f_0010077_7824

f_0010077_7824 - The Bush Administrations Legacy...

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The Ambassadors REVIEW 1 The Bush Administration’s Legacy Condoleezza Rice Secretary of State hat will be the legacy of the Bush administration? That is a question that will surely occupy historians for decades to come, and it will likely be the topic of many doctoral dissertations—some of which I imagine I will even supervise upon returning to Stanford on January 20, 2009. Still, we can say a few things about this question now. This is an administration that had the challenge of serving at one of the most transformational times in recent memory. It is a time that has seen the tectonic plates of the international system shift considerably. It is a time that has seen many nations at once rising to new positions of global power and influence, especially in Asia. It is a time in which the old order in the Middle East has come apart and a different, better set of bargains is being slowly but surely put in place. And it is a time that saw the most horrific attack on the American homeland in our nation’s history—an instance of strategic surprise in which our administration was compelled to rethink what constituted challenge and what might emerge as opportunity. These are sweeping, historical challenges, and securing the United States and furthering our global leadership in this rapidly changing world will be the work of a generation. Success will require the concerted effort of many administrations, but I am confident that our administration has laid a foundation upon which future US leaders, both Republican and Democratic, will be able to work over time to support the growth of an international order that protects our interests and reflects our values. This international order must rest, as all others before it have, on a base of constructive relationships between powerful and influential states—states with which we can work in concert to solve common global problems—and our administration has made a significant contribution to that effort. We have begun to transform the transatlantic alliance. Twelve of the 28 NATO allies are now former captive nations, which is changing the character of the alliance. We also have expanded our alliance’s mission to not only secure and strengthen a Europe whole, free, and at peace, but also to promote our shared ideals in places as different as Georgia, Sudan, Iraq, and perhaps most significantly, Afghanistan. We have begun to transform our traditional alliances with democratic powers in Asia like Japan, South Korea, and Australia—making our partnerships platforms not only for our common regional defense, but also for tackling the global challenges of the 21 st century: expanding trade and development, fighting terrorism and proliferation, fostering energy security, stemming climate change, and defending freedom and democracy. W
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f_0010077_7824 - The Bush Administrations Legacy...

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