Richard Haass says the worldwide recession could be the greatest threat to security in modern times.
Question: Will a worldwide recession breed new wars?
Richard Haass: When you look around the world, the deteriorating economy could cause massive problems in terms of state failure throughout parts of Africa. I also worry about the absence of economic growth, what it would mean for countries say like China and its potential stability. I think also the lack of trade, the fact the trade is now contracting around the world rather growing has I think unfortunate not just economic consequences but political consequences.
The only upside I can see on the economic side finally off is the fact that some of the energy depending economies which are essentially cash cropped economy like around in Venezuela to some extent Russia are going to have that luxury of enormous treasuries and as a result in the case of Russia they may actually have to develop a real economy which wouldn’t be bad news.
And in the case of places like Iran or Venezuela, they won’t have all these extra resources to cause mischief and indeed to the contrary they may have to be more responsible to their own citizens for the delivery of essential services and a standard of living but by and large those are the exceptions and I think the struggling world economy you’ll see the growth of friction within and between states because of it and it’s not an immediate crisis but over time it could be a real drag if you will on global stability.
Recorded on: May 08, 2009