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Foreign Affairs Preview: July/August 2008

Interviewer: Michael Moran
Interviewee: Gideon Rose
June 18, 2008

Foreign Affairs Managing Editor Gideon Rose discusses the July/August 2008 issue with CFR.org Executive Editor Michael Moran. They start with an article by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on "the new American realism." In this double-length piece, Rice describes the Bush administration's foreign policy as pursuing both America's interests and values.

They then turn to China, discussing a piece by CFR's Elizabeth Economy and Adam Segal on China's Olympic nightmare. Economy and Segal argue that Beijing's "coming-out party" has highlighted both the strengths and weaknesses of the Chinese regime.

Next, they discuss an article by Walter Russell Mead on the deep roots of American Zionism. Mead argues that it is correct to say that a pro-Israel stance is often imposed on the U.S. foreign policy establishment, but that the real driver of such a policy is not a narrow Jewish lobby but rather a broad popular consensus among the Gentile public at large—a public that from the founding onward has seen itself as a "new" Israel and had warm feelings toward the "old" one.

Finally, Moran and Rose discuss a debate between Bruce Hoffman and Mark Sageman on terrorism. Sageman's book, Leaderless Jihad, argues that the main terrorist threat to the United States these days comes not from the central al-Qaeda leadership but rather radicalized amateur "wannabes." Hoffman wrote a critical review in the previous issue of Foreign Affairs, arguing the terrorist threat is still more top down than bottom up. Now Sageman responds and Hoffman fires back.

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