united states for example going to sit at the table with a dozen other players you know that are major players you have a don that would be him that would be the paradigm shift that ted is talking about and looking at it looking at your interlocutor as some kind of equal appear that it's a dip every difficult thing for american foreign policy i mean republican or democratic that that is the paradigm shift i think that needs to be overcome and accepted because you know essentially you have people like bolton in palm peo is that with their idea of negotiating is you surrender and then we talk that's what needs to change here go ahead on and so so what is their intent basically is that the intent of soros and koch you know wherever else is involved in this to use this to facilitate their way through this moment to attain a gemini in other words is it just the faint to. you know knowledge of the existing
situation and it's change it or is this you know basically what like i've heard others say here and it's you know there was a lab but let's see if we can't come up with some things that will help us accommodate ourselves to a new paradigm and you know it's go back to an intraday one of the things that's very interesting that i think that the people that are so in we've mentioned some of the people associated with this quincy institute is that they have their pulse their finger on the pulse of public opinion public opinion repeatedly is that there is a good exhaustion when it comes to these foreign adventures that never and are never successful are terribly expensive and there is a reminder what is it i've heard conflicting numbers. numerous that trains every single day commit suicide every single day and that is a legacy that is left at home for an tear so it seems to me and i want to be hopeful here an optimistic but these people that are involved slightly the left
slightly to the right they understand that the american people have had enough of this and they don't need the boltons in the pompei or people like that whispering in the presidency or going for another conflict that nobody in the heartland really wants and they certainly doesn't create jobs for them in a meaningful sense go ahead in london. i think a broadly i would agree but i would just. note bit of caution on president trump now president trump has been the president who has called for a withdrawal of troops from syria as well as afghanistan did all the attack on iran he claims with 10 minutes within 10 minutes of it being launched but on the other hand president trump has boosted the military spending backed by the democrats very heavily yet he has also broadened the range of tools american power uses in order to try to bring other powers to heel whether they are allies or associated or they
are seen as strategic rivals so i don't think this this grouping necessarily thinks very differently fundamentally from that that is to say well that there is a growing sort of a shift in world distribution of power there are new rising powers and so on but at the same time i think the idea is that military intervention hasn't really worked and what you really need is a large amount of power a variety of powers which include diplomatic but also commercial financial dollar another in order to effectively try to subordinate the other powers in a system which looks a little bit more multi-polar but actually will remain the kind of us remains a 1st among so-called equals so i would think that president trump is actually actively trying to do that in his own incoherent way and that is what i think many people who are critics of him from the right suggest that he is that he's unable to see anything through to the end because he's got a number of other personal and other kinds of issues going on as well so i would
suggest that this grouping is not going to lead to any kind of idea of endless war but i think they're going to be much more selective about military engagement why should her leave me i believe they're going to be spending a lot of money on a man. committed to going full it's not going to be easy to reverse this or as ted said the paradigm shift here can jump in and finish it finish out the program for us go ahead. well i tend to be more optimistic including about president trump who's entirely coherent if you look at him from a business business perspective he's not terribly good about this world domination through military saying if he's exceeded to requests from his own government then frankly he's still surrounded by quite a bit of the deep state and he hasn't managed to purge all of that from his own department of energy from his own department of defense from his own intelligence community and he's going to be some time finishing that particular job as the you
know the still the rumors floating around that d.o.j. and f.b.i. are still after him for some unknown reason at this point so that paradigm shift can take place with the right intentions with a bit of backing and that's why i'm glad there's some finance behind this but we have to back away from the idea that it's just going to be an endless you know red tooth and claw ascendancy as the next generation of you know. overlords comes along i don't think that's going to be the paradigm that any of us will be dealing with 50 years from now i they we're going to be trading with each other i think we're going to lift african farmers out of poverty by stopping agricultural subsidies in europe and other places i think we're actually going to start acting like this is the 21st century and that we don't need nato and other relics of dead empire to spend all of our mind i'm so going to hurt us well we'll end on those beautiful words that you just uttered thank you gentleman rabbit run out of time many thanks to my guests in new york london and in oxford and thanks to our viewers for
watching us here at r.t.c. you next time remember. cash cow and that is don alfonzo among. those changing paid change dard. his 1st words were at a lot of us here a challenging post you've got to use today. i have no doubt that what happened was criminal. defense concentrated market is a $1000000000.00 industry these companies have a huge financial motivation to solve these problems there are numerous stocks
showing that doctors were keen to test that survey concentrate straight insights of its own that patients won't give them doctors the wrong to play ball kind of stuff why they would keep me from secure those whose day. people still die i don't always question or so i try being hard to live when so many have. you know world of big partners. a lot and conspiracy it's time to wake up to dig deeper to hit the stories that mainstream media refuses to tell more than ever we need to be smart we need to stop slamming the door. and shouting past each other it's time for critical thinking it's time to fight for the middle for the truth the time is now for watching closely watching the hawks.
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like i. look at. my i must go time presidents among them across the political approach in gear up for talks ladies day and the french leaders made it to anybody with ukraine this. it will probably. trump most of the blistering attack on the new york times has leaked all the suggest that it's editors looking for new ways of covering the president after 2 years of fixating on russia. as germany's green party enjoys popular support of late we take a look at one of the most controversial new environmental policies the suggested.