#OurSharedArctic: Amb. Mark Brzezinski ’79 Stresses Need for Modern Diplomacy and International Cooperation in Dealing with Climate Change and Arctic Management

By: Hung Nguyen
On February 16, 2015, Mark Brzezinski, former U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Sweden, addressed an audience at Dartmouth College as part of a Montgomery Fellowship lecture series on Arctic development and management.

A member of the Dartmouth Class of 1979, Brzezinski also holds a J.D. from the University of Virginia and a D.Phil from Oxford University. Under the Clinton administration, Brzezinski utilized his expert training on international cooperation, serving as the Director of the National Security Council and dealing particularly with Russian and Eurasian issues. He was appointed Ambassador to Sweden in 2011. During his term, Brzezinski has focused on improving public understanding of global Arctic development.
Showing a map of the North Pole with the eight countries on the Arctic Council (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Russia and the U.S.), Brzezinski noted that no single country enjoys dominance in the region. International cooperation, thus, is necessary in order to advance common interests.

From 1988 to 2013, ice cover of the Artic has reduced by half. At this rate, Brzezinski noted, we might be looking at an ice-free Arctic by as early as 2040. Global temperatures could be driven up by 1–4ºC, and if temperatures rise to the point where Greenland ice is melted, sea levels could even rise as high as 23 feet. Half of the United States’ coastline would be under water, putting 16.4 million Americans at risk of displacement.

Brzezinski suggested that we look at the problem of Arctic management and development in two dimensions. It is first a strategic problem: Brzezinski noted the emerging issue of dealing with geopolitics in the region. He argued that we need to keep the Arctic free of conflict and militarization, as well as to settle boundary disputes in a constructive manner. Another important strategic dimension involves building up the capacity to conduct search and rescue (SAR) operations in the Arctic. However, Brzezinski also looked at the Arctic as a human problem that involves survival and livelihoods. Climate change will endanger vital ecosystems, fish stocks, and so on; these effects might even be irreversible. Brzezinski said we should “think of our grandchildren” to really see the future implications. International cooperation, thus, is key to both of these dimensions.

Brzezinski then turned to the role of the Arctic Council and the future of American involvement, as the United States prepares to assume chairmanship of the Council in 2015. During Sweden’s chairmanship (2011–2013), Brzezinski noted, a trifold balance was pursued with great success. These involved: (1) sustainable economic growth, (2) the protection of indigenous populations, and (3) the protection of the environment. He argued that the U.S. chairmanship—whose central theme is “shared opportunities, challenges and responsibilities”—should learn from Sweden. First, it should emphasize the safety, security and stewardship of the Arctic Ocean. This means being ready for increasing numbers of tourists to the region, as well as for emergencies such as oil spills that might occur anytime. Second, the U.S. must enhance economic and living conditions. Telecom infrastructure, Brzezinski stressed, is in need of improvement, as is the problem of physical and mental health (i.e. high suicide rates) in the Arctic. Third and finally, the U.S. needs to address impacts of climate change, including those not readily visible. All three of these objectives are central and crucial to a successful U.S. term, said Brzezinski.

Concluding his lecture, Brzezinski noted that we have difficult choices going forward, and the choices made during the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council will matter tremendously. He believed that optimism is not unwarranted, though. Brzezinski quoted President John F. Kennedy: “Where nature makes natural allies of us all, we can demonstrate that beneficial relations are possible even with those with whom we most deeply disagree, and this must someday be the basis of world peace and world law.” In his words, nature can—and should—be a great unifier that facilitates international cooperation and prompts us all into action.

The Algerian War and the Remaking of France

By Meredith Alaback

On January 29th, Dartmouth hosted Johns Hopkins Associate Professor, Todd Shepard. An author of the book “The Algerian War and the Remaking of France,” Mr. Shepard is a Francophile historian, specializing in post-WWII French Colonialism. His lecture was divided into two, interwoven discussion points. He commenced with the very specific and crucial time in French imperialistic efforts: the Algerian Independence War, and finished with how the combination of the threat of war and French prospects manifested an idea of a “nation-state”.

