Henry A. Kissinger

Articles

 

How the Ukraine Crisis Ends

The Washington Post – March 6, 2014

Public discussion on Ukraine is all about confrontation. But do we know where we are going?

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Ariel Sharon’s Journey from Soldier to Statesman

The Washington Post – January 14, 2014

Arik Sharon started as a warrior. He ended his career on the way to being a peacemaker.

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What a Final Iran Deal Must Do

The Wall Street Journal – December 3, 2013

A credible agreement must dismantle or mothball the key parts of Tehran's nuclear infrastructure.

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Next Steps in Reducing Nuclear Risks

The Wall Street Journal – March 6, 2013

Every American president since the end of World War II has sought to come to grips with the unique security risks and challenges associated with nuclear weapons.

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Job One Abroad: Iran

The Washington Post – November 18, 2012

In the aftermath of an exhausting reelection campaign, the most urgent decision facing the president is how to stop Iran from pursuing a military nuclear program.

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Idealism and Pragmatism in the Middle East

The Washington Post – August 5, 2012

The Arab Spring is often celebrated by reciting the roll call of overthrown autocrats. But revolutions, in the end, will be judged primarily by what they build, not what they destroy.

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The Perils of Intervention in Syria

The Washington Post – June 3, 2012

The Arab Spring is generally discussed in terms of the prospects for democracy. Equally significant is the increasing appeal — most recently in Syria — of outside intervention to bring about regime change, overturning prevalent notions of international order.

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Strategic Stability in Today's Nuclear World

The Washington Post – April 23, 2012

A New START treaty reestablishing the process of nuclear arms control has recently taken effect. Combined with reductions in the U.S. defense budget, this will bring the number of nuclear weapons in the United States to the lowest overall level since the 1950s.

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Defining a U.S. Role in the Arab Spring

The International Herald Tribune - April 2, 2012

Not the least significant aspect of the Arab Spring is the redefinition of heretofore prevalent principles of foreign policy. As the United States is withdrawing from military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan undertaken on the basis (however disputed) of U.S. national security, it is re-engaging in several other states in the region (albeit uncertainly) in the name of humanitarian intervention.

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The Future of U.S. - Chinese Relations

Conflict Is a Choice, Not a Necessity

Foreign Affairs - March / April 2012

On January 19, 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao issued a joint statement at the end of Hu's visit to Washington. It proclaimed their shared commitment to a "positive, cooperative, and comprehensive U.S.-China relationship."

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Mr. X

A Review of George F. Kennan: An American Life by John Lewis Gaddis

The New York Times Book Review – November 13, 2011

While writing this essay, I asked several young men and women what George F. Kennan meant to them. As it turned out, nearly all were essentially oblivious of the man or his role in shaping American foreign policy.

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How to Get Out of Afghanistan

The International Herald Tribune - June 10, 2011

The American role in Afghanistan is drawing to a close in a manner paralleling the pattern of three other inconclusive wars since the Allied victory in World War II: a wide consensus in entering them, and growing disillusionment as the war drags on, shading into an intense search for an exit strategy with the emphasis on exit rather than strategy.

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Grounds for U.S. Military Intervention

The Washington Post - April 10, 2011

The change sweeping the Arab world has brought to the forefront a controversy dating to the early days of our Republic. Should American military might be used for idealistic reasons or as an expression of a vital national interest?.

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Otto von Bismarck, Master Statesman

Review of Jonathan Steinberg's Bismarck: A Life

The New York Times Book Review - April 3, 2011

In the summer of 1862, Otto von Bismarck was appointed minister- president of Prussia. His highest previous rank had been ambassador to Russia. He had never held an administrative position. Yet with a few brusque strokes, the novice minister solved the riddle that had stymied European diplomacy for two generations: how to unify Germany and reorganize Central Europe.

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Avoiding a U.S. - China Cold War

The Washington Post - January 14, 2011

The upcoming summit between the American and Chinese presidents is to take place while progress is being made in resolving many of the issues before them, and a positive communique is probable. Yet both leaders also face an opinion among elites in their countries emphasizing conflict rather than cooperation.

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Putting the Nixon Tape in Context

The Washington Post - December 26, 2010

For someone who lost in the Holocaust many members of my immediate family and a large proportion of those with whom I grew up, it is hurtful to see an out-of-context remark being taken so contrary to its intentions and to my convictions, which were profoundly shaped by these events. References to gas chambers have no place in political discourse, and I am sorry I made that remark 37 years ago.

