Zbigniew Brzezinski: "Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power"
Zbigniew Brzezinski has had a hand in U.S. foreign policy for four decades. He served as national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter from 1977-1981. Since then he has counseled presidents and members of Congress. And he has written and lectured extensively on America's role in the world. In a new book Brzezinksi argues U.S. leaders need a better strategic vision to navigate the challenges of the 21st century. He offers his insights on China's meteoric rise, a turbulent Middle East and the likely consequences of a decline in American power.
counselor and trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, professor of American Foreign Policy at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and former National Security Advisor in the Carter administration.
Zbigniew Brzezinski is the former national security advisor under President Carter. Since then, he's widely consulted on geo-politics. In a new book, Brzezinski offers his views on America's role in the world as the center of gravity shifts from the West to the East.
A Crisis For America
"The fact of the matter is that the age of domination of the world by a single power is probably over and irretrievably so for a variety of reasons we can discuss, but they have a lot to do with the changing balance of power - and a great deal with the new phenomenon that I have been very much concerned with over the last several years which I call global political awakening," Brzezinski said. "And the other dimension is the internal stresses and weaknesses of the American system which have been surfacing and which have been compounded in the last decade or so by
a fundamentally irrational and self-damaging foreign policy."
What Is The Worst International Problem Facing The U.S.?
The combination of the sudden rise of Asia, the simultaneous weakening of the West, and the restlessness in many other parts of the world is really the worst problem the U.S. faces today in Brzezinski's view. He believes it is critically important that the U.S. not get "sucked into"
conflicts in other parts of the world now. "It's going to be tough sledding to achieve that," he said.
Will The EU's Oil Embargo Have a Strong Impact On Iran?
"That's a very difficult and delicate issue because on the one hand they certainly will cut to the core of Iranian economic survivability. They are highly dependent on their oil exports and that includes the several Asian countries, China, Japan particularly, India to some extent, also to some Western European countries - particularly Italy," Brzezinski said. Some countries might be damaged by it and blame us for it, he added.
Is Obama A Foreign Policy Realist?
Diane said that Brzezinski is a foreign policy realist, and asked him if he thought President Obama was, too. "He has a strong streak of idealism in him, which is all to the good because that's very much associated with the American message to the world," he said."But what has impressed me from talking to him is that he does understand what's unique and novel about the 21st century. He does understand some of the things I write about in my book, which is that the nature of power has changed, that the role of the West as the dominant force in the world has come to an end, that new centers of power are rising, that the population of the world is now really politically awakened."
You can read the full transcript here.