From 1830 until 1962, the French claimed almost the entirety of northwestern Africa as theirs for the taking. “La Maghreb” consisted of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, with Algeria ultimately becoming the most important territory. Politically, Algeria was viewed as an extension of France outside of its natural borders. In efforts to legitimize their rule, packs of French citizens sailed across the Mediterranean. Men, women, and children, supported by the French government, flocked to Algeria and settled down in hopes of establishing French culture. Although politically incorrect in modern terms, in the 20th century these French-African citizens were referred to as “pied-noirs”. Shepard notes that, as to be expected, the difference between the natives and the Frenchmen were great. After the recent establishment of “un perspectif laique” (secular perspective) under the first Revolution, the French government essentially banned the inquiry of religion in political situations. For the historically native Muslim population, this idea of separation of religion and state was foreign and unwanted.

Common ethnic disparities were another point of contingency. French men and women were endowed with certain rights from the French government overseas, while the locals were not given such benefits. Up until 1952 (the start of the Algerian Independence War), Shepard explains, the most legitimate right that the French gave to the natives was the title of “French Citizen”. Nevertheless, there were varying degrees of “citizenship” that undeniably continued the discrimination. After years of repression and unequal rights, the Algerians finally rebelled. The rebellion was anticipated, Shepard suggests, and the French did not go down without a fight.

As mentioned earlier, Mr. Shepard focused on the 1940s-1960s; better referred to as the end of the Fourth Republic and the beginning of the Fifth Republic. After the Second World War, the French emphasized the benefits of federalism and their pursuit of a super-national connection. The idea was to create a “Grand Ensemble” or super-nation, erasing the identity of being a “colonial power.” A super-nation would have continued in its dominance of non-domestic territories, only it would have been more humanistic. Ultimately, it was a justification to retain the colonizing life-style that the French had been enjoying for over a hundred years. Allegedly through Federalism, Algerians would be given more sovereignty despite the evident linguistic, religious, and ethnic divide. They would only be given this increase in power on the promise of a continued French executive power.
Thus, Algeria became an experiment. Mr. Shepard discussed that many of the social reforms and promotions that are incorporated into the modern French government were first inserted in Algeria for “testing.” This testing did not last very long, however, as de Gaulle entered the political scene. The messiness of the Fourth Republic was soon replaced with the much needed “cleanup” from the Fifth Republic. As much as he tried to resist, after four years into the French Presidency and eight years of an Algerian Revolution, de Gaulle eventually came to the reluctant conclusion of Algerian Independence.
Shepard finished his detail-oriented presentation with a final, interesting addition to the story: Algerian archives were most detailed during French occupation. Although there is an abundance of information in these archives, there will unfortunately always be a lacking in local Muslim records during this crucial Northwest African period. Overall, Shepard’s presentation elucidated France’s history regarding its rule of Algeria, and how its loss of the colony majorly shaped French politics.

A Cautious Optimism: Jake Sullivan Expounds on Potential for International Agreements and Bipartisan Compromise in Conversation with Daniel Benjamin

By Bryan Thomson

On January 28th, Daniel Benjamin, director of the Dickey Center for International Understanding, introduced Mr. Sullivan as one of the few people in Washington who everyone knows by a single name – “Jake.” The youngest-ever Director of Policy Planning for the Secretary of State (Hillary’s Ear), Mr. Sullivan assisted Secretary Clinton, and later Vice-President Biden, on a host of critical national security issues for over five years. Even after stepping down from his influential roles in the Obama Administration to teach at Yale Law School, Mr. Sullivan has continued to utilize his policy-crafting and diplomatic expertise in the ongoing Iranian nuclear talks.

