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The Future of Foreign Policy
SJIR: In your opinion, what should be the three central policy aims or goals of American foreign policy in the 21st Century?
BLACKER: First and most broadly, we have to do everything we can to contribute to the maintenance of international and regional peace and security. This is as as important a feature of American foreign policy today as it was ten years ago; and it will be important in the future. Second, we must do what we can to promote meaningful reform on a global scale, and continue to press for by what I sometimes characterize as "representational politics." This is the process by which more and more people take an active part in the political life of their society. It's important because over time this will provide better prospects for peace and stability--much better prospects then under a repressive political system. Third and fourth, we need to come to grips with the consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union and of the Soviet empire and the effects of what is sometimes characterized as "globalization." Finally, we need to figure out how to deal creatively with the problem of failing and failed states in the international system.
RICE: The three central policy aims should include several things. First, we need to make certain that the international system remains stable and secure from a military point of view so that no hegemon can rise to threaten stability. The second goal should be to promote an open international economic system, including trade and the development of markets. And the third has to be to try and extend and expand the values that really do support democracy-- whether it's human rights or political rights-- and to try to promote their spread.SJIR: If you were in a policy-making position, which three specific "challenges" to American foreign policy would you focus upon?
BLACKER: Building off my response to the first question, we must deal with the unintended consequences of the collapse of the Soviet empire, including Russia itself as well as the other states of the Former Soviet Union, but also problems in the development of states in Southeast Europe, like the Balkans. Second, we must work to limit the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. This means dealing with states that seek to acquire nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. Third, an increasingly apparent challenge is international terrorism, and this issue too must be addressed.
RICE: I think that I would certainly focus upon the impact of globalization on economic stability in important countries. I think that if I worry about anything it's that there would be "big winners" and "big losers" in economic globalization, and if they are important countries that that could be very destabilizing. Therefore, the international economic order is probably the most important thing. The second thing I think about is the challenges in what people call "failed states," whether it's a failed state like Iraq or North Korea, or a failing state like Russia. The United States has to figure out how it's going to deal with such states. And then third, rising states that may be revisionist states like China pose a challenge.SJIR: Now moving to a more specific scenario and speaking of Russia, what do you foresee in Russia's political and economic future?
BLACKER: I think that Russia's recovery as a great power is going to be a long process. There was much more optimism in this regard in the early 1990s-- in both Russia itself as well as in the United States and the Western world-- then we see now. If we've learned anything in the past eight years it's that the process of "transformative change" is a much more complicated and costly process then we ever anticipated. So I think that Russia is going to be weak for a long time. The problem here is that Russia's weakness is going to play out in ways that we just don't understand and in ways that will prove costly to all concerned. This is part of a larger problem-- namely how to deal with great power rivalries in this period. Two of the five great powers- the five being the U.S., Japan, Europe, China, and Russia- are going to require immense policy skill. I think the pace of change in Russia and China is something that we don't know how to think about. The problems will not be the same, but they are going to be extraordinarily difficult to deal with.
RICE: It's very chaotic right now, so it's really crazy to try and predict, but I think that in the short-term you're likely to see the continued disintegration of Russia. You're going to continue to see Moscow not capable of managing the relations with the periphery, not really capable of collecting taxes, and becoming increasingly irrelevant in its own people's lives because they play these political games at the center that don't connect in any way with what those lives are really about. And in the longer run that can't go on. There's a feeling right now that they're living in a "grave-yard" a little bit. They're ignoring this disintegration, which raises the possiblity of two long-term scenarios that you have to think about. First, that this disintegration continues and that someone strong tries to come along and organize them. And the other is that they just continue along this path and they wake up one day and no one is really in control of the territories that used to be Russian. I actually think that the best thing they have going for them is the patience of the Russian people, and I'm really hopeful that in the June 2000 elections that they can find some body who is not corrupt and is capable.SJIR: Who do you foresee as winning these elections in Russia and who, from an American foreign policy view, would an American foreign policy maker prefer to win?
