What Is America's Next Move? A Foreign Policy Talk with Charles Krauthammer

By Epstein, Nadine | Moment, September-October 2010 | Go to article overview

What Is America's Next Move? A Foreign Policy Talk with Charles Krauthammer


Epstein, Nadine, Moment


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.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

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 it is also by trying to support moderate elements in the Muslim world, for example, trying to keep the Pakistani state alive. And, ultimately, by some measure of democratization, which would take power out of the hands of failed dictatorships that turn the fury of their people against the West and particularly against America.

How are we doing in the fight against Islamic radicalism?

Well, we haven't had a significant attack since 9/11, which nobody would have predicted. So we're doing something right, but we're doing it at a very high cost. To sustain the fight we have to find a way to do it at a lower cost because it will be a very long haul.

How would you define success in Iraq? In Afghanistan?

In Iraq, success would be leaving behind a functioning, reasonably democratic system, which may be near. That would be success considering that the current government is a successor to a genocidal, unpredictable, aggressive, dangerous dictatorship. Afghanistan is much more problematic. It's not developed enough in its political culture, economy or even in its sense of nationhood to get where Iraq is. In Afghanistan, success will be measured in a defensive way: What have we prevented? Total Taliban takeover.

It has been long known that elements within the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's intelligence agency, have been helping the Taliban. What can we do about that?

Nothing. What leverage do we have? Practically zero. Abandon the Pakistanis to their own devices? Pakistan is a country of 170 million people, a nuclear-armed Islamic state, with very powerful Islamist elements. We want to make sure that the army and the government remain in control of the pro-Western elements, and we will try to exert pressure to tame the rogue, pro-Taliban elements in the ISI as best we can.

How would you compare Barack Obama's Pakistan policy with that of George W. Bush?

Since the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Bush and Obama have navigated a very difficult time in Pakistan. Obama is doing reasonably well. We've accelerated the use of drones, for example. But we are not going to change very much, and it's an illusion to think we could do so with a few hundred million dollars of aid spread throughout a country of this size. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

What Is America's Next Move? A Foreign Policy Talk with Charles Krauthammer
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.