Interdependence Day

It might be two days out of date, but Sebastain Mallaby's unusually sane article on trade and energy security will age well. He points out how wrong-headed - not to mention economically illiterate - the energy policies of the world's big powers have become. Remembering 1990s vintage interdependence can help reverse the drift.....

Mallaby notes that The US wants to make more of its energy at home. This can only make the country less safe, by making itself more vulnerable to energy supply disruptions in one country (i.e. itself). Meanwhile Russia pointlessly antagonises its neighbor by meddling with their gas supplies, and China equally pointlessly buys up African oil fields they could otherwise have access too on world markets. Ultimately Mallaby hits the bullseye:

"There's no sense in these nationalistic conceptions of energy security. As Daniel Yergin has written recently in Foreign Affairs, real energy security requires setting aside the pipe dream of energy independence and embracing interdependence."

Its pleasing to see someone making this argument for greater interdependnce, particularily so on the day the Doha round finally, and tragically tanked. Their collapse is just one more, latest example of a failed response by politicians to the challenge of globalization. More interesting is how Peter Beinart recently pointed out in a pangyric to Tony Blair's final year, how progressives in the 1990s crafted out a different, better approach.......

"Blair's vision predates September 11. He began developing it in the late '90s--in the wake of the East Asian financial crisis and the Kosovo war. In those two disparate events, Blair saw a common thread: interdependence....For Blair, the lesson was that, in a globalized world, countries export their problems--often across continents. And, as a result, Great Britain and the United States could only ensure their prosperity and security by more aggressively helping other countries govern themselves."

And this is not an approach that Beinhart has cunningly crafted onto Blair. It is one the British Prime Minister developed himself, in his visionary Chicago speech in 1999. Then dubbed "The Blair Doctrine", it is worth reading both as a critique of the current administratios policy and a hopeful template for progressives in the future. Sadly, this approach is everywhere in retreat. Our only bright hope is that its ressurection has rarely been needed more.


London SEO by London SEO (not verified)