The current political and economic context of American foreign policy is simultaneously uplifting and dispiriting – the dollar is strong, oil is cheap and relations with countries like Iran and Cuba are more promising than anytime in recent memory. Yet, ongoing, ‘frozen’ civil wars in Syria and Ukraine, rising tensions with Russia and whispers of the looming possibility of a Cold-War style confrontation with China leave many skeptical about America’s security and ability to support democratic peace and international economic cooperation. After spending years working on these issues in over 100 different countries and 150 different cities, Mr. Sullivan has interpreted these conflicting indicators as a confirmation that America must be firm in her resolve to support like-minded democracies and liberal market economies. Mr. Sullivan explains, that with a strong and consistent foreign policy that prioritizes American security and alliances with like-minded states, the U.S. is poised to excel in the coming years as a moral and economic leader.

Mr. Sullivan’s policy decisions are formed by a convincing pragmatism built on a realist understanding of the modern international system. Mr. Sullivan claims that, in the recent successful multilateral sanctions of Iran, “countries are coming at this from their own self-interest.” Because “the United States has made this a high priority,” Mr. Sullivan asserts, “I think countries have responded to that.” Touting the recent breakthroughs in the nuclear talks with the country, Sullivan notes how even the Russians and Chinese have come on board to put pressure on Iran for a solution. The bottom line for Mr. Sullivan in the Iranian case and others is that when the U.S. seeks to improve security worldwide, “all our partners can understand the technological and strategic interests” behind decisions, and policy goals can be realized through cooperation.

In building a new nuclear policy with Iran, the U.S. has strived for “a massive increase of transparency measures” that incentivizes cooperation and permanent progress. Because of ongoing conversations with Iran in Oman over the past two years, Mr. Sullivan and others have ensured with high confidence that the Iranian nuclear program is not “moving forward in any meaningful way.” Now, daily inspector access is granted, and joint European and American pressure through sanctions has been successful in creating the very real possibility for a deal with Iranian leadership. Mr. Sullivan stated, “There is a deal that can give the international community confidence… the world presently lacks confidence… but Iran has been complying.” In addition to the European-American cooperation on Iran, Mr. Sullivan contends that increasing European defense budgets and strengthening the continent’s economic prospects needs to be a major strategic goal of the United States.

Mr. Sullivan also sees hope in the political gridlock of Washington – an issue many have lamented for years. Though bipartisan agreement has been scant in the past decade, a “fair degree of commonality between Congress and the Executive Branch” can and will be found if an agreement with Iran regarding their nuclear program is reached, claims Mr. Sullivan. In defense of this claim, he cited the recent bill to arm Syrian rebels that passed after ISIS increased their territorial holdings in late 2014. Mr. Sullivan argues that, “In moments of crisis, especially in a national security crisis- there still is the wherewithal, not just for parties to come together, but to do so quickly.” While he is “not saying it will be easy,” Mr. Sullivan has “seen enough of the areas where bipartisanship is still possible to believe this can be carried out.”

If Mr. Sullivan is to be believed, a new type of American exceptionalism that acknowledges other countries’ sovereignty and mutual interests has begun to guide policy across the globe. In India, President Obama’s recent visit affirmed that historical Indian “nervousness has been slowly receding.” No longer does the nation feel a disconnect between a strategic partnership with America and her own autonomy. This sentiment applies elsewhere across the globe; America should not think in Cold War terms like ‘spheres of influence’ in the Baltics and Ukraine, but rather encourage deliberated self-determination and participation in the international system. Mr. Sullivan stressed the need to allow Ukraine to choose her own leaders and own path out of civil war – ideally not one that spurns Russia, but embraces the nation’s longstanding ties to both the east and west. At the same time, we must not turn our back on Putin, but rather “offer him an opportunity to choose a different path” in line with both our interests and those of the Russian people.

