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YES: 45133Michael Mandelbaum, from "David's Friend Goliath," Foreign Policy (January/February 2006)
NO: 35757Jack Snyder, from "Imperial Temptations," The National Interest (Spring 2003)
Michael Mandelbaum, a professor of international relations at Johns Hopkins University, argues that most countries in the world benefit greatly from America’s efforts to provide regional stability, limit proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and maintain a free trading system. As a result, other countries are not responding to America’s power by traditional power balancing. Jack Snyder, professor of international relations at Columbia University, argues that U.S. leaders have bought into the myths that entrapped imperial powers in the past, and that American unilateralism is creating nationalist backlashes against the United States and leading to a risk of imperial overstretch in which U.S. commitments would overburden American capabilities.Issue 2. Should the United States Have an Official Strategy of Preemption Against Potential Weapons of Mass Destruction Threats?
39130President George W. Bush, from "The National Security Strategy of the United States of America," National Security Strategy (September 20, 2002)
36696Ivo H. Daalder and James M. Lindsay, from "Bush's Revolution," Current History (November 2003)
President George W. Bush’s official National Security Strategy argues that in an era in which “rogue” states and terrorists seek to obtain chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons of mass destruction, and in which terrorists have demonstrated a willingness and capability to attack the United States, the United States must be prepared to preemptively use force to forestall potential threats. Ivo Daalder, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and James Lindsay, director of studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, argue that the Bush doctrine does not distinguish between “preemption” and “preventive war,” and that the war in Iraq, the first war waged under the new doctrine, has been costly and damaging to the United States’ image and its relation with its allies.Issue 3. Should Promoting Democracy Abroad Be a Top U.S. Priority?
39099Joseph Siegle, from "Developing Democracy: Democratizers' Surprisingly Bright Development Record," Harvard International Review (Summer 2004)
39100Tamara Cofman Wittes, from "Arab Democracy, American Ambivalence," The Weekly Standard (February 23, 2004)
Joseph Siegle, Douglas Dillon Fellow a the Council on Foreign Relations, argues that large numbers of countries are continuing to democratize and, because of the increase in accountability associated with democratization, they tend to experience economic growth as fast as, if not faster than, other countries in the same region. Tamara Cofman Wittes, research fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, argues that U.S. efforts to promote democracy in Iraq and the Arab Middle East are likely to fail unless the U.S. government matches its rhetoric with a credible commitment to promote policies institutionalizing the forward movement of liberalism in Iraq and the region at large.
YES: 45469James Lacey, from "The Threat Saddam Posed: A Dictator and His WMD," National Review (April 2006)
39103John Judis and Spencer Ackerman, from "The Selling of the Iraq War: The First Casualty," The New Republic (June 30, 2003)
James Lacey, a journalist, argues that although there is evidence that Saddam Hussein did not have an inventory of weapons of mass destruction, he had the intent and the capability to produce such weapons on short notice and could easily have done so once UN inspectors departed had the United States not invaded Iraq. John B. Judis and Spencer Ackerman, respectively senior and associate editors at The New Republic, argue that the Bush administration greatly exaggerated intelligence information suggesting Iraq was a threat, particularly information suggesting ties between the Iraqi government and al Qaeda.Issue 5. Should the United States Stay in Iraq?
YES: 45471John McCain, from "Stay to Win," Current History (January 2006)
NO: 43323William Odom, from "Withdraw Now," Current History (January 2006)
John McCain, U.S. Senator from Arizona and a veteran of the Vietnam War, argues that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq before stability is achieved there would lead to a bloody civil war, interference in Iraq by other states in the region, and a failed state that would become a haven for anti-American terrorists. William Odom, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and former director of the National Security Agency, argues that all of the dire consequences predicted in the event of a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq—civil war, loss of American credibility, a haven for terrorists, and regional instability—have already taken place and will be made worse by a continuing U.S. military presence in Iraq.Issue 6. Should the United States Foster a Partition of Iraq?
