EDWIN J. FEULNER, Ph.D.: Good afternoon, ladies and
gentlemen. Welcome to The Heritage Foundation. It's great to
be here on this very special day for the launch of Kim Holmes' new
Liberty's Best Hope: American Leadership for the 21st
Century. It is my pleasure to introduce Dr. Kim Holmes, who
will speak about this timely new volume.
I believe that Liberty's Best Hope is particularly timely
because today America stands at a real crossroads. Will she lead
the cause of freedom with principle and with vigor, or will she
allow others to lead with the so-called soft powers of diplomacy
and foreign aid?
This book is a persuasive call for action and for leadership. In
it, Kim Holmes highlights a national and global drift away from the
principles of freedom. But he does not stop with diagnosing the
problem; rather he calls for a new course of action--a course of
action that entails both protecting and promoting the cause of
Lovers of liberty know that she must be protected, and when
threatened by force, liberty must be defended by force. With
this in mind, Liberty's Best Hope is an argument for
sustained investment in America's military. America must
remain a strong counterbalance to militaristic, totalitarian
regimes which continue to pose real threats to freedom and to
freedom-loving peoples all over the globe.
We also have to promote the cause of liberty. Not in a
chauvinistic sense, the way some would have it, but rather, this is
a task that begins at home, where we must defend liberty against
its intellectual enemies.
In addition, Kim Holmes calls on America to boldly champion the
cause of liberty on the battlefield of ideas around the world.
Many of our traditional allies seem to forget that the powers
of just government are rooted in liberty, and as a result they are
drifting away from their traditional moorings.
This slim volume calls for a return to the traditional
principles that comprise the foundations of liberal government.
It's a renaissance that America is well positioned, we believe, to
Such a return to the principles of liberty, at home and abroad,
will strengthen alliances among free nations. Dr. Holmes rightly
argues that common principles must once again serve as the
foundation for America's international relationships and as the
rationale for America's involvement in the world.
And he argues that America is uniquely qualified to champion the
cause of liberty. From John Winthrop and the founding fathers
through President Ronald Reagan and his crusade against the evils
of Communism, America has stood as a "city on a hill." Liberty's
Best Hope is an articulate call for a return to leadership in
that mold and in America's founding tradition of liberty.
So we thank you, Kim Holmes, for writing this important book. It
is a significant building block for our entire Leadership for
America campaign, and I think it is a significant message for
Americans to receive.
I think everyone here knows that Kim Holmes is the Vice
President of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies and Director of our
Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International
Studies. I might point out that Dr. Kathryn W. Davis, a
frequent visitor to Russia, just last week celebrated her
We're very happy we were able to get Kim Holmes back from the
State Department after his three years as Assistant Secretary of
State for International Organization Affairs.
I'm also very happy indeed today to welcome two experts on
international affairs who are here to comment on Kim Holmes' new
book and the challenge of spreading liberty around the world.
Both are old and good friends of both mine and The Heritage
Dr. Dov Zakheim has a distinguished record of civil service and
varied experiences in keeping America safe. He currently serves as
Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton and leader in the firm's
global defense business. He knows our role in the world, and
he knows the great potential of American leadership.
Before this venture into the private sector, he worked for many
years at the National Security Council and at the Congressional
Budget Office, and most recently in the Department of Defense.
During the 2000 presidential election, he served as a senior
foreign policy adviser to then-Governor George W. Bush.
In addition, we are very pleased indeed to have Dov Zakheim as
an adjunct scholar here at The Heritage Foundation. It's
always a pleasure to welcome him back.
The third person whom I would introduce today is also an old and
close friend, Dr. Henry Nau. Henry is a distinguished scholar and
author of many articles and books. He is a Professor of
Political Science and International Affairs at the George
Washington University, a position he has held for many years.
He serves as Director for the U.S.-Japan and U.S.-Japan-South
Korea Legislative Exchange Programs. He also has held many
significant positions in the executive branch and in the Department
of State, and in the White House during President Ronald Reagan's
first term. He is a valuable source of wisdom and experience in the
field of international affairs. It's good to have you back
with us also, Henry.
So at this point, Kim, I'm going to turn it over to you to
launch us on a discussion of Liberty's Best Hope. Thank you
very much, and congratulations on your new book.
--Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D., is President of The Heritage
KIM R. HOLMES, Ph.D.: You may recall that Richard Nixon
once wrote a book entitled Real Peace. He struggled to
distinguish his tough-minded view of what it takes to make
peace from a fuzzier, soft-minded version that he saw.
Well, I've got a similar problem. I've written a book about
"hope" and "change," and yet I find that there's a certain
presidential candidate whose repeated use of these words means
something entirely different from what I mean.
Somehow I think that it won't do for me to say, unlike Barack
Obama, that what I advocate is "real hope" or "real change." And
yet that is what I "really" mean.
I do think that this country's best days are still ahead of
us--that, as the title of this book implies, America is still
"liberty's best hope" in the world. But I also believe that we have
to make some changes to realize this vision.
So, unlike Obama, I don't envision change as something entirely
new, as making a leap into some unknown future. Rather, I think we
need to "change" back to the fundamental principles that made this
country great to begin with.
That is, in essence, what this book is about: how to build a
foreign policy in this new century, one that is based on the
principles of the nation's founding--on the Constitution and
on safeguarding and advancing the idea of liberty.
It is about how to restore American leadership to the level of
influence and power we enjoyed in the heyday of the Reagan
presidency--not by trying to re-create Reagan's world, but by
restoring the degree of respect and influence America had under his
And there's the rub.
If something needs "restoring," it means we do not have it any
more. And, indeed, American leadership has taken a hit in
recent years. Terrorists have declared total war on us, and yet we
are having a devil of a time rallying our allies in a common
defense. Anti-Americanism is widespread. We are routinely defied
and criticized by our allies. We are in the middle of a war, and
yet the main issue for the congressional leadership is how quickly
we can arrange for a defeat in Iraq.
It is true that, if you look around the world, our claim of
global leadership doesn't have the cachet it once had.
When I was writing this book late last summer, I held a series
of luncheons with diplomats from Asia and Europe. I asked them,
"Well, what do you expect of American leadership?" I was just
asking them what they thought America should be doing in the world.
It was an opening for the discussion. At the end of one of the
luncheons, an Asian diplomat spoke up and said, "I can tell
you one thing: 'Follow me' doesn't work anymore." That was quite a
surprise to me and others in the room at the time.