Though talk of compromise and global integration through increased cooperation may seem idealistic and impractical in the face of seemingly intractable conflicts, Mr. Sullivan cautioned that this path forward is not preordained nor decided by the United States alone. Progress is “driven by state decision-making,” and progress in Iraq must come from Baghdad, movement in Donetsk from Moscow, and peace in the East China Sea from Beijing and Tokyo. However, Mr. Sullivan cautions, “keeping the pressure on Putin is important: it has got to be a high priority… we can’t, at the end of the day, dictate [his choices] for him.” A positive, long-term improvement in American diplomacy worldwide will come from a combination of American willingness to support democratic and economically free states, and leaders like Putin realizing that aggression and hostility “is not a path that will produce anything but problems down the road.” Without both pieces of the solution, this cautious optimism may be sadly misplaced.

The conversation between Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Sullivan ultimately centered on the idea that, as a nation, we must move beyond a “historical amnesia” – the false notion that the United States has ever been a colossus capable of determining the fate of far-flung regions of the world liable to conflict, such as the Middle East, Ukraine, Iran and the South and East China Sea. Our path forward is not one of frequent unilateral action as the world’s policeman – a route that has already proven costly and ineffective –rather, it is one characterized by a capacity to cajole, promote growth and freedom, and to build institutions based on commonalities. The future of our diplomatic relations rests on American moral earnestness and willingness to act in mutual benefit with other nations – from Europe to India and China to even Iran and Russia.

International Environmental Security: Climate Change, Water Wars, and Other Scary Stuff

By Sumita Strander

Christopher King, the current dean of academics at the United States Army Command and General Staff College, gave a talk at Dartmouth on Thursday entitled “International Environmental Security: Climate Change, Water Wars, and Other Scary Stuff.” In this talk, King discussed the relationship between environmental problems and security.  He used this relationship to claim that paying attention to environmental issues is in the best interest of every nation, which thus makes it a priority for their militaries. King described his own efforts to introduce this priority to the United States’ military. He connected environmental concerns (such as disease and lack of water) to the principles of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that are found in the United States Constitution. His ultimate claim was that “providing life-sustaining conditions was a basic human pursuit.”

One problem that exists, King said, is that environmental concerns have a heavier impact on developing nations. In other words, “how do we get developed nationals to find it in their ‘National Interest’ to act?” A question like this one, he argued, deems this a public policy issue.  This heavier impact, he argued, is mostly due to the stress of increasing populations. That is, all areas of the world will continue to experience problems related to the changing environment, but these problems will be harder for places with the added pressure of an increasing population. KIng cited the country of Afghanistan and the Nile River Basin as two examples.

Afghanistan, he claimed, is the third-fastest growing country in the world and is the seventh-worst failed state. Additionally, it is included in the list of the ten countries with the worst environmental conditions. King used this to make the point that failure of state correlates with the presence of environmental issues.

Similarly, the Nile River Basin has a population of about 265 million that is expected to grow significantly in the near future, to roughly 697 million in the year 2050. The demand for water in response to this increasing population will then far exceed the supply of water at that time.

Throughout his talk, King included scientific information correlated to environmental issues, particularly emphasizing climate change. He concluded by restating the significance of environmental issues to increasing peace and security. He recommended that the nation focus more on analytical research in order to make plans addressing environmental security. Finally, King emphasized the importance of collaboration, as the Department of Defense is just one aspect of the government, and real action relies on the coordinated efforts of several invested groups and individuals.

Ukrainian Energy and the Arctic

By Tyler Stoff

The geopolitical situation in Ukraine may not seem especially connected to current concerns in the Arctic region, but the energy crisis emanating from Europe causes the two to be linked. This is what energy researcher Adam Pearson, a Transatlantic and Konrad von Molkte Fellow at the Ecologic Institute, explained during his presentation at the Dickey Center entitled “The Energy Crisis in Ukraine: What it means for the U.S., Europe and the Arctic.”

Pearson divided his talk into three sections. First, he supplied an overview of the geopolitical crisis and recent Russian intervention in Ukraine. Explaining its roots in the Russian stranglehold on natural gas in Europe, he noted how Russia cut off Hungary’s supply of natural gas in 2009 for thirteen days prior to the current dispute between Ukraine and Russia, which is over the amount of money owed for the consumption of natural gas. Feeling opposing pressure from the European Union and Russia, Ukraine first signed a free trade pact with the EU before changing course and moving closer to Russia. This precipitated the riots that brought down Ukraine’s highly centralized, corrupt government.

