May 3, 2024 | Foreign Podicy

Turtle Baywatch

May 3, 2024 Foreign Podicy

Turtle Baywatch




In the aftermath of World War II, the establishment of the United Nations seemed like a promising idea: global unity in resolving conflicts peacefully while promoting human rights. Surely everyone in the new international community will support such efforts, right? Wrong.

U.N. corruption is obvious to anyone willing to look, but most Americans and Europeans in positions of authority don’t look.

And the problem has reached alarming new lows since the October 7 invasion of and attack on Israel by Hamas.

Luckily, some experts are paying attention. A report fittingly titled, “The Urgent Need for U.N. Reform,” was published last month by Alan Goldsmith of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and the Counter Extremism Project. The report’s foreword was written by former Representative Iliana Ros-Lehtinen and FDD Senior Advisor Richard Goldberg.

Alan and Rich join host Cliff May to discuss the U.N.’s dangerous fall from grace as well as if — and how — the failed organization might be rehabilitated.


MAY:                          In the aftermath of World War II, it seemed like such a noble, promising idea: the establishment of an organization that would be known as the United Nations. It would seek to resolve conflicts peacefully. Doesn’t everyone want that? And it would promote human rights. Aren’t we all in favor of human rights? Well, based on ample evidence, the answer to both questions, I’m sorry to say, is no. And over many years, the corruption of the UN in really every sense, has been obvious to anyone willing to look. But only a small number of people in positions of authority in the US and in Europe have been willing to look. The UN has hit new lows since Hamas’ invasion of Israel on October 7th, and the multiple atrocities that were subsequently committed against non-combatants against men, women, children, babies, Israelis, Americans, and citizens from more than a dozen other countries, Christians, Muslims.

Hamas terrorists are not that particular about whose throats they slit. A report titled The Urgent Need for UN Reform was published last month. Its author is Alan Goldsmith, Director of Outreach and a Senior Researcher for United Against Nuclear Iran and the Counter Extremism Project. He previously served as a professional staff member for the House Foreign Affairs Committee, covering the United Nations and the Middle East. There’s a foreword to that report written by former Representative Ileana Ross-Lehtinen and FDD Senior Advisor, Richard Goldberg. Alan and Richard are with us today to talk about the UN’s decline and what might be done to rehabilitate this failed organization. I’m Cliff May, and I’m pleased you’re interested in this topic, here on Foreign Podicy.

Alan, Rich, welcome, and thanks for being here. Good to see you in studio, Rich. I don’t often.

GOLDBERG:             Great to be here.

MAY:                          Great to see you.

GOLDBERG:             I never thought I’d be a YouTube star, but now we’ve taken Foreign Podicy to the next level. I like it.

MAY:                          It’s long overdue, actually. Alan, good to see you in your office.

GOLDSMITH:           Good to see you, too.

MAY:                          So, okay, guys. So I was reading my copy of UN News: Global Perspective Human Stories. So, I guess if you want parochial perspective and inhuman stories as I often do, you have to look elsewhere. Anyway, I saw this headline, “Gaza Protests: UN Rights Chief Flags Disproportionate Police Action on US Campuses.” The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Tuesday said he was troubled by, “a series of heavy-handed steps,” taken by some universities in the United States to disperse and dismantle Gaza war protests. In his statement, UN Rights Chief Volker Turk said that freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly were fundamental to society, particularly when there is sharp disagreement on major issues as there is in relation to the conflict in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel.

Now, a reminder to Mr. Turk, if he’s listening: Israel withdrew from Gaza, every last Jew, in 2005. Now, maybe UN News: Global Perspective Human Stories did not report this. I don’t know. I haven’t looked back in the archive. Anyway, he complains that there have been hundreds of arrests following interventions on some campuses by security forces. Many have subsequently been released, but others still face charges or academic sanctions. And I imagine that academic sanctions, I got to wonder, think of the hostages still in the tunnels in Gaza and what they must think about the terrible suffering that such academic sanctions impose on these poor students who are occupying, if you’ll excuse the expression, these various school buildings.

Anyway, let me start after this rant with this question, because I actually don’t know, but I think I know: has the UN General Assembly issued any kind of call for the release of the hostages, among whom, again, there were Arabs, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, not just Jews, not just Israelis? Has the UN General Assembly denounced the Hamas attack or Hamas? Rich, you’re shaking your head and everybody may not be able to hear that.

GOLDBERG:             No, no. The Security Council has tried to come close to calling for the release of hostages. They did this in a Security Council resolution that the US allowed to pass, outrageously, that disconnected a call for hostage release from a call for a ceasefire, a permanent ceasefire–

MAY:                          Well, I remember that, yes.

GOLDBERG:             In Gaza. But the idea of calling out Hamas itself as a terrorist organization–

MAY:                          Not supposed to mention that resolution.

GOLDBERG:             No. In fact, the US had actually put forward previous to that its own resolution, caused complete outrage. Complete outrage. You would actually say in a UN Security Council resolution that Hamas is a terrorist organization responsible for October 7th? Whoa, bridge too far there. Remember, the UN does not recognize Hamas to be a terrorist organization, that would take a Security Council action. Same goes for Hezbollah. Same goes for the Houthis. Same goes for Islamic Jihad, PFLP. Go down the list of terrorist organizations that we designate, that the EU designates, that the UK designates, even Canada designates, you won’t find them [designated] at the UN.

MAY:                          And just follow up on that. If there were such a resolution, let’s say the US put such a resolution forward, would it only be Russia and China that blocks it, or I don’t know, would other nations, either permanent or non-permanent members of the Security Council say, “No, we can’t designate, we can’t say that about Hamas or Houthis or Hezbollah? No, we can’t say that.”

GOLDBERG:             Well, my view would be if you looked at the vote very recently, the UN Security Council took up a vote to recognize a Palestinian state outside the constructs of a negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians, as has been the model for many, many years. Even if you support a two-state solution, then you still believe that that has to be something that the parties work out in the end. This said, “No, we’re just going to recognize a Palestinian state, reward them for October 7th, give them everything they want, delegitimize Israel. We’ll make up the borders here at the UN. Who cares about Israel’s security concerns, especially after their borders were actually overrun from Gaza by Hamas; with terror cells in the West Bank, continuing operations; terrorists in southern Lebanon raining down missiles on a daily basis. The UN will just take care of this now.”

