Can “Freedom Only” Secure Our Future?

Corinne Graff and
Corinne Graff Former Brookings Expert, Senior Policy Scholar - United States Institute of Peace
Susan E. Rice
Susan E. Rice Former Brookings Expert, Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow - School of International Service, American University

September 1, 2005


Increasingly, Americans doubt the wisdom and effectiveness of the Bush administration’s Iraq policy. They wonder whether our mission can succeed and whether toppling Saddam was the right priority to win the “war on terrorism.” President Bush now regularly justifies regime change in Iraq on grounds that democracy there and elsewhere is essential to security America’s future. Practically speaking, democracy promotion is the principal pill of President Bush’s long-term strategy to win the war on terror. As Americans and our partners weigh progress towards achieving our goals in Iraq, we should ask not only whether we are succeeding there, but also whether the United States has a viable strategy for improving its own and our collective security over the long term. Is democracy promotion sufficient to achieve greater security, and are we doing it well enough?