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Most nations have adjusted their foreign policies to focus on economic security, but the United States has not. Today's leaders should adapt to an economic-centric world and look to Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower for guidance.
The United States is declining as a nation and a world power. This is a serious yet reversible situation, so long as Americans are clear-eyed about the causes and courageous about implementing the cures, including a return to pragmatic problem solving.
In this special Web-only feature, Stephen Biddle, Larry Diamond, James Dobbins, and Leslie Gelb analyze the report of the Iraq Study Group and debate what should be done in Iraq.
Can anything -- international mediation, regional collaboration, decentralization, or constitutional negotiations -- save Iraq from a full-fledged civil war and the Bush administration from a foreign policy fiasco?
Once marginal, morality has now become a major force in foreign policy. For all the problems this development raises, the United States and the world are better off.
As America's involvement in the world deepens, its leaders are responding to new problems with old fears. Outmoded strategies will allow today's core problem - civil wars - to overwhelm us.
Nineteen hundred and eighty-five begins as a year of promise in world affairs. The Soviet Union has returned to the bargaining table with the United States after a year's hiatus. The Middle East is relatively quiet despite the violence in Lebanon. The situation in Central America is unhappy but seemingly stalemated. Nowhere are American forces engaged in combat. No catastrophes hover over President Reagan as he begins his second term.
A Henry Kissinger has written, public support is "the acid test of a foreign policy." For a President to be successful in maintaining his nation's security he needs to believe, and others need to believe, that he has solid support at home. It was President Johnson's judgment that if the United States permitted the fall of Vietnam to communism, American politics would turn ugly and inward and the world would be a less safe place in which to live. Later, President Nixon would declare: "The right way out of Vietnam is crucial to our changing role in the world, and the peace in the world." In order to gain support for these judgments and the objectives in Vietnam which flowed from them, our Presidents have had to weave together the steel-of-war strategy with the strands of domestic politics.