Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad speaks on the politics of international law.
Politics and policy are interwoven with international law. The relationship between the two is reciprocal. While politics influence international law, international law also influences domestic and international politics.
Critics contend that international law is really the deployment of power politics, and that resolving disputes under the auspices of international law in a judicialized forum serves only to "launder" the rule of the powerful.
Admirers of internationalism and international institutions, on the other hand, contend that the legalization of power has a civilizing effect that leads to some of the most effective forms of law-making, ranging from good governance standards promulgated by the IMF or the World Bank to sanctions imposed under Security Council authority- The American Society of International Law
Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad
Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad is the permanent United States Ambassador to the United Nations. He is the former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq serving from 2005 to 2007.
Dr. Khalilzad was U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005 and also served as Special Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan. Before becoming Ambassador to Afghanistan, he served at the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Islamic Outreach and Southwest Asia Initiatives, and prior to that as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Southwest Asia, Near East, and North African Affairs. He also has been a Special Presidential Envoy and Ambassador at Large for the Free Iraqis. Dr. Khalilzad headed the Bush-Cheney transition team for the Department of Defense and has been a Counselor to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.
Between 1993 and 1999, Dr. Khalilzad was Director of the Strategy, Doctrine and Force Structure program for RAND's Project Air Force. While with RAND, he founded the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Between 1991 and 1992, Dr. Khalilzad served as Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Planning. Then-Secretary of Defense Cheney awarded Dr. Khalilzad the Department of Defense medal for outstanding public service. Dr. Khalilzad also served as a senior political scientist at RAND and an associate professor at the University of California at San Diego in 1989 and 1991. From 1985 to 1989 at the Department of State, Dr. Khalilzad served as Special Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs working policy issues, advising on the Iran-Iraq war and the Soviet war in Afghanistan. From 1979 to 1986, Dr. Khalilzad was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.
Dr. Khalilzad received his bachelor's and master's degree from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. He went on to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Dr. Khalilzad is the author of more than 200 books, articles, studies, and reports. His work has been translated in many languages including Arabic, Chinese, German, Japanese, and Turkish.