Facing the Reality of a Changed
There are many causes of our current situation:
The appearance of incompetence in the Iraq War.
Ineffective public diplomacy.
A vocal anti-war movement that makes America look weak and
But we alone are not to be blamed.
The world has changed since the end of the Cold War, and our
allies don't look at us the same way they used to. NATO is a pale
reflection of its former greatness. Ideological differences that
were long submerged with our allies have surfaced to divide us now
that they do not feel as threatened. Our European allies are more
eager to assert what I call "post-liberal" ideas, such as the
preeminence of climate change, ever-expanding definitions of
human rights, the erosion of national sovereignty in
international law, and the downplaying of military power
in safeguarding liberty.
In short, our alliances have ideologically disintegrated.
It is true, they still operate in ad hoc circumstances like
Afghanistan and other places, but gone is the central organizing
principle of defending democracy and the constitution of liberty
from all forms of tyranny. Just witness the lack of NATO
involvement in Iraq.
The world has changed in another way. The institutions
created largely by us at the end of World War II are badly
outdated. Instead of working with the U.S. to preserve freedom and
security, the United Nations, for example, is seen today by
many as an instrument to check American power.
But there is a deeper, more homegrown challenge to American
leadership. Some Americans no longer believe that America has the
moral stature to be a world leader. Their doubts about traditional
American values lead them to be skeptical about the assertion of
American power abroad. In other words, they have doubts about us as
a nation, making them reluctant to support an assertive
foreign policy abroad. They fall back into a mindset like that of
our European friends; they want to constrain and tame American
power--to make us atone for our alleged sins and to create a nation
not unlike what you may find in the European Union.
This brings me to why I wrote this book: This is not the
America I believe in. I know that many people are going to
draw the wrong conclusions about how we got into our current
predicament and, more important, how to get out of it.
Some are going to say, "Yes, Holmes, you are right; we are in a
mess, and Bush is to blame for all of it." Well, Bush is not to
blame for all of it--perhaps some of it, but not all of it or
even most of it. He's not responsible for the anti-American
excesses of the foreign media or the efforts by some of our allies
to undermine American influence. Nor is he responsible for the less
than honorable Members of Congress who voted for the Iraq War and
then turned against it.
I don't believe the way to restore American leadership is
simply to accept defeat in Iraq; to empower the United Nations; to
hold international conferences with our enemies; and, as
Madeleine Albright puts it, to "end the politics of fear"--by which
she means not getting so hung up about the fact that terrorists
want to kill so many Americans.
Perhaps we do indeed need to find a way that avoids some of the
mistakes that have been made, but that new path should be back to
what has proven to work in the past--and not a leap into some
escapist vision of the future.
Building on the Reagan Legacy
My touchstone for what restored leadership should look like is
the legacy of Ronald Reagan. If we are to change, we should go to
what worked for him: to supporting a strong national defense; to
accepting the burden of world leadership; and, most important, to
putting the advancement of liberty front and center as the
purpose of American foreign policy.
This may sound like a replication of George W. Bush's foreign
policy, but that is not exactly what I am advocating, as you will
see shortly. So let me explain. How do we do this? How do we
restore American leadership?
We do it first by honestly understanding what our problems are,
but also by clearly and boldly defining what our goals should be.
If we are to revive the cause of liberty in our alliances, we must
not allow this noble goal to be reduced to a caricature of
what we really mean. It is not about making wars to spread freedom
at the end of a gun or about "dictating democracy or making regimes
change through force." Rather, it is about building an
international system in which not only our own freedom,
but the freedoms of others can flourish.
Yes, we have to make good on our military commitments in
places like Iraq, but we also have to win the war of ideas against
Islamist extremists. We must refashion our foreign aid priorities
to make sure they better reflect the values and purposes of liberty
and also do a better job of linking the principles of freedom
to how we try to solve global issues like climate change and human
rights abuses. There are real economic freedom and market
solutions to the problems of poverty and disease, and yet our
government often cannot find the voice to explain them.
We need also to find a new purpose in international
security. Our military alliances need to lift their sights: They
need to "go global," bringing lovers of liberty from all over the
world into a common security association. And they need to focus
once again on the cause of defending liberty from tyranny, whether
that threat is from states or transnational terrorists. We should
not be trying to run our global foreign policy through NATO or
through Europe. We should invite countries from all over the world
into a common alliance of defending liberty--what I call the Global
Refashioning the International
We cannot possibly revive the brand of liberty unless America
takes a more proactive role in refashioning the international
In addition to a Global Freedom Alliance dedicated to
security, we should form a Global Economic Freedom Forum of
free economies to champion and highlight the success of markets and
We should establish a Liberty Forum for Human Rights to work
around the embarrassingly failed United Nations Human Rights
We should insist that the community of democracies focus on
supporting real democracy and not be a shield behind which
authoritarian regimes hide their contempt for freedom.
There is more to restoring American leadership than simply
refashioning institutions. We also need to do a better job of
reshaping the perceptions of the United States of America.
First and foremost--and this is very important--we must be seen as
a winner. No one wants to follow a loser. Some people think that if
we simply walk away from Iraq, the world will miraculously embrace
us and forgive us for our sins. I don't believe that for a minute.
Few things are held in such contempt as a fallen great power.
But prevailing in wars is not enough. We also have to learn to
better calibrate our diplomacy and our military power. To
paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, we need to "speak more softly but get a
bigger stick." Words matter--they matter a great deal; but actions
need to be consistent with our words. I would go so far as to say
that our actions should even speak louder than our words.
We have to do a much better job of persuading people that we are
a leader who cares as much about our friends and as much about our
allies as we do about ourselves--about how to integrate the
interests of other peoples into a global vision of interests and
values that we, and only we the United States as a global
leader, can best represent. This is partly the challenge of a more
effective public diplomacy, but it also is about a President being
capable of articulating a grand vision that is as inspiring as it
Now, if you think that I am advocating a "soft," "go along to
get along" kind of diplomacy, you would be mistaken. I am also
saying in this book that sometimes we have to be tougher with
our friends and our allies. There is a double standard in
diplomacy, believe it or not--something I did not really notice and
see too much until I was at the State Department. And that is,
when our allies are tough with us, that's great; they are simply
standing up for themselves. But when we do it, we are accused
of being "arrogant" because we are a great power.