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The Republican Case for Ratifying New START

The Washington Post - December 2, 2010

Republican presidents have long led the crucial fight to protect the United States against nuclear dangers. That is why Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush negotiated the SALT I, START I and START II agreements. It is why President George W. Bush negotiated the Moscow Treaty.

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In Afghanistan, America Needs a Strategy, Not an Alibi

International Herald Tribune - June 25, 2010

I supported President Obama’s decision to double American forces in Afghanistan and continue to support his objectives. The issue is whether the execution of the policy is based on premises that do not reflect Afghan realities, at least within the deadline that has been set.

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Lee Kuan Yew: Singapore's Master Strategist

Time - May 10, 2010

Historians have been debating, it seems forever, whether individuals shape events or are their register. There can be no doubt about the answer with regard to Lee Kuan Yew, 86, Minister Mentor of Singapore.

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Iraq Can't Be An Afterthought

The Washington Post - February 3, 2010

In a 71-minute State of the Union address, President Obama managed no more than 101 perfunctory words about Iraq. Throughout its term, the administration has recoiled from discussing Iraq's geostrategic significance and especially America's relation to it.

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How to Protect Our Nuclear Deterrent

The Wall Street Journal - January 20, 2010

The four of us have come together, now joined by many others, to support a global effort to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons, to prevent their spread into potentially dangerous hands, and ultimately to end them as a threat to the world.

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Essay for Photo Book Commemorating Helmut Kohl’s 8Oth Birthday

January 19, 2010

Helmut Kohl served as Chancellor during one of the most crucial periods of German history. No one did more to achieve the unification of his country.

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How to Make Progress on North Korea

The Washington Post - December 18, 2009

The American special representative for North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, returned from Pyongyang last week after unusually benign conversations. The North Korean government affirmed "the need to resume six-power talks" on the nuclear disarmament of the Korean Peninsula.

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Foreword to
The Fall of the Berlin Wall by William F. Buckley Jr.

Wiley (October 5, 2009)

Bill Buckley was one of the most remarkable men of our time. Over fifty years ago, barely out of college, he rejected conventional wisdom and founded a magazine, National Review, dedicated to standing athwart the prevalent intellectual currents.

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Deployments and Diplomacy

Newsweek - Oct 12, 2009

The request for additional forces by the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, poses cruel dilemmas for President Obama. If he refuses the recommendation and General McChrystal's argument that his forces are inadequate for the mission, Obama will be blamed for the dramatic consequences.

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Making Common Cause

International Herald Tribune - August 20, 2009

At a recent dinner ending their annual cabinet-level strategic and economic dialogue in Washington, participants from the United States and China expressed their commitment to cooperative conduct with a warmth I have not seen exceeded since the two countries resumed contact in 1971.

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North Korea’s Nuclear Challenge

International Herald Tribune - June 4, 2009

The Obama administration has so far dealt publicly with the North Korean challenge in an understated, almost leisurely, manner.

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Obama's Foreign Policy Challenge

The Washington Post - April 22, 2009

The vast diplomatic agenda that the Obama administration has adopted will test its ability to harmonize national priorities such as relations with Iran and North Korea with global and multilateral concerns.

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The Way Forward

International Herald Tribune - February 26, 2009

In its first weeks in office, the Obama administration has made two major decisions regarding Afghanistan.

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Our Nuclear Nightmare

Newsweek - February 16, 2009

More than 200 years ago, the philosopher Immanuel Kant defined the ultimate choice before mankind: if world history was to culminate in universal peace, would it be through moral insight, or through catastrophe of a magnitude that allowed no other outcome?

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The Chance for a New World Order

International Herald Tribune - January 12, 2009

As the new U.S. administration prepares to take office amid grave financial and international crises, it may seem counterintuitive to argue that the very unsettled nature of the international system generates a unique opportunity for creative diplomacy.

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Team of Heavyweights

The Washington Post - December 5, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama has appointed an extraordinary team for national security policy. On its face, it violates certain maxims of conventional wisdom: that appointing to the Cabinet individuals with an autonomous constituency, and who therefore are difficult to fire, circumscribes presidential control;

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What Vietnam Teaches Us

Newsweek - November 3, 2008

For America, the Vietnam War was the traumatic event of the second half of the last century. Entered into with a brash self-confidence after a decade and a half of creative and successful foreign policy, our engagement ended with America as divided as it had not been since the Civil War.

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Finding Common Ground

International Herald Tribune - September 30, 2008

The crisis over Georgia raises an issue familiar from history: In 1914, an essentially local issue was seen by so many nations in terms of established fears and frustrations that it became global in scope and led to the First World War.