Though Pearson noted that Ukraine’s east is supportive of closer ties with Russia due to its ethnic and cultural heritage, he stated that “Ukraine was annexed by Russia” in reference to the Crimea’s move from Ukrainian to Russian control. Though Western observers frequently state that Russia’s increased aggression in response to fears of NATO’s possible expansion into Ukraine are overblown, Pearson responded that every European Union member state has joined NATO, and Ukraine’s free trade pack with the EU was a possible precursor to EU membership. In actuality, several EU member states have not joined NATO, but it is true that all former Eastern Bloc states that have become EU members have also joined NATO.

Following the political background of Ukraine, Pearson detailed its energy situation and that of the rest of Europe. One quarter of Europe’s natural gas comes from Russia, and much of it passes through Ukraine. Europe’s reliance on natural gas is increasing, and “this is going to get worse over time,” Pearson said. Russia could easily cut gas lines to Ukraine and, by extension, all of Europe. While alternative energy sources such as renewables hold promise for electricity, natural gas is the primary source of heating in Europe. “The EU does not have a slam dunk for the heating sector,” notes Pearson, and Europe cannot easily lessen its reliance on Russian gas. Alternatives such as fracking for natural gas in Western Europe are also not possible due to legal and geologic factors. Pearson did state that the Russian economy is completely dependent on oil and gas exports, but Europe’s inability to wean itself off of those exports and thus impose far-reaching sanctions means Russian behavior is unlikely to be altered.

For his final section, Pearson moved to the Arctic, explaining that China and India are now trying to increase their involvement in the Arctic Council, a body that addresses Arctic issues. Russia sees the Arctic Ocean as the United States sees the Gulf of Mexico. Russia is torn on the efforts of China and India to become involved in Arctic affairs because of both its interests in

preserving the Arctic for energy exploration exclusively by regional nations such as itself, and its interests in maintaining good relationships with China, a major trade partner. Russia has been a cooperative member of the Arctic Council, and the United States has largely prevented the Ukrainian situation from interfering with its diplomatic successes with Russia there.

In his concluding remarks, Pearson emphasized that Ukraine needs capable governance and monetary support to remain intact. Arctic cooperation between the West and Russia may have been slightly strained by events in Ukraine, but it will return soon. Sanctions may only accelerate Russian economic partnerships with Asian nations. Though Pearson did not make direct links between the Arctic and Ukraine beyond its possible effects on diplomacy with Russia, the possibility of lessened Russian claims in the Arctic in response to better ties with China cannot be ignored.

Robert A. F. Thurman on Buddha

By Lydia Cash

On Thursday, October 23, 2014, Robert A. F. Thurman, a recognized worldwide authority on religion and spirituality, Asian history, philosophy, Tibetan Buddhism, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, gave a lecture entitled “Buddha: Scientist, Realist, Educator, Social Reformer.” As stated on his website, Robert Thurman advocates for the relevance of Eastern ideas to our daily lives. He has become a leading voice for the value of reason, peace and compassion. He was also named one of Time magazine’s 25 most influential Americans and has been profiled by The New York Times and People Magazine.

In his lecture, Dr. Thurman spoke on Buddha’s movement as a 2500-year-old community, culture, and educational institution, which has been appropriated as a “world religion.” By showing Buddha’s movement as a series of scientific discoveries and realist principles, Dr. Thurman explained Buddhism’s departure from “religious trappings,” instead emphasizing its core principles as adaptable on a scientific basis to all levels of modern education and research systems, combining science and technology. For example, Buddha’s realistic worldview embraces relational causation, or the idea that everything in the universe has a cause. Buddha’s cardinal mantra was that the one who realizes and enters reality knows that there are causes to everything, and realizes how to interfere with these causes and therefore overcome them. According to Dr. Thurman, this worldview depends on the fact that wisdom and knowledge free the mind.

