A Washington view of world order

by Marten van Heuven


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This paper presents the English version of the author's remarks in Dutch at the International Conference of the Peace Policy Foundation. It examines the theme of world order over a ten-year time span. The author does this from a Washington perspective and in the context of the issue of security. Focusing on conclusions rather than analysis, the author predicts future scenarios. According to the author, the world will remain a competitive, contentious, and at times dangerous place during the coming decade. The gap in the world economy is likely to widen, leading to increasing claims on limited resources and sharp competition. With the breakup of the Soviet Union, two models of security relations will predominate: a growing community of democratic states settling their differences peacefully according to agreed procedures, and individual countries pursuing national goals in zero-sum competition with their neighbors. Security policy will become demilitarized to include issues of the environment, nuclear safety, drugs, terrorism, poverty, migration, and disease. The United States, still a leader but no longer a superpower, will turn its energies to domestic reconstruction, but will not withdraw from the world.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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