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Witness to the New Frontier
The World According to Charles Hill
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The World According to Charles Hill
BY EDWARD N. EISEN
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Saudi Arabia

Charles Hill receives an award from Secretary of State George Shultz at a State Department ceremony in 1988.

"Saudi Arabia has been slowly coming to its senses. Saudi security forces have been in firefights with al-Qaida cells inside Saudi cities for over a year. And they are edging toward at least minor reforms. So the Saudis have decided to be on our side in this struggle, and we welcome that. Were Saudi Arabia to fall to the Islamists, the entire region would be in jeopardy."

Abandoning the Middle East

"I learned (from my experience at the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam) that regional wars can have vast global consequences; had we not fought the Vietnam War, the Cold War would have been prolonged, or worse. Similarly, were we to give up on the Middle East, the international consequences would be awful to contemplate."

The United Nations

"At some point in the years ahead the U.N. will have to be remade to fit the evolution of world affairs since 1945, but right now, like the international state system itself, the U.N. is under assault and we will, during this period, have to make do with the institutions we have. We cannot make repairs on the aircraft engines while we are in flight and taking anti-aircraft fire."

Hill collaborated with former U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali on Egypt’s Road to Jerusalem, a memoir of the Middle East peace negotiations, and Unvanquished, about U.S. relations with the U.N. in the post-Cold War period. Hill is also editor of the three-volume "Papers of U.N. Secretary- General Boutros-Ghali."

 
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