Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 7, 2015 7:00pm-9:01pm EST

7:00 pm
with the old turtle route that i showed you before, you know, with highway 6 and 40 running right through the middle of town, business owners had learned to attract tourists by sprucing up the fronts of their buildings and lots. restaurants had flower boxes. you know motels had a little patch of lawn and maybe some flowers and bushes and trellises and the like. but from up on the new bypass, the locals found themselves looking down on their towns from a totally different. perspective. and it was not a pretty sight. they realized touristing passing through the valley were not going to see the fronts of their buildings but the backs which were unpainted, they were unplanted, piled high with old junk. it made i'd eye springs look like, as the local newspaper put it, a ghost town and the process of decay. this was not a good impression for prospective visitors. so for small-town boosters and business owners trying to capitalize on the exploding post-war automobile vacationing industry, it was no longer going
7:01 pm
to be enough just to put up a little window dressing in front. now they had to take what the local newspaper called a tourist's eye view of their own hometown to consider what kind of landscape and atmosphere would be needed to attract vacationers and to compete with other communities that were trying to do exactly the same thing. so in short, already with this very first stretch of i-70 to be built up in the high country we can already see a hint of how large-scale post-war tourist development was going to change people's view of the land. the way people related to place and the ways they saw fit to take care of it. so i'll dive into the story now sort of a condensed version of the story i tell in "vacationland" about how tourism came to be in this region. really, making the high country seem like a great place for a vacation would mean fundamentally changing how most people thought of this region. if that sounds weird to you, because of the ways we think of this region now then keep in mind that before the post-war
7:02 pm
period, the high country was a pretty obscure place. and to the extent it had a popular reputation as a mining region, a region of extremely rugged daunting topography of very severe climate especially in the winter. not the kind of place that most people would think to take a vacation. now, there was, of course, tourism in colorado in the late 19th century. and you might know that, for example, colorado gained a reputation as the, quote, switzerland of america. and the like. and so there were people coming to railroad resorts to mineral spas. they were taking sport of scenic excursions on railroads and so forth. but the key thing to keep in mind for the purposes of our story tonight is that for the most part very few of these tourists were venturing very deep into the high country. and if they were they weren't spending very long there. they weren't lingering. so as of world war ii, this middle part of the state here, those high ranges i mentioned before in the middle of the state west of denver was, as i
7:03 pm
said a remote very little-known, very little-visited part of the united states. now, i spend part of the book explaining how many different groups in colorado worked in their own ways to change this impression, how local chambers of commerce and highway associations, state and local officials, bigger corporations like railroads and airlines state agencies like the game and fish department the state publicity bureau, interest groups like the american automobile association and not least, recreational trusts themselves, skiers, mountain climbers, fly fishers and their various clubs and organizations, all of them working not together, i wouldn't say, but sort of at the same time in their own ways to revamp the popular impression of colorado high country. so it would seem like a natural place for vacations. they started doing this by trying to fashion a vacation-friendly image of high country landscapes, and they largely did this by using the eye-grabbing graphics really colorful, vivid colors and the emotionally charged language of
7:04 pm
modern advertising. my claim here is not that they were doing anything remotely original. in fact, they were just sort of borrowing the stock and trade of modern advertising the emotional appeal the bright colors, the catchy memorable slogan like "colorful kolcolorado" or ski country usa. these brightly colored photographs, extremely formulaic showing similar views of high country meadows, of alpine lakes, of craggy often snow-covered peaks again and again and again as a series of cliches reproduced over and over in different form, postcards brochures, lure books, magazine articles and so on and so forth until they became like logos for colorado tourism, instantly recognizable as standing for the state. the cover of my book is a scenic cliche of this sort. it's an example of exactly this sort of advertising imagery. at the same time, all of these different groups of people, again, not working together but
7:05 pm
sort of working at the same time for their own purposes were working to develop tourist-friendly infrastructure. so they're trying to revamp the image of the high country and also build up the tourist infrastructure, and that can include everything from motels to resort villages, campgrounds and not least mechanical chair lifts which were very rare before world war ii but which came to dominate the ski landscape after world war ii. the classic example of what iageing the landscape that served to make recreation in the high country easier, more convenient, more comfortable that gave tourists newfound access to scenic or remote or wild areas, nature at a minimum of difficulty or risk. and if you think about it, that's exactly what ski lifts did. so in effect the infrastructure, as i mentioned just a moment ago, served to physically package the high country forever larger numbers of tourists to consume. but the single most important way of packaging high country
7:06 pm
landscapes or really any landscapes anywhere in america for tourists was to link those landscapes up to a network of modern paved highways. paved highways had an extraordinarily powerful channeling effect on the flow of tourists because by midcentury, american tourists were overwhelmingly traveling by car. and despite the supposed freedom of automobility, these tourists were overwhelmingly confining themselves to paved roads. there was even a saying among highway planners that tourists will drive 200 miles out of their way to avoid 5 miles of dirt road. so at a time when many rural western roads including many in colorado -- this is not a good example -- were still dirt or gravel, local boosters lobbied endlessly for highway improvements that would channel tourists their way. every year local delegations from all over the state including from the high country counties would make this ritual trip to denver to bow down before the state highway commission to present their wish
7:07 pm
lists of projects of highway improvements that they wanted funded for that year. and if you read the highway commission's records you discover that again and again, the explanation these local delegations from the high country gave for why they so urgently wanted highway improvements was that they wanted to foster tourism. now, before i move on let me back up for a moment to talk a little bit about what the highway geography of the high country was like before world war ii before the war. the main road west of denver is what i have sort of highlighted weirdly in that kind of neon purple blue. it was u.s. 40. it was highway u.s. 40. as you can see, did not take a direct route west of denver but instead it took sort of a crooked route more or less to the northwest before heading off into utah. it did this to skirt basically the highest mountain ranges and to take advantage of several river valleys along the way. by contrast, the route directly west of denver where i-70 now
7:08 pm
runs didn't exist. it just simply didn't exist. this is a strip map from the book. and what i'm trying to show here is how, if you wanted to get from denver to either of the counties the high country counties that are directly west of it beyond clear creek, summitt county and then eagle county. summitt county is about 55 miles or so from denver as the crow flies. but back in those times before world war ii to get to summitt county, you had to drive about 100 miles. and you had to go over a couple of passes along the way kenosha pass and then fremont pass before you drop down into breckenridge. to get to eagle county which is about 70 miles away from denver as the crow flies, you had to drive about 170 miles. and you had to go over, again, several very high passes along the way. hoosier pass, fremont pass, tennessee pass before you get dumped down into basically the eagle river valley and red cliff
7:09 pm
were located. so the obvious reason for this kind of very indirect route were those very high ranges. i'll go back to this map again because it really emphasizes how high those ranges were running north and south directly west of denver that basically deflected highway routes to the north and south rather than letting them cut directly west. this is another picture i think is interesting. this is a picture of the upper end of the gore creek valley. this is where vail is now located. back in the late 1940s and as you can see, what would later become interstate 70 was just sort of an oiled gravel road in effect, and the gore range basically was an impassable wall almost between -- that walled off eagle county from summitt county on the other side and from denver beyond that. so topography is an obvious reason why these counties were so remote and why there wasn't a direct route to them from denver. but it wasn't just geography. it was also history.
7:10 pm
the two counties, summitt and eagle, they were mining countries but they were never as prosperous as, say, a looedville. when railroads built up into the high country, they built to the biggest, most prosperous mining towns first. they raced each other. they did not race each other to get to eagle or summittt counties. so when the first road builders come along in the early 20th century, oftentimes they would start out by following more or less the railroad routes. railroad routes didn't emphasize those counties. it wasn't just a matter of daunting topography. it was also a matter of historical precedent that kept there from being a straight route west from denver. if you look at this map, this is from about 1925 denver colorado. if you look at this map look directly west of denver and you will see hardly any hint at all of the future path of i-70. hardly any hint of the future existence of a major highway corridor.
7:11 pm
this -- a map like this, i think, is a reminder that there was nothing natural. and there was nothing historically inevitable about an interstate highway transsecting the high country. the earliest precursor was sort of a pie in the sky proposal hatched in the 1920s for a highway that would basically go more or less directly west from denver to this area here to red cliff called the holy cross trail. the scheme was hatched by a newspaper editor in red cliff which by then was a very depressed, stagnated old silver mining town. and he hoped that having a trail, a road that went directly from denver to red cliff would help red cliff sort of boom again as a tourist destination, capitalizing on sort of scenic desire to see mound of the holy cross. the highway department never obliged. the highway department never provided any funding whatsoever for the holy cross trail. but they did from the early 1930s on, begin bypassing those
7:12 pm
roads that i showed you before, those roads -- let me go back to this one here -- those roads looping to the south around the southern tips of mountain ranges. they started one after another trying to cut those loops out by building roads that bypassed them, that went directly over the mountain ranges. the first three examples of this were, again, the map i just showed you is on the top. this strip down below is what it looked like by 1937. and you can see that the first ones they built, loveland pass where there was a dirt road built in 1931, shrine pass, where there was also a dirt road built in 1931. and then vail pass, 1940, a paved road built in 1940 with new deal public works funding. so by the time you get to that bottom map you can really very clearly start to see the preston emerging for interstate 70. you start to see the path it's going to take. but there was still, still
7:13 pm
nothing historically inevitable about it. in 1937, this route -- go to this map here -- from denver sort of directly west because part of u.s. highway 6. but u.s. 40, the one running up higher on the map there farther north was still the main route through the high country. highway 6 was less improved than u.s. 40. many more stretches that were still just gravel or dirt. it was also less promoted and thus very much less traveled. u.s. 6 boosters became desperate to generate more tourist traffic along the route. so desperate that they started trying really desperate measures. maybe the most desperate one of all and ridiculous was their effort in 1956 to create an attractive brand for their route by giving it a cartoon mascot. and this is what they came up with. the sublimely ridiculous sidney 6.
