During Richard Nixon's first term, when I served as secretary of defense, we withdrew most U.S. forces from Vietnam while building up the South's ability to defend itself. The result was a success -- until Congress snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by cutting off funding for our ally in 1975. Washington should follow a similar strategy now, but this time finish the job properly.
Despite remarkable progress since the end of apartheid, South Africa today is badly wracked by AIDS and severe wealth inequalities, with a leadership still fixated on racial struggle. After more than a decade in power, the ANC has yet to reconcile its various ambitions: curbing racism, promoting political participation, and advancing the interests of all South Africans.
Public support for the war in Iraq has followed the same course as it did for the wars in Korea and Vietnam: broad enthusiasm at the outset with erosion of support as casualties mount. The experience of those past wars suggests that there is nothing President Bush can do to reverse this deterioration -- or to stave off an "Iraq syndrome" that could inhibit U.S. foreign policy for decades to come.
As the Pentagon prepares to redeploy U.S. forces around the world, it should review its practice of setting up bases in nondemocratic states. Although defense officials claim that having U.S. footholds in repressive countries offers important strategic advantages, the practice rarely helps promote liberalization in host states and sometimes even endangers U.S. security.
U.S. policymakers debate how to wield American power; foreigners debate how to deal with it. Some make their peace with Washington and try to manipulate it; others try to oppose and undercut U.S. interests. The challenge for the United States is how to turn its material dominance into legitimate authority.
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The Bush administration contends that the push for democracy in the Muslim world will improve U.S. security. But this premise is faulty: there is no evidence that democracy reduces terrorism. Indeed, a democratic Middle East would probably result in Islamist governments unwilling to cooperate with Washington.
No country can affect China's fortunes more directly than the United States. Many potential flashpoints -- such as Taiwan, Japan, and North Korea -- remain, and true friendship between Washington and Beijing is unlikely. But their interests have grown so intertwined that cooperation is the best way to serve both countries.
A new survey of public opinion on U.S. foreign policy shows that Americans are split in two along party and religious lines. Still, significant majorities are starting to come together based on discontent with the war in Iraq, U.S. standing in the Muslim world, and illegal immigration. Soon the grumbling may become too loud for policymakers to ignore.
Past attempts to fix failed states in Africa have gone nowhere for similar reasons: they have tried to restore good governance to places that have never enjoyed it in the first place. A radical rethinking is needed; in the hardest cases, international trusteeships offer the best chance for success.
Despite widespread fears about China's growing economic clout and political stature, Beijing remains committed to a "peaceful rise": bringing its people out of poverty by embracing economic globalization and improving relations with the rest of the world. As it emerges as a great power, China knows that its continued development depends on world peace -- a peace that its development will in turn reinforce.
The United States has done much to enable China's recent growth, but it has also sent mixed signals that have unnerved Beijing. More consistent engagement is in order, because the course of the twenty-first century will be determined by the relationship between the world's greatest power and the world's greatest emerging power.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.
The authors assess the political, security, and economic challenges facing U.S. policymakers in Afghanistan and evaluate a range of policy options.
Special operations play a critical role in how the United States confronts irregular threats, but to have long-term strategic impact, the author argues, numerous shortfalls must be addressed.
This clear and authoritative book presents a sweeping account of China's global resource quest and the unrivaled expansion of its economy. More
The story of the tragic and often tormented relationship between the United States and Pakistan, and a call to prepare for the worst, aim for the best, and avoid past mistakes. More
An authoritative and accessible look at what countries must do to build durable and prosperous democracies—and what the United States and others can do to help. More