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This week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations outlining a sweeping vision of U.S. diplomacy and engagement. In 2007, Clinton, then a presidential candidate, wrote a Foreign Affairs essay addressing many of the same themes, and set out a plan for restoring U.S. leadership around the world.
America needs a president who can revitalize the country's purpose and standing in the world and defeat terrorist adversaries who threaten liberty at home and abroad. There is an enormous amount to do. The next U.S. president must be ready to show America and the world that this country's best days are yet to come and be ready to establish an enduring peace based on freedom.
U.S.-Russian relations are deteriorating rapidly. Misguided and arrogant U.S. policies since the end of the Cold War have fueled resentment in Russia, and Vladimir Putin's increasing defiance is inflaming the West. But Washington and Moscow need not be adversaries. Both sides must act soon to avert renewed confrontation.
It can, but only if U.S. officials start to think clearly about what success in the war on terror would actually look like. Victory will come only when Washington succeeds in discrediting the terrorists' ideology and undermining their support. These achievements, in turn, will require accepting that the terrorist threat can never be eradicated completely and that acting as though it can will only make it worse.
The United States now spends almost as much on defense in real dollars as it ever has before -- even though it has no plausible rationale for using most of its impressive military forces. Why? Because without political incentives for restraint, policymakers have lost the ability to think clearly about defense policy. Washington's new mantra should be "Half a trillion dollars is more than enough."
After 60 years of U.S. domination, the balance of power in Northeast Asia is shifting. The United States is in relative decline, China is on the rise, and Japan and South Korea are in flux. To maintain U.S. power in the region, Washington must identify the trends shaping this transition and embrace new tools and regimes that broaden the United States' power base.
Pundits, academics, and Bush bashers insist that the United States is losing ground in Asia, but they are wrong. The Bush administration's Asia policy has been an unheralded success. Improved relations with China, stronger U.S.-Japanese cooperation, North Korea's gradual nuclear disarmament, and expanding regional alliances have made Asia more prosperous and secure than it has been in decades.
The ruckus over the election of a religious conservative as Turkey's president has exposed the illiberal nature of Turkish secularism -- as well as the pragmatism of the country's reformed Islamists. Preserving democracy in Turkey by keeping the military out of politics will be a tall order, but the future of the Muslim world's most promising democratic experiment is at stake.
The rise of a democratic and increasingly powerful India is a positive development for U.S. interests. Rarely has the United States shared so many interests and values with a growing power as we do today with India. By reaching out to India, we have made the bet that the future lies in pluralism, democracy, and market economics.
Reviews & Responses
Sloppy execution means The Israel Lobby, however commendable the intentions of its authors, will have the opposite of its desired effect: impeding new thinking about U.S. policy in the Middle East rather than advancing the debate.
The U.S. military's new counterinsurgency manual is an overdue step forward in doctrine. But a look back at the history of counterinsurgency offers a sobering reminder of how low the odds of success are -- as Iraq is showing all too well.
Letter to the EditorTony Smith, Ludovic Hood, and James Dobbins
Letter to the EditorLudovic Hood
Letter to the EditorJames Dobbins
Letter to the EditorKenneth D. Wollack
Letter to the EditorIndur M. Goklany
Letter to the EditorEdward B. Atkenson
Letter to the EditorDavid Logan