gave the annual Morgenthau lecture to the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs earlier this year. In the course of his remarks he said:
When do we use force? Under the threat of terrorism, with fear spreading throughout America, we went on to cast a shadow across the entire world with our doctrine of preemption. Our allies abroad still want to know the precise criteria that justify our use of force. They're very happy for Saddam Hussein to be expelled; but when it comes to threatening to use force, they want to know what confers legitimacy on U.S. actions. We have yet to answer that question to their satisfaction; but if we're going to put together a strategy that brings this country together and moves us forward in a comprehensive way, we have to do that.
Radek Sikorski editorializes in the WaPo this morning:
The United States insisted on confirming the permanence of borders in Europe at the time of German unification, and it insisted that NATO embrace Central Europe when the EU was dragging its feet. Central Europeans' feelings of gratitude are enhanced by the fact that the current generation of their leaders, whether post-Communist or post-dissident, were brought up on Radio Free Europe broadcasts and Fulbright scholarships.
But it would be a mistake to think that they shared all of the United States' concerns about Iraq. While many in the region have sympathy with human rights arguments, most never felt threatened by Saddam Hussein, and they were skeptical of intelligence reports about his weapons of mass destruction. As a result, the public in the most pro-American country in Europe, Poland, opposes military involvement in Iraq 2 to 1 -- and that was before any casualties. Governments have chosen to participate nevertheless, because -- unlike some West Europeans -- they do not feel threatened by the United States, and they support U.S. leadership. They hoped their participation would produce feelings of reciprocal commitment: Surely, most believed, the United States would want to show that it pays to be America's friend.
Now it seems that Central Europeans will be disappointed. Six months after the invasion, companies from the region are still on the sidelines as U.S. giants move in. Poland and Bulgaria used to employ tens of thousands of people in Iraq, building roads, factories and electricity grids. Both had hoped that by siding with the United States they could recover some of the billions of dollars Iraq had never paid them for their work. Instead, they are being pressured to write off the money, even though the debt is several times bigger in proportion to their gross domestic products than what Iraq owed the United States.
Thanks to all of you who had suggestions for my reading list. Waging Modern War is a lovely campaign book. It is not a serious study of policy, military history or strategy. If you are interested in any of those things, I highly recommend any of the numerous books by John Keegan. As Gen. Clark notes in his speech to the Carnegie Council, the rest of the world does not see our adventure in Iraq as legitimate. Internationalizing this conflict in January of 2005, even with a change of Resident at 1600 Penn, is not a given, even with handing out generous redevelopment contracts. Until the security situation is under control, any talk of reconstruction is premature and it would be political suicide for any head of state abroad to send in troops to get shot at. We gave the Turks an 8 billion dollar bribe and they won't be coming any time soon.