You look at that vote, the United States vetoed it. The United Kingdom abstained. Everyone else voted for it, including our democratic allies, permanent member France, Japan. Really? That’s how they do it? What is their interest in voting for such a thing? How can they say they’re for ‘peace’, that they’re for ‘stability in the region’ and take that kind of vote? So, it’s easy for us to say Russia and China are the ones that would try to veto and have vetoed attempts to hold Hamas accountable. But if you actually were to break down a roll call, you can go into some of these committees and agencies to see how they’re voting. How are they voting at the UN Human Rights Council? How are they voting at the World Health Organization Executive Board? There have been resolutions on these issues since October 7th, and the voting records are horrific, even amongst our allies, amongst the recipients of our foreign assistance, and others.

So, Russia and China are running the anti-American show at the UN. We can talk about that. We’ve documented that for a long time. Let’s not pretend otherwise. But the corruption, the participation, the enablement, the collaboration with the circus by democracies, European allies, Asian allies is really unsettling. And we do nothing about it. And if you’re going to start somewhere, democracies are going to have to stick together. Otherwise, what is the point of all of this?

MAY:                          And Alan, we should never forget that behind Hamas, behind Hezbollah, behind the Houthis, behind Islamic Jihad, stands the Islamic Republic of Iran. Talk to us a little bit about how the UN relates to the Islamic Republic of Iran and how the Islamic Republic of Iran relates to the United Nations?

GOLDSMITH:           Iran is able to wield some influence at the UN, both through its membership in the Non-Aligned Movement and in other ways. It is currently, I think recently took up the Vice Chair of a UN Human Rights Council Committee. Of course, that’s nothing new from the Human Rights Council.

MAY:                          Well, yeah. We’ll talk more about that Council, yes. But go ahead. Yeah.

GOLDSMITH:           Right. I think, in the past… Well, the most prominent example was at the time that Mahsa Amini was detained and murdered by Iran’s Morality Police.

MAY:                          This is the young girl in Iran who didn’t wear her hijab quite correctly. And so the moral fashion police decided to arrest… kill her, basically.

GOLDSMITH:           Correct. So at the time that she was detained and murdered, Iran was on the Board of UN Women. And now to their credit, the US led an effort to kick Iran off of that board. It was successful, but it took an atrocity of that prominence to get Iran off the board. And they never should have been on the board to begin with. But this is a UN organization that puts all kinds of dictatorships in prominent positions. The one that occurs most quickly to mind is, I think, in the past, North Korea has served on the Conference of Disarmament.

GOLDBERG:             Yeah. Chaired it. And by the way, recently elected to the executive board of the World Health Organization, where Syria, of course has already been sitting, and Russia before them. And you think about: how is it possible? North Korea to Chair a Disarmament Committee? Iran to be in a senior leadership role for human rights or women? China to sit on the Human Rights Council while committing a genocide in Xinjiang? This is a world where up is down, down is up. It’s quite Orwellian, and it’s all financed by your taxpayer dollars. 25% of it, or more.

MAY:                          Right. Or more. We are taxed essentially about almost 25%. Plus, we pay additional to various agencies and various things that we could not, because that part of it, it should all be discretionary. We shouldn’t accept that there is a world body that can simply tax us, but we can talk about that. Alan can explain the difficulty of saying, “We’re no longer going to pay 25% of all UN. We’re going to pay 10%,” or whatever it is. But I guess we’ll get to that.

But also, before we do, just again, to set the table properly, there is a Secretary General. He’s not a shrinking violet. Where does he come out on all of this? Secretary General Guterres? Alan, yeah.

GOLDSMITH:           He has chosen to largely be on the side of the Chinese and against US interests, in large part because the Chinese wield their influence very effectively at the UN. And the US is isolated and will largely go along with what the majority does. And so there is very little political cost to opposing the US at the UN. So Guterres was soft on Chinese human rights abuses in Xinjiang. And of course, he takes a typically anti-West position at the UN, including reflexively against Israel.

MAY:                          And can I ask you, why does he lean towards China? Is he afraid of them or does he side with him? He’s a socialist by background, but all socialists don’t like Maoism and don’t necessarily like the Chinese. And I guess another question that occurs to me is, is the US… Who is deciding? Is it the Secretary of State who’s deciding, “Look, we’re not going to push back hard. I’m not going to take Guterres behind the barn and give them a spanking. I’m not going to tell them, ‘Here’s what’s going to happen if you continue to side with China over us?” Both those things. Why is Guterres pro-China and why does the US say, “Oh, well, it doesn’t really matter if China takes over the UN so much?”

GOLDSMITH:           I think Guterres is pro-China out of fear. I think the Chinese and Russians are very formidable players at the UN, and they prioritize the UN much higher on their list of priorities than the US does. Russia and China generally have Ambassadors to the UN in place for many years. In the US, it changes after two or four years. So we don’t have the same long-term vision that they do, and the US just doesn’t prioritize the UN very highly. I think that that’s one reason, for example, why we don’t take countries’ voting records at the UN into account in terms of our bilateral relations with those countries. We think that the UN is small potatoes. And so, oh, if the UN votes to condemn Israel or to condemn the US embargo of Cuba, or to condemn any number of other actions by the US or its allies, what does it really matter? It’s just the UN letting off steam.

MAY:                          I’ve heard a lot of people make that argument that it doesn’t really matter. I guess the reason I think it does is… And this is maybe a broader discussion than we’re going to have today, but there has been since the end of World War II certainly, what is called a… Call it a world order. The US has had primacy. It has a certain architecture, a certain structure. The UN is a very important part of that. We know that the Communist Chinese, Vladimir Putin, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the North Koreans, in what I would call an alliance, say, “We have to break that world order and have a new one in which we dominate, in which we say what is and is not international law, in which we are the ones who are primary and the US is not.” And this is one of the ways to do it is through the UN and other international organizations is to control those.

There are other things you may want to do in terms of reserve currency, but that’s a big part of it. Even it seems to me, using the Houthis to shut down shipping. You are saying one of the most basic, most fundamental of international law is freedom of the seas, freedom of navigation, goes back a long way, which the US has enforced. You’re saying, “The US doesn’t even have the power to enforce that. We’ll decide what ships can sail and what ships cannot.”

