Public policy experts at Royce International Symposium explained how the United States must address public policy challenges on defense, energy, and democracy in order to navigate current and future affairs with China and Russia.
Speakers from Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine, UC Riverside and Washington, DC-based research organizations The Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute provided context and possible results for international approaches to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s ongoing nuclear expansion. April 5th event took place in Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Student Union Pavilion.
Much of the symposium focused on the importance of Russia invading Ukraine. David Traven – a CSUF assistant professor of political science who researches international law, armed conflict and US foreign policy – said that while it is encouraging to see the international community condemning Russia’s war atrocities in Ukraine, there is still a deeper question about what the US could and should do to respond.
“I would like to see the administration publicly commit itself to saying that our goal is to ensure that Russia is defeated,” Traven said. “My concern is that if there is no accountability, (Russian President Vladimir Putin) will do it again. What the United States must do is publicly commit itself to saying, militarily, that Russia must be defeated. It must just “There will be no responsibility at all for these war crimes if they are just able to escape.”
Russia set its sights on Ukraine long before Putin came to power and before the enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was possible, said Paul D’Anieri, professor of political science and public policy at UC Riverside. D’Anieri said Ukraine has been the focal point of Russia’s “imperial narrative” for the past 1,200 years.
“Ukraine was important for Russia’s claim to legitimacy,” D’Anieri said. “It was also important for their claim to a wider territory. It has really held on until 2022.”
Alexei Shevchenko, a CSUF professor of political science, researcher in US foreign policy and Russian and Chinese foreign policy. Shevchenko said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine highlights two opposing ideologies: 19th-century global politics based on “spheres of influence” between Russia and the United States and the global political approach that followed the end of the Cold War.
“We are seeing a collapse of settlement after the Cold War and the simultaneous crisis in the security structure in Europe,” Shevchenko said. “NATO is still holding on, but the crisis is much deeper than we expected just a few months ago. It requires a lot of fundamental things to be reconsidered in terms of European security.”
Shevchenko said Putin’s strategy of “necking the head of the Ukrainian government” and taking over Kiev has “failed” so far. However, he believes that China is closely following the situation in Ukraine and deciding its next step.
“China may be considering its strategy towards Taiwan, at least temporarily,” Shevchenko said.
Former US Rep. Ed Royce ’77 (BA business administration-accounting, finance), a CSUF alumnus, said a new study of international institutions will be the key to a sound US defense strategy, especially as the US decides how to tackle its relationship with China an.
“It again brings the need to have a plan to recognize what is actually happening within these institutions in terms of China’s influence, which I believe is the biggest long-term problem,” Royce said.
Eric Gomez, director of defense policy studies at the Cato Institute, said the United States and Russia surpass China when it comes to nuclear weapons. But U.S. satellite image analysts have seen images of missile silos being built inside China, he said.
“Nuclear weapons can become much more prominent over time,” Gomez said.
James Jay Carafano, vice president of Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis’ Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy for the Heritage Foundation, said the future of U.S. foreign policy involves even more difficult issues.
“How will we look at our energy future?” asked Carafano. “The biggest and toughest call we have to make, with the biggest consequences, is the choice between an aggressive climate action plan that looks at a rapid transition to renewable energy versus the geostrategic need for reliable, affordable and abundant energy that is not dependent. on our opponents. “
Heidi Hardt, associate professor of political science at UC Irvine, said world leaders should reevaluate the functions of international institutions to resolve conflicts and prevent the spread of misinformation.
“We are really at a critical time right now for US foreign policy,” Hardt said. “I think it’s really important that we recognize the seriousness of this invasion.”
The symposium hosted the CSUF Department of Politics, Administration and Justice and organized by a committee of CSUF faculty and alumni.