One of Dr. Thurman’s most interesting points was that the Buddha discovered relativistic physics, evolutionary biology, and sophisticated depth psychology 2500 years before modern scholars. In terms of relativistic physics, Buddha discovered a deep reality beyond conceptual capture, and viewed the mind as a subtle energy more powerful than subtle matter. According to Dr. Thurman, this idea was a precursor to modern quantum physics. In terms of evolutionary biology, Buddha used karma (causation) to determine causal processes that determine the variety of life forms, including the presence of the mind in nature and hypothetical descriptions of mental and physical causal processes. Buddha also discovered sophisticated depth psychology, analyzing the subconscious and defining the enlightened person as one who has become fully conscious of the subconscious, reshaping its drives and instincts.

In conclusion, Dr. Thurman introduced Buddha’s idea of the relational identity: humans do not exist in absolute, self-identities, but rather in interconnected webs in relation to other identities. According to Dr. Thurman, when people believe that they are absolute and their identities are rigid, religion, gender, color, ethnicity, and other factors become fixed and create barriers. This makes it impossible to identify with other individuals. In contrast, Buddhists see their identities as relational and transformable, and instead cultivate love, compassion, joy, and equilibrium. Dr. Thurman also referenced the idea of reincarnation as liberating, versus the “terminal lifestyle” of believing one will die at some definite point in time. In the “terminal lifestyle” individuals believe that their days will come to an end, and they will not have to suffer the problems of the future. This perpetuates a certain irresponsibility, where individuals don’t care enough or put enough effort into making the world more livable for future reincarnations. In Dr. Thurman’s eyes, this “terminal lifestyle” is a debilitating disease. Instead, humans should pursue happiness and recognize themselves as interrelational beings, which creates the responsibility to improve on one’s self and on one’s surrounding environment.

John Broderick on Public Service

By Kai Yan

On Wednesday October 15 , John Broderick, former Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, former dean of University of New Hampshire School of Law, and current executive director of its Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership, and Public Policy gave a speech at Dartmouth College aptly titled “Public Service is Not for Sissies”. Broderick chronicled the politics that have affected his life from the time he was a young boy to his time serving on the Supreme Court, and explained both the potential inspiration as well as the political hardship of public policy at large.

In his reflection, Broderick began by explaining how even from a young age he was inspired by the impacts of politics. In particular, Broderick’s admiration toward the progressive policies and actions of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Lyndon B. Johnson shaped his view on the vast potential of public service. From there, Broderick committed himself to a life of public service, and in 1975 he began serving as a judge in the New Hampshire appellate courts.

While initially holding the optimistic belief that “judging seemed isolated in politics”, Broderick’s view of political and judicial independence came crashing down in February of 2000 when the entire New Hampshire Supreme Court came under public indictment and incurred impeachment hearings over the selection of a replacement court in a divorce trial. Broderick was forced to take a five-month leave from the courts before then having to testify before the house Judiciary Committee, where he was able to convince the panel not to indict him. However, despite successfully convincing the Committee and being exonerated by judicial conduct, Broderick only escaped the indictment charge by a narrow vote count in the House. Later, Broderick discovered that the pretext for many of these votes was not the selection of the divorce panel but rather backlash from deep-seated political resentment over his ruling on the previous controversial cases.

Broderick describes public service as “full of peaks and valleys”. While the peaks may be high through the passage of important reform or civil rights packages, the valleys can be dreary when even the closest of allies won’t speak up for one another and allegations are flung wildly. Broderick experienced this dark political reality first hand through the defamation of his name and reputation by the media , while even the closest members of the New Hampshire Bar failed to step up in his defense. However, no matter how low the valleys may be, Broderick concluded, we should not grow bitter or hold grudges, nor should we give up hope on politics. Instead, we should work to raise interest in important public service matters because in the end, “making a difference is much more important than making a profit”. By following this logic, we can truly see the bright side of progressive politics come into fruition.

