Pearson Global Forum 2018

Pearson Global Forum 2018


(footsteps) – Good morning and welcome. My name is Nicki Nabasny, and it’s a pleasure to welcome you into the University of Chicago for the first ever Pearson Global Forum. It’ll be a great day of
debate and discussion between academics and practitioners, and we’re really delighted
that you’re here with us. It’s now my pleasure to welcome the president of the University
of Chicago, Robert Zimmer. (audience applauding) – Good morning and welcome to the inaugural Pearson Global Forum, hosted by the Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution
of Global Conflicts of the Harris School at
the University of Chicago. So a key theme of this year’s forum are the interwoven issues
of state fragility, the breakdown of social order, the instabilities created
by such breakdowns, and the role these instabilities play in some of the most destructive conflicts taking place around the world today. We’ve seen the impact of these conflicts with violence, poverty,
and mass displacement affecting fragile states and
individuals across the globe. This is a key human and
societal challenge of our time, and the need to address
these and related issues is what led to the establishment
of the Pearson Institute. The Pearson Institute was established here at the Harris School in 2015 thanks to the support
of the Thomas L. Pearson and Pearson Family Members Foundation. Its mission is to close the gap between empirically
based analytic research and policy making using a rigorous multidisciplinary,
data driven approach to develop innovative strategies to understand, reduce, and
prevent violent conflicts around the world. Pearson Institute’s mission
and approach to these questions reflect the University of Chicago’s well established tradition of
rigorous inquiry and analysis and the distinctive approach that the university has taken to address some of the world’s most
challenging problems over the last 100 years and more. At the Pearson Global Forum that we are seeing the
inauguration of today, serves as an opportunity to
engage the work taking place at the Pearson Institute
with a broad audience and promote an exchange of ideas about new ways to address the
causes of violent conflict and the impact of violent conflict on communities and
individuals around the world. Just this past August,
Provost Daniel Diermeier and I were fortunate to attend
the conference in Belfast that was called Global
Conflict, The Human Impact. This was sponsored jointly
by the Pearson Institute and the senator George
J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security, and Justice at Queens University, Belfast. We found this conference to be an immensely valuable
and rewarding experience, and we look forward here to another day of what I’m sure will be engaging and productive discussion. Among many distinguished attendees and speakers for this event, I’d like to extend a
special welcome and thanks to our keynote speakers, Nancy Lindborg, president of
the U.S. Institute of Peace, who spoke at last night’s dinner, Vuk Jeremic, President of the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development and former president of
the UN General Assembly, and former United States
Senator George J. Mitchell, who I will have the honor of introducing later in today’s program. Some of you may of noticed
that I failed to mention Tammy Duckworth, the U.S. senator
from the state of Illinois who is on the formal agenda. She has business at the
United State Senate today, (audience laughing) and there will be an announcement later on about some of the
modification of the calendar. I’d also like to acknowledge that there are university
trustees with us today and members of the Harris School Council. Finally I’d like to recognize Dan Shapiro, who is here as a representative of the Thomas L. Pearson and Pearson Family Members Foundation which has funded the Pearson institute for the Study and Resolution
of Global Conflicts. Once again, I’d like to
thank you for joining us at this inaugural Pearson Global Forum, and now I’d like to
welcome and bring forward James Robinson, the Reverend
Dr. Richard L. Pearson professor of Global Conflict Studies and university professor
and institute director of the Pearson Institute, who will talk more about the forum and the Pearson Institute. Thank you very much for being here, and here’s James Robinson. (audience applauding) – Oh, alright, did you hear anything? (audience laughing) You’re in the front row. That doesn’t count. Huh? Do I start again? Alright, no, yes? Oh, gosh, okay. Alright. Welcome, I’m James. (audience laughing) Okay, let me cut that first bit. It wasn’t very good anyway. It didn’t really work, so let me start with my mother. I’m gonna talk a little
bit about the philosophy behind the Pearson Institute
and the Global Forum. So my mother was a teacher
and an educationalist, and she loved to quote
George Bernard Shaw, and his famous line
that, “Those who can, do. “Those who can’t, teach.” Now I think Woody Allen subsequently added a kind of addendum to that, which is, “Those who
can’t teach, teach gym.” (audience laughing) But I don’t think we have gym at the University of Chicago. Do we have gym? I heard about the compute. (mumbling) Okay, alright, but so far, gym, okay, I think you’d have to get
a special qualification for that though, yeah, okay, so I’m not qualified to teach gym. So those who can, do. By the way, for those of you
who were at dinner last night, that was the joke. Alright, so, okay. So those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach, and I think one of the pillars
of the Pearson Institute and one of the main ideas
behind the Global Forum is to get the doers and
the teachers in one place. You might think the doers and teachers, I mean, the teachers must teach the doers, but one of my friends told me who I studied with at the
London School of Economics many years ago, told me that the ideal
degree lasted five minutes because 10 years after you graduated, that’s all you could remember. So doers and teachers
interact at some point, but I guess in my career as an academic, I’ve been shocked at some level at the extent to which there’s
very little interaction between the doers and the teachers. You might think, well,
putting my economics hat on, “Well, that’s just a
division of labor, isn’t it?” Economists love the division of labor. That’s supposed to be efficient. Yeah, the division of labor’s a good thing when there’s trade and
exchange and communication, not when there’s sort of mutual autarchy, so we want to get the doers
and the teachers together, and we want to learn from each other. So part of that, which is
there’s gonna be today, is of course the teachers pontificating. That’s what we like to do. I’ve tried to keep that to a minimum, make it a little bit out of control, but let’s see what happens. So part of it is Pearson faculty, associated scholars at
the University of Chicago, talking about their research. Here’s something interesting
or hopefully interesting, or here’s something maybe we learned from our research, but
you didn’t know about or makes you think about
something in a different way, so part of it is gonna be us talking about our ideas, but it’s a two way street, and it’s not just policy people, activists, politicians, military people, whoever it is, reflecting on the ideas, but it’s also telling us
about what do they think. What do they think about? What do they worry about? What sort of priorities do they have? And it’s about trying to start a kind of more sustained dialogue around these issues of peace
and conflict resolution, and just pooling what we know
together in a synergetic way, and I think that sounds simple, but it isn’t easy. Speaking as an academic, in academia, there’s all
sorts of professional agendas and conventions about
what things are important and what are unimportant or what are interesting and what are puzzling, but it’s when you interact with people who actually have to solve
real problems in real time, you see that many of those things that academics agonize over are not really terribly important at all for people who have to make
real decisions about the world, and so I think this is a
sort of learning process in both directions, and I thought I would
illustrate that not by talking. I’m gonna talk a little bit about my own research in a second to kind of get the ball rolling, but I would like to give you two examples of something I think I
learned from practitioners since the Pearson Institute started, and maybe it gives you a
feel for the type of thing we’re also trying to organize here, apart from all the academic events. So two examples, so we had Sergio Jaramillo here, the Colombian High Commissioner for Peace, and so he’s the guy
who’s the kind of brains behind the five year negotiation with the Marxist guerrilla group in Cuba that successfully led
to their demobilization, and he gave a lecture
about what did he learn, and I learnt something
extremely interesting. Actually, I learnt lots
of interesting things from that lecture, but here’s one thing I learned
which I didn’t know about, and when the negotiations started, all these deadlines, like, oh, we have to
finish this by Christmas. If we don’t finish the
negotiation by Christmas, it’s all over, and he said, “There was this
idea that there’s a problem.” There’s a civil war going on. There’s these armed guys. The faster we get this solved and write a peace agreement, the better it is, okay? Like it’s a no brainer, and in fact, a lot of economic theories suggest that the real cost of negotiation is all the waiting, okay. So what he said is that
actually what he’d learnt was that something you agree to fast isn’t worth the paper it’s written on because nobody’s committed to it. It was the fact that this
thing went on for five years that actually really guaranteed that it was going to work, that everyone was committed to it, and it was just that process
of negotiating and arguing, and it changed everybody’s
attitude towards the issues from where they started, and I thought that was
absolutely fascinating. It’s not really what the contemporary sort of theoretical models suggest, but it made a lot of sense
when he talked about it, and then when the Colombian
people in their wisdom voted against the peace
agreement in a plebiscite after all those years, the Marxists were still
committed to the agreement. They were like, “Well,
we don’t care about that. “We signed a peace agreement. “We’re gonna get on. “We’re gonna demobilize, “and there’s gonna be peace,” and that was the fruit of all
of those years of negotiation, so that was something really
interesting I learned. And then we had Jonathan
Powell here giving a lecture, Tony Blair’s Chief of Staff who was the man primarily responsible for negotiating the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, okay? Another guy, not an academic, very interesting. Here’s one thing I
learnt from his lecture. He talked about what
do you negotiate over? How do you end the conflict? Like what are the real sticking points? And in social science, there’s a lot of stuff
about what we call greed. There’s this (mumbling)
between greed and grievance, and a lot of people think greed, it’s all about greed. It’s about the money. It’s about how much. It’s like material conflict, and he said, “That’s totally wrong.” He said, “Once you start
talking about money, “you can never solve any problem. “You can never get a peace agreement “by discussing money,” ’cause first of all,
there’s never enough money, so once you go there, it never ends, and also, when you start digging, people always have nonmaterial reasons for getting into these things. Maybe there’s a war economy or a conflict economy, or money comes into it, but that’s never at the
crux of the problem. That was his claim. So I also found that very striking. Jonathan, he’s not not just been involved in the negotiation in Northern Ireland, but he goes around all over the world with his NGO Mediate. In fact, after he was here, he got on a plane, and he
was going to Mozambique and then going up country to talk to some renegade leaders of Renamo to try to get them back into
the political process, okay. So what’s been exciting for me or one of the things, I mean, many things have been exciting, but one of the things have been exciting is exactly illustrated
by those two examples. I think I’m learning an awful lot by interacting with
people who I never would normally meet or interact
with in this context, and I hope that other
people feel the same way, and there’ll be a lot more
opportunities for that. So I’m gonna go now to talk a little bit about my research to get the ball rolling? And I’m gonna pick up on
Jonathan Powell’s words about or his thoughts about is
conflict really about economics? Is it really about material interests? Is that really the crux of things? Because many social
scientists think it is, and I’m gonna give you an example to keep talking about that, if someone would do, I have some slides somewhere. Here we go. Alright, you’ll see why this
is called Bullets and Ballots. You’ll see why it’s called
Bullets and Ballots in a minute, and I was gonna talk a little bit about some of my research
with two of my collaborators, Carlos Molina at Massachusetts
Institute of Technology and Pablo Selaya at the University
of Copenhagen in Denmark. So material basis of conflict, economics and conflict, here’s a very specific example of that. This is a map of Cochabamba
Department in Bolivia, and it portrays changes
in nighttime luminosity, so one measurement strategy
that primarily economists have developed over the last decade for measuring economic activity, the spatial variation
in economic activity, changes over time, is to use satellite
imagery of night light. So night light, of course,
electricity, et cetera, is very correlated with
economic development. We may not be able to measure
economic development very well in a country like Bolivia where the statistics are challenging, but we can look at it at
night from satellites, and what this picture shows you is if you look at the dark bits. The gray bits, there’s no light ever during this period between 1995 and 2005. The black bits are bits
where luminosity went down, so those bits of Cochabamba Department actually got less bright over time. There’s some orange bits, so some places got a bit brighter, but the big picture is there’s sort of falling luminosity over time, so that’s kind of picking up
deteriorating living standards. It’s picking up lower wages, worse economic opportunities, okay, so this looks like a classic example of conflict prone situation. Bolivia is a very poor country,
weak state institutions, should be conflict. Okay, what was causing the
economic deterioration? Well, this is what was causing it. These are soldiers from the Bolivian Army with their machetes
cutting down coca plants. So coca, that’s the raw
ingredient for cocaine. That’s a very widely grown commercial crop in rural Bolivia. They were cutting down coca. Why were they cutting down coca? Because the U.S. government was giving the Bolivian government
millions of dollars to eradicate coca. They sent the army out
with their machetes. Okay, what does that mean? If you’re a peasant in rural Bolivia growing coca, selling coca, somebody comes, cuts
your coca plants down, that’s bad for your livelihood. That shows up in the
luminosity at night, okay? So economic decline, looks like a really
conflict prone situation. What happened? Well, this is the
homicide rate in Bolivia. You’re sitting there thinking, “Bolivia, Bolivia, “I can’t think of any
guerrilla groups in Bolivia. “Bolivia, there was Che Guevara, “but that wasn’t very successful, “and it was a while ago.” Here’s the homicide rate. So the homicide rate, you can see, if anything, nothing happens to the homicide rate, or it even goes down, so this economic deterioration didn’t lead to an upsurge
in violence or a civil war in Bolivia, so what did happen? Did anything happen? Did anyone notice? Oh yeah, they noticed, yeah? Politics happened, so this graph, the gray bars show you the sort of scale of the money that was coming from the United States to do coca eradication. You can see that before 2005, this is up six, seven
million dollars a year. That was what was getting the soldiers out into the mountains. The red line is the vote share of a political party called
the Movement Towards Socialism. So at the start of the period, the Movement Towards Socialism, there was a kind of
little united left party which was a sort of precursor, so that’s up there too, but at the start of the period, nobody was really voting for these people. By the end of the period, by 2005, Eva Morales, the head of the Movement
Towards Socialism, gets himself elected president. He’s still president of Bolivia, and they take over the country, so this negative economic shock precipitated by drug eradication
didn’t create conflict. It created a political
response in society, and politics causes policy. You can see after Morales
comes to power in 2005 what happens to U.S.
Drug Enforcement money. Disappears. He’s like, “No thank you. “We’re not in that business anymore.” So the MAS took over the state and cut off the policy
that was impoverishing so many of their voters. Now you might think, “Sounds great. “Why doesn’t that happen everywhere? “Shouldn’t that happen in
the Central African Republic “and Congo?” Like what is it about the Bolivians? Is there something strange
about the Bolivians? Could be. In Colombia where I do a lot of research, there’s also a group called MAS. They’re not so active anymore thankfully, but MAS in Colombia doesn’t mean Movement Towards Socialism. It means death to kidnappers, so that tells you something
about the difference between Bolivia and Colombia, but yeah, there is
something about Bolivia, and digging into what’s
different about Bolivia tells you something very interesting about what’s going on here and about why was there this political reaction. And to explain that, let me show you a photograph of a ayllus. It’s a traditional Bolivian
counsel, if you could say. This is a meeting of the ayllus. You can see there’s
men, and there’s women. There’s ladies with their very
characteristic bowler hats. The ayllus is a very
deeply historically rooted kind of political institution in indigenous society in Bolivia, also in Peru, and it does all sorts of
things at a local level, and in a very participatory
and democratic level, and what I’m gonna show you is actually the ayllus is in some sense one of the key bases for
this political reaction to economic decline in Bolivia. In fact, if you kind
of break down the data, we love this data stuff at
the University of Chicago, so I had to show you a few numbers, but let me explain what this is. If you break down the
change in the vote share of the Movement Towards
Socialism over this period into four different kind of areas, you could think of places
which have an ayllus and which don’t. They have one of these
traditional counsels, or they don’t, and you can also think of places where you can grow coca and you can’t grow coca. You can’t grow coca everywhere. There’s some particular
ecological conditions which are particularly
suitable for growing coca. So we broke the data down into coca, no, yes, ayllus, no, yes, and what you see is compared
to the average increase in the votes that the
Movement Towards Socialism got over this period, the real action is in
the bottom right corner, so compared to the average, there was 12 percentage
points larger increase in the vote for the MAS in this period in places which had coca, where this negative
economic shock had hit, and also had the ayllus, had these traditional counsels. So it’s the presence of these traditional, democratic, legitimate,
local political institutions that allowed Bolivian society to kind of take the shock, and instead of getting
angry or getting a gun, channeling it into a much more
positive political response. So you could say, “Oh gosh, “it’s a very specific
example, isn’t it, Bolivia? “And what about Colombia? “What about the Central African Republic?” Okay, we can have that discussion, but I just like to kind of end here by saying I think this is an example which shows that, and this is the findings
from many, many years of my own research is that lying under economics, there’s always politics. Thank you. (audience applauding) (footsteps) – Hello, my name is Rahmatullah Hamraz. I am from Afghanistan, and I’m also a student in International Development and Policy at the Harris School of Public Policy. I am also a recipient of the
Obama Foundation Scholarship, a unique and highly competitive
scholarship opportunity for rising leaders from around the world. Before joining the Harris
School of Public Policy, I worked as Senior Monitoring
and Evaluation Officer with the Ministry of Finance for the Peace and
Reconciliation of Afghanistan. The Peace and Reconciliation
of Afghanistan aims to reintegrate individuals from previously warring combatant groups into society through a series of dialogue and development activities. My role in the Peace and
Reconciliation of Afghanistan was to interface with local communities to conduct intergroup dialogue in order to identify the underlying causes of intergroup hostilities
within the country, which threatened the
lives of noncombatants. My work was to assist
younger, less educated, and lower income combatants in an effort to convince them that there are alternatives to war and return to civilian life. My work with this program
gave me greater insights into the causes of armed conflicts within the country, which are several,
multi-generational poverty, and a lack of employment and income generating opportunities. Having this knowledge, I developed a social venture project to facilitate peace building,
poverty alleviation, and women’s economic empowerment. I am going to implement the
first piece of this project after completing my studies at the Harris. Being at the Harris
School of Public Policy, one of my goals here is to learn more about peace building and
conflict resolutions. The Pearson Global Forum is rightly the right platform where we can learn more about peace building
and conflict resolution. Here we can make contacts
with eminent scholars of this field and people
from around the world. Here we can get the
knowledge to know the causes of armed conflicts on a global level, and we can share our own
experiences with each other. Thank you very much. (audience applauding) – Thank you, Rahmatullah. We have to get this right
for you and with you, so how wonderful. Good morning, everybody. I’m Liz Schrayer. I’m President and CEO of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, and congratulations to
the Pearson Institute and University of Chicago for what I know is
gonna be a fabulous day. We have a stellar panel to
kick off our first conversation about the causes of conflict, which is a great way to
start this conversation. I’m gonna introduce our
panelists in a moment. Their bios are in your pamphlets, so I’m not gonna go into great depth, but just one comment that
I think will set the stage for our conversation. A few weeks ago, like many of you, I was at the marking of 9/11, the 17 years of 9/11, at the U.S. Institute of
Peace with Nancy Lindborg, and it was a moment
that was giving an award to the co-chairs of the 9/11 commission, and Governor Keen, one of the co-chairs, said there were three goals, and two of them we got right, and one we didn’t. One was obviously to go after those that perpetrated the terrorist attack, and we did that pretty
well in Afghanistan. The second was to make
sure that we did what we needed to to get our
intelligence coordinated, better coordinated, so we wouldn’t be attacked, but the third, we didn’t do well enough still 17 years later, and I’m reading from the report. “To stop the next 9/11 attack, “U.S. needs a new strategy to mitigate “the conditions that
enable extremism groups “to take root, spread, and thrive,” in other words, to prevent
the growth of terrorism. So causes of conflict are
not all about terrorism, but clearly that is a lot of what we’re gonna talk about today. Lucky for us, we have the
panel of the gentlemen to my left, your right. Ambassador Rick Barton, now at the Woodrow Wilson School, his last role of an unbelievable
career in government, was as the U.S. Assistant
Secretary of State for Conflict and
Stabilization of Operations. Next to him is Ambassador Grant Harris, now CEO of Harris African Partners. His last role of a long
career also in government was as the point person in the White House with President Obama overseeing Africa. Next to him is Paul Stares, Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention at the Council of Foreign Relations, and far away, you look so far, John. John McArthur, wearing two hats, as Senior Fellow at
the Brookings Institute and Senior Advisor of
Sustainable Development at the U.N. Foundation, so gentlemen, welcome. I’m gonna try to go
through a couple rounds. We’ll see if we have time for
questions from the audience, but I’m gonna start on really trying to dig into this question
of causes of conflict, and Rick, I can’t think of anyone better than to start with you, given that your entire career in diplomat has been in some of the
toughest places in the world. I think from everything I understand, 40 different countries you have worked in, places like Burma, Rwanda, Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq, the list goes on. My goodness, you have done it all. You set up and founded the director, were the Director at USAID, the Office of Transition Initiatives, and then started this Office of Conflict and Stabilization Operations at the State Department. So start us off of as you, there’s no one country that is the same, but could you start us off
with some common threads you have seen of what creates conflict, instability in some of
these state conflict zones that you’ve seen. – Great, well, thank you, and thanks to all of you
for being here today. Thanks, Liz. It’s always a pleasure to be with you. Your introduction was more generous than the last one I received where somebody said, “And
most of the places Rick worked “are still very much at war.” (audience laughing) So you can discount what follows, but I really see it as a witch’s brew, with a mostly male coven, that is disrespectful of large parts of its own population. So if you start with
that kind of complex mix, I don’t buy that it’s
economics or that it’s, of the place, first and foremost. Because many of us come from institutions, or we come from official jobs, we’re very inclined to
relate to our counterparts, and if you really do the hard work, and we’ll talk about it, I think, as we go on, of finding the people
and creating the data around the people, you’re going to be a much
better informed person, and just as a quick rule of thumb. If the United States required that we know 100 people
well in every country that we send soldiers into, we probably would have avoided several of the most recent disasters. – I wanna come back to you on that one, but let me ask. You said one thing that
I wanna pick up on, to ask Grant this question. I spent a lot of time
in the political arena, and I always come back to,
“It’s the economy, stupid,” and that seems to come up a lot when we talk about causes of conflict, so Grant, I think a lot about your work, and there’s often these questions about when there’s not economic opportunity, is that a driver? Is that the driver, especially in places where you’ve worked, where there’s these huge youth bulges, particularly in Africa, when there are not as many
economic opportunities? How much is that driving
some of these conflict areas, particularly, again, in Africa? – That’s a great question. Thank you for having me. Thank you to the Pearson Institute, and congrats on the inaugural forum. In African, in many of the cases that I’ve seen, and maybe to paint the
picture, as you’ve said, because there’s great
demographic change underway, and though the continent has
1.2 billion people right now, by 2050, Africa will be one quarter of the world’s population, and if you think about
that from a conflict lens about what will it take then to make sure that there’s the democratic and economic growth
that we would wanna see, and to Rick’s points, I think there sort of an
all of the above needed, but the economics are very important. Because the median age right now is 19 years old, there are a lot of jobs
that need to be created. Specifically, according to the IMF, 18 million jobs per
year need to be created just to absorb this young population, just to essentially maintain the static unemployment levels right now, let alone to really
achieve the economic growth we’d wanna see, and that is a very tall order, and what recent surveys have shown, particularly in looking
at Boko Haram in Nigeria and somewhat in Al-Shabab and elsewhere is that the economics are a driver toward extremism. One nonprofit estimated that for $600, you could lure someone
into an extremist group in West Africa. Others have said that in
terms of the survey results that religious ideology
played a role in some cases, but that it was really the lack of jobs and economic hopelessness combined with a sense of injustice, and that’s governance at its core, and that those factors together, that’s the witches brew I think that I saw most often
in looking at Boko Haram and other groups that were
really attracting youth at an incredible rate, and we were trying to pinpoint why. Traditionally, I think we collectively put more emphasis on religious
ideology than we should have. We need to think about the economics. We need to think about the
justice, the rule of law. We need to think about
that entire picture. – Alright, Paul, you’re gonna
make this more complicated because a lot of, you and I talked last week, and so much, when we look
at causes of conflict, we look country by country, but you said something to
me that was really powerful, is that a lot of these conflict places, Burma, South Sudan, Syria. We could keep making the list, are really proxy wars. These are geopolitical,
international issues, and we have to look at
in multidimensional, three dimensional chess, so bring in the complexity. Causes of conflict are not
just country by country. They’re happening at
the international level, and we have to look at
it in that way as well. Paul. – Absolutely. Let me also add my
thanks to the organizers of this forum. Just a terrific opportunity
to come out to Chicago and talk to a lot of really smart people, so yes, Liz, you’re right. The witch’s brew, to use Rick’s term, is actually getting even
worse and more dangerous, and it’s really because of this trend that we’ve been seeing
since the early part of the century, the increasing
internationalization of conflict, of civil conflict in particular, and by that I mean the involvement of outside powers directly or indirectly through proxy forces. In the mid ’90s, around
5% of all civil wars were internationalized. Depending on how you count it, they’re now about 25 to
30% are internationalized. Why is this something to worry about? Firstly, internationalized civil conflicts tend to be the most dangerous, the most vicious kinds. 80% of all combat deaths currently over the last year in civil conflicts were on internationalized conflicts. Secondly, they last longer. The average duration of a civil conflict used to be around seven, eight years. It’s now more like 10, 12 years, so if you think of Syria
that began in, what? 2010, 2011, we’ve still
got a few years to go by this calendar, and thirdly, they’re harder to resolve because there’s many more players. It’s essentially a two level game. There’s the local actors, and then there’s these
higher level actors, and so, this is making the landscape of conflict analysis
and conflict resolution so much harder, and frankly, as the larger sort of
geopolitical climate worsens, great power rivalry,
hear about all the time, this is just gonna make
things a lot worse. – So we’re gonna keep talking
about causes of conflict, and I know the afternoon
sessions are gonna look at what do we do with solutions, but I can’t have all of you up here and not make sure I ask about solutions, so John, I’m gonna start to move into little bit of solutions. You spent a lot of time on
the multilateral system, particularly the UN, and I just came back. A lot of us were at UNGA, the UN General Assembly, and conflict in fragile
states was a big topic there. The UN Secretary-General
called on the private sector to invest in this arena, made it a priority. What do you see in terms of the UN multilateral development banks? Where is the conversation going around the role of the multilateral system when it comes to fragility, when it comes to conflict? What are they doing that’s working or not working? – It’s a great question. Thank you, and just to echo the thanks to our hosts. I think the UN is going
through a period of reform. It’s actually a very multilayered answer because some people think,
“Oh, multilateralism “isn’t working right now,” but one of the interesting things is that the UN has just gone
through a reform process. One can argue over whether
it’s effective or not, but the Secretary-General came to office with really a single
tagline of prevention, and the reforms include
management reforms. They include merging the political affairs and peacekeeping operations where there was a bit of a false divide, many would argue, beforehand. So the countries that were focused, or the staff that were
focused on peacekeeping were divided from those
focused on the politics. That’s being brought together, and crucially, there’s a merger of those that are focused on
politics and development, so the UN development system is reformed, and even the way the
UN will organize itself in each country is different, with the idea is more political freedom. Now this will all take effect January 1st, so the answer is we’ll see, but there’s also a lot of
operational cooperation with the World Bank that is I think very positive, but again we’ll see, and getting to the points
that Paul just made, the UN is only as good
as its member states. If the great powers are arguing or can’t agree on anything, then we’ll have problems. The countries with the top five number of violent casualties don’t
have peacekeeping operations right now ’cause great powers can’t agree, so there is a lot of layers. The final thing I’d say just to start is there is of course a discussion, well, what does prevention mean? And I think there is obviously the point on what I call the guns
and bombs questions of how to stop those being taken up, but the sustainable development goals are the global agreed economic, social, environmental objectives, and therefore all countries, so there’s an extreme poverty bit. There’s also an inclusive society bit, and crucially we’re seeing more and more of the conflict linked to
climate, I would argue. There’s arguments about Syria for role of drought there, but there’s certainly a lot of evidence, and Ted McGill and
Solomon Shang and so forth around the role of climate
in conflict even globally, and we’re seeing I think
an increase in the need to not just think in the near term but in the long term around how
inclusive society strategies can be promoted at least by the UN and at the other multilaterals to take a slightly wider aperture on how we think about prevention. – So let me pick up on
your inclusive society and go back, Rick, to you, so I brought a copy of
your most recent book. It may be your only book, so here’s the title,
if you haven’t seen it. Peace Works, so you’re an optimist. Americans’ unifying role
in a turbulent world, and I told Rick I actually got through about half of it in my plane ride. It was a little delayed
coming in from D.C., and if you haven’t read it, read it, because, and I want you to comment on this part of it. The chapters, like one
of them is called Rwanda, Syria, Afghanistan, and they’re these heartbreaking stories of your arrivals, and they’re painful to read, but you end with lessons learned, and it picks up on John’s point, and your lessons learned all go back to what you said at the beginning. If we only knew 100 people, local, local, local. Get to know these local voices. So go back to causes and now solutions. What is it about getting
to know the local community and the local leaders that you think are the lessons to conflict, to solving conflict? – Well, thank you. I mean, I was advantaged early on when I was at AID that AID did not have a deep experience in conflict countries, and didn’t have much of an ambition to work there either. There were not that
many employees who said, “Send me to a terrible place on earth,” and so it was a relatively uncharted area, and I had the advantage of having worked in business in Maine and in politics, and when I didn’t know something, which was most of the time ’cause I’d been pretty
young during those years, I had a very simple model, which was to just go out and talk to as many people as I possibly could. I then ran into a guy named Bob Gersony, who is really the premier
American field researcher of the last three decades. He’s done 55 exhaustive studies on the ground in places
where the data stinks and the stories are rumor filled, and he won’t take a job
if you don’t give him at least three months and you promise that you’ll sit for at least a six hour or
however many hour briefing when he gets home. If you’re the Secretary of State, you have to sit there and listen to him if you have commissioned him to figure out what’s going on in one of these places, so and he has a very simple rule. Talk to enough people in an exhaustive way that it is completely replicable. Now data that is not replicable is not good data by rule, and he will go out there, and people will doubt his conclusion that after the Rwandan Genocide, there were tens of thousands of killings by the people, by the Tutsis, when they won the war. That is not a conclusion that the Tutsis wanted to have publicized to the world. It was a report that was buried in the UN, and my boss, Sadako, got this
closet basically for years. It’s now on the internet, but his methodology was so exhaustive, and it was again completely grounded in talking to the people, and the people are always there, and when I say know 100 people, it doesn’t mean know 15 at
the Ministry of Finance. That counts, but not really as deeply as if you’ve really gotten
to 25 different places, so I don’t know if that
quite answers your question. – [Liz] So it’s a local
compact of making sure they’re involved. – The first cardinal sin of most of us is that we think we know the place much better than we do, and it’s obvious that we don’t. Take the Israelis in the Gaza Strip. Every conceivable advantage, real estate the size of this room, they run the place, and they have the most
sophisticated intelligence in the world. They go into the place, and what happens? Surprise after surprise. Now put yourself, put the
Americans in Afghanistan. 17 years later, we obviously have many people now in their third and fourth tours. Some of them going back
to the same places, but they don’t have the knowledge to lead to an immodest conclusion, and so modesty, humility, but the rigor of doing, of really listening to people because you will always find
out how dispossessed they are, how disrespected they are, and what their most simple ambitions are because they do have those. Otherwise, they would have run or died by this point. – So I’m gonna stick with my book theme, but I didn’t bring a copy, Paul, so I’m sorry, but you wrote one which I think plays on some similar themes of preventative partnerships, and a tool of how America can avoid war. So who are these partners, and is it similar to what
Rick’s talking about, which is causes of conflict is we’re not engaging with people? – Rick was smarter than I. I should have slipped
you a copy of my book for the plane ride too– – [Liz] I bought it on Amazon– – [Rick] I mean, it’s available then. – [Liz] Both of them. – The logical implication of everything we’re talking about here is that we have to go upstream to deal with these sources of conflict, that we can’t let them deteriorate and face all these other challenges, but what has going upstream to do to early conflict prevention, risk reduction, there’s
all kinds of terms. What does that actually entail? And it’s amazing that all the
times we’ve invoked this need, we’ve never developed a real
kind of preventive doctrine or a systematic, rigorous policy framework for doing this, and there are many things
involved in preventive action, and there are many partners
that one can involve, from the multilateral, bilateral, alliance relationships,
regional organizations, right down to local NGOs and
churches and foundations. There’s a huge number here that can be mobilized and leveraged. They all bring something to the table, but you have to have this
overarching conception of what you’re trying to do, and unless you really have that, you’re just throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks, and so you really have to think about it, and I tried to do this in my book and to actually provide
a comprehensive framework where everybody can say, “Oh, yeah, this is where I fit in here,” and so it’s upstream risk reduction. It’s dealing with fragile states before they start to deteriorate. There’s more. Being able to identify when countries are on the risk of, or the cusp rather, of slipping into conflict, and there’s a whole menu of measures that one can take then, and then dealing it when
things start to unravel. At each stage, you can look at it like a multilevel campaign, there are interventions that you can do, but no one really has a clear idea of what’s available, so when we get round the table, and Grant knows this from
being at the top table in the U.S. government, choices tend to devolve to binary choices of either doing a lot or nothing, and a lot seems very intimidating, and so we end up doing nothing. The problem gets worse, and this is what we’ve
seen in so many places. – So I want to open it up to
a few minutes of questions, but let me ask one more
to Grant and to John, and it picks up on doing
something, nothing. So it’s a similar question to both of you. In the last year, we’ve
seen on the U.S. side, but it’s also happened around the world, so I’m gonna ask Grant the U.S. side and John the around the world question. We’ve seen some pretty dramatic proposals to cut what we’re doing in terms of our international development
and diplomacy programs, so in the U.S., we saw proposals of the U.S. government to cut literally 30% of our development and diplomacy programs. Now Congress said, “No,
we’re not going to do that,” but it could have had some real impact on our health programs,
our education programs, our economic development programs, our stabilization programs, and so, Grant, my question to you is, are these poverty reduction programs? Do they make a difference? Would that have made a difference? And John, we’re seeing
some of the donor countries having battles internally that have been the leaders in the world. We’re seeing the battle
going on at the UK, in Canada and Denmark, and so what are the ramifications that as we even learn
what’s working to respond, we’re seeing real
international conversations about pulling back, so
Grant and then John, and then I am gonna open it up for a few questions we
could have time to take. – Sure, another big question that’s hard to digest
in this amount of time, but it won’t surprise you
or anyone in the audience to get my personal view that retrenching and pulling back this type
of outreach and engagement and assistance would be wrongheaded, and fortunately, Congress did step in, but I think the rationale is pretty clear. We’re talking about
America’s role in the world, to be clear of course, but we’re also in a
public policy environment, and we need to think about what then is driving our desire to reduce conflict, and it’s for stability. It’s for our own stability. It’s for our own national
interest as well. There is a humanitarian
side to a lot of our work. There are other rationales as well, but even for those with
a very narrow lens, worried about only counterterrorism or only what they would consider a very discrete set of national interests that still make sense through that lens because when you don’t have job
creation or economic growth, when you don’t have health, when you don’t have governance, when you don’t have rule of law, that fosters instability. And I mentioned, of course, when you’ve got large
populations of disaffected youth, that can be a highly volatile mix, but you’ve also then got, it feeds into regional conflicts. It feeds into then proxy wars. It feeds into the whole
panoramic display of threats, and so I think at its core, we need to think about
how we see ourselves as a country. We need to think about our role, our values, and our principles, and even as we’re making the case to I think what is a
very wrongheaded approach of just this limited set of issues, there again we need to be engaged. We need to be pursuing
these types of programs. We need to have these relationships because if we don’t, there are other players in the world that certainly will, and whether it’s China
or any other country that is engaging, for instance, African states, they are not engaging with the same interests about transparency or environmental considerations
for their investments, or the social considerations
of their debt, or anything that they’re doing, or who they’re selling arms to, whether it’s a Sudanese government, and they’re ending up
in Darfur and the like. We need to be thinking about our foreign policy holistically, and a big piece of that
is what we’re doing with respect to health, what we’re doing with
respect to assistance, what we are doing with respect to promoting American investment and helping U.S.