BLACKER: Predicting the outcome of contested elections is very tricky business. However, in the field of likely candidates, which include Moscow Mayor Luzhkov, Gennady Zyuganov- the leader of the Communists in the Duma, Zhironovsky- the head of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party, and possibly a liberal/reformist candidate like Yavlinsky, I would think that the odds on favorite at this point is probably Mayor Luzhkov. With respect to preferences, from a policy point of view you really don't have a preference because you don't have control of the outcome. The operative point of this construct is that U.S. policy makers should be willing to work with whomever the Russian people select. Depending on the outcome of the election, I can imagine a relationship that is very cooperative and I can also imagine one that is more conflictual. U.S. policy makers need to be able to deal with whomever the Russian people chose and conduct our policy accordingly.
RICE: I really can't predict who's going to win. I think that for a while that it seemed like it may be Lebed, but he seems to be sinking like a stone in the polls because he now has a job-- to try to be the Governor of Krasnayorsk-- which has not been going so well. And Luzhkov still seems to be a possibility and maybe Primakov, but I really don't know. And I actually don't think that an American policy maker ought to be asking the question of who would be best for us. I think that the best thing that could happen from an American policy maker's view point is to get somebody that would stabilize the situation, and who could again push Russia toward market and democratic development. And that is really only somebody who is not corrupt. The most important thing from my point of view is to get somebody who is not corrupt.SJIR: Speaking of American-Russo relations, since they seem to be at a low right now, how do you think that American-Russo relations will develop and what specific policy initiatives would you recommend to maximize American-Russo relations?
BLACKER: It is true that U.S.-Russian relations are at their lowest point since 1991. I think that this perilous state of relations is a shared responsibility due partly to the fact that Russia's transition has been much more complicated and much more prolonged than neither Moscow or Washington anticipated. At this point, rebuilding a sense of trust is paramount. And in this context, how the crisis over Kosovo resolves itself will be important. If things go well, the relationship will improve; if things don't go well, further damage could be done to the relationship. For the medium and longer term, I would hope leaders on both sides would take a fresh look at relations, determine where our interests coincide and where they differ--and learn how to manage our differences, honestly and constructively, when they do arise.
RICE: It's probably important to recognize that U.S.-Russian relations are not going to be very good for a while. What we've gone through in the Cold War situation has probably made that worse. We have to try and go back and refocus less on the United States but rather try to take responsibility some how for Russian domestic development. We need to get back to the table to talk about things that are common interest such as the spread of ballistic missile technology, weapons of mass destruction, and concerns that we might have about the safety of Russian nuclear weapons and dismantlement. I think a pretty limited agenda is probably the way to go right now.SJIR: Speaking of another geographically important region, which leading Israeli political figure--Netanyahu, Barak, or Mordechai--do you believe will best support U.S. policy goals in the Middle East?
BLACKER: It's no secret that U.S.-Israeli relations have not been at the best since the election of Prime Minster Netanyahu in 1996. Again, it is the responsibility of both parties to manage this relationship responsibly. I suspect if the administration had its choice, it would welcome the victory of Barak. This is based less on opposition to Netanyahu then it is support for Barak, who is likely to be more consistent in the pursuit of peace in the Middle East.
RICE: Again, I come from the view that the United States should not be in the business of choosing other people's leaders. It should be a function of the domestic circumstances because you're always going to be better off with a leader who has domestic support and can some how carry through on foreign policy then if you have a weak leader who has limited domestic support. Even if you have a good relationship with a weak leader they can't make anything happen. I would focus more, once the Israelis have gone through the selection process, on how the United States engages with whomever wins the election.SJIR: Do you foresee a bright engagement in the future in regards to the Middle East peace accords or will the engagement be somewhat muddled?
