Lunch with the FT: Zbigniew Brzezinski –

Lunch with the FT: Zbigniew Brzezinski –

I don’t buy newspapers. For years. I’ve had my portion for a few years after the fall of communism. I’ve had enough. However, when I travel, I do browse through some of the newspapers I find in airport business lounges, particularly International Herald Tribune, Le Monde and Financial Times.

During the last flight, coming home from a trip to Albania, the article I liked the most was that of Edward Luce, chief Financial Times commentator for the US. It was a very well written interview ( titled ‘Cold Warrior’ in the printed version) with the 83 years old Zbigniew Brzezinski, former US security advisor to President Carter.

Here are a few quotes from this very interesting interview:

I spent the previous night reading through Brzezinski’s new book – Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power. “That must have been a sad evening,” says Brzezinski, chuckling. I had no difficulty staying awake, I reply. The book offers a bracing portrait of a “receding west” with one half, Europe, turning into a “comfortable retirement home”, and the other, the US, beset by relative economic decline and a dysfunctional politics. In this rapidly changing new world, America’s growing “strategic isolation” is matched only by China’s “strategic patience” in a challenge likely to strain the electoral horizons of US policymakers.

The book is full of sharp advice: the US should prod Europe to bring both Russia and Turkey into an enlarged west. America should hedge against China’s rise, without explicitly attempting to contain it. Most important, the US should revitalise its domestic economy if it wants to stave off further decline. On all counts, Brzezinski seems pessimistic about the likelihood that Washington’s elites will start to act strategically again. “If the US doesn’t revitalise at home, it will fail internationally,” he says. “If it does, we may not necessarily fail internationally – but we will have to be intelligent to succeed. But if we continue to fail domestically, we will have no chance internationally, even if we do the right things.”

I hope this was enough to stir up your interest. In case you missed the link above, you may read HERE the entire article.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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