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Lessons from the Vietnam War: part 2

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In fear of China: then and now

Lessons from the Vietnam War: part 2

Barry Naughten (2153 words

An important lesson from the Vietnam War has been held to be that before Australia commits itself to support of U.S. foreign policies it must insist upon a place in the ruling councils of the U.S.  This case was argued in part 1 of this comment, which focused on the limitations or weaknesses of the counter-insurgency paradigm.

This is misplaced emphasis. Far more important is that Australia do its own ‘due diligence’ on foreign policy questions and that it maintain its sovereign independence as far as possible. Being in the ruling councils of other states such as the U.S is at best only one means to this end, and at worst either utopian or about the cooptation of our foreign policy decision-makers.

Part 2 of the comment focuses on a second potential lesson from the Vietnam experience for Australian foreign policy making. The case is that Australian foreign policy at the time was ill-informed, blinkered by ideology and distorted by electoral opportunism.

Resonating with some of today’s preoccupations, its focus was on keeping the U.S. involved in Asia, especially vis-à-vis the then much feared China, even if took a prolonged and bloody land-war to do so.

Foreign policy realism and national interests: of our state and others

National interest and power are the touch-stones of realist approaches to foreign policy. Hence, like the first, this second comment must focus on questions of national interest.

The Australian government at the time thought it was pursuing a realist foreign policy based on national interest, based variously on notions of ‘forward defence’ or an ‘insurance policy’ vis-à-vis the U.S. alliance.

However, this policy was seriously flawed because it was ill-informed, notably about the national interests of the other major players. Defining Australia’s national interest as an input to a realist foreign policy also requires us to consider the national interests of the other major players, not just their actual policies and capabilities.

Accordingly, let us consider the actual compared with the realist foreign policies not only of the U.S., but those of Vietnam and of China as they were at the time.

As previously argued, in respect of its involvement in the Vietnam War, the U.S. was not rationally pursuing its national self-interest. Such a negative case had been argued by leading U.S. foreign policy realist scholars both at the time (Hans Morgenthau and Kenneth Waltz) and retrospectively (John Mearsheimer). These realist scholars did not go along with framing the war as one of counter-insurgency. Not only did they deny the applicability of Cold War logic that was prevalent at the time, they also framed the war as it empirically was: for the Vietnamese a legitimate one of national resistance; for the U.S. a tragic and unnecessary war. Only on that recognition could a reasonable U.S. foreign policy be formulated.

Until the end, U.S. foreign policy-makers on the other hand were not able to understand and follow this advice. This was so in part because they (especially President Johnson but then Nixon) saw themselves as ‘committed’ to continuing a course of action even after it had become evident that the strategy stood no chance of achieving its purported objectives — a good example of the ‘sunk costs’ fallacy. In the case of the Iraq war (2003), George W Bush presented the world with another example of this fallacy. (This is far from asserting that immediate withdrawal is the only rational strategy, much less denying the need to overcome inevitable setbacks in a necessary war such as WWII.)

Another factor underlined by critical realist foreign policy analysts like George Kennan contested the wisdom of U.S. pursuit of a global primacist role. Such a role has never been quite sustained despite apparent ‘unipolar moments’ in 1991 and 2002. By 2012 long-term prospects were instead favouring an increasingly multipolar world.

Conjointly with the economic crisis of 1971 caused in large part by the Vietnam involvement, the U.S. leadership appeared to sense this reality — hence Nixon’s historic visit to Beijing in 1972. Supported by Kissinger’s advice, Nixon had decided to form an alliance of convenience with China against the USSR, while also opening up China to the world. Less than ten years earlier foreign policy hawks had been calling for the U.S. to ‘surgically’ denuclearize a China that saw itself as existentially threatened by both super-powers.

The rapprochement meant that China could then be ‘contained’, in large part through increased economic interdependence, rather than continuing with the failed U.S. policy of its enforced isolation (which was breaking down anyway).

Nixon’s balance-of-power policy with respect to China and the USSR could thus be viewed as a rational response to a setback to U.S. global primacy aspirations subject to Paul Kennedy’s ‘imperial over-stretch’. Today, such a setback has followed the Iraq war, 10 years of conspicuous failure in Afghanistan and the apparently intractible situation vis-à-vis Iran. Hugh White (and here) is just one analyst contrasting Nixon’s successful diplomatic re-engagement with China with the long-standing but recently tightened U.S. policy of globally isolating Iran. This risks cataclysmic war in the Middle East and loss of other mutual benefits. Once again (as in China’s case) foreign policy hawks are calling for war based on Iran’s alleged (but as yet unconsummated) nuclear aspirations.