BLACKER: Well again, that's up to the parties themselves. I would think that the West should try to take advantage of the fact that there has been an election to assess where the parties are and to look to areas where progress might be possible. Then, we can try to do what we can as an "honest broker" to energize the process. But I think that the prospects for peace are likely to be better in the wake of a Barak victory.
RICE: The Middle East peace accord goes through "fits and starts," and that's been the history for a long time. But if you look at the long history, its gotten better as more Arab states have signed peace treaties with Israel and established relations with Israel. And so I think you have to keep on hammering on it day in and day out, and recognizing that more and more of the pieces are getting in place; even though sometimes it seems that we're taking a step backwards.SJIR: In regards to another region of the world, do you believe that a continued American military presence in the Pacific Rim is necessary in the post-Cold War era?
BLACKER: I do indeed. Going back to the first question, continued American military engagement in the pursuit of peace and stability is the single most important goal of American security policy. A critical arena for this engagement is the Asia-Pacific region. Our regional allies are all in agreement that a continued U.S. military presence, and a continued U.S. political presence, constitute important elements of a strategy to maintain stability. Here again, the issue is how to think about the challenge, as well as opportunity, that is posed by China.
RICE: I think that an American military presence in the Pacific is critical. The Pacific is one region that still has a lot of unsettled vital interests. For instance, China has vital interests in Taiwan and the Sub-Continent. You could set off different calculations for the Japanese about their own security if the United States were to withdraw and that would have really difficult effects upon this region. So yes, I think that an American military presence is critical.SJIR: First, do you think that Japan will be able to reform its economy in a manner sufficient with what the United States has stated in its policies, particularly banking system restructuring? And second, speaking of China, which is the largest and most revisionist state in the region, what role do you believe American policy should have in China's development?
BLACKER: With respect to Japan, after a slow start Tokyo has moved with increasing speed to reorganize its financial system and to put in place the prerequisites for economic growth. I think the sense of crisis that we attribute to the situation in Japan is over-dramatized. The Japanese leadership, it seems to me, does not think of the current situation as a crisis but as a process. I am very encouraged by what we are seeing and if I read the signals correctly on the U.S. side that is the general sentiment here as well. We'll see. But it seems to me that the Japanese economy will soon recover its vitality. With respect to China, the country is in a period of profound change: Remarkable economic growth, combined with growing political volatility. I think this is a very, very complex and sensitive issue which is further complicated by allegations of Chinese spying in the United States and China's posture towards NATO policy in Kosovo and Yugoslavia-- not to mention the allegations regarding Chinese campaign contributions in 1996. These issues do nothing but complicate an already tense bilateral relationship. But I think that we have no option but to engage China. The same goes for China, by the way. Chinese goals and American goals in Asia overlap but they do not coincide. It is going to be a challenge to both sides to deal with the best of the relationship while containing the worst of it, but that's the nature of international politics.
RICE: Well, I'm hopeful that Japan can restructure because I don't think, as Larry Summers has said, "that the world can fly on one engine." The world economy can't fly on one engine-- you need the Japanese economy to recover and the European economy to grow. I don't think anyone should underestimate the difficulties that Japan is having with its political struggles. In terms of China, I think that it would be a mistake to prematurely declare China an enemy, but China is a problem for American foreign policy. China is not a strategic partner of the United States. We have huge differences. The most clear overarching difference is that the Chinese object to the same American military presence in the Pacific that I believe is so important. This alone lets you understand that this is not a relationship that will be easy. And you can go down the list of issues, including the way the Chinese have treated Taiwan in the recent year. China has attempted to intimidate. I think that there is all kinds of evidence that the Chinese have spread all kinds of sophisticated military technology to states that the United States abhors. So it's not a good relationship on this level. But in the final analysis, as China has developed economically and liberalized economically I do believe that it will liberalize politically too and that could be a good start to better relations. So you have to play both halves of this game at the same time- which is somewhat difficult because people would like to have a clear answer to if China is good or bad for the United States.SJIR: Do you believe that China would be able to liberalize in the same fashion as the Former Soviet Union did, and if it does do so will it be able to "quietly go" and dissipate as the Former Soviet Union did or will it react in a more Realist manner- with a military conflict?
