Successfully reported this slideshow.
Your SlideShare is downloading. ×

Oona A. Hathaway on Security and Leadership during a Crisis

Ad

INTERVIEW
Oona A. Hathaway
Interview by Henry Jacob Transcribed by Yuhan KimJuly 14, 2020
The disconnect between those two...

Ad

The U.S. distanced itself from the World Health
Organization and refused to participate in the EU-
led effort to develop a...

Ad

and we could have the same conversation we are
having right now on Zoom. With the internet,
we have the capacity to genera...

Ad

Upcoming SlideShare
Debate research paper
Debate research paper
Loading in …3
×

Check these out next

1 of 4 Ad
1 of 4 Ad

Oona A. Hathaway on Security and Leadership during a Crisis

Download to read offline

This interview with Oona A. Hathaway on security and leadership during COVID-19 comprises The Military History Portal, a section of The Yale Historical Review.

This interview with Oona A. Hathaway on security and leadership during COVID-19 comprises The Military History Portal, a section of The Yale Historical Review.

More Related Content

Similar to Oona A. Hathaway on Security and Leadership during a Crisis (20)

More from YHRUploads (20)

Oona A. Hathaway on Security and Leadership during a Crisis

  1. 1. INTERVIEW Oona A. Hathaway Interview by Henry Jacob Transcribed by Yuhan KimJuly 14, 2020 The disconnect between those two worlds appalled me, and I decided I had to write about it. But you seemed to have learned this nexus years ago when you worked in D.C. I know that you and others at the Pentagon played a central role during the Ebola outbreak. How does Obama’s reaction to Ebola in 2014 differ from Trump’s response to coronavirus in 2020? During the 2014 Ebola outbreak, Obama did not respond by closing the borders. The administration recognized that if Ebola got out of control abroad it was a problem for the United States. It was in our national self-interest to help address the emergency. The initial impulse of the Trump administration during the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak was the opposite. 1 In March, you co-wrote Universal Health Care is a National Security Issue. In this prescient article, you explore ways to reframe traditional notions of national security in light of COVID-19. How has your perspective on these intertwined issues developed over the past few months? As a national security lawyer and as somebody who worked at the Pentagon, the cavalier talk about loss of life as the crisis began to unfold really struck me. In my world, any risk to Americans is taken incredibly seriously. I was shocked when some leaders spoke of citizens as dispensable. We have billion-dollar planes to protect our lives and we can't spend two dollars on masks to ensure that those who protect us in the medical field are themselves protected? THEYALE HISTORICAL REVIEW Military History This afternoon, I have the opportunity to speak with Oona A. Hathaway, Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at Yale Law School. On Security and Leadership during a Crisis
  2. 2. The U.S. distanced itself from the World Health Organization and refused to participate in the EU- led effort to develop a vaccine. This is not a good long-term strategy for dealing with the problem, because as long as COVID is anywhere COVID is everywhere. Responding to the problem by simply shutting down our borders is not only ineffectual, it's also inconsistent with the historical role of the United States as a leader of the global community. Right, the construction of the wall – literal and metaphorical – signals the end of a certain form of US power. I want to stay on the topic of global collaboration. In The Internationalists, you demonstrate the value not only of multilateral agreements, but also the persistence of ideas. How does the global order the internationalists sought to create in the 1920s-1930s help you understand our current situation? The internationalists recognized that states needed to resolve their disputes by working together. Their solution was not perfect but their impulse was correct: global challenges require global cooperation. The same principle is true for dealing with COVID. The World Health Organization was founded on that very ideal, the idea that nations share global health interests and that they should work together to address health crises. Many issues are not limited to national boundaries and can be most effectively addressed by working together. The World Health Organization made some early errors in responding to COVID-19. It didn't identify the problem fast enough. It didn't come out with clear recommendations early enough. Those are all fair criticisms, but to withdraw all money, all funding, all participation, and all assistance is clearly the wrong response. Instead, we should try to figure out why the WHO did not respond as quickly as it should have. Why did the failures that we saw take place? And how can we improve the organization going forward? As director of the Center for Global Legal Challenges you teach the next generation to unite legal thought and action. Given the vacuum of leadership today, this program seems doubly important. At the beginning of this conversation, you mentioned that the disconnect between defense and health care spending led you to reconsider national security. You have also written on the lack of global leaders. How has COVID brought this topic to your attention? COVID has made clear a lot of problems in the world and some real failures of leadership within the United States as well in global institutions such as the United Nations. A colleague of mine at the law school and I wrote an article about a possible way of moving forward. We propose that smaller states can gather together to form what we call global clubs. These are the kinds of ideas that academic institutions can generate inside and outside of the classroom. If you're in Washington, you deal with problems on a daily basis and often don’t have time to think about the big picture. But academics can step back, put things into historical context, and think a little bit outside the box. 2 Oona Hathaway