companies work and operate and be successful abroad. – [Liz] Great, great, John. – Well, I’m Canadian, so I’m delighted you mentioned. Thank you, but I think a lot of it comes down to two schools of thought that
need to merge their thinking. One is the school of global affairs, which is the classic kind
of foreign policy community, which is a lot of the
military defense stuff, and then there’s the school thought which is around quality of life, promoting wellbeing around the world. One of the things we’ve
seen is that people and many military leaders even will make the case these days that if you don’t deal with
the quality of life issues and the inclusive society issues, you’re gonna have to
deploy a lot more troops. We spend of course vastly more resources on the troop side of life, but the bigger issue I think
is we’re not terribly rational about the strategies, and even in Canada where I follow closely, many people wouldn’t realize the Harper conservative government was investing more than
the Trudeau government on these issues. The Trudeau government
actually made a big boost in its investments in
defense spending last year. The same increment would
have got the country to 0.7%, the international standard, if it was on the development side. There’s a logic of that
being the highest return on investment, which might or might not be the case, but I think if one were to say, what’s the value of each dollar, one could think differently. The other thing I’d say quickly is this notion of kind
of societal scorecards is increasingly how I’m looking at the sustainable development goals in a way I never expected to because there’s one side of it, which is how is your society doing on an absolute basis, but I use the analogy of
if you’re driving in a car on a road trip, moment to moment, you care
about how fast you’re going compared to the car next to you, not necessarily how many minutes you are from your destination. And what we can see in
many of these issues including the health ones, actually, is even the most fragile
states are making progress. Child mortality is coming
down two to 3% a year in even the most fragile states right now. This is extraordinary success, but what we also see is the problems of extreme poverty are
certainly becoming concentrated around the Sahel and
Nigeria in particular. We have issues of child mortality, maternal mortality. Nigeria’s again the number
one country in the world for those issues, and if we don’t have an
answer to those issues, we’re not gonna have an answer to the security issues, and this is where I think
a place like this forum and the University of Chicago and the Pearson Institute
can help to kind of reframe what’s the debate we need to have, and I would argue that
we need to be thinking much more about even the basic
livelihoods of irrigation. So one of the great investments for mitigating farm risk and strains between pastoralists
and agriculturalists and so forth is your
small scale irrigation. We don’t have any, in my experience, serious conversation about that, and I’ve seen multiple
instances in the Sahel where the first time water gets discussed is when it’s for water for the troops, and so it’s a caricature, but I think it’s a deeper problem we need to be thinking through. – Terrific. Alright, we’re gonna take. Why don’t we take maybe three questions? And gentlemen, you can pick and choose how you want to respond, but we have a time for, are we bringing microphones to people? Yes, okay, so raise your hand. Not speeches. If you can ask quick questions, introduce yourself, and we’ll get some help out there. Who’s first? Question right here, please. – [Woman] Hi, I’m a Harris student, formerly with the Locus
Coalition FHI 360’s Crisis Response Team. – Great. – [Woman] Considering that
we have a new development finance corporation here in the U.S. as of this week because of the Build Act, how might we structure that new agency in order to support conflict prevention and local ownership? – Terrific, great question. The Build Act is we’re
gonna have a new OPIC, a new development finance, is to try to keep up with
the rest of the world. We have a question over here. I’m sorry. You have to run over here. Thanks, Ellie. – [Sharon] Hi– – I think if you talk, it’ll start to come on. – [Sharon] Okay, thanks. I’m Sharon Riggle. I’m with the United Nations
Special Representatives Office for Children in Armed Conflict, and a lot of these things
that we’ve heard this morning have really resonated with
what we’re seeing and hearing, and I wanted to pick up on a comment that one of the colleagues
made on the stage about the pathways in and out
for some of these children into violent extremism because we’re talking about conflict, but we’re also talking
new type of conflict. We’re talking about protracted conflicts. We’re talking about
international, as was mentioned, but we’re also talking about ones that have violent extremist
elements to it as well, which has a very, very
political undertone. Anyways, I wanted to just draw attention. This is a university setting. I was part of a study,
UN University Study. It was a document produced
called Cradled by Conflict. It’s fantastic information
for those of you interested on pathways in and
out for some of these children and how ideology is
not the primary driver. Sometimes economics, but that’s low down on the list as well. It’s social relations. They join for pro-social reasons. This is I’m talking
children versus adults, but it’s also very interesting information I draw your attention to. It also implicates the adults as well, so I wouldn’t mind hearing
more from any of the panelists on some of the violent extremist issues. – Thank you. Let’s take one more. Please– – [Juliana] Good morning. Thank you. My name is Juliana (speaking
in a foreign language). I’m a Masters student in
Harris School of Public Policy, and I’m from Colombia, and my question is related with income generation opportunities for ex-combatants. One of the biggest problems
that we have right now is to involve different stakeholders within our peace process, especially the private sector, so my question is what will you recommend to involve like not only the
international cooperation, UN agencies, but also with a
(mumbling) finance approach to our peace process, especially the ongoing one
with the former FARC members. Thank you– – Terrific, great, great
different questions, so also, I think, Grant,
I know you want to talk about the private sector
as well in addition. Do you want to talk about
the question from over here– – Yeah, I mean, I’ve always
been a fan of sort of how important culture is and so the social environment. There are people who say
of American institutions that culture eats strategy for lunch or whatever it happens to be, and so I’m very drawn to ways
of reaching people directly through trying to avoid as
many filters as possible and spend a lot of time, really going back to
experiences in the Bosnian War, on using media because media is one
way that you can bypass a whole lot of filters or managers of it. And my last experience
in Nigeria in particular, we realized in a highly complex society of 165 million people or whatever where you only have five or $10 million, and you want to address
a national narrative that violence pays, kind of a problem, what can you do? Well, it turns out that
Nigeria has every form of media that exists
anywhere in the world. Nigeria’s got talent. Nigeria’s got Survivor. Nigeria’s got every one of these things, and we partnered with Nollywood there, which is the largest
film industry in Africa and actually reaches
all the way to Pakistan, and we partnered with the Steven Spielberg of Nollywood who is superstar
director Jeta Amata, and that’s what everybody calls him. He doesn’t get introduced as Jeta Amata. It’s always superstar director, and he was a phenomenal
contact and connection to the younger people of that country. Again, a very young country, and when you end up doing
something of real quality, you suddenly are able to reach as close to 160 million people as anybody in the country has, and a country that’s had
social protest movements and everything else going on, so the socialization issues that you mentioned to me
are terribly important, but you have to get around
the usual blockages. – [Liz] Paul, do you wanna pick up on the question? – I’m not sure I’m the best qualified to talk about it, but it’s clear that there are places, many places like Colombia, that are going through
a period of transition. They’re either coming out
of conflict or going in, and unless we think about how
to engage the communities, find jobs for people, reintegrate fighters back into society, deal with trauma, and this is
done in a sustained fashion, then we’re just setting it up for a repeat process, and I think this audience
knows how vulnerable these kinds of societies are to regressing back into violent conflict, having experienced it, and so we’ve got to do a lot more work in thinking about how we
can manage this problem with societies that have limited resources and where there’s donor
fatigue and all this, and other places that
require a lot more effort, and where it’s easy just to turn your back on these places because
they’re coming out of conflict. It’s like, well, done and dusted. We can move on to the next one, and so I’m not sure I have an easy– – [Liz] We don’t have
a lot of staying power. Grant, private sector,
where do they fit in, and both of you may wanna talk about that we now have more capacity
on development finance, and what does that mean for the U.S.? – I think the private sector
has to be a crucial part, and of course we talked a little bit about the causes of radicalization. It’s complex. It varies. It depends, but I do
think jobs and economics are a piece of that, governance and other issues
as well very much so, but to the development finance and the role of private sector and how we could support it, that is key, but by way of background, many people are probably aware
that Congress just passed the Build Act, as the
questioner referenced. This is going to double the size of the Overseas Private
Investment Corporation and incorporate a piece of the U.S. Agency for
International Development, and long story short, it’ll be about $60 billion of capacity in a new development finance institution. This is fantastic. It’s great. It’s long overdue. It’s also necessary, but not sufficient, and what the United
States and other countries should be doing all the more so is commercial advocacy, more
political risk insurance, more financing options, and really amp up the amount of support so that investment climates
are more attractive from the private sector
side in terms of supporting companies for making the investment. And then from the governance side, I think that the private
sector is a way to get at this conversation because each government wants
to attract more investment, but then when you start
talking about a government, what will it take to do that? You need an investment climate. What does that take? It takes sanctity of
contract, rule of law, all of these same things that
go to the heart of governance and that would also be solutions to many of these issues, so it’s a two sided coin, and I think we just can’t talk about the private sector enough and making sure that we’re
really attracting them– – [Liz] Without security,
they’re not going. – That’s right. – [Liz] John, do you wanna
add anything to this part of the conversation? – Yeah, just two quick things, one is on the private sector. When I talk about irrigation, just to be clear, that’s agriculture, which in the low income places, is the private sector– – [Liz] Is the economy, right. – And this is part of the, again, we need to reconcile this in our minds, and I would also say in
the deeper economics jargon of capital widening
versus capital deepening, when you have these
big demographic bulges, there’s no capital deepening, and one of the big, big things we’re also
not paying attention to, if you could ask me for a magic wand, would be massive investments in girls’ secondary education, and this is kind of the apple pie of the global system. We’re just not doing it, and there’s a lot of deep reasons why that would be transformational. The other thing I would just quickly say on this society bit. We just published a paper
looking at trajectories on a bunch of people focused
issues around the world. In rough, rough math, and there’s people in the room
who know much more than me, but in rough math, there
are about four times as many violent homicides per year as there are conflict affected casualties, about 400,000 versus 100,000. There is a sustainable
development goal for homicides. One of the things we
looked at is if you were to see who’s on track to
cut it by half, who’s not, 2/3 of the world’s lives at stake are in just five countries, and this is Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan, Venezuela, and India. It’s about a million and a half lives, and what does that mean for the fragility of those societies? I think we have to be thinking
much more systematically again about the longer
term sources of fragility and what conflict means and where it might erupt even on a pure social contract basis. – Alright, this is the
closing lightning round, and here’s the question I
want to ask each of you. You get about 30, 40 seconds to answer, but one of the things that I think about the Pearson Global Forum is I know they don’t want this just to be a lot of talking heads,
but to make a difference, and if I were to ask us all to think about not just coming back a year from now, but if we came back five years from now, and said, you know what? That panel we got to join on, it made a difference, and one of the ways it’s
gonna make a difference is if we give back to the academics, the researchers that are here, and say, here’s your big bet. Here’s where you can invest in. Here’s the research when it comes to causes of conflict
that there’s still a hole, or I know what we should be investing in, and here’s the one to invest in. Where would you make your big bet? Where would you say this
is the cause of conflict to invest in ’cause we’ve talked about a lot of different ones. John, where’s your big bet? – Well, I just said my two, I guess. It’s the agricultural credit
for irrigation in particular, and then girls’ secondary education. – [Liz] Okay, Paul, where’s yours? – Mine would be how can we
get to $5,000 per capita GDP because beyond that threshold, there’s almost no country that goes into violent civil conflict, and when we’re now confronted, with alternative economic
models of growth, the Chinese model, how can we promote countries to get to above that threshold
without necessarily compromising on our democratic
and human rights principles? – [Liz] Okay, Masters and PhD students, there’s your next one. Alright, Grant? – I feel like a broken record, but I do think jobs and
economic growth is key, and I think teeing off of Paul’s point, infrastructure and just
the basic investments that are necessary and
the private sector support that it will take. In Africa, there’s a
$50 billion a year gap in the spending that is needed to promote and increase infrastructure, and we’re talking about access to power. We’re talking about roads. We’re talking about the
backbone of what could be significant economic growth, and that is gonna take
private sector investment. It won’t be public sector
spending that does it, and I would just encourage
those in the room who are students to be thinking about private sector experience and to be thinking about how capital moves and what investment climates look like so that we can be having this be a key part of the conversation. I found in government that
there was not enough knowledge and information and
comfort with those issues, and I think that that
will limit us over time. – [Liz] Fantastic, Rick? – So I would encourage direct
iterative field research, so people who actually get
out and create the data. Don’t count on the World Bank. Don’t count on these other institutions. That data is flawed, and it’s not gonna lead
to good conclusions, and then the second thing I would say is that really put an
emphasis on what I consider silenced majorities, that in almost every country, if you start really looking
at what’s happening to women, to young people, even
the business community, they’re silenced for different reasons, but they all have probably
more constructive views of the future than many of
the leaders that we end up developing key relationships with. – Ladies and gentlemen,
please join me in thanking these gentlemen for what they’ve done, and what they just did. (audience applauding) – [Chris] These men are
called Wheelbarrow Boys. They ferry your goods around the market in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, which until 2003 was a country at war for at least a decade, and when I started working
there not long after that, the government and the
UN peacekeeping mission considered men like these
to be the greatest threat not just to the city or the country, but actually to the entire region, and why was that? What’s so dangerous
about Wheelbarrow Boys? This is a picture from
Cote d’Ivoire in 2011. A short war broke out and generals and
recruiters from both sides jumped on planes, landed in Morovia, and gave young men like
those Wheelbarrow Boys 500 or $1,000 to jump on a truck and join the fight for
one side or the other, and it wasn’t just mercenary recruitment that was a danger for these young men. They were the primary people
participating in armed robbery, in home invasions, pick
pocketing, and so on, so these are in some
sense the greatest danger to the city as well, and what do you do with
young men like that? Now, Johnson Bohr is in the audience. Johnson, where are you? Johnson. Okay, so in 2010, I decided
I wanted to actually try to answer this question. How do men enter life like this? Why did they do this business, and how does this business work? Because I’m an economist, I want to understand how does the mobile phone fencing market work? How does the drug dealing market work? So when you go to a drug den like this, how does it operate? Why did it keep doing this? And you may not have guessed this, but I stand out a little
bit in a Liberian drug den. (audience laughing) So I need Johnson Bohr, it turns out. Johnson at the time had been spending maybe 15 years working
with young men like this, trying to get them out of this life, and I had heard of him. We’d met a little bit. I phoned him up. I needed a guide. I said, Johnson, can you show me around? And so for the next few months, we talked to dozens of young men like the Wheelbarrow Boys, like the drug dealers, the mobile phone fencers, figuring out how they got there, where they might be going, how the business worked, and a funny thing happened. Every time we went to
one of those drug dens, there’d be a man across the street selling shoes on an old tarp or shining shoes or some
other crummy little business, and he’d come over, and he’d greet Johnson. He’d give him a big hug. They’d known each other a long time, and this happened again
and again and again, and I started to think, how does Johnson know all these people? All over the city, and every time I would
hear the exact same story. This young man would say, “I used to be like that guy over there,” and he’d point to the drug dealer, or he’d point to the Wheelbarrow Boy who was a notorious pick
pocket, or something. He said, “I used to be like him,” and then I went through Johnson’s program, and after the fifth time this happened, I said, Johnson, tell
me about this program. Here’s Johnson. You can tell which photo
I took out of all of these in this slide deck. (audience laughing) Group of 20 men, you can’t tell it’s the third floor of a burned out skyscraper. We put up wicker so people
don’t fall off the side, in the middle of their neighborhood, and for a few times a week
for a few hours at a time for just a couple months, Johnson would meet with these young men, usually with a colleague, and they’d talk through their lives, and it sounded like
motivational speaking to me, nothing that had any business working. And I said, okay, let’s
start writing this down. What do you do on day one, and tell me exactly what you say, and what do you do? And okay, now day two, and we wrote it up,
wrote it up, wrote it up, and I’m married to a psychologist, and I gave this to her, and I said, look at this thing. Remember Johnson Bohr? What does this look like to you? And she said, “Oh, that’s interesting. “It’s a little different than
anything I’ve seen before. “It’s applied in different ways. “The behaviors are
targeting a bit different, “but this basically looks like
cognitive behavior therapy, “or CBT.” Now maybe like me you
didn’t know a lot about CBT. I knew that if you had symptoms of anxiety or depression or post-traumatic stress, or maybe you’re just afraid of dogs, your therapist here in the United States would use CBT as a method to target those specific problematic
thoughts and behaviors, and maybe your problematic thought and behavior is aggression. It’s uncontrollable rage. It’s an inability in a
threatening situation or even if someone just
looks sideways at you, to just fly into a rage, to be violent, and if that’s your problem, well, what can you do? Well, CBT’s gonna say recognize
your problematic thoughts. There’s a two way street
from thoughts to behaviors, so you have to change your thinking to change your behavior, of course. You have to recognize this is a problem. I want to change it. This is destroying my life, and I’m a danger to others around me. I’m a danger to the ones I love, but then, the key thing is
behaviors change thoughts. It’s that other street back. It’s practicing a different way of living, and you eventually change your thoughts, and it starts very simple. Johnson in his class is saying, “Let’s practice how you’re going to react “in this situation,” and it’s a joke, and everybody’s laughing. How are you gonna react in this situation? But it’s not a joke because these guys go home
after their time with Johnson, and they lead very violent lives. Someone slights them. Someone threatens them, and every day they have
a chance to practice. Practice, practice, practice. Practice counting to 10. Practice distracting themselves. Practice talking people down. Practice the social skills they learn to get out of violent situations. All of the skills that
my kindergartener learns in the laboratory school right over there, they’re learning remedially from Johnson, and after two or three months, at least these five guys we met seem to have changed their lives, but is it just these five guys, or is it something more? Johnson wanted to do something incredible. He wanted to take young men like this, young men who every aspect
of their presentation, how they walk, how they dress, how they act, how they
treat you, is tough. They’re outcasts. They’re dangerous, and he wanted them to
practice trying on this, not just their aggression. He wanted them to try
on a different lifestyle and practice, practice, practice for a few months and to see if it stuck. So to see if this mattered
for more than just these five young men, we developed essentially
a grand social experiment. We went out to recruit
the 1,000 most violent, most dangerous young men in Monrovia that we could find, and we found them, and a quarter of them didn’t
receive any assistance from us. This was our control group. A quarter were offered Johnson’s program. A quarter were offered
essentially a kind of employment, a start up grant to start
up a crummy little business, not unlike that man selling
shoes on a tarp, right? This is not a job. This is just a crummy little business, but something different
than what they were doing, something legitimate, and a quarter got both, and we followed them for
a month and several months and over a year to see what happened. And what we found just a
month after they’d completed Johnson’s program was a real change. There was about a third less
violence in their lives. They were committing
about a third less crimes if they had gone through
Johnson’s program, and the same was true if they’d
received the start up grant, and if they’d received both, it was down by half, and you can basically think of this as for every two violent
and criminal young men who came into the program, one changed their life. That’s a pretty good hit rate. Now what about after a year? Well, after a year, the men who had only gone
through Johnson’s program, well, on average, they
didn’t look any different from the control group. In some ways, a lot of
them had receded back to their lives after just these two months of talk and practice, and the men who started
the little businesses, well, all of those businesses failed. Liberia’s a tough place to
go into any kind of business. Maybe the police confiscated their goods. Maybe someone stole them. Maybe the rain washed them away, any number of things. Maybe they just didn’t turn a profit, and so they were back
to where they started, but the men who got both the CBT and the failed business still had that huge reduction
in crime and violence. Essentially, one in two left that life, and the common denominator
there was practice because the business didn’t succeed. They weren’t making more money. It wasn’t like we gave them an alternative to their criminal lifestyle, but after their eight weeks with Johnson, they got to practice again
and again and again every day for maybe three or six or nine or hopefully 12 months before that crummy little business failed, and that practice really
helped them cement this new set of behaviors, this new self image. Now people are now replicating this and trying this out all over the world in El Salvador, in Nairobi, and we’re trying to see maybe didn’t, it worked for more than those five guys. It worked for these Liberians. Can it work for more people still? And we’re finding out, and in Chicago you may have heard we have a violence problem as well, and in some sense, the most ambitious test of this yet is happening right now. The Ready Program in Chicago, about 1,000, maybe 1,000, 500, 1,000 young men in the city are probably gonna be responsible for most of the homicides that happen in the next 12 months. Turns out it’s not very hard to figure out who those guys are. We’re working with street
intelligence organizations. We’re working with gang
outreach organizations. We’re working with some of
the best NGOs in the city, something like a dozen of them, a group of academics, the crime lab here at the
University of Chicago, and we’re offering half
of these young men. We’re finding them,
which is the hard part, and then we’re offering them something that looks a lot like this. We’re offering them an 18
month transitional job, and 18 months around that,
cognitive behavior therapy alongside other social services, and the hope, we don’t know
if this is gonna happen. The hope is if this is successful, we could bring the homicide rate down by as much as half in this city, but what’s also amazing
to me is usually we think about innovations coming from America and going to a place like Liberia, and this is a case of
innovations from Liberia coming to a place like America because at a conference
on global conflict, it’s important to remember
violence is not only a problem that happens in far away places. Thank you. (audience applauding) – Good afternoon,
everyone, or good morning. My name is John Hewko, and I’m the General Secretary of Rotary International
and the Rotary Foundation, and it’s truly an honor to
gather with you here today for the Pearson Institute’s
inaugural Global Forum. Now Rotary with our world headquarters just up Lakeshore Drive in
Evanston is an organization that supports initiatives around the world that foster peace, eradicate disease, provide clean water, and strengthen local economies, and happy to say that
besides sharing Lake Michigan in our respective backyards, we share many of the
same principles and goals of the Pearson Institute. Our 1.2 million members spread
out in almost 200 countries are business and community
leaders who join together, not only to network professionally, but to exchange ideas
about potential solutions to local and global challenges, and then take action to
bring those ideas to life. And the advancement of peace is in Rotary’s DNA and has been at our core
since our very inception. In fact, Rotary was one
of the first organizations that attempted to define what it means to be a global citizen. In 1945, our members were instrumental in crafting the framework
for the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and almost 50 Rotarians participated in the various working groups
in San Francisco in 1945 that drafted the UN Charter. In fact, Rotary was among the
first nonprofit organizations that the UN officially recognized. So from our inception, Rotary
found that the best way to make peace possible is
through long term investment. Fighting disease, such
as our 33 year effort to eradicate polio, using education to prevent
disease from spreading, providing quality healthcare to mothers and their children, growing local economies
to create opportunities for entrepreneurs and community leaders, and serving as stewards for those deprived of the basics that sustain life, clean water, strong
hygiene, modern sanitation. These are all building blocks for peace. Simply containing conflict or rooting out and punishing bad actors are
not the only pathways to peace. Rotary believes in a
concept of positive peace, a way out of war and conflict that looks beyond what causes war. Positive peace explores the attitudes, institutions, structures,
and interventions that build a peaceful society. It recognizes that peaceful societies are characterized by the fair
distribution of resources, a sound business environment, sound environmental
policies, low corruption, good relations with neighbors, and an acceptance of the rights of others. And so as Rotarians fashion their many global humanitarian
projects across the globe, they look to carry out interventions that strengthen these characteristics because creating a mentoring program makes you a peacemaker. Implementing a sanitation project makes you a peacemaker. Initiating a micro-credit project to empower a first time entrepreneur, once again you are moving the
potential for peace forward. In fact, at the end of the day, all of us in the international
development space through the work that
we do are peacemakers. And now I’d like to introduce
another global ambassador who shares our vision of positive peace. Vuk Jeremic is from Belgrade where he serves as President of the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development and is Editor in Chief of Horizons, an English language global
public policy magazine. He served as Serbia’s
Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2007 to 2012. In fact, he was the
youngest foreign minister in Serbia’s history, and prior to becoming foreign minister, he served as an advisor
to the President of Serbia and various government ministries. In June of 2012, Vuk was elected president
of the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly in the first contested vote
since the end of the Cold War, and here again he was also
the youngest president in the General Assembly’s history, and two years ago, he finished second in the vote for Secretary-General
of the United Nations. In fact, that was exactly
two years ago to the date, on October 5th, 2016, and during his term in office, among his numerous accomplishments, he facilitated the adoption
of the Arms Trade Treaty, the first legally binding
instrument in UN history, to establish common standards for the international transfer
of conventional armaments, and he currently is the head
of the opposition in Serbia as the leader of the People’s Party. He holds a bachelor’s degree
from Cambridge University and a master’s degree from Harvard’s Kennedy
School of Government. So please join me in welcoming
Vuk Jeremic to the stage. (audience applauding) – Thank you very much for
this kind introduction, and thank you for the invitation for the inaugural forum. It’s a real honor. I also understand that I’m jumping into a place of a distinguished senator who had to fly to Washington
to take an important vote, so I’ll try to make you
not so disappointed. I’ll try and tell you an
equally worrying story, a story about a very
fragile part of the world where I happen to come from, about the Balkans, and most of you have
heard about the Balkans back in the ’90s very often, but these days, it doesn’t seem to be
coming up as frequently, but I’ll try and tell you
a story, a quick story, of the Balkans and how
are we now where we are. Basically, Balkans always
looks as if it’s going to be a war. It always looks like on the brink of war. Usually we avoid it, but when we don’t, the consequences are usually catastrophic, catastrophic for the region, but sometimes for the wider world as well. The way Balkans is now is a result of a millennia of conflict between Europe and the Middle East. Those conflicts predated
Christianity and Islam, but they continued also
after their emergence. The Balkans has always been critical part of European geography for those who had the ambition to control the Mediterranean or to project the force
from North to the South, or South to the North, as well as to those who
tried to prevent those who tried to project force from doing so. This was the place from
which Alexander the Great started its empire and started its conquests
all the way to Afghanistan. This was the crucial highway of the Romans on their way to Egypt and the grains that fed the Roman Empire. It was crucial for the Crusaders on their way to Constantinople. It was crucial for the Ottomans
on their way to Vienna. So Balkans has always been a highway to the empires and also a buffer against the empires by those who wanted to oppose
their projection of force. From the 15th century onwards, Balkan has been emerged
in a three way struggle between Christianity of the East, that is Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Islam. It has always been caught
between the great powers, but since the 15th century, those were the three main drivers of frictions and conflicts in the Balkans. Theology did not drive the great powers, but it ended up defining small ones, so for centuries, you had alliances
between Russia and Turkey against the West, Russia and West against the Turkey, or West and Turkey against Russia, so in this triangle, everybody has worked with everybody at some point in history, and the repercussions
in the Balkans were that sometimes those wars and
frictions between the great powers brought in small nations of the Balkans into a conflict, and sometimes the conflicts between the small nations of the Balkans led to a great power conflict, most notoriously, or
infamously, if you will, in 1914 where the First
World War started off in the Balkans. It started off when the
Austro-Hungarian Empire as a response to the
assassination of the Archduke in Serajevo invaded Serbia. Russia came to support Serbia. Germany came in to support
Austria against Russia, and then England and France joined the war on the side of Russia, and the whole world was at war. So after many centuries of
frictions and conflicts, we are now in the 20th
and the 21st century experiencing lots of the same, the last big conflict being the 1990s, the most probably televised
and globally known conflict of the Balkans of all. Today, we are again being the buffer zone. We are again between the
three centers of power, one being the West, embodied by the EU, one being the East,
the Russian Federation, and one being the Southeast, Turkey. We have today two more players which have not been present globally prior to the 20th century. That is the United States and
as of the 21st century, China, that is for the first time in history becoming to be a player in the Balkans in the context of building infrastructure and spending vast amounts of money on building roads and railroads in a place which other players
want it to be a buffer, a buffer against one of
the traditional sides that goes on to the Middle East. In the past, Balkans was the
buffer for the Ottoman threat looked from the West. Today, a lot of people in the West see it as a potential
buffer against another wave of refugees that can come, like in 2015, in large numbers and threaten stability, political stability in
lots of European states, like it did back in 2015. Now a little bit of a snapshot of what is going on inside. I give you the outside picture, but what is going on inside
unfortunately is a trend. We’re following a trend that is reminiscent of
some other parts of Europe, and this is decline in democracy. So there were big reversals
made in the last few years on democratic gains
made since the beginning of the century. As a matter of fact, October 5, I am going to remember not only as the day when I finished second and not first in the race
for Secretary-General. I am much more going to
remember October 5 of 2000. That was the day when
we managed to overthrow the dictatorship in Serbia, the dictatorship of Slobodan Milosevic and introduced democracy in our country, and we thought that this was gonna be the end of history for us, but it was a naive belief. Today, Serbia is run by
the Minister of Information in the government of Slobodan Milosevic, the propaganda chief
of Slobodan Milosevic, so history is not ending. History never ends in the Balkans, and the sad part of the story is that this decline in democracy
that we are witnessing in the Balkans, let’s say that in traditional
places of influence in the Balkans, and I mention Russia and Turkey, the decline in democracy in the Balkans is perhaps not seen as
an alarming development, but the sad part is that it is not seen as an alarming development
in the West either, and because of this buffer zone idea, because of this threat
of thousands of refugees, hundreds of thousands,
as a matter of fact, the refugees that may
start going towards Europe and must not be allowed to reach Europe like they were back in 2015 when all hell broke loose politically, so the strongmen of the Balkans are right now being encouraged to engage in a pretending
of working together and doing peace deals, and they are right now, and this is perhaps the only
thing that you can read about in the media these days. They’re being encouraged to
engage into a peace dealing that would amount to de facto redrawing of the boundaries in the Balkans. The thing that I’m talking
about is a discussion between Serbia and its
break away province, most of which you know as Kosovo. So the leaders of Kosovo
and Serbia are right now encouraged to engage
into making a final deal that would entail the
redrawing of the boundaries based on the ethnic principle so that one ethnicity stays
on one side of the border, and the other ethnicity
stays on the other side of the border. Now that is something that can be applied to at least 10 other places in the Balkans, and if this precedent is set, it is very, very likely
that this going to lead to a chain of events, a domino effect, where
other parts of the Balkans are going to try and implement the same. So I said at the beginning that Balkans always seems to be on
the brink of a conflict and that we usually avoid it. Nowadays we do look on
the brink of a conflict because of a huge controversy stemming out of the potentially redrawing of the fragile boundaries in the Balkans, and this could be a spark that could start another conflict. Conflicts in the Balkans usually come every 20 to 30 years. The last one was in 1999, so that’s my opening spiel, and I’ll want to let you ask questions if you have them. (audience applauding) Ma’am. – [Anne] Hi, I’m Anne Richard. I’ll be on the panel later. If you walk in the
pedestrian zone in Belgrade and you are enjoying a really
beautiful European town, and then you come across kiosks
where they sell souvenirs, they’ll have T-shirts, and if you look in the back
of the row of T-shirts, you’ll find T-shirts that
celebrate Ratko Mladic and other war criminals from the ’90s, and this was so shocking to me, and I’ve been thinking
