Friday, August 1, 2014
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变革型领导错在何处?

美国剑桥—今年的美国大选有一个特点:奥巴马的潜在共和党挑战者无不要求对美国外交政策来个彻底变革。竞选口号总是比最后的落实要极端得多,但世界各国应该仍会对美国外交政策变革感到担忧。事情并不总能遂人愿望的。

在2000年美国总统大选中,外交政策几乎没有起到任何作用。2001年,小布什开始了他的首个任期,一开始,他对外交政策并不感兴趣,但在2001年9·11恐怖袭击之后倒向了变革型外交。与伍德罗·威尔逊、富兰克林·罗斯福和哈里·杜鲁门等前任一样,当危机来临时,布什高举民主大旗,振臂一呼,应者云集。

比尔·克林顿也曾谈及要在美国外交政策中加大人权和民主的作用,但大多数美国人在20世纪90年代追求的是正常化和后冷战时期的和平红利,而不是变化。相反,被称为布什主义的2002年国家安全战略高调宣布美国将“挖出并清除恐怖主义者,连同他们所依赖的制度一并消灭,无论他们藏身何处。”解决恐怖主义的办法是将民主输送到世界各地。

布什出兵伊拉克的表面理由是消灭萨达姆·侯赛因的大规模杀伤性武器,顺便改变伊拉克的政权。不能把萨达姆拥有大规模杀伤性武器的情报失误归咎于布什,因为很多其他国家也有此定论。但对伊拉克及其所在地区理解不够充分以及行动缺乏规划和管理使得布什的大大妨碍了布什的变革型目标。尽管布什的支持者中有人将“阿拉伯之春”革命归功与他,但阿拉伯之春的主要参与者否认了这一点。

《经济学人》杂志称布什“太想成为变革型总统,而不是像比尔·克林顿那样稳守现状。”时任国务卿康多莉扎·赖斯对“变革型外交”的优点不吝赞美之词。然而,尽管领导学理论家和评论员均认为变革型外交政策官员不管在道德还是效率方面都有所提高,但事实并没有证明这一点。

就变革型领导人和“维持型”领导人的区别而言,其他领导技能更加重要。比如,老布什总统从来不做“远在天边的事”,但其踏实的管理和执行打造了美国过去50年中最成功的外交日程。或许有朝一日基因工程师能够打造出兼具愿景和管理技能的领导人,比较布什父子(他们身上一半的血液是一样的),显然,天性并不是解决问题的全部。

这么说并不是看低变革型领导人。圣雄甘地、纳尔逊·曼德拉和马丁·路德·金在改变人民心身方面均取得了巨大成就。这么说也不是看低美国外交政策中的变革型领导人。富兰克林·罗斯福和杜鲁门都做出过重大贡献。但是,在评价领导人时,我们既要看到成就,也要看到阙漏;既要看发生了什么,也要看避免了发生什么;既要看听其言,也要观其行。

外交政策的一个大问题是环境的复杂性。我们生活在一个文化多元的世界中,我们对社会工程和如何“建设国家”所知甚少。当我们不确定应该如何改善世界时,审慎就成了重要的美德,而宏伟蓝图可能给世界带来重大隐患。

外交政策应该像医学那样记住希波克拉底誓言:莫伤人。因此,拥有优秀相关情报的维持型型领导人的美德极其重要。比如老布什尽管没有高瞻远瞩的能力,但却能游刃有余地在危机中应付裕如,和他的能高瞻远瞩但缺乏高质量相关情报和管理技巧的儿子相比,老布什更加优秀。

里根时代的国务卿乔治·舒尔茨曾把他的角色比作园丁——“不断地培育复杂的行动者、利益和目标的复杂综合体”。但舒尔茨的斯坦福同学康多莉扎·赖斯想要的是变革型外交,她拒绝接受世界的现状,试图改造它。正如一位观察者所言,“赖斯可不甘于当一个园丁,她想当园林设计师。”两种类型世界都需要,取决于具体的情况,但我们需要避免的错误是想当然地认为变革型园林设计师就一定比谨慎的园丁更好。

在考察当前美国总统竞选辩论时,我们应该时刻铭记这一点。当前总统辩论三句话不离美国的衰落。衰落是一个具有误导性的用语。从绝对意义上说,美国并没有衰落;从相对意义上说,在未来十年中,没有哪个国家具有在实力上超越美国的实质可能。我们并没有进入“后美国世界”,但20世纪末的美国时代已经过去了。

