Table of Contents
Clashing Views in World Politics
Unit 1 Regional and Country Issues
- Issue 1. Is the European Unions Eurozone in Serious Danger of Collapsing?
YES: Simon Johnson, from The Troubled Eurozone, Testimony during Hearings on Outlook for the Eurozone before the Committee on the Budget, U.S. Senate (February 1, 2012)
NO: Guido Westerwelle, from The Euro and the Future of Europe, address delivered at the Brookings Institution, Washington, DC (January 20, 2012)
Simon Johnson, the Ronald Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, member of the Congressional Budget Offices Panel of Economic Advisers, and member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporations Systemic Resolution Advisory Committee, tells Congress that although for over two years Europes political leaders have promised to do whatever it takes to save the euro, the currency of the European Union, they have failed to change the dangerous trends in Europes economies or markets, and, as a result, the euro crisis is continuing to get deeper, broader, and more dangerous. Guido Westerwelle, the foreign minister of Germany, a member of the Bundestag (one house of Parliament) since 1996, the chairman of the Free Democratic Party, and the former vice chancellor, is much more optimistic about the future of the euro, arguing that the European Union and its countries have both the capacity and the will to stabilize the short-term financial difficulties that have caused problems and to institute long-term reforms that will prevent a reoccurrence of the current difficulties.
- Issue 2. Should Russia Be Considered a Hostile Country?
YES: Ariel Cohen, from Testimony during Hearings on Rethinking Reset: Re-Examining the Obama Administration Russia Policy, before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives (July 7, 2011)
NO: Steven Pifer, from Testimony during Hearings on The Future Course of the U.S.-Russia Relationship, before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives (March 21, 2012)
Ariel Cohen, the senior research fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy at the Heritage Foundation, testifies that Russias increasingly authoritarian government is pursuing polices that are antithetical to U.S. national interests. Steven Pifer, the director of the Brookings Arms Control Initiative and a senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe, concedes that there are some conflict points in U.S.Russia relations, but argues that it would be an error to treat Russia as implacably hostile rather than work with it to manage differences.
- Issue 3. Is China Becoming a Dangerous Superpower?
YES: Dean Cheng, from Testimony during Hearings on Investigating the Chinese Threat, Part I: Military and Economic Aggression before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives (March 28, 2012)
NO: Hu Jintao, from Building a China-U.S. Cooperative Partnership Based on Mutual Respect and Mutual Benefit, address to a welcome banquet, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DC (January 2, 2011)
Dean Cheng, the research fellow for Chinese political and security affairs at the Heritage Foundation, argues that Chinas increasing military and economic power and its comprehensive policy of harnessing all aspects of its military, economic, and diplomatic assets to assert its power are creating a powerful rival to U.S. power and interests in Asia and the Pacific region. Hu Jintao, the president of China and Communist Party chairman, tells an American audience that his country and theirs share an ultimate goal of creating a stable and prosperous international order and that both countries can and should cooperate and work with people across the world to share opportunities, meet challenges, and build a better future for mankind.
- Issue 4. Are the Palestinians Blocking the Path to Peace in the Middle East?
YES: Benjamin Netanyahu, from Address to the 66th session of the General Assembly of United Nations at Its Headquarters in New York City (September 23, 2011)
NO: Mahmoud Abbas, from Address to the 66th Session of the General Assembly of United Nations at Its Headquarters in New York City (September 23, 2011)
Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, tells the UN General Assembly that on behalf of the people of Israel, I extend my hand to the Palestinian people, with whom we seek a just and lasting peace, and claims this has always been Israels position but that the Palestinians have not reciprocated. Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian National Authority, tells the UN General Assembly that the Palestinian people want to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in our region that ensures the inalienable, legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people as defined by the resolutions of international legitimacy of the United Nations, but that, The Israeli government refuses to commit to . . . negotiations that are based on international law and United Nations resolutions.
- Issue 5. Should Force Be Used if Necessary to Prevent Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons?
YES: Norman Podhoretz, from Stopping Iran: Why the Case for Military Action Still Stands, Commentary (February 2008)
NO: Paul R. Pillar, from We Can Live with a Nuclear Iran, Washington Monthly (April 2012)
Norman Podhoretz, editor-at-large of the opinion journal Commentary, argues that the consequences of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons will be disastrous and that there is far less risk using whatever measures are necessary, including military force, to prevent the consequences than there is in dealing with a nuclear-armed Iran. Paul R. Pillar, who teaches in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University, maintains that a nuclear-armed Iran with a bomb would be much less dangerous than many people contend it would be and that war with Iran would be much more costly than many people contend it would be.
- Issue 6. Is U.S. Policy Toward Latin America on the Right Track?
