Talk of sanctions today and everyone thinks of Iran. But not that long ago it was another country that came to mind: South Africa. Former president F. W. De Klerk, who negotiated the end of apartheid with African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, spoke recently in Washington about his experiences and their relevance to current headlines. (The event, sponsored by the Legatum Institute and Foreign Policy, marked the official launch of Democracy Lab.)
In a question-and-answer session with Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, De Klerk offered timely advice on some of today’s biggest foreign policy challenges.
On the effectiveness of sanctions as a means for pressuring governments to change: It’s a double-edged sword.
On nuclear weapons as a tool for state security: It was a Cold War strategy. (Hint to Iran: Not worth the trouble.)
On the prospects for negotiation in Syria: It’s too late, Bashar, it’s just too late…
Along with Mandela, De Klerk received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for his work to end apartheid in South Africa. He heads the Global Leadership Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to share the experiences of past world leaders with current ones.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |