Is There a Doctrine in the House? (RICHARD N. HAASS, 11/08/05, NY Times)

WHAT policy should the United States adopt toward China’s rise? How should we greet India’s emergence, Japan’s new assertiveness, Europe’s drift or the possible decline of Russia? How can the United States reduce terrorism, promote trade, stop nuclear proliferation and increase freedom?

These are among the toughest questions on the foreign policy agenda, and right now Washington is trying to answer them without a compass. Containment, the doctrine of resisting Soviet and communist expansion, survived some four decades of challenge, but could not survive its own success. What we need is a foreign policy for both the post-cold-war and the post-9/11 world.

It’s a curious thing: your personal dislike for our comprehensive and coherent strategy doesn’t actually make it cease to exist.

MORE (via Mike Daley):
A Foreign Policy Needs a Domestic Policy (Bruce Kesler, The American Enterprise)

Richard Perle, a key player in all things Iraq, minces few words:

Notwithstanding the caricature of the Bush Doctrine, portrayed by its critics as a menacing unilateralism serving a crusade to impose democracy by force, Bush has correctly understood that the dictatorships and autocracies of the Middle East are the soil in which lethal extremism and the passion for holy war have taken root and spread. He is under no illusion that democratic reform will come quickly or easily, or that it can be imposed from outside by military means. In pressing for reform, he has stood up against the counsel of inaction, self-designated as sophistication, from foreign offices around the world—including those of our European and ‘moderate’ Arab allies—and rather too often even from our own diplomatic establishment. Such counsel would leave the dictators in place for as long as they can cling to power or, worse still, have us collaborate with them and their secret services, or negotiate for their voluntary restraint, in the vain and by now discredited hope that we can thereby purchase safety for our citizens.

Another longtime observer, Richard Pipes, comments, “I do not recall a period in modern history when United States foreign policy has been under such relentless attack from abroad and at home as in the administration of George W. Bush.”

Pipes’s next sentence, at first, struck me as too partisan: “At home, the criticism is mainly inspired by Democratic frustration over Republican electoral triumphs and the feeling that the Republicans’ aggressive foreign policy is what makes them vulnerable.”

But then, Senate Democrat Minority Leader Harry Reid pulled the U.S. Senate into secret session to demand, “a searching and comprehensive investigation about how the Bush Administration brought this country to war.”

In doing so, Reid ensured that November 1, 2005, would forever be remembered as the day that the Democrat Party officially declared war on the war in Iraq. They’re now repeating their 1972 game plan of openly coalescing around eviscerating the war policy for which they’ve lost guts.

As Henry Kissinger reflected back in August, “America’s emotional exhaustion with the [Vietnam] war and the domestic travail of Watergate had reduced economic and military aid to Vietnam by two-thirds, and Congress prohibited military support, even via airpower, to the besieged ally.”

One Response to DON'T REALISTS READ?:

  1. […] Even Haass himself, in writing that integration must advance political freedoms and change the behavior of rogue states, concedes more of state sovereignty than realists like: the U.S. should push for change where it can, he insists, including democratization, but not if this dents national security interests. The question is how do you define such interests in the Middle East? For the Bush administration, democracy, by reducing Arab frustration and limiting America’s truck with thugs, is vital because it helps erode the impetus for anti-American terrorism; for the realists, stability, access to oil, and reliable alliances are preferable, though democracy might lose out. […]

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