0001189 - Key Points from Memo to the President Elect: How...

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Spring 2008 The Ambassadors REVIEW 1 Key Points from “Memo to the President Elect: How We Can Restore America’s Reputation and Leadership” Madeleine K. Albright Secretary of State, 1997-2001 United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, 1993-1997 merica’s next president will face an array of problems more daunting than any since the Vietnam era and will be constrained to do so with US assets—military, economic and political—under severe strain. Our new leader must therefore arrive in the Oval Office equipped not only with the right programs, but also the right temperament to handle the world’s most challenging job. Qualifications include analytical skill, an understanding of global strategy, a willingness to recognize and correct mistakes, and a gift for persuading others to do—and even more important to want—what we want. To begin, the new president must assemble a national security team that consists of strong individuals who are also team players. He or she must choose to be surrounded by people who speak honestly, whether or not their tidings are welcome. The White House works best when it is a place of intellectual ferment, where knowledge is sought, reason honored, and conflicting information sifted and weighed. From its first day, the new administration should use the full range of our foreign policy tools, including force (selectively), allies (respectfully), diplomacy (creatively) and international law (assertively). Our leaders must learn from the past without allowing historical clichés to dictate future actions. Not every enemy is Hitler and intelligent acts of diplomacy should not be confused with appeasement. We must recognize, as well, that torture is not a means for fighting terror, but a gift to al-Qaeda. Moral credibility is a precious national asset. Sitting in the Oval Office, the next president will confront five challenges that have, in recent years, been mishandled or neglected. The first is developing a more productive working relationship with the Arab and Muslim worlds. The second is restoring an international consensus in opposition to the spread of nuclear weapons. Third is defending democratic values against a new generation of dictators and demagogues. Fourth is attacking poverty, ignorance and disease. Fifth is addressing the intertwined global issues of energy supply and environmental health. The new chief executive also will inherit three conflicts—Iraq, Afghanistan, and a global struggle against al-Qaeda. These confrontations, though related, must be dealt with separately. Each has its own variables. With respect to Iraq, the next president must devise an exit strategy that will leave this troubled nation reasonably stable and unthreatening to itself or to others. That is far easier to promise than to carry out. To succeed, the administration must persuade Iraqi A
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Spring 2008 The Ambassadors REVIEW 2 leaders to see their interests in the same light we do; that a fair share of power in a
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This note was uploaded on 01/25/2012 for the course POLS 494 taught by Professor Garymoncrief during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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0001189 - Key Points from Memo to the President Elect: How...

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