40 years ago, Vietnam (then caricatured by the U.S. as ‘Hanoi’) was pursuing its national interests by resisting foreign control of its territory. At tremendous human cost, this was an ultimately successful struggle unparalleled in 20th century history. That this ‘security’ goal was paramount against all aggressors became evident when Vietnam expelled Chinese invading forces in 1979, consistent with a pattern of resistance to Chinese suzerainty that had been in place over the centuries, if not millennia.

Turn now to the case of China and its national interests at that time. This was an under-developed China that had suffered a vicious occupation at the hands of imperial Japan in the 1930s and 40s, and before that, regional de facto occupations at the hands of the European powers. China’s provision of material support to Vietnam in its long struggle, first against returning French colonialism and then against the U.S., made sense. The People’s Republic of China was implicitly threatened by any future Vietnamese entity that would have been a client state of its historical adversary the U.S. In the words of C.P. Fitzgerald, this ‘white peril’ would have been a dagger poised at the heart of China. Secondarily, China would have had similar ‘encirclement’ concerns should the USSR have become the only great power successfully protective of Vietnamese national independence.

As just noted, China later saw its national interests in an expedient strategic alliance and agreement with the U.S. Through this, it gained not only support against its rival and territorial aggressor the USSR but also a commitment by the U.S. to end support for its puppet government in Saigon, removing the threat from the south.

Getting it right about China: then and now

The designers of Australian foreign policy at the time wanted to be realist but were badly ill-informed, not least in understanding the national interests of these other players. The main particulars of one critique thereof had been set out in 1967-68 by the young Gregory Clark in a series of public interventions following his conscientious resignation from the then Department of External Affairs. Clark’s resignation was in the company also of his colleague Stephen Fitzgerald, who went on to become Australia’s first Ambassador to China and remains an important commentator.

Clark’s major contribution was his definitive 1968 book In Fear of China. This was the subject of an important review by the eminent Australian historian of China, the aforementioned ANU Professor C.P. Fitzgerald. Of the latter’s older generation of scholars, respected figures such as Peter Russo and W. McMahon Ball had also been among the influential dissenters. Given this background from leading intellectuals, Opposition Leader Gough Whitlam’s ‘official’ visit to Beijing in July 1971 was not so remarkable, though ironic indeed that this occurred contemporaneously with the highly secret preparatory visit of Henry Kissinger, as Nixon’s chief National Security advisor.

The power of Clark’s critique of the Coalition Government and its supporters was not diminished by the fact that was a son of the world renowned economist and prominent Catholic layman Professor Colin Clark. This was especially so given that the strongest current of support for the Vietnam War was from the organised right-wing of the Catholic politics, including such figures as Colonel ‘Ted’ Serong, and the young Gerard Henderson, both of whose roles were noted in part 1 of this comment.

The essentials of In Fear of China included the following.

  • Australia’s foreign policy was dominated by fears of a ‘downward thrust’ of China, a paranoid perspective shared by many Australians, and hence a formula also good for winning elections (as the Coalition resoundingly did in 1966).
  • The Vietnamese national independence struggle was viewed in the Cold war terms that framed debate at the time. Being ignorant of Asian history, official foreign policy advisors (notably Greg Clark’s former colleagues) viewed a united and strong Vietnam as essentially a channel for Chinese power, instead of being part of a process (in a sense) of ‘containing’ China, as became evident in 1979 and still is the case.
  • As a corollary, the then Australian Coalition Government’s foreign policy was hawkish in the terms of the U.S. debate, being centred on keeping the U.S. involved in a land war in Asia for as long as it took, and against U.S. national interests in the sense argued above.

More than four decades latter, with China’s GDP now second only to the U.S. and having become our largest trading partner and the main reason for our economy escaping the worst of the GFC, the relationship remains problematic. But as Professor Hugh White and others have noted, the central concern remains about how that evolving bilateral relationship fits with that involving the U.S. Since White’s intervention, concerns have mounted as a result of the Gillard Labor Government having permitted the U.S. extended basing rights in the Northern Territory. Richard Tanter of the Melbourne-based Nautilus Institute provides an account of silent growth in Australian defence commitments to the U.S. over the past decade.

