It’s time for diplomacy

first_imgU.S. policymakers should use the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks as an opportunity to shift from a military-driven “global war on terror” to a policy built more on diplomacy, outreach, and persuasion, panelists told a Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) audience Tuesday evening.R. Nicholas Burns, who served as undersecretary of state for political affairs from 2005 to 2008, said the United States spent the last decade fighting two land wars, at a cost of $4 trillion, with more than 130,000 dead in Iraq and Afghanistan, and nearly 8 million refugees, according to a recent study.“We’ve got to end both wars,” said Burns, professor of the practice of diplomacy and international politics. “There is no conventional victory available to us in Afghanistan, and there certainly isn’t in Iraq.”“What we need is to see the return of diplomacy as the major way that we interact with the rest of the world. The military was asked to do too much,” Burns said. “We can’t fight everybody. After 9/11, we got into a defensive crouch. We said it’s our way or the highway; it’s us against them; it’s black and white. And you can’t do that indefinitely.”Juliette Kayyem, an HKS lecturer in public policy and a former assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security, said the United States was far safer thanks to vastly improved security and the campaign against al-Qaida, culminating in the killing of leader Osama bin Laden.“I think if we don’t pivot away from this notion of the war on terror now, there aren’t going to be many better opportunities,” she said.  “If we don’t recognize that we have limited the threat, and begin to look at this as not a war, then we are in this indefinitely. If the anniversary provides anything, it may be that.”Kayyem and Burns joined a John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at the Kennedy School titled “9/11: Ten Years On,” co-hosted by the Institute of Politics and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.Belfer Center Director Graham Allison, who moderated the forum, noted the many ways in which the 9/11 attacks left vivid memories. Two of the hijackers of United Airlines Flight 175, for example, had stayed in the Charles Hotel next door to the Kennedy School. Allison said his wife had been booked on Flight 11 from Logan International Airport that day but changed the booking at the last minute to the following day. They still have her boarding pass.Allison said one consequence of the 9/11 attacks is that “certainly we are now aware, in a way that pre-9/11 we weren’t, that we are vulnerable.  The security bubble in which many Americans imagined we lived, somehow apart from the rest of the world, wasn’t real. So the consciousness of it makes us all more alert, aware.”Allison, an authority on the threat of nuclear terrorism, weighed the advances in security during the decade against the continuing risks: “Is Al Qaeda only a pale shadow of the organization that attacked us on 9/11? Yes. Is that a great success? Absolutely. But does that lead me to think that somebody couldn’t kill thousands in the United States tomorrow?”Michael Leiter, a Harvard Law School graduate who served in both the Bush and Obama administrations as director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said, “Technology makes it easier and easier to kill people. … So dumber and dumber people are going to be able to make weapons with technology.”But Leiter said he had “zero doubt that we are safer today.” He said that while another attack that could kill 3,000 people is still possible, “it is vastly less likely to occur today than it was on Sept. 11, either domestically or overseas.”Leiter agreed with Burns that the security and counterterrorism efforts of the last decade have not been matched in what Burns called the vital fourth pillar of national security: a strong State Department and Agency for International Development.“I can’t agree more how weak the fourth pillar is in funding,” said Leiter. “And it could get worse. That is the area where we’ve done worst in counterterrorism in the last 10 years. That is in combating the ideology, and convincing people that the United States is a force for good.”Burns argued that instead of fighting land wars in the Mideast and South Asia, the United States should shift its diplomatic focus to East Asia, and concentrate on managing China’s rise and the resulting security tensions in the Pacific. And that initiative will need a new strategic approach.“We need a strong military to defend ourselves. But I’m suggesting that the diplomats, the economists, the aid workers, and the journalists should be on the front line of American foreign policy, with the military in reserve. We’ve got it the other way around at the moment.”last_img read more

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Medford Man who Kidnapped Ex-Girlfriend Arrested in Georgia, Cops Say

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Medford man who allegedly broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home and abducted her early Wednesday morning was arrested later in the day in Georgia, Suffolk County police said.Camden County Sheriff officers apprehended Christopher Ryan, 23, at 10:25 p.m. after he made the 900-plus mile drive south, police said.Suffolk police said Ryan will be extradited back to the county at a later date to face burglary, robbery and kidnapping charges.Ryan’s long trip south began at 5 a.m., police said, when he allegedly broke into his ex-girlfriend’s Oakdale home and forced her into her 2014 Mercedes Benz. The woman, who was not identified, was able to flee after Ryan momentarily stopped the car in Ozone Park, Queens, police said.The woman, who is 46 years old, ran out of the car and was able to get help and call 911, a police spokeswoman said.The victim suffered minor injuries, police said.last_img read more