That’s also useful because the Red Sea, that’s one of the world’s most strategic narrow waterways there. Bab al-Mandeb I believe it’s called. And then you have the Strait of Hormuz, which the Islamic Republic of Iran would like to control. That’s another of the world’s most strategic waterways. And then there’s the South China Sea and the Communist Party of China wants to say, “That’s essentially our lake.”

If they can do that, that’s also an amazing transition away from the world order that commenced after World War II, with the establishment of the UN. And the US became even more primary at what we call the end of the Cold War, which was the collapse of the Soviet Union. But now I have some difficulty since our adversary now is the most powerful Communist Party in history. So I wonder if the Cold War is over. I throw that out to you, Rich,

MAY:                          Just for a few thoughts on it and all that.

GOLDBERG:             I look at most challenges from our enemy’s perspective, from our adversary’s perspective. I think it’s very healthy to do it that way, when you’re talking about regional strategy, when you’re talking about grand strategy, when you’re talking about the United Nations. Whatever it is, put yourself in your adversary’s shoes and look at the chessboard. Don’t do it from a Washington perspective. That’s always dangerous.

So if I’m an adversary of the United States, and it might be China, might be Russia, might be Iran, might be terrorist organizations, might be the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, whoever it is, I’m going to look at all the different facets of international organizations of the UN architecture to see what is to my advantage? Where can I achieve strategic advance? Where can I undermine my adversary, the United States and its allies? Very Cold War type of way of looking at this.

There are arenas for political warfare. The Security Council largely is one of these arenas for Russia and China. So is the Human Rights Council. Other bodies that try to stand in judgment of democracies, the kind of stuff that you read at the beginning of a human rights chief who’s decrying the state of campuses in America to take care of pro-Hamas occupiers of buildings while genocide is being committed in China and ethnic cleansing is being committed in Africa and Sudan and other things like this. That’s what they’re going to spend their time on because it’s to Russia and China’s advantage to make that the conversation topic. Very, very Cold War-esque. In fact, the Soviet Union engaged in this all the time. But we fought back and we knew how to fight back at the time and we tried and we built our allies with us. We brought them with us.

So that’s the political warfare. It’s important. It is important because de-legitimizing allies, de-legitimizing democracy, is a slippery slope. And we’re seeing that with what’s going on with Israel and Hamas and the complete lack of a moral compass in this country, let alone in other parts of the world. And the UN is a contributing factor.

But look at other parts of the UN. You have standard-making bodies, that are actually establishing international standards for technology, communications. The next generation of whatever is going to happen in this world. Cybersecurity, cyber crime, treaties that are being invented with the idea of super national force, that we’re going to sign up to and adopt as a treaty of the United States. Who’s writing this stuff? What standards are they adopting? Whose standards? Organizations that are embedded in the flow of goods and technical advice and working with third country nations, third world nations, on who they’re going to use for suppliers and who their supply chains are going to hook to. I think of the Chinese taking over the Food and Agriculture Organization. Way overlooked by everyone in Washington. We didn’t even try to stop their control in this last election under the Biden administration, didn’t run a candidate. And this is an organization that, A, is advancing the Belt and Road Initiative very quietly, trying to see how they can advance a Chinese-linked supply chain around the world, but also trying to meet a Chinese strategic challenge. And that is food scarcity and food insecurity, where they rely on a lot of imports for their food in a crisis. And we do nothing about this.

Okay, so International Telecommunications Union is one of the good news stories where we actually waged a campaign to unseat a Chinese actor from the top, stop a Russian actor from taking over in the last election. Very important standard-making body. Have done nothing at the lower levels, by the way, and this is true throughout the UN. You ask why the Secretary General might feel a certain way. China has embedded its officials throughout the UN system into jobs, not at the top levels, but also in the mid-levels. And they use their coercive economic influence over countries to get them to vote their way, as Alan was alluding to.

So that’s another piece of the pie. And then we have organizations that are supposed to actually serve a critical function for humanity. The World Health Organization. We start aligning our policies, our entire way of thinking about global health, pandemics response, on relying on the World Health Organization. Well, it turns out if you allow that organization that you’re hinging a lot of your early warning on to be controlled by Beijing, and the pandemic starts in China, it’s not going to turn out well and it didn’t turn out well. And we still can’t get to the bottom of the origins of COVID because of Beijing’s influence over that organization.

If you are going to have Iran and Russia and China somehow have more influence at a place like the International Atomic Energy Agency or the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, this is serious stuff. This is our eyes and ears in places where we might not have any others, for weapons of mass destruction, potentials and capabilities. So our ability to engage, our willingness to engage, our willingness to look at the chessboard the way our enemies do is so important. We’re not doing it in almost any of these arenas at least on a consistent basis. And as Alan said, if you’re going to dedicate a 20-year vision to how you’re going to manipulate all of these agencies and work the bureaucracy with long-term staff that you’ve embedded, yeah, you’re absolutely going to eat our lunch if we’re not actually trying to do the same thing.

MAY:                          And my perception, Alan, tell me if you think I’m wrong, is that an American goes to work at the UN, as they occasionally do. They consider themselves and are considered international civil servants. They work for this organization. When a Chinese national goes to work for the United Nations, he is a Chinese citizen. He is loyal to Beijing and he better stay loyal to Beijing if he wants to come home and have a good life afterwards. This is, I think, the accusation I’m making is known, and again, tell me if I’m wrong, and it is pretty much obvious at this point. But no one says much about it. No one does anything about it. That’s just the way it is. If you’re from China and you’re at the UN, you work for China. If you’re from the US and you work at the UN, you work for the Secretary General and this international organization. And that is a permanent disability that will not be addressed.

GOLDSMITH:           Absolutely. It goes back decades. The US pulled out of the International Labor Organization in the 1970s, under Jimmy Carter actually. And the reason we did so, in significant part, is because the Soviet Union was basically wielding disproportionate influence in the organization even though the Soviet Union treated labor terribly. You had at the ILO a system where it’s made up of three parts, governments, industry, and labor. And of course the US government is only one-third of that equation. In the Soviet Union, the government controlled all three parts. So they wielded disproportionate influence. And thankfully after the US withdrew, the ILO was forced to make significant reforms in order to get the US to rejoin.

But in terms of what you’re talking about, about Chinese nationals viewing their primary loyalty when they work at the UN, viewing their primary loyalty as to the Chinese government? 100%. I think even a senior Chinese official who works or worked at the UN said as much explicitly. And I would add to what Rich said about Chinese embedding of their officials in the UN infrastructure, in addition to the ITU, in addition to the FAO, a Chinese national is Deputy Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization. And the head of that organization is most likely not going to run for reelection. And so the Chinese national is in a prime position to take over and wield disproportionate influence on intellectual property rights.