7:14 pm
this brochure, which i found completely by dumb luck on ebay, yes, some historians do research on ebay this brochure had sidney 6 frolicking along the length of highway 6, enjoying all the recreational delights along the way, and of course the brochure urged tourists to follow in his path to stick to 6 with sidney 6. kind of sad, right? really amateurish kind of clownish. it showed, as i said before, just how desperate highway 6 boosters were to generate some sort of interest some sort of brand-name recognition or tourist cache for their little-known little-traveled route. this is proof, by the way, that no matter what evil, manipulative emotional geniuses advertisers seem like they are, advertising doesn't always work. sidney 6 flopped. sidney 6 appeared, as far as i know, on this one brochure and never again. so so much for that idea but at the same time they were engaged in this failed and rather ridiculous branding campaign, highway 6 boosters were also
7:15 pm
engaged in another desperate effort, and that was to get their highway designated the route of an interstate highway. an interstate unlike a silly cartoon mascot really would have the power to attract and channel tourists in enormous numbers. it really would have the power to make this part of the high country into a vacationland. but in 1956, the same year of sidney 6, this effort, too, this effort to get interstate highway designation seemed every bit as doomed as sidney 6. and that was because as plans for the interstate highway system nationwide stood as of then, there was not even going to be an interstate through the colorado rockies. if you look at this map, this is one of their earliest sort of tentative ideas of what the interstate highway system might look like back then called the interregional highways. 1939. and if you look there, you see an interstate snaking across the plains from kansas into denver and stopping.
7:16 pm
the final interstate highway map, 1947, same exact thing. it dead ends in denver. the obvious reason once again is the high ranges of the high country. which had always seemed to stand like walls in the way of east/west travel. they were the same reason that the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s had shunned colorado. they were the same reason that the lincoln highway in the 1920s had shunned colorado. and now the planners of the federal interstate system planning the biggest public works project in human history were planning to shun the colorado high country, too. so once again, we see that there was nothing natural nothing historically inevitable about an interstate highway through the high country. and in fact, we see that all historical press debt weighcedent weighed against it. now, once again i should mention here it was more than just simple topography that caused federal interstate planners to reject the idea of an interstate going all the way through colorado.
7:17 pm
to be really honest, post-war highway engineers weren't really daunted by any topography at all. they were full of sort of a hub hubristic belief. there were even promoosals at one point to use nuclear detonations to clear mountains away that were in the way of an interstate in california. so these were not people who were daunted by topography. but in this case, they calculated, they were engineers, and they calculated that there simply wasn't a utilitarian rationale. there simply wasn't a cost benefit analysis that justified blasting an interstate through this particular topography. there just weren't enough people up in the high country, and there just wasn't enough economic activity. highway planners highway engineers, professional training taught them to build major highways, most importantly the interstates, where there was existing demand. they were not in the business of building interstates to create
7:18 pm
demand, to try to spur economic development where it wasn't already going on. and that, of course, was a major problem for boosters of colorado and the high country because they wanted the interstate exactly to stimulate economic development. and above all, as i mentioned before, to stimulate the development of tourism. putting an interstate through the high country, they fully recognized and they turned out to be correct, would put the high country right on the main line for growing hordes of automobile-dependent vacationers in the post-war u.s. so somehow they had to get these stubborn federal highway planners to change their minds. now, taking the lead in the struggle to do this, was governor edwin johnson who everybody knew as big ed. i've deliberately picked a kind of buffoonish picture of him because he was kind of a buffoonish man. he was really the most important political figure although largely forgotten, not as sort of big name as many other
7:19 pm
colorado political figures. but he was really the most important political figure in midcentury colorado, decades-long political career. he spent two years as governor in the 1930s. then he went to washington for three terms in the u.s. senate. and then he returned to colorado for sort of a swan song one final term as governor in 1955. to big ed fell this awkward challenge of selling federal highway officials on a massive tourist-boosting scheme by somehow not making it seem like a tourist-boosting scheme. he somehow had to persuade federal officials that building an interstate highway through this rugged terrain of the high country did make engineering and fiscal and utilitarian and cost-benefit sense. i won't go into detail here because it would go too long but for the utilitarian argument argument, he mostly made the case that the high country contained many minerals and other resources and so there
7:20 pm
should be an interstate to help get those things out of there. to make the engineering case for the interstate, big ed hatched a wildly audacious idea to have the state build a tunnel under the continental divide to dispatch for once and for all this idea that the high rockies were an impenetrable barrier to transcouldn'tntinental travel. if colorado built a tunnel, he was convinced they would see the problem eliminated and they would see fit to approve the interstate. now, this tunnel project set off controversy. some coloradoans were really excited about the idea. others were really not. for many it depended on where the tunnel was going to go. so boosters and business owners along u.s. 6, for example loved the idea of building a tunnel that would channel traffic along u.s. 6, but they hated the idea of building a tunnel that would channel traffic along their rival route u.s. 40 u.s. 40
7:21 pm
partisans, as you can imagine, saw it the other way around. the most serious criticism of the tunnel proposal though, came from those who felt that a tunnel would simply be too expensive for too little benefit. in other words, they made that cost benefit utilitarian calculation that highway engineers did. the chief engineer of the state highway department at the time, a guy named mark watrous proved skeptical. that's big ed amlooming over him to intimidate him on the right. watrous cited engineering studies that showed the kind of tunnel he was proposing would only slightly reduce the altitude, the driving distance or the weather exposure of a high-country interstate. big ed responded with absolute fury. he basically unleashed his supporters to mercilessly attack watrous as a scrawny pencil-neck, you know, a wimpy
7:22 pm
little geek and a feat expert who hid behind calculations and engineering specs and statistics to avoid doing a real man's job of just taking on the mountains the way the pioneers had done. and i'm not kidding. the language unleashed against watrous did portray him in this kind of unmanly, weak-willed, you know, way not like the hearty pioneers that we descend from. so big ed won the popular debate. it wasn't that hard to do that over an uncharismatic highway engineer. and he finally managed to bluster and bludgeon enough to get the state highway department to approve the tunnel project in 1956. so basically state highway department was signing off on the idea. there's still the question of where's the money going to come from? when is it going to be built? where is it going to be built? and oh by the way, are the feds going to actually give us an interstate even though we've now decided to build a tunnel are they going to give us an interstate? the proposal would still have to go through both congress and the federal highway technocracy.
7:23 pm
congress as part of the interstate highway act of 1956 did approve a 1,000-mile expansion of the interstate system. but the question was still where are those extra 1,000 miles going to go? it was still up to the federal highway planners to decide that. to make a long story short after sweating it out for another whole year, colorado boosters and so forth, political leaders, finally got what they wanted in october 1957 when the federal highway planners did, indeed allot 547 of those 1,000 miles to allow the interstate to be extended west of denver, as you can see on the map there through the colorado high country and on into utah. now, some of you might have heard it said that president eisenhower personally ordered this extension of interstate 70 because of his love of fly fishing in the high country. and nearsthere's on question he was a frequent vacationer in colorado. he was known for his very long summer visits to colorado which he would spend golfing fly fishing and oil painting up in the mountains especially at the
7:24 pm
guest ramplg ofnch of his good friend, the real estate mogul up by frazier. some of you might have heard this story that ike threw his weight behind the interstate extension or perhaps even ordered the interstate extension because if would make his annual trip up to the mountains much more convenient. i won't go into a lot of detail other than to say the historical record sadly, doesn't bear that colorful story out. i looked at a lot of correspondence between eisenhower and his staff and axle nielsen and big ed johnson and another governor dan thornton and others, and i did find that big ed appealed pretty shamelessly to ike's recreational interests. i mean he would write letters to eisenhower saying things like you of all people mr. president, know just how much traffic there is up on that drive to frazier. and wouldn't it be great if there were a multilane interstate there? but i did not find any evidence, to be honest that ike was actually receptive to these appeals. in fact, i found a lot of
7:25 pm
evidence that eisenhower and his staff were repeatedly brushing johnson off. and basically trying to get him to shut up. i also found that axel nielsen, over and over again, i found him refusing to use his personal friendship with eisenhower for political purposes including and especially on the interstate issue. i should also point out one other thing, and that is by the time that the extension of interstate through western colorado was finally approved in october 1957, eisenhower was in longer vacationing in the high country. as many of you probably know, he suffered a heart attack in denver and went through a very long convalescence after that in september 1955. and following this his doctors basically banned him from ever vacationing at altitude again. so the idea that eisenhower proved the interstate for his own selfish recreational reasons is sadly one might say one of those colorado myths that turns out to be not quite true. it's hard to know for sure. but it appears that the single most decisive factor in these
7:26 pm
federal highway planners' decision to capitulate and to extend the interstate through the high country turn out not to be any of the arguments that big ed made or really any of the other coloradoans were making but instead the army's decision that it wanted a direct route for defense purposes from denver down to los angeles. and that helps explain why when the interstate planners granted this interstate extension they baffled, they shocked, they surprised everybody by not having it go from denver to salt lake. but instead from denver down to a point in southern utah called cove fort which nobody had even heard of before. and even utah officials were like, we didn't ask for this, right? but the federal planners they were angling interstate 70 down to hit interstate 15 which then, as you can see goes to the southwest on its way to los angeles. so that desire for a quick route, a direct route, more or less, from denver to los angeles for national defense purposes
7:27 pm
appears, as far as i can tell, i think there probably are more sources to look at if they can ever be sort of opened up to researchers. it appears from the sources i was able to find that that was the most decisive factor. in any case, though the announcement that colorado would be getting its high country interstate was cause for jubilation as you can imagine in the state as coloradoans felt sure it would foster high country tourism. now, that said it was still to be decided exactly where the new interstate would go. the federal planners had only fixed the end points, denver on the east cove fort on the west. how will the interstate get from point a to point b? this became the next cause for furious debate in colorado in the late 1950s as boosters and party sans of the u.s. 40 corridor insisted it should go their way and boosters anw! partisans for u.s. 6 argued for their route. ultimately once again to make a long story short, big ed's successor of much less blustery, much more of a technocratic
7:28 pm
steve nichols called in an engineering firm to decide from an engineering perspective which would be the best route. this new york engineering firm studied no fewer than eight possible routes including seven different proposed tunnel sites. on this map the ones highlighted in red are the sort of last two routes that this engineering firm narrowed the possibilities down to. you can see that one sort of arcs up and follows along u.s. 40 part of the way and the other follows roughly along u.s. 6. but besides those two that sort of were the finalists there were six other routes including ones that ran along the colorado river down, ones that went across the williams fork mountains across the blue river drainage, i mean you know, again, a map like this shows you that there was nothing historically inevitable about the path that i-70 ended up taking. but in 1960, the new york firm recommended and the state highway commission ruled in favor of the interstate mostly following u.s. 6.