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The Oil Price and International Security

Tribune Media Services - September 11, 2008

The tripling in the price of oil from $30 a barrel in 2001 to more than $100 today represents the largest transfer of wealth in human history.

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New Premises in Iraq

The Washington Post - July 30, 2008

The U.S. presidential campaign has been so long and so intense that it seems to operate in a cocoon, oblivious to changes that should alter its premises. A striking example is the debate over withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.

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The Unconventional Wisdom About Russia

Tribune Media Services - June 30, 2008

Conventional wisdom treated Dmitry Medvedev's inauguration as president of the Russian Federation as a continuation of President Vladimir Putin's two terms of Kremlin dominance and assertive foreign policy.

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Globalization and Its Discontents

International Herald Tribune - May 29, 2008

For the first time in history, a genuinely global economic system has come into being with prospects of heretofore unimagined well-being. At the same time - paradoxically - the process of globalization tempts a nationalism that threatens its fulfillment.

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The Three Revolutions

The Washington Post - April 7, 2008

The long-predicted national debate about national security policy has yet to occur. Essentially tactical issues have overwhelmed the most important challenge a new administration will confront: how to distill a new international order from three simultaneous revolutions occurring around the globe:

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Two Tracks in Pakistan

The Washington Post - March 10, 2008

Last month’s election in Pakistan, far from calming the political crisis, has opened a new phase, and the world has a huge stake in the outcome. Pakistan is at the front line of the assault by Islamist radicalism on moderate elements within the Muslim world and on the institutions of the West.

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Toward a Nuclear-Free World

The Wall Street Journal - January 15, 2008

The accelerating spread of nuclear weapons, nuclear know-how and nuclear material has brought us to a nuclear tipping point. We face a very real possibility that the deadliest weapons ever invented could fall into dangerous hands.

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Misreading the Iran Report

The Washington Post - December 13, 2007

The extraordinary spectacle of the president's national security adviser obliged to defend the president's Iran policy against a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) raises two core issues: How are we now to judge the nuclear threat posed by Iran? How are we to judge the intelligence community's relationship with the White House and the rest of the government?

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The Hard Part of a Mideast Deal

The Washington Post - October 23, 2007

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has clearly spelled out how the Bush administration expects the Palestinian peace negotiations now underway to unfold. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert are to hold preparatory meetings to define major elements of a settlement. Their draft outline is to be submitted to an international conference assembled in Annapolis at the end of November; members have yet to be chosen.

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Foreword to
Soviet-American Relations: The Détente Years (1969-1972)

Washington, DC : U.S. Government Printing Office, October 2007

On March 25, 1971, according to the transcript of a telephone conversation with Soviet ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin, I remarked: "When we are both out of government service, which will be a lot later for you than for me, I hope you will let me read the reports you send in on me."

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The Disaster of Hasty Withdrawal

The Washington Post - September 16, 2007

Two realities define the range of a meaningful debate on Iraq policy: The war cannot be ended by military means alone. But neither is it possible to “end” the war by ceding the battlefield. The radical jihadist challenge knows no frontiers; American decisions in the next few months will affect the confidence and morale of potential targets, potential allies and radical jihadists around the globe.

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Putin's Missile Defense Proposal and the Emerging World Order

As distributed by Tribune Media Services - August 7, 2007

The debate about missile defense, nearly 50 years old, has been reignited by the plan to deploy elements of the American missile defense in the Czech Republic and Poland. Familiar Cold War arguments have reemerged as Russia challenges the necessity of the deployment and asserts that it is really designed to overcome Russian strategic forces rather than Iranian threats as the U.S. administration claims. But in addition to invective, the Kremlin has also put forward a bold initiative for creating an unprecedented NATO-Russian collaboration in resisting an Iranian nuclear missile threat.

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The Way Back from Iraq

The Washington Post - July 10, 2007

The war in Iraq is approaching a kind of self-imposed climax. Public disenchantment is palpable. The expressions of concern by the widely admired Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) are a case in point. On the other hand, a democratic public eventually holds its leaders responsible for bringing about disasters, even if the decisions that caused the disaster reflected the public's preferences of the moment.

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Lesson of Vietnam

The Washington Post - June 11, 2007

The Iraq war has reawakened memories of Vietnam - the most significant political experience of an entire American generation. But this has not produced clarity about its lessons.

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The Icon & the Eagle

International Herald Tribune - March 20, 2007

Ambivalence characterizes relations between Russia and the United States. President Vladimir Putin snipes at American conduct and policies, while his foreign minister reaffirms Russia's interest in a partnership with the United States. Washington seeks Russian assistance on nonproliferation while pursuing policies on Russia's borders that Moscow and many Russians consider highly provocative.

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What an International Conference Can Do

The Washington Post - March 1, 2007

The announcement by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is calling two international conferences of all Iraq's neighbors, including Syria and Iran, to discuss the country's future could mark a watershed. Whatever happens on the battlefields, Iraq will have to rejoin the global community in some manner. Otherwise, its internal tensions will continue to tempt outside intervention, and these can be resisted most effectively on the basis of agreed-upon principles. The conflicting interests of neighbors must be restrained by a combination of a balance of power and an agreed legitimacy to provide an international sanction.

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Stability in Iraq and Beyond

The Washington Post - January 21, 2007

President Bush's bold decision to order a "surge" of some 20,000 American troops for Iraq has brought the debate over the war to a defining stage. There will not be an opportunity for another reassessment.

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He Moved with Calm

Newsweek - January 8, 2007

Recollections of the public and private Gerald Ford.

I first met President Ford in the mid-1960s, when I was a professor at Harvard. I was conducting a defense-policy seminar. It was customary to invite people from Washington, and I invited President Ford, then a congressman, to come and talk about the appropriations process.

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A World Free of Nuclear Weapons

The Wall Street Journal - January 4, 2007

Nuclear weapons today present tremendous dangers, but also an historic opportunity.

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Deal with Tehran, not Its Crusade

The Washington Post - November 24, 2006

Iran's nuclear program and considerable resources enable it to strive for strategic dominance in its region. With the impetus of a radical Shiite ideology and the symbolism of defiance of the U.N. Security Council's resolution, Iran challenges the established order in the Middle East and perhaps wherever Islamic populations face dominant, non-Islamic majorities.

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Denuclearizing North Korea

The Washington Post - November 12, 2006

Two negotiations conducted thousands of miles apart by a largely overlapping group of participants may well determine the prospects of world order. In Beijing, the United States, China, Russia, Japan and the two Koreas are negotiating about the North Korean nuclear program; in Vienna, the so-called E-3 (Germany, France and Britain) occasionally meet with an Iranian negotiator over the Iranian nuclear program. The Korean diplomacy may be heading for a breakthrough. The Iranian talks are deadlocked.

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After Lebanon

The Washington Post - September 13, 2006

Two conceptions dominate public discussion on Lebanon. The first is that Hezbollah is a traditional terrorist organization operating covertly outside the law. The second is that the cease-fire marks an end to the war in Lebanon. Neither conception is valid.

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The Next Steps with Iran

The Washington Post - July 31, 2006

The world's attention is focused on the fighting in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, but the context leads inevitably back to Iran. Unfortunately, the diplomacy dealing with that issue is constantly outstripped by events.

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World of Wonder

Newsweek - June 12, 2006

Pelé in 1970. Maradona in '86. Zidane in '98. Every four years, one World Cup player makes history. Henry A. Kissinger-Nobel Peace Prize winner, former secretary of State, soccer fan-shares his golden moments before this year's June 9 kickoff.

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A Nuclear Test for Diplomacy

The Washington Post - May 16, 2006

The recent letter from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to President Bush needs to be considered on several levels. It can be treated as a ploy to obstruct U.N. Security Council deliberations on Iran's disregard of its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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Franz Beckenbauer: The Emperor of Soccer

TIME - May 8, 2006

During the month of June, no sportsman will be able to rival the attention focused on Franz Beckenbauer. Widely considered the best soccer player ever produced by Germany, he will preside over a tournament of 32 teams, including one from the U.S, the survivors of an elimination process involving 194 teams, that has gone on for more than two years.

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The Rules on Preventive Force

The Washington Post - April 9, 2006

The recent publication of the second quadrennial administration statement on national strategy passed without the controversy that marked its predecessor in 2002. This is all the more remarkable because the statement reiterates the U.S. commitment to a strategy of preemption in exactly the same words contained in the 2002 version.

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Working with India

The Washington Post - March 20, 2006

President Bush's visit has brought relations between India and the United States to an unprecedented level of cooperation and interdependence, which promises to make a seminal contribution to international peace and prosperity.

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What's Needed from Hamas

The Washington Post - February 27, 2006

The image of Ariel Sharon lying comatose in an Israeli hospital has a haunting quality. There is the poignancy of the warrior who fought -- occasionally ruthlessly -- in all of Israel's wars, incapacitated when he was on the verge of proclaiming a dramatic reappraisal of Israel's approach to peace.

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How to Exit Iraq

The Washington Post - December 18, 2005

The administration and its critics seem to agree that the beginning of an American withdrawal from Iraq will mark a turning point. What divides them is the speed and extent of the drawdown and whether it should be driven by a timetable or by a strategy that seeks to shape events.

