USAID and the State Department operate under two distinct philosophies on how to promote democracy abroad. USAID underwrites technocratic democracy aid programs and sees democratization as a long-term developmental process. In contrast, the State Department focuses on politicians and political events, not on developmental processes, and wants immediate results.
But now Bush is about to become president and he shows signs of understanding that his presidency cannot mostly be about continuing to let the good times roll. Nowhere is the need for change, supported by steely determination, greater than in American foreign and defense policy. The need for a radical change of course is clear on four issues: the defense budget, missile defense, China, and Iraq.
Clinton's last-minute grandstanding has caused real damage. Even as the American-brokered negotiations crumbled and violence erupted earlier this year, Clinton had his people lobbying the Nobel committee for his peace prize. In the end, it was all about Bill Clinton.
As President Clinton exits the White House, Harold Koh, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, evaluates the administration's strategy for and record of advancing democracy around the world.
Unless taken to an extreme, the particulars of a national candidate’s defense policy positions are not likely to swing voters one way or the other.