My guest for our final podcast of 2023 is Richard Haass, former diplomat and president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is now senior counselor at Centerview Partners, and the author of "The Bill of Obligations: The Ten Habits of Good Citizens" which is the focus of a new PBS series, A Citizen’s Guide to Preserving Democracy to premier on January 2nd.
A frequent media commentator, Dr Haass is a prolific writer on a wide range of international issues. He is also studiously non-partisan, and is one of the few people I can imagine serving as Secretary of State in either a Republican or a Democratic administration.
Dr Haass is uniquely qualified. In addition to leading the CFR for twenty very successful years, he had a stellar academic career at Oberlin, and as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford where he received his PhD, and later taught at Harvard. He also served in a variety of high-level positions in government, where he served both Bush presidents, and Colin Powell when he was Secretary of State. There he dealt with the thorniest of diplomatic issues, including Northern Ireland and Afghanistan.
In this podcast, Dr Haass shares his experiences and observations in each of these roles, and his current focus on the future of democracy in the United States. He believes we need to be thinking not just about our rights, but about our obligations to our country and to each other. And that the US needs to think carefully about its global role in the 21st century.
As an ongoing participant in high level discussions with leaders in China and Russia, we discussed his outlook for the war in Gaza and his concern that Ukraine must readjust its goals to meet its means.
Recent machinations in Washington notwithstanding, I would still bet that Ukraine gets additional military and economic help from this country early next year. Yes, it will require some deal on the southern border, but this is also desirable, as the massive influx of migrants cannot and should not be allowed to continue.
A fair and balanced view. Although we discussed a very full menu of global issues, Dr Haass was able to add depth, nuance, and his personal experiences to all of them, made even more enjoyable by his engaging sense of humor. After you listen to this podcast, I recommend subscribing to his excellent (and free) Substack blog, Home and Away:
I hope that you have enjoyed our newsletters, the Hale China Report, and the Hale Report podcasts in 2023. See you in the New Year, which is bound to be exciting to say the very least. There will be much to write and talk about.
Happy Holidays, Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards Men
From all of us at EconVue