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Pampered Kuwaitis quibble in five-star quarantine

first_img Plush hotels have turned into quarantine shelters, preparing to host around 60,000 Kuwaitis returning from countries including Italy, Germany, Iran, Egypt and Lebanon.The first batch arrived two weeks ago, and for some accustomed to the best in life, their accommodation has proven less than satisfactory. ‘Salad with no dressing’  “Dear minister of finance, the food has no taste, it is inedible and we’re throwing it away,” one woman, who did not reveal her face, said in a video uploaded online.”We are emotionally tired, and our health is deteriorating because the food is not nutritious,” she added as she examined catering trays delivered to her hotel room.”They served us salad with no dressing, and everything else is also dry.”Her comments prompted a backlash online with some saying she should be grateful.”I stayed in a hospital for a week with my mother and did not complain, eating bread and cheese,” one Twitter user fired back. Another uploaded footage of people in a developing country standing in line to drink water.”If only they saw how we opened our fridge to choose the (brand of) water we want. God, don’t deny us your generosity,” read the sarcastic caption. Kuwait, which pumps 2.7 million barrels of oil per day, has a sovereign wealth fund worth more than $600 billion, providing a substantial cushion for state finances.Many of its 1.5 million citizens, who make up just 30 percent of the population, have become accustomed to a life of luxury, especially in Europe where some own palaces and supercars.One in ten Kuwaitis is a dollar millionaire — a fact proudly announced by the state airline on flight approaches to Kuwait City.In one social media video, a Kuwaiti man complains that his luggage has not yet reached the hotel room, which he describes as small with “the bed stuck to the closet”. In another, a woman says there is “more fat than I like in my meat”.Another quarantine guest said it was taking room service “too long to clean a coffee stain on the couch”. ‘Can you be patient?’Kuwait has in the past few weeks passed strict regulations to curb the spread of the deadly virus that has claimed more than 75,000 lives worldwide.It has prosecuted more than 100 people for breaking the dusk to dawn curfew or quarantine rules, with offenders facing up to six months in jail or a 10,000 dinar ($32,000) fine. On Tuesday it announced a lockdown on two areas that are densely populated with expatriate workers.Meanwhile, Kuwait’s cabinet said anyone caught intentionally spreading the virus could face up to 10 years in prison and a 30,000 dinar fine.The government has also said it will not tolerate online sarcasm or ridicule of the precautionary measures.In one case a citizen returning from Germany posted a video mocking flight attendants in protective gear likening them to “beekeepers”. Some responded online, calling for calm and support for those on the frontline of the pandemic, including air crews.Kuwaiti parliamentarian Ahmed Nabil al-Fadel urged people to be patient and see the bigger picture.”It’s very common that the sink does not work properly or that there are some problems… given the short period of time to prepare the place,” Fadel, who was also quarantined after returning from Spain, said of quarantine facilities.”Can you be patient? There are doctors who have not slept in three days.”center_img The meat is too fatty and the staff are slow to clean up coffee stains — some Kuwaitis quarantined in five-star hotels due to the coronavirus outbreak have a litany of complaints.Authorities in the oil-rich country have forced citizens returning from abroad to isolate for 14 days in luxury properties before they are permitted to re-enter society.Kuwait has adopted the strictest measures in the Gulf to combat the spread of coronavirus. It has recorded more than 700 cases, and one death. Topics :last_img read more

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Multi-asset a ‘clear growth opportunity’, State Street survey shows

first_imgAndrew Wilson, head of asset manager solutions for the UK at State Street, said: “An overwhelming majority see growth coming from multi-asset solutions, and changes in investor demand in general.”Multi-asset was cited by 67% as the investment strategy type that will most drive growth over the next three years.The next most favoured strategy was traditional actively managed equity, at 17% of the respondents, although there were regional variations: for example, multi-asset was cited as the key growth area by 80% of Australian firms, whereas only 53% of UK firms agreed – here, 30% believe traditional actively managed equity will be the greatest source of growth.Clients are moving to outcome-orientated solutions – cash-plus, inflation-plus or specific income stream-generation, for example – rather than traditional beta-focused products, Wilson observed.“The shift from DFB to DC is certainly part of the explanation for this,” he added.However, 74% of managers said few firms are “currently equipped to thrive when offering multi-asset solutions”.This is reflected in a strong focus on risk management, with 36% planning significant investment in data integration, 39% in performance analytics and 48% in risk analytics.Addressing talent gaps will be a focus on moderate or significant investment for 53% of managers, while 64% will be investing in skills training.This investment will happen against a difficult background for revenue and profit growth – despite the anticipated growth in assets under management.“Increasing pressure on fees and the rising cost of both talent and regulation is squeezing margins, leading to a lot of activity to improve operating efficiencies,” Wilson said.More than half of those surveyed saw significant opportunities to deliver this from within their organisations, while 28% looked to acquisition as a major opportunity to improve operating efficiency.Europe is ripe for a consolidation of fund products, Wilson suggested.The survey of 300 senior executives at asset management firms – split evenly between North America, Europe and Asia Pacific – was conducted during April and May 2014 by the Financial Times Group’s FT Remark, on behalf of State Street. Asset managers are bullish on the growth of their businesses and expect that growth to be driven by competition over more home-market demand for outcomes-based investment solutions such as multi-asset products, according to a global survey unveiled by State Street in London.Just over half of the 300 managers surveyed believe growth for their business will be strongly positive over the next 12 months.While 47% plan to expand into new countries or regions over the next three years, three-quarters see their existing country markets as the greatest growth opportunity – with 85% citing regulatory barriers as the number-one challenge when expanding into new markets.North American managers expect most growth in existing products and markets, whereas European managers see the greatest opportunities in new products and markets – although Germany-based managers were the least likely to be looking abroad for growth.last_img read more

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