Why Is Today’s World So Dangerous?

A Conversation With Richard Haass
Transcript

Coming soon.

Notes

Over the past 100 years, there have been many declarations in the pages of Foreign Affairs that the world is in a historic transition period. These days, that claim feels especially plausible. The United States’ unipolar moment appears to be ending—but it’s unclear what will replace it. Will China continue to rise? Will the war in Ukraine undo Russia? Will the United States move past the political divisions that are tearing it apart? 

As Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, sees it, this is shaping up to be a very dangerous decade. Haass has been a close observer of the forces affecting the world for some time. In addition to serving as the head of CFR for 20 years, Haass has had a long career as a U.S. diplomat, representing the United States and leading negotiations everywhere from Northern Ireland to Afghanistan. From January 2001 to June 2003, Haass was director of policy planning for the Department of State, where he was a principal adviser to Secretary of State Colin Powell. He has also served on the National Security Council and in the Defense Department. 

We discuss how traditional geopolitical tensions are once again front and center at the same time that transnational threats, such as climate change and pandemics, demand international cooperation.

Sources

The Dangerous Decade” by Richard Haass

Green Upheaval” by Jason Bordoff and Meghan L. O’Sullivan

Competition Without Catastrophe” by Kurt M. Campbell and Jake Sullivan

The Growing Danger of U.S. Ambiguity on Taiwan” by Richard Haass and David Sacks

Sanctioning Madness” by Richard Haass

The Use and Misuse of Economic Statecraft” by Jacob J. Lew and Richard Nephew

The Anarchical Society by Hedley Bull

A World Restored by Henry A. Kissinger 

Thinking in Time by Richard E. Neustadt and Ernest R. May


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“The Foreign Affairs Interview” is produced by Kate Brannen, Julia Fleming-Dresser, and Markus Zakaria; original music by Robin Hilton. Special thanks to Grace Finlayson, Nora Revenaugh, Caitlin Joseph, Asher Ross, and Gabrielle Sierra.