7:29 pm
so that bottom red line there. more or less, you know, from idaho springs, more or less directly west through summitt county and eagle county which, again, up to that point were two of the remotest, most obscure, most lightly populated counties in the high country, on its way to wood springs and grand junction and on into utah. so this is how colorado finally got its interstate through the high country and how it ended up following the route that it did. now, there can be no question at all that interstate 70 more dramatically than anything else, as i mentioned before, packaged the high country of a large scale of tourism. it channeled many more leisure seekers than ever before toward this section of colorado that most people had avoided before. and because of this, it spurred much more investment and tourist businesses and tourist infrastructure along the route. and it began to have this effect -- i think this is important even before its actual construction, when it was still in the planning stages. and a perfect example of this was the development beginning in
7:30 pm
the early 1960s of vail whose founders used the promise of future interstate access. the access wasn't actually there yet. but it promised to be in the future. they used that promise to sell investors on the vail enterprise. and so they went around the country with a map like this that basically highlighted the location of vail and emphasized that it was located on future interstate route 70. so there's no question that it did -- that interstate 70, even before it was built, would have that spurring effect on tourist development. but besides its doing that i also want to return to an idea i mentioned earlier how interstate 70 changed people's views of the high country, particularly by making visitors feel closer to high country nature. now, to be sure, there's real irony here of course because interstate 70 was not itself remotely natural. it was a massive artificial intrusion into the high country. it would take extremely
7:31 pm
heavy-handed modification of the natural landscape to shoehorn this giant superhighway into the rugged terrain of central colorado. interstate highways had all sorts of design specifications as to how wide the shoulder had to be, how curves couldn't be too sharp because it would slow cars down too much how slopes couldn't be too steep inclines couldn't be too steep because that would deter from sort of the smooth flow of traffic along the interstates. so there were all sorts of design specifications, design standards for interstate highways that were utterly unconducive to building the highway in the high country. so it required doing things like blasting off mountainsides and amputating the toes of mountains and this example is then bandaged up in steel mesh to keep the rocks from crashing down onto the highway below. it required draining wetlands, relocating river channels, all sorts of very heavy-handed manipulations before. the most dramatic artificial is the eisenhower tunnel which burrowed straight through the solid rock, undercutting the
7:32 pm
continental divide exactly as big ed dreamt of doing. the first saw the two now westbound lanes which you see in this picture, they opened in 1973. the two eastbound lanes technically called the johnson tunnel after big ed you can see here they haven't been built yet. they would open finally in 1979. but the interstate, for all of this artificiality, for all of this really heavy-handed modification of the high country landscape actually ended up, i argue, enhancing the experience of nature for many visitors. i-70 made is much easier to access the forests and slopes, rivers meadows, peaks of central colorado. it made visitors feel closer to nature even as they were gliding along this utterly artificial passage to get there. it really did make the high country in many people's minds a natural place for a vacation. among other things, it created new vanitytage points opened new land scales it freed people from the former difficulty of traversing this very rugged terrain. i liked this picture because it
7:33 pm
shows how i-70 ended up providing sort of this scenic viewpoint of you know, the snowy peaks there. and also i-70 became sort of part of the scenery itself. i'm not saying you have to like that or that necessarily do. but it sort of insinuated itself into the landscape, the way it sort of curved with the contours of the land. or this picture. where the eisenhower tunnel, again, this most forceful intrusion on the high country topography nestles into the natural setting almost like it belongs there. the tunneling and i-70 more broadly have become integral to the high country. we have a hard time now imagining the geography of this region and our movement through it without it. now, the more inviting the high country, particularly this u.s. 6/interstate 70 corridor became to leisure seekers, the more of them flocked there. i'm talking also people planning longer stays, seasonal or second homeowners and growing numbers of permanent new residents.
7:34 pm
ever-larger numbers of people began permanently relocating to the high country to live in emerging resort communities like aspen and vail or to the denver metro area whose major allure became its proximity and easy access to all of these recreational delights of the high country. and if you think about it, of course, the ideas of proximity and easy access were utterly premised on and greatly enhanced by the ongoing improvement of highways linking denver to all those high country settings. more and more people came to colorado, again, to live close to recreational amenities. a brochure of the suburb of bow-mar portrays the mountains as being right in your backyard. more and more people -- bow-mar, not quite, but more and more people came to colorado to live what i call in the book a tourist way of life. to consume the recreational amenities of the high country on an ongoing basis not just on vacation, but every weekend or even every day if they wanted
7:35 pm
to, to live near those recreational amenities or even amidst them so they could have convenient access to them. so these vacationers -- or i should say the vacationers' way of consuming nature could now become the basis for a permanent lifestyle. if you look at a promotional brochure like this urging you to move to jefferson county, it's got as many images of sort of tourist-style recreational activities as it does of sort of everyday life like the shopping mall or the church, right? so it's really holding up jefferson county as a place where you could live this tourist way of life. people who picked up on this promise, on this hope essentially rearrange their entire lives and lifestyles and in some cases their careers and livelihoods and personal identities around recreation in the high country. they were not just superficial consumers of recreation but people who had become very deeply personally invested in the high country's recreational settings. and that leads me to another critically important way that tourist infrastructure including i-70 changed people's ways of
7:36 pm
relating to nature. because when people became deeply personally invested in recreational settings in the high country it often kindled in them a fierce desire to guard those settings against perceived threats. so in short as tourist development fostered these powerful personal attachments to landscape, that, in turn ended up fostering the rise of popular environmentalism. we saw a very early form of this in the story i told earlier, toward the beginning of the talk, how in 1958 the people of idaho springs suddenly realized how ugly their town was from this new bypass. and in this case there was a business or profit-making incentive to clean up and spruce up the place for the sake attracting tourists. but in the 1960s as the tourism continued -- as the interstate, excuse me, continued to take shape and as more and more visitors or -- and also seasonal and permanent new residents began to flock to this emerging vacationland, that the interstate was opening up, popular environmental concerns
7:37 pm
began to deepen, they began to take on more dimensions. and very interestingly the interstate itself increasingly became the target of these environmental concerns. it's somewhat ironic because, of course, as i've been saying, the interstate, its existence was crucial to the vacationland's very existence to its ee eevery emergence. now it was becoming the targest of environmental concerns. there are many examples i could give you, but i think the single most revealing one was the outrage in the 1960s when the state highway department began making plans to cut yet another one of those southward loops out of the highway corridor to make the interstate even more direct. it was the biggest such loop left. and some people have argued it's the biggest such loop on i-70 along its entire length through the entire country. it's this loop here. where interstate 70 curves around the southern tip of the gore range over vail pass. state highway planners proposed to bypass this loop just like
7:38 pm
they had bypassed all those earlier ones by boring a tunnel directly west beneath the gore range. it would basically go here from silver thorn through the gore range directly through a tunnel and out on basically east vail on the other side. this proposed tunnel became known as the red buffalo tunnel because it cut between buffalo mountain and red peak on the summitt county side. now, the sticking point was that this -- here's a sort of schematic map that the sierra club -- i colorized, but what you can see here is the sticking point. that green shaded area, that was a wilderness area. that's the eagles -- it was then called the eagle's nest primitive area. and by legal definition of wilderness, this place was supposed to be off limits to road construction. but in this particular case there was actually a clause in the wilderness act of 1964 that landmark -- which landmark act that created the wilderness designation, the legal designation of wilderness, the
7:39 pm
wilderness act actually had a clause in it exempting this one wilderness area. the clause empowered federal officials to withdraw wilderness protection from this one area so the interstate tunnel could be built under the gore range. there was no other wilderness area in the country that had a clause like this in the wilderness act. red buffalo of this proposal became a major state, and for a brief moment even a national controversy in 1966, 1967 around in there. and it also became a rallying point for the's environmental organizations. really their first-rate success and i'm making a long story short, they managed to defeat this proposed tunnel in 1968. what i think is especially interesting, though, is the coalition that lined up to do this, to defeat red buffalo. on the one hand the environmental organizations that fought against the tunnel were overwhelmingly organizations of outdoor recreational enthusiasts. like the colorado mountain club made up of climbers hikers and skiers, the colorado wildlife
7:40 pm
federation made up of hunters and the new colorado open space coordinating council which was a coalition of smaller groups almost all of which were organized around one outdoor recreational pastime or another fly fishing, whitewater rafting, hunting, bird watching, many others. these outdoor recreational enthusiasts, people who had become so deeply and personally invested in outdoor recreation that they took political action. these outdoor recreational enthusiasts led the charge against red buffalo. but allied with them were coloradoans who came at the issue from another perspective. these were tourist boosters. and tourist business owners for whom the scenic and wild and recreational amenities of the high country had become a matter of economic value, of profits, of prosperity. business interests on either end of this proposed tunnel on the summitt county side, on the eagle county side spoke out against red buffalo.