World Outlook’s Dinner Discussion with Bruce Riedel

By Rebecca Rodriguez

On May 15, 2014, Bruce Riedel, counter-terrorism expert and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst, discussed the future of American security at Dartmouth College. The discussion, hosted by World Outlook, allowed students to ask Riedel questions concerning terrorism, intelligence gathering, and future of foreign policy.

Riedel began the discussion with a brief talk regarding American security and its future. America, he believes, has been developing a new foreign policy, much of which is coming from the Republican Party. He predicts that because of these changes the 2016 election will feature a choice not narrow in contours. Riedel emphasized that Americans need to ask themselves what are the nation’s interests and what are we willing to fight for

Riedel then went on to address the issues and the limitations of counter-terrorism. He explained that the biggest misperception surrounding terrorism was that Al Qaeda is or has ever been a monolithic, well-organized, global terrorist organization. Until the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011, much of the organization had been driven underground; it is only recently that that the group has again gained strength. Concerning the limitations of counter-terrorism, Riedel has confidence in American capabilities however recognizes that it is particularly difficult to make progress simply because there is little information about many groups and their members. Similarly, attacks planned by few individuals, such as the Boston Marathon bombing, have short gestation periods and are therefore practically impossible to be discovered and prevented.

Concerning the NSA and American intelligence, Riedel acknowledged that the NSA has yet to make a compelling case for what seems to be a superfluous amount of data collection. However, he personally believes more is better in order to protect the nation’s interest. As far as the recent releases of intelligence, Riedel believes that Snowden has had the most impact as he released many methods of intelligence collection. Subsequently there has been a noticeable changed in the behavior of Al Qaeda’s communications. However, he is confident that Snowden will one day be tried and convicted.

Riedel’s following remarks concerning a regime change in Saudi Arabia, the Syrian crisis, and relations with the UAE all relate to the question of American interests. As far as Syria and Saudi Arabia, Riedel emphasized the instability and unpredictable nature of the situations, again leaving the questions up to a matter of American decisiveness. He reiterated that Americans should decide in broader terms what our interests are and where we are willing to get involved.

Bruce Riedel is senior fellow and director of the Brookings Intelligence Project, part of Brookings’ new Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. Riedel also serves as a senior fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy.

Peter Singer on Cyber Security, Computation and the Internet

By Ariana Mercado

Peter Singer is Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at the Brooking Institution, and gave a presentation at Dartmouth on Monday, May 15th, 2014 on Cybersecurity and Cyberwar. This presentation discussed changes in technology, explained how they affect global security, and gave advice on what an individual can do about the growing issue of cyber security.

​Computation skills touch all aspects of society. Since the first website in 1991, there are currently over 30 trillion websites and 40 trillion emails are sent every year. In the next 5 years, internet enabled devices are estimated to reach 40 billion. All this activity and all these mediums for communication cause 98% of all military operations go through the civilian domain.

With all these amazing advantages to a more interconnected world there remain dangerous disadvantages. Every second, 9 new pieces of malware are discovered. 97% of all Fortune 500 companies admitted to having been hacked, and what Americans are most afraid of is a cyber-attack, with diplomats facing millions of cyber-attacks per day. It is estimated that in the next 10 years the number of cyber-attacks will double. 80 cyber security companies have entered the emerging industry of cyber security with a 10 fold return showing the growing demand for these services.

In addition, cyber security bureaucracies are emerging at both the local and federal level. From last year to this year the amount of times “cyber” was used in the Pentagon’s Annual Budget grew from 12 times to 147 times.

Though cyberwar is an art, 70% of business executives have made cyber security decisions with critically little academic experience in the field. Thus, Peter Singer stressed the importance of a comprehensive, holistic approach to cyber security. Cyber security is everything from the individual level to the organizational level to the global political level. All these different degrees of attacks are lumped together causing gaps in the understanding of the nature of cyber-attacks.

The Internet works on a system on trust. There are three trends to this system: 1. Cybercrime 2. Government actions on monitoring the internet. Pushes by authoritarian regimes in blocking the free flow of information (i.e. China and Russia). What can we do?

