A staunch conservative, Charles Krauthammer is best known for his nationally syndicated and Pulitzer Prize-winning column in The Washington Post. He is one of the country's most prominent foreign policy thinkers. Moment Magazine Editor Nadine Epstein speaks with Krauthammer about rumors of a planned U.S. military strike against Iran, turmoil in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and why he is pessimistic about the prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
For decades Americans lived in fear of the Soviet threat. Two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, what national security threats does the United States face?
Islamic radicalism and, over the horizon, China. I doubt that China will pose the kind of existential threat that the Soviet Union did because it's a geopolitical rival but not a particularly ideological one. Unlike the Soviet threat, Islamic radicalism doesn't have formal colonies or tank armies, but because of possible acquisition of weapons of mass destruction and because of its apocalyptic intentions, it has the potential of becoming an existential threat.
Is democratization a useful weapon against Islamic radicalism?
In theory, it is probably the best avenue to a safe world for free peoples. The problem is that democracy requires deep roots and certain social prerequisites that are lacking in much of the world, so it cannot be created instantly. But in certain strategic locations, democratization can be helpful. The way to defend ourselves against Islamic radicalism is to resist it through financial means, sanctions, surveillance, counterterrorism and counterinsur-gency. But for the long run …