Sorry, but you can't have it both ways. We need to change the
culture of negotiations with our allies, whereby we establish clear
linkages between what we want and what they want. For example, if
they want to talk about climate change at a G-8 summit, that's
fine; but we should insist on putting on the agenda that we should
also be talking about what they should be doing for the common
defense of Iraq.
As for "getting a bigger stick," we must regain our military
strength. Our military power is simply inadequate to our claims of
global leadership: Our forces are underfunded; they are
underresourced; and they are wearing out. We need a renewed
commitment to restoring American military strength if we are
to reclaim that mantle of world leadership. This means modernizing
our forces; it means better integration of the National Guard and
reserves; and it means funding them, which we estimate costs at
least 4 percent of gross domestic product. It also means building a
comprehensive ballistic missile defense system.
This renewed military power is necessary to defend liberty
itself, but it also is necessary as an insurance policy against a
resurgent Russia and a rising China. I argue in this book that
our policies toward these two countries are terribly muddled. We
desperately want to be friends with them, and yet they don't seem
to want to return the favor--at least on terms that we understand.
They do not behave in ways that are consistent with our
understanding of freedom and international responsibility.
It's best, frankly, that we admit this and understand this.
We don't have to make them into enemies as a result of this
misunderstanding, but neither should we be pretending that they are
our friends and that they have the same stake that we do in freedom
and international stability. They do not share that with us. They
are not our enemies, but they are also not like us, and we should
not make the mistake of concluding that they are.
Getting America's House in Order
My last point is about America itself. If we wish to be a world
leader, we need to get our own house in order. Unless we restore
fiscal sanity to the federal budget, we will not have enough
money to fund the armed forces. Unless we overhaul our education
system, we will not have the responsible citizens needed to
safeguard our liberties. And finally, unless we solve the
immigration problem, we will lose the civil society and, just as
important, the national identity needed to stand up for and defend
So, as you can see, what we do domestically has a clear bearing
on whether we will remain a great power and defender of liberty.
The road to greatness always starts at home--and, frankly, it
ends there as well. There's an old Chinese proverb that says,
"nations rise in rough boots but decline in carpet
We still need to keep our boots on.
So there you have it. What I am advocating here is nothing less
than a liberty restoration--putting the advancement of liberty back
at the heart of American leadership in the world. This is not
President Bush's "freedom agenda," at least as it was
practiced, but it does embrace the idea that liberty has to be at
the heart of our alliances.
I really do believe that the question before us is whether the
United States will continue to be the champion of freedom or
whether it will give up that responsibility.
There are some people in this country who are tired of what
Reagan called the "burden of leadership." He was
referring--and he talked about this at the time--to the Carter
Administration. These people today may talk about "hope" and
"change," but their words mask a deeply pessimistic view about
America. They are in reality ashamed of their country and
think the only way to restore American leadership is to embark
on a very long campaign of apology--or, as Madeleine Albright said,
"to search for values in others."
What they are really promising is an escape--an escape from the
burden of leadership by arguing that all will be well if we just
pretend there are no threats, that all will be well if we just walk
away from Iraq or sit down in an international conference with
President Ahmadinejad. That's not the kind of hope--or American
leadership, for that matter-- that Reagan was talking about.
And neither am I.
HENRY R. NAU, Ph.D.: It is a real delight to be here and
be asked to comment on this book. This is an extraordinarily
delightful book to read, and I highly recommend it.
I normally ask my students to read books that they don't agree
with or find authors that they don't agree with. But every now and
then, it's a real pleasure to read a book that you do agree
with, and this one just came right down my alley--the alley of
affirmation--because as I was reading it, I would find myself
nodding my head, and then a thought would occur to me: "Why hasn't
he said this?" And on the next page, that's exactly what he
So there was a pace to the book--very, very well done and very
nicely written. There are many artful phrases in there.
There are so many things in the book that I don't know where to
start, but I'm going to pick out three points that Kim makes very
emphatically and reinforce them and maybe along the way take
an exception or two here or there to fulfill my role as a
Classical Liberalism vs. Collective
The first point Kim makes, which I think is the most important
perhaps, is this need for the United States to frame its foreign
policy in terms of the purpose of liberty, liberty defined in
terms of the classical political and economic thought of John
Locke and Adam Smith.
He could not be more correct. Of course, we are concerned with
defense and stability around the world. But, as he puts it in one
of his memorable turns of phrase, we can never be just
"look-the-other-way realists" who never go beyond defense and
stability and ignore opportunities to spread liberty.
America's commitment to classical liberalism is also at the
heart of the "continental drift"--another of Kim's artful turns of
phrase--that separates America and Europe. Europe and the left in
America embrace what Kim calls post-liberalism, a set of ideas
dedicated not to individual freedom but to collective goals such as
the environment, global poverty, group discrimination, and
The differences between classical liberalism and this
post-liberalism, or what I would call collective liberalism, are
Classical liberalism venerates the individual-- not, I
would add, to the exclusion of community or collective goals, but
as the indispensable building block of community. If individuals
are not free and strong, governments can't be free and strong.
Thus, classical liberalism emphasizes the institutions of
civil society--families, neighborhoods, local schools, voluntary
associations, faith-based institutions, and churches--rather
than government and calls on those institutions to shape
individuals that are independent and strong intellectually and
morally. Strong individuals then have responsibilities toward
communities and government, not the reverse: that governments or
villages have responsibilities to help shape and mold
Thomas Jefferson gave us the motto of classical liberalism,
which for me is modern conservatism, and that motto came in his
first inaugural address in 1800. It's really simple, but it ought
to fly from the banner of every conservative institution in the
country: "Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the
government of himself. Can he then be trusted with the government
Notice that government is constructed from the bottom up.
Jefferson trusted free individuals to behave in ways worthy of
equality. He gave the edge, as does classical liberalism, to
individual liberty over communal equality.
And there's the sequence. We believe in strong individuals who
then build a strong government, but we do not believe that
government can compensate for individuals who cannot govern
themselves--who are not strong enough to govern
Collective liberalism celebrates the community, village,
government--not, again to be fair, to the exclusion of the
individual, but as the central infrastructure that ensures against
discrimination, inequality, and exploitation among individuals. If
communities aren't strong, collective liberalism fears, individuals
will exploit or discriminate against one another.
Collectivist liberals have less confidence that the institutions
of civil society alone can provide this restraint. So if classical
liberalism gives the edge to liberty over equality, collective
liberalism gives the edge to equality over liberty.
