U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell adjusts his earphone at a news conference after a meeting with European Union foreign ministers in Brussels, November 18, 2003.
Yves Herman / Reuters


When most people think about U.S. foreign policy these days, they think first and sometimes only about aspects of the war on terrorism: the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, the troubles of the Middle East, and the terror cells lurking in Southeast Asia, Europe, and even the United States. This preoccupation is natural. International terrorism literally hit home on September 11, 2001, and, for understandable reasons, an outraged American public wants those responsible brought to justice. The American people also want to understand why the attacks happened—and demand a foreign policy that makes sure such events will never happen again.

It is also natural that the war on terrorism has become the United States' number one foreign policy priority. It will remain so for as long as necessary, because terrorism—potentially linked to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)—now represents the greatest threat to

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