7:41 pm
so they were sort of going away from the old sort of booster approach of the more direct and higher volume the interstate access is, the better for us. they're actually going against it. they're saying the less direct the route is the better for us. why? well, one of the main arguments they made was that to put that interstate through the wilderness area would, of course, degrade the wilderness area and so remove one of the leading tourist attractions from the region. in other words it would cut into their business. people in vail, in particular, took the lead on this. the vail town council made a very powerful statement against the red buffalo proposal. the marketing director of vail associates, a guy named bob parker, was one of the leading voices against the red buffalo proposal. and his rationale and also the vail town council's rationale was that putting this interstate through the wilderness area would jeopardize vail residents' lifestyle interests and vail business owners' business interests. this combination of interests, this really for a brief time potent alliance of recreational
7:42 pm
lifestyle interests and recreational business interests this is what launched colorado's environmental movement to political prominence by the early 1970s. now, again, i won't go into detail for time reasons but the movement would have some smashing successes in the early 1970s, most notably perhaps most famously the statewide vote in 1972 to reject the 1976 winter olympics, which had been granted to denver and which the denver organizing committee then started spraying out venues around the state. this map i think is interesting. this is a bit of denver organizing committee literature in which they're showing where the venues are going to be. and as youcan see, they were counting very heavily on interstate highway access. i-70 access to make the olympics work. environmentalists in the state and many others as well rejected this in 1972. they voted to deny state funding for the winter olympics and caused it not to happen. another smashing success for the environmental movement in
7:43 pm
colorado came just two years later in 1974 when the leader of the anti-olympics movement and certainly the most vocal environmentalist politician in the state, dick lamb, was elect elected governor. but this alliance of business and lifestyle interest became the basis for environmental movement that was very short-lived. because that combination of interests saddled the movement with some -- how would i put -- lethal internal contradictions. and what i would also argue, serious logical limitations and blind spots. now, for one what do i mean by this? for one, the promoters of tourism and the consumers of the tourist lifestyle, they might be able to agree on some marginal things like the defeat of red buffalo, but they parted way on much bigger issues like the winter olympics. the defeat of the winter olympics convinced many tourist-boosting interests that popular environmentalism had gone completely mad. had gone totally out of control. and when many coloradoans
7:44 pm
started voicing popular support for far-reaching land use reforms which were very much the talk of colorado politics in the early 1970s, these environmentalally-minded citizens hoped that these would protect against sprawl and environmental degradation in landscapes like the resort country along i-70, but the business interests including the tourist business interest once again used their lobbying muscle to uttererly defeat those reforms or water them down to the point where they were almost meaningless. it was not just the opposition of business interest in the 1970s colorado to a crashing halt. it was also hesitation. and i would argue an inherent uncertainty and an inherent conservatism among many environmentally aware coloradoans themselves. after all, people who felt invested in environmental issues because of their deep personal investment in outdoor recreation and the tourist's way of life were usually not inclined to seriously challenge the system. that had promoted and packaged all of those same recreational
7:45 pm
landscapes and amenities and activities that they had reshaped their lives and identities around in the first place. consumerism is not really a very good recipe for radicalism. so i'll briefly mention one final controversy over interstate 70 to illustrate the point. and that was the debate in the later 1970s and early 1980s over building the interstate through glenwood canyon. a great many environmental groups from the colorado open space council to the colorado whitewater association the sierra club, the environmental defense fund and many others got involved in trying to save glenwood canyon from interstate uglyification, basically. they proposed usually either to divert the interstate around the canyon or some groups proposed to design its passage through the canyon in a more environmentally responsible way. notice that both of those proposed alternatives exceeded two of the viewpoints that somewhere or another, a superhighway should or at least
7:46 pm
would go through. very view environmental organizations dared to propose that maybe there didn't need to be a superhighway uninterrupted all the way through the high country, that maybe a two-lane road for part of the way was okay. the small minority who raised this possibility that maybe could just stay two lanes for part of the high country, most notably a small group led by john denver they were mercilessly mocked and marginalized as unrealistic dreamers, at best, and at worst, as enemies of the public interest because there were people standing in the way to oppose a four-lane road was to oppose safe, convenient, automobile friendly access to outdoor recreation. given that was the form that most outdoor lovers had invested themselves in most of those outdoor lovers laughed at people like john denver and their fight to stop the interstate construction and settled instead for more limited goals like building the interstate through glenwood canyon in a more
7:47 pm
environmentally sensitive way or according to a more environmentally sensitive design. in other words, instead of joining the fight to actually try to stop interstate construction, that seemed unrealistic. that seemed out of -- you know beyond the limits for them. they settled instead for the much more limited goal of making the interstate look nicer. so what in the end can we learn from stories like this and the other stories i told about interstate 70 and the high country vacationland? as i argued before, they show how the packaging and promotion of recational places, everything from resort vil anglagevillages retirement villages, landscapes for consumers to consume which reshape ways of connecting to places. even as we often tend to dismiss consumerism as something sort of shallow, it would seem that consumers were actually able to forge quite strong personal connections to the recreational places that they were consuming. but at the same time, that kind of environmentalism that grew from those consumer attachments had limits that are equally
7:48 pm
important to notice. consumers learned to care about their favorite places but not necessarily about any others. and that was a recipe for an environmental movement that was fragmented more than unified, that was local and provincial more than holistic. it was also a recipe for a movement that was fairly conservative. because the consumption of places, the consumption of recreational landscapes was too rooted in the culture of endless growth and entrepreneurialism including the culture of automobile convenience and highway construction to ever pose a really serious challenge to them even if or when such a challenge was needed. then again, even as consumers in constrained environmental protest, it was also a major reason why any people protested at all. connecting to certain settings, americans more generally into holistic colleges, for the most part it didn't. but it did spur many of them to care on some level, in some way
7:49 pm
about environmental issues that they wouldn't have given a thought to before. but that leaves us with an important and troubling question, or set of questions i would say as we grapple with the difficult issues of growth and sustainability including the ongoing debate over what to do about congestion and environmental degradation along i-70 today. i'll throw out a couple of those questions. on the one hand can environmental sensibilities rooted in recreational consumerism ever really point us toward more sustainable ways of living and doing business? but on the other hand if not for consumerism, would popular concern for environmental quality be as widespread or would it exist at all? those, i think might be unanswerable questions, but i think they're ones worth pondering. so i will leave you with them, and i'll be happy to take any questions you might have for me. thanks very much.
7:50 pm
>> from the university of denver, he has opened it up for questions. if you have one, please raise your hand. i'll make my way over there to the boom mike so we can make sure we capture it. right if wow have a question, raise your mangd hand. >> please make sure you hold this microphone close to your mouth like i'm doing. >> my question, about the tipping of the balance in '56 or '57, besides ed johnson it sounds like the military was the decisive factor, was there ever a military transport on i-70, eisenhower was part of the famous military transport of 1919 obviously using the lincoln highway, mostly. was there ever an event like that? >> not that i'm aware of.