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Will Germany’s Coalition Work?

The Washington Post - November 22, 2005

Angela Merkel takes office as chancellor of Germany at a moment of crisis for a country poised between domestic reform and economic doldrums and social deadlock, between stalemate and new creativity on European integration, and between tradition and the need for new patterns in the Atlantic Alliance.

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Lessons for an Exit Strategy

The Washington Post - August 12, 2005

There have been conflicting reports about the timing of American troop withdrawals from Iraq. Gen. George Casey, commander of U.S. forces there, has announced that the United States intends to begin a "fairly substantial" withdrawal of U.S. forces after the projected December elections establish a constitutional government.

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China: Containment Won’t Work

The Washington Post - June 13, 2005

The relationship between the United States and China is beset by ambiguity. On the one hand, it represents perhaps the most consistent expression of a bipartisan, long-range American foreign policy. Starting with Richard Nixon, seven presidents have affirmed the importance of cooperative relations with China and the U.S. commitment to a one-China policy – albeit with temporary detours at the beginning of the Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. President Bush and Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell have described relations with China as the best since the opening to Beijing in 1971. The two presidents, Bush and Hu Jintao, plan to make reciprocal visits and to meet several times at multilateral forums.

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Implementing Bush’s Vision

The Washington Post - May 16, 2005

Extraordinary advances of democracy have occurred in recent months: elections in Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, and Palestine; local elections in Saudi Arabia; Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon; the opening up of the presidential election in Egypt; and upheavals against entrenched authoritarians in Kyrgyzstan. This welcome trend was partly triggered by President Bush’s Middle East policy and accelerated by his second inaugural address, which elevated the progress of freedom in the world to the defining objective of U.S. foreign policy.

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Iran: A Nuclear Test Case

The Washington Post - March 8, 2005

President Bush’s recent visit to Europe took place in an atmosphere vastly different from that of his first term. Unlike the prelude to the Iraq war, this time, each side of the Atlantic seemed determined to minimize differences and seek areas of agreement. At the same time, an improved atmosphere is only a first step toward defining common policies. This is why the issue of nuclear weapons in Iran may well turn into a test case, either bringing the alliance closer together or rending it again when its dynamics brook no further procrastination.

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Results, Not Timetables, Matter in Iraq

The Washington Post - January 25, 2005

The debate on Iraq is taking a new turn. The Iraqi elections scheduled for Jan. 30, only recently viewed as a culmination, are described as inaugurating a civil war. The timing and the voting arrangements have become controversial. All this is a way of foreshadowing a demand for an exit strategy, by which many critics mean some sort of explicit time limit on the U.S. effort.

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A New Opening for Mideast Peace

The Washington Post - December 3, 2004

Three dramatic events have recast the seemingly moribund Middle East diplomacy and opened the way for a major American diplomatic initiative: the reelection of President Bush, the death of Yasser Arafat, and the commitment of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to withdraw from Gaza and dismantle Jewish settlements there.

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America's Assignment: What will we face in the next four years?

Newsweek - November 8, 2004

As these lines are being written, the election process is still in full swing. But this week, barring another deadlocked outcome, the campaign that has mesmerized America will be over..

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Better Intelligence Reform

The Washington Post - August 16, 2004

President Bush has proposed a new post of national intelligence director. Not part of the Cabinet or located in the White House, the director would be charged with "coordinating" the intelligence budget and "working with" various intelligence agencies to set priorities.

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A Global Order in Flux

The Washington Post - July 9, 2004

When the history of these times is written, it may well be that the headlines of the day - Iraq and the controversies it has aroused - will pale in comparison to other international upheavals of our period.

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Discarding Blinders in the Middle East

The Washington Post - May 9, 2004

The quest for peace in the Middle East never exhausts its incongruities. On the same weekend that an overwhelming majority of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's own Likud party voted against his plan to withdraw all Israeli settlements in Gaza and four on the West Bank, Yasser Arafat, in an appeal to the European Union, denounced the withdrawal as "the death of the peace process."

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A Date of Destiny for Iraq

The Washington Post - February 11, 2004

The self-imposed deadline of June 30 for the transfer of sovereignty from American to Iraqi authorities is often treated as marking the start of U.S. disengagement. In fact, the formal end of occupation changes the nature of the American engagement, not the need for it.

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Phase II and Iraq

The Washington Post - January 13, 2002

As military operations in Afghanistan wind down, it is well to keep in mind President Bush's injunction that they are only the first battles of a long war.

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