about how the Germans outlawed Nazi paraphernalia, but Americans don’t necessarily do that. But recently some stores have decided not to sell T-shirts with for example the Confederate flag on it. So does this worry you when you see this the way it worries me? And when you think through what
ought to be done about that, what sort of conclusions do you draw? Thank you. – Thank you, and this is precisely one of the reasons why the Balkans is always so complex and on the brink of conflict because nothing is ever forgotten, and nothing is ever
forgiven in the Balkans. In the early 2000s, we were hoping to get over this by means of reconciling in
the way the European nations managed to reconcile
after the Second World War and coming together to
create the European Union. We were actually hoping
that we can do the same in the Balkans, and then for a array of
reasons, this didn’t happen. Slovenia and Croatia did
join the European Union, and the rest of us haven’t and probably will not
join the European Union anytime soon given the political situation inside the European Union and their readiness or not readiness to accept new members, but those worrying and
deplorable memorabilia that you can see in Belgrade or in Zagreb for that matter. In Zagreb you can actually
see the celebration of the (speaking in a
foreign language) regime of the Second World War and these kind of
sentiments feed each other, and I’m afraid that Bosnia
is not terribly different. I come from a very mixed family. My mother’s family is from Bosnia, and I come from Serbia, so we have as a family all the narratives that are part of the
Balkans’, if you will, trajectory of history. Attempt at reconciliation was made through this attempt at
integrating the Balkans in the European Union. This attempt failed, and now the Balkans has
been left as a buffer, and inside a buffer,
you have global players playing against each other like they do in other theaters, but in order to use efficiently the local ethnic groups, one needs to strengthen their identity and probably in a conflictual
way towards others in the region so that the
explosiveness of the situation may be used or abused, if you will, by external actors, so right now, I’m afraid that
it is in everybody’s interests except in the interest
of the Balkan nations to warm up the divisions and
the tragedies of the past so that tomorrow a knob can be turned for the sake of a wider geopolitical gain of geopolitical actors, but thank you for your question. Thanks. Other? Sir in the back? (mumbling) (coughing) – [Man] In the late ’90s, after there was a NATO force in Bosnia, and people like Ratko Mladic had already been if not indicted, on the way to indictment, there were jokes that
although every journalist knew where they could find
these various war criminals, the NATO force was almost
conspicuously avoiding going anywhere near them, and I wonder what you think
the difference would be made by the international community’s actions? That the slow pace of
getting involved at all, the feckless, toothless approach the United Nations took, and then really not
ignoring war criminals, do you think that contributed to, or would it have made a difference if the international community responded with very conspicuous trials
like the Nuremberg Trials and swiftly sought to end the civil war and bring war criminals to justice? Would that have made a difference? – Well, I think that the
unfortunate situation that led to the war, the last
war in the former Yugoslavia, I mean, this was one of
the episodes in history that I tried to abbreviate in 10 minutes, which is difficult, but one of the difficulties was that the war took place in the moment when the world order was
suddenly becoming transformed. It was right after the Cold War. So the Cold War ended and the new era started, and the rules were not
yet clearly defined. If you had a war in the past, if you had a war a few years before then, probably this would have been a proxy war between the Soviet Union and the West, and if the war happened a few years later, then probably the international reaction would have been much
more swift and decisive and whether for better or for worse, it’s another matter, and Iraq comes to mind when
it comes to swift decisions to make an intervention. Part of the problem is also the fact that there was an attempt to portray the developments
in the Balkans, including war crimes, as a black and white situation, and the situation is
never black and white. Anywhere in the world it’s not, but in the Balkans, it’s particularly grayish, and on behalf of my country, and I was part of the government that actually found and
extradited every single war crime indicted to the Hague. They were tried there. Some of them were convicted, but as a result of the decades of work of the International Crime Tribunal, the conclusion is that for example, for some of the massacres and some of the war crimes committed against Serbian civilians, Serbian ethic, in particular
in Croatia, for example, you’re probably aware of
the 1995 ethnic cleansing of Serbs from Croatia that took place in broad daylight in seven days. 300,000 people were
forced out of their homes, and several thousand died. Basically on technicalities, the war crime tribunal in
the Hague released everybody, so nobody serves a day in prison for that particular war crime. That took a toll in Serbia, for example, and in Bosnia on the way the developments of the wars of the ’90s
are seen and viewed, and alternative or if you
will revisionist narratives are being fed by the imperfections or injustices, if you will,
of the international system. So had they been ready
to intervene earlier, the international community, I mean, we would never know. This is the alternative history that we would never know, but unfortunately, the way
the international community is behaving right now towards the Balkan is actually conducive to start of another episode of conflict, and I believe that Pearson’s Forum is a good way to air an alarm and make an appeal on the
international community to work together to
prevent another conflict in the Balkans because it’s not far away if we continue in this direction. Ma’am? And then the president. – [Kim] Thanks, Kim Dozier
with The Daily Beast and CNN. You’ve talked about what you think might happen in your own region, but looking at the countries
around you across Europe, the rising tribalism and populism, do you see anywhere else that is ripe or on the edge of the kind of conflict that led to your wars? – You mean in Europe? Well, there’s a place where
there is a conflict right now, and which is Ukraine, so Eastern Ukraine’s a
place where there is, well, I don’t know if a war
is the right word to use, but there is definitely a conflict that is helping paralyze not just the entire country, but I would say the whole region. So caucuses in the Balkans, caucuses in the Balkans have always been the most complex part of
the European geography, so this is usually where you have to look. When there is a global
geopolitical friction, it usually plays out in those two theaters that are part of the
European geography proper. And since the world is so globalized, and everything is now so much nearer because of technology, because of the new military equipment and so on and so forth, then of course what’s
happening in the Levant, which is not technically Europe, but it’s very close to Europe and has profound repercussions in what is going on in Europe, both in terms of raising violent extremism or refugees or other things, those three, if you will, locations are the best indicators of where
the dangers are coming from for the European peace and stability. Balkans, caucuses, Levant. Thank you, and the president. Sorry? Oh, oh. Okay, no problem. Well, thank you. Thank you very much. I wanted to give a last chance, but this was a phenomenal experience, and thank you very much for
giving me this opportunity, and good luck with the
rest of the conference. (audience applauding) (coughing) – [Ethan] A couple years
ago in the fall of 2016 I was lucky to be part of a small group of academics invited to spend a day in conversation with the senior leadership of the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command. It’s always interesting being at one of our intelligence agencies. You leave your electronic tethers behind. There’s signs everywhere warning that there’s uncleared
personnel in the area. You have conversations almost
exclusively in acronyms, but this visit was different. Although we didn’t know it, those agencies at that time were confronting the
most serious cyberattack in our country’s history as the Russians sought
to disrupt and undermine the presidential election, and the leaders that we were talking with were in the midst of fighting
and ultimately losing a political battle to
be allowed to retaliate against Russian cyber aggression. They were palpably angry in a way I had never before seen
from senior military and intelligence leaders, and though they couldn’t
tell us exactly why, they made clear that the
United States and its allies were under attack, and that while we had tremendous
technological capacity, what we lacked was a strategy to effectively defend
ourselves in cyberspace. The last time the world
faced a similarly transformed strategic landscape was at
the dawn of the nuclear age, and at that time, game theory
played an important role in helping to formulate the key doctrines of nuclear strategy and
especially nuclear deterrence. I left that day of meetings shaken, but also motivated by the conviction the game theoretic tools might once again be of service to national
security and peace. Along with two collaborators, I started reading and
learning and thinking and eventually writing
about cyber strategy, and the ideas that I am
privileged to get to share with you all today are
the first modest results of those efforts. That is not the right slide. Cyber warfare, as emphasized
here by William Lynn, is characterized by an
attribution problem. Unlike in nuclear or conventional warfare, in cyber warfare, we are often uncertain who is responsible for an attack or even whether an attack
has occurred at all, and this was the point of departure for me and my colleagues in thinking about deterrence in cyberspace. Now there’s an obvious sense
in which attribution problems must weaken deterrence. Deterrence works by a threat. I tell Chris that if he attacks me, I’m gonna hit him so hard he’ll regret having initiated hostilities, and if he believes me, he won’t attack, but if there’s an attribution problem, that is, if there’s some
chance that he thinks when he attacks me, I’ll mistakenly think it was Jim, and I’ll hit Jim instead, I’m gonna have trouble deterring Chris, and this is why deterrence in cyberspace will never be as effective as it is in some other realms of warfare, but our analysis suggests that the effects of attribution problems on deterrence in cyberspace are deeper than this. Because of the attribution problem, deterrence in cyberspace is
fundamentally multilateral. When you can see where the
missiles are coming from, you can think in bilateral terms. Our nuclear second strike
capability deters the Russians. Theirs deters us, and the Chinese don’t really come into it, but when there’s no return address, that bilateral logic is off the table, and to see why, I think it’s helpful to think through an example, so consider the problem for
the United States government in trying to assess blame
for the 2014 attacks on Sony Pictures. In that blame assessment, one input were features
of the attack itself, little snippets of code that
were similar to malicious code that had been used in earlier attacks where the target was South Korea, IP addresses believed to be associated with elements of the North
Korean Army and so on. But another input to the blame assessment were more general features
of the strategic environment and North Korea’s place within it. Imagine that some adversary, in this case, the North Koreans, is believed to have become more capable, more aggressive in cyberspace. Then whenever a difficult
to attribute attack occurs, that adversary is more suspect, but if the North Koreans are more suspect, that must mean other adversaries, the Russians, the Iranians, are less suspect following a
difficult to attribute attack, and therefore, less likely
to face retaliation, which of course makes it
more tempting for them to in fact engage in cyberattacks. In effect, they can hide their activities behind the activities of
the already highly suspect North Koreans, which is precisely what the
Russians attempted to do with their attacks on
the Pyeongchang Olympics, and this is why attribution problems make deterrence in cyberspace
fundamentally multilateral. If we become worse at deterring
any one of our adversaries, we become worse at deterring them all, and so in formulating cyber strategy, we must think and we must act globally because changing our strategy
with respect to one adversary will change the behavior of all of our adversaries, and for this reason, it’s a little bit disappointing that the just released DOD Cyber Strategy, which contains many important and I think productive strategic shifts seems to have single-mindedly focused on China and on Russia. Even if our primary strategic goal, even if our only strategic goal, is to deter the Chinese and the Russians, we must act to deter the North Koreans and the Iranians and ISIL and so on, because if we fail to
deter those adversaries, we create a strategic environment that simply invites greater aggression from Russia and China. Now what does all of this imply for how we might think about
a new deterrence doctrine for the cyber age beyond
just multilateralism? Traditional deterrence theory teaches us that we should seek to commit ourselves to greater retaliatory aggressiveness. The classic example of
this is the doctrine of mutually assured destruction from nuclear strategy. We tell the Russians
that if they attack us, we’ll respond with such
overwhelming force, we’ll destroy their society, and they tell us likewise. Now once an initial Russian attack occurs, we might not want to go down that road, but if we’ve tied our hands that we will go down that road, we can deter the initial aggression. And so serious conversations are underway for how we might tie our hands to commit to greater
retaliatory aggressiveness across the board in cyberspace. Richard Clark, for example, has recently proposed
that the United States hold governments responsible
for all cyberattacks emanating from their domain,
from their territory, regardless of who the
perpetrator turns out to be, but the analogy from
traditional deterrence to cyber deterrence on
which such an analysis rests is flawed. In conventional warfare,
in nuclear warfare, the risk of retaliating
against the wrong adversary is vanishingly small. Missiles come with a return address, but in cyberspace, we face a fundamentally
different trade off. Of course committing to greater
retaliatory aggressiveness deters more attacks, but committing to a policy of retaliating more aggressively in
cyberspace where attacks are often difficult to attribute also means more frequent retaliation against the wrong adversary, with attendant risks of
dangerous escalatory spirals. It also creates incentives
for deliberate provocation by adversaries and rogue actors looking to leverage
the attribution problem to foment global conflict, and so greater retaliatory
aggressiveness across the board is unlikely to be optimal in cyberspace. We should commit ourselves
through doctrine, through treaties, through
standing military orders, to greater retaliatory aggressiveness following attacks that are
particularly straightforward to attribute, but having done so, we should also commit
ourselves to retaliate less aggressively than we would otherwise be inclined to do following attacks that
are particularly difficult to attribute. Such forbearance will reduce the risk of erroneous retaliation and reduce incentives for
deliberate provocation at little cost in terms of
deterrence and security. Let me end by saying that deterrence is only the tip of the
iceberg for cyber strategy. The cyber age has posed a host
of deep strategic challenges, the interaction between cyber
and conventional warfare, the potentially destabilizing
effect of using cyber tools for tasks such as missile defense, the role of secrecy versus
transparency in cyber security, the implications of a conflict landscape in which responsibility
for offense and retaliation rests with the government, but where responsibility for
defense and target hardening now resides in a diffuse marketplace, and on and on. Developing a strategy that comes to grips with these new challenges of the cyber age is essential for the future
of peace and prosperity. There’s much work to be done. Thank you. (audience applauding) – Good morning, everyone. My name is Mariana Laverde. I am a PhD candidate at the Harris School. I am also a recipient of
the Pearson Fellowship, a wonderful scholarship
that has not only supported my academic endeavors, but has also provided
exceptional opportunities to listen to experts and be engaged with current discussions about the ways communities experience and address conflict and
post-conflict scenarios. My experiences as a student
of the Harris School and the Pearson Institute
has been highly rewarding. For the past year, the
school and the institute have catered to my intellectual interests while also keeping my head
and very often my heart in tune with one of the most
important policy concerns of this time, preventing conflict and
mediating its consequences. From my early years, I have always been very keen on math, and have been amazed by the way math help us formalize ideas and bring insight into real world problems by appealing to a structured way of approaching questions. An insightful economic model
rationalizes a set of facts using the simplest set of assumptions, but of course theorizing about
the ways individuals behave and the resulting impact
on economic aggregates is only possible if one has
data to give support to it. The study of conflict is not an exception, and on the contrary, its complexity calls for the use of data and
micro data whenever possible. Understanding insurgents’
motives and strategies, the challenges faced by
societies as they undergo post-conflict situations, and the lasting psychological
effects on victims require more than models. The paradox is that conflict
is very frequently present in states that lack the power to set rules and make
rule breakers accountable. In consequence, very often
these places will not have the capacity to collect
data that sheds light on these questions and
other important questions. One challenge researchers undertake is to search for alternative
sources of information when administrative data is insufficient. Moreover, the much needed research that aims to understand and mitigate the psychological consequences of conflict and the ways in which societies revealed their social needing requires researchers to be on site interacting with communities. This all makes this research agenda a highly challenging one. With this thought in mind, I’d like to introduce
the next panel to discuss the role data oriented
research plays in the study of global conflict and the ways this research
can inform policy decisions. The panel will reflect more deeply on the challenges and the
opportunities available. I want to thank very much
the Pearson Institute for providing the opportunity to listen to this wonderful
pool of speakers today. (audience applauding) – Okay, thank you very much, Mariana. I’m Hal Weitzman. I work at the Chicago
Booth, the business school. I teach persuasion over there, and I’m gonna have the
honor of asking questions to our panel this morning. So I’m gonna introduce them very briefly, and then we’ll get into it, and hopefully at the end, we’ll have a chance for one
or two audience questions, so immediately to my left, we have Jeannie Annan. She’s a senior research associate at the Pearson Institute and also Senior Director
of Research and Evaluation at the International Rescue Committee. Next along, we have Liam Collins. He’s a colonel in the U.S.
Army, U.S. Special Forces, Director of the Modern War Institute at U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and next to Liam is Rebecca Wolfe. She’s Director of Evidence and Influence at Mercy Corps, and finally but not leastly
we have Austin Wright, assistant professor at the
Harris School of Public Policy here at the University of Chicago and a faculty affiliate
at the Pearson Institute. So as Marianna said, the point of this panel is that data, the analysis of data, is transforming how we
think about conflict, conflict prevention,
and helping populations affected by conflict, so maybe we can just start
by asking all of you. How have you seen over the
course of your careers data, and I should say also that we have a wonderful mix here of
practitioner expertise and academic research, so how have you seen the use of data over the course of your
career changing our approach to conflict, Jeannie? – Thanks, and again, thanks
to those who organized this, and the panelists. So I come to this very much from a humanitarian response perspective, so both the research side
and the practitioner side, and what I’ve seen change
remarkably over the last 10, 15 years is the use of
experimental research or the use of randomized controlled trials to try to test the effectiveness of interventions that we’re doing, from community driven
reconstruction programs to mental health programs, to reintegration of ex-combatants, trying to understand what works and using the most rigorous
methods that we have. 10, 15 years ago, the conversation was, that’s absurd. We can’t do that in conflict settings. It’s not feasible. It’s not ethical to do that, and now we have approximately
200 such studies that range across these
different interventions helping to inform better
response in these settings, and that’s both the growth
of the studies themselves, but then also there’s been
a real transformation then in the use of those studies. Again, 15 years, 20 years ago, being a humanitarian responder was really about taking one’s own experience and responding based on that experience, and now there’s a much
more evidence based, evidence informed part of that, so being a humanitarian professional is also about knowing the
best evidence that exists mixed with one’s experience, and using that in response. Now we’ve got a long way to go, both in the amount of evidence. Of course, in a high income country or a stable context, there are thousands and
thousands of studies rather than a couple of hundred, so a huge way to go in terms
of building that evidence and in transforming the sector on the use, but it’s been really
transformative I think over the last 10 years. – So we’ll come to the
second point you mentioned, but obviously 200 trials is a lot. Is there one example of something that you could give our audience that, a story of how something used to be done and how it’s done now, how it’s done differently
using data analysis? – Sure, I’ll give two very quick ones instead of one whole one. One positive, one negative, community driven reconstruction
is a really good example. It was seen as going to be transformative for communities to build
their social cohesion, to bring about good governance. Again, it really was
seen as a great example of what we could do with communities in the reconstruction
period in post-conflict or even protracted conflict. There are now at least
three trials showing that those high and lofty aims that we had did not come about from
community driven reconstruction. It brought about health clinics, bridges, things that communities really needed, but not those higher level outcomes, and so it brought down
people’s expectations in the right way for what
that program could be. On the other hand, mental health programming, which was seen as very much
a U.S. driven intervention, a psychological intervention, Chris mentioned one
this morning in Liberia, but another one with
survivors of sexual violence that I worked on using
cognitive processing therapy, which is another form of
cognitive behavioral therapy, dramatically reduced women’s
symptoms, traumatic symptoms, and was delivered by lay workers. Some of them didn’t have
high school education, and so that was something
that sort of transformed the way we think about the reduction of mental health symptoms and who can deliver those interventions. – Okay, wonderful. Now Liam, you’ve got a
huge amount of experience working in conflict zones. What have you seen over
the course of your career in terms of use of data. – First, let me start by
saying the views I express are my own and don’t
necessarily represent the Army or West Point. So now the mandatory
disclaimer’s out of the way. Yeah, having conducted
multiple combat deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, and
multiple operational deployments elsewhere around the work, I’ll talk a little bit
about the utility of data from the war fighter’s perspective. First I’ll discuss its
utility during conflict using some positive examples of where it’s been used effectively in stuff where I have personal experience. So when conducting man hunting operations, data’s extremely useful. We tend to call it intelligence, but it’s simply data. Data helped us capture Saddam and many of his former Ba’athist elites in 2003 famously depicted
on a deck of playing cards, and when you think about it, we did this in about a
six month time period, which is pretty amazing, considering if you look at
the FBI’s most wanted list, most of those people who are on there have been on the list
for seven to 10 years, so pretty amazing. Data’s helped us find Zarqawi and dismantle al-Qaeda in
Iraq in the latter part of the previous decade. Of course, it’s got
its resurgence as ISIS, but that’s more due to political, but we had a big impact on the network, and data helped us find Osama
Bin Laden in Pakistan as well. Other times the military
doesn’t really do a good job or use data effectively or
maybe it’s got the wrong data. I mean, everybody obviously kind of turns to Vietnam as the bad
example of using body counts to measure success. In Afghanistan, we probably
didn’t do that much better. In this case, it was
oftentimes too much data, so just confusing commanders with dozens of different metrics, not knowing where to turn for help, or the most commonly used
data was called the SIGACTS, which stands for significant activity, and really the only thing
on that list were attacks, so the naming of data matters, and calling something
significant activity, then everything that’s not on there is something that’s less significant, but in those kind of environments, there’s a lot of other
significant activities that’s not being captured. Then I’ll turn a little bit, as far as provide a cautionary note that I think oftentimes we
focus on quantitative methods, but it’s not the only
approach that has utility. The qualitive method also
has its place as well. I’ll provide a quick example
to illustrate my point. In 2009, I sent a few other researchers when I the Director of the
Combating Terrorism Center at West Point over to Afghanistan to support the task force over there, and while there, it became
clear that the task force really didn’t have a good understanding about the Haqqani network. Sure, it was great at
building a link diagram. They could map out where
everybody was in the network and what their role was, but really didn’t
understand what the goals and the ideology of the organization were, so this spurred us to
do a report on the group and really what we did was we just turned to look at three jihadist magazines that they had published in
Pashto, Urdu, and Arabic, digital videos they had produced as well as various memoirs
from Afghan fighters, and ultimately that gave
us a good understanding of the group. Published the report, and (mumbling) when he was the Deputy National Security Advisor, attributed that with
getting the Haqqani network placed on the foreign terrorist
organization designation. So I’d wrap up by saying, I mean, really this report spurred out of, or research spurred out of, a trip overseas, so oftentimes, the
researcher really needs to go with the war fighter,
with the peace keeper, with the non-government organization to really get a feel to identify the gaps and figure out where data can help, and then more importantly
translate that to the group. – [Hal] Okay, and just so a clarification, how do you think about the distinction between intelligence, old
school or new school, and data? – I mean, I guess intelligence
is just a matter, right, how its been collected,
the sources and methods, but once you have it, it’s data. It’s classified for obvious reasons, but I think turning to the future, what you’re gonna see more of, right, you hear about large
data machine learning, and I think that might be some of the way of the future that will be helpful, and a lot of stuff exists, more and more exists on
the non-classified side that can be useful. – [Hal] Okay, thank you very much. We’ll come to that. Rebecca? – So I’ll say when I came to Mercy Corps 12 and a half years ago, Nancy hired me there, I thought I would never
do another research study, and now I only do
research for Mercy Corps, and that shows the evolution
of how in the development space and in conflict prevention, we’ve wanted more evidence
based interventions, and so what I’ve seen though
is when I first started looking into particularly
around why young people participate in violence, looking at the macro data that both Jim and Grant
mentioned this morning, we saw these huge correlations
between youth bulges, unemployment, and civil wars. However, that didn’t
help me design programs, and I’m gonna tell a
story Chris doesn’t know. I saw him give a talk in 2009 at NYU on some of his Uganda work, and at that point, I had
written about 20 proposals with the theory of
change or the hypothesis that employment will increase stability, and I saw Chris give this talk, and as a psychologist as well, I was like, oh, of course. Engaging in violence is
not a rational behavior, and our interventions at
least in the development space are really about changing
individual behaviors. It’s not about changing
these macro systems, and so we had to
understand why young people were participating in violence, and so that started a stream of research in Mercy Corps since about 2010 on first why young people were
participating in violence, and while I’m not saying
it’s never about economics, it’s probably an over weighting
of it in the response, and so in most, we did a
study in Sub-Saharan Africa. Only in one country did
we find a correlation. We also have looked at
Afghanistan and Jordan and also haven’t seen correlations, and so what we have found would be that it is really about much more of a social motivation, often I now would characterize as a protection of one’s family or one’s group, or getting something because
of that marginalization. I think the other piece
where the data has told us and where we have to be
really careful about data is who are we asking? And so much of the data that looked at why young people were
participating in violence was asking key informants
about how they thought other people behaved, and what that really tells us is their theories about the world. When we asked young people themselves about why they engaged in violence, we got many different answers, and so I think we also have to be careful about our data about
where it’s coming from. – [Hal] Okay, well, I also want to talk a little bit more about that, but Austin, going back
to this original question about how data, the analysis of data, is transforming our approach to conflict, talk to us about your work. – Yeah, so I think most of
my work is in Afghanistan, and if we think back to when
the U.S. and coalition partners invaded Afghanistan initially, what was the state of the academic art in the study of civil conflict? It was a bunch of
cross-national regressions that were telling us in a annual basis what were the factors that
may or may not increase the risk of conflict in the next year or the next 10 years, right? And zoom all the way to the end of Operation Enduring Freedom. Right at the very beginning of 2015, myself and a colleague were
in the notable position of having contacts at
U.S. Central Command, and being there when they
were ready to declassify the entirety of the SIGACTS that Liam was talking about earlier, and not just the combat activity, but also the intelligence records that had been collected from
civilians on the ground, information about things
ranging from combat operations all the way to the Taliban’s spy network, was data that they were
ready to hand over. And the key thing that
they sort of talked about in the overview description of the panel is what were the soldiers in places like Iraq and Afghanistan doing when they were compiling this data? They were walking around
with incredibly precise geo-referencing tools, and they were able to carefully timestamp all of that data, so back at the beginning of the war, we were thinking about civil wars as happening in countries and years, and by the end of the war, we were thinking about the context of whether or not the IED is being planted at
8:00 A.M. or 9:00 A.M., and is it on the right side of the road or the left side of the road? And I think that opens up
a wealth of opportunities for us to think about much more carefully the mechanisms that link
various sort of economic and political shocks to the rise of insurgent groups or insurgent recruitment, or the changes in political beliefs among the general population, that these governments
really want to maintain and build that trust and enhance the legitimacy
of states in those contexts, and I think that really
has become transformative, and so much of my work relies on these very critical resources that militaries have
collected in the context of an ongoing war, but of course that’s complemented with what some of us
have talked about so far, which is standard data
collection techniques, like gathering survey data, right, except in these context, the U.S. military with coalition partners are doing this on an untold level with nationwide surveys being
conducted every three months, and so from the beginning
of those surveys in 2008 to present, we have more than a
million survey respondents. – Wonderful. So I’m interested in if
we’re collecting more and more data and more
and more precise data, how good, are we getting better at turning those data
into policies that work, and not only work in
the specific environment in which they’re collected, but work across other environments, either in other war zones or maybe even on the streets of Chicago or somewhere else where people
are affected by violence? Rebecca, do you have a thought on that? – So what I would say is that, I mean, one, it goes to that
point of what is the data, and what its level is targeting, and are you asking the right people? So I think that’s one of the problems with all this data today is that, what’s the quality of the data, and are we seeing spurious
correlations between things that actually may distract
us from what’s going on? I think in terms of can we learn from one place to another, I would say there are general trends. So for example, an identity
is really important, whether it’s in Afghanistan or in Chicago or in Kenya, but how that plays out in a context is going to differ, and so look matching
kind of that individual with that macro context
is really important. – [Hal] Okay, I mean, and you talked, and Liam, you also talked about this, about it’s all in the interpretation. You talked about almost
maybe having too much data, not precise enough, but what about this
question of sort of the data informing policy? Is that getting better? Were you sort of doing that
translation a bit better? Jeannie? – So I certainly think it’s gotten better. I think we all know that
the production of research, just doing a research study, even if it’s a great, high
quality research study, does not mean that anyone
is going to use that, that there is a lot of research that sits on the virtual shelf and is not used, and there have been
actually a lot of studies about why that’s the case, and I think big factors stand out that a lot of the data is not accessible. That doesn’t just mean it’s sort of gated and you have to pay for it, but also even if people get it, it’s not written in accessible language, and then even if it’s
sort of able to be read and somewhat clearly written, the findings are there, but how one translates
findings into actual actions and decisions is a big
leap in most studies. And so we’ve found, and part of certainly what
I’ve worked on at IRC, is knowledge brokers or people
who can bridge or translate between the researchers
and the practitioners, and it really is a lot of people, like Rebecca, myself, others like us, and there are more and
more of these positions in NGOs who are researchers or know the research really well, but have done field work and can really act as translators and say, “Here are the findings. “Here’s what we think
this would look like,” and we’re doing that more
and more systematically, and so I think that bridging role is really critical. Some researchers are really
great at doing that translation. Some practitioners good
at figuring out research, but a lot aren’t, and I think we need a lot of people in that knowledge brokering space. – Okay, well, I mean,
that’s great obviously for University of Chicago. Do you think the policy makers are hearing what you’re saying enough? Probably not enough, but you know what I mean. Are they hearing what you’re saying? Are they using the information? Are they searching for
the right kinds of data, from your perspective? – So I think if, and this has come out I think in other studies on this trend, this question of translation, I think people, practitioners, policy makers, hear it if it’s in the right
language at the right time from the right person. So there’s a lot of behavioral
science around this, so I think we work on who, whether it’s internally in sort of 12,000 humanitarian responders at IRC who are doing this work. We have technical advisors who they trust who are doing the
translation of this evidence. When we’re talking to
the Minister of Education about refugee education, it’s building a relationship
from our side over time that then we use those findings to inform actually this
would be a better way within the political sphere to potentially increase
children’s learning, so it’s really about
relationship building, about the translation of that information, so I think they’re listening, but when we’re saying it
and building relationships in the right way. – Okay, Liam, you gave us that
disclaimer at the beginning, so since it’s your opinion and not the Pentagon’s, what is your perspective on whether the Pentagon is asking the
right kinds of questions or U.S. military establishment
or NATO or whatever? Are they asking the right questions? Are they looking for
the right kind of data, and are they analyzing it correctly? – I mean, I think generally
there’s a definitely respect in the community for data, maybe too much respect. I mean, sometimes you wanna
have this silver bullet, some data report that will
kind of give you the answer, and that’s almost never
gonna be the case, right? It’s just a piece that helps you kind of understand the puzzle, and there’s so many variables out there, so each little one is helpful, but rarely is it a silver bullet answer, and I think sometimes
that’s what people want, and so when they get a report, and it’s probabilistic, or it’s more kind of squishy, then sometimes it’s maybe, I don’t know if it would be discounted, but it’s harder for them to interpret or to figure out how to apply that. – [Hal] Okay, do that come down to this translation question then? – I think part of it is the translation, and then part of it is each piece is only useful to some. We had the UN Peacekeeping
