In the News

On Iran and anti-extremism, Trump strikes different note from his predecessors

May 22, 2017  |  PBS Newshour

Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin talked to the PBS Newshour about whether President Trump is making a shift in foreign policy after his trip to Saudi Arabia and the tone of the language he used there.

"He’s gone all in, in terms of standing with them [Sunni Arabs] and with the Israelis against Iran. I think that brings with it some challenges.

I think it’s also noteworthy that he pushed the Saudis and others to do more against terrorism themselves, but it was quite interesting that the way that he described terrorism, it was really kind of flat. It was in very good vs. evil terms, but no larger discussion of what the drivers of terrorism are, no discussion about bad governance, about economic stagnation, about any repression.

And, as a result, it leaves the impression that this is going to be purely about military law enforcement, and not anything else, which is really at odds with the policy we had, which was that you can’t shoot your way out of this."

Russia’s Game: From the End of the Cold War through the Election of 2016

May 3, 2017 | YouTube

Earlier this year, Ambassador Daniel Fried retired from the State Department after 40 years of service. Watch his talk at Dartmouth on May 3, 2017 about Russia's role in the world from the Cold War to the 2016 election. 

Ambassador Fried served in his most recent position as the State Department’s Coordinator for Sanctions Policy since January 28, 2013. Prior to that, Ambassador Fried was Special Envoy for Closure of the Guantanamo Detainee Facility starting on May 15, 2009, with the additional responsibility as the Secretary’s Special Advisor on Camp Ashraf (Iraq) from November, 2011. Daniel Fried served from May 5, 2005 until May 15, 2009 as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council from January, 2001 to May, 2005. He served as Ambassador to Poland from November, 1997 to May, 2000.

Facts are Facts: Marching for Science

April 24, 2017

On Saturday, April 22, Dickey Center Associate Director for Programs and Research Melody Brown Burkins, PhD, spoke to a crowd of thousands at the New Hampshire statehouse in Concord about the connection between facts and government policy. 

“We’re standing up not only for science but good government,” said Burkins, speaking at the March for Science, a worldwide movement to demonstrate support for science and its importance to society. Burkins is also an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies at Dartmouth. 

Burkins talked about growing up with a passion for science and her experience working in Washington, D.C., where she witnessed the importance of ensuring the best science was available to elected officials.

I saw first-hand how access and attention to independent scientific data could both inform and shape responsible policy.

A Voice from the American Wilderness

April 12, 2017  |  The Lancet

Writing in The Lancet, one of the oldest and best known medical journals, Editor-in-Chief Richard Horton gives a detailed analysis of the recent Dartmouth and Dickey Center symposium on global health, held on April 12, 2017. 

At an inspiringly timed conference held last week—Global Health in the Era of De-Globalisation—Dartmouth academics and alumni gathered to discuss what Ambassador Daniel Benjamin called “the great unravelling."

...Dartmouth is on the front lines of what might turn out to be one of the greatest acts of civil protest since the Vietnam War—a rebirth of the social role of the American university, triggered by the values of public, global, and planetary health.

Just What Is Trump Trying to Do in Syria?

April 14, 2017  |  POLITICO MAGAZINE

Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin, writing in POLITICO Magazine with co-author Steven Simon, asks what foreign policy objective President Trump's limited raid on the Syrian air base on April 6, 2017, was meant to deliver. 

Let’s start with the the scale of the air raid itself. In the annals of pinprick strikes, Trump’s Tomahawk attack now stands as the pinprickiest. 

Read the entire article in POLITICO.

Racism Thwarts Global Public Health

April 16, 2017  |  The Valley News

By EmmaJean Holley, Valley New Staff Writer

Hanover — Global health leaders grappled with the irony of gathering at Dartmouth College to discuss the urgent situations faced by some of the poorest populations in the world.

How, attendees of the Leila and Melville Straus 1960 Family Symposium asked, could health care providers surmount barriers of privilege and racism by learning from the errors of a global health regime that went hand-in-hand with imperialism? The day-long event on Wednesday, titled “Global Health in an Era of De-Globalization,” offered no easy answers.

In fact, the roots of the global health movement are inextricably linked to imperialism itself, said Nils Daulaire, a distinguished visiting scholar in global health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and senior fellow at the Harvard Global Health Institute who participated in one of the symposium’s panel discussions.

Ross Virginia Reflects on His 27-Year Antarctic Research Project

April 20, 2017  |  Dartmouth News  |  Bill Platt

Just back from his final trip to Antarctica as an investigator for the Long Term Ecological Research Program, Professor Ross Virginia breaks off a conversation and strides across his office to pull out a hundred-year-old volume of Robert Falcon Scott’s The Voyage of the Discovery.

“This is his first expedition. It’s just a treasure,” says Virginia, the Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science.

“I’m just amazed and fascinated by all of this,” he says as he thumbs through the collected journals of the British explorer who, in 1912, was the second man to reach the South Pole (achieving the feat just 34 days behind Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen).

Why Steve Bannon Wants You to Believe in the Deep State

March 21, 2017  |  POLITICO Magazine

Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin writes in POLITICO Magazine online that the so-called Deep State does not exist. It is merely in the imagination of President Trump and his allies, "the convenient enemy from within that they blame for their frustrations."

As Trump takes a wrecking ball to the federal bureaucracy—what Steve Bannon has called “the administrative state”—an illusory enemy like the Deep State is exactly what is needed to justify the destruction. 

Read the article in POLITICO by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, who was National Security Council senior director for the Middle East and North Africa from 2011 to 2012, is the John J. McCloy ’16 visiting professor at Amherst College. 

The Creeping, Quiet Gaslighting of the EPA

March 9, 2017  |  Wired

In a Wired magazine article about attempts by the Trump Administration to lessen the effectivenss of the Environmental Protection Agency, Melody Brown Burkins (A&S '98, PhD), Associate Director for Research and Programs at the Dickey Center, questions the purpose of legislation introduced by Representative Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican and climate skeptic.

“[The act] is effectively saying that the practice of peer review, the gold standard of how science moves to policymakers, is secretive and can’t be trusted.”

Dr. Burkins is an adjunct professor of environmental studies and science policy at Dartmouth and chair of the US National Committee for the Geological Sciences, and a member of the National Academies' Board on International Scientific Organizations (BISO).

The Feud that Sank Saigon

March 3, 2017  |  The New York Times

In a New York Times op-ed, U.S. Foreign Policy and International Security Postdoctoral Fellow Sean Fear explains the showdown between two rival generals -- Nguyen Cao Ky and Nguyen Van Thieu -- that ended the hope of democratic stability in South Vietnam.

Both men were young and ambitious, and both were shrewd navigators of the internecine schemes and coups plaguing South Vietnam’s ruling military. And after years of jousting and coalition building, they were headed for a confrontation in South Vietnam’s 1967 presidential election. At stake was the political legitimacy of the South Vietnamese state itself, critical to turning the tide in the protracted struggle against the Communists.

Read the entire op-ed. 

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