Australia’s foreign policy: avoiding a dichotomy of false extremes

In the 1960s the ‘insurance policy’ argument was that support for the hegemonic power (‘right or wrong’) would ensure its support in the hour of need. If this were the sole plank of policy then what would be the purpose of foreign policy being ‘well-informed’?

Such an ‘insurance policy’, based on over-simple assumptions of reciprocity, would not seem to conform to the usual criteria of foreign policy realism. In assessing Australia’s grand strategic options over the long-term George Friedman argues the contrary but he sets up a dichotomy of false extremes:

[Australia’s] options are to align with the United States and accept the military burdens that entails, or to commit to Asia in general and China in particular.

The argument here is instead that Australia has served neither its own interests nor even those of the U.S. by its sometimes costly support for the latter’s unnecessary wars.

As to the Iraq war (2003), Australia’s uncritical membership of the U.S. ‘coalition of the willing’ amounted to a repeat performance three decades on, demonstrating the point.

As Geoffrey Wheatcroft suggests, a foreign policy based largely on ‘your country right or wrong’, whether understood in a realist or ethical sense, does not seem wise. None other than the conservative British historian Niall Ferguson made a similar observation. Both comments referred to the so-called ‘special relationship’ between the UK and the U.S. Wheatcroft questions its real substance. As such, his comments about UK foreign policy may not be without relevance to Australia’s situation vis-à-vis the U.S.

The more general lessons

Despite the discredited ‘insurance policy’, the core arguments put in the late 1960s by Gregory Clark and C. P. Fitzgerald still hold true, namely that a sovereign Australian foreign policy needs to be based on sound analysis and good evidence.

Admission to U.S. supreme councils is not an end in itself.

Diplomatically, it is more important to engage closely with all nationstates having a bearing on our security and prosperity. This is partly because security requires insight into both perceived and actual national interests as well as the capabilities (‘power’) of other states, including potential adversaries as well as allies and hegemons.

Militarily, we need to be wary of involvement in the ill-judged and ill-informed wars of others — wars often based on deviations even from the national interests of those other would be allied Great Powers or states, a case well demonstrated by the Vietnam war.

Educationally, we need to move on from cultural dependence, whether British or U.S. Teaching of Asian languages has shown little progress since the 1950s. Similarly, available documentation (2009) indicates precious little focus on the teaching of 20th century Asian history. Again, this compares unfavourably with the 1950s, at least in Victoria (years 9-10), built around excellent texts such as Max Crawford’s Ourselves and the Pacific

It was clear that by 2003, and indeed by 2012, neither the U.S. nor Australian foreign policy has yet fully absorbed the lessons of Vietnam, or those of Iraq (2003-).

Barry Naughten bio

Barry Naughten, PhD, MAIR, MEc, BSc is a Departmental Visitor in the Centre of Arab and Islamic Studies, ANU, where he is completing a book on U.S. foreign energy policy in the Middle East. He was formerly a Senior Economist in ABARE, the Commonwealth Government economic research agency, where he specialised in energy economics. He has published journal articles and book-chapters in these and related fields.

He is contactable on barry.naughten@anu.edu.au and on gnaught@netspeed.com.au

 

 

 

 

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Written by Barry Naughten

August 23, 2012 at 11:39 am

Lessons from the Vietnam War: part 1

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‘Counter-insurgency’: problematic technique; distorting frame

Lessons from the Vietnam War: part 1

Barry Naughten (2366 words)

Australia’s adverse experience with the Vietnam War in the 1960s has been used to support the contention that before Australia commits itself to support of U.S. foreign policies in future it must insist upon a place in the ruling councils of the U.S.

In a recent documentary All the way (ABC TV 12 April 2012) journalists Paul Ham and Anne Delaney have put this case for high level consultation as part of a ‘special relationship’ with the U.S. In making this claim they draw on an interview with Malcolm Fraser, the former Prime Minister but at the time of the Vietnam War, Defence Minister in the then Coalition Government.

In support of this thesis, their case-study is that of counter-insurgency and an implied assessment of how it should have been conducted in the Vietnam War.

However, their treatment of counter-insurgency confuses means with ends. In large part, this is because they fail to note the ways in which involvement in the Vietnam War conflicted with the national interest of the U.S. itself, not to speak of that of Australia.

