Saturday, January 29, 2005

Weekend Reading at the Daily Demarche

Smiley at the Daily Demarche points to a policy paper written by Condoleeza Rice, and invites readers to comment on whether her views have changed in light of 9/11 and the war in Iraq. Since my comments wouldn't fit on their site, I'm posting them here. Maybe, someday, someone will read them.

Dr. Rice's paper from 2000 clearly demonstrates the United States' foreign policy as executed over the first term of the Bush administration. She gives the roadmap early, in the section headed "The Alternative."

American foreign policy in a Republican administration should refocus the United States on the national interest and the pursuit of key priorities. These tasks are
* to ensure that America's military can deter war, project power, and fight in defense of its interests if deterrence fails;
* to promote economic growth and political openness by extending free trade and a stable international monetary system to all committed to these principles, including in the western hemisphere, which has too often been neglected as a vital area of U.S. national interest;
* to renew strong and intimate relationships with allies who share American values and can thus share the burden of promoting peace, prosperity, and freedom;
* to focus U.S. energies on comprehensive relationships with the big powers, particularly Russia and China, that can and will mold the character of the international political system; and
* to deal decisively with the threat of rogue regimes and hostile powers, which is increasingly taking the forms of the potential for terrorism and the development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

The rest of her paper clearly supports this relatively simple statement of policy.
Over the intervening five years, Dr. Rice's views have not changed. Look at the opening statement from her confirmation hearing:
First, we will unite the community of democracies in building an international system that is based on shared values and the rule of law. Second, we will strengthen the community of democracies to fight the threats to our common security and alleviate the hopelessness that feeds terror.
And third, we will spread freedom and democracy throughout the globe. That is the mission that President Bush has set for America in the world and is the great mission of American diplomacy today.

The only difference is in a slightly narrower focus and a change in priorities. Driven by the advent of the global war on terror, it has become more important to deal with the last point of the 2000 policy statement. The other points have not been neglected, but they have not been as heavily emphasized as they would have been in a peaceful first term.
Later in the opening statement, she provides examples of how the administration has executed or will execute these lesser priorities.

Promote economic growth and political openness:
Implementing the DOHA Development Agenda and reducing trade barriers ... standing with the freed peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan ... spending billions to fight AIDS and tuberculosis and malaria ... joining with developing nations to fight corruption, instill the rule of law and create a culture of transparency ... heartened by the refusal of the people of Ukraine to accept a flawed election and heartened by their insistence that their democratic demands would be met.

Renew strong and intimate relationships with allies who share our values:
Our first challenge is to inspire the American people and the people of all free nations to unite in common, to commonly solve problems that confront us. NATO and the European Union and our democratic allies in East Asia and around the world will be our strongest partners in this vital work ... Alliances and multilateral institutions can multiply the strength of freedom-loving nations ... Japan, South Korea and Australia are key partners in our efforts to deter common threats and spur economic growth ... with our close neighbors in Latin America, we are working to realize the vision of a fully democratic hemisphere, bound by common values and free trade.

Focus U.S. energies on comprehensive relationships with the big powers, particularly Russia and China:
we will continue to make clear that protection of democracy in Russia is vital to the future of U.S.- Russian relations ... We are building a candid, cooperative and constructive relationship with China that embraces our common interests but recognizes our considerable differences about values ... The United States is cooperating with India, the world's largest democracy, across a range of economic and security issues.

To deal decisively with the threat of rogue regimes and hostile powers: ('nuff said).

America is well served to have Dr. Rice as Secretary of State. Her vision, and consistency in executing that vision while adjusting priorities to fit the situation, mark her as a true leader. I envy the Foreign Service for the opportunity to serve under her leadership.