YES: Arturo A. Valenzuela, from Testimony during Hearings on U.S. Policy Toward the Americas in 2010 and Beyond before the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives (March 10, 2010)
NO: Otto J. Reich, from Testimony during Hearings on U.S. Policy Toward the Americas in 2010 and Beyond before the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives (March 10, 2010)
Arturo A. Valenzuela, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, describes the views and policies of the Obama administration regarding the Western Hemisphere, as focused on three priorities critical to everyone in the region: promoting social and economic opportunity, ensuring safety, and strengthening effective institutions of democratic governance. Otto J. Reich, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs during the administration of President George H. W. Bush, tells Congress that he believes the U.S. government today is underestimating the security threats in the Western Hemisphere.
- Issue 7. Does the Islamist Movement Threaten the Democracy Gained in the Arab Spring?
YES: Andrew C. McCarthy, from Islam Is Islam, and Thats It, National Review (no. 1, January 23, 2012)
NO: Hillary Rodham Clinton, from Keynote Address at the National Democratic Institutes 2011 Democracy Awards Dinner (U.S. Department of State, November 7, 2011)
Andrew C. McCarthy, a columnist for the National Review, argues that it is dangerously misleading to portray the Arab/Muslim world as a separate civilization that has values and goals that are fundamentally at odds with those of the United States and the rest of the West. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton welcomes the Arab democratization movement and contends that it is a positive development for the national interest of the United States.
Unit 2 Economic Issues
- Issue 8. Is Economic Globalization Good for Both Rich and Poor?
YES: International Monetary Fund Staff, from Globalization: A Brief Overview, Issues Brief (May 2008)
NO: Ravinder Rena, from Globalization Still Hurting Poor Nations, Africa Economic Analysis (January 2008)
Staff members of the International Monetary Fund conclude on the basis of experiences across the world that unhindered international economic interchange, the core principle of globalization, seems to underpin greater prosperity. Ravinder Rena, an associate professor of economics at the Eritrea Institute of Technology, contends that globalization creates losers as well as winners and the losers are disproportionately found among the worlds poorer countries.
- Issue 9. Does Chinas Currency Manipulation Warrant International and National Action?
YES: Gordon G. Chang, from Testimony during Hearings on China and U.S. Interests before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives (January 19, 2011)
NO: Pieter Bottelier and Uri Dadush, from The RMB: Myths and Tougher-To-Deal-With Realities, Testimony during Hearings on Chinas Exchange Rate Policy before the Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives (March 24, 2010)
Gordon Chang, a columnist at Forbes, the financial magazine, argues that China is manipulating the value of its currency in a way that is harming the U.S. international economic position and that it is time to use international and, if necessary, national pressure to remedy the situation. Pieter Bottelier, the senior adjunct professor of China studies at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and the former chief of the World Banks resident mission in Beijing, and Uri Dadush, the director of the International Economics Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former (20022008) World Banks director of international trade, contend that dangerous myths about Chinas currency may unwisely touch off a strong U.S. reaction while more effective solutions will be overlooked.
Unit 3 Armaments and Violence Issues
- Issue 10. Should the United States Ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty?
YES: Ellen Tauscher, from The Case for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Remarks at the Arms Control Association Annual Meeting at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, U.S. Department of State (May 10, 2011)
NO: Baker Spring, from U.S. Should Reject Ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, The Heritage Foundation Web Memo #3272 (May 26, 2011)
U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher expresses the view that the United States will lose nothing and gains much by ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Baker Spring, the F. M. Kirby Research Fellow in National Security Policy at The Heritage Foundation, asserts that the problems with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty that led the U.S. Senate to reject it in 1999 have, if anything, worsened in the intervening years.
- Issue 11. Should U.S. Forces Continue to Fight in Afghanistan?
YES: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Howard Berman, Adam Smith, and Buck McKeon, from Continue to Fight, remarks on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on House Concurrent Resolution 28, Directing the President . . . to Remove the United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan (March 17, 2011)
NO: Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee, Walter B. Jones, Jason Chaffetz, and Ron Paul, from Withdraw Immediately, remarks on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on House Concurrent Resolution 28, Directing the President . . . to Remove the United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan (March 17, 2011)
Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Howard Berman (D-CA), Adam Smith (D-WA), and Buck McKeon (D-CA) oppose a resolution before the U.S. House of Representatives calling for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan, arguing that it is important that American troops remain until the U.S. goal of providing Afghanistan with the ability to defend itself against being once again taken over by the Taliban and al Qaeda is complete. Representatives Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Walter Jones (D-NC), Jason Chaffez (R-UT), and Ron Paul (R-TX) support a resolution before the U.S. House of Representatives calling for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan no later than December 31, 2011, and argue that there is no good reason to continue the loss of American lives and the expense that the war entails.
- Issue 12. Does Using Drones to Attack Terrorists Globally Violate International Law?
