Don Kraus

Senior Fellow

Don Kraus is a Senior Fellow at GlobalSolutions.org, a groundbreaking online movement for the 80% of Americans who want the United States to take a responsible and cooperative role in the world.

Don previously served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the organization and of its political arm, the Global Solutions Action Network. Prior to that, as Executive Vice-President, he directed Global Solutions' Government Relations Department and Political Action Committee. Earlier he served as the Executive Director of the Campaign for United Nations Reform and its affiliated political action committee, CUNR PAC. An expert in building U.S. political support for the U.N. and other international institutions, Don brings his considerable enthusiasm and drive to advocating for responsible global policies.

Don has co-chaired three NGO working groups: the Partnership for Effective Peacekeeping (PEP), the Washington Working Group on the International Criminal Court (WICC), and the CEDAW (women's rights treaty) task force. He has also played a lead role in the Law of the Sea Working Group, a broad group of organizations and trade associations focused on U.S. ratification of the convention.

Don compiled the Global Solution Report Card, an assessment of congressional voting records on global issues. He is a regular contributor The Global Citizen blog, the Huffington Post and has been quoted in the New York Times, the Washington Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and many other publications. He has been interviewed on CNN, BBC, NPR, and many other radio and TV shows.

Don is also a past president of the Center for UN Reform Education, a UN reform think tank. He currently serves on the boards of PeacePAC, the Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship, the World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy and the advisory board of the United Nations Association, National Capitol Area.

He lives in Alexandria, Virginia on land once owned by George Washington, with his wife Hope Warshaw and their daughter Hilary.

A Radical Win-Win Solution for Syria

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council#/media/File:Bolivian_Army_2nd_Lt._Mauricio_Vidangos_stands_guard_at_the_entry_control_point_of_an_Observation_Point.jpg

The perspectives of Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S President Barack Obama on Syria are so different that you have to wonder if they are living on the same planet.

Putin’s public rationale for intervening in Syria and backing President Bashar al-Assad boils down to a case against failed states. “After the invasion [of] Iraq, the authorities were destroyed, Saddam was hanged, and then the ISIL came there,” Putin told interviewer Charlie Rose. “And what happened in Libya? Full disintegration, no state at all….We don’t like the same thing to be repeated in Syria.” In other words, when Western democracies take down despotic, human-rights-abusing strongmen, the result is chaos and terrorism.

From Obama’s perspective,

When a dictator slaughters tens of thousands of his own people, that is not just a matter of one nation’s internal affairs—it breeds human suffering on an order of magnitude that affects us all….Let’s remember how this started. Assad reacted to peaceful protests by escalating repression and killing that, in turn, created the environment for the current strife.

Both leaders call for a diplomatic solution, with Putin supporting Assad and Obama calling for a managed transition away from Assad. Both leaders are using air assets to bomb “terrorists,” although Obama is going after the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) and Putin is targeting anti-Assad rebels. Both are supplying their proxies with training, arms, and supplies—as are Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Paris Carbonomics

http://www.ecy.wa.gov/climatechange/images/Emissions2.jpg

In December of this year, 196 nations will meet in Paris to close a global deal to address climate change. With less than three months and five official negotiating days left before the Paris UN conference, diplomats are working out the key remaining disagreements.

The major concerns revolve around money: how much responsibility rich nations will take for climate change compared to the developing countries that need to power their growing economies and populations; and how developed nations will fulfill their agreement of $100 billion per year of climate finance to begin in 2020.

It’s no surprise that cold hard cash is at the center of these disputes. At its core, climate change is an economic problem. Cheap and subsidized coal, oil, and gas fueled the industrial revolution and high quality of life in the West. We didn't realize until the 1960s and 1970s that there was also a huge expense we failed to foresee—pollution and climate change.

Here’s an analogy to consider: the 2008 financial crisis was created by insatiable banks and mortgage brokers who offered loans with “easy” terms to under-qualified customers that didn’t reflect the true risks involved and created a housing market bubble. When the bubble finally popped, homeowners who couldn’t afford increased mortgage interest rates and small investors took the brunt of the loss.

Fossil fuels are being sold at a price that doesn’t reflect the true cost of their impact on the environment. Businesses, governments and even consumers are creating a “carbon bubble” that when it pops may have both severe financial repercussions and, if not addressed soon enough, will trigger uncontrollable climate damage. And, like the housing bubble, those who will pay the most severe costs are the poor, elderly and children.

A Call for Just Security

http://www.thehagueinstituteforglobaljustice.org/events/launch-of-the-commission-on-global-security-justice-governance-final-report/

This article originally appeared in The Huffington Post and is cross-posted with the author's permission.

We are in danger of losing the most pressing global security and justice challenges of our times. That's what motivates a prestigious blue ribbon panel, co-chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright and Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the former Foreign Minister of Nigeria and UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

Fragile or corrupt governments have allowed conflicts to fester and terrorism to run rampant. Climate change is melting ice caps, raising sea-level and changing weather patterns setting off increased conflicts and a rapidly growing population of climate refugees. Internet accelerated globalization has increased our connectivity, but leaves us open to illicit trade, spying and theft.

In response to these threats, the Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance brought together 14 high level statespersons from around the globe to offer comprehensive recommendations. Their goal is to build an accountable and effective international system that can better safeguard international human rights and promote sustainable peace.