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Once again, history is being written in the Balkans. This perennial hotspot is becoming a testing ground for Brussels--and for a new transatlantic relationship.
Competition in the production of export goods is depressing workers' wages in the countries of the South. Future trade deals must give labor rights their due.
The conflict in the Middle East may seem hopeless, but the United States and the West still have a key resource to bring to the search for peace: economic development.
George W. Bush experienced the terrible new reality of terrorism on September 11 as directly and emotionally as did any other American. The difference was that he could do something about it. Days after the attacks, the president first gave voice to his doctrine: you are either with us, or with the terrorists. But one year later, there is little clarity about the direction of U.S. foreign policy. To fight terrorism and protect U.S. interests and ideals, the only practical solution is to bolster the international community that the United States helped create.
The concepts emerging from the Bush administration's war on terrorism form a neoimperial vision in which the United States arrogates to itself the global role of setting standards, determining threats, and using force. These radical ideas could transform today's world order in a way that the end of the Cold War did not. The administration's approach is fraught with peril and likely to fail. If history is any guide, it will trigger resistance that will leave America in a more hostile and divided world.
This article appears in the Foreign Affairs eBook, "The U.S. vs. al Qaeda: A History of the War on Terror." Now available for purchase.
American supremacy --military, economic,and social--is so overwhelming it can no longer be denied. Nor can the supremacy of three ideas that have come to dominate the global system: peace, democracy, and free markets. Yet none of these three ideas is universally practiced or completely secure. And U.S. power, although good at achievieng many things, may not be suited to the most important task: defending, maintaining, and expanding these goals around the world.
To combat terrorism effectively, America must do more to communicate with the Muslim world, argues the Independent Task Force on Public Diplomacy sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. The United States should establish a coordinating structure for public diplomacy efforts, promote private-sector involvement through a "Corporation for Public Diplomacy," and increase government public-relations resources.
Predicting the outcome of China's upcoming leadership succession has become a popular parlor game in certain Washington circles. But a focus on power plays in Beijing misses the real story: China is facing a hidden crisis of governance. Whoever they are, the new leaders will have to deal with a failing state, an ailing party apparatus, and rising social tensions if they wish to sustain China's economic growth.
After September 11, Tokyo was quick to declare its support for the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Much of the promised military assistance quickly evaporated, however, because Japan covets its business ties around the world, even those wth U.S. enemies, and is loath to jeopardize these lucrative links. Tokyo defines security in economic, not just military, terms--even when this means parting company with Washington.
Colombia has just inaugurated a hard-line president, Alvaro Uribe, who has promised to crack down on the country's left-wing insurgents and right-wing paramilitaries. Meanwhile, U.S. aid is flooding in, and since September 11, American efforts have shifted from fighting drugs to battling subversives. Peace will not come however, until Bogota rebuilds neglected state institutions and starts providing real security.
Despite its widespread public approval and strong White House support, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was voted down by the U.S. Senate in October 1999. How this happened is a story at once highly predictable and totally surprising, a story, for good or ill, of democracy at work in foreign affairs.
Wild nature is in deep distress, and the international institutions charged with Earth's care are not managing it with an eye on sustainability. The conservation community must step forward to promote what governments will not: science-based conservation along with poverty alleviation at the fragile ecological frontier.
An investigation into Polish atrocities against Jews during World War II has prompted a divisive, painful debate about antisemitism and what it means to be Polish. In rectifying one chapter of the historical record, the new research has magnified the heritage that still holds Poland back from becoming a truly pluralistic democracy.
Reviews & Responses
In Supreme Command, Eliot Cohen shoots down the myth that politicians should not meddle with the military during wartime. Focusing on four great civilian leaders, he shows that the opposite is true: disasters can result when politicians are not involved enough.