40 years later and over a decade since 9-11, debate about counter-insurgency continues, and once again ideology is distorting a realist analysis. Two aspects are considered here.

The first touches on recent revisions to U.S. doctrine on counter-insurgency (COIN). Integrally related to this doctrine is the counter neo-conservative notion of a ‘Long War’, a.k.a. ‘the war on (Islamist) terror’ (WOT). Indeed, the leading proponent of the ‘Long War’ in its most extreme form (Norman Podhoretz) had been a prominent hawk on Vietnam. Under the Obama Administration it has morphed into ‘Overseas Contingency Operation’ a.k.a. WFKATGWOT — the latest stage, as Andrew Bacevich puts it.

Hence, the second current aspect is about the U.S. foreign policy paradigm represented by WOT and accompanying COIN as a counter-productive response to the ideological and material spread of jihadist Islamism, as well as having other significant costs.

Whether in ‘supreme councils’ or otherwise, Australia’s position should rest on sound realist analysis of its national interest, not a preoccupation with techniques for ‘digging ourselves out of holes we shouldn’t be in’. In doing so, policy must be cognisant of the interests of other states, especially the U.S. Such analysis is a proper point of departure.

U.S. foreign policy realism about Vietnam and the myth of counter-insurgency

It does not suffice to say: ‘everyone now agrees that the Vietnam War was mistake’. Indeed, a significant minority claim that the ‘mistake’ was to use insufficient force. Public opinion surveys are not unimportant but learning lessons requires engagement with the recorded history—which for many, and for many reasons, can be painful.

Undue focus on counter-insurgency excludes the alternative framing asserted by U.S. realist critics of the war at the time. The same point is made by the eminent historian of Vietnamese anti-colonialism David G Marr. In his review of a recent book, drawing on previously secret CIA documents, by Thomas L. Ahern, Jr., (himself a former senior CIA officer, 1979 station chief in Tehran, no less), Professor Marr comments as follows:

The doctrine of counterinsurgency failed in Vietnam because adherents of the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam saw themselves not as ‘insurgents’ but rather as upholding the independence and territorial integrity of the nation declared by Ho Chi Minh in 1945.  The political and military parameters of the ‘Anti-American Resistance’ had been set during the ‘Anti-French Resistance’ (1945-1954), about which Ahern says almost nothing.  The French considered the ‘Viet Minh’ an insurgent threat to legitimate authority, rather than a functioning state.  American analysts then made the same mistake.  No CIA-initiated program, be it `civic action’, `census grievance’, counter-terror’, or ‘political action’, managed to overcome this liability. (emphasis added)

Because they understood this basic point at the time, leading U.S. realist scholars such as Hans Morgenthau and Kenneth Waltz opposed the war. More recently, contemporary U.S. realist scholars such as John Mearsheimer have made valid comparisons with another unnecessary war: Iraq (2003-). As Mearsheimer points out, this realist perception of the Vietnam War was never accepted or admitted by some of the ‘best and brightest’: U.S. liberal internationalist officials like McGeorge Bundy and Walt Rostow. An inkling is evident in Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s later musings in the documentary film The Fog of War a position he had actually come to decades earlier though not for the public domain. In a memo to Johnson as early as May 19 1967, he had warned:

There may be a limit beyond which many Americans and much of the world will not permit the United States to go. The picture of the world’s greatest superpower killing or seriously injuring 1,000 non-combatants a week, while trying to pound a tiny, backward nation into submission on an issue whose merits are hotly disputed, is not a pretty one. It could conceivably produce a costly distortion in the American national consciousness and in the world image of the United States.

This vastly understates the scale of the holocaust inflicted on the people of Vietnam under both Johnson and Nixon Administrations.

All-the-way with the ‘counter-insurgency’ frame?

The Ham documentary has contemporary relevance in its warnings about the fallibilities of U.S. foreign policy record in our region. For this it was predictably slammed by the political right, as represented by the Sydney Institute’s Gerard Henderson.

Commendably it also includes arresting and important interviews and testimonies from a range of Australian soldiers caught up in an involvement that was obviously not of their making — with a notable exception or two, as outlined below.

However, the documentary does not engage with the above realist arguments against the war and their meaning for Australian foreign policy, then and in the future.