Both classical and collective liberalism have their extremes. We
can think of extreme libertarianism that wants nothing whatever to
do with government; and, of course, on the side of collective
liberalism, we can think of authoritarian government. But in a
healthy democracy, I would argue, you need moderate versions of
both types of liberalism. The two positions come together and
create a center that roughly balances liberty and equality. For
example, all Americans are happy today that the central
government defeated sectionalism and slavery in the Civil War,
and all Americans are equally happy today that the states of the
United States retain substantial autonomy and can never be
yoked to central authority the way provincial governments have been
in recent years in Russia.
But here's the problem: America has a healthy classical liberal
or modern conservative political movement, but Europe does not. And
that's the source, as Kim also implies in his book, of
We have a healthy competition in this country between classical
and collective liberalism, thanks in good part to a gentleman whose
life we celebrated in these last few days: William F. Buckley.
He did indeed stand athwart history and say to collective
liberalism in America, "Stop!" Because of him and others like him
such as Ed Feulner, as well as Ronald Reagan, the inspiration for
Kim's book and the inspiration for the work and life of many of us,
we have a "united" conservative or classical liberal political
movement in this country.
That unity was long sought and hard fought, and we must never
lose it. All conservatives venerate the individual rather
than the government.
Social conservatives protect the life of the individual
Fiscal conservatives protect the freedom of individual
entrepreneurs whose creativity and innovation would be snuffed
out by high taxes and inflation; and
National security conservatives fight for the freedom of
individual dissidents wherever they are oppressed by tyranny.
All conservatives believe in the free and
responsible individual as the cornerstone of the republic. As
I wrote in The National Interest just a couple of years ago,
there are "no enemies on the right." We don't have serious quarrels
with each other, and I think it's going to be incredibly important
for us to remember that in the upcoming elections.
Europe, however, has no significant classical liberal
tradition. That tradition was destroyed by the titanic struggles in
Europe between the right and left, between fascism and communism.
Classical liberal parties that believe in the value of every
individual, low taxes, and the vigorous defense of
liberty are either marginal or nonexistent. European societies
hold together by consensus coalitions that unite right and left
parties, none of which believes in small government, low taxes, and
the expansion of freedom.
The political imbalance between America and Europe is, I
believe, the biggest reason for this "continental drift," or
for the anti-Americanism that flares up periodically in our
relationships. Have you ever noticed how it is always worse when
classical liberal or modern conservatives are in power in the U.S.?
It was true during the days of Ronald Reagan, and it's partly the
case today with George W. Bush. Let Obama be elected and watch how
quickly some of this will fade. The reason is that Obama is the
candidate of all of Europe because Europe has no classical liberal
conservative parties that might back John McCain.
So, what do we do about this "continental drift?" The first
thing I've already implied, and that is to keep conservatism united
and strong in America. We need to remind ourselves, as Kim just
suggested, to keep faith with this country and what it stands
We also need to help Europe rediscover its classical liberal
tradition. I know that's a pretty hard slog to think about, but it
was a hard slog for Bill Buckley too when he started in the 1950s
in this country to say to collective liberalism in America, "Stop!"
We need to help Europeans stand athwart history and say to
collective liberalism in Europe, "Stop!"
Margaret Thatcher and others have made some headway in this
direction, but it is going to be terribly important for the
next generation, the next battalions of Bill Buckleys and Ed
Feulners--and they may be in the audience here--to work hard in the
next generation to try to build these counterparts in Europe
and to revive the relevance of John Locke and Adam Smith for the
old country. Of course, it will never happen if we lose our unity;
that is, if the classical liberal conservatives lose their unity in
Leveraged Diplomacy vs. Lilliputian
The second point that Kim makes that I want to emphasize is the
point about strength, about what I would call "leveraged
diplomacy," a diplomacy always backed by strength and pressure as
compared to a diplomacy that seeks to be agreeable, popular,
and tied down by all the smaller powers, both democratic and
non-democratic, that dominate international
diplomacy--something I would call, thinking of Gulliver's
Travels, a "Lilliputian diplomacy." So I make the distinction
between a leveraged diplomacy and a Lilliputian diplomacy.
Kim makes two very strong points about the relationship
between force and diplomacy, and I want to emphasize them because
First, successful diplomacy depends on strength. No one knew
this better than Ronald Reagan, and there is no diplomacy without
it. And yet we constantly forget this. How many times have
media and academic pundits, too often advocates of Lilliputian
diplomacy, reminded us, for example, that the Western countries had
no diplomatic option of U.N. inspectors in Iraq in 2002? Not very
often. They overlook completely the fact that there was no such
option. The inspectors weren't there: Saddam Hussein kicked them
out in 1998.
That option had to be created by a show of credible force;
namely, the invasion force that the United States and Britain and
others put in the Persian Gulf in the late summer and fall of 2002.
Now, because of the use of force, we had a diplomatic option, and
of course the Lilliputians were very happy to use that option--the
inspectors--to tie us down indefinitely in a pas de deux
with Saddam Hussein over the inspections. But we didn't get the
inspectors in without a show of force.
On the other hand--and this is the other point about the
relationship between force and diplomacy--the successful use
of force also depends on effective diplomacy. The best force can do
is win a war; then diplomacy has to take over to win the peace.
Unfortunately, the Bush Administration, as Kim rightly criticizes,
got this one horribly wrong. The foul-up after the military victory
in Iraq was inexcusable, not because "stuff happens" but because
the Administration did not prepare properly for "stuff to
What do we do now? I like Kim's idea that we should clean up the
tone as well as substance of our diplomacy and pay more attention
to the interests of others but then, after hearing those interests,
clearly assert our own. He gave the example of listening to
Europe's interest to put global warming on the agenda of the G-8
but then firmly insisting, from our interests, that Iraq and
Afghanistan also be on that agenda.
I might take the idea a step further and say why not "hang back"
on some issues in our discussions with the Europeans, especially on
those issues where they may have a more immediate interest than we
do? We did that, for example, in the case of Bosnia in the early
1990s. We deferred to the Europeans; we said, "You take
charge." Eventually, they came to us because they were unable to
pull it off.
We did the same thing in Kosovo, and we've done it so far in the
last three or four years in the negotiations with Iran over
nuclear weapons, deferring to the EU-3. Put them out on the point.
Let them get worn down by the opposition. Then, at some point, they
may come to us and ask us for our help.
