George Shultz is not only a statesman and a scholar, he is also an active opinion writer. Here are some examples of his opinion pieces (starting during his time as Secretary of state).
As Secretary of State
Reykjavik's Grounds For Hope; Agreement To Expand Contacts (1986)
The Reykjavik meeting between President Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail S. Gorbachev was an extraordinary event. Far more was achieved than anyone had considered possible. (Read More)
Foundation Stone, Stepping Stone (1987)
The signing ceremony for the treaty on intermediate-range nuclear forces was a moment filled with potential for the future. Such moments are to be savored, and then we return to the realities of the tough work still to be done.
That is what President Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail S. Gorbachev did. (Read More)
From Reagan to Obama
President Barack Obama shares President Ronald Reagan's desire to rid the world of nuclear weapons. He also shares Reagan's conviction that as long as nuclear weapons exist, the United States must maintain its deterrent capability through a stockpile of nuclear weapons that are secure, safe, and reliable.
The Nuclear Tipping Point
The potential spread of nuclear weapons to states and terrorists, the spread of nuclear technology and know-how, and the residual nuclear threat from the cold war have brought us to the precipice of a new and dangerous nuclear era. This unprecedented challenge to global security is the context for an extraordinary head-of-state-level meeting of the U.N. security council this week in New York, chaired by President Barack Obama. (Read More)
Toward a Nuclear-Free World
The accelerating spread of nuclear weapons, nuclear know-how, and nuclear material have brought us to a nuclear tipping point. We face a very real possibility that the deadliest weapons ever invented could fall into dangerous hands.
The steps we are taking now to address these threats are not adequate to the danger. With nuclear weapons more widely available, deterrence is decreasingly effective and increasingly hazardous. (Read More)
A World Free of Nuclear Weapons
Nuclear weapons today present tremendous dangers, but also a historic opportunity. U.S. leadership will be required to take the world to the next stage -- to a solid consensus for reversing reliance on nuclear weapons globally as a vital contribution to preventing their proliferation into potentially dangerous hands, and ultimately ending them as a threat to the world. (Read More)
'Think Long' to Solve the Crisis
It's the only way to sustain lasting benefits from the stimulus.
The current economic crisis must be viewed as a gigantic wake-up call. We have been living beyond our means for some years now, and the message is clear: We must change our ways. We are so blessed with human talent and resources that we can meet the challenges and succeed.
How did this crisis get started? The effort to identify the sources of the problem can easily lead us into staggering complexity, but the outline is simple. In the first place, the environment included a prolonged period of Fed-provided, exceptionally easy money. (Read More)
The Silver Lining in America’s Subprime Cloud
Turmoil in the U.S.’s financial markets got the top billing in news reports about the recent meetings of the world’s leading international policymakers in Washington. Virtually everyone expressed concern that the housing slump and the financial crisis triggered by the subprime mortgage market would significantly slow down the U.S. economy, and perhaps the world economy. But there is a surprising silver lining. Signs of it were revealed by the absence of reporting on the big bugaboo of the past few years: the U.S. current account deficit. (Read More)
Op-Chart; A Record of Recovery (2004)
Over the course of last week, we heard a lot from the Democrats about their record of economic achievement. So let's take the advice of a Democrat of yesteryear, Al Smith, the former governor of New York. His trademark phrase was, ''Let's look at the record.'' (Read More)
Congress Should Implement the Volcker Rule for Banks
We who have served as secretary of the Treasury in both Republican and Democratic administrations write in support of the proposed legislation to prohibit certain proprietary activities of commercial banking organizations—the so-called Volcker rule, as part of needed financial reform ("It's Time for Financial Reform Plan C," by Alan Blinder, op-ed, Feb. 16).
The principle can be simply stated. Banks benefiting from public support by means of access to the Federal Reserve and FDIC insurance should not engage in essentially speculative activity unrelated to essential bank services. (Read More)
Diplomacy and Foreign Relations
U.S. Must Deploy More Foreign Diplomacy Personnel
National security is about more than bullets. “Smart power,” “soft power,” and the “Three D’s”—development, diplomacy, and defense—are widely accepted as important and effective foreign policy principles. Unfortunately, when it comes to the federal budget, diplomacy, development, and democratic governance too often get short shrift. (Read More)
Finding Common Ground
The crisis over Georgia raises an issue familiar from history: In 1914, an essentially local issue was seen by so many nations in terms of established fears and frustrations that it became global in scope and led to the First World War.
There is no danger of general war today. But there is the risk that a conflict arising out of ancestral passions in the Caucasus will be treated as a metaphor for a larger conflict, threatening the imperative of building a new international order in a world of globalization, nuclear proliferation, ethnic conflicts, and technological revolution. (Read More)
Why the 'Law of the Sea' Is a Good Deal
The Convention of the Law of the Sea is back. It will be the subject of Senate hearings this week. If the U.S. finally becomes party to this treaty, it will be a boon for our national security and our economic interests. U.S. accession will codify our maritime rights and give us new tools to advance national interests.
The convention's primary functions are to define maritime zones, preserve freedom of navigation, allocate resource rights, establish certainty necessary for various businesses that depend on the sea, and protect the marine environment. Flaws in the deep-seabed mining chapter that prevented President Reagan from supporting the convention were fixed in 1994. Both President Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have supported accession. Yet, the U.S. remains one of the few major countries not party to the convention. (Read More)
The 'Israel Lobby' Myth
Israel is a free, democratic, open, and relentlessly self-analytical place. To hear harsh criticism of Israel's policies and leaders, listen to the Israelis. So questioning Israel for its actions is legitimate, but lies are something else. Throughout human history, they have been used not only to vilify but to establish a basis for cruel and inhuman acts. The catalog of lies about Jews is long and astonishingly crude, matched only by the suffering that has followed their promulgation.
Politics Hotbuttons: Race, Drugs, Climate
How a Republican Desegregated the South's Schools (2003)
The Republican Party's commitment to equality of opportunity has come under question in recent weeks, particularly its determination to deal effectively with racial segregation. That's lamentable, for there is a laudable story to tell about the modern Republican Party and the efforts of a Republican president to ensure equal opportunity for all Americans. (Read More)
George Shultz on the Drug War *This piece written about George Shultz, but good to get his perspective on the Drug War
When George P. Shultz took office as Ronald Reagan's secretary of state in 1982, his first trip out of the country was to Canada. His second was to Mexico.
"Foreign policy starts with your neighborhood," he told me in an interview here in the Canadian capital last week. "I have always believed that and Ronald Reagan believed that very firmly. In many ways he had [the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement] in his mind. He paid a lot of attention to both Mexico and Canada, as I did." (Read More)
The next president of the United States must be prepared from day one of assuming the office to address the many complex national security issues that confront the United States and our allies. I can think of no candidate who is more prepared for this extraordinary challenge than John McCain. Back during the days of the Reagan administration, John was a strong ally in our efforts to strengthen America's defenses, promote freedom, and undermine communist dictatorships across the globe. He emerged as a leader on national security issues who displayed a profound and firsthand understanding of the world. (Read More)
How to Gain A Climate Consensus
We in the United States -- and we as global citizens -- live in what is, in many respects, a golden moment. Economic growth is globally strong, and if security threats can be contained, this expansion, with some ups and downs, can be sustained.
Strong growth means increased use of energy at a pace that can strain the capacity to supply what is needed at a reasonable price. This highlights two urgent questions: how to use energy without producing excess greenhouse gases that create disruptive conditions on a global scale; and how to reduce the threat to national security from excess dependence on oil. (Read More)