  3. 3. and we could have the same conversation we are having right now on Zoom. With the internet, we have the capacity to generate conversations and ideas across global borders. How do we take advantage of these innovations to solve problems in new ways? Technology presents opportunities as well as dangers. How have you explored the intersection of law and cyber security? The internet gives us new ways to interact. It also creates its own set of issues as any new innovative tool does. Because of these vulnerabilities, we have to spend a lot of time thinking about cyber conflict, cyber terrorism, and cyber espionage. But we cannot lose sight of the positives, the capacity to engage in a deep way around the globe in a way prior generations never could. And that’s exciting. We can bring ideas from around the world and include new perspectives that were previously excluded. Alongside this venture, we at the YHR are leading a national initiative on racial justice and social change. I know that you are passionate about this issue as well, you even described the Black Lives Matter movement as the only path to save our democracy. As hard as the last few months have been, they've been eye opening for a lot of Americans. More have recognized the truths that have been there all along, but that have not been widely discussed. The kind of suppression we have been seeing in the daily news has long been a reality for communities of color. But the conversation has expanded recently. We all have an obligation to extend the conversation and think about the role of race in our work. As I look back, I think there's more I could have done, there's more I can do, and more that I hope to do in my teaching, my writing, and in supporting scholars and students. Just Security, which I'm an editor for, just started a new series called Racing National Security. I don’t think that would have happened if it weren't for the current crisis. But we cannot treat this as a fleeting moment. It must be a permanent commitment. 4 Oona Hathaway We can add to the conversation by saying,“this is how we've done it for 75 years, but there are other models out there.” This interchange between New Haven and D.C. plays a particularly valuable role today. This discourse is also necessary so Americans can reflect critically on the systemic injustices of our institutions. Many of these problems were already clear before Trump. Maybe we don't need global hegemony to run the world. Maybe we can give more states a say in what global institutions look like. We can think not just about solving the immediate emergency, but also the entrenched failings. “This is how we've done it for 75 years, but there are other models out there.” This is why a publication like The Yale Historical Review is valuable. It’s a way to try to put the events that we're dealing with now into a broader historical context and look for models in history for the moment that we're in, while recognizing that the world has not always been structured the way it is currently structured and it won't always be structured the way it's currently structured. That then frees us up to realize, “okay if these structures aren't working, what are some alternatives?” How do we think about that, and how can change and growth happen? And are there ways of achieving growth in international governance that could innovate around these problems and utilize lessons from prior efforts? What are some advantages that we have that we can take advantage of that prior generations didn't have? We happen to both be in New Haven, but you could just as well be in Timbuktu
  4. 4. 5 This is an ongoing discourse, it does not end after one Zoom call. It’s the work of a generation. But that's not to say that we don't have responsibility to act right now. Sometimes that statement can be seen as if you have to be patient, and that is not what I mean. We need to act with urgency and make a long standing and long-term commitment. Most U.S. scholars of international law do not focus on the racist and colonialist history of the field of international law. I've always mentioned it in my teaching, but haven't centered around it. I will integrate these histories more fully into my courses. We must also recognize the inequities that have created the institutions that we have. And that's not just a problem of the past, it’s also a problem of the present. I don't have all the answers, but I'm eager to have the conversations. On the note of changing the political landscape for the next generation, I want to discuss the upcoming election. What do you hope to see in November? I hope that Americans reject the “America First” and America alone mentality. I hope that this election is a referendum on the vision of the United States that Donald Trump has put forward. I hope that voters embrace a vision of themselves as citizens of the world and playing a positive role in the world. Joe Biden definitely embodies these ideas. This is not a zero- sum game. We can pursue the interests of the US and the world at the same time. That would be the first step to repairing our very damaged relationships in the world. THE YALE HISTORICAL REVIEW

×