At the Munich Security Conference, the premier global event for security and diplomacy annually, I had the chance to moderate an all-star panel: Senator Lindsey Graham, a well known legislator and figure in foreign policy from the USA; Chairwoman Fu Ying, head the Chinese Bureau of Foreign Affairs; Ambassador Menon, the National Security Advisor of India; and President Josipovic of Croatia. You can watch the discussion here.

Prof. Dr. Ivo Josipović (President, Republic of Croatia, Zagreb), Lindsey Graham (Senator, Member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, United States of America), Fu Ying (Chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress, People’s Republic of China), Shivshankar Menon (National Security Advisor, Republic of India), Moderator: James G. Stavridis Admiral (ret.; former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe; Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University).Comment: Fumio Kishida (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Japan)

From the left: Prof. Dr. Ivo Josipović (President, Republic of Croatia, Zagreb), Lindsey Graham (Senator, Member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, United States of America), Fu Ying (Chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress, People’s Republic of China), Shivshankar Menon (National Security Advisor, Republic of India), Moderator: James G. Stavridis Admiral (ret.; former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe; Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University).

We discussed global events and focused on US-European leadership broadly, the tensions between Japan and China — especially in the waters off the coast of east Asia — and the importance of consensus and dialog in maintaining peace. There was a zesty exchange between Senator Graham and Chairwoman Fu Ying concerning the lack of a democratic system in China and several questions directed to her about Chinese aggressive actions in the region, especially at sea.

After the panel, I conducted an on-stage interview with the Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, in which he defended Japan’s position in reacting to Chinese actions and outlined a more engaged approach by Japan in global affairs.

Speaking with Fumio Kishida, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan

Speaking with Fumio Kishida, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

All in all it was a fascinating group to moderate in front of a global audience. My panel was preceded by a discussion moderated by another Fletcher PhD, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, the head of the Munich Security Conference. His panel consisted of US Secretary of Defense Hagel and US Secretary of State Kerry.

In his remarks, Secretary Kerry gave a nice shout out to Fletcher, which was very kind of him. “I want to remark that Ambassador Ischinger had the pleasure of going to the renowned Fletcher School at Tufts University, but it sounds to me like he lost his Boston accent. I don’t know what happened to him along the way,” he joked.

 

3 Responses to Fletcher in the World: Munich Security Conference

  1. Andrew Mayer says:

    Dean Stavridis,

    How was the weather in Munich? I was in Europe exactly 20 years ago and enjoyed it much while studying abroad with the University of Oregon and Universite’ du Mans. The cold was pervasive but made the culture shock less intense.

    I am very impressed with your panel’s invitees. It takes a studied man to host such company for an open discussion about security. Any political capital sought by our U.S. Senator was surely taken with a grain of east sea salt by the guests from Asia, who would have probably liked to have met with his senior, the Senior Senator from Kentucky; but I hear he is in the thick of a heated contest which can not yield any long term results for your panel given the US public’s distain for its own political system.

    A seafaring historical perspective of the Divine Wind in a time of climate change is imperative. That mythology encompasses many of geo-political the factors currently seen to be at issue in E. Asia. That wind being a super typhoon, not natural gas.

    Again, good to see a fruitful attendance at your event. Let’s try to liquidate China’s back stock of 2nd generation solar panels to United Nations Peace Support Operations. An olive branch might be today’s announcement of the Federal budget passing increased peacebuilding funding in key agencies of Complex Crises Fund (CCF), Conflict Stabilization Operations (CSO) and the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP).
    CSO: $45,200,000
    USIP: $37,000,000
    CCF: $40,000,000

    Let us put our revenue where our rebalancing is.

    Best regards,
    Andrew

  2. Lee Johnson says:

    Admiral, I read with interest your blog posting on the Munich Security Conference panel you moderated. I truly am pleased you remain active in international engagements of this (and any) type. For my part, I still am laboring away with DoD and Navy language and regional projects. I am happy to report that Navy, alone among the Services, does have an active program to develop “Asia-Pacific Hands.” It is far from being as robust as I would like, and — were I to describe it — you might think it tepid. But, we have gained an entry, and I am confident that as we progress, demand for the program will build. (My office receives calls almost daily from officers who all but beg to be selected to become Asia-Pacific Hands; there is a hunger for this type of learning.) I have gone on too long, but I wanted to mention that your article “To Know the World” — posted exactly one year ago today — is saved to my computer desktop so I can reference it quickly. My best to you, sir. v/r, Lee

  3. Einar Benediktsson says:

    Dean Stavridis: It is certainly of great value to have you contribute to the the international debate at the Munich Security Conference and elsewhere as our Fletcher dean. From your last military assignment as SACEUR you have unique knowledge of the transatlantic relationship on which Iceland´s defense and security rests. The Arctic region, our immediate environment, is undergoing vast change with unknown.economic and stategic implications. Already Russia seems to be reacting forcefully to Canada´s claims on the Polar region and inviting to playing hard ball. China´s ambitions on resource utilization in Greenland and the Arctic Ocean are a matter of concern. Is it not high time for NATO to revert to the Arctic policy objectives of its High North Conference in Reykjavik in 2009 ?