BLACKER: I suspect that the Chinese leadership has learned from the Soviet experience. They know that they do not want to do what the Soviets did. This explains, in part, why China has moved so aggressively to reform its economic sector, while attempting to contain the tempo of political change. To this point in time they have been more successful then not with this strategy. Whether they are going to be able to continue to control the pace of political change it is very hard to predict. I suspect that in the end, the types of economic reforms that China has undertaken will generate irresistable pressures for political liberalization. The question is how rapidly this will occur, and how will the Chinese leadership will respond. If Tiananmen is any example, I am not optimistic. Do political leaders learn from their mistakes? We'll see.
RICE: I think China and the Chinese leadership is living on "borrowed time" when they believe that they can control political events while economically liberalizing. I think that some of the crackdowns we've seen in the last year show that political pressures are rising in China. I don't have an answer to how things are going to play out. They're hoping that it will be peaceful and that the Chinese do go through a sort of liberalization. Whatever you want to say about Russia- it has gone through a political liberalization without it being bloody for the most part. You have to hope that that's going to be the situation in China too. However, I'm worried that the Chinese leadership does not recognize that its probably going to have to "loosen" its grip.SJIR: How should the United States act in order to best situate itself to take advantage of the new international economy?
BLACKER: I think we've done remarkably well in the last eight years. We should keep doing exactly what we have been doing. We went through a painful process in the 1980s in reforming ourselves internally in order to compete more effectively internationally. Through a combination of American resourcefulness and good policy, coming from both the Bush and Clinton presidencies, we are very well positioned to take advantage of our strengths. I do think, as Tom Freedman of the New York Times has said, that "there are going to be big winners and big losers in the next ten years in this process." At least until now we've done the types of things that have allowed us to be winners in this contest. Structurally, I see no reason why we can't continue to prosper. My concern is not so much how we do, because we'll do very well, but what happens to the "losers." There will be big "losers," and this cuts against notions of peace and stability. If you have some big countries that are not winning, that's going to be a problem, and I don't think we've started to think about this seriously.
RICE: The first thing the United States has to do is to make sure that its population is educated and capable of actually performing the jobs that are going to be available in the new world economy. I just don't think that it's going to be possible to hold onto unskilled, high-paying jobs. This then fuels this kind of fearfulness of the globalization of the international economy. So paying attention to the skills sets of the American workers is probably the most important thing. Also, the United States needs to continue to be the beacon of free trade. I know that it's sometimes frustrating because other countries have trade barriers and we have fewer, but the United States benefits from free trade. Also, you have to be prepared to try and intervene when economies are in need of support as they are trying to liberalize their economies. This is not just to prop up economies that are failing but to actually support economic transformation and liberalization.SJIR: How would you assess the role of the IMF in the past five to seven years?
BLACKER: The role of the IMF is an extremely contentious issue. Generally, the IMF has been useful in communicating to countries what they need to do in order to position themselves for growth in this new global economy. Whether the the IMF should be involved in the day-to- day economic affairs of states-- Russia comes to mind as well as Indonesia and South Korea--is a fair question. Maybe it does more harm than good in this context. But we need the IMF and the World Bank because we need a set of international financial institutions to function as lenders of last resort.
RICE: The IMF has slipped into a role it is not intended to play. The IMF was tremendously important in the Polish crisis. It was the Polish program that worked very, very well. The IMF is best when it provides support to a program that has domestic support. It can't be very helpful when the country signs onto an IMF program but does not do anything. So it's not fair to blame the IMF for all these failed programs. However, in the last couple of years the IMF has started to attempt to make itself the "good housekeeping" seal of approval for private investors and probably promoting some policies that were not good for the countries that it was actually trying to help. So the IMF is probably an over-extended program.SJIR: In regards to the core topic of this SJIR issue, do you believe that new developments in information technology, such as computer encryption methods, will be relevant to international security?
