“Richard Haass, what is your thoughts on that? Do you think that the #CFR has been an organization made up of architects to form a New World Order, and to get rid of the sovereignty of the U.S.?” Spoiler alert… he says “No.”
This post transcribes one full question and answer from a public Council on Foreign Relations discussion on February 11, 2021. (MP3) CFR President Richard N. Haass discusses the domestic and foreign policy challenges facing the United States and their relevance to state and local agendas. Mr. Haass is in his eighteenth year as president of the CFR, and Irina A. Faskianos is vice president for the National Program and Outreach at CFR.
This clip and transcript begins around 22 minutes and 24 seconds into the full original video.
CFR State and Local Officials Webinar: A Conversation With CFR President Richard N. Haasshttps://www.cfr.org/conference-calls/conversation-cfr-president-richard-n-haass
“Evan Mulch from South Carolina has his hand raised… If you can unmute yourself and identify yourself, that would be great.”
“I’m Evan Mulch. Some would say the Council on Foreign Relations has been — and made of — architects of the New World Order. Especially since the founder of the council was Edward Mandell House, a man that was very proud of his plan to convert America into a one world socialist state, or a socialist state under the one world order. And this is very well understood if you read the book Shadows of Power by James Perloff.
Richard Haass, what is your thoughts on that? Do you think that the Council on Foreign Relations has been an organization made up of architects to form a New World Order, and to get rid of the sovereignty of the United States of America?”
“Short answer… is no. A slightly longer answer is, the Council on Foreign Relations — We are by the way celebrating our 100th year this year. We were formed by a bunch of largely northeastern-based businessmen and lawyers in the aftermath of World War I. Their agenda was to see that the United States did not slip into isolationism, [and] wanted the United States to join the then being formed League of Nations. Obviously failed, Wilson, president Wilson failed. Add that.
And over the last hundred years, the council has evolved significantly. It’s a national membership organization with about 5,000 members. It doesn’t accept any money from this, or any other, government. It is genuinely non-partisan. We have members from multiple political parties, Democrat and Republican alike, as well as people who are independents or unaffiliated.
As Irina said, we have a think tank, we publish Foreign Affairs magazine, we have members and we meet. We’re increasingly an educational institution churning out materials to help high schools and college teach students about the world. We do not have an institutional position on issues. I have my own personal position on just about every issue. But the council itself does not.
I think American sovereignty is a fact of life. I think sovereignty, the emergence of sovereignty in the 17th century, was a great innovation. One of the reasons that there’s been a degree or a modicum of order in the world over the last few hundred years — despite two world wars — is because of sovereignty. I think sovereignty is a really healthy thing. And what sovereignty has done is given countries great latitude to conduct themselves as they wish within their own borders.
It has led countries to respect borders, to agree to the principle that borders are not to be changed by force. Though obviously there are times in history when that isn’t respected, and conflict results. We’ve just had the problem in our own country where our sovereignty has not been respected in the last two electoral cycles by Russia. And that is something for the Biden administration to deal with.
But as someone who’s lucky enough to be the leader of this organization, the president of it for 17 and a half years, I see stable international relations as totally consistent with sovereignty. I think sovereignty is a necessary principle for there to be order in the world.
When you people ask questions of New World Order, I would simply say — and it gets at what I was talking about before. I think there’s an interesting question out there at this moment in history. We have things like infectious disease that’s now created conditions where nearly 2 million people around the world have died, nearly one fourth of them in our own country. Climate change. We’ve had the hacking that the Russians have just carried out. We have global terrorism. We have a North Korea with a growing number of nuclear weapons and missiles, that can bring those nuclear weapons here.
So the question I have is, ‘How do we manage these threats in the world?’ And we can’t manage them by ourselves. So to me, one of the challenges to the United States is how do we collaborate/coordinate with others — principally our partners and allies in Europe and Asia, but potentially elsewhere — to deal with these global challenges that don’t respect borders. That’s a fact of life. And the question is, ‘Can we develop new arrangements that are better able to contend with these challenges that don’t respect borders — including things like viruses, be they computer viruses or physical viruses?’ So I would think that’s very much in their interest.
Now we have the sovereign right to participate in those efforts or to reject those efforts. That’s totally up to us. But I think on balance we would be better served (depending on the details of the efforts) to participate in them. But that is what foreign policy is all about. It’s to make those choices.”