Office come to us, asked us to kind of give them help, help them evaluate where should they go to insert peacekeepers? Right, there’s so many variables, and so they want the data, but then if you put it together, trying to get value out of it. – [Hal] Alright, I was gonna
say you can’t help wondering if there were more
subtlety to the approach, and it wouldn’t just be binary, then we might have had some
better outcomes in recent years military interventions. – Yeah, I mean, like I said, I mean, if you look from Vietnam to Iraq, it was the opposite extreme. They had dozens and dozens of metrics that they were using, so they were trying to
go at it and do that, bringing academics, think tank people over to help them do it, so it wasn’t for a lack of trying, so I think they’re legitimately
trying to use the data as much as possible. – [Hal] Okay, Austin,
what’s been your experience in trying to translate
research into policy? – Yeah, so I think it’s of course, this at the end of the day is where the rubber meets the road, and I think that’s exactly why
the Pearson Institute exists as an institution is to enable us to help be those knowledge brokers, to translate this information
that is being collected among academics and in our own work to help shape policy, and this is part of broader mission of a bunch of individuals who
were very closely related to and invested in the wars
in Iraq and Afghanistan, most notably people like Jake Shapiro, who started the empirical
studies of Conflict Group. And that has served for the last decade as sort of an institution
for people to turn to when they were gathering
data or needed to talk to a set of individuals who
had those set of contacts. So when I think of Pearson Institute, as really being the institution that will sort of make sure
that that kind of core mission is accomplished, but I think to get back
to the earlier question that you asked Rebecca
about how much can we think about across context, and this really is the core question that a lot of policy makers ask, right? Not just what’s the result, but does the result travel? Does it tell me about
relationships in other contexts, and I think that this
is incredibly important, and we always need to be mindful of the various like idiosyncrasies of particular locations, but at the end of the day, when we sit back and we
think about dynamics, whether it be about conflict or it be about crime, many of these are similar across contexts. And one that we talked about
as a group earlier in the week is some work that we’ve
been doing in Afghanistan on the impact of police abuse of power on the willingness of
civilians in that context to report crimes being
committed in their communities, and what we find thanks to data that was shared with us by NATO as part of the Pearson Institute is that in fact it’s
exactly the relationship that we’re worried about, that those kinds of misconduct, whether it be assaulting individuals, or unlawful arrest, or
bribery and extortion, all of those undermine the
willingness of individuals to actually cooperate with the government, to share that information, to help them clear crimes. These are the kinds of questions
that we want answers to in the American context too, right? If we think about the trial
that’s even happening now, with the shooting of Laquan McDonald, we want to know in the
aftermath of that shooting, did it actually impact
the community’s trust? And most of these communities, just like in Afghanistan, are being policed in ways that perhaps even put them at more risk, and further undermine that
community policing dynamic, and so I think that
it’s certainly the case that there are ways that we
can share this information with policy makers, and that they often
desire that information, but they do ask critical questions like how far do these results travel, and although we always have to be careful and mindful of what are
the scope conditions of our findings, there are some core things
that I think do travel. – Building on that, the ability to collect sophisticated data, the kind of data that you talked about, is becoming easier and
cheaper all the time, and the amount of data that we’re able to generate is vast, and our ability to analyze those data is becoming better and better. Given that, how concerned should we be about bad actors, whether they’re let’s
say authoritarian states or non-state actors, using data in nefarious ways? Rebecca? – So I think this is actually in some ways one of the limitations
in terms of traveling, and so I know in the gang
violence prevention space, we’ve been able to develop
some relatively good models of predicting who’s going
to engage in violence and join gangs. I think in the violent extremism space, it’s such a low end problem that so few people have
engaged in that behavior, we don’t have those models, but I see, and I get pressure from donors, to be able to come up with a model to predict who’s going to join
a violent extremist group, and I’m very worried if
in certain countries, that data was accessed, that security forces would in a sense do preventive action that would actually make the problem worse
in human rights abuses. And so I am very strong, particularly in the
violent extremism space, that we need very strong data protections for those reasons. – [Hal] Okay. Austin, do you have a view on that? – Yeah, so I think one
approach is to be concerned about what can be done with your findings and perhaps even what
can be done with the data that you’ve gathered, right, the output from your predictive models. Another concern that we
have to be mindful of is that one thing that’s
sort of on the agenda for the conversation is
talking about remote sensing, the use of high resolution, high frequency satellite
imagery for understanding various conflict dynamics, and one of the things that
that data was used for very recently is to track things like village burnings in Burma, and of course, when
the news stories broke, the Human Rights Watch
had been sort of gathering all of this data, and had been processing a
bunch of satellite imagery. It always raises the concern that that will lead to
a strategic response by the part of actors
that have an incentive to conceal their behaviors, that they’ll simply adjust the abuse and sort of conduct it in a way that avoids that particular
kind of detection, and that of course if we don’t know, or are unaware of, or don’t
think that they’re acting in that way, and we then draw inferences
from the lack of evidence of that kind of behavior
in the future, right, we’re actually drawing
a very flawed inference that could be incredibly problematic. I think we always have
to be mindful of the fact that these actors are
incredibly strategic, that they are aware of these processes. They may not take the
data from a warehouse, but they know that they
can manipulate researchers into thinking that that
behavior may be going away when in reality they’re
just simply switching to a type of behavior
that can’t be detected with that technology. – [Hal] Okay, Liam, do you
have a view on this question of using data for kind of nefarious ends? – Yeah, let me go back
to a earlier question you asked though first on military or the government using data. Yeah, sometimes, I mean, if there’s an incentive
to not seek it out, then they won’t do it, and to give an example, governments are more incentivized to lump all terrorist groups kind of under the al-Qaeda umbrella, so you got the authorities that come with the AUMF, authorized use of military force. So they aren’t looking for difference in the organizations, which might be useful then from an exploitation stand point, and so early on, it was hard for them to kind of understand the difference between al-Qaeda and ISIS even though CTC and
others were kind of trying to show the difference on that. And so sometimes if you look
at where the incentives lie, then that sometimes will help you understand if the data’s
gonna be sought after or not. If you’re trying to achieve victory in Afghanistan or Iraq, then they’re clearly gonna go after it. If it has to do with acquiring a weapons system or something, and they have an incentive
to get this weapons system, then they may not go after the data. I guess I’ll return to the
question that you asked, which was– – [Hal] We were talking about let’s say authoritarian regimes maybe at some point in the
future being able, let’s imagine, to predict where unrest might flare up and thereby be able to stifle dissent or freedom of speech
or freedom of movement. – Yeah, I mean, that’s
always the risk, right, as the data gets out there. If both sides have access to it, what does that mean? So I’d be surprised if they
didn’t try to manipulate or use that data for their benefit. Just like we’re trying to us it, large data, try to identify
where they might be, they’re trying to do the same. – [Hal] Jeannie? – If I can bring it to
a much more local level, I think IRC and some of my own work focuses on violence against women, and of course women in conflict settings are exposed not only to violence from armed actors, but are also many of
them exposed to violence, or violated in their own homes by their husbands, and this is higher rates
of domestic violence in conflict settings. So one of the things
we’re very conscious of when we’re doing surveys with women on violence against women, and it’s usually a whole range
of gender based violence, is how might their husbands or other men in their household or in their community actually overhear or understand what
they’re being asked about, and how might that put
them at greater risk? And so we take great pains to think about the privacy, the confidentiality, of the data where it’s stored, but also where that interview takes place. We have moved to more audio recorded where they’re actually
listening to recordings and no one’s asking the questions aloud. We have protocols for when someone comes into a room, and that has ranged
from uncles and husbands to armed actors who are in the community actually walking into interviews while our interviewers
are conducting them, and we have protocols for switching the questions immediately, and those are practiced. So we’re worried not just
about the higher level actors, but also about those in
homes and communities, and work hard to prevent the use of that. – So those techniques, they’re translatable across
lots of different settings? – Yes, I mean, where the
interview has to take place can differ greatly from a women’s center to another woman’s home to a room in their own home, so the principles translate
across all settings. Exactly what that looks like changes. – And that actually
speaks to something else we could talk about perhaps, I’m gonna turn it over to questions, which was about the
challenges of collecting data in conflict zones, but I do wanna make sure
that we have some time for your questions. So I see a question down the front. Do we have a microphone? Great. – [Joel] Hi, I’m Joel Braunold. I’m the Executive Directive of the Alliance for Middle East Peace. Jeannie, you mentioned RCTs
and sort of the growth of that as a field, and we know from the Institute
of Peace and Economics that RCTs aren’t generalizable
across conflict zones, and on the translation question, when policy makers are looking for a public health evidence base, should we really be indulging that, or should we be trying to move them to more of a systems based approach? Because if we don’t have
generalizable results across conflict zones, policy makers are often saying, “Well, if you can’t prove it, “then I’m not gonna do it.” Should we really just be
trying to educate them in a different, more systems based place? Thanks. – Rebecca, you could probably
speak to that as well. So I think if I understand, so I think, as Austin spoke to, some of the results or some principles are certainly translatable, and when you have studies, so there are now, we have several mental
health interventions. I mentioned community
driven reconstruction. We have caregiver or
parenting interventions where we’ve done trials in multiple, very different contexts and seen similar findings. We’re very careful not to just translate a study that we’ve done in DRC to say this works in Afghanistan, but rather to say, what’s the
body of evidence that exists? What are those findings, and what do we know about
the conditions on which and the factors that matter, for whether they worked or not? And I think that’s an important part of also collecting not
just outcome data in RCTs, but also the implementation factors. What does it take to do
this at a pilot level? How much fidelity is there
to that intervention? What are the other factors around it? So that we can inform
would this translate? What are the questions
we should be asking? – To add to that, so one, I think we are seeing
some replication of things in different conflict zones. So Chris talked about his
Liberia study this morning. Mercy Corps did a similar
study in Afghanistan. It was vocational training and cash. We actually got the same
exact pattern of results. It was actually remarkable. We did not expect that, and so I think I’m actually really curious about cash as this boosting effect for a lot of different interventions so people can absorb what we’re doing, whether it’s CBT, vocational training, or something else, and that goes to Jeannie’s other point about the importance of
understanding the implementation. So I think a lot of the null results we see in RCTs is because of potentially poor implementation. It’s not about the theory of change or the hypothesis we’re testing, and so it could be a dosage effect, or the fact that a training
was held at a bad time, or something else that
is affecting the results, and not that it’s a poor theory. – [Hal] Okay, another
question, I see one here. – [Woman] Yeah, a very nice and
interesting approach to data for social sciences. My question is we do in biology think about reductionist experiments, and it’s really interesting that now you are thinking about getting data and then developing intervention, so my question to each one of you, the way you interpret data
really is so much dependent on who is interpreting the data, and so what kind of
work force do you think you’re gonna need to
really be able to translate the work that needs to be translated in the context of where the conflict is actually occurring? – Okay, thank you. That’s a wonderful question. Liam, you talked about exactly that issue of how the interpretation of data sort of doesn’t match the data that’s received by military establishment. Is the U.S. military aware of that? Is it changing its hiring to get in the sort of the people
who can interpret data in the way that it should be interpreted? – I mean, probably about 15 years ago, we created specialties within it, within the military, so at a certain point of your career, they can become operations
research specialist, and so we’ve made some
changes to acknowledge that and try to create some expertise
within the organization, so we have made progress. I mean, I don’t think
we’re where we need to be, but we’ve done some of that internally so that we have that resident expertise and then rely on the outside community to help us as well. – [Hal] Okay, thanks. Austin, do you have a view on this? – Yeah, I think this is an
incredibly important question because the work force
needs to have a combination of the institutional knowledge
of that particular context that you’re studying. They need to be thinking about how is the data being processed itself, and then at the end of the day, they need to be able to analyze the data and interpret those
results they’re finding, and check to make sure
that what the inferences that they’re drawing are not
potentially either spurious or biased in any number of ways. That’s a huge skill set, right? And I think that if I’m thinking about what is the core mission of a place like the Harris School or really any sort of
leading public policy school, it’s to bring policy together with a sort of rigorous analytical approach that often requires data, and I think that is
effectively the work force that we’re looking for, those individuals that have the skill set and the understanding of
the policy or the context and how it’s being implemented, but also the ability to analyze it and to sort of bring
those two worlds together. – [Hal] Jeannie? – Sure, I can just add
I think that agreed. It’s a big skill set, and one of the things
sort of along that chain that we worked on is really work shopping the results, early results, and so the conversation, so a recent example is findings on a social, emotional, and
education program in Niger, and results came out, and they were let’s say less positive than we would have liked to see, and it’s presenting those early findings with the team that has been implementing the program in Niger, and then having them
ask a lot of questions about what would this mean and what are the other questions that we could ask of the data, and then going back, and the researchers then
doing further analysis, and then coming back and saying, “Okay, let’s have another conversation “about this further analysis.” So it’s a range of people, including those implementing the program, those doing the research, and in the best cases, I
think it’s a conversation that then helps to move
into what the best findings and really recommendations
from those results. – And I’ll just add briefly
to what Jeannie just said. I’ve becoming increasingly
more uncomfortable when I see a lot of papers with all foreigners interpreting behaviors of people in another place, I mean, but that’s what
I’ve seen a lot of, and so I’ve made a personal
commitment on this issue of not doing that anymore, and that we really have
built research teams that include local researchers as well as external, so who really design the
whole project from the start, and both in terms of
designing the questions and interpreting the data. And so I think that I’ve seen both with an institute like Pearson bringing so many
international scholars here and students here to learn
the more rigorous methods that Austin was just talking about, but groups like Evidence
for Governance and Politics does a lot of outreach. IPA, J-PAL, I think as
much as these groups really try to build and increase skills of this data analysis, we’ll understand the context a lot better and why these interventions are effective. – Okay, great, well, unfortunately, this conversation could run and run, but I don’t wanna keep
you from your lunch, so let’s continue the
conversation over lunch, so I’m gonna thank Jeannie
Annan, Liam Collins, Rebecca Wolfe, and Austin Wright, and thank you for your
fantastic questions. (audience applauding) (audience mumbling) – Hello, everyone. Welcome back. I hope you enjoyed the morning sessions and your conversations at lunch, and now we are ready to dive in to the afternoon sessions. I want to make a quick note that inside your program
book, you’ll find a survey that allows you to give feedback
on all the sessions today. Please do take a minute to fill that out, and you can hand it to
anyone wearing a staff badge or drop it at the registration
table on your way out. We’d love to get your feedback on the day. Now without further ado, we’ll jump right back in. Thanks. – [Oeindrila] Mari heard
that the rebels were coming. It was a rainy day in May 2001 in the middle of the
civil war in Sierra Leone. Her thoughts immediately went to her mother and her daughter, and she scrambled to
get back to her village, but when she got there, she saw the flames, and she knew it was too late. The rebels had set fire to her house. When Mari realized this, her body gave way. She basically collapsed. Her fellow villagers
essentially supported her, held her, and they also put their hands over her mouth so she
wouldn’t scream out loud. After all, if she screamed,
the rebels would discover where they were hiding too. From that position, Mari watched as her house
burned to the ground with both her mother
and her daughter inside. Now Mari survived that night, but later she would learn that Fatu, another woman in the village, had given away the location
of where people were hiding. If it hadn’t been for Fatu, Mari’s mother and her daughter would not have died that night. When I met Mari 10 years later, she told me that she and Fatu still lived in the same village. Now it’s not a very large village. It only take four or five minutes to cross from one side to the other. Despite this, every day when Mari wakes up the morning she plans her day to make sure that she does not run into Fatu, and Fatu likewise does the same. To this day, Mari and Fatu are locked
in a dance of avoidance around each other. Now their story actually highlights one of the central challenges facing every country
coming out of conflict. Conflicts leave behind hostility, grudges, animus, and every post conflict society needs to find some way of
helping people overcome this, of restoring broken social ties, of renewing social capital
in their communities. The question is how. Now some people say the key to this is having people
explicitly address and air their wartime grievances through truth and reconciliation processes. What’s a truth and reconciliation process? Well, here’s one that took
place in Sierra Leone. People have come together. They’re talking about the past. They’re talking about the
things that happened to them during the war. Victims will describe the
atrocities they experience. Perpetrators will admit to crimes and seek forgiveness for these crimes. Now they’re not prosecuted or punished for admitting to these crimes, and victims are not
financially compensated for participating in this process, and the process itself can
last just a day or two long. So the question is, can
something like this work to restore social capital in
contexts like Sierra Leone’s which had such a long
and brutal civil war? Now proponents of reconciliation processes are very eager to say yes. They claim, absolutely. It can renew societal healing, and it can promote social capital. They even go on to make a second claim that it can be psychologically beneficial, that it can promote psychological healing, but when we started
looking into this question, which was shortly after I met Mari, we found that there really
wasn’t very much evidence around these points at all, and as this quote here suggests, these claims typically
had rested more on faith than on actual empirical evidence. So we set out to fill this gap by conducting a field experiment, a social experiment, on reconciliation in Sierra Leone. Now the reconciliation
ceremonies that we evaluated were being conducted by an organization called Fambul Tok, which means family talk in Creole. This organization was
created by a Sierra Leonean named John Caulker who, when he looked around him and saw many examples like Mari and Fatu, was deeply convinced that
the need for reconciliation remained in place even years
after the war had ended. Their idea was to have
community level reconciliation in sections of 10 villages, and in these sections, they held reconciliation ceremonies that brought victims face to face with perpetrators in which
perpetrators would admit to and seek forgiveness for their crimes. Now at the time that we met John Caulker and his organization, they were already working in
six districts of Sierra Leone, but they were poised to
expand into new sections, so we worked with them by design to randomize the new places
in which they would be working so we could evaluate the
effects of reconciliation and assess these dual claims that are made about psychological and societal healing. Now there’s an important point to note about timeline here. The war in Sierra Leone ended in 2002. The reconciliation processes
that we’re looking at took place 10 years later in 2011, 2012, and we evaluated their effects and saw what their
effects were a year or two even further down the road. What were the areas that
were a part of the study? Well, we worked in 100 sections, and 50 of them were assigned into the reconciliation treatment, and another 50 served
as a comparable control. All told, we surveyed nearly 2,400 people who were the participants in our study. Using this approach, the first question we wanted to understand was does reconciliation actually lead to greater forgiveness
of war perpetrators, so we asked respondents 12 questions that were designed to gauge their feelings of affect and resentment and
anger toward perpetrators, and using this approach, we found that in fact people that resided in the places that had
gone through reconciliation were substantially more
likely to have forgiven their war perpetrators. So forgiveness increased. We then wanted to go on to understand, does reconciliation lead
to greater social capital in the communities? So we looked at social networks, and we found that in fact, social networks were
stronger in the places that had gone through reconciliation. People had more friendship ties. People reported relying more on each other for help and advice. We also saw that participation in community groups increased. People were much more likely to be part of organizations like
religious organizations, like PTAs, like women’s groups. We also wanted to look at
contributions to public goods, and this is really important because in a very poor
village in Sierra Leone, if you wanna do something
like repair a primary school, you can’t rely on a lot of resources coming down from the central government. You have to mobilize resources locally, and what we found was places that had gone through reconciliation, people were much more likely to contribute either labor or money toward doing things like
building health clinics and building schools, toward repairing roads
and toward contributing to families in need. All of this suggested that social capital had in fact increased in these places, and it makes sense if
we think about the story of Mari and Fatu. If you’re able to forgive people for crimes that were committed, it makes sense that it
might incline you more to be able to participate
jointly in activities, and you may feel better about contributing to your community, but remember, we also wanted
to assess the second effect on what happens to psychological wellbeing in these places. To do that, we looked
at three key measures of psychological wellbeing, depression, anxiety, and post
traumatic stress disorder, and here we found a
very different picture. We found the places that had
gone through reconciliation fared worse on all three dimensions. So what’s our interpretation of this? Our interpretation is
that confronting the past can be incredibly distressing. Victims have to relive
these terrible memories. Perpetrators might feel great
shame at admitting to crimes. Third parties yet might be learning about new atrocities that
took place in their village that they were not even aware of before, and reconciliation processes
in their current incarnation are not designed to help people
cope with these memories, and by the way, these
effects are not fleeting. We were able to look at the effects up to two and a half years after the reconciliation
ceremonies took place, and we found all of the effects. The negative effects on
psychological wellbeing as well as the positive
effects on social capital and forgiveness persisted
into the long run. So stepping back, we think these results tell us something about
animus left behind. First and foremost, we think these results tell us that people do not self heal, that animus doesn’t simply disappear with the passage of time. We looked at reconciliation processes that took place 10 years
after the war had ended. They couldn’t have had
the effects that they did on forgiveness, on restoring social ties, if people had been able to
let go of their hatreds. Think back to the story of Mari and Fatu. To this day, Mari sees
the death of her family in the eyes of Fatu, and in the absence of explicit
efforts and interventions to help people let go of these hostilities and these grudges, these grudges can be long lasting, so we need to invest in ways to help people let go. Now reconciliation
processes seem to get us part of the way there. They seem to improve forgiveness. They seem to improve social capital, but of course, they also have
these psychological effects, so we think that these processes should be designed and re-designed so as to retain their societal benefits without imposing these
psychological costs, for example, by having
more ongoing engagement with participants to help
people prepare their minds for what they will encounter and to help them better cope with the negative war
memories that are raised. We certainly think this
is worth investing in, this design and this re-design, because what we know about conflicts is that sometimes they go away, but sometimes they flare back up after periods of peace, and understanding where
hostility is left behind can help us to understand
these cycles of violence. This is certainly important to do as we consider the large
number of countries that have been embroiled in conflict during recent years because when these
conflicts come to an end, we will have to grapple with the question of whether these are places where people have been able to let go of their hatreds and their hostilities or whether these are places where violence will continue
to cycle over and over and over again. Thank you. (audience applauding) – Good afternoon. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Bob Zimmer. I’m President of the
University of Chicago, and our next speaker has a distinguished, and in fact not just distinguished, but I would say remarkable
record of public service, someone I had the privilege
of meeting recently at the conference in
Belfast on global conflict and human impact of that conflict. Senator George J. Mitchell
served as the U.S. senator for Maine from 1890 until 1995, during which time he also
for part of that time served as Senate Majority Leader. After this, he was appointed
by President Bill Clinton as the inaugural United
States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland. He chaired the peace talks that led to the Belfast Good
Friday Agreement in 1998, an agreement that has
endured for 20 years. For this work, he was awarded the
Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Truman Institute Peace Prize, and the United Nations UNESCO Peace Prize. In 2000 and 2001, he served as chairman of an international fact finding committee on violence in the Middle
East at the request of President Clinton, Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Chairman Yasser Arafat, and from 2009 until 2011, he was the Special Envoy
for Middle East peace appointed by President Barack Obama. Among the many appointments
he’s held in his career, he served as the Chancellor
of Queens University Belfast, the inaugural Chairman of the
International Crisis Group, President of the Economic
Club of Washington, as a Senior Fellow and
Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University’s Center for International Conflict Resolution, and is currently an honorary chair of the World Justice Project. In 2016, Queens University
Belfast launched an interdisciplinary,
global research institute dedicated to research
on peace and conflict named the Senator George
J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security, and Justice in his honor, and this institute was, of course, the partner for the Pearson Institute at the conference I mentioned in Belfast. Senator Mitchell’s had
a remarkable career. He’s a remarkable human being. The University of Chicago
is honored to welcome him to the inaugural Pearson Global Forum. Please join me in
welcoming him to the stage. (man yelling) (audience applauding) – Thank you very much,
ladies and gentlemen, for your warm reception and for your presence here today. My thanks to President Zimmer
for his kind introduction. It’s a pleasure, really an honor for me to participate in this program here at
the University of Chicago, one of the great institutions
of higher education in the world, and the Pearson Institute as well. We in Maine are developing
an increasing admiration for the University of Chicago. In the past few years two of our finest small
colleges have chosen as their presidents people
from this university. David Greene is now the
president of Colby College, and Clayton Rose is the
president of Bowdoin College, and I want to report to President Zimmer and all of you they are both doing a great job and are highly respected
in their communities and all across our state. I do speak often, so often that for me, the highlight of any
program, including this one, is the introduction, and so I’m very grateful
to President Zimmer for giving me such a kind introduction. It’s always nice to hear people
say good things about you, particularly in front
of a group of strangers who don’t really know me. The risk of course is that if you hear that stuff often enough, you begin to believe it, and that’s a very dangerous thing. So I’d like to begin with a story about introductions and an occasion on which I was brought back down to earth. Over a span of five years, I chaired three separate
sets of negotiations in Northern Ireland. When they were completed, I returned to my home in Maine and wrote a book about my experience. When the book was published, I traveled the country doing book promotion events. In that process, I received
a very large number of invitations and discovered
the interesting fact that in the United States, there are more Irish
American organizations than there are Irish Americans. (audience laughing) And every single one of
them invited me to come. I couldn’t go to all, but I went to as many as I could, and as I traveled the country speaking to these Irish American groups, they had developed among
them an informal competition as to who could give the longest, most fantastic, frequently
quite ridiculous introductions of me. The proper reaction of course would have been for me
to show some humility, to ask them please to keep it short, but I had an improper reaction. I loved it. I encouraged them. I scolded them when
they left something out. At one Irish American club, a guy got up and for 35 minutes read off everything that
I’d ever done in my life. It was very interesting to me because I’d not been aware of many of my exploits until he described them, but when he finished, I scolded him for leaving out the fact
that I received an award my junior year in high school. So by the time I got to the
final stop on this tour, it was in Stanford, Connecticut, the Irish American society there. I was so overly impressed with myself that I had a hard time squeezing my head through the front door. When I get in, the first person I encountered
was an elderly woman who rushed up to me,
very nervous and excited, shook my hand vigorously, spent several minutes praising me, and then she said, “I don’t
live anywhere near here. “I drove three hours across
the whole state of Connecticut “just to please ask you “will you autograph my poster?” And she handed me a poster
with a big photograph on it and a pen. I looked at it. I said, I’ll be very happy
to autograph your poster, but before I do, I think there’s something I should tell you. She said, “What is it?” I said, I’m not Henry Kissinger. (audience laughing) It was a picture of Kissinger. She was taken aback. She said, “Well, you’re not? “Well, who are you anyway?” (audience laughing) And when I told her, she said, “Why, that’s just terrible.” She said, “I drove three hours to meet “a great man named Kissinger, “and all I’ve got is a nobody like you.” I told her, I’m sorry you feel so bad. I wish there’s something I could do to make you feel better, and for a moment she thought, and then she said, “Well, there is.” And when I asked what it was, she leaned forward. I leaned forward. We were in a conspiratorial crouch, and she whispered, “Nobody
will ever know the difference.” (audience laughing) She said, “Would you mind
singing Henry Kissinger’s name “to my poster?” And so I did, and it’s hanging today
on her living room wall in eastern Connecticut, a daily reminder to me to
enjoy these kind comments by nice people like President Zimmer, but don’t take them too seriously, and neither should you. Well, I want to say a few words today before we go to a question, answer period on the subject of Northern Ireland and on lessons for we Americans. It was 20 years ago this year that the government of the United Kingdom and the government of Ireland and eight Northern
Ireland political parties entered into the Good Friday Agreement. When I announced the agreement, I described it as an historic achievement, which it was, but I also said on that day that by itself the agreement
did not guarantee peace or stability or reconciliation. It merely made them possible, but achieving and
sustaining those lofty goals would require of future leaders the vision and courage that the leaders of Northern Ireland, the UK, and Ireland demonstrated in 1998. Today, I hope that the current leaders of Northern Ireland, of Ireland, of the United Kingdom, and of the European Union, as they reflect on their responsibilities, will look back 20 years to
what their predecessors did. Much has been said and written about the long and difficult road that led to the agreement. Many have deservedly received credit for their roles, but ultimately the real
heroes of the agreement were the people of Northern Ireland and their political leaders. The people supported the effort to achieve the agreement, and afterward they voted
overwhelmingly to ratify it. Their political leaders in difficult, indeed, very dangerous circumstances, after lifetimes spent in conflict, summoned extraordinary courage and vision, often at great risk to themselves, their families, their political careers. Today all across the western world, it’s fashionable to demean, to insult, to ridicule political leaders, and certainly much of it is well deserved, but we don’t pay enough attention or pay tribute to those political leaders who do dare greatly and succeed. In Northern Ireland, these were ordinary men and women, the equivalent of what would be our state legislatures, but after 700 days of effort and failure, they join in one day of success, and they change the course of history. Today I want to talk about what lessons we Americans can learn from our experience in Northern Ireland. The United States played
an important role, thanks to the courageous
decision by President Clinton to get involved in a conflict which every previous
president had avoided, not with troops or bullets
or bombs or missiles or large amounts of money. It was rather through
political and moral support, through an unwavering
dedication to the principle that political differences
should be resolved through democratic and peaceful means, not through violence, through our strong and
unwavering encouragement and support of the people there, our trade and our tourism, all reflecting a deep American devotion to the cause of peace and
prosperity in Northern Ireland. We must of course as the dominant power be prepared to use military
force when necessary and appropriate, but even then it is usually most effective as part of a larger approach
that includes diplomacy. All human beings and all human
institutions are fallible, and the United States has
made many serious mistakes, but overall, in the last
half of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st, we have been a powerful
force for good in the world. In the 75 years before 1945, Europe was devastated by
three major land wars. After the Second World War, the western democracies,
led by the United States, helped Germany, Italy, and Japan to rebuild and become durable democracies. We led the western world into the creation of international institutions whose goals were peace and, in
part through increased trade, stability and prosperity, the United Nations, NATO, the World Bank, the
International Monetary Fund, and crucially, the European Union. They sought to prevent a
repeat of past conflict by promoting increased trade
and collective security, and looked back through
the lens of history, they have been largely successful, but that success is now threatened. The decision by the
United Kingdom to leave the European Union was unwise, but it was made in a