7:51 pm
there was the movement of missile parts along that i-from time to time, but i'm not aware of the actual transport that eisenhower had in 1919 which apparently convinced him of the need of a system of defense of highways. i'm not aware that there was actually ever any use of the interstate highways for that use. and there was a lot of talk about those times about the highways being defense highways, the official name for the interstateette system when it was formally created is the national defense system highways. >> right over here. >> yes, hello? yes, two questions, i believe i have read or heard that the interstate through glenwood cannon cost more than the entire
7:52 pm
rest of the interstate 70 cost total. is that -- >> i don't know if that's true, but i frankly would not be surprised at all. because the cost as you know, it kept ballooning as the design changed, as highways always do into geological highways so i would not be surprised. so i would not know those dollar values. >> with respect to eisenhower's involvement or lack of involvement, the old gray mayor was written by assistant to mayor nicholls and mayor of denver. he tells the story of how ed johnson and ed nicholson, the bill had already passed the u.s. house of representatives, and they asked eisenhower to ask for approval for the i-tonterstate to
7:53 pm
go west to denver and he asked what they could do to help out and they said give us another 1,000 miles. >> uh-huh. >> and he called his head of the department of transportation, whenever it was called in and that was passed in the house so i take it you don't agree with that. >> i don't agree that it was that cut and dried. there was, as you said, eisenhower supported the idea of 1,000 extra miles. there were a lot of claim mants to those 1,000 extra miles. even as i mentioned before, even when congress approved that extension, that 1,000 mile expansion of the interstate system, it was still up to the highway arrest toe cats to decide where it would go. it's hard to relate to that it the. but at this time. highway technology was difficult
7:54 pm
to push around politically. there was a lot of deafference to -- but there was a lot more deference to sort of the judgments and to the power of the highway technocats at that time. there's no question that eisenhower made happy noises about having an interstate through colorado, right. he made a happy noise about that, but i was not able to find any evidence in the eisenhower library, i found evidence of that meeting that you're talking about between nicholson and eisenhower, but the notes that were taken by eisenhower's aides, eisenhower is basically instructing his aides to extricate him from any commitment to the coloradoans.
7:55 pm
>> i actually have an old map of colorado that i was puzzling, which was 60 never considered for the interstate? >> the biggest reason was that neither of them go through denver and from the greatest political power in colorado but also the greatest sort of engineering argument, utilitarian argument for an interstate through colorado would be one that went through denver. that's the biggest reason the interstate goes through colorado and 60 goes through pueblo. >> what about dillon reservoir did that have anything to do with the interstate project?
7:56 pm
>> yeah, it did. the biggest thing that had to do with the project was where would it go. the interstate -- that would have required a much larger dam, of course. but all of this is converge negligent at this time. denver is making plans for the interstate of the dam. the interstate -- which path is interstate is going to take. again, the decision to actually run it through some accounting was not made, the final can decision wasn't made until 1960 and by that time denver's sort of engineering of the dam had more or less moved on so they ended up moving it along the base of the dam rather than up on it. so it did have some affect. by like i said by the time the interstate was actually designated, the root of it was
7:57 pm
actually designated, it was no issue. the root of it was. >> it was essentially a water project. >> we have time for maybe one more question. which one of you really wants to ask the last question? >> flip a coin. >> the huge traffic jams we see now on 70 how is that going to impact our economy and all the things you've been talking about. >> well, i'm an academic, so i like to pick on the premises of questions sometimes. what i would say is the fact that so much of the debate over interstate 70 has revolved around not so much about sort of environmental issues but about congestion. about the question of how for recreational enthusiasts it just takes too darn long to get up -- or where it might harm their
7:58 pm
business. i think it's interesting that that has become the core issue around i-70 now is the core issue of congestion. i think it speaks to the environmental consciousness. by developing environmental consciousness. you miss a lot of other ways of looking at the issue. which way that will go, i have no idea, i actually got asked that question after the inversion of this talk and i quoted the famous saying that a historian is a prophet looking backwards. but it seems currently like, like, when they expanded that two-lane tunnel just east of idaho spinnings, that current support stands for doing some strategic widening, whether that might be a paradime shift toward rail, toward a totally new way of viewing the problem.
7:59 pm
the issues and things like as environmental conditions change, if oil becomes less chic, if climate change, other changes like that, if the environmental context changes our ways of looking at those problems might change or miblgt be forced to change as well. so in terms of what the future holds for i-70, that's the mushy answer i'll give you. >> okay, i would like to thank dr. willard one more time. [ applause ] >> i know you all have more questions for him. i wish we had more time, but if you do have more questions please step on up. he would be happy to answer your question individually, otherwise stop by our gift shop on your way out if you're interested. i'm here to answer questions as well. otherwise we'll see you next month at our rocky flats
8:00 pm
lecture. thank you very much. tonight on cspan 3, a discussion on potential global conflicts to watch in 2015. then the national governor's association annual state of the state's address. that's followed by the portrait unveiling for representative john conyers, the dean of the 114 congress. later a look at president obama's use of executive orders and the impact on states. wednesday the council on foreign relations hosted a discussion on global conflicts and instability. scholars and former federal officials examined threats posed by the situations in the south china sea, the middle east, and the conflict between russia and ukraine. this is just over an hour.
8:01 pm
>> welcome. hello, everyone. hi. my name's jeanine davidson, thank you all for coming today for what promises to be a fascinating conversation i can tell just by the looks an your faces and also by the people that we have here today. this has become a bit of an annual event where we sort of take stock on the last year, and look forward to the new year thinking about all the crises in the world, and looking at the potential horrible things that can happen or not, and debate a little bit. and also kind of think about what it means for the united states and for the rest of the world, before we get started, let me just say this is on the record. we do have some media here, so for those of you who need to make sure of what you're saying, especially government folks are on the record.
8:02 pm
also could you please turn your cell phoninges off not just on vibrate, because the sound system gets a little bit of interference there. okay, it's my pleasure to interview three panelists today. first we have mark snyder. he's ceo of control risks do we have any other risk map here? we have recently published the risk map, which is a pretty interactive piece online as well. jim is not just the ceo of control risk. he has great experience as an operator. he's had many positions in government, you can read all their bios in the handouts. he is also the director of the
8:03 pm
peace corps it's great to have him here to have him here to talk about the handout for his organization is the ten wars to watch, he'll talk a little bit about what's wrong with that and what's right with that particular assessment. and finally, we have our own cfr's paul astairs, who's the director for the center for preventative action and they have published the preventive priorities survey. paul is the author of about ten books, soon to be is11, i think. >> hopefully. >> and experience at u.s. institute of peace, brookings and a number of other places as well. so what i would like to do actually, i would like to have a vibrant discussion with the entire group in the room, but we'll start off with each of our panelists, giving a very brief sort of overview of the work that the organization has been doing to think about the crises in the world. and also if you could talk a little bit about the criteria that you use, and the way in which you think through u how to
8:04 pm
rank order things and your methodology, but do all that really really briefly. we'll start with you, jim. >> jane thank you very much it's really great to be here, one weekend of january, i considered quite a bit how to frame such a broad topic for what to expect in 2015. and i initially thought, well, i might lead off and expect question can expect deflating optimism, deflating conflict. 6 each year we attempt to take a look on a global basis, of what we expect to see principally from a security operational risk and integrity risk standpoint occurring around the world, both
8:05 pm
on a country level and on a thematic level, so what are those things that are underlying the global governance system around the world itself. and i think what i'm going to focus on today, is probably three principal themes. the first one is really looking at politics without power in a resurgent nationalism really occurring around the globe itself. that really is what gave them their political mandate. and since the financial crisis we have really scene a weakening of their power. we have seen the rise of the middle class where they moved
8:06 pm
beyond basic needs and start looking at things like transparency, and accountability and wanting to improve their lives and wanting to become more restless and having more demands on their government. the government's performance legitimacy has really waned over the last five or six years. we are starting to see a huge resurgence in nationalism. so government's moving to very short-term political agendas moving to nationalists or populous behaviors. in order to reassert their political legitimacy itself and appeal to their public. and the who gets caught in the crosshairs of that is multinational business. we see it in terms of certainly increased regulatory frame works targeting international business campaigns to shore up the national identity and we
8:07 pm
have seen that across china certainly in 2014, quite heavily. we also see issues like we saw in vietnam with the anti chinese riots going after the manufacturing industry. and obviously as they assert this power the trick is how do they get the political bark without having the economic bite that comes beyond it behind it which exacerbates the problems for them. we're going to see in 2015, increasing the nationalism driving really increasing bureaucratic red tape within a lot of countries around the world. more honerous competition, favoring the domestic players, who will have greater access to contracts, who won't be delayed with the bureaucratic hurdles with visas and moving -- we see it in western countries from canada to france enacting more
8:08 pm
domestic policies really to protect their domestic policies the crown jewels of them and we see it in emerging markets around the world where we see increased constraints around international investment agreements. really becoming constrictive as compared to the past where they were quite open. and willing to let international foreign investment flow quite freely. we're seeing a large increase in tension between business, mully national corporations, predominantly and politics. as we have seen over the last decade, most international businesses have significantly reengineered for rebuilt themselves, redesigned themselves as global companies that no longer operate and define themselves by geographies and state borders but increasingly by regions, whether
8:09 pm
it's middle east or north africa and asia pacific but spanning multiple markets. in businesses to thriver, we need the ability to move talent and traffic to move cross borders. as we see nationalism on many fronts around the world we see at odds of my multinational businesses of dealing with localized politics.
8:10 pm
we're trading a lot more with higher political risk environments around the world. the political outlook around the world is going towards those environments. if we look at the last year, we see the political risks increasing in a variety of ways we see it in a series of coup d'etats in thailand, we see it in significant security crisis around the world. ukraine and yemen are great examples, we see it as a possible ending of a political dynasty in cuba and we see it in what used to be very stable and predibltable environments becoming less predictable poe land, cleveland and spain, all great examples of what were very stable. this is really creating an environment where historically safe areas around the world are less stable les predictable and much more complex. for businesses operating in those environments.
