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Saturday, July 31, 2004

Kerry's Foreign Policy

Jul 29, 2004
The Kerry foreign policy would be different from that of Bush in at least three areas: Under Kerry, the US would forswear the right of pre-emptive action against its foes. It will employ its military only in a multilateral context, with the consent of the United Nations.

Such a policy would give the UN and the allies, who are not identified, a veto on the use of force by the US. It also means that the US will act only after it is attacked, and not to prevent attack on itself or its allies.

Afghanistan is offered as an illustration of a "good war". It was right for the US to invade Afghanistan because the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington had been orchestrated by Al Qaeda from Afghan territory. This was also a "good war" because the UN approved it and the allies agreed to take part .

The Iraq war, however, was a bad one: the US should have waited until after an attack from Iraq before reacting. Call it the Pearl Harbor Doctrine, if you like, but, if adopted, it would offer insurance to such regimes as North Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Pyongyang and Tehran would know that, short of attacking the US directly, they should fear no military retaliation.

* A Kerry administration would abandon Bush's commitment to promoting democracy, including by military pressure and/or action. Instead, the US will adopt the "soft power" method, using public diplomacy, battle of ideas, education, development aid, and human rights. (Here, the document echoes themes developed by Carter in 1976 .) ... FR Reprint.

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