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HKS in the News June 7, 2012

1. US makes Asia a priority (Burns) The Boston Globe

2. Summers Says ECB, Governments Must Restore Confidence (Summers) Bloomberg

3. ‘The Golden Goose Fallacy’: Fear Of Killing Health Care Jobs (Chandra) WBUR

4. Thirst for energy driving China's foreign policy (Walt) The Japan Times

5. The Pentagon is stopped from going green (Kayyem) The Boston Globe

US makes Asia a priority

The Boston Globe

June 7

Commentary by: Nicholas Burns, Belfer Center

Topic: US – China relations

The Obama administration is looking east to Asia and the many dilemmas concerning our future power contest with China. There are plenty of other problems to worry about this summer — the European economic crisis, a looming civil war in Syria, and the sputtering Iran negotiations. While the United States has to remain engaged on every continent, especially Europe and the volatile Middle East, Asia is now indisputably at the center of our foreign policy future.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s current trip to Asia is emblematic of what the administration is now calling the “rebalancing” of our global policy toward a priority emphasis on the vast Asia-Pacific region, where our business, political, and military interests are most engaged. On Monday, he became the first American leader to return to the hub of our Vietnam War naval operations, Cam Ranh Bay, with the promise of a significant upgrade in relations with Hanoi and more frequent American ship visits in the future. …

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Summers Says ECB, Governments Must Restore Confidence

Bloomberg News

June 6

Quoted: Lawrence Summers, Mossavar-Rahmani Center

Topic: The European economy

Summers was also quoted in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said that the European Central Bank and the region’s governments must do more to restore confidence amid the euro-area sovereign debt crisis.

“The situation is very difficult,” Summers said in an interview on Bloomberg Television today. “They are discovering ways in which they did not expect that the single currency is brittle. The risks, it seems to me, are all on the side of lack of confidence and self-fulfilling fear.” …

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‘The Golden Goose Fallacy’: Fear Of Killing Health Care Jobs


June 6

Quoted: Amitabh Chandra, Interfaculty Initiative in Health Policy

Topic: US health care

Actually, the title of the “Perspective” piece just out in the New England Journal of Medicine doesn’t mention any golden geese. It’s “ The Health Care Jobs Fallacy.”

But in the debate around pending Massachusetts proposals for cutting health costs, “the golden goose” — as in, the goose that lays the golden eggs and must therefore not be killed — is coming to be code for: “We must not hurt our state’s biggest industry, which provides something like 1 in every 8 jobs, many of them good ones. Our robust health care sector continues to do well despite the tepid recovery in other sectors. We must cut costs but without costing jobs.”

Responding to that sentiment, the Perspective’s authors, Katherine Baicker and Amitabh Chandra, both Harvard professors, conclude their piece resoundingly with this: “Treating the health care system like a (wildly inefficient) jobs program conflicts directly with the goal of ensuring that all Americans have access to care at an affordable price.” …

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Thirst for energy driving China's foreign policy

The Japan Times

June 7

Quoted: Stephen Walt, Belfer Center

Topic: China’s growing need for fuel resources

The United States and China, the world's top users of energy, are heading in opposite directions. It is a trend that has major geostrategic implications for the Asia-Pacific region. …

As America gains energy security in a time of cost-cutting, it will have less incentive to continue expensive military protection of maritime supply lines in increasingly contested areas such as the seas off China's coast, the oil and gas-rich Persian Gulf, and around the Middle East and Africa, prompting China to extend its own military reach into the Indian Ocean, through which so much of its imported oil and gas comes.

This will heighten tensions with India. Stephen Walt, a professor of international affairs at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government has projected the outcome of U.S.-China economic, military and energy trends in this way: "If China is like all previous great powers, including the U.S., its definition of 'vital' interests will grow as its power increases — and it will try to use its growing muscle to protect an expanding sphere of influence.” …

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The Pentagon is stopped from going green

The Boston Globe

June 7

Commentary by: Juliette Kayyem, Belfer Center

Topic: Challenges facing the Pentagon’s energy-efficient programs

When a bunch of Birkenstock-wearing environmentalists clamor for cleaner energy alternatives — biofuels, solar, or wind — it’s not entirely a surprise when Senate Republicans scoff in response. But it is odd that when military leaders make the same recommendation, those same legislators don’t even budge. Much worse, they have now prohibited Big Green from going green.

When Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testifies before Congress next week, he will be waging an uphill battle to preserve the Pentagon’s energy-efficient programs. Despite the fact that the Pentagon is the single biggest consumer of fossil fuels in the entire world, the Senate Armed Services Committee recently voted to prohibit the military from spending money “for the production or sole purchase of an alternative fuel.” …

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Broadcast Notes

Trey Grayson, Institute of Politics

NECN “ Broadside ,” 6/6

Topic: The Wisconsin recall

Timothy McCarthy, Carr Center

MPR News (Minnesota) “The Daily Circuit,” 6/6

Topic: Defining the term “radical” in politics

This selection of media appearances is compiled by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

To submit an item please email Jane Finn-Foley

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