The Corner

National Security & Defense

Briefings by Negroponte

It is always the right time to talk with John Negroponte, because it is always the right time to talk about the world, but I especially wanted to talk with Negroponte about the Philippines — because there is a new sheriff in town, Duterte, and he is a peculiar, blood-soaked fellow indeed. President Trump has invited him to the White House. Negroponte knew him when he (Duterte) was a mayor, and Negroponte was our ambassador to the Philippines.

Negroponte is my guest on Q&Ahere.

He is one of the leading diplomats of our times. When he was starting out, he was at Henry Kissinger’s side in Vietnam. Then he went to Latin America. He was ambassador to Mexico and Honduras.

Under George W. Bush, he was ambassador to Iraq. And to the United Nations. He was also director of national intelligence (the first such director). And deputy secretary of state.

In our podcast, we do not undertake a world tour, but we make a lot of stops: to the Philippines, as you know, and to North Korea, that psychotic state (as Jeane Kirkpatrick described it). To South Korea, China, and Japan. Then to Venezuela and Mexico. (Negroponte was ambassador to Mexico at the formation of NAFTA.) And elsewhere.

I ask him some general questions, concerning “America First” and “globalism.” Negroponte is as American as apple pie. He’s also steeped in the world. I also ask him about a “new American century” — that was a Rubio slogan, during the recent campaign. Can it be? Can the 21st century, like the 20th, be an American century? Is our star dimming, inevitably?

When you listen to Negroponte, you understand why so many presidents and others wanted him in key positions. Try him out. Again, that podcast is here.