The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff defines a new national military strategy aimed at accomplishing a range of missions far broader than America's armed forces have known before. Peacekeeping and humanitarian operations will loom larger. Called for is a flexible Base Force with capabilities to meet a host of far-flung threats to America's interests, rather than the single threat of communist power that guided military doctrine through the Cold War.
General Colin L. Powell is Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
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Despite conflict resolution elsewhere, war still rages unchecked in Africa. But the continent is too important to ignore, so new solutions are needed. The best approach would be to prevent wars before they begin -- and the way to do that is for the West to work closely with democratic partners in the region. South Africa is the key to any long-term peacekeeping plan for Africa. Working closely with the United States, Africa's leading democracy can help distribute aid and spread the liberal values that will give the continent a real chance for peace.
A new doctrine for American foreign policy is gradually emerging from the tumult of the first post-Cold War years. Like the doctrine of containment that opened the crusade against communism, the new strategy of interventionism is inchoate in its first expressions, ill thought out in its implications and its chosen instruments. Neither the United Nations nor the United States has the necessary will or resources to bring peace in the dozens of civil wars that now mar the global landscape from Bosnia to Somalia, Liberia to Cambodia. Interventions driven even by moral or humanitarian impulses may actually prolong the civil strife they seek to resolve.