We could do the same, for example, on relations with Russia over
natural gas. Then we can in fact be very strong; or, as Kim argues,
we can underpromise and then overperform. In other words, act
decisively only after they have asked us. This is the kind of
leadership that says "Ask me" rather than moves out before they
I realize there is a risk to this. Because of European
flaccidness, we could fall behind the curve in dealing with some of
the problems like the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran.
But it may be smart leadership, especially if you believe we are
not going to be able to preempt again, at least not without some
allied support or without domestic support.
Making Alliances Work
I disagree with Kim a bit on alliances and what to do about
NATO. Kim suggests we think about expanding NATO, or possibly even
leapfrogging NATO and creating a Global Freedom Alliance. I'm a
little reluctant to give up on NATO as yet, and think that we
should be very careful in doing that, since we've invested so much
I think abandoning NATO is premature and, because of all the
capital sunk into NATO, should not be done lightly. I would point
out that NATO succeeded in "out of area" missions in Bosnia and
Kosovo. It has succeeded, for all practical purposes, in those
conflicts. There's no guarantee that we won't have to intervene
again; but to this day and time, 10 or 15 years later, in the case
of Bosnia, I think you can say that NATO passed its first test, at
least in dealing with conflicts on the periphery of Europe.
Now it's facing its biggest test outside of Europe, in
Afghanistan. NATO can also succeed in Afghanistan. I would
continue to look for ways to put some Europeans on the spot in
Afghanistan, embarrassing them for their unwillingness to supply
adequate military equipment or fight. After all, this is the war
they support. After 9/11, they said they were all Americans. So
where are the European Americans in Afghanistan?
I think NATO even has a future in Iraq. If we continue to
succeed in Iraq, at some point NATO is going to be called upon to
take the place of American forces as we leave, maybe under a
U.N. umbrella. But there's no other force that's going to be
adequate in that region, certainly not a U.N. force.
As an alternative to a Freedom Alliance, let me suggest that we
expand NATO rather than leapfrog it. Kim's got a very good point
about bringing Japan and other countries that have been supportive
of our policies into the alliance structure. We need to "globalize"
How about establishing a series of NATO Democratic
Councils, with Japan, with New Zealand, with Australia? I would
call them Democratic Councils because that would distinguish them
clearly from the Russia-NATO Council, which should have never
been established, in my opinion. Keep NATO as a democratic
club. How better to spotlight the defense and quest for liberty,
which is, as Kim says, the lodestar of American foreign
If NATO can't work, we can always go to backups such as
coalitions of the willing. I'm not suggesting we abandon
alternatives to either EU leadership under the "hang back" strategy
or NATO expansion under the "democratic council" strategy. But
these backups will ultimately be more acceptable to allies and our
own domestic public if we have clearly demonstrated a good-faith
effort to make alliances work.
I don't think we can have a leadership role without a
partnership of some sort with other great democracies. However
frustrating it may be, American has no leadership role in the
21st century without a basic partnership with other
democracies in Europe and Asia.
Most especially, we can't advocate the expansion of democracy in
the world by abandoning the most advanced democracies in the world.
We're just going to have to live with the hard slog of eventually
bringing the Europeans around and eventually helping them to build
a greater sense of the need for both the defense and expansion of
Proud vs. Passive Public Diplomacy
The third point is equally important. Kim makes the point that
we should always have a proud public diplomacy, not a passive
public diplomacy, and that point is critical.
I'm not sure a new agency of public diplomacy is going to make
much difference. What I think would make maybe the biggest
difference is for us to address the tendency for a moral
equivalence to exist in our discussion with the Europeans. That is
the notion that, somehow or other, Vladimir Putin's Russia
represents a model global citizen, whereas George Bush's America is
to be vilified.
The United States should never hang its head in the diplomatic
arena for any reason--Guantanamo, the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act, Iraq, whatever. We should always project a proud,
not a passive, self-image and remind the world of where it would be
today if they and we had not won the Cold War: if Communist
Russia or China or East Germany had climbed the ramparts after
the Berlin Wall came down and placed their stamp on post-Cold War
global security and commerce. The American role was crucial in
heading off the two worst totalitarian scourges of the 20th
century: fascism and communism. We should find ways to remind all
those anti-American advocates out there about that unquestioned
For this purpose, the U.N. should be our bully pulpit. Kim knows
this institution well, and he is absolutely right to say that we
should not ignore it but play to it; that is, use it as an arena of
discourse and debate where we fly high the banner of
Jeffersonian self-government and Adam Smith markets. The
tradition has already been established by freedom-fighting
pioneers such as Senator Patrick Moynihan, Ambassador Jeanne
Kirkpatrick, and, more recently, John Bolton and Zalmay
We should flatly reject the moral equivalence of collective
liberalism, which, in the interest of community or inclusion,
recognizes all political cultures to be equal.
Gerhard Schroeder, former German chancellor, asked the American
public recently in a "Dear Americans" letter published in the
February 2008 Atlantic Times, "Do you Americans accept
Russia's global political and economic role in the world?" He has
become an advocate of Russia. He's working on the board of Gazprom
to help Russia dominate markets for natural gas supply.
My firm answer would be "No!" We should be saying absolutely
not. We don't accept Russia's political role if that role involves
suppressing freedoms in the world as Vladimir Putin has done
Think about it. Schroeder is one of the most caustic critics of
Bush and America's war in Iraq, particularly America's handling of
detainees at Guantanamo and CIA bases around the world and its
alleged transgression of civil liberties through aggressive
surveillance techniques. Yet he not only supports Putin but works
closely with him and his successor, Dmitry Medvedev, on the board
of Gazprom to establish Russian dominance over Europe's
natural gas supplies.
Imagine if Bush had fired 50 state governors and appointed his
own personal representatives instead. Imagine that he closed down
The New York Times, The Washington Post, and all
broadcast media that criticized his actions (with the exception of
the Voice of America, a government-run broadcast company). Imagine
that he had put all of his political prisoners in jail and all of
their financial supporters.
This is what Vladimir Putin has done. Yet Schroeder gets away
with complaining about alleged U.S. infidelities to the rule of law
while he advertises Putin's Russia as a model global citizen.
Why do we have to apologize for anything? Why do we have to
apologize because we don't think detainees have the same rights as
political combatants or American citizens? Why don't we
advertise the fact that there have been untold numbers of
congressional delegations going to Guantanamo, and not one of them
has come back with any case to be made, including Senator Ted
Kennedy? I don't know why these kinds of arguments aren't being
made all the time.
