On Wednesday December 10, 2014, I attended an event at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace that helped me gain insight on the role of the European Union. In the event David O’Sullivan was the guest speaker giving his perspective on European and U.S. relations. David O’Sullivan just recently became the EU Ambassador in November. At the start of the event O’Sullivan introduced his self and spoke about his previous jobs. For instance, he mentioned that one of his first jobs in relations was with Comi-con. When asked what he thought his key role as the new EU ambassador he said that his key role was to continue the work of previous EU ambassadors. O’Sullivan also spoke about the role of the EU. He stated that the EU is the largest trading partner in the world and strives to increase foreign policy and a security actor. The ambassador also noted that the EU provides the largest amount of funds for peace keeping operations in Africa. He then went on to speak about open trade and relations with the US and the EU. According to O’Sullivan, open trade can help improve the economic situation but it is a not a solution in itself. He stated that the EU is the only country that allows open markets with developing countries. O’Sullivan argued that trade is beneficial to everyone that’s involved in it. He stated that the EU is currently in the process of negotiating with the US. From the ambassadors viewpoint the cooperation of the EU and the US will help encourage the cooperation of other countries. O’Sullivan feels that the cooperation between the US and the EU is very important in the 21st century because they share many of the same values and for security reasons. He then went on to say that the EU and the US’s relationship was like the relationship of best friends. In addition to his discussion of the EU and the US’s relationship O’Sullivan went on to discuss Russia. He pointed out that it was harder and more costly for the EU to make sanctions against Russia but they did because they want to help solve the problem. In sum, I enjoyed this event because I was able to use my knowledge from my world politics class to understand and gain insight on the EU and what’s going on in the world.
The Wilson Center organized a panel where two political science professors discussed the Chinese anti corruption campaigns. China attempts to carry around legal reforms, china dream and peace reform. The campaign is a two year old corruption campaign and nothing but pure powerful politics. The campaign began in 2014 when a businessman was killed in hotel room full of enormous amount of money. After that many political leaders and businessmen were under investigations for laundering money. Scandals such as the military scandal and the promotion of jobs shocked the people of china.
In the panel the professors discussed how the US would respond to rapidly change of china. After that they discussed if these scandals are about principle or politics and they stated its both principle and politics. Some of the scandals are scandals of small businessmen who are involved of laundering money. One businessman in particular is an owner of a water company who was found in his house with large amounts of money and gold. The fear and anxiety of the Chinese citizens made the campaign grow in the previous year. Even though the campaign is still on there are positive effects expected in the future.
After discussing the different scandals of laundering money they shifted to the trial of these businessmen and how the justice system in china works. The Chinese court first considers the loyalty party and interest of people then the constitution of law. The decision puts the parry first. The government role in these trials is creating legal protectionism and denying of confession, assume without too many questions. Half of the people investigated and pleaded guilty get punishment.
The protesters in anti corruption campaigns are fighting for justice. Even though some locals are covering up scandals and many investigators disappeared, campaigns of anti corruption are still going on hoping of fighting corruption. Attending this panel made me learn more about the Chinese anti corruption campaigns and how the economy of China dropped. The professors debated on the corruption in china and the legal system after that they allowed the audience to ask questions.
On the morning of September 9th, 2014 two of my international friends and I went in an adventure to see one of my personal favorites Senator John McCain. It was a regular morning in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace when I walked in, signed my name and then went up in the elevator to the 1st floor where refreshments were served. We all remember Senator McCain for running for President of the United States in 2008 agains Barack Obama, our current President. McCain is currently the senior Senator from Arizona since 1987. On that beautiful September day, McCain talked about many ways the U.S. can reinforce relations between the United States and India. He mainly focused on opening a global economy that will favor both countries. India is soon to be the most populous country in the world with that they have the largest skilled workforce that will help India become one of the top economies in the world. McCain then said that the U.S. and India have many things in common such as “the values of human rights, individual liberty, and democratic limits on state power, but also the values of our societies – creativity and critical thinking, risk-taking and entrepreneurialism, tolerance and social mobility.” He ended his speech by saying that both countries are the larges economies in the world and together there is nothing they can’t accomplish together.
Monday, December 1, 2014 at 5 p.m. at the Atlantic Council. During my time at the Atlantic Council, I was very interested from the beginning on how the mediator of the talk with Dr. Gregory F. Treverton, the Chairman of the US National Intelligence Council, asked specific and more personal questions. The Questions were dealing with Iraq and Russia were on how things could have been prevented, or dealt with better as problems arose.
In the first section of the interview, Russia was the main focus. Not what was going on in Russia, but the United States’ relationship with them. The first question to the chairman was, “Should we have known where things were going in Russia? What is YOUR take? Take us back, and how you feel now.” The chairman responded in a very unique way. He referred to first the Cold War, saying that in 1989-1991 after long debates and a drawn out process, peace was finally found. Also, he talked about 9/11 and how there was a clear cut set of “instructions” to deal with the issue; go after the bad people. He stated that although maybe one geopolitical framework is gone, it is not being replaced by a new one, and the US was kind of dismissive of the subject. This in turn was seen as a “diss” to Putin, and since Russia was not as much of a power as they were during the Cold War era, the US jumped to new feelings towards Russia, and showed things will quickly change with time.
Other than Russia, the chairman was also asked about the United States and securities take on the ISIS situation in Iraq. “We failed to sense how fast ISIS would sweep across Iraq. Is there anyway this could have been different?” The chairman responded by basically saying it was not just the work of ISIS, but their success has and will continue to be partially on behalf of how fast Iraqi forces melted. Their will to fight could not be changed and disintegrated at the first sight of the conflict and violence going on. The US was wrong about their adversaries and allies in thinking that would want to fight to try and end the terrorism going on. Also, even with ISIS being careful not to unveil any important information, the violence and brutality came as a surprise to outsiders looking in on things such as the videos of American’s being beheaded. With all this trouble in Iraq and with ISIS, the chairman is certain ISIS will be caught up to.