  1. Knowledge matters (don’t just leave it to the nerds),
  2. People matter (if you want to set up a response you have to understand the people behind the machines)
  3. Incentives (incentivize a solution to set up standards and regulations)
  4. History matters (prevention is always better than a cure).

“An Unprecedented Era of a New Tyranny” – Noam Chomsky Responds to Poet John Berger

By Bryan Thomson

On Tuesday, April 22nd, the Gender Research Institute of Dartmouth hosted Booker Prize-winning English poet John Berger and Noam Chomsky, an MIT professor and acclaimed intellectual as part of the ‘Times of Crisis’ lecture series.  Berger first submitted to Dartmouth an enigmatic and poetic recording on the limiting nature of capitalism in modern society, and Chomsky then reflected on what Berger stated.

In his reflection, Berger described what he considers a new type of global tyranny.  In a similar vein as the now-infamous arguments made by Karl Marx in his Communist Manifesto and later echoed by Jalal Al-I Ahmad in his 20th century work Occidentosis, Berger sees a distinct divide between an impoverished, exporting East and a greedy, exploitational West. This dichotomous divide between classes and societies creates what Berger labels a worldwide capitalist prison, wherein the walls no longer keep prisoners from escaping, but rather stop the world’s poor from entering the protected lands of the rich. The conspiring powers, no longer governmental, but instead transnational and economic, attempt to dissuade rebellion through empty talk of human rights, growth and democracy, while in reality they desire complacency through passive uncertainty.

Though the capitalist prison presents a massive threat to sustainability and egalitarian living, Berger argues the era is no more unprecedented than any others, since every significant change is ‘unprecedented.’ He ultimately claims that, in order to break the passive acceptance of today’s tyrannical economic oppression, the world’s ‘prisoners’ must find liberty locally, “in the depths of the prison,” and thus break free of the current sedative state of being.

The lauded intellectual, linguist, logician, questionably labeled ‘anarcho-syndicalist libertarian,’ and MIT professor Noam Chomsky skyped in to reflect on Berger’s speech. In his response, Chomsky delved into the various threats to humanity that he argues, do, in fact, make this era unprecedented. Professor Chomsky summarized the state of the global capitalist structure as having, unnoticed and unquestioned, but massive, systemic failures.  The protectionist and universally harmful nature of NAFTA, Alan Greenspan’s claims that worker insecurity is beneficial for the economy and the often exorbitant returns to investors have been the forces driving the world toward collapse.  The systematic NSA surveillance is demonstrative of a government desperate to use security as a means of retaining control, not actually bettering its citizens’ lives. Even environmentally, the elites have only desired quick profits and ignored long-term concerns. Not since the Cretaceous mass extinction event have species been dying so quickly. Global issues of nuclear threat, global climate change and impulsive increases in executive power over democratic debate exacerbate the challenges of the classist struggle the world is undergoing, Chomsky contends.

The proliferation of communication technologies that have saturated virtually every rung of every society in the world now make local issues international. Berger believes our salvation can come through cyberspace – as information is empowering and allows those alive now to “stand shoulder to shoulder with the [wronged] dead.” At the end of his response, Professor Chomsky raised a call for action on the part of student groups and grassroots movements to take on the existing power structure that has allowed so many issues to arise.  Much like the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s or British Suffrage movement, modern challenges demand local and organized action.  Taken in Berger’s global, trans-generational context, Chomsky’s call for action becomes one that demands historical awareness and effective global communication.

Both Berger and Chomsky made clear their opinions that we are truly living in a time of crisis, and that such a time demands effective action.  Whether or not the reader believes in the fundamental evils and reach of a corrupt, transnational Capitalist prison, Chomsky and Berger together create a convincing argument for awareness of global affairs and current issues.  In the 21st century’s age of information, dissemination of opinions, organization of opposition and collective action on socioeconomic and multi-national issues are more feasible than ever before.