Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg
Distinguished Statesman, Center for Strategic and International Studies
James Hoge, Jr.
Chairman of Human Rights Watch
Co-founder and Executive Director of the Henry Jackson Society
Pamela Wallin, Moderator
Chair, Senate National Security and Defence Committee, Canada
No state is immune to the financial crisis. Two years ago, America’s real estate market bubble burst, creating a domino effect of financial consequences around the globe. Today, the Eurozone faces serious infrastructural questions that are bogging down a fledgling economic recovery. Given the interconnectedness of the global economy, it is important to have open dialogues between states that weigh the benefits and challenges of possible solutions—for all countries.
“You can see why there might be a notion of dangerous anger with the [Occupy] movement…there is a real danger beneath that, psychologically, where people’s mood toward the system has turned patriotic as opposed to just merely angry, and they may be prepared to embrace new solutions.” – Dr. Allen Mendoza
One of America’s biggest perceived opportunities is sorting out its divided politics. As Congress’ Super Committee approaches its looming deadline, and the country gears up for a Presidential election, members of the international community are concerned that fundamental disagreements between Republicans and Democrats will complicate the economic situation not only in America, but around the world.
“After the election in 2012, there will be a lot more leeway for consultation that involves more cuts on some new revenue…No matter what the subject is, there is a strong body that says ‘we’re not going to spend any more money.’” - Mr. James Hoge, Jr.
The European Union faces a similar governing challenge—a lack of an established political body capable of guiding the EU’s fiscal governing body. While the Eurozone Project has fared well during times of economic growth, the current recession has highlighted the need for a unified governing body that has both the responsibility and the capability to regulate the Euro.
“One thing we’ve seen is that the markets are thriving, or rather reacting to, the uncertainty in the Eurozone…there is no confidence in our ability to get out of [the economic recession].” – Dr. Allen Mendoza
Struggling economies and shrinking budgets mean more innovation is needed to ensure international security. As suggested in yesterday’s remarks made by Minister MacKay and Secretary Panetta, necessity breeds ingenuity—and democratic states will have to be more creative, more resourceful and more collaborative in order to ensure less money doesn’t mean less security.
“Cuts to defense budgets are already underway…there is now a lot of emphasis starting with the President that we have to build up our capabilities for development aid, resolutions, and getting allies to cooperate more on what needs to be done in the name of security.” – Mr. James Hoge, Jr.