GOLDBERG:             And that was a big battle waged during the Trump administration. One of the ones that they won was stopping the Chinese from taking over the organization and Alan’s throwing up a warning flag now of, “Hey, ITU is one, WIPO is another. We can’t be looking another way.” They’ve tried to take over the Universal Postal Union. I mean who would think postal standards, this is the way of the future of how to control the world. It actually is one of them.

MAY:                          Why is that?

GOLDBERG:             It goes to the way that your fee structures on mail that’s going different places and packages and all that and whose standards you’re going to be using and what’s the Chinese carrier going to be able to do. And there’s probably details that I can’t provide you with like a postal expert’s going to be able to give you, but I’m telling you, it’s one of those organizations that no one’s ever heard of. People are surprised that even exists, that there are international standards regarding these issues of how countries mail each other. And yet the Chinese want to have their seat at the table. They want to control the seat.

MAY:                          All right, just to be fair, the UN may be controlled by China, anti-American, and against human rights, but let’s acknowledge at least it’s corrupt. And this is from the forward you wrote with Congressman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. “Waste, fraud, and abuse, pervade the UN while whistleblowers face punishment, firing, and legal battles. For example, the UN fired one of its most prominent whistleblowers, Emma Reilly,” who we’ve had on this program, “after she disclosed that UN officials handed over the names of Chinese dissidents to Beijing. Another whistleblower, Aicha Elbasri,” I think it is, “lost her job after she exposed efforts by UN officials to conceal crimes against humanity in Darfur,” where there is genocide taking place. This is in Sudan.” Yet another whistleblower, John O’Brien, was terminated after he reported corruption and financial mismanagement at the UN Development Program in Russia.” By the way, UN Development Program in Russia? I’m not even sure what that means?

GOLDBERG:             You’d be surprised where the UNDP operates.

MAY:                          Well, I lived in Africa. It operated there, but never to any particularly good effect.

GOLDBERG:             People forget people about the UNDP. I don’t remember, Alan probably remembers this. This is back, I think, during the Bush administration, the UNDP scandal in North Korea. That organization, my gosh has–

MAY:                          Oh.

GOLDBERG:             A lot of these organizations, and by the way, this is one last point, again, go back to our enemies and adversaries of how they look at this. It’s also a cash cow, the UN. It’s also just at a basic core a cash cow in different ways to get access to resources. If you are a sanctioned country, if you’re a sanctioned actor and you’re cut off from resources. Afghanistan’s a great example right now. Now Syria, for sure, is a good example. David Adesnik at FDD has documented this ad nauseam on the various UN spigots that have been going to fund the Assad regime throughout the civil war and how Assad basically coordinates and is responsible for controlling the aid distribution in many parts of Syria. It’s horrific.

Afghanistan, obviously after the disastrous withdrawal, the Taliban march on Kabul, they take control back of Afghanistan. They’re in charge. Well, we have sanctions on the Taliban. In fact, the UN has sanctions on the Taliban. So this is a very unique case, where unlike Hamas or other actors, the Taliban are isolated from the United Nations, at least on paper. And yet, because we can’t directly fund the Taliban government in Afghanistan, and none of our allies would do that because they might face US sanctions, repercussions, and because the UN directly would never do this, they work out a cutout where they decide that UN agencies can operate in Afghanistan. And the UN’s just funding those agencies, it’s not funding the Taliban. Except the ministries that they partner with to deliver the aid are all Taliban-controlled. Some of them actually have to control the distribution of the aid that the UN provides. And our own Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction that the US appointed, who was asked to look at this by the Congress in the last few months says 10, 20% is being skimmed off the top by the Taliban.

The US taxpayer, through the UN, is providing hundreds of millions of dollars to go into Afghanistan. And the Taliban and their brethren, Al Qaeda, are taking a cut and controlling the aid distribution on top of what they’re doing to cut off women from receiving aid and things like that, for schools and all that. So again, look at how our adversaries take advantage of this system. Both state actors and non-state actors. This is an apparatus that is so huge. So, first of all, any bureaucracy this large is going to be–

MAY:                          It’s grown and grown and grown.

GOLDBERG:             Ripe with corruption. And keeps growing. But when it’s sort of ‘Model UN’, and everybody has one vote and you just hand over cash and you don’t know where the cash goes, and you hope it’s going well, these are the kinds of results you get. And that’s why in my view, the memo that Alan just put out, that we wrote the forward to, is so important. And it’s tragic that it took October 7th and the aftermath of it from the United Nations to wake everyone up about what’s been going on in the UN, not just with respect to the anti-Israel activity or pro-Hamas activity, though that’s itself horrific and now on full display for everyone. UN agencies complicit in the October 7th attack. UN agencies indoctrinating people to hate Israel, to attack Jews. The UN Secretary General himself unable to condemn Hamas for months. The UN Organization for Women, to protect women, unable to bring themselves to condemn sexual crimes committed on October 7th.

So all of this right now on full display, it’s just so crystallized in our mind, which is what we put forward in the foreword, which means it’s also time to reset your assumptions, reset your approach, stop the partisan bickering. Instead of saying, “Oh, well this was what Obama did” versus “this is what Trump did.” No. This is about American interests and our enemies and adversaries trying to hurt us. What are we going to do about it? What is the right strategy? What has actually worked in history? What has not worked in history, especially in recent history? What can we learn from it? And that’s where Alan steps in.

MAY:                          Alan, one thing you learn in a think tank is you go to the State Department to the Deputy Secretary or whatever it is, Under Secretary, or you go to Congress and you have an issue, they may say, “You know what? That’s just not what I’m spending my time on right now. Thanks very much. Come back in six months. It’ll interest me more.” Or they say, “Boy, do we need some ideas on this. I’m so glad you came in. What can we do? What can you suggest? What ideas can we take from you and run with?” Do you have a sense that in the State Department now and or Congress, there is a different view towards the UN? That doing something about the corruption, anti-Americanism, the domination by China and Russia and Iran, that it has become a priority at this point? Or you’re still trying to light a fire?