Part of it is the media, and part of it is the fact that there's
nothing to resonate with this in Europe. There is no classical
liberal tradition in Europe, or there's a very, very small one. So,
somehow or other, it seems to me that may be the bigger problem,
and the bigger answer may be--and it's a long-term answer, I
realize--to devote the kind of effort to Europe that we've devoted
in this country over the last 40 years to build a unified classical
liberal tradition in America.
Great progress has been made on this score in the United States.
Heritage and Ed Feulner have contributed mightily in the
policy community, as Fox has done most recently in the broadcast
media. Now make the same kind of effort to try to restore at least
a somewhat stronger classical liberal tradition in Europe.
Europe needs to do this not for America, but for the sake of its
own democracy; for without the leaven of classical liberalism,
collective liberalism is always tempted, as Schroeder's love affair
with Putin suggests, to walk off into the jungle of authoritarian,
if not totalitarian nihilism, which Europe unfortunately knows
all too well from its own past.
DOV ZAKHEIM, Ph.D.: It's good to be back here. Every time
I come here now, there's a little more innovation, and that's a
credit to you, Ed.
Kim Holmes is a big thinker, and I think Henry was responding to
his really big thoughts. But at the same time, Kim gets into the
details. So, whereas Henry addressed more of the bigger thoughts,
let me deal with some of the details, because this is an extremely
broad, comprehensive set of prescriptions. It's actually
remarkable for its breadth.
Let me also say at the outset that I share Kim's bias toward the
Reagan years. That may sound strange from someone who was
Undersecretary of Defense in the Bush Administration until just a
few years ago, but when I think back to the Reagan years, perhaps
the biggest difference between then and now is that this President,
with whom I worked from, I guess, 1998 onwards, is very
comfortable in his own skin, as was President Reagan.
But the country's not comfortable in its own skin right now, and
I would argue that a good part of our country was much more
comfortable in its skin in those years. That is in many ways what
Henry was alluding to and what Kim's trying to get us back to. If
we're going to deal with the rest of the world, we have to first
eliminate our own self-doubt, and we've got a way to go.
The menu of ideas that Kim throws out is really first-rate. I
love the way Kim has taken the notion of globalization and stood it
on its head. I'm maybe much more sympathetic to Kim's idea of a
globalized NATO than Henry is, but you can get to that in lots
Implementing the Big Ideas
One of the things that all of these great ideas need to have in
terms of realization is implementation. How do you implement
them? I'll get back to that. But seeing globalization in a
different light, whether it's on the economic side or the security
side, is really very, very important. We shouldn't give the left a
monopoly on the term, and Kim does that very well: He pulls it
I love the idea of a more assertive United States. We've got to
be selective, and if you actually look carefully at, say, how Kim
speaks about even China and Russia, you see that he's arguing for
subtlety there. That means we're not just going to be a bull in a
china shop, but we need to be more assertive.
It's been done. It's done whenever we really want to do it. You
actually can pick up the phone to a foreign official and say, "If
you don't do X, we won't do Y." It's happened to me; I've done it.
The success rate is something north of 99 percent, because we are
still who we are. It doesn't mean that we should be a bully. It
does mean that, every once in a while, we should remind folks that
we are who we are. And, of course, to do that we have to remind
ourselves, as Kim does so well.
I love the ideas of rethinking foreign aid, our commitment to
free trade, the need to keep a lid on domestic spending, the need
to rethink what we do about the National Security Council staff. We
have a lot of tools, and I don't think they're particularly
For instance, the use of the financial tool can be very, very
hard, but that means thinking more creatively about how we
link diplomacy to those other tools. We shouldn't have the military
as the constant default option when diplomacy fails. We should have
other tools in our tool chest like the financial tool so that we'll
be less inclined to go immediately to the military, and then when
we use the military tool, we will use it well.
Thinking about some of our friends and how we relate to them,
whether it's old friends like Japan-- Kim speaks about them--or
developing friends like India, what do we do? How do we proceed?
These are very, very important questions. Let me just throw out
some observations and a few cautions.
First of all, as a realist Republican, let me say that we're not
really bad guys. Not only that, but we do recognize the importance
of values, because without values, you have no motivation;
without values, you can't be an example for anybody; without
values, you don't have any objectives. So there may be some
for whom there's no moral compass one way or another, and those
people are no different from people on the left. There is a
commonality there if one lacks any kind of moral compass.
But looking at the world realistically and saying "Here's what
we want to do; now here's how to implement it" is very different.
So let me first go to what you might call Kim's "liberty agenda."
The challenge here is pretty straightforward. It's simply to avoid
being labeled as hypocrites, and the reason is that once you're
labeled as a hypocrite, you get dismissed entirely.
This is a tough row to hoe; there's no question about it. Abu
Ghraib really did set us back a long way, and everybody beats us on
the head with it. Everybody beats us on the head with torture. The
Republican candidate for President, John McCain, is someone who was
tortured, and he comes out and says he's against torture.
We can't allow the world--and we can't allow those who actually
torture--to use torture in a way that undermines what we're trying
to accomplish. We've got to be very careful about that sort of
thing. We also have to recognize that, as we pursue this course
that Kim lays out, we don't get tripped up by what will inevitably
be uneven implementation.
This is what really tripped up the democracy agenda. You can't
go to Egypt one day and talk about democracy and then go to Egypt
another time and say that everything's fine when the same people
who were in jail before are in jail now. And if you really need
Egypt as an ally--as, in fact, we do--you've got to be careful
about saying it in the first place.
Preaching, hectoring, doesn't work. We have to set ourselves up
as a model. We are the city on the hill. There's no question about
it, and there will be times when we will tell people to tear down
the wall as President Reagan did. But sometimes we have to be lower
key about it so that countries will not say, "Well, you're so close
to the Gulf Arabs, and how democratic are they? Therefore, you're
hypocrites; therefore, everything you say is worthless."
No, everything we say is not worthless--far from it. We
have to be judicious about how we say it. That's not a critique;
it's a caution.
The War on Terrorism
In a way, we have to think a little more creatively about
where we go with this one. The war on terrorism was a very
important term on the 12th of September 2001. It was a very
important term and a very important motivator for quite some time,
and it does connote that terrorists aren't ordinary criminals.
We can't revert back to that. The World Trade Center wasn't
attacked for the first time on 9/11. On the other hand, because so
much of the world translates "war on terrorism" into the use of the
military and immediately reacts negatively, we've got a problem. We
need to find another term.
