Kishore Mahbubani Do you foresee more wars over resources?
Kishore Mahbubani was appointed Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy on 16 August 2004 after having served 33 years in the Singapore Foreign Service (with postings in Cambodia, Malaysia, Washington DC and twice as Ambassador to the UN, during which he also served as President of the Security Council). He was the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry from 1993-1998.
He is the author of Can Asians Think? published in Singapore, Canada, US, Mexico, India and People’s Republic of China and of Beyond The Age of Innocence: Rebuilding Trust between America and the World. His new book entitled The New Asian Hemisphere: the Irresistible Shift of Gobal Power to the East was published in New York in February 2008. He was also listed as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the world by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines in September 2005.
Question: Do you foresee more wars over resources?
Kishore Mahbubani: Well, the really good news of my book is that wars are a sunset industry now. I think most countries realize that the wars are not the way to settle these things, and, indeed, paradoxically, China understands this better. If you look at the amount of money the Unitesd States spends on its nuclear program, the amount of money that the Russians spends on its nuclear program, China spends a minuscule amount. In fact, Chinese keep their nuclear weapons off the alert in a way the Americans and Russians still do so. I think the only positive thing that is come out of Iraq war, by the way, is that whole world can see, that the world’s greatest most powerful military power in the world that spends all most as much on defense as the rest of the world combined cannot invade and occupy once small country called Iraq. It shows how difficult war has become, right? So, war basically, the Iraq war has delegitimized war in the dramatic fashion. And you will find in East Asia for example, you take for example, two countries like China and Vietnam. As recently as 1979, there were million Chinese solders confronting a million Vietnamese solders. Today you go to the same border. The million Chinese solders have gone. The million Vietnamese solders have gone and at the border, you only see smugglers and trade.
Wars, Mahbubani says, are a sunset industry.
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