GOLDSMITH:           Let’s take the State Department first. There is no strong interest in UN reform at the State Department aside from paying lip service to it. It’s viewed as such a low priority on the list. And the problem is that the State Department in recent years, except under the Trump administration, and Congressional Democrats believe now that it’s the responsibility of the US to pay its assessed contributions to the UN in full and on time no matter what. That is a sea change from what was US policy for decades under administrations of both parties. You had, in fact, in the 1960s, a famous document called the Goldberg Memorandum.

GOLDBERG:             Not mine. Not mine.

GOLDSMITH:           You sure?

MAY:                          You don’t remember everything you wrote?

GOLDBERG:             Maybe a cousin. Maybe a cousin.

MAY:                          It may be a cousin.

GOLDSMITH:           Yeah. Ambassador Arthur. J. Goldberg, who also served as a Supreme Court Justice.

GOLDBERG:             Yeah, I like that guy. Northwestern Law, I think.

MAY:                          Was he? Back in the day when Northwestern was a good college.

GOLDBERG:             Yeah, well, we won’t get into that. That’s a whole other podcast.

MAY:                          Yeah. I know, right?

GOLDSMITH:           And he said basically that there is nothing wrong with the US withholding or conditioning contributions to the UN, that a variety of countries have done that. Going back to the beginning of the UN, the Soviet Union was not hesitant at all to withhold funding to the UN, but somehow, particularly under the Obama administration, it became this horrible thing to withhold contributions, to condition contributions to the UN. And the George W. Bush State Department unfortunately was a little better in that regard. Congressional Republicans have not been hesitant about supporting UN reform and being willing to condition money on significant reforms. The problem is, it’s just not generally been a big priority. It was a priority for the late former Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Henry Hyde, in the 2000s.

MAY:                          A Democrat… No, a Republican. Sorry.

GOLDSMITH:           A Republican. A Republican. It was a priority for his successor as the top Republican on the committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, my former boss, but it was not a priority for Senate Republicans. And after Ros-Lehtinen was term-limited out of her job, it just stopped being a priority for House Republicans as well. It was just viewed as small potatoes.

MAY:                          Two questions. I’ll start with you, Rich, but one, Nikki Haley was good on this. She thought, “No, no, we’re going to get out of organizations we can’t reform. We’re going to stop sending money.” And she was fairly influential on that with President Trump, is my impression. Tell me if I’m wrong. Start with that and I’ll try to remember my other question.

GOLDBERG:             I think Nikki Haley did two things incredibly well. Number one, she understood the power of the political warfare aspect of having the permanent member seat on the Security Council of demanding meetings, of putting things on the agenda of forcing Russia and China onto defense, not playing defense, not just being there to go to cocktail parties, make nice and go into a corner when bad people start beating up on the United States and then wait until it’s over. That’s, to me, the approach of this administration often, and it drives me crazy because I don’t understand. Why don’t you just go on offense? Why don’t you convene the Security Council every week and show a video of October 7th? Why don’t you put forward your resolution to condemn the Houthi attacks every week and show what’s happening to commercial shipping? Show what’s happened to even Russian or Chinese vessels that the Houthis have attacked, let alone western nations as well. We don’t do any of that. We don’t do any of that. And she did do that. She did do that. And that’s to her credit.

The second piece of it was she was playing with what is the… There’s some kind of line, ‘the full deck of cards’ or whatever. I don’t know if I got that idiom wrong, but she had some aces up her sleeve. Maybe that’s the right idiom. President Trump, right? People did sort of think, “Wow, this guy might be crazy enough. He might really just defund the WHO. He might just walk out of UNRWA. He might just defund UNRWA. I don’t know. He’s really going to just move the US Embassy to Jerusalem? Like we all talk about that, but nobody really does that stuff.” So I think there was a little more sort of fear of God into these ambassadors and into these. Now they’ve still held their votes and they still condemned and all that, but then they started hearing from our diplomats, and that’s where the State Department steps in as well. So at that point, Alan talks about this as one of his recommendations is that that cabinet level position there of Nikki Haley being an ambassador with a cabinet rank.

MAY:                          And all UN ambassadors are not. The current one is not, by the way.

GOLDSMITH:           The current one is.

MAY:                          She’s in the Security Cabinet?

GOLDSMITH:           She’s in the Principal’s Committee of the National Security Council, yes.

MAY:                          Oh, okay. I didn’t know that.

GOLDSMITH:           But Nikki Haley’s successor, Kelly Craft, was not. And there was a cost.

MAY:                          Usually the Secretary of State doesn’t like the Ambassador to be in the Security Cabinet because then the Ambassador is not working directly for him and has a say. He or she has a separate connection to the President.

GOLDBERG:             That can be problematic. And of course, there’s a bureau in the State Department that nominally is in charge of our mission to the UN. But if you’re in the IO bureau subservient to the Secretary of State, one cabinet member and you’re supposed to be telling the other cabinet member’s office, that doesn’t work as well as it might.

MAY:                          Right. Jeane Kirkpatrick was, I remember she was somebody who did.

GOLDBERG:             Right. And it’s a big deal to have that rank to go there with that authority. But that’s not to say that the State Department is out to lunch on this, because the State Department’s still the body that needs to instruct our ambassador in Geneva and our ambassador in Vienna and our ambassador in Nairobi where other UN offices sit, and they are the ones that need to put together the campaigns for all of these organizations where the Chinese are running officials. They’re the ones that have to be pushing oversight campaigns and reforms. So if the State Department doesn’t prioritize this, you can have the best ambassador in New York, it’s not going to matter in my view. Maybe Alan disagrees, but I think that’s right.

MAY:                          I guess the pushback would be… Okay, if you’re putting in these resolutions for the security council every week and Russia and China veto it, oh well, then you look like you’re losing. I think it’s the opposite. You’re showing that they’re not serious about these issues.

GOLDBERG:             Don’t forget that the whole argument right now is that America is isolated because we’re the ones vetoing their resolutions to condemn Israel. So why does it not work the other way around? We force them to. Now, the argument would be, I suppose, if you can’t get your allies to support your own resolution, if you can’t even build the majority to force the veto, then you do look weak and embarrassed. Which is why I go back to my beginning statement, which is I am horrified by our allies and how they’re voting and our lack of doing anything about it. We have to take care of our own backyard first, fellow democracies, allies. If Japan is going to start voting against the interest of fellow US allies, that is not in Japan’s interest long-term. And you need an education campaign in Tokyo to explain why that is.