We need to find a term that designates these people as
something more than criminals, that recognizes that they are
not ordinary criminals but doesn't make them feel good by thinking
that somehow they're at war with us. They want to say that they're
on the same battlefield as we are. They're not.
The anarchists tried the same thing in the late 19th and early
20th centuries for 30 years. They killed President William
McKinley. Imagine if somebody killed President Bush, God forbid.
But we didn't call a "War on Terror" on them or a "War on Anarchy."
We just brought about some really tough measures and got rid of
those people and worked with the international community to do it,
because they didn't just kill our President; they were blowing up
parliaments, palaces, and leaders all over the world.
So we've got to figure out a way to treat these terrorists
the way we treated the anarchists: as basically scum of the Earth.
Again, we want to do that for two reasons. First, because we should
not elevate these people into something they are not and, second,
because we need the international community, and we don't want them
to misinterpret what we're doing.
I will say again: We were absolutely right to call it a "War on
Terror." We had to contrast what we were doing after 2001 to where
things were before 2001; that was absolutely right. But I think
that it's time for a change.
I want to talk a little bit about defense spending. We need to
be careful when we are talking about percentages of GDP, because
the Defense Department needs to get what it needs to get. In
any event, people will sometimes include the supplementals, and
sometimes they will not include the supplementals. Or they
will say, "At a trillion-and-a-half-dollar GDP, we're spending $600
billion to $700 billion; that's more than we ever have." The
real point is this: There are some things we've got to do
inside the department, and there are things that we have to
make sure other people don't do to the department.
Kim rightly talks about entitlements, but we need to think about
DOD entitlements. Twelve percent of our budget is going to be
spent on health care; that's nuts. If we just cut 2 percent out,
that's another $10 billion to be spent on acquisition.
I see Baker Spring here in the audience, nodding his head in
agreement. He knows as much about this as anybody in this city.
We've got a broken acquisition system. Why is it broken? In part
because our acquisition officials have not had to go to any kind of
retraining or any school since they took their jobs. The military
has professional military education; the civilian side has no
forced continuing education at all.
My grandkids know how to use a computer and understand that
better than some senior civil servants. Why? Because the
senior civil servants have been doing the same thing for 40 years,
and 40 years ago they didn't have computers. We need to do
something about that. Moore's law tells us that computing power
doubles every 24 months. So if you've been in the same job 10 years
and you've never been retrained, how far behind are you? We have to
do something about that. It's not to undercut what Kim is
saying; it's to supplement what Kim is saying.
Finally, one major point that my former boss, Don Rumsfeld, made
on the 10th of September 2001: Perhaps the biggest headache we have
is our own bureaucracy. Part of what conservatism has always been
about is smaller government. There is a reason for that. People
think they give money to the government and it immediately goes out
in programs. In fact, the money gets siphoned off paying
In this city, everybody carpools. Think about it: You come in at
9:00; you leave at 5:00. It doesn't matter what you're doing. It
doesn't matter what case is on your desk. You're out at 5:00;
you've got a carpool.
What does that tell you about dedication, about commitment to
your work? How many agencies of this government right now are
really engaged in the war in Iraq? It's a war, but our government's
not at war. The Department of Defense is at war, part of the State
Department's at war, part of Treasury's at war, maybe a few bits of
some of the other agencies.
So as we think about implementing Kim's ideas, we've got to
think about how our government can get itself organized to
implement them. That concern goes beyond the National Security
Council. It goes to the heart of whether we still need to be
living in the mid-19th century with Chester Allen Arthur's
And while I'm on the mid-19th century, let me end with this: We
have another institution that's mid-19th century--maybe early 19th
century. It's called the Congress. If the executive branch needs to
change, what about the Congress? And that, my friends, may be the
biggest challenge of all.
DR. HOLMES: Let me respond, if I could, just to a couple
of points that were made by Henry and Dov, and then we may have
time for a few questions from the audience.
Henry, let me talk about the point you made about expanding NATO
and the global alliance I am proposing. A European colleague of
mine thought I was being a little hard on the Europeans in this
book, and perhaps I should clarify what I want to see happen to
NATO per se.
I'm not ready to give up on NATO either. NATO is not performing
as well as we would like in places like Afghanistan, but it has a
rich history of institutional, organizational, political, and
other traditions and precedents that we would give up at our peril.
But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to find other ways of
finding security associations or alliances that may or may not
necessarily, at least in the beginning, have an association with
Your idea of democracy councils is really a good one. I think
that may be one way of creating connections between the
democracies in Europe and democracies in other parts of the globe.
That would allow NATO to stay on its current path but enable us to
work around it or with it, depending on the issue.
The main point I'm trying to emphasize is that I just don't
think that we can run our global policy solely through NATO.
However we get around that doesn't mean we're demolishing NATO; it
doesn't mean we're giving up on it, but that NATO is too
constraining. NATO does not really appreciate our larger global
interests and values, and it also doesn't appreciate some of our
other allies that are equally important to us.
NATO's members are democracies, and you are right: We should not
give up on them. We shouldn't necessarily work around them to
minimize them or weaken them; but by the same token, we shouldn't
allow that focus to weaken our global reach.
Regarding Dov's point about being a realist: I'm a realist lover
of liberty. You'll see in my book that I frequently mention the
need to find other ways to get to where we want to go. And I tried
to address the charges of hypocrisy and the like, such as when I
made the point about speaking more softly and getting a bigger
stick. You mentioned Egypt, but there is also the example of the
The problem is that if we define the liberty agenda as just
posturing over elections and speeches, whether in Egypt or anywhere
else, or even if the focus is just on supporting dissidents--if
that becomes the sum total of what our democracy agenda is, then we
will inevitably always be accused of being hypocrites. With or
without Abu Ghraib, it is going to happen. We need a richer,
broader understanding of what we mean by the constitution of
Democracy is much too narrow a concept to hang our sign on. For
liberty, we also need to talk about the need for the rule of law,
for political pluralism and the important role of the judiciary,
and respect for minority rights: All kinds of principles and
policies make up this idea of freedom, and we really can't
reduce it to just taking a stand on a particular election
somewhere. Nor can we make it the sum total of what a President or
Secretary of State says in a speech. The liberty agenda has to
infuse everything the entire government is doing, including our
foreign aid programs and our approach to globalization.