8:11 pm
and i think the final point that i would add is sort of a global theme is with the proliferation of technology around the world and weaker state powers of governments being less powerful than they have historically been. we're seeing this change the way that organized criminal groups around the world and terrorists are doing business. if we look at technology itself, it's really changing how the nonstate actors, so take the islamic state, is able hold and project power around the world and the competition between the old jihad, the al qaeda network and the new jihad, the islamic state is increasinging and technology is really i'ding the ability of the islamic state to proliferate it's power around the world itself. we're seeing obviously we can't read a newspaper on any day without reading about the cyber
8:12 pm
attacks that are occurring around the world. we think 2015 is really going to increase the proo live ration of stiber attacks. so we're going to see if you will cyber jihadists begin to learn from organized crime and use retail mall ware that was produced by organized criminal networks for their purposes. we're going to see certainly criminals use mall wear that was created for state sponsored espionage for their purposes. we're going to see the proliferation of nationalist cyber hackers or freelance cyber recruits acting on behalf of the nationals government in order to project their power and their will.
8:13 pm
to enable those environments to be breeding grounds for cyber-terrorism, et cetera. and finally i would just add that we will probably see a large increase in the amount of cyber attacks within supply chains around the world. as those supply chains are largely operated by multinational companies, which would become easy targets again, back to that same nationalism, that we're seeing emerge across the world, so i think without taking too much time, i'll save perhaps for question and answers what we might see from russia, what we might see from iraq and syria and other places around the world, china or elsewhere, for an open panel discussion and back to you. >> great, thanks. go ahead.
8:14 pm
>> first happy new year to everyone. and i'm hoping that as we talk about what to worry about in 2015, that as a result of the actions that you all take, at the end of the year, we can talk about the wars that were prevented in 2015. let me thank paul and jeanine and jim to allow me to participate in this panel. i think it's important to recognize that we start each yeareach -- that we start with the past history of national and personal interests now and unfortunately the realities of history power, and ideological fervor. we have seen crises break out in every corner of the -- secretary general for peacekeeping at the u.n. for kofi has put out, indicates ten of the key conflicts we see likely in 2015. i have added a couple where i
8:15 pm
think there's a greater likely hood of direct impact if you don't unfortunately if they occur for the u.s. and u.s. national security. there a series of crises waiting to happen, that will be triggered -- succession issues or a comebination of the above in sri lanka, nigeria later this month. zimbabwe, tie land central asia. and there are additional terrifics in all of the west africa ebola affected countries who are out of conflict and are attempting to recover from civil conflicts that went across all their borders. the only good news that i see coming up in 2015, very quickly, colombia, i believe there will be a peace agreement, the last
8:16 pm
couple of days you had farc announce an immediate an indefinite cease fire and president santos announced an end to offensive military actions against farc. i think there will be an agreement and ref republican july approved before the end of the year. second cuba, normalizations of relations with cuba has -- open of political space in cuba, but we have 50 years of isolation policy that clearly failed in that regard. and third and probably the most important in terms of impact on the united states and the rest of the world is thc possibility of a nuclear arms agreement request iran. from an analytic point of view, it's in the interest of both countries, and the region. on iran however, there's a darker side which is why you'll see it listed as one of the potential conflicts in 2015. so what are the four trends that
8:17 pm
unfortunately we see likely to produce more conflict in this coming year? and first as we have already heard, it's the return of -- leading to a less controlled and less predictable world. the most obvious expression is between russia and the west. it's upset the post-cold war paradime in dangerous ways. beyond that rivalry, we have also seen unsettling risk taking, this is one of the areas where i have added between china and japan, and china and the southeast asia countries, particularly the philippines. and we can go into what, but no one really knows whether there's any kind of effective early warn system as a result of military clashes, as a result of china's more aggressive deployments. and the second trend is the
8:18 pm
jihad jihadi group glossary is -- often re-enforceing one another and producing brutal acts of terrorism and producing real-time national security threats. i think it's important to recognize that we have not been able to deal with one of the scariest aspects of their continuing ability to recruit new members from large disenfranchised, prime disenfranchised, presumably disenchanted -- that partly affects government's failure to provide an adequate sense of opportunity for that population. third, the international community, and here's where we have much more of an opportunity to do something and we failed. the international community -- and to be accessories to failed transitions in which the u.s.
8:19 pm
and western ball warts on what should be an effective international peace and security and justice arrived too lathe, offer too little and depart too fast and we saw that in iraq and we saw that in many of the active conflicts as well. you can look at carr, how many agreements mali, sudan and south sudan. the u.n. secretary general mandated an examination of u.n. peacekeeping peacekeeping will do that, is whether those case -- whose security council votes established those peacekeeping operations should do more of the contributing to financing in the future. and finally as in the past weak corrupt states continue to set the stage for internal wars usually with external neighbors. and where this is also portrayed
8:20 pm
and partably accurately as a lack of capacity is much more frequently a question of political will, you have the list in front of you, i'm just going to talk about one because i think it's crucial and the u.s. national security and international stability. and that's ukraine and russia. from the standpoint of the obama administration, and for the european union, it's one of the most dangerous situations in the world, and it's coming to a head this spring. and you'll see that, and we saw a report published a few weeks ago on the makeup of the eastern ukraine separatists, how they think what they think and the relationship with russia and the report describes hopefully a way forward to avoid that claush. but the reality is that since the beginning of this year, you have had 5000 deaths, thousands since the cease fire agreement
8:21 pm
in september you have more than 40,000 addition placed persons and this winter a very cold winter, you see increasingly vulnerable large scale human suffering in the eastern ukraine. and while no one can easily pre predict russia's next steps, even if there's less than a 10% chance of a new russian military action, the west must plan u how it will respond and we don't see that. we also don't see enough action taken to discourage some of the voices in kiev about the possibility of a military action by the ukrainians in the spring against the eastern obelisk which will undoubtly offer an excuse to president putin, that's the one area that i would single out, obviously we talked in the report, syria iraq, lebanon, isis, the serious
8:22 pm
problems that are faced there china and japan, china and philippines particularly pakistan and i would emphasize the concern in pakistan is about the still -- the failure to see any kind of strategic change in the way they view the relationship with certain jihadi groups, they obviously are going after in a very serious way much of the ttp, but we have yet to see them take much effective action against -- in relation to the situation in afghanistan. and why don't i end there? and just to note that if you think that the secretary of state, and secretary of defense and the president don't have anything to worry about in 2015, you're wrong. >> excellent. paul? go ahead. >> thanks jeanine let me echo
8:23 pm
my appreciation of the co-panelists and all of you for coming out here today always good to see you, and this is i think at least the third or fourth year that mark and i have done in this briefing at the beginning of january and it's always a lot of fun. what i thought i would do in to the short time i have is just give you a brief overview of the findings if you will of our annual preventative priority stir va, many of you actually participate in this each year. essentially at the end of each year, we poll 2,000 experts within the u.s. government and outside. and ask them to rank 30 contingencies that we consider plausible, in fact we do a kind of crowd sources exercise earlier in the year to take suggestions of what those 30 contingencies will be. and it's essentially a risk assessment it's not just asking people what they think is the likelihood of these particular
8:24 pm
crises happening or conflicts escalating but also, and this is i think an important distinction from many other exercises in this, we ask them to rank them in terms of their importance to u.s. national interests, and we give some criteria for people to make that judgment. on the basis of that, we distilled these results and we put them into three tiers of relative priority. i'm not going to go through the whole list obviously, but what i thought i would do is focus on i think, the three concerns that i take to be of most concern to the respondents to the survey and i think there's sort of three clusters. i think to the first is the intensification of the conflict in syria and iraq. and concurrently the potential for a major deterioration of the situation in afghanistan, and i
8:25 pm
think the concern here is the fear that the u.s. will be pulled back into both theaters and we're seeing some aspects of this the mission in afghanistan has been extended, advisors have gone back into iraq and with the likely hood of senseintensified operations in iraq in the coming months, there's the possibility of u.s. more direct involvement of u.s., in addition of course to the air operations. so i would say that's the sort of the first cluster of concern. the second is, i think as mark says concern over both the intensification or deterioration of the situation in eastern ukraine, and concurrently, the possibility of another flare up or flash point in south china sea. and both obviously raise the risk of the u.s. developing a more adversarial relationship
8:26 pm
with russia and china. obviously it has profound implications for security but on a whole range of those implications and that came through very much in the same survey. the third is this hearty per republican yals. and there are sort of signs that obviously in the case of iran, that the agreement to the temporary agreement, provisional agreement will not last and that might sort of unravel. there's always an abiding concern about the inpredictability of north korea we have seen this in recent weeks with the allegations of the hacking activity. and so here again of course is the concern that the u.s. will be directly involved in any
8:27 pm
escalation of those two conflicts. so they are i think the three main themes. i just want to add that there are now some outlier concerns that also came through in the survey and i also think worthy of us paying attention to in no particular order deterioration of the situation in the west bank i think there are signs that we could be on the cushionp p of major -- there are all kinds of indicators of that, the upcoming elections in nigeria i think could be extremely violent and have profound implications for the stability of that country. thirdly, the power transition under way in zimbabwe could also unravel in ways that are unpredictable and also violent.