The French, I understand that they have a domestic population and they have a lot of problems there. But I’m sorry. If the United Kingdom, which I don’t know if anybody’s watched the TV of what’s going on in London every day, if the United Kingdom could abstain, at the very least, France couldn’t? So, again…

MAY:                          Ad the United Kingdom, they should be shoulder to shoulder with us. And when I see Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister write something, it says, “No one is for more bloodshed,” I think… Are you kidding? What are you reading? You don’t think Hamas is for bloodshed, including of their own people in Gaza? That’s the whole idea of human shields. That was the whole idea of going into tunnels. Of course they want bloodshed. That’s what they did on October 7th. That’s what they want. They just know who’s going to be blamed for it by a lot of people who are pretty either ignorant or malevolent. You think that the Islamic Republic of Iran doesn’t want bloodshed when it sends hundreds of rockets, missiles at Israel? Of course they want bloodshed. The Russians want bloodshed in Ukraine. This is a ridiculous… For a prime minister… If he were a graduate student, he shouldn’t get a good grade for that. But of course at Columbia, he probably would.

GOLDBERG:             I want to say one more thing because Alan talked about, you had a question before on where is Congress on this, where’s the administration on this? Alan can speak to this as well as I can. I saw for years doing the work on the foreign appropriation side for first Congressman then Senator Kirk. The UN has a lobbying operation. Now, we’re not supposed to be paying grantees and organizations like this to come back and lobby us for money. That’s not supposed to happen in law, but it happens in various work-around methods. They set up Washington offices and they have directors and information officers and they’re effectively lobbying Capitol Hill. They have nonprofit arms that are very well-funded. And they take staff. They take members of Congress on trips. They’ve been doing this for decades to try to cultivate what you talked about or what Alan talked about, being this sort of knee-jerk, “we have to fund the UN with no strings attached, otherwise things will collapse in the world.”

Where did anybody come up with that notion? How did they break what Alan just talked about having been a bipartisan consensus of using our leverage? They worked it behind the scenes. They took members of Congress to different places and got legislation in their favor and built this whole movement. So we need to wake up and start tracking their influence operation in Washington as well, because you end up in a place where the UNRWA Washington Director ends up being the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Population Refugee Migration, responsible for US funding of UNRWA today. It’s actually the case right now. The current DAS for PRM, her last job was running the UNRWA Washington office.

MAY:                          There’s never been a congressional hearing on this?

GOLDBERG:             There’s been some news stories, but again, as Alan says, people have been asleep on this.

MAY:                          So in the time we have left, I want to go through a few of these agencies, just with a little more specificity. And start with the one you just mentioned, UNRWA, UN Relief and Works Agency, which is an agency that is dedicated solely to the Palestinians and the idea that Palestinians are refugees, even if they are in Palestine, they’re in Gaza. And from what I understand, Alan, it seems to me a very corrupted agency in at least this sense. It provided all social services to the people of Gaza. Hospitals, education, whatever else was necessary with funding from the international donor community so that Hamas would not be distracted from its very important work, building a structure in order to fight a war, a terrorist war, build a terrorist army and go after Israel first on the ground and then from their tunnels. That was really, in retrospect, objectively, UNRWA’s mission. Am I wrong?

GOLDSMITH:           You’re absolutely right. In fact, Hamas was asked, “Why don’t you let Palestinians get food from your tunnels and take refuge in your tunnels?” And Hamas representatives said, “No, no, no. That’s UNRWA’s job to provide social services. We’re the resistance.”

MAY:                          “We’re the resistance.” So, the UN has supported “the resistance.” It supported the extermination-ist terrorist group Hamas as it is built, at a cost of billions of dollars… These tunnels are not like… I am not sure the Israelis understood how extensive and elaborate these tunnels have been, but if you wanted to connect Gaza with the West Bank, Judea and Samaria, you could do it with a lot fewer tunnels than they built in Gaza, and of course into Egypt from which the weapons have been coming, with one way or another complicity from the Egyptians who now will not allow any refugees even temporarily on their soil. But they’re really concerned about what it might happen in Rafah if the Israelis decide to go and take on the four brigades that are left.

GOLDBERG:             Oh, Cliff, my understanding from one briefing I got from the IDF unit, the division responsible for overseeing UNRWA’s operations and now the real investigation of what UNRWA has been up to, they were latching their power structures. The electricity, like the actual utilities that were running, the tunnels were patched through into UNRWA facilities, plugged in. A lot of hard-wiring going on that you could not have just been like, “Oh, wow, they plugged into my outlet.” No. Big stuff, big infrastructure to fuel, to energize, to get these tunnels to be operational were latched in many cases to UNRWA infrastructure, in front of UNRWA. They knew what was happening. They knew where these wires were going. So, complete complicity.

GOLDSMITH:           And the problem is UNRWA, unlike most UN agencies, I think 99% of UNRWA employees are Palestinian refugees themselves, as defined by UNRWA. So already, UNRWA is hiring from an extremist sea, and if you work for UNRWA, you fall into one of two categories. Either you already sympathize with Hamas and/or Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or you’re afraid for your physical safety and that of your family if you push back against what Hamas and PIJ are doing.

MAY:                          And is there any possibility that the UN Secretary General didn’t know all of this over the past few years?

GOLDSMITH:           I think he’s… I can’t read his mind, but what I can say is that the US and independent organizations like FDD, like UN Watch, have been pointing out for years that UNRWA is compromised, that UNRWA hires and keeps on staff people with terrorist affiliations, school headmasters that turned out to be rocket makers. So they were warned.

GOLDBERG:             One my favorite stories.

GOLDSMITH:           Rocket science. They got to do rocket science.

GOLDBERG:             Islamic Jihad commander.

MAY:                          I want to touch on one other organization that’s not exactly UN, but is affiliated closely with the UN and staff goes back and forth. You know where, I think, where I’m going, Rich, you can guess. It’s the International Committee of the Red Cross. They came to visit us here at FDD. Very civil discussion. But they think that you, Rich, and FDD have been unfair to them. You, very civilly but very forcefully, gave them a piece of your mind. Just elucidate us on that story.