YES: Mary Ellen OConnell, from Lawful Use of Combat Drones, Testimony during Hearings on Rise of the Drones II: Examining the Legality of Unmanned Targeting, before the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives (April 28, 2010)
NO: Michael W. Lewis, from Examining the Legality of Unmanned Targeting, Testimony during Hearings on Rise of the Drones II: Examining the Legality of Unmanned Targeting, before the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives (April 28, 2010)
Mary Ellen OConnell, a research professor at the Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame, and the Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law at the School of Law, University of Notre Dame, tells a congressional committee that the United States is failing more often than not to follow the most important single rule governing drones: restricting their use to the battlefield. Michael W. Lewis, a professor of law at Ohio Northern Universitys Pettit College of Law, disagrees, contending that there is nothing inherently illegal about using drones to target specific terrorists or groups of terrorists on or away from the battlefield.
- Issue 13. Is the Use and Threat of Force Necessary in International Relations?
YES: Peter Van Uhm, from Why I Chose a Gun, address delivered at TEDxAmerstam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (November 25, 2011)
NO: Peace Pledge Union, from What Is Pacifism? www.ppu.org.uk/
Peter Van Uhm, a general in the Royal Netherlands Army and chief of the Netherlands Defense Staff (the equivalent of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff), explains that he became a soldier because sometimes only the gun stands between good and evil. The Peace Pledge Union, a pacifist organization in Great Britain that has been campaigning for a warless world since 1934, argues on its website that war is indefensible, that it is wrong for people to kill each other in large numbers.
Unit 4 International Law and Organization Issues
- Issue 14. Is the UN a Worthwhile Organization?
YES: Susan E. Rice, from Six Reasons the United Nations Is Indispensable, address delivered at the World Affairs Council of Oregon, Portland, Oregon (February 11, 2011)
NO: Bruce S. Thornton, from The U.N.: So Bad Its Almost Beautiful, Hoover Digest (January 2012)
Susan E. Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, tells an audience that the United States is much better offmuch stronger, much safer, and more securein a world with the United Nations than the United States would be in a world without the UN. Bruce S. Thornton, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in California, writes that the United Nations is fatally flawed by not having consistent, unifying moral and political principles shared by member nations that can justify UN policies or legitimize the use of force to deter and punish aggression.
- Issue 15. Is U.S. Refusal to Join the International Criminal Court Wise?
YES: Brett Schaefer and Steven Groves, from The U.S. Should Not Join the International Criminal Court, Backgrounder on International Organization, The Heritage Foundation (August 18, 2009)
NO: Jonathan F. Fanton, from The Challenge of International Justice, Remarks to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York (May 5, 2008)
Brett Schaefer, the Jay Kingham fellow in international regulatory affairs at the Heritage Foundation, and Steven Groves, the Bernard and Barbara Lomas fellow in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies at the Heritage Foundation, contend that although the courts supporters have a noble purpose, there are a number of reasons to be cautious and concerned about how ratification of the Rome Statute would affect U.S. sovereignty and how ICC action could affect politically precarious situations around the world. Jonathan F. Fanton, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and is among the worlds largest independent foundations, maintains that creation of the International Court of Justice is an important step toward creating a more just world, and that the fear that many Americans have expressed about the court has not materialized.
- Issue 16. Should the United States Ratify the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women?
YES: Melanne Verveer, from Testimony during Hearings on Ratify the CEDAW, before the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate (November 18, 2010)
NO: Steven Groves, from Testimony during Hearings on Reject CEDAW, before the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate (November 18, 2010)
Melanne Verveer, ambassador-at-large, Office of Global Womens Issues, U.S. Department of State, tells a congressional committee that the U.S. Senate should ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) because doing so would send a powerful message about the U.S. commitment to equality for women across the globe. Steven Groves, the Bernard and Barbara Lomas Fellow in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies at the Heritage Foundation, headquartered in Washington, DC, contends that ratifying CEDAW would neither advance U.S. international interests nor enhance the rights of women in the United States.
Unit 5 Environmental Issues
- Issue 17. Are International Negotiations to Control Global Warming Useful?
YES: Elliot Diringer, from The Threats of Climate Change, Testimony during Hearings on UN Climate Talks and Power PoliticsIts Not about the Temperature before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives (May 25, 2011)
NO: Steven F. Hayward, from Climate Change Negotiations: Implausible and Unpromising, Testimony during Hearings on UN Climate Talks and Power PoliticsIts Not about the Temperature before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives (May 25, 2011)
Elliot Diringer, the vice president for international strategies at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change (now renamed the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, located in Arlington, VA) contends that global warming seriously threatens U.S. prosperity and national security and that it is imperative to seek a global solution to climate change. Steven F. Hayward, the F. K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC, says that the current diplomatic effort to curb global warming has failed so far and is unlikely to improve, and that the best way to address global warming is through a revised national energy policy.