8:28 pm
yemen, the situation there has deteriorated in recent weeks. major bombing fact today 35 people were killed in an attack today, right? and finally, tie land there's always concerns about how the royal succession will play out there and the instability in sort of lightened in that country. so there are the kinds of other areas that i would be mindful of in the coming year. thank you. >> great. >> readpy through some of the work that you all have done and listening to you here, it strikes me as there are just so many different ways to thinkthrough what may happen and what that means, i mean what i think is interesting about paul's work is that they -- you really try to say, these are most likely moderately likely not very likely and then also this is the most consequential
8:29 pm
versus the least consequential, through primarily the united states. >> through a u.s. lens. >> it's very tightly scoped, it's sorry of the so what, because lots of bad things are going to happen in the world. so you've got this most likely lens, but i'm not always clear about most dangerous to who. if you really want to figure out most dangerous and most violent. there are a lot of mosts we can talk about most dangerous and violent to regular people. nobody's really mentioned central america, which i think is one of the most dangerous places in the world is it because -- why? because we can't do anything about it? because it doesn't affect us that much, because that leeds to other most mostism pactful. which is a word i hate, most disruptive? disruptive to who? to the united states system? most destabilizing to the international system. and i think also jim, your lens is more towards just sort of
8:30 pm
global business and would be so things that are disruptive as opposed to violence. so you can have places that are inconsequential, that really pull at our heart strings from a human rights perspective or really gross us out in other ways and it wouldn't necessarily be at the top of your list. so i just seeing the different ways in which you can look at these, i think as we ask questions and try to tease out some more of these issues, i think it's important to sort of present what lens you're looking at this with first. none of these lenses really do take on this issue of horrendous violence that could potentially spin out of control in places like central america because they're not normal conflicts
8:31 pm
necessarily. or how do you see that in the context of bad stuff happening in 2015? >> in the past, central america dropped out this year only because the other countries are those where the likelihood of deadly violence actually is greater in terms both of numbers and in terms of something new. there is violence in central america, as national crime continues to produce a huge number. it actually has decreased in the last year. so that was one of the reasons why we didn't include it, and it was one of the reasons why we did include it this year both libya and south sudan and sudan as a link. because the conflict in south sudan, is directly linked to sudan's supporting the rebels in south sudan and sudan's own internal violence against in darfur and blue nile and we see
8:32 pm
that level of violence increasing during the year, unfortunately. so it is a matter of looking at this coming year, where do we see the likely hood of greater deadly violence, greater impact on, in this case, my looking at it was u.s. national interests and in the case of the crisis group as a whole, was the focus on overall instability and deadly violence globally. >> great clarification. >> we i think the potential from spillover from mexico was classified as a tier 2, second level priority in our survey and i think what, as you alluded to jeanine, ath thlot of people have a hard time grouping what is essentially criminal violence that we see related to organized crime in central america and mexico, with more political violence and sort of more identifiable type conflict and where does that fit?
8:33 pm
i think the number of people affected and killed and so on, criminal violence is extremely costly. and the numbers are horrific from central america, and if they were occurring anywhere else, it would be classified as a war, probably. >> politically driven. >> we also recognize the political violence has a criminal element too. and so does this sort of blurring of the two, and -- but it always leads to the problem of highway you classify it and therefore how you rank it and what does one deserve more attention than the other and so on. >> as you look at it, you race the point, whether it's the humanitarian side in that aspect of the crisis or for business certainly from a controlled risk perspective, but the world is open for business everywhere. it's a matter say, potentially north korea, but it's what do you need to do to operate and mitigate the risk in those environments and then succeed and what's the cost of doing so. and so while you know if you
8:34 pm
look in central america as a great example, not a lot of direct foreign investment, not in central america you see the risk from criminal activity organized crime, certainly the risk of violence in guatemala and el salvador particularly increasing in organized crime. it doesn't get a lot of attention in the national media or elsewhere. on the other hand you see mexico and mexico is very well covered from a security of risk stand point, but you see high levels of direct investment, you see a very close tie with the united states, with the dollar itself you see an influx of manufacturing, into mexico, particularly in aerospace and the heavy industrial aerospace because the risks are manageable, if you understand them and you put them in the right context it's going through labor sector reform, as well as the hide droe carbon
8:35 pm
reforms, that's opening up for the first time in recent constitutional history in mexico and the ability for foreign concessions in the oil and gas industry, so a huge change within that environment, which is driving a lot more attention. >> i'm going to ask one more question. you made a very interesting comment, mark, you said somethinglike like, the international community, they arrive too late they do too little and they leave too fast. i'm thinking about these teetering conflicts for the next two years you think of colombia myanmar, libya, where we're going but the degree to which the norms associated with the international community's intervention into peace and conflict resolution associated with human rights, and i think it was one of the other reports where u you said, we need to skort of moderate that a little bit. i meaning are the international
8:36 pm
community standards for human rights and the idea about war crimes tribunals and retribution after the fact undermining in any way -- where you have to get to both sides that have pretty bad track records, all wonderering what's going to happen five years from now, or ten years from now how do u you get beyond that? how do you manage both this very important set of values and human rights reforms that we have in the international community. >> actually, we focused directly on what we call transitional justice in columbia with a report that looked at how you move forward in terms of dealing with the question of impunity for mass atrocities. at the same time, then you enable a peace agreement to take place. and we're -- we believe that in fact that the colombia and the farc negotiators are conscious of the need to deal with that
8:37 pm
issue in an effect tiff way because if you don't deal with that issue of accountability, if you don't deal with the issue of somebody being held accountable at the very least to tell the truth about those mass atrocities, it's unlikely that a peace agreement is going to hold. so what we have argued is that there is a way to deal with this issue that holds some accountable, at the same time recognizes the need to view the political consequences of continuing to to the conflict which would be more victims, we're reaching an agreement u now that puts an end to it. and we think they're pretty much down the path of finding the right balance. the other point that you mentioned at the outset i think is important to refocus on. which is that when we go into a post conflict situation, we, the international community and the u.s. have to recognize that this is not a three-years and you're out situation. that you're not going to rebuild -- help countries
8:38 pm
rebuild institutions that are going to sustain peace in a short time period. the world bank development report about three years ago basically said it takes 17 years on average to get from war with a peace agreement to sustainable institutions and peace. and that the idea after three or four or five years that you have done it is simply mistaken. that's also what paul collier found in his studies. my point is that if we have to recognize that if we're going to assist countries in reaching a peace agreement and sustaining one, that we have to be there a lot longer and we should know it now in the case of iraq, leaving iraq in the way that we did cereal did not produce in its wake stable government institutions and a stable security force. and i suspect that's the reason why in afghanistan now we're basically saying, well, maybe we better rethink whether we should pull all of the troops out on the same timeline, or at least
8:39 pm
with respect to combat enablers. to where stand what islikely to be, and we have already seen excessive taliban attacks over the course of the next four years. >> i just making some general point that most of these conflicts with very few exceptions are internal conflicts and you're constantly grappling with these yuan form. can sposz there's no good formula -- the real challenges that as --
8:40 pm
almost by definition, the international community will come to those conflicts late. and find it very difficult to do, and we all know that -- have all been significantly degraded over the last decade a lot through foreign assistance u.s. funding, et cetera to the point where there is a real ability to get that agreement. i think it's being handled very
8:41 pm
well and we'll come to a good conclusion. i think if we draw back to the global governance system i think one of the challenges we're seeing on the global stage itself is as governments around the world have refocused on domestic politics and we saw sort of really the push to the g-20, to start being a larger global governance group we're seeing that it doesn't have the maturity and the diplomatic space actually to handle global crises, and we have certainly seen over the last year, real weakness, globally and hard power, and certainly the limits to it. if we put that to a back drop to what's going on, the global crises diminish on a global stage, there's no will to act, which is quite a difficult position to be in. >> i want to open it up for questions, remember, we're on the record, there are microphones, so if you could race your hand and also state your name and affiliation and also talk into the microphone,
8:42 pm
that would be great. right here in the front. >> capital trust group, one country that is critical to the global economy and the crises of 2015 is saudi arabia yet none of you mentioned saudi arabia, saudi arabia surrounded by -- jihadist terrorist threat and i would like your assess mjt on that subject. also there could be a succession issue in 2015. >> because we're kept to seven minutes, saudi arabia is definitely there. it's definitely there, when i mentioned one of the trends in terms of geo political -- the rivalry between saudi arabia and iran is a fundamental driver of the conflict in the region. and what we -- i think what we're concerned about is trying to see whether there's a way to
8:43 pm
diminish that conflict in order to help deal with the role that each are playing in syria with respect to in yemen, and at the same time, one of the concerns that we have about saudi arabia, which is a partner in many ways in a counter terrorism effort is what saudi arabia can do to help diminish the legal of financing of jihadi medrassas in pakistan, force for the pakistan taliban. so when you talk about saudi arabia, it is a fundamental concern both in the region and elsewhere. >> just if i could have, you know, it comes up every year, this year it was not mentioned as a particular concern -- i think in retrospect there's
8:44 pm
been some fear that with the prices falling balance of payment issues becoming a bigger problem in the kingdom, there could be more unrest. we keep sort of probing experts on the kingdom to get their assessment. and they feel that it's still fundamentally stable place. that the king and others have essentially through various payments bought up dissent, and they have the resources to do this indefinitely and it will remain a stable place. i'm not an expert on saudi arabia, i'm always nervous when people make those pronouncements, because the next day you read on the front pages that there's been a coup or something else. and so i'm always worried about that, but we you know, this is continuely the dog that doesn't
8:45 pm
seem to bark when it comes to global instability. >> barry blakeman, stimson center. it's no doubt true that these conflicts would be greatly helped if the international community could go sooner, stay longer and understand that you can't get in and out in a short time. but i don't know who is going to do that. i mean we all here can recognize that, but it's certainly not the europeans entering a period of deflation and rising nationalism, with a zenophobic element to it and it's not the united states. and, you know, john mccain and lindsey graham can hold their breath until they turn blue, but the united states and the
8:46 pm
congress are not going to support ground forces in iraq. no matter what happens. so i don't know if you have any suggestions about what happens to these conflicts if they are forced to resolve them more or less on their own, or to continue to persist in conflict. >> i think first i'm not willing to accept that it's not the united states to engage more actively and over a longer period of time in some of these areas, not all. but i think that -- let's just take into question syria, the u.s. now has said there's a need to more effectively support the moderate rebel. and that that is one element in dealing effectively with the threat of isis. i suspect that that means that there's going to be more even beyond what's already been discussed in support of those moderate forces.