GOLDBERG:             Listen, the International Committee of the Red Cross has operations all over the world. In most cases, a lot of cases, they do a lot of good. But similarly to the problems that you have seen be exposed of UN organizations that operate in Gaza, with at least constructive knowledge of Hamas terror operations and activities under their noses if not actual knowledge, complicity, collaboration, we saw throughout the post-October 7th era of evidence, clear evidence, now, indisputable, of Hamas using its hospitals in Gaza as terror headquarters. This had been alleged for a long time. The IDF was exposing more of it prior to some of its military operations, most notably at the Al-Shifa Hospital Complex and then others in Gaza.

And you saw the Red Cross, which had over years, the ICRC advertised its investments in these hospitals, building out the emergency room complexes there, women’s maternity wards, things like that, where we have now seen multiple times, at least twice, first, the initial operation in Al-Shifa, and then the second surprise operation more recently, where you have evidence of Hamas storing weapons operating out of delivery rooms, emergency rooms, which have been constructed and donated by the Red Cross over many years. We have press reports of the Red Cross talking about their people being in the hospitals after October 7th and conducting inspections somehow blind to Hamas operations. They’re blind to any evidence of the hostages having been brought to these hospitals. Amazing how it works. Yet, yet their officials take to social media, take to the international media and put pressure on Israel for a ceasefire, put pressure on Israel not to go into Al-Shifa Hospital when it has already been turned into a terror command headquarters and hostage harboring place and say, “no, Israel needs to stop. Israel has to stop right now before the evidence has been exposed.”

Why’d they do that? It took them weeks, if not months, to even put any pressure whatsoever on anybody to release hostages and instead really focus on needing a ceasefire, humanitarian crisis. ‘Israel needs to stop its military operations’. The head of the Red Cross going for a tour of Gaza and putting most pressure in public social media displays on Israel, not on Hamas while there. And the hostages being held during the tour in Gaza. The incoming … The new head of the ICRC is not a stranger to any of this. The old head of UNRWA, who was removed because of a corruption scandal and a sex abuse scandal, all kinds of crazy stuff going on, nothing to do even with the Hamas collaboration of UNRWA, just bad management.

Well, clearly, in the international organization space, like in other places we’ve seen in our society, malfeasance, corruption, mismanagement apparently graduates up to a promotion rather than dismissal. So we’ve raised all these issues. One, in particular, caught our mind even during some conversations we noticed on social media, the Red Cross still has up on its Twitter account, X account, it’s outraged over Israel attacking a hospital in Gaza, launching a rocket attack on a hospital in Gaza. Oh, wasn’t that horrific, Cliff? That Israel launched rockets at that hospital in Gaza and killed all those people? It’s just horrific.

It never happened. My sarcasm perhaps lost on audio.

MAY:                          Maybe UN News didn’t get that story. I don’t know.

GOLDBERG:             But at some point, it became clear it never happened. That in fact it was an Islamic Jihad rocket that it hit the parking lot, and yet it’s still up on social media suggesting–

MAY:                          Yeah, so now because I mean, you mentioned at the meetings and I thought, “Okay, they’re going to get this down.” They didn’t realize… They just left it.

GOLDBERG:             In my view, it is almost impossible that people on the ground in Gaza deployed from the ICRC did not at the very least have constructive, that is, they should have known, I think actual knowledge of what was going on in these hospitals. Impossible based on the evidence otherwise. And the fact that they said nothing leading up to the operations there, all their pressure, all their public condemnation was of Israel. Nothing about Hamas using hospitals as human shields, turning them into military targets. Nothing. That’s all right. Now they say, well… they parse their language. They don’t want to appear biased. They call on all parties to respect the law. Come on. And by the way, we talk about influence operations, a nice Washington office as well, to have meetings and put out their propaganda. And, of course, we think about–

MAY:                          The US spent a lot of money on that, again. I forget how much.

Richard Goldberg:      Oh, a lot of money. And we think about World War II and, of course, one of the worst moments of International Red Cross history in Theresienstadt where they visited a concentration camp. Hitler ordered a whole show to be put on to make believe it was some summer camp, some wonderful experience for the Jewish children. And the Red Cross whitewashed it. And one of the most horrific moments in their history. Now, certainly, there are people in the system who don’t think that was good, who don’t think that what Hamas is doing is good, but that’s not the people in charge.

MAY:                          All right. We talked about the World Health Organization, but they also were in Gaza hospitals and therefore should have known, probably didn’t know, and didn’t want to do anything about it. And its executive board has condemned Israel in an emergency session instead of fessing up to all that they did, all that Hamas did with them. UN Women, you mentioned a little bit about how they’ve refused to say… Well, mass rape by Hamas, that’s something they didn’t want to go to there.

The World Food Program, my impression is that it’s better than UNRWA except… And it’s run by Cindy McCain, so it should be… Except that if you also look, it’s been demanding an immediate Israeli ceasefire. Instead of not saying, “Hey, hostages out, then a ceasefire.” It’s saying nothing about Hamas surrendering, not calling on Egypt to open its borders. My guess is Cindy McCain probably can’t control the bureaucracy.

GOLDBERG:             World Food Program is such an interesting case study of what’s been happening. It’s like the college campuses, when you look at it. Cindy McCain who obviously for those who may or may not realize, Senator McCain’s widow, an American being put in charge of very important organization that does great work around the world delivering food aid. Historically been viewed as the most independent because it’s American-led, under US influence. At least we can trust it, good governance, etc. She’s out there putting out these Instagram videos and just Hamas disinformation about ceasefire now and Israel needs to stop attacking aid workers, all this kind of stuff. This is before World Central Kitchen and all that. And you look at some of the press reports, she had attended a security conference, I want to say Halifax, I may have got that wrong, but it’s one of those. And she was just on a panel. And I think the conference itself just had people talk about October 7th and Hamas and how horrible it was.

And the fact that she was even there, without being there to demonstrate for the Palestinian cause and to condemn Israel, created an uproar. This is all accounted for. The New York Times, major press reports. She had this upheaval inside the WFP, and so she’s veered into it like college presidents veering into crazy Hamasniks on campus.

Again, just showing you that even in an organization where we are the primary funder, a lot of money to WFP, billions of dollars, with an American in charge, an American who should know better, that pressure inside that international system, that corrupted international system, is so grave. You have got to be watching these organizations like a hawk, even the ones you think you trust.

MAY:                          All right. Very quickly, two more organizations I just want to touch on. The International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. And the one thing I would say there is that the president of the International Court of Justice, Joan Donoghue, was recently on a TV show and she was very clear. She said, “No, I know people are reporting that we decided that the claim of genocide made by the South Africans about Israel was plausible. That’s not what we said. We said essentially that South Africa could possibly make an accusation to the court, but we made no judgment on that.”