free and open election in a democratic society and must, therefore, be respected. Now we must do all we can to ensure the continued existence and prosperity of the
European Union after Brexit, hopefully with some
continuing role for the UK. Despite their anger and frustration, leaders of the UK and the European Union must extend themselves
in their negotiations. A hard Brexit is in no one’s interests, especially with respect to the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. The European Union and the UK government, as far back as December of last year, publicly promised that
whatever the outcome of their negotiations, there would not be a hard Irish border, and they must keep their promise. I believe that Brexit will
have a negative effect on the British economy, but the initial fallout
could be to encourage other unhappy Europeans
to leave the Union. A weak and divided Europe
would mean the loss of a valuable democratic
ally for the United States in its dealings with hostile powers and with the massive upheaval
that is certain to continue across Africa and much of Asia. We have a huge stake in the outcome. In his stated belief that they are not in our country’s best interests, President Trump has
stalled a trade agreement with the European nations, has withdrawn from the
Paris Climate Accord, has withdrawn from the agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, and has withdrawn from the
Trans-Pacific Partnership. I believe to the contrary, that these and other cooperative efforts with our historical eyes
are in America’s interest. These recent agreements and the post-World War Two institutions have been largely beneficial
to those who participated in, including and especially
the United States. Any American who thinks
the world is unsafe now should contemplate a world
in which there is no NATO, no European Union, no World Trade Organization, no UN. In that world, constant trade wars would lead to real wars, and the United States,
as the dominant power, invariably would be called upon to lead alone. Just as our allies around the world look to the United States for leadership, so do we look to them
for help and support. Our ties with Europe predate the establishment of our country. We gained our independence
from England by revolution, but we retained England’s language, the spirit of its laws, and many of its customs. Although our early relations were hostile, overtime the two countries
formed what has become a special relationship. As our country grew, as the population rose to
settle a vast continent, we welcomed millions of
immigrants, from England, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Poland, the Scandinavian nations, and many more. As a result, we share deep
bonds of blood with Europe, not just legal relationships, and while we compete in many ways, we should not think of Europeans primarily as adversaries, nor should we think of Canada as a threat to our national security. In fact, I think most
countries in the world would like to have Canada
as a neighboring nation, and these are also our partners. They don’t always agree among themselves. They don’t always agree with us, but for the most part, they admire our country, and they share our values and interests, and they like American leadership. It is in everyone’s
interest to do all we can, politically, economically,
militarily, and otherwise, to help the people of Europe and elsewhere remain democratic, united, at peace, free, and prosperous. I cannot speak for others, but I have confidence
in the American people. I believe that our democratic institutions remain strong, and that science and reason will prevail over looking backward as
they have in the past. I believe we must and
will devise the policies to deal effectively with the challenges of the coming decades, but if we are to do so, we must remain true to our principles. Our democratic ideals
distinguished our nation from the very beginning. They have appealed to
people around the world, and they still do. Our economic strength
and our military power are of course crucial to our security and necessary and helpful in
our dealings around the world, but our ideals have been and remain the primary basis of American
influence in the world. They don’t easily summarize, but surely they include the
sovereignty of the people, the primacy of individual
liberty, our highest value, an independent judicial system, the rule of law applied
equally to all citizens and crucially to the government itself, and opportunity for every
member of our society. We must never forget
that the United States was a great nation long
before it was a great military or economic power. We acknowledge that we
are not always right. We can never be perfectly consistent, but we can and must work harder and better to live up to our principles as individuals and as
citizens of our country. We must especially work to fully realize here at home and abroad the aspiration of
opportunity for all people. No one should be guaranteed success, but every single one should
have a fair chance to succeed. From the experience of our daily lives all across our great country, we know that equal opportunity for all remains an aspiration. We must make it a reality. We must raise our actions to the level of our aspirations. Our goal should be a society which encourages striving, celebrates success, is
conducive to innovation, and enables us to benefit from the talent, energy, and skill of every
single person in our country. That’s our challenge, and we must make it our destiny. Thank you very much for your attention and for having me here today. (audience applauding) Where do you want me to sit? – Want you to sit down on the far side. – Okay, right here. – Senator Mitchell, thank you so much for sharing your perspective and insights on not only your own past involvements in important peace negotiations, especially in Northern Ireland, but also your insights on where we are at this important political moment. There’s much to pick up on, and I should point out we’ll be taking some of your questions here before the end of our chat, but let me start by diving
into Northern Ireland. You said in your remarks that one of the critical ingredients for the success of the
Good Friday Agreement was really the leadership and the people believing in and working
through the framework to ensure a lasting, sustained peace. I wanna get your thoughts
on some of the comments that have been made now
in the context of Brexit. We had the DUP leader
Foster just this past week saying that the Good Friday Agreement was not sacrosanct, in her view. What’s your reaction
to the kind of rhetoric that’s been swirling around Brexit as it relates to Northern Ireland? – Well, of course, Brexit
has sparked a debate within the United Kingdom, the entire European Union, and within the constituent
parts of the United Kingdom, and within Ireland, and everyone is trying to make the case that the society would be better off, depending on your point of view, with their favored position, so yeah, the Good Friday
Agreement gets tangled up in the internal debate. Of course, no political
agreement can be said to be never subject to change. We rightly revere our Constitution, one of the great political
literary achievements in all of human history, in my judgment, and we regularly amend it. We idolize the founding fathers, and we revere our Constitution, but our Constitution condoned slavery, so no one could argue that
the Good Friday Agreement somehow can never be changed. It was a political agreement, a compromise, the best that
could be achieved at the time. By its very terms, it did not purport to
resolve all of the problems that were then pending. In the document itself, we created other entities to deal with issues that weren’t subject to determination at that time, particularly dealing with the court system and the policing of Northern Ireland. So I don’t question the argument regarding permanence or impermanence. The real question is
how should it be changed and for what purpose, and that’s where I think you
get wide scale divergence now. – And based on your history and what you know around
the current landscape, what do you think the
important priorities are and directions as we think
about a lasting peace in the context of all of
the Brexit negotiations? What are the key principles? – Well, I think that the
removal of the hard border between the North and the South was a very important
achievement for several reasons, one tangible, or some
tangible, some intangible. The tangible reason
was it permitted trade, movement of people across borders, to the huge economic
benefit of both societies. To give you just one tiny example representing a vast
economic area of activity, every year in Northern Ireland, six million liters of raw milk
are produced on dairy farms. All of it’s transferred to
the Republic of Ireland, where it’s processed into dairy goods, cheese, yogurt, things like that, and then redistributed throughout the UK and throughout Europe. You multiply that by almost
every area of human activity. When I first went there, I was shocked to find
that people who lived within hundreds of yards of the border had never been across it, and when you have a separation, you permit, indeed, encourage, the creation of stereotypes
and demonization. You enhance the concept of them and us, and that’s what happened over the years of poor relations between
the UK and Ireland and the conflict within Northern Ireland. To remove that border, they haven’t taken down
the fortifications. They just moved the road, so now you drive from the
Republic to Northern Ireland. It’s like driving from
Illinois to Wisconsin, and it has had a remarkable effect on the attitudes of both, who both of whom were
locked in stereotypes, that whatever validity they may have had in the distant past didn’t reflect the reality now. – And what’s the likelihood
that if there were to be a hard border reimposed as a result of these negotiations– – It would be a disaster. – It would be a disaster. – It would be– – Even despite the 20 years. – It would be an economic
and a political disaster. You would go back to the
time of the stereotypes. You would go back to the time
when you didn’t have commerce between the two, or the amount of activity between the two, and, well, the people of
Northern Ireland voted 56 to 40 by 15 points against Brexit. They don’t want to leave
the European Union, so the problem is the
other parts of the UK, the votes were enough to pass it against the will of the
people of Northern Ireland, and one of the huge ironies of this whole thing is that the UK dominated Ireland for 800 years, and finally after the Irish
gained their independence, defying all odds, they have a very successful society, but it’s thoroughly
integrated into the economy of the UK. So if a hard Brexit occurs, the British economy will suffer, but the Irish economy
will suffer much more, and so it would be a truly
tragic irony of history that after dominating for 800 years and then finally leaving, now they’re gonna take steps that will effectively severely
harm the Irish economy, not intentional of course. It’s not their objective in doing so, but that’s the inevitable result. – You know, it’s interesting, just to pick up on the theme of economics because I know that’s
something you’ve emphasized time and time again. Oftentimes when it’s reported
or in the public eye, we look at large, intractable conflicts, and we think about them in
terms of ethnic divides, religion, other things that speak to harder to quantify issues. What role do economics play
in just really understanding the viability of peace and the likelihood of conflict for you? – I’ve been involved in major
conflicts in the Balkans when I was in the Senate. I did two tours of duty
in the Middle East, and I spent five years
in Northern Ireland. They all have surface similarities. No one of them could
be described accurately as exclusively economic, but underlying them all
is a huge economic factor. I recall clearly, although
it occurred 23 years ago, my first day in Northern Ireland. I went to Belfast, and I was asked to meet on each side of the huge wall that
divides the two communities, in Belfast, the capital city, an ugly reminder of the past, 30 feet high in places, topped in barbed wire with places. It physically separates
the two communities. In the morning, I met with
predominantly nationalists. They are predominantly Catholic who want a united Ireland, in the afternoon with unioners, predominantly Protestant, who want to remain as part of the Union with England, Scotland, and Wales. Their messages differed in some respects, but there was a striking
degree of similarity, and they were best
summarized in the afternoon, a truly brilliant orator. We’ve since become very good friends, and anybody from Northern Ireland here will recognize the name of Jackie Redpath. He was a young Protestant minister, and after we finished, I told him. He gave such a powerful oration. I said, you really
could do a heck of a job in the U.S. Senate. You’d have plenty of time to talk there, but he came and he made this argument, and he brought two maps to emphasize it. The first map was titled Unemployment in the Urban Areas of Northern Ireland, and the second map,
which he tacked on top, was titled Violence in the
Urban Areas of Northern Ireland, and they fit like a hand in a glove. And both sides made the point, where men and women, in their cases, mostly men, have no employment, no education, no prospects, when they
don’t have the self-esteem to look themselves in the
mirror in the morning, let alone the eyes of their children, they are prone, much more available, for the men of violence and demagogues who say to them, here’s a gun. Here’s $100 a week. You’re in charge of these two blocks. Every human being needs food, sustenance, and shelter, but more importantly than that, they need self-esteem. They need a sense of self worth. They need a sense of belief
that they are a functioning, contributing member of a society. Human beings are social animals, whether a family, a neighborhood block, a church, a religion, a nation, a state, some identifying category
other than themselves, and you cannot overestimate the importance of the economics, job opportunities, a chance to succeed in life in creating, ending, or
preventing conflicts, and we Americans are not immune. Every American student of history recalls in the late ’20s and early ’30s when thousands of men who were veterans of the First World War and out of work camped out on the Mall
in the nation’s capital, and the government brought out the Army to disperse them violently. It’s part of all of us, and so peacemaking, peace building, peacekeeping efforts
that ignore the realities of life for the people cannot possibly succeed in the long run. – I want to take
questions from some of you for the Senator, but as we do, let me
pivot into another region that you reference in passing and you’ve been very
involved in here and there over the years, and that is just the Middle
East, broadly speaking. Does your comment suggest that we need a completely
different approach to how we look largely at the sectarian violence, about the issues between
Israelis and Palestinians, about political oppression? How do we wanna think about strategically advancing the prospects
for peace in that region, given all of its complicated– – Right. Well, as I said, I did
two tours of duty there. I have a certain number of beliefs, which I think some people may agree with. Some disagree with others. First, I think it was a mistake to view the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict in isolation, as though it were in a silo over here, and the rest of the
Middle East is over there. It is a part of the region. The conflict arises from
region-wide attitudes and views. What happens between the
Israelis and Palestinians affects the countries in the region and what happens in those countries affects Israeli-Palestinian relations, so you have to view it
in a broader context. I believe that the policy
of the United States over the past half century has been fundamentally the correct policy, and that is we favor. We support. We are committed to the
safety and security of Israel behind secure and defensible borders, and everyone in the Middle East knows that whatever else they may wish, Israel is there to stay. The second part of it
is that we also favor the creation of an independent, sovereign, Palestinian state, demilitarized so as not to pose a
military threat to Israel, but allowing the Palestinians the dignity and self respect that comes
from national identity and a state of their own and making decisions on their own futures, and we also believe and advocate that that’s good for Israel. Israel would be better off with an independent Palestinian state. Now that’s a source of contention. The two societies are
about equally divided on the two state solution. In both societies, support initially was
strong, about 2/3 percent. In both, it has declined to about half, and it continues to decline, obviously out of frustration with it not having been achieved, but I wrote a book about this in cooperation with a
co-writer, a colleague, a young man who worked for me, analyzing other possible options, and the other possible
options are far worse, far less practical, far less feasible than
the two state solution. I think it’s going to happen because it would ultimately
be seen as so much in the interest of both societies. It may take a change in
leadership in both countries. What I’m about to say, what I’ve just said, is reality. What I’m about to say is speculation, based on I spent hundreds of hours with Prime Minister Netanyahu and equal time first with Chairman Arafat and then with President Abbas, and I’ll tell you what
I said to both of them. I said to Netanyahu, your concern about the collapse of the Palestinian Authority and a possible takeover
of the West Bank by Hamas, the difference between
the Palestinian Authority and Hamas of course is that
the Palestinian Authority recognizes Israel, opposes violence, and is committed to accept
all prior agreements. Hamas is no on all of those. Israel is equally divided. About half of Israelis
want a two state solution, and about half do not, and within that half, there’s a growing group that wants simply to annex all of the West Bank and to somehow evict the Palestinians. So I said to the Prime Minister, you’re worried about it, but the best thing for you would be a sovereign Palestinian state in which the view of the
Palestinian Authority could flourish, but the prime minister doesn’t think that an agreement can
be reached with Abbas because he thinks Abbas doesn’t
have the personal strength or the political will to
make the compromises needed to get an agreement, and so he says, “Well, I can’t do that “because there might be a failed state. “Look at Syria. “Look at Iraq. “Look at these other countries.” My answer to him was, you’re more likely to get a Hamas takeover of the Palestinian Authority
the absence of agreement than if you get one ’cause Abbas’s support has
been declining steadily. Large numbers, particularly
of young Palestinians, now view him as an enforcer
of the Israeli occupation, not as someone that’s for peace. So Netanyahu figures, “Look, “I’m gonna get a lot of
flack from my right wing,” and he’s always worried that
his threat is to the right, “if I make any compromise, “and I’m not gonna go through that “when I know we can’t get
an agreement with this guy.” Abbas has the same view
for different reasons. He does not believe a word Netanyahu says. He believes Netanyahu is untruthful and that does just enough and says just enough to
placate the United States, and he cites the fact
that Netanyahu was against a two state solution, then for it, then against it, then for it, and now he’s for it, but not now. And so you got two leaders who had divided societies
and are unwilling to get into a serious discussion ’cause they don’t think an
agreement can be reached ’cause of the other guy. Some day soon, I think
someone’s gonna come along, some strong Palestinian leader and a strong Israeli that said, “This is in our interest,” because the alternative is far worse, and I believe that to
be true in both cases. Now let me tell you what I told, and I’ll close this long answer, what I told both Arafat and Abbas. In 1947, the United Nations
proposed the partition, two states, and Jerusalem
an independent city. After much internal debate, the Israelis accepted. It was very controversial. (mumbling) was in the Parliament. He refused to vote for it. The Arabs, six countries with
scores of millions of people, looked and they saw, “Well,
there’s only 600,000 Jews “in the (speaking in a foreign language),” the Jewish community. They thought they could
easily defeat them, as they put it, “throw them into the sea,” and end the Zionist enterprise. Well, they were wrong. Israel won that war. How did they win it? When Ben-Gurion was challenged by those who felt it was too risky to go to war, he exuded confidence. He said, “We’re gonna win
because I have a secret weapon.” He was asked, “What’s the secret weapon?” He said, “The Arabs.” (audience laughing) And they did. They disagreed among themselves. Six of them, and Israel
defeated them one at a time, and then one every war since, so I said to Arafat, you’ve been waiting 60 years for the perfect solution
to come down from heaven. It’s not coming, and the deals are getting
worse as time goes on ’cause the circumstances
on the ground are changing. You’ve gotta get into negotiations. Make a deal. Less than what you want, you might think it’s fair, but you can get a state, and you can build on it, and I say to you, the Palestinian people are ingenious. They are able to govern themselves and their own affairs. They’ll work hard. They’re family oriented. They’re very committed to education. They can have a state, but they’ve gotta have leaders who’ve got the courage to grasp it and not insist that it’s
gotta be 100% decided in advance in their favor. Unfortunately Israelis now think it’s gotta be decided 100%
in advance in their favor. – Let’s take a couple
of quick questions here. We’ve got microphones
that we’ll pass around. We’ve got a hand right
up here in the middle. We’ll start there. Just ask that you keep your questions short and to point so we can get to as many
of you as possible here in a little bit of time we have left– – You’re gonna have to repeat the question ’cause I can’t hear– – Sure. – [Kim] Kim Dozier with the Daily Beast. A contrarian question, those who work for Donald
Trump say that he has thrown out the rule book and that that in some cases has produced unique opportunities like dialogue with North Korea. I would love your take on that. – I don’t (mumbling). – He’s gotta repeat it
’cause the acoustics coming this way aren’t good, and neither are my ears. – She was saying essentially
that in many respects, people would say that the
Trump playbook has been to depart from past convention, as was the case in really
playing a hard line stance against North Korea, that that’s actually created new openings and that that may actually
do the case in other issues. What’s your response
to the Trump playbook? Did I paraphrase? Okay. – [Kim] Yeah, I’m quoting from officials. – [Both] Yeah. – Well, I hope it works, but I think it won’t. Let’s take Jerusalem, by far the most controversial,
difficult issue. Of all of the final status issues, each of which itself is very difficult, Jerusalem is by far the most difficult, and it’s the only one on
which the Palestinians do not have a free hand. Palestinians could decide
for themselves their borders. They can decide what to accept or reject on the right of return. Palestinians cannot on
their own reach a decision on Jerusalem because it requires the approval of the Saudis. It requires the approval of Jordan. It requires the approval of Morocco, and there are now 1.8
billion Muslims in the world. By 2050, there’ll be twice that, and so Jerusalem requires
a broader consensus. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, has been the capital of Israel, will be the capital of Israel. There is no doubt about
that in anyone’s mind. The only doubt about
Jerusalem is whether or not it ever will be the
capital of an independent Palestinian state. American policy is to achieve that result through negotiations between the parties, in which the decisions
are made by the parties, not in advance by the United States, so while it is true that the decision to move the embassy
merely ratifies a reality, it is equally true that the decision makes it far more difficult
for the Palestinians ever to enter into the negotiations that are needed to bring about the result. It is not a mystery that the two groups most pleased with the Jerusalem decision were those on the right in Israel who are adamantly opposed
to there every being a Palestinian state, and then Palestinians, Hamas. The group that doesn’t like it are the people in Israel who
are for a two state solution and the Palestinian Authority, which has once again been left out high and dry. – Let’s take one other quick question if we have a hand up or time. I’m looking, scanning. I don’t know that we have a hand up. Let me actually shift gears really quick. Do we have one here? Forgive me. Sorry that the lighting’s
just a little tough. – [Man] Yeah, sorry. Senator, I wanted to ask
you what you feel like our viable and tangible concessions or redistribution of spending that global powers can take
with regional influences in order to better promote peace, or lasting development initiatives? – The question is what
steps can global powers, particularly global economic powers, to fundamentally
redistribute wealth in ways that will create lasting
peace and more equity? – You mean on a worldwide basis? – Yeah, on a worldwide basis, right? Yeah. – I think it’s very difficult to organize an international plan for redistribution that would be applicable in all societies. I frankly have never
been asked that question, so I’m not certain of the response, but I think far more effectively would be for the more developed countries to lead the way both internally and in international terms. There have been some
steps in that direction. The Paris Accord included
some degree of that in the effort to control emissions because largely what we are suggesting to developing countries
is that they not follow the path that we followed and go a different and
more effective route for which we and other wealthier countries would provide some
compensation in some form, but I think each country
probably has to decide how it moves in that
direction in its own way, and it’s an area I think where the United States, as the dominant power by far, and I believe we will
be the dominant power, for as far into the future
as human beings can see, that if we were more
effective in doing it, we might lead the way for others, as we have done in so many other areas. – On that note, we’ll
have to leave it here, but Senator Mitchell,
thank you so much for– – Thank you. – Taking time to be here
and share your insights. – It’s a pleasure, truly (mumbling). – We appreciate it. – Thank you. – Thank you. – Thank you. (audience applauding) Thank you. (footsteps) – [Man] Everybody shake your hands up. (mumbling) (audience laughing) (mumbling) – Good afternoon. My name is Hazumu Yano, and I am a first year MPP candidate here at the Harris School. I currently serve as a captain in the active duty United States Army, and I’m also a fellow with
the Pearson Institute. With that, I have to add disclaimer that any views expressed are solely my own and not representative of the U.S. Army. (audience laughing) Today, I have the distinct
honor and privilege to introduce the panel
on violent extremism. My first personal encounter
with violent extremism came 17 years ago on a clear sunny day in September when I was a 13 year old sitting in my eighth grade algebra class on the upper east side of Manhattan. Looking at the smoke above
ground zero that fateful day, I vowed that I would join the military in order to make the world around me a safer and better place. Today in 2018, I believe that the threat
of violent extremism remains prevalent around the world. It comes in a variety of shapes and forms, targeting different demographics through different ideologies. Combating this evolving threat requires an interdisciplinary,
interagency, and an international approach. The military’s role in
this appears obvious, and yet it is not. At its core, the
military’s primary mission is to win our nation’s wars. However, winning wars
isn’t always synonymous with simply just destroying the enemy. Increasingly, our policy makers rely on our armed forces to execute missions that have less to do with combat and more to do with conflict prevention. While this is historically
a role delegated to civilian policy makers and diplomats, today’s security environment has definitely blurred those lines. To borrow a concept from the
counter-insurgency expert David Kilcullen, recent experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan highlight the point that modern warfare is much like armed social work, that is, an attempt to
redress basic social and political problems,
all while being shot at. I myself performed similar
social work missions, although thankfully I
was not being shot at, during two rotations in South Asia. There I worked with
security force counterparts in Bangladesh and Nepal to enhance their ability
to respond to crises, whether they be natural disasters or terror attacks, and thereby bolster local stability. The fight against violent
extremism is an area where much can be done
to prevent conflicts before they explode into crises, but in order for this
to be done effectively, we must first understand the threat. What are the goals of
extremist organizations? Who is being targeted for
exploitation and recruitment? What are the grievances of
these vulnerable populations, and is there legitimacy to these claims? Are these grievances
driving radicalization? Is the local government failing in addressing these concerns, and importantly, can
effective policy be enacted to address these grievances, whether it be through
the local government, security forces, foreign assistance, or even non-profits, so that we can undermine and counteract the extremist messaging? One of my goals as a
Pearson fellow at Harris is to gain the quantitative
analytical skills, which are necessary to
answer these questions, so that I can do my part to
develop effective solutions and prevent tragedies like
9/11 from occurring every again anywhere in the world. With that, I am grateful
to the Pearson Institute for setting up this Global Forum, and I look forward to the ensuing dialogue between the panelists. Please join me in welcoming our panel on violent extremism. – Thank you very much. (audience applauding) Thank you, Captain Yano. Hi, everyone, I’m Steve Clemons. I’m Washington Editor-at-large
of The Atlantic. It’s a real pleasure to be here for the inaugural Pearson Global Forum, and we’re gonna discuss
all things terrorism here. I want to offer just a few comments just to start with, but let me tell you who we’re
gonna have a discussion with. Some of you, I actually
never watched The View. Do any of you watch The View and will admit to it here? The View is kind of chatty, and hopefully this is gonna
be The View on terrorism and a bunch of guys this time, but it is what it is, and we’re gonna have my fantastic panel. Richard English, just to my left, distinguished professorial fellow and the Senator George J. Mitchell, you’d never heard of him, did you? Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security, and Justice at Queens University Belfast. Richard, thank you. He’s also the author. I was going back to look at books. I’ve sort of seen him quoted for years. It’s such an honor to meet you, but author of Armed Struggle, the History of the IRA, probably the world’s leading authority on the IRA, and Terrorism, How to
Respond more recently. To his left, we have my
colleague and friend Graeme Wood, who is national correspondent
for The Atlantic. How many of you read The Atlantic? And don’t be shy. Yay, and so you no doubt
saw his cover story, What ISIS Really Wants, and that’s in the top three
articles that have ever, I mean, in terms of total readership of The Atlantic magazine
in our 161 year history, so round of applause for hitting
the right button, Graeme. And then we have Carter Malkasian, who’s Special Assistant for Strategy to the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dunford, from the
Department of Defense, and he’s written a ridiculous
number of books as well, including Illusions of Victory, the Anbar Awakening and the
Rise of the Islamic State among many others. So thank you all for being here. I just want to share
this because first I want to get these guys arguing
amongst themselves about terrorism, how they see it, what are the drivers, and hopefully they’re
not all on the same page, and we can have a discussion, and then get to all of you, but I wanna just pose a couple of comments because I think it’s
important to break this down. We have a lot of lay
people in the audience, and my early just awareness of terrorism was as a young guy, a freshman in college, and I was riding my bicycle
to university in Los Angeles, and I heard a couple of shots, and a car race into a tree, and what I had stumbled across on my bike on Wilshire Boulevard
was the assassination of the Turkish Consul
General in the early 1980s by then what was an Armenian
terrorist group at the time, and I became very
fascinated with this group over a long time and how
this particular group sort of faded out, particularly as some of the members of the Armenian group
began to kill Armenians, and you saw a very active
virulent terrorist group that was feared around the world essentially die out, and I just wanted to throw that in there. The second bit is I had the privilege to be one of the early founders of the New America Foundation, a think tank, and happened to have hired Peter Bergen and others
in the terror world, but essentially, how do I put this? Before everything blew up, before 9/11, before this, we found this in 1999, and I had been in South Korea, and I had been in the Middle East, and in South Korea, again,
not often on the terror map. I saw Molotov cocktails thrown. I saw people protesting, students organizing what
considered to be organized extreme violence related to U.S. bases based in South Korea, and I saw at the same
time over in Saudi Arabia, we had a couple of bases there, and I began asking the question. My dad served in the military, but with all due respect, Carter, a lot of folks in the military kind of look at these
issue of basing abroad as the United States
creating anchors of stability in unstable regions, and the blind spot in that is
can these anchors of stability or bases become destabilizing factors, and I saw that in South Korea and before 9/11 occurred, I had hired Peter Bergen
before he had done this to come in, and it was an interesting time to see everything role forward. So I approach this humbly. I’m not the experts that are here, but let me just start. Richard, could you give us, given your historic survey of terrorism over such a long period
of time back at the IRA, where are we today? Give us a quick snapshot of how today is different or isn’t? – I think one of the genius
elements of terrorism as a method is that it blinds you to everything that’s happened before, so for a long time, Peter Bergen couldn’t get
people interested in al-Qaeda. Then the 9/11 tragedy happened, and everyone talked about al-Qaeda, and then al-Qaeda was eclipsed by ISIS, and everybody talked about ISIS, and I suppose one thing to recognize is that each group is ultimately unique. Al-Qaeda is different from ISIS. They’re both different from Hamas, both from the IRA, and yet despite that uniqueness, I think there is something dangerous in forgetting the similarities
between different waves. So for example, across
all of those groups, questions of what they judged
to be inadequate legitimacy of certain territories is crucial. In all of those groups, the disproportionate effect of the actions of small numbers of
initiators or entrepreneurs is significant. In all of those groups, the relationships between what they see as straight state transgression
and non-state resistance is important, so I suppose there’s a
danger that we throw out what we know from previous experiences. So where are we today? In some ways, we’re facing
new versions of things that are quite familiar. So Graeme may disagree with me on this, but ISIS in some ways very new in terms of the capacity to
generate unprecedented numbers of foreign fighters, but a group which uses
various kinds of violence to seize publicity, to react
to what it sees as being an illegitimate authority
in a certain crucial space, is not at all new. So my anxiety is that we
need to remember the things that we know we know from the past rather than just being
blinded by the uniqueness of each case, and I think there are things. If we do remember what’s
happened in the past with what you talk about
with Los Angeles and so on, if we remember what we’ve
been through before, we’re probably gonna panic less. We’re probably gonna overreact less, and we might minimize the threat rather than exaggerating our responses. – In sort of a bad DNA
model metaphor here, are there any elements of the genetic code of terrorism that are consistent throughout all these cases? – I think throughout most of them, there are two things I’d pick on. One is that terrorism tends
repeatedly to be better at getting some things than others. Good at getting publicity, good at sustaining resistance, good at gaining revenge. Overwhelmingly very bad at securing central policy goals. Very few terrorist
groups end their campaign having got their headline goal. A second thing is that there’s
a kind of tactical imitation. So I remember interviewing
IRA prisoners, for example. They spent much of their time in prison looking at what went well
in some circumstances. How could you deal with
this tactical challenge? I’ve never met a more pragmatic bunch than the IRA, utterly hard headed, and a lot of it was about thinking, how can we learn from this? How can we learn from that? And tragically you see this
with cross case learning with IEDs, with ways in which people think about securing certain kinds of publicity, so at tactical level is
learning between groups, particularly with innovations, but I think at the strategic
level, more importantly, this is a very bad way of
securing your central goals, but it’s very good way
at achieving revenge, a very good way of seizing the headlines, and if we respond to those
things which they’re good at and don’t panic about those
things they’re bad at, we’ll probably have a
more shrewd response. – Carter, Graeme, one of the things, both of you, I’ve been
trying to get my head around is to find a terror group that didn’t in its professed
or articulated soul, didn’t say it was about
a set of grievances, and we may not see those grievances, but I’m interested in how they sell. If I wanted to play terrorist today and appeal to an audience here that’s not gonna get a break and create terrorist action on
their grievance of no break, you would kind of look at that question of whether or not I was
just a power hungry fanatic that wanted to control something, but I’m interested. Carter, let me start with you. In the Pentagon world in which you work, is there serious scrutiny
and understanding of the grievance narratives
in a lot of the terror groups we’re focusing on? – There is, but let me focus a little
bit about the Taliban, if that’s okay, and explain– – [Steve] Do you look at the Taliban as a terrorist group? – No, on some– – [Steve] That’s a Tweetable
moment right there. – So the Taliban, they are a terrorist group
within their country. The Taliban overall as being a large external terrorist group on their own, much less so, but if I could just say a