BLACKER: We are beginning to see that advances in information technology are changing the way the world does business. Its impact on states that are part of this changing global economy is not only positive, but negative as well. At a minimum, advances in information technology have slowed down policy making because they truly complicate, they add new and unfamiliar variables into the policy process.
RICE: I think that certainly the information age has been relevant to the international system in all kinds of ways. The liquidity of global markets and the movement in global funds makes up only one such example. However, the ability to move information in the international system has an upside as well as a downside, particularly in regards to weapons of mass destruction and the organization of terrorist networks on the internet. I don't think that you can probably stop this phenomenon or interfere with it, but you just need to be ready for its effects. Also, rapid communication in the media has also made a difference in international relations. When you are looking constantly at pictures from "here or there" it can very much become a focal point of foreign policy- which is a danger. What happens today shouldn't be a focusing point for the future.SJIR: What line of policy should the United States follow in order to minimize the security threats of the information technology revolution?
BLACKER: This is a very technical question for which I do not have good answers. Recent episodes regarding the vulnerability of U.S. government computer systems, such as those in connection with these allegations of Chinese espionage, suggest that we will have to take a fresh look at how we store, retrieve, and transfer information. What that means and how that is done is unclear, at least to me. But because of the political turmoil that has been generated by this espionage scandal I guarantee that something will happen.
RICE: I think we can do everything we can to try to minimize the impact of information technology-- make computers secure, make sure that no one is breaking into department computers, etc. But as a law enforcement officer one told me, the whole history of law enforcement is that criminals get technologylaw enforcement gets better technologyand the cycle continues. And I think that the issue is a little bit like this. It's a constant battle and I don't think you can just solve the problem.SJIR: Now moving more into the realm of political theory, will the United States continue as a unipolar power in the international political arena, or will other states- and which ones specifically- rise to challenge this dominance?
BLACKER: When I picture the emerging international system, I see a pyramid, with five horizontal layers. At the apex is the United States, which is the only country that can lay claim to the status of "superpower". It is very hard for me to see any challenger to the United States in the near future, in terms of aggregate capability. In the second layer I would cluster the healthy middle powers, whose economic prospects look good, and whose politics seem stable. I would include Japan in this category, as well as the states of the EU. China, India, Brazil, and Egypt might also qualify, depending on events. In the third layer of this pyramid are small and medium powers whose resources are limited but whose prospects, overall, are fair to good. It's the fourth and fifth layers of this pyramid that concern me. The fourth layer represents failing states-- Russia and Nigeria, for example-- and the fifth layer represents failed states. As time goes by there will be a greater and greater disconnect between states that are doing relatively well- the first through third layers- and those that are not- the fourth and fifth layers. It's this chasm betwen success and failure, between winners and losers, that could destabilize the international system. RICE: I don't think there is any doubt that the United States is the dominant power right now. I don't know if it's unipolar because even though it sometime appears that most states revolve around the United States, that may just be because we live in the United States and we have that view. But it is clearly the dominant power, and I don't think that there has been a power this dominant in terms of its entire range of assets since Britain in the 19th Century. The real question is whether the United States is constrained by both its domestic system, which seems to make it difficult to have a coherent policy, and constrained by its own ambivalence in using this power, which is more of a normative/philosophical problem in the United States. I don't see on the horizon a state that can rise to challenge the United States globally. The United States is its own biggest challenge globally-in whether it can organize its power. The fact of the matter is that the United States will often get itself into situations where there is a power asymmetry and a weaker power has more at stake and therefore will risk more and do more. So it's not so clear that being the dominant power always means that you will win on every encounter.SJIR: If there will be a regional asymmetry, where do you expect it to occur?
