Richard N.

Stories by Richard N. Haass

  • afghanistan-haas-FE01-wide

    Time to Draw Down in Afghanistan

    After nearly nine years of war, continued or increased U.S. involvement in Afghanistan isn’t likely to yield lasting improvements that would be commensurate in any way with the investment of American blood and treasure. It is time to scale down our ambitions there and both reduce and redirect what we do.
  • Haass: We must get China into the tent

    The single most important challenge for the new administration—one with the potential to shape the 21st century—is China. As goes China, so go 1.3 billion men, women and children—one out of every five people on the planet.China's economy is now roughly half the size of America's; in three decades, the two are likely to be about equal. What the Chinese eat, how much (or whether) they drive, where and how they choose to live, work and play: all will have an enormous impact on the availability and price of energy, the temperature of the planet and the prosperity of mankind.Beijing's foreign policy is no less important. A cooperative China could help stem the spread of nuclear materials and weapons, maintain an open global trading and financial system, secure energy supplies, frustrate terrorists, prevent pandemics and slow climate change. A hostile or simply noncooperative China, on the other hand, would make it that much more difficult for the United States and its allies to tame the...
  • Foreign Policy for the Future American President

    MEMORANDUMTO: The president-electRE: Foreign policyFROM: Richard N. Haass, President of the Council on Foreign RelationsThere are only two and a half months—76 days, to be precise— between Election Day and your Inauguration, and you will need every one of them to get ready for the world you will inherit. This is not the world you've been discussing on the trail for the last year or more: campaigning and governing could hardly be more different. The former is necessarily done in bold strokes and, to be honest, often approaches caricature. All candidates resist specifying priorities or trade-offs lest they forfeit precious support. You won, but at a price, as some of the things you said were better left unsaid. Even more important, the campaign did not prepare the public for the hard times to come.There will be days when you will wonder why you worked so hard to get this job. What will make it so difficult is not just all that awaits, but the constraints that will limit what you can...
  • The New Middle East

    As the Iraq war helps bring the American era to a close, a new order will begin to emerge in the region.
  • Let's Not Play The Oil Game

    No doubt it's a sign of the times. Today's war games have more to do with the falling supplies and rising price of oil than with tanks and armored personnel carriers rolling across borders. Consider just such an exercise, conducted several months ago at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The setting was late December 2006. In a simultaneous three-front strike, terrorists sank a tanker in the Bosporus, blocking the Turkish straits linking the oilfields of the Caspian Sea with the Mediterranean. They also successfully attacked the oil port of Valdez in Alaska. An assault on the critical Ras Tanura complex in Saudi Arabia was rebuffed, but several million barrels a day (roughly 5 percent of world supply) were taken off the oil market for at least four months.Overnight, prices jumped to $120. U.S. gasoline prices shot to $5 a gallon. Participants in the game included the CEO of a major global oil company, a head of the national oil company of an important Middle East producer, senior...