With its focus on the supposedly technical matter of ‘counter-insurgency’ it draws heavily on comments by a CIA counter-insurgency expert, John Nagl and on the experience of Australian troops in Phuoc Tuy province. Two dichotomies are presented:

  • ‘bad’ versus ‘good’ forms of counter-insurgency;
  • counter-insurgency versus conventional high-firepower warfare.

‘Bad’ versus ‘good’ forms of counter-insurgency arepersonalised in a comparison of two allegedly influential Australian operatives, Colonel Francis ‘Ted’ Serong (bad) and Captain Barry Petersen (good), presented as being at cross-purposes with each other. Thus, the driven, devout Catholic and anti-communist Serong was:

on a crusade that would eventually consume him, when he later joined the CIA’s controversial and brutal Phoenix program.

By contrast, Petersen was deposed and relieved of his position by the CIA operatives under whose authority he worked. In his own words:

‘After getting up the nose of the CIA for refusing to have counter-terror teams, and wanting to continue doing things my way, they decided I had to be replaced’.

In this account, the alternatives to counter-insurgency are manifested in the failures ofWestmoreland’s conventional high-firepower warfare, the corrupted obscenity of McNamara’s management science and its ‘body counts’, culminating in the horrors of My Lai and its unreported equivalents, each of which atrocity he properly reminds us.

The irrelevance of Thompson

Much of the prestige of counter-insurgency warfare, such as it was at the time, rested on the innovations of the UK military strategist Sir Robert Thompson informing the British-sponsored anti-insurgency campaign in the Malayan emergency (1947-60). But the ‘lessons’ from that campaign were not transferable to Vietnam, where Thompson’s ideas had little influence. Malaya’s inhabitants were predominantly Malay-speaking and of Malay ethnicity and identity. The Chinese were thus a minority whose support for a communist revolutionary movement was related not only to their colonial (or post-colonial) situation but also to their working class role in industries such as rubber-tapping, stevedoring, and as ‘coolies’ and petty traders.

The revolutionary movement in Vietnam clearly also had its class aspects, notably about the differing roles of landlords and landless peasants in the nationalist struggle. Support from the latter was fundamental to its success; but the former were often associated with the previous colonialist regime. Unlike the Malayan case, the nationalist character of the resistance was compatible with the population being predominantly ethnic Vietnamese.

Australia’s role and the problematic lessons from Phuoc Tuy province

Instead of focusing on foreign policy fundamentals, Paul Ham’s account dwells on Australia’s apparent success, supposedly unique, in neutralising Vietnamese resistance activity in Phuoc Tuy province of southern Vietnam. The inference seems to be that had these techniques been replicated by the U.S. elsewhere then the organised resistance might have been defeated.

But even in these terms, such a conclusion is a fallacy of composition. Vietnam was not and could not be Phuoc Tuy province writ large. For example, it might be conceded that due to successful techniques used by Australian forces in this province, resistance forces may have given up or deferred attempts to gain control of this particular region. But they did so in favour of other regions and tactics.

In the event (however hypothetical and implausible) of the U.S. replicating Australian techniques, and abandoning its own harsh and intimidatory methods, it seems highly unlikely that the Vietnamese resistance would have abandoned its armed struggle against foreign domination that had been in place since World War II.

‘Moving on’ from Vietnam: the Petraeus counter-insurgency manual

Post-Vietnam thinking is supposedly reflected in the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual, prepared under the auspices of General Petraeus (December 2006). The above-noted John Nagl was a principal author of this document.

On p. 60, it concludes a chapter as follows:

President John F. Kennedy noted, “You [military professionals] must know something about strategy and tactics and…logistics, but also economics and politics and diplomacy and history. You must know everything you can know about military power, and you must also understand the limits of military power. You must understand that few of the important problems of our time have…been finally solved by military power alone.”

Nowhere is this insight more relevant than in COIN. Successful COIN efforts require unity of effort in bringing all instruments of national power to bear. Civilian agencies can contribute directly to military operations, particularly by providing information.

J. F. Kennedy’s point here is the realist one made above: sometimes this can be the wrong war. Willfully or otherwise, the manual ignores or misconstrues this point. This mis-construction demonstrates how ‘technique’ can become ‘frame’. Forgotten is Clausewitz’s injunction that policy (indeed realist foreign policy) should dominate the application of military force, not vice versa. A problem arises when highly placed military technicians—military ‘pro-consuls’ and the Pentagon—make foreign policy.