BLACKER: I can think of a couple of targets. I think we're in for some rough "sledding" in the arc of states that begins in the Balkans and extends to the middle of the sub-continent. I'm not suggesting that there will be instability at all points along this arc, but if I were to think of a geographic area with the greatest potential for instability- it begins in Serbia and ends somewhere in India. The second target is the problem of failed states. This problem will become manifest in at least two areas. Western and Sub-Saharan Africa, where the combination of population growth, political failure, economic stagnation and environmental degradation, is a formula for massive social breakdown. The second area where I see real trouble is Southeast Asia. Here it turns critically on what happens to Indonesia. If Indonesia makes it then the region will very probably recover. If it does not , then significant instability can follow. It is just too early to say at this point what will happen. Finally, the big question mark is China. China is undergoing an extraordinary process of development and transformation. If China continues to grow economically and the Chinese leadership is skillful enough to adjust politically then I imagine that the prospects in this region will be very good. But I can also imagine a scenario in which things don't go that well with China. Change is always destabilizing: the greater the change, the greater the challenge to stability.
RICE: The places I would look to most warily include: China and its intentions in the region, North Korea -a paranoid state that no one really knows anything about- and the Subcontinent with India and Pakistan. Here the relationship is very much prone to potential conflicts.SJIR: Speaking of American dominance, does the present involvement in Kosovo represent a foible in American foreign policy?
BLACKER: I support what the United States and NATO are trying to do in Kosovo. The goals --halting ethnic cleansing and curbing Milosevic's ambitions-- are admirable and I support the policy. I have confidence that in the end, the Alliance will succeed in reversing the consequences of Milosovic's policies. I think that the conflict will end on terms largely dictated by the United States and NATO. At least I hope so. I would like to see Russia implicated in the settlement. But is has been a costly conflict. and I do have some problems with how the campaign has been waged. There are some important lessons to be drawn from this conflict. First and foremost, once you pass from a state of peace to a state of war, the United States and its allies must demonstrate their willingness to take whatever military action may be necessary to settle the conflict on our terms. In this case, I think that we should have begun to deploy ground forces within the region to demonstrate the seriousness of our resolve and to bring the conflict to an early and successful conclusion. We also need to be to be clearer-- with others and with ourselves-- about what are the "triggers" for U.S. military action. We cannot intervene everywhere in the world. In the end, where we do intervene must be a function of our interests and our capabilities. We need to be clear-headed and tough-minded regarding both.
RICE: I think that the NATO could not stand by and watch ethnic cleansing occur in a place that is considered part of the security zone. That said, we probably handled it not very well and probably not very well for several years, and now we're in a very difficult situation. If the outcome of this conflict is that Milosevic comes out with a better or "face-saving" solution then it could have a very bad affect on the alliance. It could have a very bad effect of American credibility, and I think you'll find challenges to the United States arising.SJIR: Speaking of the NATO alliance, what do you foresee as the goals of the alliance in the upcoming ten to fifteen years?
BLACKER: NATO is both a military alliance and a community of "like-minded" states. It is built around notions of democracy and market economies and respect for human rights. NATO must continue to defend the interets of its members and to deter the threat of war from whatever perspective challenges to the security agreement whatever the quarter. NATO has survived because it embodies core Euro-Atlantic values. It is a false choice to argue that we need to choose between the defense of territories and the defense of interests. In the post-Cold War era, we can't neglect our territorial and security needs, but we have to figure out a way to responsibly defend our interests in a collective manner as well.
RICE: I'm rather old-fashioned about NATO and not much for a grand new strategy. Clearly, NATO should remain a mostly defensive alliance. NATO should remain an alliance that attempts to unify democratic states in their collective security interests. I do think that the move to move east and to expand to Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, which I supported, has brought NATO closer to a part of Europe that is unstable. The Balkans are obviously an example of this instability. Given that, I think its not right to consider the Balkans "out of area" for NATO because I don't expect a war in Bonn and given that we now have on NATO's Eastern flank a fairly unsettled part of Europe. Unfortunately, in the debates on NATO's expansion that point never came up. We made it seem a little bit like everyone was joining a "gardening club" and as if we were all just great democracies here. But in fact, when NATO started accepting responsibility for the power vacuum that Communist power had left behind when it exited, it maybe was predictable that you were accepting responsibility for some instability.SJIR: How do you expect Russia and other states in the Former Soviet Union to react to this expansion eastward?
