By stressing unilateralism over cooperation, preemption over prevention, and firepower over staying power, the Bush administration has alienated the United States' natural allies and disengaged from many of the world's most pressing problems. To restore U.S. global standing--which is essential in checking the spread of lethal weapons and winning the war on terrorism--the next Democratic president must recognize the obvious: that means are as important as ends.
Despite isolationist sentiments at home and resentment from abroad, President Clinton has preserved America's authority as the world's leader. U.S. foreign policy now follows not a single doctrine but a set of strategic objectives drawn from a clear understanding of globalization. Over the last eight years, Clinton has revitalized U.S. alliances, integrated former adversaries into international organizations, negotiated peace (even in areas of marginal security interest), fought nuclear proliferation and deadly diseases, and advanced economic integration while alleviating economic disparities. More tasks remain -- from supporting new democracies to fighting international terrorism to reinventing the U.N. All this cannot be done, however, if the United States continues to underfund its foreign policy and shirk its obligations to international organizations. America should not apologize for being a "hyperpower"; it must preserve its authority as one.