It has to infuse what we do at the United Nations. It has to have a
real institutional depth to it.
We need to be judicious; we need to find a way to talk about our
values so that it implies we do appreciate the interests that other
countries have, and it's not just about us. There are a lot of
other countries that fear terrorism as much as, if not more than,
we do; and yet we've found it very difficult, for example, to deal
with the ideological part of dealing with Islam.
I see Lisa Curtis is here. We have a project examining
Islam and liberty and how the United States government and
Americans can talk about the issue of political Islam in a way
that's more convincing so that people in Muslim societies know that
we care just as much about their freedom, including their religious
freedom, as we care about our own.
There is obviously a lot we can do better, and certainly
public diplomacy is part of that. But, frankly, if you don't get
the basic ideas right to begin with, public diplomacy is just going
to reflect the muddle. And even if you had another U.S. Information
Agency, if we can't be clear about what we stand for and how we
talk about liberty in a convincing and compelling way--whether the
war on terrorism or supporting globalization--we are going to find
ourselves drifting further and further away, not only from our
roots, but also from what it means to be a great power and a great
country to begin with.
Notwithstanding what a lot of our friends and allies, including
their governments, may say in public, during the discussions I
had with foreign diplomats, they were not only very critical
of what we are doing in Iraq and elsewhere, but told me, "We
understand that you still are the United States of America; we
still can't do without you, being the power that you are." They
don't say that in public as much as we would like them to, but they
still believe it. And they are looking for a kind of
leadership where they can come along and support what we're
doing in ways that are more enthusiastic, perhaps, than the
way that we've been framing it.
Selected Questions and Answers
QUESTION: During the Reagan Administration, I was in
the Army in field artillery. Back then, President Reagan engaged in
a buildup in absolute numbers of personnel in the military while
also doing transformation, investing in the most modern weapon
systems. Whenever that is brought up today, Democrats and
Republicans and conservative people say, "You want quantity over
quality. We just can't afford a larger military."
DR. HOLMES: Perhaps Dov can comment on this too, but we
had extended discussions here about this very problem. It really
comes down to what kind of force you need for the current threat
environment. During the Cold War, the Warsaw Pact had been around a
long time, and you could plan around that. The environment that we
have right now is not as predictable, so the question is: Do you
really need a larger active force or a force that can surge or go
in the directions you need on very short notice?
The answer we came to is the latter. We have the Guard and the
Reserves, and they are already being terribly strained. We need to
do more to try to get a surge capacity rather than a large overlay
of an active force that is very expensive. So it's not just a
matter of numbers; it's what they do, how they're structured, how
they're trained, and how they're organized.
Getting to Dov's point about defense spending, the 4 percent of
GDP is an estimate that historically has been something we can
afford, and it is what has been necessary in the past. It's not a
magic number that'll necessary go down into the microlevel of what
is needed to fund a budget for the Department of Defense, because
you're absolutely right--we argue this all the time: We also need
acquisition reform. We certainly need to do something about the
health care and entitlements situation. Baker Spring talks about
that all the time. There are ways we can save money. The main point
is that we don't lose sight of the fact that we do need to have
more funding resources.
DR. ZAKHEIM: I'm inclined to agree with that. I think
Kim's got it right, and Baker and Jim Carafano do too, when they
say that the circumstances are just different today. Part of
the problem, frankly, is that every time you add an individual to
the active force, you carry this whole baggage of personnel costs
that just didn't exist 20 years ago.
What's interesting is that many of the proposals that passed the
Hill to increase health provisions and other things came from
liberal Democrats who were trying to demonstrate that they cared
about the troops in some way better than Republicans did. These
same people on a regular basis vote against any kind of
modernization; so the net effect of this is to put a young man or
woman on the battlefield without the most modern tools but to
say, "Don't worry. If you get shot, we've got good health care for
QUESTION: I was wondering if any of you could be more
specific when you talk about restructuring foreign aid?
DR. HOLMES: We produce the Index of Economic
Freedom, which measures economic freedom in 157 countries
around the world, and the underlying assumption of it is that over
time, economic policies that reflect economic freedom--lower taxes,
deregulation, and so forth--produce economic growth and more
prosperity for people. We think that insight should be applied to
our foreign aid programs.
To President Bush's credit, he did do that through the
Millennium Challenge Account. He understood that there was a
responsibility on the part of the governments receiving foreign
aid. They had to meet certain standards and were dedicated to
economic reform if, in fact, they received aid from us.
What we need to be doing is finding ways to encourage countries
to reform, to make the kind of institutional reforms that would
produce economic prosperity. We should not be giving bilateral aid,
or aid even through multilateral banks and other venues, that
simply props up governments that keep on doing the wrong things and
that deprive their citizens not only of economic freedom, but
also of the prosperity it brings.
That has been the case in the last 40 or 50 years with our
economic aid; studies show it has not brought prosperity. We've
studied this many times. In fact, in cases where there are large
amounts of foreign aid going to governments, that's precisely where
economic growth has been the worst.
QUESTION: In your section on the United Nations and
American sovereignty, you mentioned left-wing lobbying groups on
quite a number of issues. I'm wondering if you could comment on,
particularly, those social issues affecting basic societal
structures like family.
For the past several years, I've worked on family policy issues
countering a number of trends in the United Nations, and the issue
that we face is the creation of international legal norms that
could then force the hand legally in the United States and
particularly in Third World countries. I wonder if you could
comment and expand on that trend.
DR. HOLMES: When I was Assistant Secretary of State for
International Organization Affairs, I was shocked at the power of
the nongovernmental organizations dedicated to the social and
economic issues. Sometimes these groups consisted of no more than a
fax machine and one or two people with a grand name for their
association. Yet they had access to the U.N. commissions and were
working hand in glove not just with the U.N. Secretariat in New
York, Geneva, and elsewhere, but with some of the most repressive
regimes on Earth, and their main target was usually the United
They do not operate out in the open, and as a result, most
Americans don't know how influential they are. The impact of the
United Nations on the U.S. is often through these NGOs operating
not only with the U.N., but also with American political parties,
churches, and universities.
They are challenging the idea of national sovereignty,
bringing what I think are foreign concepts of international law
into the American tradition and expanding international
humanitarian law--far beyond what we agreed to when we first signed
the Geneva Conventions, for example--in an effort to create a sort
of political and cultural revolution behind the scenes.
Conservatives don't do that very well, and as a result, we often
find ourselves very much on the defensive.