Recent reports indicate that even at West Point some military-strategic thinkers are beginning to view counter-insurgency thinking is a poor guide to foreign policy.

Counter-insurgency as ‘technique’ and as ‘frame’: ‘War on Terror’

Twenty-first century wars in Iraq and Afghanistan differ from the Vietnam War and from each other, just as the Vietnam War differed significantly from the Malayan ‘emergency’ noted above. However, counter-insurgency ‘framings’ have been prominent—and potentially misleading—in each case. Whereas Cold War categories once distorted public debate and official decisions now the context of a ‘Long War on Terror’ is counter-productively imposed. As it happens, once again an Australian specialist in counter-insurgency—David Kilcullen—has been a prominent advisor to the U.S. military in this regard. Once again a realist critique is relevant, and is well put by Andrew Bacevich in his review of Kilcullen’s arguments:

….Yet as someone deeply invested in that conflict [the ‘Long War on terror’], he [Kilcullen] cannot bring himself to acknowledge the conclusion to which his own analysis points: the very concept of waging a Long War as the antidote to Islamism is fundamentally and irrevocably flawed.

If counter-insurgency is useful chiefly for digging ourselves out of holes we shouldn’t be in then why not simply avoid the holes? Why play al Qaeda’s game? Why persist in waging the Long War when that war makes no sense?

When it comes to dealing with Islamism, containment rather than transformation should provide the cornerstone of U.S. (and Western) strategy. Ours is the far stronger hand. The jihadist project is entirely negative. … Time is our ally. With time, our adversary will wither and die—unless through our own folly we choose to destroy ourselves first.

The ‘Long War’ was always ill-conceived as a response to diverse and uneven threats associated with variants of Islamist jihadism (not all of which constitute a dire threat).

Robert Gilpin and other foreign policy realists have argued that such a response is unlikely to be successful without active support from the mainstream Islamic world of 1.6 billion people. The good news is that such support is likely to be forthcoming in the presence of sound policies of restraint and international cooperation. Muslim-majority states, and their peoples also in Muslim-minority states, have a strong stake in marginal-ising Islamist jihadism. But such political support is not automatic. Indeed, as conceived and named by its neo-conservative proponents, the so-called ‘long war’ is likely to alienate such support, according to U.S. foreign policy realists like Gilpin and Bacevich.

The historical conditions of Islamist jihadism must be addressed. These include certain highly questionable actions of the U.S. itself over the years — not least its vital support (no secret to Muslim peoples) to autocratic and corrupt regimes in the Islamic world.

Multiple such cases demonstrate the systemic bias in the concept of ‘insurgency’. It is defined (as it was in the case of Vietnam) in terms of movements of opposition to those autocratic ruling regimes (as well as corrupt and failing states) enjoying U.S. support, often on dubious calculations of the long-term national interests of the U.S. itself.

Generalizing, the insurgency frame has more recently been applied also to nation-states unwilling to accept client status within an hierarchical world system headed by the U.S.

Australian representation on U.S. supreme councils?

A key lesson from Vietnam case was supposed to be the notion that if only entry to supreme U.S. war councils were available to Australia then U.S. military strategy might be reshaped to serve our national interests. This is potentially misleading. Protecting the national interest of Australia as a sovereign state requires first and foremost that we do our own ‘due diligence’ on the foreign policy issues at hand, and not leave this to others.

Part 2 of this comment takes up the ‘regional’ dimension of Australian foreign policy. Regarding the Vietnam War it will argue that the Coalition Government thought it was indeed taking up a realist perspective based on national interest. Unfortunately that position was singularly ill-informed, and reflected an irrational fear of China. Part of the argument is that foreign policy should be based not only on actual or perceived policies and capabilities of relevant states (both purported allies and purported adversaries) but also on an informed calculation of the actual self-interests of those states.

Barry Naughten bio

Barry Naughten, PhD, MAIR, MEc, BSc is a Departmental Visitor in the Centre of Arab and Islamic Studies, ANU, where he is completing a book on U.S. foreign energy policy in the Middle East. He was formerly a Senior Economist in ABARE, the Commonwealth Government economic research agency, where he specialised in energy economics. He has published journal articles and book-chapters in these and related fields. He is contactable on barry.naughten@anu.edu.au and on gnaught@netspeed.com.au

Written by Barry Naughten

August 23, 2012 at 11:38 am