Globalization of Export Controls and Sanctions

By Bloomfield, Lincoln P., Jr. | DISAM Journal, Winter 2001 | Go to article overview

Globalization of Export Controls and Sanctions


Bloomfield, Lincoln P., Jr., DISAM Journal


[The following are excerpts from the speech Lincoln Bloomfield, Jr. presented to the 14th Annual Export Controls Conference held in London, England, November 7, 2001.]

For quite some time, I have been looking forward to engaging in discussion with all of you on the globalization phenomenon, and how it relates to export controls, before the momentous events of September 11, 2001. Now, I submit to you, our deliberations are far more timely and the environment for considering the future of export control policies is more dynamic. I will begin my remarks with a few numbers, and see what significance we might draw from them.

The First Number Is 80

Eighty is the number of countries whose citizens perished in the attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. The World Trade Center was designed and built to be a symbol of transnational economic linkages. As the world now knows all too well, it lived up to its promise in full.

The Second Number Is 122

That is the latest count by the U.S. government of countries that, in one way or another, have provided help or offered to provide help to the military dimension of what we call Operation Enduring Freedom. Let me repeat myself: 122 countries are today pledging support of one kind or another to this military operation.

That statistic tells me that, for all the talk in recent years about globalization in the economic realm, globalization in the political realm is today the driving force of international security. The U.S. military has recognized this growing trend for some time. In recent years, the Pentagon has been pursuing a series of transitions in the way it thinks and operates. Beginning in the 1990s the push for U.S. joint command structures and operations between the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps; then moving to create more effective relationships at the so-called "inter-agency" level in Washington; and finally culminating in a concerted emphasis on truly effective international military cooperation what our military commonly refers to as "coalition" operations. All of these summarized in military parlance as jointness, inter-agency, and coalition modes of operation represent America's vision of the future of defense in the 21st century. And now look at what has developed just since September 11, 2001. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has invoked Article V, the mutual defense clause, as has the Rio Treaty each for the first time ever. Indeed, over forty multilateral declarations of commitment and support have been issued. We do live in extraordinary times.

One would imagine that this dramatic turn of events sends all of us a message about how we should think about meeting common defense needs. The message seems obvious that our shared security interests demand export control regimes that will facilitate collaborative defense modernization and transnational defense industrial cooperation, so as to maximize military interoperability among allies in the future.

The Third Number Is 68

There is one other post-September 11 number that tells an equally significant story, in my view: namely 68. That is the number of countries in which the secretive 'al-Qaida' terror organization operates, as best we have been able to determine.

Of all the cooperative efforts undertaken by governments in the weeks since the September 11 terror attacks, the international counterterrorist mission has perhaps been the most intensive and comprehensive. The objective is very difficult to achieve: finding, verifying and detaining very secretive individuals, denying them access to their money, and shutting off possible opportunities for them to strike again. The United States does not have the luxury in counterterrorism of being politically correct, or steering clear of inconvenient or difficult aspects of the case. Either we all succeed in stopping the terrorists before they strike, or terrible harm may occur, potentially affecting the world in one way or another. …

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