39452Timothy Noah, from "Should We Partition Iraq?" Slate (April 27, 2004)
NO: 45473Rend al-Rahim, from "Partition Is Not the Solution," The Washington Post (October 29, 2006)
Timothy Noah, author of the “Chatterbox” column of the online magazine Slate, argues that a managed partition of Iraq might be preferable to the ongoing conflict in that country. Rend al-Rahim, director of the Iraq Freedom Foundation and former representative of the Interim Iraqi government to the United States, argues that any attempt to draw lines of partition through the mixed regions of Iraq would intensify sectarian violence, lead to intervention by Iraq’s neighbors, and bring about a radicalized Sunni regime in the middle of Iraq and a fundamentalist Shiite regime under Iranian influence in the south of Iraq.
39110Teresita Schaffer, from "Strategic Trends in South Asia," Testimony before the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, House International Relations Committee (March 17, 2004)
NO: 45475Sydney Freedberg, Jr., from "The Hunt for Osama," National Journal (June 3, 2006)
Teresita Schaffer, director of the South Asian Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, notes man problems in Pakistan’s domestic and foreign policies, but holds out the hope that Pakistan is getting more serious about cracking down on terrorists in Pakistan and pursuing peace in its troubled relations with India. Sydney Freedberg, a journalist for The National Journal, notes that Osama bin Laden and other top al Qaeda and Taliban leaders are widely believed to be hiding in northern Pakistan, and he details the difficulties of getting the Pakistani government, and even more importantly the tribes in the relatively lawless northern regions of Pakistan, to cooperate in capturing bin Laden and closing down military operations by al Qaeda and the Taliban.Issue 8. Should the United States Preemptively Attack Iranian Nuclear Facilities?
YES: 45477Mario Loyola, from "Before They Go Nuclear: Iran and the Question of Preemption," National Review (August 28, 2006)
NO: 45478Edward N. Luttwak, from "Three Reasons Not to Bomb Iran--Yet!" Commentary (May 2006)
Mario Loyola, a former consultant to the Department of Defense, argues that the United States needs to publicly retain the option of a preemptive military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities to give leverage to U.S. diplomatic efforts to get Iran to end its nuclear weapons program. Edward N. Luttwak, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, argues that the preemptive strikes on Iraq’s nuclear facilities by the United States would alienate the Iranian public and lead Iran’s government to retaliate against U.S. forces in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East.Issue 9. Should the United States Send Peacekeeping Troops to Darfur?
YES: 45480Lawrence F. Kaplan, from "Crisis Intervention," New Republic Online (April 24, 2006)
NO: 45481David Rieff, from "Moral Blindness," New Republic (June 5, 2006)
Lawrence Kaplan, a senior editor at The New Republic, argues that the United Nations, the African Union, and NATO are unable or unwilling to intervene to stop genocide in Darfur, and that only a largely intervention by U.S. military forces can do so. David Rieff, a contributing editor at The New Republic, argues that although some form of international intervention in Darfur might eventually be necessary, a unilateral U.S. intervention would further damage U.S. relations with the Muslim world and would end up either with the secession of Darfur under a U.S. or UN protectorate or a Iraq-style counterinsurgency against the government of Sudan and the Janjaweed fighters it sponsors.Issue 10. Is China’s Rise Threatening to the United States?
YES: 45768John Mearsheimer, from "China’s Unpeaceful Rise," Current History (April 2006)
NO: 45483Dennis J. Blasko, from "Rumsfeld's Take on the Chinese Military: A Dissenting View," Current History (September 2006)
John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and the codirector of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago. He argues that China’s impressive economic growth will enable it to engage in an intense security competition with considerable potential for war. Dennis J. Blasko served as a military intelligence officer and foreign area officer specializing in China for the U.S. army and was army attache; in Beijing from 1992-1995 and in Hong Kong from 1995-1996. He argues the U.S. assessments of Chinese military modernization are biased to justify current U.S. policy and overstate the threat posed by China.Issue 11. Should the United States Seek Negotiations and Engagement with North Korea?
