The Briefing

A Newsletter of the Alabama World Affairs Council/ Spring 2003

Ambassador Robert Gallucci, Writer Michael Ledeen, Senior Air War College Instructors on Tap This Spring

Ambassador Robert Gallucci, easily one of America’s top international troubleshooters, will speak to the Alabama World Affairs Council on Tuesday, February 4, 2003. He was here four years ago and is a great speaker-and has been in the news frequently lately. As the senior United States representative in several sensitive and dangerous situations, he has handled the toughest problems, from Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction to the nuclear bomb production capability of North Korea.

Dr. Gallucci was appointed to his current position, Dean of Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Welch School of Foreign Service, in 1996, after completing 21 years of federal government service in the State Department, and as a civilian in the U.S. Army. In the days after he 1991 Persian Gulf War, when the United Nations Security Council called for the disarmament of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and the cessation of their long-range missile programs, Dr. Gallucci helped set up the U.N. inspectorate UNSCOM, and then was appointed as the Deputy Executive Chairman of that organization. He received considerable television air time when his team lead the early inspections and actually retrieved the evidence that Iraq had almost developed atomic weapons of their own.

In 1992, Dr. Gallucci became Senior Coordinator for nonproliferation and nuclear safety initiatives in the former Soviet Union. Later in 1992, he was confirmed as the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs.

In 1994, as Ambassador at Large and head of the U.S. delegation in Geneva, he negotiated the "Agreed Framework Between the United States of America and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea" that took the two countries back from the brink of war and ostensibly insured peace and stability in a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

A distinguished statesman, scholar, teacher, and writer, Gallucci received his Ph.D. from Brandeis University. The topic for his presentation is "The Axis of Evil: What Next?"

Michael Ledeen will speak to us on Tuesday, March 11. Ledeen, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., is a leading authority on intelligence and international affairs, and has carried out some of the most sensitive and dangerous missions in recent American history. He has been profiled by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. One article concluded that "a portrait emerges of a man with an intense knowledge of 20th century history, a deep commitment to democracy, and a willingness to be adventurous. This is a man who has helped shape American foreign policy at its highest levels." He has served as consultant to the National Security Advisor to the President of the United States and as special adviser to the Secretary of State. A lecturer, scholar, businessman, and author, he has written twelve books, including The War Against The Terror Masters (2002), Tocqueville on American Character (2000), and Machiavelli on Modern Leadership (1999). His Ph.D. is from the University of Wisconsin.

Ledeen an unreconstructed conservative, has been called variously "sometimes controversial, often provocative, always informative and insightful"; "perceptive and witty"; and "fluent, informed, and clear eyed." His articles have been published, e.g., in The National Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, and International Economy. He has appeared as a commentator on "Larry King Live," "The O’Reilly Factor," and "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer," among others. He has been voted one of the 100 most popular speakers by the Young President’s Organization. His latest series of articles featured in the Jewish World Review, have highlighted student and popular unrest in "axis of evil" member Iran, which he feels is a regime ripe for the picking.

May 13

Four senior Air War College instructors are scheduled to give their "Report to Alabama" on Tuesday, May 13. Some 200 instructors and students will leave Maxwell on their regional studies trip on March 1, returning March 14. Divided into 14 separate groups, they will visit countries in Central Asia, Russia, the Middle East, the Pacific Rim, Europe, and Africa.

AWAC board member Dr. Lawrence "Buck" Grinter will visit China, and on his return will coordinate the presentation, which has become an annual favorite with council members.

In addition, Dr. Qin Yaqing, the vice president of the Foreign Affairs College of the University of Beijing is in Montgomery to teach a course in international relations at AUM. We will search for the right opportunity for him to address our council, possibly at a luncheon meeting.

Korean Ambassador’s Visit a Big Success

Dr. Yang Sung Chul, Ambassador to the United States from the Republic of Korea, gave a timely and insightful presentation to a standing room only audience on December 11, 2002. He made clear South Korea’s strong disapproval of North Korea’s admitted nuclear development program and expressed his government’s desire for a peaceful settlement of the escalating problem.

Ambassador Yang was an articulate spokesman for the "Sunshine Policy" of President Kim Dae Jong, which is also espoused by the newly elected president, Roh Moo-hyun. He talked eloquently of South Korea’s longing for reunification and reunions of families long separated by eh Demilitarized Zone, citing the example of the eventual reunification of East and West Germany. The audience reacted with laughter when he said, "What would you prefer, a moonshine policy?"

Ambassador Yang’s visit also included visits with Hyundai, Mayor Bobby Bright, Governor Don Siegelman, the Air University, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and a Q&A session with 30 members of the local Korean community.

Great Decisions Program for High School Students Launches on Schedule

On January 13, 2003, at 4:00pm, some 23 high school students gathered in Room 101, Flowers Hall, Huntingdon College for the first session of the Great Decisions Program, taught by Professor Jeremy Lewis. There was a great cross section of students: five public schools ( LAMP, Lanier, BTW Magnet, Lee, and Brewbaker Tech ) and two private schools ( Catholic and Montgomery Academy ) sent representatives.

The subject, Unilateralism vs. Multilateralism, with the gathering storm against Iraq as the prime example, was especially timely. Future subjects will cover the gamut of the major international issues of the day, including the role of trade, Saudi Arabia, etc.

The series will run Monday afternoons at Huntingdon through March 17, with different instructors scheduled fro the Air War College.

Thanks to our committee of Emerson Johnson, Grant Hammond, and Margaret Carpenter for a great job.

Membership Remains Stable, Finances Remain Tenuous

During last program year (2001- 2002), the World Affairs Council spent more in expenses than we took in in revenue. Another blow to our budget this year has been the lack of grant money so far from the Alabama Humanities Foundation.

When the board of directors decided in September 2002 to leave the dues structure the same as it was last year, they were counting on the membership numbers staying the same or increasing somewhat so the revenue from membership fees would at least stay the same or perhaps increase. As it has turned out, the membership numbers at this point are practically identical to this same time last year; as a result, the revenue stream from dues has remained stable at about $22,500.

We have taken strong steps to reduce expenses and have been successful so far this year in keeping expenses less than revenue while maintaining the high quality of the programs. We have submitted a grant request to AHF that would be effective for the second half of this program year; however, there is no guarantee of its being approved.

While expenses are projected to increase for the rest of the year, the board will make certain, one way or another that the council ends up in the black. But to keep from operating so close to the cliff every year, the board will surely consider an adjustment of the dues structure next year. AWAC dues are like Alabama property taxes-they could double and still be the lowest in the country. Of course, we are proud to be able to say that we have the lowest dues in the country, end even if he board decides on a modest increase, that won’t change.

Executive Director’s Corner: Dr. James Nathan

From my perspective, Mr. Bush’s January 29, 2002 (last year’s) State of the Union speech, including North Korea and Iran as two the three states forming an "Axis of Evil" represented a major shift in U.S. foreign policy regarding those two countries. Mr. Bush moved away from dialogue and engagement and into a more confrontational policy. In regard to North Korea, the administration is currently facing a situation of profound danger. The North Koreans are one of the most sealed off ad irresponsible powers on the planet. Armed with two nuclear weapons, thousands of artillery pieces and biological and chemical weapons as well, thy present what Iraq does not- a credible threat and worrisome immediate danger of proliferation. In terms of human rights abuses, there are few regimes their equal. Some 200,000 are said to be in North Korea’s political gulag, and ten times as many have starved. If ever there was a place for the Bush administration to apply a strategy of preemption, as the president announced last spring, it would seem to be North Korea. But, of course, instead, what the Bush administration is trying to do is resurrect the Agreed Framework negotiated in 1994 by Robert Gallucci.

Iran is another puzzle. It is profoundly schizophrenic country as I discovered a few years ago on a "Track Two" diplomatic undertaking. On the one hand it is governed overtly by an elected reformist president, Khatami. But the government is constantly overridden by the right wing mullahs of the Ayatollah Khamanei, who are clearly aligned with Al Queda.

On its merits, the Realpolitk case for immediate war with Iraq does not seem particularly compelling. The CIA publicly dissociated Saddam with 9/11 last summer. CIA Director George Tenet has said that Saddam’s cool relations with Osama bin Laden, the prospects of allowing nuclear proliferation, or even plans and capability for aggression are not that much of a near term worry.

If North Korea is a real danger, Iran a mixed picture, and Saddam not the threat he is widely portrayed to be, then U.S. policy is perplexing. Indeed, it is only understandable because, notwithstanding the Secretary of Defense’s assurances, the fact is that the U.S. probably cannot really fight and win two major wars at once. In my judgment, military enterprises against Iraq or North Korea are neither desirable nor manageable with the resources the U.S. has available.

But a number of Bush advisors, as readers of Bob Woodward’s recent book, Bush at War, will learn, were enthusiasts for war in the first hours after 9/11, notwithstanding the complete lack of evidence as to Saddam’s role. But if the high level of Defense Department officials and outside Defense Department kibitzers are keen for war, they are joined by Saddam’s regional neighbors who are equally eager to see him gone, not so much because Saddam is still a threat, but because they value their relationship with the U.S. more. And moreover, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and smaller states neither forgive nor forget easily. No doubt, then, Mr. Bush will get his war, unless salvaged by an Iraqi dissident bullet or the exile suggested by the Saudis. War may well be a bad idea whose time has come. The president cannot change direction without being savaged by his critics. Mr. Bush hardly wants to be found to be associated with the childhood ditty regarding the "grand old Duke of York," who marched ten thousand men up a hill and then, down again."

On a personal note, I go with son, Michael, to the national meeting of the World Affairs Councils of America at the end of January. I know some or our members are also going. We have a lunch with Colin Powell, Cristianne Amanpour, and other celebrities a well as lunches at various embassies. Last year, Michael then just 10, shook hands with the president and chatted with cabinet members and secret service. Alas, there were no photos, but the experience will last a lifetime. As it could for you, dear reader, if you sign up early for next year’s national meeting.