few things about the Taliban, this panel’s about violence, and the Taliban are not the only group conducting violence in Afghanistan. The government conducts violence. Tribal militias conduct violence. We, by the way, conduct violence, and having said just that, I know several other people have now said that they work with the government, and therefore their words can’t be, they speak for themselves,
not for the government. I too speak for myself, but it applies doubly to me ’cause I went to UC Berkeley, so what I think could
be drastically different from what others think on the matter. So one of the things that I’ve, there’s a conundrum like
with the Taliban right now, or a conundrum for me that I
have been looking at a lot, and that you’ve probably seen in the news that when the Afghan Army and
police deal with the Taliban and have to face the Taliban, they don’t do so well on their own, even if they’ve got more equipment, more guns, more whatever it is, and let me add another
layer to this conundrum. I went and looked at
eight different districts in Afghanistan, and these are districts I’ve been to, and the unique thing
about these districts, that these are places where the government was in control in some places, at some times in total control, and the Taliban was in total control. But when the government was in control, they needed more forces
to maintain their control than the Taliban did, oftentimes three times as many forces required to do that. There’s a great, great quote from a BBC journalist Auliya Atrafi who went into Taliban territory, and he said, “The thing about going “into the Taliban territory is “you don’t see anyone for miles.” The Taliban rule more through an idea than through the absolute use of force, so that makes me think, okay, so wait. What’s going on here? Why is it that they’re able to do this, and I don’t think there’s
one answer by any means. I think there’s probably
a variety of answers here, but the thing that
intrigues me tremendously is what you hear the Taliban saying, which is that this is about
resistance to occupation. This is about protection of values, sometimes about protection of Islam, and I can hear that regularly
when I talk to Afghans, and you can see it in the
Taliban announcements, in their poetry. When I was in (speaking
in a foreign language) and I was dealing with a variety of Taliban who were
trying to stop fighting, and I asked them, what
were you fighting about? What was going on here? Most of the time, majority of the time, they’d say, “Well, we’re
fighting occupation,” and I’d try to get them
to say other things through various clever means,
but without much success– – [Steve] So that was the
grievance they were talking about. – That was the main thing that
they would talk about there, and what I think, and what I wonder about is, how much does our presence trod on what it means to be Afghan? How much does it prod young men to fight? How much does it dare them to do more than say the government forces would do? How much does it make it acceptable for an Afghan to say, “Oh, the
Taliban are in control here. “We’ll live with it. “I’ll just deal with it,” and how much does this sap the willpower of the police and the army? Now this gets back to violence because I think when people are worried about protecting their home
and protecting their values, that can justify or maybe even necessitate violence that we might
sometimes see as extreme. So there’s a book by David Edwards called Caravan of Martyrs. It’s by far my favorite book of 2017, and what he says is that what this does is it encourages young men to sacrifice themselves in order
to attain something higher, to protect their community, to inflict revenge on an unjust oppressor. The only way that they can do this, for some of them, he’s saying, is by actual suicide bombing, and the Taliban have some difficulty distancing themselves from that. Lately I’ve had (mumbling) Taliban tell me that, “Look, this has
become part of our culture “at this point,” and they’ll also say, “If we leave this, “other people will fill in,” i.e. the Islamic State
will fill in and do it, so they’re very worried about that, so then the last little
point I’ll make here is what I’m not, just to be clear. What I’m not trying say in anyway is that Islam or something
creates terrorism. That’s not my point here at all. My point is that when
people are trying to fight to defend their values, their family, that can allow violence to get larger, can accelerate it, can encourage it more. – Thank you. Graeme, I’d like to hear
your thoughts on grievance, but I’d also like to add an element here. When James Foley the journalist was killed and beheaded by ISIS, I happened to know James and had some very good
personal pictures of James, so after he was killed, I put on Twitter pictures of James and said, this is the way I
hope people will remember him and see him, and it went viral, and I was subsequently under
siege from ISIS supporters, on Twitter, and I began, rather
than shutting them down or calling the FBI to go after them, I began having conversations with those that would have conversations
through Twitter, and I say this for a reason, because some of them I
talked to about smart phones, who made the smart phones. Tim Cook at Apple, I mean, things like this to
ask how they see the world, the caliphate they were hoping to build, as one that could compete, build, create, innovate in the modern world, and I would say a small percentage of them engaged in back and forth conversation. It was quite interesting, but you had a sense that
the gravity of things was just completely
different in their world, so I’m just sort of
interested in how you see this question about grievances and the exploitation of them, but also your insights into
how gravity works in that because I got a sense it
was radically different. – Well, I’m glad to know you know some of my Twitter followers, so I think the way grievance functions with the Islamic State is, as you suggest, very different from what you see from many other organizations, and in fact, I think it’s one of the really distinctive aspects of what ISIS does and how it was able to recruit as many people as it did. If you look at old school al-Qaeda, if you look at the leadership
statements of Bin Laden, they actually were a litany of things that Bin Laden was
saying the West had done and that it should stop doing, and the reason he was
waging a campaign of terror was to stop them, namely, support for the state of Israel, basing in the holy places, Saudi Arabia, and support for Arab tyrants. These are all pretty
straightforwardly political, military requests that
he was putting forward. Now, if you look at
the analogous documents of ISIS, you can certainly find statements where they’re complaining
about similar things, but the lack of emphasis on those and other political demands
is I think noteworthy. What ISIS was doing instead, again, as you suggest in what you saw from those Twitter followers, was describing a positive vision of a future that they wanted to create. They thought there was a
state that they could make, a kind of utopian place, that they owned and that they could turn
into a kind of kingdom of heaven on earth, and this I think had a lot more purchase in the imagination of
many of its followers, so how many people can you get to join your cause if
your cause is reactionary, destructive? Apparently, it might be a
significantly smaller number than the 40,000, as compared to say 400
who were in Afghanistan in 2001 fighting for al-Qaeda. The 40,000 who were willing to travel for the utopian constructive vision, so that might be your counterexample of a terrorist group that
its center of gravity was not on grievance. One last thing that I’ll say, ISIS actually told its
followers to stop using iPhones. – [Steve] Oh, interesting. – There might be some branding
play right here for Apple, but they said, “Followers,
stop using iPhones”– – [Steve] But use Samsung? – Because Cupertino can
see what you’re doing, whereas Android, we don’t
know what’s going on so. – [Steve] Fascinating. Since Richard has talked
a little bit both about terror groups that have
faded or dissipated, President Trump talks a
lot about ending ISIS, that he’s sort of out there with a mission to accomplish banner basically. Do you think ISIS is ended? – No, ISIS is certainly not ended. I think what we need to differentiate are a couple different forms of ISIS. One is the inspirational form, this idea of a caliphate that anyone can go to
from around the world. That is significantly muted in its appeal. People, they’ve been
told for at this point, almost three years, don’t
even try to come to Syria. Do what you can do at home. The idea of traveling
to fulfill this dream of heaven on earth, we just gotta put that on the back burner, so that, somewhat defeated. Now, the territorial ambitions of ISIS, also somewhat defeated. They’ve been dialed
back to the tune of 90% of their farthest territorial extent. That said, being dialed back 90% just reboots them territorially
to I would say 2012, 2013, so to think of them as defeated I think would be unwise. – [Steve] So Richard, as you answer this, not are they defeated, but how to unwind them
given your experiences watching other terror groups? – I suppose two things on that question. One is don’t assume it’ll
happen anytime soon. I think that long timeframes
are what you’re dealing with, and all of the groups that we’ve mentioned that are of interest
significantly to states are ones which have a long timeframe, so I think what Graeme’s saying is that you’ve got an
attenuation of their control, but maybe there’ll be
things which happened in other countries, and there’ll still be a
regional role for them for some time in disordered situations. So don’t be impatient. The second thing is I think
politicians need to recognize that the statements that
they make can give gifts to terrorists, so I can quite understand
why our president might say, “I’m going to eradicate “radical Islamist terrorism “from the face of the earth,” but in a way, all they have to do to gain a kind of victory over him is still be existing when
he’s not president any longer, which I think clearly will be the case, so I think every statement you make is giving the opportunity
either of greater or lesser success for them, and I think that’s an important
thing for politicians. I also think something which
Graeme mentioned there about, both Graeme and Carter are talking about things partly which
have revenge in them, so if you’re resisting an occupy, hitting back at them is revenge, and if ISIS is encouraging
people to do things in western Europe, or doing
things in the United States, there’s a vengeful motivation there, and that is a new version of something which is very familiar. We’ve seen that with
Palestinian terrorists. We’ve seen that with Basque terrorists. We’ve seen that with the FARC, and I think it’s one of the great things. If we were setting up a
new terrorist group today, the Pearson Liberation Front, or something like that, I think one of the key
things if I wanted recruits would be to try and point to things where people felt there
was a need for revenge against some action which
had been carried out ’cause it’s one of the
big motivators to do terrible things to other people is the sense of hitting back. – Carter, I know you must have like an ultra high security clearance. I hope you do, and so you know lots
of stuff we don’t know, and so maybe you can
flirt with a few things and give us ideas, but I am kind of interested
in a broader question. We’re talking about groups
as if they’re distinct, as if they’re knowable, as they’re sort of not monolithic, and I’m interested in the broader question of puppet strings, external forces. When you look at the Saudis
and the Iranians in the region driving a certain element
of violent extremism and proxy wars and
conflicts in the region, if you look at India, Pakistan, what happened in Mumbai with LET, which obviously got a blind eye from some groups in Pakistan, how much of what we see in the world of violent
extremism, a.k.a terrorism, are state actions by other means? – So based on my personal
understanding and research, not any kind of accesses. – So disappointing. – I’m sure. My livelihood is not though. (mumbling) So certainly there is outside influence to sometimes create the movements, sometimes continue the movements, to give them more assistance. Sometimes just to do it
to prevent your enemy or your adversary from
gaining any kind of ground, but the interpretation I usually take that this has a lot more
to do with local issues, and they have a lot more local cohesion than we tend to give them credit for. Like, for example, when it
comes to the Islamic State, I think there’s a lot more
sympathy within the Iraqi people than we tend to give them credit, and I think– – [Steve] A lot more sympathy for ISIS. – For ISIS. – [Steve] Among the Iraqi people. – And the other thing– – [Steve] Anbar region– – The Anbar region specifically
I’m talking about there, but the other thing when we’re talking external influence is we have to take a bigger viewpoint too about the external influence and how our own role, how we play a role in, you guys have mentioned social breakdown, in preventing social
breakdown from fixing itself. So maybe some of you have read Odd Arne Westad’s book
The Global Cold War. At the end of that book, he says during the Cold War, superpower competition,
ideological competition, created a state of
semi-permanent civil wars in a variety of third world countries, and how we fuel these conflicts, how we get involved can
prevent them from being solved, and I’ll just give one quote
to end my comment here. I was meeting with a
Colby University professor who’s extremely intelligent, meets with Taliban all the time. We were talking about a
peace deal in Afghanistan, and I was trying to explain to him the difficulties of a commitment problem for the United States and about whether or not the Taliban would renege on any kind
of deal that was made, and he said to me, “There’s hundreds of
Afghans dying every week. “The chances of there being a problem, “they might be there, “but there’s hundreds dying every week. “How many more Afghans have to die “because 2,000 Americans
died two decades ago?” So there’s a terrible trade off between us having to meet our interests and the effects of that upon
the people of a country. – [Steve] What are your
thoughts on this, Graeme, in terms of whether outside players are driving a lot of this? A lot folks I know in the Middle East area and even North Africa and South Asia are beyond anger in what they see as the separations that happened in Iraq and essentially the
United States opening up the Pandora’s box of secular conflict, or really just conflict– – Yeah, yeah, in the Middle East, you will have no difficulty finding people who lay the
blame for the rise of ISIS on the United States and who see conspiratorial puppet strings being pulled by not
just the United States, but other state actors. First of all, I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think that in the direct
way that they’re suggesting that the United States has caused ISIS– – [Steve] We didn’t open sectarianism and that box. – But we could name others, Qatar. Qatar has had of course
its hands in other groups, not ISIS directly. Saudi has been fighting ISIS so– – [Steve] But didn’t
Saudis sort of help ISIS at one stage? – Well, Saudi was very pleased that ISIS was not in Saudi, so they were happy to have
a certain number of Saudis going to Syria and never coming back and fighting while they’re there proxies of Iran, an enemy of– – [Steve] Send lunch money
and things like that. – Exactly, so and the
support for ISIS among Saudis also quite high, but often you’d have to ask, do you support ISIS? Yes, as long as they stay over there, as long as ISIS is not attacking us, we don’t want them to rule us, but we want them to fight
the good fight elsewhere, so what I think we should look for though in the absence of this direct,
intentional puppet mastery, is the creation of
absolutely vital conditions for the rise of ISIS, which of course government
and misgovernment have been directly responsible for it. So we look at a place like Iraq. ISIS, there’s no way
that ISIS would have been an attractive alternative
to the Sunni population, some of the Sunni population of Iraq. I think Carter probably, I would guess fewer
than you might estimate actually would support ISIS, but ISIS and the Maliki
government of the early 2010s put that population in a place where ISIS was more attractive than say anarchy, more attractive than
the predatory government that they saw operating in Baghdad, so the creation of those conditions is very much the results of
state action and misdeeds. – Richard, I wanna make
sure we leave time, have ample audience engagement with us, but let me ask you a question. Today the Nobel Peace Prize was given to two fascinating individuals, one a Congolese doctor
who was dealing with women who suffered with various ramifications of sexual violence, and a Yazidi woman who had
been a rape victim from ISIS, and I don’t know whether
that kind of thing helps diffuse or inspire or raise awareness, but I am interested if we put
you in charge of everything, what would you do? What would be your playbook for actually dealing with, we’re doing perhaps a
disservice to this topic by focusing so much on
the Middle East right now, but it’s in at least our minds right now, and there’s lots of
issues going on elsewhere in the world certainly. But what if you were to say take the ISIS or what comes after ISIS, looking exactly what Graeme just shared is the underlying conditions, and you had unlimited resources, and you were more
powerful than Trump plus? What would you do? I think if I was running the world, it would undoubtedly be far worse than it currently is, unfortunately, but– – Okay, then you’re gonna say that, I’m gonna, no. – If I was looking at
countering terrorism, there are a number of things
that a careful analysis of the long history of
terrorism would suggest we should think about. Part of it relates to what
Graeme’s just mentioned, which is there are things
where it’s very tempting to do stuff after a terrorist
atrocity has provoked you which actually make it considerably worse, and throughout the long
history of terrorism, the French with Algeria, the British with Ireland, Israel with Palestine, there have been things which have made it a significantly worse problem, and one of the things
which has created ISIS has been the regional crisis, which was part of the occasion
by a series of things– – Well, this is also in Peter
Bergen’s book Holy War, Inc., that said that Bin Laden wanted to bankrupt the United States. Hit us. Get overreaction, drives
recruitment, et cetera. – It’s one thing that
terrorists do often do is drive their enemies to react in ways that undermine themselves, so the first– – Is the answer not to react? – I think the answer is not
to exaggerate what you can do through military means. Be more patient than we generally are. Not to transgress our own laws about how we treat people, especially prisoners. I think better coordination
within the state and between different states, and strong credibility of public argument. I think every time a
politician says something relating to terrorism, they should think, how
is this gonna go down in the rooms, the cafes, the mosques, the bars, the churches, the homes of the people who might or might not support the terrorist group? If you say something lacking credibility, you’ve just given a gift to your opponent, so I think those long term patient plans might be not as emotionally
satisfying as politicians, and I could never get elected. Having said that, I do
think that those things would save a lot of lives, and if over the last couple of decades we’d behaved more like that, I don’t think ISIS would exist. – Carter, real quick, and we’ll come back. How many of these things real fast are doable today practically? – So I would say the one thing
that we need to do that– – Is that like the answer none? – No, no, the one thing above all is we should be resilient. We should be more willing to risk attacks, and therefore we have to
be less involved outside. – I would agree with that. – So one out of 15, okay. Graeme, real quick. – Alright, I might be even
more pessimistic than that. If you were to look at
what was happening before the fall of Mosul, what were the leading indicators that ISIS was going to take huge
amounts of territory in Iraq and then ultimately the second
largest city in the country? You would see a low level
campaign of assassination across Anbar, Nineveh, the Sunni triangle of Iraq. There were sheiks who were being murdered in front of their houses, drive by shootings, and who were these people? They were exactly the people who ISIS knew we, the enemies of
ISIS, the United States, would go to to try to spark
an awakening like revolt as we did in the late 2000s. This is very difficult to counter, a campaign of assassination, that is. It requires the control of territory, the control of the violence
that’s waged in that territory, and that is probably the
single most important thing that allowed them to take that territory, so although I do think
that the Sunnis of Iraq should have been, the central government
of Iraq should have been more thoughtful about the
way they spoke of them, the respect that they gave to them, I think there’s also some
very practical things that are much, much
harder thing to achieve, namely, security and monopoly on violence. – But if you look back at
the pre-Iraq war episode, there were voices saying
that whatever the merits and demerits of invading Iraq, there hadn’t been enough thought about the long term planning for what would happen after the invasion and that there would be blow back at the West from what happened, entirely unjustifiable, entirely horrific, so some of the conditions
for the atrocities we’ve seen over recent years with ISIS were partly part of
dialogue of patterns of– – Okay, you guys can have
drinks on that later. Let me go to the audience and get questions, comments. We’re gonna do this speed
style, speed dating, so quick questions, and
we’ll have quick answers so we can try to get to
a good number of you. Yes, right here. Your name, and make it a question. – [Man] Thank you. I’m (speaking in a foreign
language) from Pakistan, law enforcement background. For 40 years I’ve served in– – I’m gonna ask for a question. We’re very short on time, so– – [Man] So my basic, I can say it without any fear of contradiction that no non-state actor
can thrive or survive without an overt or covert support of some state stakeholders
or external players, and so therefore what they exploit is the void which is created
in ungovernable spaces where they act as welfare
charity organizations, earn the goodwill, and that is where the whole emphasis of the international community should be to build the rule of law institutions. Governance framework need to be addressed. – Thank you. So the question is about voids. It’s a very good comment about voids and what we can do. I mean, I don’t wanna say nation building, but how you might create
infrastructure of laws and what not in voids, and so any quick reaction. – So I mean I think I would
agree with what you’re saying– – But how would you do it? – But creating nations is
much more difficult than– – But is that creating it? Is there a softer way to
do what he wants to do– – I think where I would concentrate energy is on not making voids worse. In other worse, I think if
you don’t make things worse, that’s good result. – Carter. – I’ll pass. – Pass. – Very quickly, I think one thing that has changed from a few years ago when ISIS started taking
over territory in that void first in Syria and later in Iraq is an understanding of how
bad that situation can get. If you are worried that that void might spill over into hitting Turkey, then you might think of it less important than what we now know, which is that it may spill over and hit southern Philippines. – I love the folks in the front row. This gentleman here, should always get extra points, yes. – [Jim] Jim Prince, Democracy Council. Question about ISIS and Syria, with the close off of the
last rebel controlled areas in Idlib Province, how do you see ISIS gaining
from the recruitment efforts, specifically from some of the other, more extreme groups, HTS, the former Nusra front, and second of all where
do those militants go once the Russians and the Syrians– – Great question. – [Jim] Are coming to Idlib? – Carter probably really
knows what’s going on. Do you wanna talk about Idlib and its future? – So the future of Idlib is a
little bit unclear right now since there is not an
offensive going on into it. Even if offensive was to happen, I’m not sure how much that
will directly feed ISIS at this point. My biggest concern would be about ISIS in various rural areas
where they previously, now having gone down, and working with the population, just like Graeme was referring to, and that over time, they’ll be able to re-exert
some degree of control, especially if there’s
more sectarian issues and bad policies by various governments. – Let me just add. Jeff Goldberg, who’s
Editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, and I interviewed Javad Zarif, the Foreign Minister of Iran, last Friday, and we’ve been very slow getting out the transcript, but there’s a great
section in that from him that is a different perspective on some of these
questions that I will say, give us a few days. Look at The Atlantic website on Zarif, and I think you’ll find
a different perspective that may be interesting that you might find useful. Yes, right here. – [Laura] Laura Stawmyer with the Alliance for Peacebuilding, there was very little mention of gender. I’d be interested to hear what you think– – Gender? – [Laura] Gender. What is the role of
gender both in the problem of push and pull factors and grievances that drive both men and women
towards violent extremism as well as some of the solutions? – Just to be fair, I did
mention the Nobel Prize winner, but yes. Gender? – So ISIS is again a very odd example of a terrorist organization in this way. About 15% of those who traveled
to fight on ISIS’s behalf were women. That’s a pretty large number
of foreign fighter flow– – So why is that? I mean, do we know why? – This speaks directly
to the fact that ISIS was claiming to be something other than a purely destructive force and instead wanted to be a demographically complete civilization. So if you look at the interviews with women who have traveled, the statements that they
left to their families, what they were expecting to do once they got to ISIS territory, what they expected to fight for and to build as a civilization pretty much identical to what
men were trying to build. Now there are aspects
to digital recruitment that have made the flow
of women much more easy than it would have been in years past, but this is an extremely
distinctive aspect of what ISIS does– – Richard, take yourself
out of the Middle East. Give us your perspective historically on whether there have
been gender distinctions in other extreme violence groups. – Very much so. I mean, quite often what
happened is women were used, but were used in ways that were seen as appropriate culturally and socially. The two points on it, one, I would say is there’s
quite a lot of research that suggests that some groups recognize that if they
use a female bomber, they’ll get more publicity
than a male bomber, and so there’s a tactical use. Second thing is a lot of research on the motivations for
women getting involved in terrorist groups show
that they do the same things, that they’re involved
for the same motivations as the men. In other words, there’s not a
different gender motivation, but there can be a
different gender outcome in terms of how many headlines you’ll get. – Terrific, this sir. – [Man] My name is (speaking
in a foreign language). I’m getting out of the Middle East. I want your opinion on, we’ve talked about these terror groups that are primarily rogue
groups, if you will– – Primarily what? – [Man] Rogue groups, not necessarily state sponsored, rogues. – Okay. – [Crowd] Rogues. – [Man] Rogue. – Rogue groups, I apologize, yeah. – [Man] What about instances
of terrorism by states? And there have been instances in history and even now without
naming names or places where the states are initiating violence and terrorism on certain
persons of the population. – Carter, this goes directly
to some of the points you made. – So my point was more
of the general effect of intervention has on
continuing civil war. However, I could talk a great deal about how various governments, and you can take Afghanistan, how their police forces or their army can do things that are
oppressive to the people and how the people talk about this being (speaking in a foreign
language), this being oppression. Graeme’s already mentioned
some of the things that happened in Iraq, and you mention that the ISIS was killing various sons of Iraq and other leaders. Well, there’s decent amount of evidence that government or sectarian militias were doing the same thing too, so you can see that level of
oppression that’s occurring, and you can for various countries, you can ratchet it up to
even greater than that where extra-judicial killings. There’s everything the Leahy Amendment was set up to stop from happening. Those can be characteristics
of what a government does in the process of a civil
war to try to exert control, and what a government
does can in certain cases be worse than what the insurgents or the terrorist group does. – Any other comments? Okay, let’s go right here. Yes. You guys are great, by the way. We’re going. – [Kyle] Thank you. Kyle (mumbling), I served in
the anti-terrorist operations in Ukraine, and my question is whether
the general you would classify the Russian activity in the
eastern parts of Ukraine, the diversification military
activity they are taking, whether you would classify
that as terrorism in any way? Thank you. – Yes. – Okay, good. It does raise an interesting question that relates to the other gentleman here on the question of terrorism, which is the evolution of
hybrid war between states in which lots of other players, and again, looking at
the Saudi-Iranian context that are paying attention
to what the Russians just did in Ukraine and how you operate on a
lot of different fronts. This is Cybersecurity
Awareness Month, apparently, but when you kind of look at cyber, you look at unflagged soldiers. When you look at lots of
other kinds of things, it does raise the question
that this gentleman just posed and links to the last on whether that is
something that is gonna be a growing trend, so again as we talk about war
and conflict and extremism, I’m wondering how we
continue to talk about it in the neat ways about who’s driving it, whether that’s gonna be a problem. – Yeah, I think we can’t
talk about it neatly. I think the terrorist groups that matter do other things apart from terrorism, and they do various
different kinds of thing, which are gonna move causes forward, and I think looking at them as operators who use terrorism and other methods too is a more practical way
of understanding them. – Do we have any other? Right here, take a last question here. It’s gonna be our last question. Is this a really great question? Do you feel pressure– – [Woman] I’ll see if it’s
a really great question. I do feel pressure– – No, go ahead. – [Woman] So this morning, and
Senator Mitchell talked a lot about the economic conditions
that underlie violence and recruitment into violent groups, and that hasn’t really been
discussed in this panel, and I was thinking what you all had to say from your perspective
about economic conditions facilitating violent extremism? – Terrific question. Richard. – So my comment on that is
it’s particularly important when things are coming to an end. The decisive thing for
terrorism coming to an end is when the leadership of the group thinks that the violence that it thought would bring victory
isn’t gonna bring victory and they need some way out. At that moment, the long process
of building an alternative will be enhanced by outside actors and also internal forces, meaning that there’s
an economic viability, which enables people to soften the landing after a conflict. Without that, it’s much more difficult. – Graeme? – I think economic conditions
are an important aspect of understanding the phenomenon. I’ll speak of ISIS specifically. Yes. On the other hand, of
the say 40,000 people who were traveling to
fight on ISIS’s behalf, overwhelmingly they’re
fighting on ISIS’s behalf and moving to a location of
worse economic conditions from where they started, so it’s certainly not just a straight up monotonic relationship. The worse the economic
conditions that someone faces, the more likely he’s gonna be a terrorist. In fact, I think it might work
much in the other direction. What you do find though
is why were they going to Iraq rather than some other place? I think that it probably mattered a lot that the economic conditions
reflected misgovernment, reflected a lack of control in that place, so it’s a relationship
that should be examined, but with great care. – Carter? – I’ve found that economic conditions have played the greatest role in the original breakdown of social order, and I don’t have enough
time to go into detail, but I think you can see that happening a lot more dramatically than I can see it happening
in a conflict itself. – I agree with everything you said, but I sort of see it differently as well. I would say go back and look at history ’cause there are things that we used to do that we don’t do anymore. John Foster Dulles after World War Two was so concerned about
Japan and where it might go and how it might evolve or Germany that we wedged those economies deeply into the United States’ economy on a privileged basis, and I’ve always wondered if Afghanistan might have turned out
differently than it did if we had made a major push to essentially own the Afghani textile
product completely. There were a lot of labor unions. We were spending $120 billion a year in a country with $12 billion GDP, and so we could have bought
the country 10 times over, and we didn’t affect the
fundamental economic conditions, so I think I’m gonna put
my thumb on your question that it’s much more
important than people think, and there are ways in
which we historically, we may not have had the
capacity to do that, but if you become very
important to the livelihoods of families and what not somewhere, that then I think changes the possibility of how they look at their futures. So with that, I really
wanna thank Richard English, Graeme Wood, Carter Malkasian
for a wonderful discussion, and thank you all for
joining us at The View today. (mumbling) (audience applauding) (mumbling) – [Woman] Thank you. (mumbling) – Woo, sorry, this moves. Hi, good afternoon. My name’s Elaine Li, and I’m a second year graduate student at the Harris School of Public Policy, and I’m an incoming
Foreign Service Officer with USAID, and I’m also a recipient
of the Pearson Fellowship a unique scholarship opportunity for Harris students engaged in the study of global conflicts. I wanna talk a little bit about
the consequences of conflict because these consequences
are magnified with time. In communities that are
affected by conflict, development staggers and
progress becomes undone. Infrastructure is destroyed. There is no work. Prolonged periods of
unemployment result in difficulty reengaging in the workforce in the future. Families are further entrenched in poverty and surviving another day
becomes all consuming. Lack of clean water and food scarcity leads to nutrition problems. The first 1,000 days of an infant’s life become all that much more precarious because they are more at risk for stunted and impaired growth. Poor shelter options result in individuals living in close quarters, which increases the risk
of diseases spreading. Continued poor health impacts
an individual’s ability to study, to work, and to contribute to the development of their communities, but it’s not just these
communities that are affected. Conflict also impacts the communities that are surrounding the
communities that are affected. A few months ago, I
was working in Ethiopia with USAID and the
Education and Youth Office, and while in Ethiopia there
was a lot to celebrate. There was a new prime
minister in early spring. There was peace with Eritrea. There were a number of exiled political and religious figures that were returning, so it was very exciting. There was an overwhelming sense of hope. There was still also a
lot to be concerned about, in particular, the Gedeo
and West Guji conflict in southern Ethiopia, and while there had always
been border disputes and resource allocation issues between these two groups, this recent flare up of violence, it’s still unclear what caused it. Nearly one million people
have been displaced in this period of intercommunal violence. One of the neighboring
districts in the area, their population nearly
doubled from 130,000 to 230,000 in just a few months from the influx of the
internally displaced persons, IDPs, and this is in an area that is already strained
by limited resources. Many of the displaced
individuals are sheltering in the neighboring community’s schools and unfinished buildings, and as the conflict
dragged on over the summer, the question became what would happen when school starts again? Where would the IDPs go? Where would the students go, and at one point, over 85 schools in the area were hosting IDPs, and at some of these schools, even if these IDPs were able
to go back to their homes, what remains of the school infrastructure is too dangerous for
host community students. The paper from textbooks,
wood from the desks, they were burnt for fuel, and the fumes from these
fires have resulted in hazardous classroom conditions. Sanitation in these schools is also an issue due to overcrowding, public defecation, and the
lack of waste management. In a community where
resources are already limited to begin with, the priority to rebuild
schools or spaces for spaces to learn becomes eclipsed
by all these other needs, and for both IDP and
host community children, their education is disrupted, and I actually just got
this email from a colleague as I was sitting in the audience earlier. So to date, most students
are still out of school. 18 of these schools are
still occupied by IDPs, and the 60 something schools
that have been evacuated are in no shape to be a learning
environment for students, and the longer children are out of school, the more difficult it
is to return and make up for all the lost time, and once all those years are gone, another generation will have lost hope for a better life, and each day that goes by
is another in which conflict becomes a normalized part
of life in affected areas. Where conflict is prolonged, children will have grown up without knowing what peace is, and so no matter where in the world it is, there are real consequences to conflict, and with that, I want
to turn your attention to the panel on the
consequences of conflict. Thank you. (audience applauding) (footsteps) – Wanna say thank you to Elaine, and also on behalf of
the panel for being here at the Pearson Global
Forum, the first one. We are going to discuss the
consequences of conflict. Now in 19th century Europe, competing armies used to wear uniforms. Civilians were mostly able
to avoid those battles, but sometimes be pulled into them. Then we had the World Wars that led to the Geneva Conventions, the institution of the Red Cross, things that were supposed
to keep civilians safer, yet now when you look at
the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, it seems that international law of conflict is being regularly ignored. We’re going to dig into that to some of the reasons why. Next to me, I have Ciaran Donnelly. He’s Senior Vice President
of International Programs at the International Rescue Committee, and then we have Michelle Rempel. She is a Canadian member of Parliament. Then we have Federico Borello, Executive Director of the Center
for Civilians in Conflict, and finally Anne C. Richard, who is the former U.S.
Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration. So Ciaran, let’s start with you. Why do you think these laws are so regularly getting ignored? What happened? – That’s a big question to start with. I think we have to look at impunity. We have to look at enforceability of laws. I think we have to look at
places like Syria and Yemen and indiscriminate
attacks on health workers, targeting of health workers, hospitals being bombed in ways that are clearly not accidental, and the lack of consequences for that. People who have the
responsibility to uphold the Geneva Convention
through their militaries, through their decisions about
how they conduct hostilities, are able to conduct hostilities in a way that has very little
respect for human rights, for civilians on the ground. When we look at the rights
afforded to refugees as they flee across borders and seek refuge in neighboring countries, and the number of
countries around the world in which refugees’ right
to asylum, to safety, to dignity, to access to basic services, is at best observed in the breach and very often undermined
in the name of security, in the name of economic interests
of the local population, and again, you look at the very limited political consequences, if any, for the policy makers and decision makers who enact those kinds of policies within their own communities. I think that’s a big driving factor. – [Kim] So I’m starting with the folks who are doing the fieldwork, and then we’re gonna get
to the policy makers. So Federico, same question for you– – I’ll build on some of the
remarks that Ciaran just made, but with the lens of a policy maker. I think something that
has been frustrating to me is that somehow questioning the efficacy or the policies or the functioning of multilateral organizations that are designed to
enforce and maintain laws, it’s become almost tribal, right? Like there’s things that sometimes you just can’t talk about, and a specific example I would give would be the Yazidi Genocide. Canada had to have a special program to resettle Yazidi Genocide because the UN resettlement programs, or selection process, didn’t
refer genocide victims to Canada because internally
displaced person issue, difficulty of the refugees themselves to even get to the camps
and get into the process, and for me, the question then was, okay, well, if this was a failure, then how do we stop this failure? How can we look at the
UN selection process and strengthen this so
that we aren’t missing a cohort of people, and the political reaction
to that was, well, you must hate the UN. And no, and so I think
that that’s part of it too is that we’re two generations, in western countries, anyways, away from a global conflict, and I think that in order to get back to that enforceability
and remove that appearance or perception of impunity, the question for policy makers becomes how do we question the functioning of multilateral organizations and change some of these processes
to achieve that objective without actually throwing the support for these organizations aside, and I think that that’s gonna be a key public policy conversation in light of seeking justice for genocide perpetrators, et cetera. – [Kim] Federico, you and
I both knew the founder of your organization, and one of the things
that she set out to do was to create some consequences for these civilian casualties. Can you tell us what was the pressure she was able to create with that? – Yes, our founder, her
name was Marla Ruzicka. She was a young activist from California who at the age of 25 in 2002, 2003 decided to get on a plane
to go to Afghanistan and Iraq at different times to document the civilian casualties caused by the U.S. military
in those countries, and she gathered all this documentation of these cases and then
took them literally to the military base of the U.S. and said, “I’m an American citizen. “You have killed these 20 people. “You have an obligation to provide “some form of reparation
to their families,” and the first answer that she had was we respected international
humanitarian law. This is collateral damage. We have no obligation
towards these people, and her campaign was you may
have no legal obligation, but you do have an ethical obligation towards these families, and her legacy, unfortunately,
as you know well, Marla was killed in Baghdad in 2005, but her legacy is that now, 15 years on, the policy of the U.S. military and of many other militaries is 180 degrees changed, and they do recognize
the principle of amends, of providing some form of compensation whenever possible to victims of violence and of their own military operations, and these principles are
gradually being spread to other governments and other militaries around the world. – [Kim] So basically to
hold a very big mirror up and make people look at the consequences of their actions when it comes to civilian casualties. – Correct. It’s about surfacing the
true human cost of war, and looking at it in the eye in the form of the actual people and the families that have
been harmed one by one, so it’s not just about numbers, but it’s about putting
numbers to those faces and to those civilians, and that’s what our
organization continues to do. It continues to go out there, and we have teams all
over the conflict zones where we talk to civilians and then bring their
voice to military actors today to the militaries
in Nigeria and Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine and other places to try and find solutions that curb these civilian casualties because it is possible to do better, and in a world that is,
as Ciaran was saying, is going worse, there are also best practices and things that are improving. – [Kim] Anne, I know that you weren’t part of that particular
decision making process, but do you think that’s
what changed U.S. policy? – The work that Marla did? – [Kim] Work like that, work by NGOs to bring attention to it. – I think perhaps yes, but I think also journalists, Kim, to throw it back at you because we see more of
what’s going on overseas now than ever before, and you can follow up and
talk to the survivors, and you can have interviews years later with people who you had profiled earlier, so I think the world has gotten smaller, and there’s more attention
to the repercussions. We don’t just go to a country, carry out operations, and then leave. We are in an engagement, and now I see this more and
more here in the United States. I mean, I’ve had taxi drivers in Chicago from O’Hare who came to the United States. They were Afghans, and they came on the
special immigrant visa, so you don’t have to look
far to find the connections between our country and the countries that have been these theaters of war. – [Kim] So what worked though to change that past policy that we could reproduce
to change what’s happening on the battlefield now? – So for the IRC, for the
International Rescue Committee, it’s a really tough problem. When we see the actions of combatants, whether they’re formal armies or more informal militia groups, because our primary mission is about providing
assistance and protection to civilian populations, and with 10,000 staff around the world in conflict affected countries, any time we speak out, any time we draw attention to
the actions of those groups, we put our staff at risk and consequently we put our ability to continue providing services at risk. So some of the most difficult decisions that my teams make on a daily basis are what to do when they see these kinds of violations. We have programs in many countries that monitor violations, that gather data, but what to do with that and how to responsibly use it in a way that both promotes respect or at least tries to hold people to account for their actions is very, very difficult, and we’re really limited
in our ability to do that. Where we do see more
ability to change things is in the kinds of violence that you see in conflict situations that increase things like domestic violence,
intimate partner violence, violence against women and girls, where through our programming approach, we’re able to change the
behavior of perpetrators who may not be the men in uniform, but might be husbands and uncles, might be teachers, might be others, who are causing harm within communities, so I think it’s also important as we think about the rights of civilians and protection of civilians, we think about it both in
the sense of direct harm from combatants, but also the secondary effects and the secondary forms of violence that can impact on civilians. – Can I jump in here? Because Kim, the things that I’ve seen that have changed over time in the NGO world, one is, it has a lot to
do with professionalism. The people who get hired now have to know what they’re doing. They can’t just be well meaning amateurs, and the conversations that
are had with local people, you can’t just go to the head man and ask him what the village needs, and so there’s much more of a focus on talking to women about what they need, talking to the elderly, and then also you have to assume that some of the worst
excesses of war will take place instead of waiting until
there’s evidence to react, and I thought that that is a big change that actually has been very, very good in terms of protecting women and girls, protecting children,
protecting LGBTQI folks during wartime. We know bad things will happen, and we have to take efforts to protect them in a preventive way. – Yes, sorry, so when it comes to what
changed within militaries, I think there’s one word, mindset. Militaries traditionally
are trained to see the enemy in combat and the mission
to destroy the enemy, and the mindset change, which to their credit, the
U.S. military and NATO, are performing in Afghanistan, is to start seeing the
civilian on the battlefield, and the guidance came from really above, from the generals commanding NATO forces, to start incorporating better protection of civilians policies, and now these policies are being taken to militaries like the
Nigerian, the Iraqis because they understand not only that they have legal
and ethical obligations, but also strategic interests in protecting civilians. That’s why I don’t think we can see the protection of civilians
as only a consequence of conflict, but it’s an integral part in the element that perpetuates conflict, and there’s a lot of
research that proves that. There’s a recent UNDP study in West Africa that concluded that 71% of members of terrorist groups in the region joined primarily because of the killing or arrest of a family member
or a community member, and so there is an understanding that not protecting civilians perpetuates the cycle of conflict, and therefore this shift in mindset is slowly happening. – I wanted to jump in and just build on, when I heard you talk, Anne, to me the first thing was
implementation, right? So what I’ve noticed, and I’ve sat both in government and in opposition, is that what often hampers our ability to move quickly is a few assumptions. First of all, a lot of our processes that allow for intervention, be it prevention or what not, they sometimes assume a homogeneity in either a cultural context or a conflict context, and then what happens is, if there’s a slight divergence
from the assumptions on that homogeneity, the response from policy makers, civil servants, organizations,
multilateral organizations is, well, we can’t do that, right? Again, internally displaced persons is one of the key topics of,
well, we can’t do that, and it’s like, well, why not? What’s preventing us from doing that? And then it’s that inertia, right? For me, it’s we’re in a time where conflict, the comment
of it’s so real time. We’re in the smaller situation. We know what’s happening. We know there’s an ability to prevent it, but that implementation
concept has not caught up with the desire to do more, and to me I think if there was a bigger public appetite to focus on that element and we depoliticized the
questioning of efficacy, it’s not a political thing to question whether or not something works, that would help do what
you’re talking about. If it was a safe space to be like, well, maybe we should intervene
in this situation, that’s where I’ve been
hamstrung for seven years. – [Kim] How to try to make it worthwhile to your own population
to intervene overseas at a time when increasingly, many populations around the
world are looking inward. – Sure. – [Kim] So how do you make
that argument to them? – Again, I would go back to the comment that I made earlier. The reality is a lot of people
who are in western countries have not been to a conflict zone. The concept of conflict, and this is such a blessing. It’s such a wonderful thing. It’s the goal of peace is that you have a population that does not know conflict, so the order of priorities in terms of political imperative for that population gets
removed from conflict, and the challenge too
with a smaller world is how do you make conflict real to somebody who’s so far removed from it even though they can see it, and how do you explain that conflict in one part of the world, even might be half a world away, impacts a small global community? And to me, part of that very frankly is having interchange. I mean, one of the most powerful things that we had in Canada, it’s an opportunity for
me to congratulate her, was Nadia Murad come to Canada and testify in front of Canadian Parliaments, short months after she
escaped sexual slavery, and she gave this powerful testimony that the entire country just stood back and said, “Wait, this isn’t right,” and I think that if we can somehow, even though we see conflict on YouTube or on Facebook, that human element has somehow been lost, and I think it’s the role legislatures, journalists, NGOs to
really bring that back in a real way. – So one of the key ways
to bring back attention to the laws of war is to put a face on the combatants– – Sure. – That people can see back home. Now I want to add another
layer of complexity. I set this panel up by saying, oh, it was people in uniforms, horrible wars, civilians didn’t get caught in it that much, yet they still did. We put these laws in
place to help protect them as well as the combatants. Then we had the Gray Zone creep in. Now to explain what that is, we went from combatants in uniforms to Vietnam where you couldn’t tell who was a combatant, who was a civilian, to the battles of today where you’ve got the little
green men in Ukraine. You don’t know which foreign country is pulling the strings on which proxy army until possibly weeks, months, or years after the fact. How do you protect
civilians in an environment where the combatants don’t want you to see that they’re there until it’s too late? – So I wanna answer the question but in a slightly different way in terms of when you can’t tell who’s a combatant and a civilian, how do you channel and direct humanitarian
assistance appropriately, and I think there for us as, none of us have any interest in providing assistance that would further the cause of armed groups. As an NGO that subscribes to principles of independence and
impartiality and neutrality, our very fiber of how we work is predicated upon delivering assistance on the basis of need without reference to creed
or political or ethnic or religious or other affiliations. Remaining neutral in conflicts is essential to us maintaining the good faith of everybody we have to do, and so when we design programs, we design them with that in mind, to be able to reach civilians, to benefit civilians, and we’re very careful
to monitor, for example, is one particular group deriving benefit, political benefit, credibility, reputational credibility,
from our presence, from our work, and to understand and sometimes
make difficult decisions. We’ve closed programs
in places where we were the only health provider because we were inadvertently providing that kind of legitimacy. Where we see the biggest
threat to that ability today is as much from increasing regulation and hypersensitivity on the
form of donor governments who seek to limit humanitarian action out of what I would describe as an exaggerated fear of aid diversion. – Diversion. – Diversion of aid inadvertently
benefiting armed groups that they may not agree with, and that in turn is risking our ability to impartially reach
all of those civilians that we’re reaching
through those programs. – So I was just going to ask Anne, strategically ask you a question while you’re getting a drink of water. You were at State during the
height of the ISIS fight. Did it impact how you were able to reach out to refugees? – We were able to work
with the governments and the neighboring countries, the countries neighboring Syria, to get aid to refugees, and you could visit them. You could talk to them. You could carry out. If they could reach those countries, we could work with the best
international organizations and NGOs on earth to deliver aid to them, and each country handled
it somewhat differently, but they were safe from bombing
from their own government. The hard part was what
happened to the people inside Syria. – [Kim] I was gonna say the IDPs, the internally displaced persons– – And so, IDPs, if they
could get to a safe place, could also benefit from assistance. The Syrian Arab Red
Crescent was put in charge, and at first, Congress was very hostile. We got a lot of questions
about whether they were gonna divert aid, and there may have been diversions of aid, but overall, they represented
all sides in the fight, and they did a very good job, and they were respected, similar to the way the White Helmets were also respected as
Syrians helping Syrians, and the people who really suffered were the ones who were in
besieged surrounded cities where they were cut off from aid and they were being
bombed into submission, and that became the hardest set of issues for all of us to try to figure out not just how to keep them alive when they were being bombed, but also how to change the circumstances. And you’ve seen that some of those people have died or had to capitulate. – [Kim] Do you think the U.S. did enough to protect the civilians in the ISIS capital of Raqqa? – You know, these questions
about did the U.S. do enough are really, really hard
because of the circumstances. We talked earlier today I think about how Syria is a proxy
battlefield for major powers, and so getting to people, getting them the help they need, has proven to be tremendously difficult, and Americans, we’re not going in, but we could support
international civil servants, UN leaders, to go in
and try to do the best that they could, and so we were very supportive of the High Commissioner for Refugees, the head of the World Food Program, the head of the International
Committee of the Red Cross, that they would go in and then plead from the standpoint of
a more neutral position to try to get help to people. – So there was a recent bombing by Saudi Arabia in Yemen. They hit a school bus. They used U.S. ammunition to do it. They did eventually have an investigation where they claimed fault and said, “We hit the wrong target. “We will do better next time.” Is that a success? Really quiet panel here. – So we were very pleased recently at the introduction
of a requirement for the Secretary of State to re-certify that U.S. assistance to Saudi
Arabia and to the coalition was not promoting, on a regular basis have
to re-certify that it was not promoting or contributing
to civilian casualties. That re-certification was issued just days after that Saudi attack and against the evidence
we see on the ground, so I think the Saudi
reaction’s not enough, but I think also if there are legislative and policy checks on military decisions, they need to be taken
seriously by people who sign off on them. Evidence from the ground needs to be taken into account, and just
because it’s politically inconvenient to for example not re-certify continued assistance
to the Saudi coalition, that’s not in my view a good enough reason to go forward with it. – So what does the public need to learn about protection and how to extend it to these populations? – One of the things
that has been something I’ve had to learn in working with funding NGOs but also being part of an NGO once upon a time was that when we say protection, we don’t necessarily
mean physical protection of ordinary people. What we’re talking about
is their legal status in a country and making sure that
they can get the rights and the respect that they deserve. If it’s inside a country, it’s they deserve it as a
citizen of that country. They deserve not to be
bombed by their governments. If they’re outside a country, and they are refugees, there is an international convention to protect them, to protect their rights, but when we say, I find sometimes I’m
critical of my colleagues for talking a lot about protection, but they don’t really mean
giving each refugee a bodyguard. That person may be in great peril, but they are trying to speak up on behalf of them, or even better yet, help organize refugees or displaced people so that they can seek and obtain their own legal rights. (mumbling) – Okay, I was gonna tie Ciaran
and Anne’s points together. The question that you
asked about identification of combatants, and then your discussion
about concept of protection. Half of what I am wrestling with is whether or not we have
a cohesive international understanding of what
a consequence framework for combatants is. Sometimes I wonder how do
you protect a population if you make the consequences meaningful for somebody who might choose
to participate in conflict within their own context, and I think that the public right now thinks that consequences
for genocidal actions or something, it evolves
in this big Hague trial, and it’s one guy who’s
in charge of everything, and justice will be meted out, but it’s really like what about the guy who’s sitting in Edmonton
right now in Canada who went and fought with ISIS and came back, and it was a Canadian citizen. He was on podcasts and one of the major U.S. newspapers. What do we do with that guy? And how do we protect people in a conflict area by making it more about individual consequences, and there’s really not a
school of thought on that, but combat has become more individualized. I don’t know. That’s something I think that
we’re failing at large too because we often just talk about, again, the public perception is it’s
either a big trial afterwards, or it’s fighter jets coming in, or something, and to me
that’s the disconnect with the public is that there isn’t a
conversation about justice. – [Kim] And of course, we also have the recent Trump administration move to reject the
International Court of Justice, which sends probably not a good message to combatants who would step out of line. – I was just gonna, on the
question how do explain. We struggle with explaining
protection all the time. We have protection teams
and programs and units, and even internally within IRC, which is at heart a
protection organization, we struggle to explain
it to ourselves at times. Putting people front and center and talking about the impact on people, I think, or the kinds of things
that Anne was describing, can be really powerful. Birth certificates, anyone here not have a birth certificate? Right? Without a birth certificate, you can’t get access to basically
everything else you need to function in society. If you’re a refugee in a camp in many countries today, and you have a kid, getting a birth certificate for that kid is not straightforward or easy. In some cases, it’s not
necessarily even possible, and so we have teams. Some of the most impactful,
powerful conversations I have are with our staff on the ground whose job it is to find refugees who give birth in camps
and in informal settlements in urban environments and to help them figure out
how to get a birth certificate for their child because it may have to
come from the consulate of a country that they’ve fled from who may not want them, who may not welcome them. It may require certification
from a local official who may not take kindly to refugees coming at their door and asking for these kind of documents, and so helping people to
get those very, very simple and taken for granted kinds of things, but without which they can’t thrive. They can’t have access to jobs. They can’t have access to
registration for assistance, so sometimes protection at its very heart is about getting people the fundamentals of what it takes to survive in any society in the world today, and things that we take for granted. – It’s something that it seems our population worldwide
seems to be forgetting it owes refugees. Federico, you wanted to– – Yes, to go back to your questions about what the public needs to know and what can we do about it, and to bring it back to
the physical protection of civilians stuck in conflict zones, because I do believe that
that is the most vulnerable population of all. I think what we need to know is first that it’s becoming more and more difficult with you mentioned Raqqa, Mosul, Raqqa, Fallujah. These really densely populated cities where fights are increasingly being fought pose incredible risk for civilians, much higher than in the past, but what people need to know is first that there is something that can be done. I think that the narrative for decades has been this is collateral damage. There’s not much you can
do about it when the war, war is bad, and civilians will be harmed. I think in the last 15 years, we have seen developments
that with political will, with the investment of resources, we’ll never bring the
civilian death toll to zero. That is obviously the North Star, but it may be difficult, but things can be done, and we must request
that from our governors, people who govern and people
who support governments where wars have been fought to use and implement those tools. – [Kim] I’d like to open up to questions, but before I do that, I wanted to ask am I wrong? Are people not numb to the casualties? Are they paying attention? – I think the biggest problem
with the compassion fatigue, as it’s called, is that
it has a big adversary, which is fear, and unfortunately,
fearmongerers in our societies, and I can speak about my
home country in Italy, that has had problems, has a number of internal
problems for decades, first world problems, but
still serious problems with stagnation, bad governance, but today, I was in Italy in September, everyone is convinced that refugees is the main problem. 150,000 people scattered
around the country that you don’t even see, but the narrative has been
that this is the problem, and so if the person you’re
supposed to have compassion for suddenly becomes your enemy
because it’s stealing new jobs, committing crimes, you’re not gonna have compassion, so we really need to fight that narrative and debunk it because
it’s completely based on no facts at all. – I’m gonna jump in there because I think that you
can’t have that conversation without talking about the
other side of resettlement, and it’s not just about getting someone to a safe place. It’s also talking about integration, and what do I mean by that? Language acquisition, skills acquisition, overcoming trauma, and having someone become self-sufficient in a host country, and I think that that
is probably the key tool to debunking what you’re talking about is that if the public has faith that first of all, humanitarian
immigration in a country is focused on the world’s most vulnerable, and then that there’s subsequent policy, adequate policy, to ensure
that that integration occurs, I think that’s the core of it, and that’s the way to deescalate
the polarized conversation on refugees. Unfortunately, that’s a
very nuanced position. It’s not easy to communicate, but it’s one that places, to your point, humans and a personal experience
at the heart of policy, so we’ve been trying to do this in Canada. I serve as the opposition
critic for immigration, and it’s challenging trying
to take the conversation. It’s so politically expedient to say, nobody, everybody’s bad, or door’s wide open, and kind of say, okay,
well, what’s the policy that enables us to do this, and I think that that’s
where we have to deescalate the tribalism and start
really getting to that point. – And I think we might be the first panel that doesn’t have a researcher on it, so I’m gonna bring a research perspective even though I’m not a researcher, but generating research and evidence can be really powerful in
changing the policy narrative and in debunking the
myths that people have around refugees, and the research that’s out there shows that communities that receive refugees have lower crime rates. They have better economic outcomes, that refugees overtime contribute net more to the economy than they
take in in benefits. There’s people out there
who’ll be convinced by the statistics and the evidence, and there’s people out
there who’ll be convinced by translating those into stories of the successful person
who own the business down the road that you know, but in all those cases, you can communicate that evidence and those stories in a way that makes people less scared. – Can I briefly push back on that? I agree. The problem for me is that
we don’t track that data. I don’t even think that
there’s consistent agreement on what the metrics
are for success, right? For me, I just threw out
three that I would consider, but what is the role of government in actually tracking that
at a very macro level, and then translating
that into public policy, and I think that certainly in my country, there’s room for improvement on that. – Friend of mine at UNHCR
is trying to tell this story through food, and she
got a movie star together with a refugee, and he showed on a video how
to make the perfect falafel. So Google Buzzfeed UNHCR and falafel. I’d like to take a couple of
questions from the audience. Let’s see. Alright, it’s almost four
o’clock in the afternoon. Let’s see who’s still awake. Right here. – [Elizabeth] So I wanted to ask. My name’s Elizabeth. I research Syria, and I wanted to ask what can you do in advocacy work, like
civics, like the IRCs, when you’re dealing with governments that simply cannot be shamed? I mean, you can collect
all the data you want. At the end of the day,
Russia, the Syrian regime, the regime in Sudan do not care about the data that you present. What can you do in those situations? Because this is increasingly it seems, especially as the U.S. kind
of retreats from the world and the Middle East in general, that this is kind of a model that is shown to be working. I mean, state terrorism
is incredibly effective in achieving the goals
of these governments, so why should they
adopt a different policy that takes protection more seriously? – I wanna take one more question because we only have a
little bit of time left. I thought I saw another hand. You guys can see it better than I can. – [Woman] (mumbling) to
collecting evidence (mumbling). What are some other ideas? I’d like to hear from each panelist– – Sorry, can you stop? Can you start that from the top? – [Woman] Yeah, from each panelist, what are some ideas or solutions you’d like future policy makers to consider when it comes
to integration of asylees and refugees in domestic economies? – She stole my last question, which was gonna be, hey,
we’re in a room full of potential policy makers. What’s your advice? So a government that sees no point of working with refugees
and working with you all, how do you change their minds? And advice to policy makers. – Yes, that’s the million
dollar question, Elizabeth, and unfortunately, there’s no good answer other than trying to defend
that international order that has been designed post-World War Two, and we heard Senator Mitchell
eloquently talk about it, to try to counter these cases, and that’s why it is extremely dangerous and that there are threats to this order, not only from states that
traditionally have opposed it, but also from states
that have supported it. So when you mentioned the position on the International
Criminal Court of the U.S., it’s not that new because
the U.S. has not signed the treaty, but the fact of stating it so openly and so stridently
certainly sends a message that this is acceptable, so it’s not only Syria. South Sudan is another example, where the government
doesn’t hide the violations it commits against civilians. One of the big differences I see from the wars of today
and those of the ’90s is that in the ’90s, most of the time, the
governments that were involved tried to hide their role and denied it, like Rwanda for 15 years has denied being involved in the Congo, whereas today, they don’t
need to do that anymore. So there is no good short term answer other than the humanitarian
assistance for Syria today, but I think the long term answer is really to defend that international order and also see why the arsenal
of tools that we have, even if we look at 2012,
2013 for Syria, didn’t work. We had developed the
International Criminal Court, the responsibility to
protect, the UN peacekeeping, a number of tools that in Syria
none of them was applicable, and that’s something that we
need to continue discussing among ourselves between civil society, government, policy makers to
find a better answer for you. – [Kim] So it can boil down to pay them or cause them some sort of pain. – I think some of the lessons
from earlier in the day apply in these questions too, that there’s probably
no single magic bullet to deal with bad actor countries, that it has to be a series of measures to put pressure on them, and that it may not be military. There’s a whole toolbox of things. It’s very frustrating right now because there are so many conflicts. There are so many protracted conflicts, and there’s so few
examples, like Colombia, where you see some breakthroughs, some movement. Ethiopia and Eritrea, it makes me so happy that there may actually
be some movement there. I think we can’t give up. I had a senator yell
at me once about Syria. “It’s too late. “It’s too late. “The Obama administration
screwed this up,” and he had his points, but the thing was, I
didn’t have the luxury in my job of writing off that conflict, and say, okay, you’re right. We’ll just focus on the other ones, so we have to somehow persevere even when the list of
conflicts is too long, and that gets to your question
about compassion fatigue because I think Americans are caring, generous people overall, but it’s hard to rally people around a Save Darfur-like campaign when the list is just so long, and the crises are so complex, and they’re not hearing from leaders really strong statements right now about the differences Americans are making and could be making, so this is pretty tough. On the future for immigrants and refugees and asylum seekers, well, I mean, you won’t be
surprised that I think U.S. should take plenty of people, but I say things like that, and then in the vlogosphere, it’s like, oh, typical
open borders Democrat, and Democrats aren’t in
favor of open borders. Countries have the right
to protect their borders. We have to do more to manage migration, to screen people. I’m really concerned
that we are forgetting about our obligations to provide asylum to people who really are
fleeing for their lives, and that piece I would like to hear more leaders talk about. – Can I jump in ’cause you gave me the perfect segue? So to your question, I think a lot of the hesitancy
around accepting refugees is there’s a lot of narrative on, well, people are just coming to our country to abuse our social programs, and they’re economic migrants, right? So how true is that statement in each of our national contexts? And I think that’s a
question where research is very critical. In Canada, we don’t have the same pressure as the EU has or even
as the United States has because it’s cold, and
we have a long border with the United States, right? But in all seriousness, I mean, we’ve had a recent
surge in the last year of people utilizing a
loophole in the agreement that we have with the United States. It’s essentially to
prevent asylum shopping, the Safe Third Country Agreement, and a lot of people are
looking at that in Canada and saying, “Well, if you’ve
reached the United States, “should you be at the top of our list “in terms of protection?” And I don’t accept the fact, whoever’s in the administration, that somehow the United States has become an unsafe place. I mean, there’s a public
policy question that really hasn’t been looked at, so that’s number one is I think that we need to have a
non-dogmatic conversation around is everybody
afforded the same status of need in accepting refugees, and that’s a very taboo conversation, but when you’re under a high pressure to adequately pay for the
integration of people, I think that’s a fair question even though it might be a taboo topic. The next bridging into that is do we have the right global systems
to select refugees for resettlement, and this goes back to the comment that I made about for example
internally displaced persons. LGBTQ people have a very difficult time getting into the UN selection process for very logical reasons, right? If you’re outing yourself
in a hostile area, it’s problematic. How do we change that policy? And then in terms of resettlement, in Canada I’d like to
see some research done on how we can better resettle refugees and have our resettlement supports for rural communities where we really do need
the population growth, but our settlement services are so siloed and structured
into urban centers, and especially when you’ve got people that are coming from
rural agrarian backgrounds and all of your resettlement services are structured in an urban environment, how can we help things out there? Two very brief, brief points,
another taboo topic is, and again, the context
is different in Canada than the U.S., the social supports afforded
to refugees over time in terms of incentive to work and at what point does
that become a disincentive? Does it? And I’ve probably expired all of my time, but this is a charge to
all of you in the audience. It’s really up to you
to look at these topics in a non-dogmatic way
and inform policy makers. Be aggressive about
reaching out to legislators, not from a condemning perspective, but from a way of saying, here’s something that can help, and I think that your
question is just so timely, so call me. – [Kim] Ciaran, a quick last word? – Alright, I’ll try and
answer both questions really quickly. On resettlement,
governments have to live up to their obligations. Geneva Conventions, international law, you’ve signed up to obligations. Live up to them. Learn from best practices. We’re working with
governments and partners and civil society in places as diverse as Estonia and Chile to
bring lessons from what works from refugee resettlement integration in the U.S. and Germany to those countries, finding a network of willing partners, and people eager to learn and connecting them to each other. But at the same time, don’t be seduced. Double down on resettlement, but equally double down
on the other pillars of refugee solutions, solving conflicts so people can go home and finding durable integration solutions in countries of first asylum, but don’t be seduced into thinking that by focusing on those you can’t focus on resettlement. You need all three for
sustainable solutions. On governments that don’t wanna change, it’s funny for humanitarians ’cause we’re apolitical, or we strive to be apolitical, but we exist in a very,
very political space, and we try to influence the environment for the benefit of the
people that we serve, but when we come up
against those governments, it’s time for us to pull our heads back in and focus on what’s most important to us, serving people, providing
humanitarian assistance, and then let other people, politicians, policy makers, people with influence, seek to bring about the kind of changes at the political level that
will lead to longer term transformation and solutions, and it’s really important
that as they do that, that humanitarian
assistance and the interests of the people most affected by conflict don’t become a chip to be put on the table to be negotiated with, and too often you see threats
to cut humanitarian assistance as part of a political leverage strategy, and the only people that
hurts are the civilians affected by conflict. – And with that, we hope we’ve left you with more of an impression
of passion and enthusiasm than frustration, and that we’ll see some of you out there helping solve these problems. Thank you very much. (audience applauding) (footsteps) – Hello, everyone, this has been a fantastic day of content, and we are in the home stretch. We have one panel and two short format academic talks coming up, and right before that, it’s my great pleasure to introduce a really special guest who’s here to share his story with us. Hazim Avdal is a second
year student in the college at the University of Chicago. He’s also an Iraqi refugee and a member of the Yazidi community. He’s here with us today
to share his story, so please join me in welcoming him. (audience applauding) – Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for having me. My name is Hazim Avdal. I’m a survivor of the Yazidi genocide that happened in 2014. Today I plan to show you a video that shows a glimpse of my story. Growing up as a member
of the Yazidi refugee, I have not seen a lot of peace in my life. I’ve seen the devastating impact that violence and conflict
can have on a community. It has been a long journey
that has led me here and speak with you today. It was a long journey of
great hardship and pain, but also a lot of hope. I feel particularly hopeful today after the news that Nadia
Murad, a Yazidi refugee, and a survivor of ISIS captivity, whom I worked with in Iraq, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. As you will hear more
about that in my video, Nadia and I met while I
was working with Yazda, a humanitarian organization
that was dedicated to helping survivors
of the Yazidi genocide. It was through my work
with Nadia and Yazda that I came to meet the Clooney family and the Clooney Foundation for Justice. Thanks to their support, I was able to come to
the United States in 2017 and start a new chapter
and continue my education. This Monday marked the first day of the first week back to
school for the new quarter. It has been a great week
of meeting my professors and starting new classes. However, with the start
of the new school year, I am reminded of my home and my community back in Iraq. So many people like me
were so eager to learn and to thrive, but their lives and
ambitions have been destroyed and devastated by violence. Every day, but especially
being here today, I think of my family, of my friends and my former classmates. Many of them have been stripped of the opportunity to learn, if not the right to live. My community and others around the world have been destroyed due
to the senseless crimes against innocent people, and we need the support of thinkers and leaders like you to help bring change. Today I stand in front of you because I believe it’s our duty to share our stories and engage in
meaningful conversation about the causes of
violence around the world and its lasting impact on people’s lives. I hope that telling my story
and speaking with others can help bring justice for my people and other victims of
violence around the world. Together I believe we
can make great change. I look forward to continuing to engage in important conversations like these in order to make that change happen. Thank you for listening and thank you for watching. This is my story. (audience applauding) (dramatic instrumental music) (audience applauding) Thank you so much. (audience applauding) – Hello, my name is Marianne Akumu, and I am a Masters student studying International Development and Policy at the Harris School of Public Policy. I am also one of 25 recipients of the Obama Foundation Scholarship, which has enabled us to
undertake this program here at the University of Chicago. I come from Uganda,
which is in East Africa, and prior to coming to Chicago, I was working with a
non-governmental organization on various issues including
transitional justice, inclusive development,
and humanitarian response. Therefore, the forthcoming
discussion is very pertinent and related to the work that I do. Now Uganda is a very beautiful country that has unfortunately been
plagued by cycles of violence throughout its history. This inability to find lasting solutions to the drivers of conflict, including unequal power distribution, unequal wealth distribution, tribalism, have perpetuated the cycles. However, the most protracted
and violent conflict the country has witnessed has been the one involving the Lord’s Resistance Army, and this has been led by
a man named Joseph Kony, who some of you may have heard of, and this occurred in the
north and eastern part of the country, and Kony began his quest
to overthrow the government around 1986 and continued
his violent fight up to around 2006 when there were attempts to engage in peace talks
between the government and the LRA. And while there was a
cessation of violence, there was no final peace agreement signed due to mistrust between both parties. Currently, Kony and his group
are still alive and active, but operating from the
dense Garamba forests in the neighboring
Democratic Republic of Congo, whose violent history
is even more harrowing than Uganda’s. In response, the government, along with international partners, have undertaken various
development programs in order to bridge the economic, social, and infrastructure gap between the North and the rest of the country. This gap, however, still
persists despite various accountability measures, which include Dominic Ongwen, who is one of the LRA’s
former top commanders and is currently standing trial before the International
Criminal Court in the Hague, and in addition locally, a junior commander is being tried before the international crimes division of the High Court of Uganda. Both of these are part of the process of trying to ensure
accountability for crimes that have been committed. Now take a moment and think of someone you
know who is 20 years old. Now imagine that since their birth, they have been a witness, survivor, victim, or agent of violence. Usually when there is
violence happening somewhere in the world, our TV screens are filled
with images of bombings, shootings, destruction, and people fleeing for survival. What is not often shown or focused on is the humanity behind the images, the people and the families affected. What happens afterwards? What happens when the
fire is no longer burning and people are trying
to rebuild their lives? How do you ensure that history does not repeat itself and that these atrocities
are not committed again? These are some of the questions that transitional justice aims to answer. One day while conducting
a community meeting in a village in Gulu district, I met a young lady called Grace, who told me a bit about herself. Grace was a 14 year old student during the height of conflict when the LRA attacked her school. Many of her classmates
and teachers were killed, and the buildings were
completely burnt down. She was abducted and forced
to carry heavy luggage and walked thousands of
kilometers to South Sudan where the LRA had their base. When they reached the base, as was custom, she was given to one of
the rebel leaders as a wife and endured physical, psychological, and sexual abuse on a regular basis. She stayed there for four years until she was eventually rescued. She returned home with two children. Her return home, however,
was only the beginning of new challenges she’d face. She returned to find that her father, the family’s main breadwinner, had died. Her mother, who survived, was suffering from various illnesses and barely able to support herself. Grace herself suffered
from frequent nightmares. She was unable to find work, and due to having
children to take care of, she was unable to go back to school. The community in which she
expected to find solace ostracized her, labeling her a rebel wife. Her children too carried the stigma and suffered from bullying in school. In Acoli, the tribe to
which Grace belongs, as in many African cultures
which are patrilineal, one gains their identity and
belonging from their father. Since Grace did not know
her children’s father’s clan or home, it left the children
without a sense of belonging and access to their cultural
and material heritage. The traditional and culture institutions that were once able to
intervene in such situations were also transformed by the conflict, which left many of the elders dead and the cultures eroded and
institutions barely surviving. Our organization was able to
provide Grace with two goats, which eventually multiplied, and this gave her a source of income to be able to pay school
fees for her children and take care of herself and her mother. This recommendation
came from Grace herself and was based on various factors, including the amount of time and resources that would be required to
take care of the goats, their market value, as well as the possibility of expansion. In addition, we train community
facilitators in the village on aspects of human rights, reconciliation, and peaceful coexistence in order to be able to
change community attitudes towards those who had
returned from rebel captivity. The facilitators worked with
schools and other institutions, including the health centers
and culture institutions to ensure that they were sensitive to the specific needs of survivors. Grace was also integrated
into a women’s community group to give her a sense of
belonging and friendship. Now Grace’s story is
only one among millions of complex stories born of conflict from around the world. Therefore, when discussing the restoration of social order, it is about the institutions,