39125David Kang, from "The Debate over North Korea," Political Science Quarterly (vol. 119, no. 2, 2004)
39126Victor Cha, from "The Debate over North Korea," Political Science Quarterly (vol. 119, no. 2, 2004)
David C. Kang, associate professor of government at Dartmouth College, contends that the threat posed by North Korea is overblown because North Korea will continue to be deterred from acting aggressively and, consequently, that engagement offers the best strategy promoting economic, political, and military change. Victor D. Cha, associate professor of government and D.S. Song-Korea Foundation Chair in Asian Studies in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and Asian director in the National Security Council of the U.S. government, argues that North Korea remains hostile and opportunistic. Engagement—if used at all—should be highly conditional, and the United States and its allies should remain prepared to isolate and contain North Korea if engagement fails.Issue 12. Is U.S. Support for Israel a Key Factor in America’s Difficulties in the Middle East?
YES: 45486John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt and John Mearsheimer, from "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," Middle East Policy (Fall, 2006)
NO: 45487Josef Joffe, from "A World Without Israel," Foreign Policy (January/February 2005)
Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, international relations scholars at Harvard University and the University of Chicago respectively, argue that the United States’ unwavering support for Israel has undermined American interests in the Middle East. They assert that Israel is a strategic burden rather than an asset for the United States, and that the United States’ policies toward Israel are largely driven by the political power of an “Israeli lobby” in the United States. Joseph Joffe, a leading German commentator on international affairs, maintains that if Israel had never existed, the United States would face many of the same problems it currently confronts in the Middle East. In his view, many of the challenges facing the United States are driven by problems within and between Arab states, rather than those between these states and Israel.
39132Tom Ridge, from Testimony before the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs (September 13, 2004)
39131Michael Crowley, from "Playing Defense: Bush's Disastrous Homeland Security Department," The New Republic (March 15, 2004)
Tom Ridge, former security of homeland security, argues that the new department has made great progress in bringing together federal, state, and local security agencies and improving the coordination and information exchange among them to prevent terrorist attacks. Michael Crowley, senior editor of The New Republic, argues that the Department of Homeland Security is disorganized and underfunded and has not set the right priorities for best preventing new terrorist attacks.Issue 14. Does Domestic Spying Help the United States?
YES: 45504Charles Krauthammer, from "How Do You Think We Catch the Bad Guys?" Time (January 9, 2006)
NO: 45505Bob Barr, from "Presidential Snooping Damages the Nation," Time (January 9, 2006)
Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post opinion columnist, argues that domestic spying and tough interrogation techniques are an important part of the United States’ counter-terrorism policy and that their use helps to explain why the terrorists have not successfully hit the United States since 9/11/2001. Bob Barr, member of the House of Representatives from Georgia from 1995-2003, argues that President Bush’s directive for the National Security Agency to spy on domestic citizens represents an abuse of presidential power and is contrary to the express and implied requirements of federal law as specified by the Fourth Amendment freedoms of the Constitution.Issue 15. Is Loosening Immigration Regulations Good for the United States?
YES: 45507George W. Bush, from "Letting the People Who Contribute to Society Stay," Vital Speeches of the Day (May 15, 2006)
NO: 45508Mark Krikorian, from "Not So Realistic: Why Some Would-Be Immigration Reformers Don't Have the Answer," National Review (September 12, 2005)
George W. Bush, president of the United States, argues that the United States can both be a law-abiding country with secure borders and a nation that upholds its tradition of welcoming immigrants. Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies and a visiting fellow at the Nixon Center, argues that immigration reforms promoting guest workers or amnesty are unrealistic and prone to fraud and paralysis.
YES: 45510Murray Weidenbaum, from "Globalization Is Not a Dirty Word," Vital Speeches of the Day (March 1, 2001)
25531Robert Kuttner, from "Globalism Bites Back," The American Prospect (March/April 1998)
Murray Weidenbaum, the Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor of Economics at Washington University in St. Louis, asserts that opposition to economic globalization is based largely on 10 dangerous myths. Robert Kuttner, founder and coeditor of The American Prospect, argues that calls for virtually unchecked globalism are nai;ve, and he points out a number of problems that the trend toward globalism has revealed.Issue 17. Is Outsourcing Good for the United States?
