Editorial - Oct/Nov 2016

James Lewis

It could not have been a more auspicious time for the IBA to hold its Annual Conference in Washington: just ahead of the presidential election. It’s fair to say that much of the world has, throughout 2016, paid close attention to events that shape the election to decide who takes up residence in the White House after Barack Obama. We’re delighted, then, that this edition of Global Insight includes exclusive, in-depth interviews conducted at the IBA’s conference in Washington with leading figures that have been highly influential on some of the key issues likely to be top of the new President’s agenda.

As US Secretary of State from 2001 – 2005, Colin Powell was central to the major challenges of post-9/11 international relations. A key priority for Powell was seeking the best approach on Iraq. He urged the President that he advised – George W Bush –  ‘Mr President, if we can avoid a conflict, we ought to avoid it, and the way to do so is to go to the UN…’.  Projecting forward he tells Global Insight, ‘Whoever the next US President is, we will have to continue to support Iraq, but ultimately the answer rests in the hands of the Iraqis.’

And, regarding the ongoing battle against terrorism, Powell could not be clearer. There are many ways to respond: more law enforcement activity, more intelligence activity, and, if necessary, going after the terrorists. But, he says, ‘above all, don’t lose your confidence in your society and don’t become so paranoid about terrorism that you start to do things that are not consistent with your moral standing.’

Other highlights in this edition include Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 2006 – 2014, giving the benefit of his insight regarding ongoing responses to the global financial crisis. Former FBI Director Robert Mueller shares his thoughts on the major challenges of counter-terrorism, intelligence and cyber security. Meanwhile, keynote speakers, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and US Attorney General Loretta Lynch speak compellingly about the need to confront global corruption in order to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth, and the importance of international cooperation when tackling these and other crimes. We hope you enjoy this edition of Global Insight.