the infrastructure, but more importantly, it is
about the individual lives, the communities, the cultures
that have been transformed, and how they can be supported
to rebuild their lives. This requires a holistic
and inclusive approach that has the most affected at
the center of the solutions. Thank you very much, and please welcome the next panel. (audience applauding) – Good afternoon. My name is Kate Baicker. I’m the Dean of the Harris
School of Public Policy, and we’ve just heard one of
the many powerful reasons that moving from the causes
and consequences of violence to the restoration of political
order and reconciliation is so important, and that’s a tall order for this panel and the last panel of the day, but we are incredibly fortunate to have two incredibly qualified
people to speak to that and to raise some of the
issues that you’ve heard about in Syria and discuss how
they apply around the world. So first on my left is Peter Luskin, who’s the Managing Director and Co-founder of the Center for Operational
Analysis and Research and has done remarkable work in Syria and Afghanistan
and around the world, and to his left you see Roger Myerson who is the Glenn A. Lloyd
Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, a Pearson Institute Affiliate and a Nobel Prize Winner in Economics, and we are incredibly grateful
to have your expertise. I’d like to dive in,
turning to you, Peter. Thinking about the
issues we’ve heard about throughout the day of
the best of intentions for donors or for western
states in driving improvement in these war torn areas can often go awry and how what looks good on paper can be perverted in practice. Tell us a little bit about how
you’ve seen the translation of donor intentions to
practical import on the ground. – That’s a very good question, and I guess to start, I really appreciate being here, and it’s been wonderful to hear a lot of kind of uplifting stories
like Grace’s story. Syria is just a disaster, and I don’t know how
else to put it right now, so we’re at a point in this conflict where the government of Syria has essentially retaken the vast majority of previously opposition held areas. They’re bracing for kind
of their final offensive, which will take place
likely in the next year, so what we’re left with right now is let’s say the pieces of civil society that we’ve kind of, as the West, have collectively contributed to over the last five years, six years. I guess one of the biggest challenges in the Syrian conflict was that, and we’re talking about
governance structures, was that these local councils, which I guess came
together in roughly 2012, they were funded by
different western countries, but they never had a monopoly
on service provision, and they never had a monopoly
on the use of violence, which is to say, the
judiciary would be paid for by the Swedes, and it was going direct to judges. Service provision was being
taken care of by INGOs. (mumbling) groups were
receiving their money neither directly from the
West or from the Gulf. Then as a consequence,
these attempts at unifying the opposition failed. I think the Syrian
opposition probably also deserved some credit for that, but we collectively fragmented this, and I’d say the most
important aspect of it is in service provision. – So that’s an interesting thread you’re picking up on
from panels we’ve heard earlier in the day about the contrast between a fragile state
versus a fragmented state and the role that centralization plays in strengthening or
weakening the existence of state infrastructure
necessary to support the restoring of social order, and I wanna turn to
Roger and put that to you in thinking about how governance matters and the right balance between
a centralized authority versus local tribal councils or local groups that
might be more accountable to the people on the ground. – Yeah, I think with the
University of Chicago and the Harris School
are trying to understand as social scientists, the foundations of successful societies, and Syria is a terrible test case that forces us to think
very hard about it. I come from a general prejudice. Thinking about problems such as we’ve been talking about all day, I’ve come to believe an
important proposition that’s underappreciated would be that the foundations of a
strong, prosperous state depend on a balanced,
constitutional relationship between national political leaders and local leaders who are accountable within their communities. That is to say, the
United States developed from local roots that had
local and provincial government that was accountable,
democratically accountable, to residents 100 years before we had our first national election, and this is a country
maybe unique in the world where the national Constitution had to be ratified
separately by the provinces. The political processes in
the provinces determined whether the national
Constitution was accepted, so a balance, and this country was
founded on the concept of a balance between national
and local government, and that is something that Americans have not taken sufficiently out, I think, in thinking about helping other countries. We think about democracy, but we don’t think about federalism, which is absolutely
fundamental to our country. What makes a state weak or fragile? And I think the answer
is either elite networks are too narrow to effectively govern, or rivalries between different groups prevent the consolidation
of an effective state, and either way the result
is misery for people who live there and the source of violence. Narrowness, let me just say ’cause the international
assistance community can provoke this, can
exacerbate these problems. These are political problems of a country, of a region, of a people, of a society, but the international
community can exacerbate the narrowness problem because when international systems is channeled through national leaders, it gives those national leaders less reason to try to be inclusive to negotiate the hard deals with local elites outside of the capital, and you end up a narrow state one way, and of course the other way
is when different countries that may be international rivals back into different rival
groups within a country, we help to tear it apart. So either way, international assistance may bear some of the
guilt for a weak state. I would say both of these effects exist on steroids in a monstrous
version in Syria. Syria, there is state
which has specialized in trying to be narrow, to make sure that nobody is trusted for the provision of local
public goods and justice, and that the state controls. State connections are
necessary for protection and for public services, and they have perfected the use
of international recognition as a way of profiting, and when people rose up in Syria against the state, perhaps because there wasn’t
a unified backing from, if the western nations had provided some sort of unified
backing for the revolution, perhaps it could have succeeded, but instead it was different
backers have created conflict, and to some extent the state itself, the Assad regime itself, was deliberately exacerbating that. – Yeah, and I think that’s
this interesting place that we’re at right now which is in the last nine months, let’s say the vast majority
of opposition-held areas have been reconciled, and that’s the word that people use, but it’s not really the right word. It’s kind of an Orwellian word, as I think someone spoke to earlier on the last panel. It’s these besieged areas, which were besieged for five or six years, which itself is an interesting
thing to discuss briefly, in that how can this happen? I mean, well, the only way you can happen, or to have a siege last for five years is because somebody’s
profiting off of it, right? I mean, for up until let’s
say the fall of 2016, siege was simply a way for the
regime to earn hard currency and basically prey upon
people trapped in these areas. Anyway, following the
Russian intervention, we’ve seen I guess beginning
in the winter of 2016, with Madaya and Zabadani, and then kind of up until now, which we saw last July was the fall of the South. It’s a process called reconciliation, and basically, and I think
it was spoken to earlier. It’s local capitulation, but what’s really interesting
about this process is how armed actors who
you would think would be the ones who can most
directly challenge the state, these guys are reconciled, and in fact, in the south, you had the Fourth Armored Division was basically competing
with the Fifth Corps, which was backed by the Russians to reconcile as many
combatants as possible and then to throw them
on the next front line, whereas service providers, which is to say, kind of humanitarians, although probably not humanitarians in the traditional sense of the word because they are political actors, and local council leaders, civil society, these guys are all basically
forcibly displaced, and that by the way is the last step of the reconciliation is
they bring in the buses, the green buses, and they put you on, and send you to the north. So I mean, we’ve done a
bunch of research about this, about kind of the
incorporation of armed actors, but what it speaks to
is that the Syrian War has been essentially a
war of service provision, and then I guess this goes
back to the donor policies we were talking about earlier. Humanitarian is a very easy thing to fund. It seems to be less controversial, right? But in the context of
let’s say a fragile state, in the context of kind
of a complex crisis, providing services was
directly challenging the legitimacy of the regime, and for this reason, these are the people who
are never coming home, whereas the guys who carried weapons, I mean, they’re not welcomed
back, I don’t think, but they remain in their communities and have not been penalized to the extent that one would have expected. – So then how do western powers, the U.S. and others,
act as a force for good in the distribution of aid? How do they interact with local councils or local groups to make
sure that aid is getting where it’s doing the most good, and to keep those groups
from being co-opted by a regime that may
have different interests? (mumbling) – Go ahead. – So this is really challenging because even the definition
of humanitarian aid I guess is kind of up in the air. Multi-mandate humanitarian organizations do things from the emergency
humanitarian response all the way to peace
building and reconstruction. By and large, it’s based upon this idea that they’re neutral and impartial actors, but in the Syrian conflict, they’re not, and so I think even though it’s very easy to channel aid, these organizations will not
work with political entities. I mean, the UN pulled funds, and almost all
humanitarians worked instead through local civil society, so I don’t quite know what the answer is because on the one hand, to question the neutrality
of humanitarians and to say you must program this money through a local council would obviously jeopardize
their community acceptance. On the other hand, doing it this other way, which is allowing kind of local civil society to deliver services effectively undermines the sovereignty of any governing structure
that you wanna create. – I think the point is that while we recognize that a
broad, inclusive civil society is the foundations of a strong state, this is exactly what the Assad regime has worked to undermine systematically to the extent that people
who have some independence and some local accountability, have been permitted to have
any local leadership prestige in Syria, my understanding
is it’s exclusively people who are within a narrow sectarian group, that as long as it’s sectarian, especially if it’s suspicion
between different sects and different tribal or ethnic groups, then the regime may be
prepared to tolerate that, and it’s remarkable that you say that the foot soldiers who
fought for the revolution have been able to give up their arms, put the gun down, and then the regime gives them a gun back and says, “Now you’re
welcome to the army,” and they’ve been assimilated. But the civil society
people were the people who were forming local councils. The proudest achievement of
the Syrian revolutionaries from 2011 was the establishment
of broad, inclusive, cross sectarian local
councils to build trust, and that’s exactly what’s most threatened by the regime. Those are the people who they
know they want to suppress. I quote from Rick Barton’s
book, excellent book, Peace Works, page 176, if you like, where he reports that– – [Man] Can you repeat that? – Yeah, Rick Barton’s Peace Works, he reports that unfortunately
the U.S. government just often acted like it
didn’t know how to engage with local groups. There was a desire to
have a national front on top of it, and that was something
that the Assad regime was very good at manipulating to prevent the creation of, but I think what I
would emphasize here is, and without support from the West, the Syrian revolution was betrayed and perverted by sectarian militias, who sometimes would then
purge other factions from the local councils, and the local councils that
were inclusive that remain, those are the ones that the Assad regime is most threatened by. I think the U.S. and the
European Union in particular, it is right. Let me say it is right for all of us, so it is humanly right to try to help, want the Syrian people to have a country that they should want to return to, but Europeans have a particular, with the refugee horde on their borders, have a real material interest also in supporting the reconstruction Syria as a place that Syrians
should want to return to. What good can we do? Europe and the West have
very little leverage, but I would wanna say to
maximize what little leverage is available, and I think Europe was probably
gonna be the leader in this, would be to offer generous
budgets for reconstruction with wide eyes that the Assad
regime does welcome this hoping to profit from it, and to some extent, the Assad regime would
prefer that that money all be managed, all the
profits from the contracts, should go to Ba’athist connected people, and they should not go to communities. Communities that rebelled the longest should be left to starve, so the aid has to be given in a way where there’s local control. I would say an initial demand would be, we’re gonna give you more money than you thought we
would for reconstruction, but we insist that in every district we’re gonna be allowed to open a district reconstruction office. The international assistance
from Europe and America should go, and there should be a district reconstruction officer who’s going to connect with
the old civil society people and say, “What do you really need?” Who can we trust to deliver it? Some fraction of the profits of our money are gonna go to Ba’athist
connection people, and of course we wanna help
those communities also, but the communities
that were loyal to Assad deserve help in reconstruction, but the international
community needs to be ready when those local development officers say, “We’re getting resistance. “The people we’re talking to are being “systematically arrested. “They’re not allowing us
to help the communities “that rebelled the longest.” Then the whole process
has gotta be shut down, and the governments at the highest level need to say, “Syria is not allowing us “to help their own people “because they’re insisting that it all be “a political crutch for the regime, “and we’re withdrawing the money “until these demands are met.” I think that’s kind of detailed engagement that allows local voices, that is sensitive. Where national policy is sensitive to local political voices in Syria is the best we can do to
not just create a nation, but to actually have
positive political impact for the future of Syria as a nation. – Yeah, I guess I’d echo that and say just don’t give it to UNDP. That would be the worst possible thing ’cause they’re quite close to the regime, but yeah, I mean, borrowing that. What else would work would be to continue doing exactly what we’ve been doing in that it was a mistake
for the last six years in that it caused a fair amount
of political fragmentation, but moving forward, political fragmentation
in government-held areas, maybe not fragmentation, but say a diversification of influence, may not be such a bad thing. And I guess the only goal is just ensuring that it
doesn’t cement displacement and it doesn’t allow the government to basically shore up the communities that have supported them, or what we’re seeing kind of right now, which is that there are
these fairly strategic areas, things like the road from
Damascus to the airport, which I don’t know if
you’ve been to Beirut, but will be reconstructed in such a way that let’s say the local inhabitants, which previously were from a fairly kind of
low income background, that they’re never able to return in this kind of (speaking
in a foreign language). I mean, this is what the
regime would like to do with this reconstruction money, and I mean, that’s the worst case, so anything short of
that is a great victory. – So you’ve highlighted the
importance of the mechanism by which aid is allocated and monitored, which I’m sure is a real challenge. Acknowledging that success is likely to be in small steps over a long time, what would success look like? How do we know that things are working? What would you like to see as early signs? Yeah, you. (laughing) – So I guess, it depends
who you talk to, right? For the Europeans, success
would be safe returns. – What about for the Syrians? – So this is the end of
phase one of the conflict, but there is definitely phase
two coming without question because I guess these core grievances, and Rebecca, I’m looking at you. These core grievances have
never been addressed, right? That in fact they’re worse now than I think they were
before the conflict began. I don’t know what you do, no. – I should back up and say, and should have mentioned this earlier. We should have had a third panelist, Madeleine Thomas, Peter’s colleague. She’s not very far away. She’s in Canada, but because she’s a Syrian national and our government has a policy that’s just made it
impossible for her to be here, and I’m ashamed that she’s not here. I think there’s been a revolution against a regime, and it’s been suppressed with
Iranian and Russian help, and in many ways, some of the revolution backfired and then it created openings for all kinds of militant fundamentalists that had different kind
of intolerance, obviously. There is still hope that as a result of this resistance, the Syrian people rose up
because the way the regime was restricting power and manipulating the
communities was intolerable, and is there any hope
that the Assad regime will be a different
Assad regime afterwards? Not much. I was trying to say
what kinds of engagement with foreign donors could they use to try to maximize the probability that the regime will
be a little different, for if the West insists on it and provides some
incentives for the regime, perhaps allow some
people to begin to serve their community in ways that
make Syrians better off, obviously the number one way we would tell things were better is if
everybody wants to go back home, and that should be the goal. – You don’t look like an optimistic man. – I just don’t know how you achieve this, and I guess we as the U.S., but I guess we also as kind of
the international community, I don’t see how you
reform through the regime. We’ve been kind of waiting
to see if the Russians, since 2016, if all of a sudden there’s a surprise kind
of bombing by ISIS, and (speaking in a foreign
language) comes back into power or someone like that. Yeah, I mean, everyone
looks to the Astana process and hopes that there’s a way to create a more inclusive and just society, so (mumbling). – So I think we have time for
just a couple of questions from the audience. Given the short time horizon, I think we should
accumulate a few questions, and then let our panelists respond, and I think the lights will come up, but I can see even one hand in the dark. There we go, and I think a mic is coming your way. (mumbling) – [Man] I was involved in the formation of the local councils, each of those local councils. I’m very confused by the presentation. Local councils are not
considered by pretty much anyone as a major achievement, by the West or by the Syrians. This was a western construct that was foisted on the Syrians to give a face to the service provision, which was mentioned. Quick comment, and then
a question based on that, there really wasn’t any space between the local councils
and civil society, so the service provision was done through the civil society actors, through the local councils, local council brand, but the service provision was not done through the local councils. So my question is how did the service provision in the rebel-controlled areas, the so-called liberated areas, contribute to the fragmentation, or how could it have
been done differently? – Great, thanks, and let’s
get one or two more questions, and then let our panelists respond. I see a hand in the front here. There we go. Mic coming your way. – [Woman] Hello, thank you
so much for this panel. It’s extremely interesting and both of you are
extremely knowledgeable about the subject. I wanted to ask the kind
of reconstruction idea that you proposed here would basically entail kind of shifting or creating focus on areas that have been reconquered by the regime and monitoring the
situation happening there. Currently people who
are returning, refugees, are being arrested. (speaking in a foreign language) People are being arrested there. There are severe restrictions on freedom of movement of people. The UN has information
about cancer patients, other types of people
who require treatment in Damascus and are not being allowed to go there for treatment. They’re essentially still
under siege in eastern Houta. So for this reconstruction to even begin, people need to have some basic rights, like the freedom to move. How can you be hopeful about
a reconstruction process when even like people are in a way still living under a constant
kind of cloud of suspicion? The regime sees them as, they may have surrendered, but they are still kind
of a enemy population. – Those are two very meaty questions, so I think I will turn to you to answer. – So just to start with, I’m not hopeful at all
for the reconstruction, and I agree with you, and I don’t know how you
stop that from happening. Like I said, I don’t know
how you reform the regime. I guess going to the council question. I mean, so that was not part of the team that built local councils, that I guess when you
look at things like HTS, and I guess ISIS as well, it seems like they were successful because I guess let’s
say three major reasons. One, they had independent
access to resources, so in the case of HTS, it’s the border crossing, so it’s (speaking in a foreign language), and I guess to a lesser extent, (speaking in a foreign language) and with ISIS it’s the (mumbling) kind of hand filtered fuel. Then I guess the other piece
that made them successful was that, so one, they had
control over resources, which they could use to provide services directly to people, and two, they obviously had control over the armed groups ’cause it was them, and I guess I didn’t see
any of those factors, with the exception of (speaking
in a foreign language). I think that’s the one community that, and parts of the south, but that’s obviously kind of more (speaking in a foreign language) tribalism or clan behavior than anything else, but by and large the councils, yeah, they were just as you said. They were coordination committees, and I’m not a PhD, but I guess I just kind of contrast them to the success of what we would call radical extremist groups who were much better integrated in terms of governance
and service provision and military capacity. Over to you, Roger. – I think the problems you quoted of the regime manipulating
and not allowing cancer patients, I understand the regime wants to make sure it owns all the hospitals. This means that any help that’s given is either gonna be
channeled only to the regime and its supporters and to build up, in which case, it’s hopeless. If there’s any hope, it’s gonna come from
monitoring these abuses by the regime, holding them accountable, and having the donor nations be ready to withdraw their aid en
masse when there’s an abusing, whether to refuse to
allow it in a district where the abuse has happened, or to withdraw it from the entire country. I oversimplified of course that, the United States I
know did try to engage, with Rick Barton’s book talks about trying to help the local police force in Aleppo, but not being allowed to give them money because of the need to vet that absolutely every policeman
who was receiving any money from the United States assistance had never been involved with
any terrorist organization, and that required vetting and whatever that was of course physically impossible, that we weren’t set up to
give really effective aid. But the other side of
it is to recognize that, let me just put it in a different way. As a general fundamental principle, societies depend on having, a prosperous democratic society, depends on having an
ample supply of people with good reputations for exercising public funds
and public power responsibly to serve their communities. If that only exists in an abusive society, if that only exists in small communities, then you start with the communities. Inclusive council organizations that were deliberately
meant to include people from different ethnic and
religious groups and sects that the regime had tried
to pit against each other, that to give those people collectively some power in administering
public services, was to make a deep political change, and while the humanitarian
needs are also to be met, the prosperity of people
ultimately depends on being part of a society with a functional political system, and I’m arguing that, while investing in aid, we also need to invest in monitoring the usage of the aid with a sensitivity to
creating opportunities for people to begin to develop forms of trusted local community leadership. To encourage trusted
local community leadership is as important as getting roads and schools put back together again, and that is the issue, and the Assad regime has
always discouraged that. There’s every reason to fear that there’s nothing that can be done, and that Syria is going
to be for years to come a place that many Syrian refugees will not want to return to because they will fear for
their lives if they do, and they will not see a community that they want to live in, that for humanitarian reasons, and for selfish reasons of the West, there’s lots of reasons to think that if there was any way
to spend money, do it, and part of what I was trying to say is it’s not just aid. It’s also diplomatic, a kind of depth of diplomatic investment, not just at the national level, but at the local level that would be expensive, but would be a good investment, both for helping people
in a very needy country and for serving the interests of the West. – Well, that seems like
a really important note to end on, so please join me in thanking our panelists for this really illuminating conversation. (audience applauding) – Thank you very much. (mumbling) – So I’d like to take you to a village in northern Afghanistan, and in this village you’re gonna meet one of the most inspirational leaders I’ve met during more than two decades of doing research and policy
work in central Eurasia. I’d like you to meet a traditional leader of a village, who’s not showing up. (audience laughing) Woops, okay, that’s the last slide. There we go. There’s the first slide, and here’s our traditional leader. Let’s call her Fatima. Fatima was an incredible leader. On the day that I visited her home, I saw her pink guest room where she received mostly men to talk about property disputes, help people solve problems that arose. She also tried to help people
access government services that was difficult for
them to do without her. I’ll never forget watching her jump on a Soviet-era tractor in her courtyard. She said that every spring
she’d flatten the roads in her village because of the rains, and the rains made things very uneven. She said if only we had asphalt, she could solve this
problem once and for all, but she couldn’t. Her community couldn’t afford that level of public goods. Fatima had this incredible energy that was infectious. She believed that by
changing her community, she could change her country. She had come to power through a largely deliberative process in her community. She said that her father was
a respected religious leader and that people trusted her to solve problems as they arose. She said she treated
her community with love. A couple of years later, I came back to her district. I wanted to see what
had happened to Fatima. The security situation in her community had deteriorated
significantly, unfortunately. I met with the district governor. I said, do you know Fatima? Can I find her? He says, “Of course I know her. “Come back in a couple of days, “and I’ll bring her to you.” I came back. I saw her enter his dark office. I saw her beautiful smile, but I could see that the
spirit behind it had changed. She sat down beside me, and she said, “You’ll never believe “what has happened to me,” and she was right. Her story flowed as swiftly as her tears. She said that just a few months before, she was traveling from
her village to Kabul, about a seven hour drive in good weather. About halfway to Kabul, she stopped at this famous
mountaintop restaurant that was known for its tasty kabob. As she and her driver were
exiting the restaurant, they were accosted by some criminals who wanted to steal her car. She said that her arms were bound and she was thrown in the trunk of a car. She somehow ended up in a river nearby. She says that she prayed for her life. She says, “Why is this happening to me? “I have done nothing but try to help “the people in my people. “I have not taken a penny. “I have not taken a cent. “I’ve only tried to help
those people around me.” She said she caught her arm on a branch and was able to get
herself out of that river. She confronted the
people who attacked her, who saw her as a ghost. They were locked up in jail, but Fatima’s problems didn’t end that day. She was receiving almost
daily death threats from criminal gangs
affiliated with those people who had attacked her, asking her to pay a
bribe to the government to secure their release. She was deeply disappointed
with her government’s inability to protect her. Fatima’s story represents
an amazing paradox. She is a woman who climbed the ranks of traditional authority
in rural Afghanistan. Her story illustrates
the incredible legitimacy that people like her,
dozens of people like her, who I met during months and months of fieldwork looking at villages
throughout rural Afghanistan to try to understand
why things work so well and why things fail. She was able to climb the ranks of traditional authority
and gain legitimacy in her community because she was constrained
in her power to act. So in my research, I
tried to understand why people like Fatima, and she was the only woman I found who was a customary leader of her village. I found mostly men, but I tried to understand
why customary authority remained so legitimate
in rural Afghanistan and why the government struggled to gain the same kind of legitimacy, and what I found was a
very interesting story. I found that in communities, power is actually diffuse. Power is not concentrated in single hands. So when customary authority works well, you find power separated
between three distinct bodies. I found village councils, which represent every
household in a community, and they meet to resolve
issues when disputes arise. You have religious leaders, who derive their authority from Islam, and then you have people
like Fatima, village leaders. In Afghanistan there are no chiefs. There’s no feudal lords. These are first among equals, (speaking in a foreign language) who rule communities with the legitimacy of those they govern. Not only is power
separated in communities. More importantly, there
are checks and balances that exist between these
three distinct sources of power, and these checks and balances serve to constrain power of
these individual leaders. For example, I found a
mulah in one community who banned music classes for young people. People in the village were
not too happy about that, so slowly but surely
they convinced the mulah to back off. Sometimes I heard stories
about village leaders who took too much as they tried to provide services for the government, and village councils would
inevitably and slowly but surely come in and
either switch out that leader or convince him or her
to change their ways. So it was these constraints on power that gave local leaders legitimacy. They were able to provide public goods and get people to trust
them with their money to provide resources because
they were constrained, and these constraints yield legitimacy, and this legitimacy was the
source of trust in communities. If we compare this to the state, the Afghan state, people in villages throughout the countryside experienced the government
in the exact same way that they had for the past 60 years. Although the president and the parliament were elected in far away Kabul, there was no local democracy in districts throughout the country. At the local level, all government officials continue to be appointed by Kabul. These officials are
not constrained at all. People who work on Afghanistan, there’s many of us here today. We disagree about many, many things. We disagree about the
ways to move forward, but we do agree on one thing, and it is this predatory behavior on the part of government officials that is driving the continued
insurgency in Afghanistan. So the international donor community also made a series of
missteps in Afghanistan, and one of them was
diagnosing the problem. In the days after 2001, there was an assumption
that in communities throughout the countryside, there was a tabula rasa. There was a vacuum of authority that needed to be rebuilt
by new kinds of councils that could come into
communities very quickly and provide people with
public goods and services, give them grants, give them things, show them that the
government can work for them. Win hearts and minds
through service delivery, through infrastructure, so the World Bank and the
government of Afghanistan created an ambitious new program that sought to create 30,000
new community councils in rural Afghanistan to replace the vestiges of traditional authority that many people thought were
a bastion of conservatism that undermined democracy. In my own statistical analysis, I found that in communities
that had these new councils, had more property disputes and were less likely
to solve these disputes when they arose. The World Bank’s own
randomized control trial found that governance
outcomes in communities that had these new councils were actually worse
than those that did not. These efforts to give people things and provide public goods and services actually undermined the
state building process. So as we think about the
lessons from this story, from the Fatimas, from
the sources of legitimacy that exist in communities
from Afghanistan, I think we’re gonna
talk about how countries can move ahead from
fragility to stability, and what are ways to do this? And what are the lessons? What can we draw from Afghanistan where everything seems
to have not gone so well? One thing that we should take away from what we know about this country is that in cases of conflict, we should expect that
people are quite capable of solving problems in the
most extreme circumstances. What I found in rural Afghanistan where people were able to solve problems, they designed institutions. They reinvented customary authority. They updated the rules
by which it operated because people were no longer content to be subjects to a distant
government in Kabul, but what they’d experienced from the state was the same treatment
that they had before. Another lesson we should consider is that as we think about state building or stabilization or whatever
we’re calling it these days, we need to think less about
building state capacity. We need to think more
about tying the hands of government officials so they
cannot engage in predation. There’s a lot of evidence
about what’s gone on in Afghanistan over the past 15 years. The evidence that giving people stuff and infrastructure wins hearts and minds is highly questionable. What I found is that
Afghans didn’t want things from their government. They wanted to be treated with respect. They wanted to be treated with dignity. They wanted to be able to go to a government office and not be asked for a bribe. They wanted a government official to help them solve a land
dispute with dignity. They wanted to be treated with respect, and as Fatima reminds us, you can only earn that respect with love. (audience applauding) – In 1992, the Farabundo Marti
National Liberation Front, the FMLN rebels, and the
government in El Salvador signed a peace agreement that ended over 12 years of civil
conflict in that case. In this case, we know that the rebel group and the government were concerned about whether or not they
could trust each other as they implemented their peace agreement. The rebels in particular, based on their strategy
documents at the time, as well as my interviews with them, were concerned that the government would renege on this process. They were especially
concerned because during the process of implementation, they would be disarming while they were being incorporated into the
structures of the state, and so there would be a moment at which the government had an advantage and could take advantage
of that advantage. How did these actors in this case overcome this trust deficiency? There were a couple of
different mechanisms, but one of them was the presence of international actors. International actors were able to monitor and provide incentives conditional on continued compliance
with this peace agreement. What the international
community did not do, however, is send a large, armed peacekeeping force that threatened violent sanctions for violations of the peace agreement. Instead, what they sent was an observation mission. It consisted of just 300 initial observers as part of the peacekeeping mission, and in this photo, you can
see them driving alongside a rebel caravan as they head
into a demobilization point. The international community instead used one of the features of the
design of this peace agreement, participatory elections
in which the government and the rebel group agreed to participate as political parties, and when they did so, they opened up a process
of power distribution between them that allowed
for repeated monitoring and offering of incentives by the international community. In this case, the UN in particular established an electoral division that sent hundreds of
observers into the country, and other partners also participated so that by the time the
elections came in 1994, there were over 4,000
observers in the country. These actors also provided
substantial aid in this case. They provided all kinds
of reconstruction aid as well as party funds to
these new political parties formed by the combatants. This was another crucial
piece of the process because receiving this aid in many cases was conditional on continued compliance with the peace agreement
as monitored by the UN and other actors here. So there were instances
in which both sides violated the terms of the peace agreement. For example, in the
case of the government, we saw this in a number of instances where they did not fully
offer sufficient voter access, particularly to rebel
supporters in this case. The UN and the U.S. in particular then exerted their
pressure on these actors in order to get them to comply. Let me give you an example. In the lead up to the elections, the government was slow
to register voters. Most of the voters who were not registered in El Salvador were rebel supporters because they had been
boycotting the elections in the previous years. During this process, the government was dragging its feet, and the UN registered multiple complaints on this front. It then went to every
municipality to investigate these claims and see whether or not they were valid. Once they issued a report
that they were in fact valid and reported this to their partners, the U.S. froze $70 million
in development assistance, and on the floor of Congress at the time, they explicitly stated that this was due to the slow voter registration process that was not in compliance here. This was a really important moment for the international community, but it was one of many in
the lead up to the elections in 1994. We also saw a time at
which the government sought to move polling stations
from FMLN rebel strongholds into the department capital, which would have also
disadvantaged rebel supporters because they would have had to travel up to a half a day then to vote. This is another moment
at which the government could have gained more power than it was provided under
the terms of the agreement, and the rebel group would have lost some of that power. In this case, the U.S. and
the UN also applied pressure. Here the UN in particular stepped in and offered to provide additional logistic and security support to
these polling stations so that the government could be sure that they would be peaceful, and the government continued
with their operation. The rebels also violated
the agreement at times during this process, and we saw similar international leverage during the electoral
participation of both sides. Civil wars are really difficult to end, in fact notoriously difficult to end. Most conflicts find it hard
to just find an agreement that both sides will sign, let alone sustain. In the data that I’ll show you, about 40% of all civil
wars in the modern era return to civil conflict within five years of signing the peace agreement. There are reasons for this. The trust issues that we
see in the El Salvador case are not merely because the two sides have been fighting each
other often for decades, but also because of the incentives that I describe there. There is this period
during implementation. One side or the other may
become relatively stronger, and the concern is that
during that moment, it can grab more power
than it was allotted during the peace agreement, and the other side has very little that it can do about that. These trust issues can bind
even if we have an agreement that both sides would
otherwise be happy with, one that could stop the war, providing a peace dividend, and distribute power between the two sides in a way that they agree reflects their relative capabilities. What I argue in my book Electing Peace is that the design of peace agreements can help overcome these
commitment problems, these trust issues. In particular, in cases were you are set to hold post-conflict elections in which both the government
and rebel group parties agree to participate, we have a mechanism for
engaging international actors. International actors are crucial in many of these contexts because they offer this
mechanism for monitoring and proving incentives conditional on the peace agreement, conditional on compliance
with the peace agreement. That’s what we see in
the case of El Salvador, and that holds more broadly. What we don’t see very frequently is the international community deploying large forces, many armed troops, in these post-conflict contexts to punish violations of the
peace agreement with force. Instead, many of these
violations are harder to detect, and they’re about the
distribution of political power in these cases. What we then see instead is
a political mechanism here. When the rebel group and the government are both participating in
these peace agreements, they offer an opportunity for the international community
to have sustained monitoring at each moment of power distribution. The electoral processes
are also especially useful because they set up
benchmarks and milestones that make it easier to detect whether both sides are
complying with the agreement, and they offer a moment at
which both sides are vulnerable. As they establish power
distribution between them, they’re vulnerable to shaming, but also removing party funds or other development assistance, things that are often popular with their constituencies. So in this way, the
international incentives interact with local incentives, but the international community is in many ways driving the compliance and the monitoring of this compliance around these electoral
participation provisions. There are other implications of this. For example, these elections may not always be so democratic. I’m happy to talk more about that, or you can read about it in my book, but what I wanted to do with this book was actually test the theory more broadly, so I developed the theory
that I’ve just described to you very briefly, and
in the El Salvador case. I then also tested across 10 cases that end at the end of the Cold War, including two in depth,
El Salvador and Guatemala. I also look at cross national data between 1975 and 2005 tracking
all 125 peace agreements that are signed in the 388 civil conflicts that exist in this period. This cross national data shows us that this type of
settlement is fairly common. The white bars here are
all peace agreements in this period between 1975 and 2005, and the gray bars represent those that have combatant parties established to participate in these
post-conflict elections, so as you can see, they don’t
occur during the Cold War, only afterwards, but they then occur in almost half of all of these cases. The cross national evidence also gives us some sense of optimism, as I described in the El Salvador case. This chart shows that we
don’t see 100% stability of peace in any of these cases. That would be a flat line
across the top of this chart. Instead, some conflicts
returned to fighting not long after they’re signed, but what’s striking
about this chart I think is that the solid line, those agreements that do not have these electoral participation provisions that provide for these combatant parties to participate in post-conflict elections, drop off much more quickly, return to violence much more quickly, than those that do have these provisions, the dashed line in this case. The data in the book also show that this is especially the case that we get this stabilizing effect when international actors are expected to be engaged in the monitoring and providing of conditional incentives in these contexts, and I measure that in
a few different ways, which I don’t have time to show you today, but that is the other
crucial component here. So overall, I think
this study demonstrates a couple of things. First, there are some
post-conflict elections that can be beneficial to peace, assuming we believe the
results of this work. They’re not every post-conflict election. They’re a very specific type in which you get rebel group
and governments participating, and in which you get this type
of international observation and conditional incentives provided around these political processes, but there are a number
of cases of civil wars, in which this type of
settlement may be an option and could potentially stabilize these contexts into the future. Thank you very much. (audience applauding) – Noon, or almost evening. My name is Danny Diermeier. I am the Provost of the
University of Chicago, and I’m the last thing that stands between you and cocktails, so I’m gonna make it brief. The first thing I’d like to do is thank all of the
speakers and participants for what I think has been
just a tremendous day, an intense day, but
that’s the way we like it at the University of Chicago. We’ve had lots of discussions. We have I think talked about pretty much every country that I can think of, but I think New Zealand
wasn’t on the list, but maybe for good reason, and we looked at a whole variety of different aspects of conflict, whether it had to do with
fragile states yesterday, with rebuilding, with the role of
counterterrorism activities with the question of
like violent extremism, or the use of data in conflicts, and it gave you I think a range or a sense of the range
of the type of activity that are ongoing at the Pearson Institute and the various different researchers that are affiliated with it. I want to kind of highlight
one specific aspect of it. The Pearson Institute was really founded on the firm belief that rigorous inquiry and data driven research can have and must be in discussion, in intense discussion,
with the policy community, and I think one of the
things that you saw today is that being quantitative and rigorous and being deeply involved
with the historical, cultural, and institutional contexts are not only (mumbling), but can reinforce each other, and it was very good to see how in the informal discussions that at least I could
participate yesterday and today, we brought people together that usually are not part of the same networks and do not share the same circles where they interact. It was very important for
us that we bring together the researchers, the students that will be the next generation of researchers and policy makers, and the practitioners that are dealing with these challenges every day. So again, I want to thank all of you for participating. I want to thank all of
you for joining us today, and I’d like to invite you now to have some drinks and
ongoing conversation right outside of this lecture hall. Thank you very much. (audience applauding)

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