pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

PacNet #10 – The IMF and U.S. National Interests

The sight of the Secretary of Defense testifying in January before the House Banking and Financial Services Committee was indicative of the many dimensions to the Asian currency crisis. Secretary Cohen accompanied Treasury Secretary Rubin and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Greenspan to urge that the Congress expeditiously approve increased funding for the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It is an indication of the apparent depth of Congressional unease with what might appear to be a relatively uncontroversial request by the Administration to provide additional resources for the IMF. Most importantly, however, Secretary Cohen’s testimony was a striking example of how, especially since the end of the Cold War, economic, foreign and defense policies have become mutually reinforcing threads of our national security fabric.