8:47 pm
and three years ago that wouldn't have been even within the realm of possibility. i think there's a -- currently, there is a beginning to have some u.s. military involved with some of the u.n. peacekeeping forces in africa in south sudan, in carr in providing let's say planning and i suspect that that might be possible to increase. because the one thing that the u.s. clearly has said is that mass atrocities and seeing another rwanda is not acceptable. and i suspect that there's a broader range of political support for trying to ensure that that doesn't happen. now how you manage it and how you put it together i grant you, there's no clear road map. but i suspect that it may be possible to see more u.s. direct involvement in supporting effective peacekeeping.
8:48 pm
>> lack of political will to convene and things flip very quickly, and just because there is this very h -- ride to the rescue, that we will see coalitions within the reiding organizations, regional organizations, maybe being more active, whether it's the au, gcc, i'm not sure about
8:49 pm
afghanistan afghanistan, but serge some of these where they will take matter into their own hands, and you can see that. >> i mean, i think as we look as different environments i think the u.s. has always been very good at planning military assistance in the form of planning training and assistance of foreign governments around the world. either overtly or through proxy and i think that will long continue and expand and ebb and flow in different directions, i think we need a stronger punish in countries around the world also taking stronger ownership if you look at the islam eck state in iraq it's not -- the issues are not going to be involved by an air campaign, and it's not going to be necessarily be solved by bootsless on the ground. iraq needs to take control of its own political system and allow inclusive vomt across the spectrum in order to get dpur
8:50 pm
rabble change that's going to support a defeat of the islamist state in iraq and it's not likely. in fact it's more likely drifting towards full sectarian violence right now and will likely look more like syria in the months ahead than it does the old iraq. >> i think also i'm going to add something to this because it seems like the conversation is sort of focussed on boots on the ground intervention military things. and in this 17-year thing you're talking about, there are so many other things that need to be done. and i think you saw this in libya, right didn't necessarily mean we had to have a robust american, a military intervention and presence over a long period of time, but we needed to do other things to help the libyans or in this case the afghans to sort of take control of the peace that they potentially could have. and it's that teetering middle right there that i think there
8:51 pm
is probably more of an appetite for those kinds of things even though they're not sexy and big and don't get a lot of news, they may actually be helpful. there's more appetite for that or more ability to do it if you have the political will than big interventions like i think is driving that lack of appetite that you may be talking about. in the back there. >> tom dine with the middle east broadcasting. i want to follow up on the saudi arabia question with a question about egypt. it is obviously potentially an explosive place and mark it's been that way for 2,000 years so i don't think the 17-year rule applies there. so, could all of you or some of you comment on the egyptian economy, the lack of reform in egypt, and the egyptian -- the
8:52 pm
egyptian effort against terrorism and that includes egyptian/israeli relations which i think are warming up strangely. >> who wants to take that one? >> tom thank you as always. i think that the reason that it's not on the list is not because it's a problem in egypt for the region or for the united states. it's that we don't see an explosion of deadly violence likely. unfortunately there's likely to be a continuation of the same, obviously ek domic problems an unfortunate continued political closing space within the country. that's not going to move in the direction that we would like and democratic opening that we would like. but it's also unlikely to result in major civil conflict internally over the next year. and at the point that you just
8:53 pm
made, is relative to the relationship of conflict in israel and palestine that egypt appears to be a stabilizing force in that regard at the moment. that's the reason. >> i would just point three things. one is the economy is as you point out, quite precarious. it's essentially being heavily subsidized by the gulf countries. and if that were to end, i'm not sure -- i think egypt would go into insullivansy if that were to happen. it's a very ugly and burgeoning insurgency in the sighny. the government has done a very poor job or good job in ill nating the tribe there and that has sort of cross-national problems and that group is now i think formally affiliated with isis. so that's a concern. and i think thirdly i think many
8:54 pm
of us worry about the strong support for the brotherhood and how that might manifest itself in the long-term if there's no real reform politically inside egypt. >> a question over here. >> i'm perry kmack with state department. to para phrase yogi berra prediction is hard especially about the future. thinking about some of the most important gio strategic events the last couple years, the annexation of cry mere ya fall of mosul, these aren't things any of us predicted. we knew we had a very unstable situation. obviously people were waiting for the spillover iraq -- the syrian civil war to have a spillover effect in iraq but i think the question is how -- as you think through your
8:55 pm
presentations, how do we structurally prepare ourselves for these black swans? we can't make contingencies if we don't have the creativity to think about them but maybe there are structural things that we can do that are more adept that when these black swans do arrive that we're a little more nimble on our feet can be more proactive as opposed to being stuck in a reactionary mode. thanks. >> let me start. i took a look at all of the countries that our organization had listed as likely conflicts from 2011 until now and there's only two that we missed. one was ukraine. and the other one was isis as a separate conflict, if you will. it wasn't iraq. we all saw the failure to
8:56 pm
establish inclusive institutions including the sunnis in iraq as a precipitator of likely violence and civil conflict. that we saw. what we didn't see was isis. and in the case of ukraine, we really -- we saw the internal conflict. we did not see the russian likelihood of russian military action that went across international borders and put together the results in terms of crimea. in terms of trends goes back to ja neen's point. what all of us recognize but haven't been able to figure out how to do it perfectly is the need to strengthen institutions in these countries, in these fragile countries. economic institutions, political institutions and civilian law enforcement institutions that protect citizens and give citizens a feeling that they are
8:57 pm
protected and that it's not power structure for its own interest to use as security forces as its own interest and the wide-spread population simply is left out of it. >> i would just add to that i think certainly if we look across the last let's just pick decade, we can go any period of time, but the world has moved increasingly away from being able to come up with multilateral agreements. over the last couple years, we've seen more unilateral agreements and i think we're seeing as people really begin -- countries really begin to focus on domestic politics, we're seeing anti-lat earlism globally. we do need to strengthen institutions. we do need to strengthen the law enforcement apparatus and criminal justice system, et cetera, all the institution building things within environments around the world because we're never going to see the black swans and we shouldn't be in the business of trying to predict everything that's going to happen.
8:58 pm
we need to actually refocus on the global governance system in bringing together the parties to actually get back to multilateral cooperation to solve acute crises that emerge that we don't see in advance. >> just make a general point. i think we're enamored with the idea that if we could just tweak or improve our early warning we will see these things coming and then be able to do something about it. i think this is just a false idea. and instead of trying to improve early warning or at least in putting everything on early warning as your trigger for action, for early preventive action, that we should move more to this sort of what i call kind of foresight risk assessment process in which we try to anticipate areas of risk without necessarily trying to be precise about how a potential crisis might evolve. and on the basis of that, start
8:59 pm
taking early preventive and preparatory measures. we also missed ukraine in last year's survey. but we've had it before. we've done what we do these regular contingency planning exercises here and we did ukraine several years ago. we did egypt. we've done saudi arabia. this is not rocket science to see where certain places are at risk of instability and more over have real consequences. and that's the key. it's combining not only the risk of something happening but also an appreciation that if it were to happen that there would be serious implications. and that should drive early action rather than waiting for these precise definite signals because by the time you get that certainty, it's too late. it's already happening by
9:00 pm
definition. so, we got to get away from this early warning para dime in my view and move to sort of this strategic fore site approach. >> even then we don't necessarily know what to do about it. >> that's a whole other issue. >> it's a problem, though because you can have these little shocks to the system like what happened in ukraine even though we saw lots of bad things simmering. even when there's a long simmering crisis and see it happening, we still ring our hands and wag our fingers and aren't quite sure what to do. that's part of the work that you do. how do you think through how to prevent what is potentially likely to happen. that stymies a lot of our ability not to only act in advance but act at all. that's part of the problem as well. in the back. i think we have time for this may be the last question. >> jim lobe interpress service. just to go back on what mr.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on