I give her a little bit of credit for that. As for the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Ahmad Khan, he has looked better than his predecessor over past months. But I think there are those who are questioning whether he will remain stalwart on principle or whether he will cave and do what is asked of him, which is to go with the discrimination and the bigotry against Israel. Any words you want to have a say on in the courts, I’d be interested to hear. Then I have one more question for you.

GOLDBERG:             I’ll let Alan go first.

GOLDSMITH:           I’ll focus on the International Criminal Court. Of course, what the court does with Israel, whether it issues indictments against Israeli leaders and military personnel is of great importance not only for Israel and for the US, Israel’s chief ally, but also for directly for US government officials and service members because in the past, the court has made noises about investigating US conduct of the war in Afghanistan. And even though the US is not a member of the International Criminal Court, and obviously the court has no jurisdiction, but if the ICC decides to target Israeli government officials and military personnel today, there’s an excellent chance that it will target Americans tomorrow.

MAY:                          Alan, tell us, finally, some of your recommendations. Summarize as best you can. Should there be a State Department and a White House and a Congress that actually wants to fix what’s broken rather than just write checks to these organizations?

GOLDSMITH:           I think the first priority has to be bipartisanship. In the ’70s through the 1990s, you had Democratic-controlled Congresses working together with both Democratic and Republican administrations to condition funding to UN bodies like the ILO, like UNESCO, on major reforms and doing so successfully, you had the Congress supporting US withdrawal from the ILO and UNESCO, which led to significant reforms.

I mean, in 1984, I think it was ’84 ,when President Reagan called for a withdrawing from UNESCO. Not only did I believe the Washington Post and The New York Times support it, but Walter Mondale, his election opponent supported it. That’s how bipartisan US policy on the UN used to be. However, since the 2000s, the two parties have diverged. And so if there’s ever going to be lasting reforms at the UN, it’s only going to happen if the two parties come together again and agree on a certain consensus for US policy on the UN. Otherwise, you’re just going to have whiplash every four or eight years when control of the White House changes hands. So that’s my first recommendation.

Secondly, I think the US has to prioritize the United Nations a lot more. As you mentioned, that includes making the US ambassador to the UN a cabinet-level official permanently. It also should include prioritizing getting more Americans into senior-level positions at the UN. It should include prioritizing countries’ voting records at the UN when deciding on the status of our bilateral relations with those countries.

All of those steps are necessary, and fundamentally, we have to be willing to condition our funding on real reforms. It can’t just be unconditional, ‘come what may’ funding. That was never our policy for decades. And if it’s our policy now, we’re doomed to failure.

MAY:                          Well, I think that’s right, and I’m glad you’re working on it and persuading some people to do something about it. I’m glad you’re following all this, as well, Rich. Do you have your last word, there?

GOLDBERG:             My last word is I agree with everything Alan said on recommendations and certainly there are some organizations that are unsavable.

MAY:                          UN Human Rights Council would be one of them?

GOLDBERG:             In my view, yes. If the structure is set up rigged against us, my words, that is how people are elected, how voting works, governance, decisions, all this stuff. You can’t change it without a GA resolution, general assembly resolution. I don’t see it how it’s really going to change, and therefore it’s not just about withdrawing, which is the easy solution, but it’s about degrading, isolating delegitimizing, and replacing.

MAY:                          Defunding.

GOLDBERG:             Defunding. Well, for sure, defunding. Let’s start with that.

MAY:                          Well, it’s hard to defund the UN Human Rights Council because it takes some general funds. It’s not discretionary. It can be done, but it’s hard to do.

GOLDBERG:             This is sort of big-picture changes. If you want to go sort of in the Bolton model of ‘let’s go away from, assess contributions, and adjust to voluntary contributions’, you do fix those problems pretty quickly. Something that should be on the table, in my view. But also I think there’s a lot of responsibility to have an NSC, a White House National Security Council body, who is in charge of a lot of this and driving it out of the White House. Why do I say that? If you’ve got a great person in State who’s driving UN reform, and you got a great person at USUN in New York who’s driving UN reform, you have most of the pieces of the puzzle, but you just still have the diplomats working on their own, trying to get the attention, trying to do things while other parts of the US government are talking to these governments on other equities. And at some point in interagency meeting, your prioritization is going to go to the bottom of the list.

If the White House has a point person, a senior director for international organizations who is empowered by the President and the National Security Advisor to go drive UN reform wherever possible, get out of organizations, withhold funding, do whatever it’s going to take, make sure our interests… win elections where we can, box out the Chinese and the Russians wherever possible, cut off money flows to terrorist organizations and their sponsors. You then go to the Department of Energy and the Department of Commerce and the Department of Treasury and everybody else and say, “Hey, I see the secretary’s going to this country next week. Do you have a talking point for the secretary on reform? You don’t? Why is that?”

And they need to be backed up on that by the National Security Advisor and by the principals and have the direction from the President, say, “This is a priority.” And then if the White House coordinates it, they can get the National Security Advisor on the phone to a counterpart in Tokyo before a vote and say, “We need your vote on this in Security Council. Not just an Assistant Secretary at the State Department calling somebody in Tokyo. You need to be able to elevate this as high as possible. If a leader’s coming in for a visit before something happening at the UN, a major election for a key organization where we can’t lose, are we lobbying that person during the meeting? Does the talking points in there for the President even, or on down? So, you see where I’m going with this?

MAY:                          Yes.

GOLDBERG:             I think that’s a critical reform that is needed. It’s hard to accomplish even inside the White House, the tendency you’re overwhelmed by crisis. There’s so much going on. We need so many things from all of our allies, from all different countries. Where does this rank? This goes back to Alan’s comment. If it ranks high, if we perceive why it’s necessary, in our interest, we can accomplish a lot.

MAY:                          And I think this last play, it’s a key component if you are going to maintain US primacy in a global world order that is beneficial to the United States, to all free nations, to what we used to call ‘the free world’, which is in danger right now. That’s my view.

Alan, thank you for being with us for this conversation. Really appreciate it. Good to talk to you and hope to talk to you again soon.

Rich, thank you again. I’m glad you’re doing this work at FDD.

And thanks to all of you who have been with us for this conversation, here today on Foreign Podicy.

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