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The current war in Iraq will generate a ferocious blowback of its own, which -- as a recent classified CIA assessment predicts -- could be longer and more powerful than that from Afghanistan. Foreign volunteers fighting U.S. troops in Iraq today will find new targets around the world after the war ends.
Foreign governments want control of the Internet transferred from an American NGO to an international institution. Washington has responded with a Monroe Doctrine for our times, setting the stage for further controversy.
During Richard Nixon's first term, when I served as secretary of defense, we withdrew most U.S. forces from Vietnam while building up the South's ability to defend itself. The result was a success -- until Congress snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by cutting off funding for our ally in 1975. Washington should follow a similar strategy now, but this time finish the job properly.
Public support for the war in Iraq has followed the same course as it did for the wars in Korea and Vietnam: broad enthusiasm at the outset with erosion of support as casualties mount. The experience of those past wars suggests that there is nothing President Bush can do to reverse this deterioration -- or to stave off an "Iraq syndrome" that could inhibit U.S. foreign policy for decades to come.
Since French and Dutch voters rejected the European constitution last spring, the EU has been in crisis. The treaty debacle did not cause the EU's current troubles; the EU's long-standing problems caused voters' dissatisfaction. But the way out of the impasse should involve pragmatic steps to improve EU economics, not legal or institutional reforms.
While radical Islamist terrorist groups such as al Qaeda grab the headlines, their nonviolent ideological cousins remain little known. But groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir play a crucial role in indoctrinating Muslims with radical ideology. Because they occupy a gray zone of militancy, regulating them is a diffcult challenge for liberal democracies -- but ignoring them is no longer an option.
As the Pentagon prepares to redeploy U.S. forces around the world, it should review its practice of setting up bases in nondemocratic states. Although defense officials claim that having U.S. footholds in repressive countries offers important strategic advantages, the practice rarely helps promote liberalization in host states and sometimes even endangers U.S. security.
Despite remarkable progress since the end of apartheid, South Africa today is badly wracked by AIDS and severe wealth inequalities, with a leadership still fixated on racial struggle. After more than a decade in power, the ANC has yet to reconcile its various ambitions: curbing racism, promoting political participation, and advancing the interests of all South Africans.
The shock of September 11 focused long-overdue attention on the failings of the U.S. intelligence system. But less than a year after the passage of a landmark intelligence reform bill, the prospects for real change are increasingly remote. Bureaucratic self-protection and insider squabbling have thwarted sound policy yet again, and the consequences for national security could be dire.
Reviews & Responses
Mature democracies may not fight each other. But immature democracies, an important new book argues, can be quite bellicose. Unfortunately, Iraq might end up fitting the pattern.