Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Concert of Democracies: Same Old Globalism

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DemocraciesDuring last year's presidential campaign, Republican candidate John McCain turned heads when he stated: "We have to strengthen our global alliances as the core of a new global compact — a League of Democracies — that can harness the vast influence of the more than one hundred democratic nations around the world to advance our values and defend our shared interests."

McCain rightly received harsh criticism from pundits who claimed this was just another way to entangle the United States in future wars. These critics overlooked a small detail though. The "League of Democracies" promoted by McCain was simply a slight renaming of an idea explored by elite progressive internationalists. The Washington Post explains:

In 2006, [Professor G. John Ikenberry] and Anne-Marie Slaughter, the dean of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School ... proposed a "Concert of Democracies" in the final report of the Princeton Project, a comprehensive review of national security they orchestrated. Under their plan, members of the alliance would have to be real democracies that held regular multiparty elections. The group's purpose would be ambitious: first to work within existing global institutions such as the United Nations; but in the event that those fail, to provide a framework for organizing and legitimizing international interventions, including the use of military force. [Emphasis added.]

The co-author of this report, Anne-Marie Slaughter, has written many research articles and publications on the subject of international relations. She authored a book in 2004 on expanding international governance entitled A New World Order. That same year, she co-authored an article in Foreign Affairs, the magazine of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), entitled "A Duty to Prevent." The summary of the report sounds as if it was published by a neoconservative think tank.

The unprecedented threat posed by terrorists and rogue states armed with weapons of mass destruction cannot be handled by an outdated and poorly enforced nonproliferation regime. The international community has a duty to prevent security disasters as well as humanitarian ones — even at the price of violating sovereignty.

Slaughter's academic publications on globalist innovations led to greener pastures and she was recently appointed to serve as director of the State Department’s policy planning staff under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In an interview, Slaughter expounded upon the subject of world government and the difficulties facing it. She acknowledged how unpopular global governance is and that openly advocating for it is counter-productive.

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I've never been in a country where people say, "Yes, we'd like a world government."... I truly don't think there is the kind of global community that must exist to create a global covenant. ... We don't have it, and talking about it will, in many countries, push us further from having it. In the United States when you start talking about a "global covenant" you empower the sovereigntists — people who ... already see their ability to shape their own futures being eroded. If you want to get to the place Held [the author of Global Covenant] wants to get to you'd be better off working through national officials, and taking heed of people's fears at every step, rather than positing something that looks like world government.

Slaughter was not the only liberal academic writing about the concept of a concert of democracies. Ivo Daalder, a foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama, co-authored a 2007 article in The American Interest entitled "Democracies of the World, Unite!" Daalder argued that such an organization could accomplish multiple international goals including economic harmonization, swift international action, and military synchronization.

The Concert would be a vehicle for helping democracies confront their mutual security challenges. This would involve close coordination of diplomatic strategy, law enforcement activity, intelligence collection and analysis, and military deployments. Over time, Concert members could follow NATO’s lead and develop common doctrine, promote joint training and planning, and enhance interoperability among their militaries, police forces and intelligence agencies.

Daalder was so enthusiastic about this idea that he would later co-author op-eds with prominent neocon and McCain adviser Robert Kagan. Daalder, much like Slaughter, has also been awarded a position in the Obama administration. President Obama already announced his intention to nominate Daalder as the new United States Permanent Representative on the Council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (ambassador to NATO). The nomination of a vocal advocate of a concert of democracies as NATO ambassador led Russian media outlets to claim that America "will set forth a concept to reform NATO during the upcoming summit of the alliance. In accordance with the concept, the alliance will be expanded with the help of the countries of not only the Euro-Atlantic region, but of Asia too, for instance, Australia, Japan and South Korea. The renewed alliance may even replace the United Nations."

While this notion was ridiculed by a pro-UN blogger as a "bizarre and baseless rumor," it is apparent that the idea of a concert of democracies has a receptive audience in Washington D.C.

It could be argued that a concert of democracies might not be on the immediate horizon, but the notion is obviously viewed favorably by the political elite running our foreign policy. The bipartisan support of the idea is indicative of it becoming a serious reality at some point in the future. From the establishment right's John McCain and prominent neocons like Robert Kagan to liberal internationalists like Slaughter and Daalder, there are ardent promoters of the idea very close to our nation's centers of power. While in the past, the UN served as the vehicle for globalists to achieve their desired goals, it would now appear that some very influential individuals are seeking a new and more effective strategy in the effort to achieve a "global covenant." Whether the globalists achieve their goals or not, one can rest assured that America will find itself pulled further into costly, deadly, and unnecessary foreign interventions in the process.