39137Edward Luce and Khozem Merchant, from "The Logic Is Inescapable," Financial Times (January 28, 2004)
39138Ronil Hira, from "Testimony before the Committee on Small Business, U.S. House of Representatives" (June 18, 2003)
Edward Luce and Khozem Merchant argue that cost savings, labor flexibility, and the rising productivity of largely non-unionized youthful labor forces in India and elsewhere make offshore outsourcing beneficial to both U.S. firms, who can use their savings to retain higher skilled workers, and U.S. consumers, who benefit from access to low-cost, high-quality goods and services. Ronil Hira, who is the chair of the R&D Policy Committee for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers of the United States of America, argues that global outsourcing is leading to a loss of high-value/high-wage jobs in the natural sciences and engineering, which, in turn, undercuts U.S. innovation and leadership in the science, technology, and service sectors, attracts bright young people to countries other than the United States, and increases U.S. reliance on others for critical military and national security technologies.Issue 18. Should the United States Fight Climate Change?
YES: 45512William J. Clinton, from "Global Climate Change: Building a Future for Our Grandchildren," Vital Speeches of the Day (December 8, 2005)
NO: 45394Jason Lee Steorts, from "Scare of the Century: The Alarms and Assertions about Global Warming Have Gone Reprehensibly Too Far," National Review (June 5, 2006)
William J. Clinton, former president of the Untied States, contends that global warming is real, that environmentally sound practices are economically feasible on personal and national levels, and that all peoples should work together to combat global warming. Jason Lee Steorts, deputy managing editor of National Review, argues data on global warming is not consistent and the fears of global warming are being fanned by politicians, the media, and some scientists.Issue 19. Is It Realistic for the United States to Move Toward Greater Energy Independence?
YES: 45514Barack Obama, from Remarks to the Governor's Ethanol Coalition (February 28, 2006)
NO: 45515Philip J. Deutch, from "Energy Independence," Foreign Policy (November/December 2005)
Barack Obama, Democratic senator from Illinois, argues that America’s high dependence on oil imports undermines its security by making it rely on unstable and often hostile governments. He argues that the United States can greatly reduce its reliance on oil imports by setting higher standards for auto fuel efficiency and promoting the use of biofuels like ethanol. Philip Deutch, director of Evergreen Solar and general partner of NGP Energy Technology partners, a private equity firm investing in energy technology companies, argues that U.S. oil imports are so high that it would be impossible to end them in the next few decades, and that U.S. energy use is likely to continue to grow, as will oil prices, even if energy efficiency and conservation increase.
42378Charles Krauthammer, from "The Truth about Torture: It’s Time to Be Honest about Doing Terrible Things," The Weekly Standard (December 5, 2005)
42379Andrew Sullivan, from "The Abolition of Torture," The New Republic (December 19, 2005)
Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post opinion columnist, argues the lives saved by information provided by those with information about terrorist incidents justify the use of torture to obtain that information. Andrew Sullivan, senior editor of The New Republic, argues against claims of the military utility and necessity of torture.Issue 21. Can Humanitarian Intervention Be Justified?
39142Kenneth Roth, from "Setting the Standard: Justifying Humanitarian Intervention," Harvard International Review (Spring 2004)
39143Alan J. Kuperman, , from "Humanitarian Hazard: Revising Doctrines of Intervention," Harvard International Review (Spring 2004)
Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, argues that while humanitarian intervention is extremely costly in human terms, it can be justified in situations involving ongoing or imminent slaughter, but that it should only be considered when five limiting criteria are met. Alan Kuperman, resident assistant professor of international relations at Johns Hopkins University, argues that the benefits of humanitarian intervention are much smaller and the costs much greater than are generally acknowledged because violence is perpetrated faster than interveners can act to stop it and the likelihood of humanitarian intervention may actually make some local conflicts worse.