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The Bush administration has literalized its "war" on terrorism, dissolving the legal boundaries between what a government can do in peacetime and what's allowed in war. This move may have made it easier for Washington to detain or kill suspects, but it has also threatened basic due process rights, thereby endangering us all.
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 evangelicals have put the fight against AIDS on Washington's map, even while clashing with other activists over strategy. Now all must unite behind a comprehensive approach stressing effective practices in prevention and treatment.
Pundits claim that U.S. foreign policy is too focused on unilateral preemption. But George W. Bush's vision -- enshrined in his 2002 National Security Strategy -- is far broader and deeper than that. The president has promoted bold and effective policies to combat terrorism, intervened decisively to prevent regional conflicts, and embraced other major powers such as Russia, China, and India. Above all, he has committed the United States to a strategy of partnerships, which affirms the vital role of international alliances while advancing American interests and principles.
Saudi Arabia is in the throes of a crisis, but its elite is bitterly divided on how to escape it. Crown Prince Abdullah leads a camp of liberal reformers seeking rapprochement with the West, while Prince Nayef, the interior minister, sides with an anti-American Wahhabi religious establishment that has much in common with al Qaeda. Abdullah cuts a higher profile abroad -- but at home Nayef casts a longer and darker shadow.
Despite the dramatic collapse of the recent trade talks in Cancún, things aren't nearly as bad as they seem. Cancún was no Seattle, as will soon become clear when progress resumes on Doha Round negotiations. Fault for the conference's breakdown lies with all the major parties, but the damage can quickly be remedied.
President Bush has called nuclear terror the defining threat the United States now faces. He's right, but he has yet to follow up his words with actions. This is especially frustrating since nuclear terror is preventable. Washington needs a strategy based on the "Three No's": no loose nukes, no nascent nukes, and no new nuclear states.
The Bush administration has focused on destroying al Qaeda in East Africa, but it has been slow to address less-visible terrorist threats elsewhere on the continent, such as Islamist extremism in Nigeria and criminal syndicates in West Africa's failed states. This indifference could be costly -- for Africans and Americans both.
Kenya's fragile government is threatened by factionalism, economic challenges, and rising crime. To ensure Nairobi's involvement in the war on terrorism, Washington must be sensitive to its domestic needs, recognizing that fledgling democracies can be more difficult to engage than their authoritarian predecessors.
Three years into Mexico's democratic revolution, few of its hopes have been realized: the political system is gridlocked, the economy is stagnant, and relations with the United States are deteriorating. A crisis is not imminent, but progress must come soon if Mexico's grand experiment with political and economic liberty is to continue.
Growing differences over trade and foreign policy threaten to upset the delicate balance in U.S.-Brazil relations. To head off trouble, Washington should lower its expectations, remembering that it has a greater stake in Lula's domestic success than in Brazil's active cooperation on any particular issue.
In just ten years, NAFTA has created the world's most formidable free trade area. But in the absence of true partnerships and multilateral institutions, movement toward further regional integration has slowed. The United States, Mexico, and Canada have many common interests; they need to pursue them in common ways.
The unprecedented threat posed by terrorists and rogue states armed with weapons of mass destruction cannot be handled by an outdated and poorly enforced nonproliferation regime. The international community has a duty to prevent security disasters as well as humanitarian ones -- even at the price of violating sovereignty.
Reviews & Responses
A new book by an eminent economist takes on globalization's critics, disarming them with logic and killing them with compassion.
Letter to the EditorRubens Barbosa and Jessica Stern
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Letter to the EditorGordon Peterson