A talk by Juan Zarate, author
Over the past decade, America has quietly and successfully waged a new kind of war against the financial networks of terrorist groups, rogue regimes, proliferators, and criminal syndicates. Juan Zarate—a former senior Treasury and White House official—was part of the small group of officials who dedicated themselves to leveraging financial power and influence globally to undermine America’s enemies. The result was a dramatic redefinition of financial warfare and the role of the Treasury department—one that utilized all of Treasury’s power, influence, and relationships to dismantle illicit financial networks, stop terrorism, and influence geopolitics. While making use of all of the tactics that government had developed over centuries, from sanctions to quiet diplomacy, Zarate and his colleagues also partnered with the private sector, creating an international financial environment in which the banks’ and multinational companies’ bottom lines dovetailed directly with national security interests, with the goal of isolating rogues from the legitimate financial system. Their approach soon became—and remains—central in navigating all the critical geopolitical challenges facing the United States, including terrorism, proliferation, and rogue regimes in North Korea, Iran, and Syria.
Treasury's War is the story of how these tactics were developed and brought to bear on some of the most dangerous and elusive criminal and rogue enterprises around the globe. Zarate gives us an insider’s view of one of the most potent yet least-examined strategies in the war on terror and American national security, and forecasts its future impact on our security and safety. It is a vitally important chapter in our nation’s history of warfare; one that, in many ways, is still being written. Zarate warns that other nations and organizations are beginning to learn these tactics. “The financial wars are coming,” he writes. “It is time to redesign a national economic security to prepare for them.”
JUAN C. ZARATE is a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the senior national security analyst for CBS News, and a visiting lecturer of law at Harvard Law School. Prior to that, he served as the deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for combating terrorism, and the first ever assistant secretary of the Treasury for terrorist financing and financial crimes. He appears frequently on CBS News programs, PBS’s NewsHour, NPR, and CNN, and has written for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and more.
Author photo credit: © Winnie Lee
For parking instructions and directions for UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, please click here.
© 2013. The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.