美国将面临众多实力源的崛起,有些是国家,有些是非国家行动者。为了获得美国所希望的结果,在越来越多的问题上,美国需要和其他势力联手处理,而不是凌驾于其他势力之上。美国维持联盟和创造合作网的能力将是其硬实力和软实力的重要组成部分。

美国在21世纪的角色定位的问题并不在于(被错误定义的)“衰落”,而在于改善相关情报,认识到就算是最大的国家也无法单枪匹马为所欲为。教育公众,使之理解这一复杂的全球信息时代以及在这样一个时代获得成功所需要的条件才是真正的变革型领导任务。到目前为止,共和党领导人在这方面并没有多少见地。

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  1. CommentedZsolt Hermann

    There are two problems with transformational diplomacy these days:
    1. It suggest a certain level of arrogance, as the party suggesting a transformation for another one considers itself superior, in other words that party is certain that it has something to export to the other party as if its own system would be perfect. Nowadays through experiences of the global crisis and the revelations that our western style system is neither free nor democratic we would be deluding ourselves if we thought we have much to offer to other nations, continents or cultures.
    2. In a closed, global, interconnected and interdependent system nobody can force its own ideas on others. We are so overlapped on multiple levels, that our system resembles a machine where countless cogwheels connect to each other in very intricate ways.
    At the moment we simply have no idea about this system, about its depths, and how it works, thus pushing ahead with changes, transformations causes the countless problems and damage we observe each day as our leaders are running around like headless chickens obliviously.
    Thus what the article suggest regarding the principle "First do no harm" is the right foundation. First of all we should stop trying to "correct the world" and take a step back, examining ourselves, the system we exist in, and then after we figured out the laws governing our integral system then we can start slowly moving the cogwheels in a way that it is beneficial for the total system.
    Today we need visionary leaders who instead of their own legacy are capable of looking at the whole system in a humble, selfless way, and they are capable of bowing their heads before the vast natural system we live in and use its fundamental principles and forces in a positive way. We already have all the scientific data necessary for it all we need are the selfless personal who are truly able to serve others.

  2. CommentedAndrés Arellano Báez

    Are you crazy? Of course that can be blamed and he should be blammed. Why? Because there were a lot of intelligence that said that the weapons of mass destructions didn´t exist. He decided wrong when he believed in the wrong intellingence.

  3. CommentedPaul A. Myers

    The overarching goal of American foreign policy should be to promote stability and reduce risk of disruption. Stability permits the prosperity of commerce to do its beneficial work of rising living standards and promoting cooperative conduct. The Marshall Plan and NATO were foundation stones in promoting stability and reducing risk through the portfolio approach of having many countries contribute to mutual defense.

    Promoting democracy, depending upon context, may promote stability or it may be destabilizing. In particular, democracy can diminish human rights in many situations.

    A sitting president with sufficient sophistication to assess the foreign policy terrain realistically would have to chose strategies, both large and small, that would aim at incrementally improving or containing situations. If a multitude of incremental improvements can be made over time in some concerted manner, then one could probably say that a grand strategy was pursued. But the success of the incremental steps would be crucial to any overall effectiveness of the larger game. Most of President Bush's intermediate steps failed and so the grand strategy, if that's what you want to call the public relations stunting of those people, has failed.

    President George Bush, ideology's plaything, was "transformational" because he was personally and intellectually lazy and his public-relations-obsessed White House liked the "messaging."

    Condoleezza Rice famously wrote that the 82nd Airborne was not for escorting children to kindergarten. She certainly solved that problem. The Clinton administration's successes in Bosnia (eventually) and later Kosovo were two of the most technically accomplished foreign policy successes of the postwar era. Ms. Rice could not appreciate that. Why? Possibly because she was a Russian studies student, possibly the only truly failed academic discipline in the public policy area in the postwar era: a bunch of emigre professors with axes to grind, the perfect background for a Bush administration "foreign policy professional." Mr. Brzynski is of course the beautiful exception which proves the rule, a man masterfully at home with the complexity of the international situation.

    The American public seems to grasp the desirability of stability in the international arena at this time, more so than much of the foreign policy establishment which clamors for confrontation with Iran and others who want to continue the "big battalion" presence in distant countries.

    Skill, not mediocrity, should be the touchstone for picking future foreign policy leadership to promote the country's interests.

    And lastly, the three transformation leaders cited as examples were leaders of movements advocating large-scale change, not leaders of bureaucracies tending the overgrown gardens of competing interests.

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