Washington – Two weeks ago President Bush released his first National
Security Strategy document, outlining the components and principles guiding
American security policy in the 21st century. The Bush strategy declares
that the United States should use its “unparalleled military strength and
great economic and political influence” to establish a balance of power that
“favors human freedom” and is aimed at defeating the threat posed by
“terrorists and tyrants.”
In historic significance, President Bush’s strategy paper has been compared
to President Harry Truman’s containment doctrine which guided American
policy through a half-century of the Cold War.
A team of Brookings scholars has completed an initial study evaluating and
analyzing the Bush strategy. The study finds positive elements, some
strengths and some weaknesses. It identifies what the Brookings team refers
to as shortcomings in four specific areas:
- The relative balance between promoting global freedom and fighting
- Dependence on preemption in dealing with rogue states like Iraq.
- The importance of alliances and international institutions in achieving US
- Economic and political assistance proposals for helping failed states.
The authors of the Brookings evaluation – James Steinberg, vice president
and director of the Foreign Policy Studies program, and Senior Fellows Ivo
Daalder and James Lindsay – will explain and discuss their evaluation. They
will also answer questions from the audience.