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After Iraq, we may be tempted to turn inward. That would be a mistake. The American moment is not over, but it must be seized anew. We must bring the war to a responsible end and then renew our leadership -- military, diplomatic, moral -- to confront new threats and capitalize on new opportunities. America cannot meet this century's challenges alone; the world cannot meet them without America.
Washington is as divided on foreign policy as it has been at any point in the last 50 years. As the "greatest generation" did before us, we must move beyond political camps to unite around bold actions in order to build a strong America and a safer world. We must strengthen our military and economy, achieve energy independence, reenergize civilian and interagency capabilities, and revitalize our alliances.
Globalization has brought huge overall benefits, but earnings for most U.S. workers -- even those with college degrees -- have been falling recently; inequality is greater now than at any other time in the last 70 years. Whatever the cause, the result has been a surge in protectionism. To save globalization, policymakers must spread its gains more widely. The best way to do that is by redistributing income.
Sixty years ago, the National Security Act created a U.S. intelligence infrastructure that would help win the Cold War. But on 9/11, the need to reform that system became painfully clear. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is now spearheading efforts to enable the intelligence community to better shield the United States from the new threats it faces.
Liberal democracy, led by the United States, may have emerged triumphant from the great struggles of the twentieth century. But the post-Cold War rise of economically successful -- and nondemocratic -- China and Russia may represent a viable alternative path to modernity that leaves liberal democracy's ultimate victory and future dominance in doubt.
Deep divisions at home about the nature of the United States' engagement with the world threaten to produce failed leadership abroad -- and possibly isolationism. To steady U.S. global leadership and restore consensus to U.S. foreign policy, U.S. commitments overseas must be scaled back to a more politically sustainable level.
Americans are increasingly frustrated with Pakistan's counterterrorism efforts, but the United States should resist the urge to threaten President Pervez Musharraf or demand a quick democratic transition. Getting Islamabad to play a more effective role in the war on terrorism will require that Washington strike a careful balance: pushing for political reform but without jeopardizing the military's core interests.
In a departure from its traditional foreign policy, Turkey is now becoming an important player in the Middle East. Turkey's growing concern over Kurdish nationalism has brought Ankara closer to the governments of Iran and Syria, which also contend with restive Kurds at home. Although troubling, this shift could be an opportunity for Washington and its allies to use Turkey as a bridge to the Middle East.
Nigeria's elections last April were among the most seriously flawed in the country's history, thanks largely to the manipulations of the U.S.-backed ruling party. With Nigerians increasingly clamoring for accountability, Washington's continuing support could generate more unrest -- and could pose a risk both to oil supplies coming out of Nigeria and to the stability of West Africa.
Reviews & Responses
Indur Goklany's The Improving State of the World offers a healthy corrective to the pervasive view that everything is getting worse. But its facile suggestion that further advances are all but inevitable misreads the true causes of progress.
Two new books discuss how Washington should fight the wars of tomorrow -- and pay for them. But to balance the conflicting demands of strategy and finance, the next president ought to take a page from Eisenhower's playbook.
Robert and Isabelle Tombs' superb chronicle of 300 years of Anglo-French rivalry reveals how the love-hate relationship between France and the United Kingdom has left an indelible mark on today's world.
Robert Service's Comrades! tells the story of world communism -- but leaves the reader still hungry for explanations of why the movement lasted so long and what, if anything, it accomplished.
Washington has abandoned diplomacy in favor of military power. In Statecraft, Dennis Ross urges U.S. officials to resurrect the United States' peacemaking tradition and restore its international reputation.