BLACKER: My best sense at this time tells me that it will be a while and possibly a long time before NATO accepts new states into the Alliance. It is important that the three states that have been recently accepted -- Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic -- be fully incorporated into NATO. We need to draw some lessons from the current expansion, and so I would not be in support of further expansion at this point. There are many other types of security arrangements that can and should be developed in Europe- both in place of NATO and in combination with NATO. NATO-Russia relations will be crucial. I cannot imagine a scenario anymore in which Russia seeks NATO membership. It is also hard for me to imagine a scenario in which NATO extends membership to Russia. Nonetheless, relations between NATO and Russia will be crucial to the search for security in Europe. The relationship between NATO and Ukraine is also very important, but I also don't think that NATO membership is in the cards for Ukraine. Or for the Baltic republics-- at least not in the foreseeable future. NATO cannot expand"wily nilly" because that would erode the cohesiveness of NATO's core mission and perhaps corrode it core values.
RICE: I think the Russians are humiliated and furious, and there is probably no way to avoid that. They have not yet come to terms with what happened to them in 1991, particularly the elite. And it appears to me that the Russian government is trying not to give into pretty strong passions inside the country. But they are under tremendous pressure. If you watch that leaky, intelligence ship that they sent to the Mediterranean it was if anything a symbol of the lack of Russian power. I think this is very hard for them to accept, and I don't know in the long run what they will do.SJIR: I have only one final question. Taking into account the wide scope of U.S. foreign policy, how would you categorize the central difference between a Gore foreign policy and a George W. Bush foreign policy?
BLACKER: There is no clear answer. There is a great "middle band" in American foreign policy. There is a centrist core to American foreign policy, both in terms of objectives and purposes and in terms of any perspective use of force. There are important differences of emphasis, however. I would expect, depending on who prevails in the 2000 elections, that these differences will find their way into policy. I would anticipate that under a Bush presidency that there would be a greater emphasis on great power relations than there has been in recent years. I would also anticipate a fresh effort to expand U.S. military capabilities. In the events of Gore's election, I would anticipate a new emphasis on the political and economic consequences of globalization. I would also anticipate attention to policy instruments to alleviate the most negative consequences of the phenomena of failing and failed states. I think in the end that it's not going to matter greatly whether it is George W. Bush or Al Gore who wins, given this "centrist thrust" in American foreign policy. Neither candidate is a policy radical. Neither candidate is a policy radical. Bush would worry about "repairing" US military and restoring US intelligence capabilities. Gore would worry about sustaining US engagement in world affairs and issues of global equity. Each would do his very best to defend US interests in an increasingly dangerous and turbulent world.
RICE: Too early to tell on that score. I think Governor Bush should have an opportunity to talk about his own foreign policy. Let me just say what the challenges are for anyone who wants to be President. We have now been in the post-Cold War era for eight years, and the fact that we can't find anything to refer to except what it used to be says that we haven't yet organized ourselves for this period. And I think the questions that still remain for a United States, the only military superpower, are how we're going to use our forces, where, under what conditions, and why. I think questions about how to prevent the collapse of major economies that then become real sources of instability are important. These are the two greatest challenges. Dealing with the continued "bad guys" in the international system-- those that seem to be impossible to defeat but need to be constantly contained-- is essential. Not a very satisfactory strategy, but one that can deal with the challenges.
Copyright © 2006, Stanford Journal of International Relations
Department of International Relations, Stanford University
Last updated: 5/04/06, by Hammad Ahmed.