The Bush administration plans to make significant additional cuts in the size of US troop deployments in South Korea. Such reductions may leave North Korean leaders with the impression that it is their recently enhanced nuclear capabilities that are driving the American withdrawal and embolden the reclusive state to take provocative actions in the months before to the US election.
Many in the U.S. who supported the Iraq war are now backing away from it. They blame the debacle on unforeseeable mistakes by the Bush administration. But the failure in Iraq also reflects deeper flaws in US political culture - the belief in the possibility of successful adoption of democracy by all the peoples of the world and simultaneous contempt for the cultures and opinions of those peoples.
If America engages in any more imperial military adventures like the one in Iraq, the long-term consequence may be the collapse of Western democracy, or of the globalized economic system on which American imperial power rests, or both. Patriots and democrats should be doing everything in their power to devise new strategies that will avoid such devastating outcomes.
The Global Threat Reduction Initiative is an important and overdue addition to US efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons, but should be pursued even more aggressively than the timeline laid out by the Department of Energy.
Both the Bush administration and the Putin administration have apparently made the decision that they can achieve their counterterrorism goals without broad international support. Both governments have erred in that judgment. However, there is time to reverse this decision by reviving cooperation between the United States and Russia.
On Iraq, the Middle East and the war against terrorism the Kerry team seems to be bereft of new ideas. Without a willingness to listen and respond to the views of Muslim states and peoples, a Kerry administration would be no more able than a Bush administration to reduce wider Muslim hostility, push for peace between Israel and Palestine, or formulate a new strategy in the war against terrorism.