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The next U.S. president will face three key foreign policy challenges: setting a course for victory in the terrorists' war on global order, strengthening the international system the terrorists seek to destroy, and extending the system's benefits. With a stronger defense, a determined diplomacy, and greater U.S. economic and cultural influence, the next president can start to build a lasting, realistic peace.
In the wake of the Iraq debacle, we must restore America's reputation for moral leadership and reengage with the world. We must move beyond the empty slogan 'war on terror' and create a genuine national security policy that is built on hope, not fear. Only then can America once again become a beacon to the world.
China's environmental woes are mounting, and the country is fast becoming one of the leading polluters in the world. The situation continues to deteriorate because even when Beijing sets ambitious targets to protect the environment, local officials generally ignore them, preferring to concentrate on further advancing economic growth. Really improving the environment in China will require revolutionary bottom-up political and economic reforms.
The current debate over the United States' failures in Iraq needs to go beyond bumper-sticker conclusions -- no more preemption, no more democracy promotion, no more nation building -- and acrimonious finger-pointing. Only by carefully considering where U.S. leaders, institutions, and policies have been at fault can valuable lessons be learned and future debacles avoided.
The outcome of the North Korean nuclear saga has been held up as an example of the Bush administration defying its bellicose reputation and using multilateralism and diplomacy to defuse a crisis. But in fact, the story is one of extremely poor policymaking and a persistent failure to devise a coherent strategy -- with the result that North Korea has managed to dramatically expand its nuclear capability.
Since the Democrats regained control of Congress, the Hill has been alive with the sound of hearings. Congress' earlier slumber and recent awakening should come as no surprise: for the last six decades, the partisan composition of Congress has defined the politics of war. Now facing a Democratic majority, President George W. Bush will find it far more difficult to stay in Iraq.
The Bush administration has adopted a misguided and dangerous nuclear posture. Instead of recycling antiquated doctrines and building a new generation of warheads, the United States should drastically reduce its nuclear arsenal, strengthen the international nonproliferation regime, and move toward the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons.
Despite the failure of U.S. democracy-promotion efforts, democracy is spreading across the globe, bolstered by the free market. Although the Arab world, China, and Russia present challenges, pressure for democratic governance will only grow as economies liberalize in the years to come.
Reviews & Responses
Paul Collier offers strong recommendations for helping "the bottom billion" -- those living in poor countries caught in growth traps. But he cannot overcome a basic problem: how to create growth where no functioning economy exists.
Letter to the EditorSaid T. Jawad
Letter to the EditorNadeem Haider Kiani
Letter to the EditorFeisal Khan
Letter to the EditorGideon Lichfield
Letter to the EditorMichael W. Klein
Letter to the EditorRichard L. Russell
Letter to the EditorGlenn Davis, Charles Dragonette, and Randy Young