Strategic Fatigue

Issue: Summer 2006

In the words of George W. Bush, conducting foreign policy is "hard work." As the immensely ambitious strategic vision of the Bush Administration enters its fifth year, numerous indications of strategic fatigue are in evidence. There is talk of troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, even though the insurgencies are not subsiding in either country. The vigor for prosecuting the Global War on Terror is slowing, and, more importantly, the zeal for instigating regime change in other countries--North Korea, Iran, Syria and perhaps Venezuela--has visibly waned. The much scorned, traditional diplomatic processes shepherded by the State Department have returned. Congress is slightly less supine. Changes are evident in both substance and style as Condoleezza Rice demonstrates a newfound preference not to get out too far in front of the creaky wheels of multinational institutions that were the bane of administration activists.

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