American nationalism today imperils America's global leadership and its success in the war against terrorism. More than any other factor, it is this nationalism which divides the US from a post-nationalist Europe. And insofar as it has become mixed up with a chauvinist strain of Israeli nationalism, it also plays a disastrous role in US relations with the Muslim world.
There has been a good deal of talk in the US about a parallel between President George W. Bush's "plan" for democratising the greater Middle East and the Helsinki process that contributed to the fall of the Soviet empire. When thinking about western policy and the Muslim world, it does indeed make sense to look for lessons from the cold war - but this is not the right one.
One way of looking at the United States today is as a European state that has avoided the catastrophes nationalism brought upon Europe in the twentieth century, and whose nationalism therefore retains some of the power, intensity, bellicosity, and self-absorption that European nationalisms have had kicked out of them by history.
What happened to campaign-finance reform? Did the McCain-Feingold reform bill—and its successful defense in court—accomplish anything? President Bush is set to shatter all fund-raising records this year. Next time McCain and company set their sights on reform, they should learn from countries like Mexico, Latvia and Thailand that have appointed fair, nonpartisan oversight boards.
Beijing would ultimately rather confront the United States rather than permit Taiwanese independence; an expression of democratic self-determination is insufficient to establish territorial sovereignty; and it is not necessarily immoral, or fundamentally contrary to U.S. interests, to oppose any manifestation of democracy in Taiwan. Accordingly, it is prudent to maintain the status quo.
With all the turmoil surrounding the failure to find stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons in Iraq, it is time to return to first principles, and to ask the question: Was it right to go to war?
There are lessons in Haiti's collapse that seem starkly relevant to the "larger" foreign-policy issues of our day, particularly postwar Iraq and Afghanistan. These lessons should reduce partisan finger-pointing and remind us that the secret to success in U.S. overseas interventions is mustering the will to stay until the job is done right.
12:15 – 2:00 p.m. David Kay, Joseph Cirincione, Rose Gottemoeller, and Robert Litwak to speak at Carnegie
In early January, my Carnegie Endowment colleagues and I released a report detailing systemic flaws in U.S. intelligence and decision-making regarding weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq.