dimanche 11 janvier 2009

Barack Obama envisagerait un dialogue avec le Hamas

Barack Obama a nommé hier Dennis Blair (à gauche) à la direction du renseignement national. Pro-israélien, il est pressenti pour représenter la politique Obama au Proche-Orient. Crédits photo : AFP

L'idée de contacts informels avec le mouvement islamiste est évoquée. Malgré les réticences de certains conseillers du président élu.
Que fera Barack Obama pour éteindre l'incendie de Gaza, un dossier qui le laisse «profondément inquiet», mais sur lequel il refuse de s'engager jusqu'à son investiture ? À dix jours de la fin du mandat de George W. Bush, les États-Unis ont amorcé jeudi soir un virage important de leur position sur le conflit israélo-palestinien, en s'abstenant, au lieu d'utiliser leur droit de veto, lors du vote d'une résolution de l'ONU appelant à un cessez-le-feu immédiat.
Mais la question qui intrigue experts et diplomates concerne la politique que mènera le prochain président après le 20 janvier. «Tout le monde a confiance en lui, mais personne n'a la moindre idée de ce qu'il fera parce que ce sera quelque chose de pragmatique et que le pragmatisme ouvre une grande marge de manœuvre», résume l'ancien ministre des Affaires étrangères français Hubert Védrine, de passage dans la capitale américaine pour sonder les intentions de la future Administration. «Ce qui paraît certain, c'est qu'en politique étrangère, il fera quelque chose de tout à fait différent», dit-il.

UNE REVOLUTION
Selon le quotidien britannique The Guardian, citant des sources dans son entourage, Obama serait disposé à ouvrir des contacts informels avec le Hamas. George W. Bush refusait tout dialogue avec le mouvement islamiste, qui figure sur la liste des organisations terroristes. La nouvelle équipe n'envisagerait pas, dans un premier temps, d'établir un dialogue officiel, mais d'instaurer des liens à travers les services de sécurité américains, un peu comme cela avait été le cas dans les années 1970 quand les États-Unis avaient décidé de miser sur l'OLP. Si cette option était retenue, elle représenterait une révolution dans l'approche américaine du conflit.
Nombre d'experts partagent l'idée que la politique de Bush a été un échec. Dans un article publié par la New York Review of Books, le spécialiste Robert Malley, constatant l'échec de la politique de paix de Bill Clinton comme celle de la politique de force de Bush, parle de la nécessité «d'écrire un SCENARIO TOTALEMENT NOUVEAU».. Aaron David Miller, un ancien du département d'État, affirme que Washington restera «un médiateur inopérant» s'il n'apprend pas à imposer des limites à Israël au lieu d'être à la remorque de la politique de Jérusalem.

DIVISIONS INTERNES
Mais certaines sources affirment que l'équipe Obama est en réalité divisée entre plusieurs courants et qu'il est impossible de savoir de quel côté penchera la balance après le 20 janvier. Les personnalités susceptibles de prendre la main sur le dossier du Proche-Orient après le 20 janvier, ne sont pas réputées pour partager vraiment les options évoquées par le Guardian. Hillary Clinton, connue pour son engagement en faveur d'Israël, avait qualifié de naïve l'idée d'un dialogue avec le Hamas pendant la campagne. Dennis Ross, dont le nom est cité comme l'un des futurs architectes de la politique Obama au Proche-Orient, est connu pour ses positions plutôt pro-israéliennes. La tonalité générale de la presse continue de mettre en avant la sécurité d'Israël. Fidèle à ses habitudes, le Congrès américain, démocrates et républicains confondus, vient de voter une nouvelle résolution de soutien à son allié inconditionnel. Le changement, s'il se produit, ne se fera pas sans tirage.

MONSIEUR OBAMA NOUS VOUS ATTENDONS !
Simone Susskind Présidente Actions in the Mediterranean ( Le Soir, extraits)
Depuis plus d’une semaine, nous sommes confrontés à la violence des images et à la réalité de ce qui est devenu une guerre : celle d’Israël contre Gaza.
Je n’ai pas ici l’intention de refaire l’histoire et de pointer du doigt la partie qui a rompu l’accord de cessez-le-feu entre le gouvernement d’Israël et le Hamas.
Les experts des deux camps nous prouveront à l’envi que c’est l’« ennemi » qui porte cette responsabilité sur ses épaules.
Je voudrais plutôt attirer l’attention des lecteurs sur quelques points qui me paraissent importants pour faciliter la compréhension des mécanismes qui ont poussé les acteurs en place à rouvrir les hostilités.
1. Le Hamas a repris l’envoi de centaines de roquettes sur le Sud d’Israël. Deux années de blocus sur Gaza n’ont pas affaibli sa capacité de harceler la population civile de cette région par l’envoi de roquettes. La nouveauté, c’est que la portée de ces roquettes artisanales augmente avec le temps qui passe et que le jour n’est pas loin où ces armes, atteignant le cœur d’une ville importante, telle qu’Ashdod, Ashkelon ou Beersheba, feront quelques dizaines ou quelques centaines de victimes israéliennes. D’une période de violence à une autre, le Hamas se renforce et son emprise sur la bande de Gaza est plus prégnante. Les autorités israéliennes pensent-elles vraiment qu’après avoir bombardé des centaines de sites et après avoir lancé une offensive terrestre de grande envergure, dont personne ne sait comment ni où elle s’arrêtera, elles réussiront à «éradiquer» le Hamas ?
2. Le gouvernement d’un État démocratique se comporte de la même manière qu’une organisation qualifiée de « terroriste » et qui l’est partiellement. Il lance ses avions et ses missiles sur des villes surpeuplées, tout en sachant bien que les dommages « collatéraux » seront importants. Et les « regrets » exprimés par les principaux ministres israéliens prêteraient à rire si la vie de civils innocents n’était pas en jeu. L’asymétrie entre ces deux « organisations » – la puissance de feu d’une armée sophistiquée face aux roquettes artisanales d’un groupe armé – ne doit pas nous faire oublier qu’ils utilisent tous les deux les mêmes méthodes.
3. Quel est l’objectif déclaré de cette guerre ? Les autorités israéliennes, militaires en tête, donnent l’impression que la confusion règne en leur sein. Certains la justifient par la volonté de mettre un terme aux roquettes qui s’abattent en nombre sur le Sud d’Israël et de protéger la population de cette région. Or, on sait qu’ils n’ont jamais réussi à atteindre cet objectif, sauf dans le cadre d’un accord de cessez-le-feu, si limité soit-il. D’autres parlent d’« éradiquer » le Hamas en éliminant ses responsables politiques et militaires. L’expérience ne leur a-t-elle pas appris que pour la mort de chacun de ceux-ci, dix nouveaux chefs de guerre se lèveront pour poursuivre le combat ? Comment expliquer alors que l’opinion publique en Israël ait une fois de plus soutenu dans son immense majorité la décision des autorités de lancer cette offensive massive contre le Hamas à Gaza ?
4. Quels objectifs les autorités israéliennes poursuivent-elles depuis des décennies ? Lorsqu’elles disent aspirer à la paix avec leurs voisins, avec le monde arabe ? Qu’elles demandent que l’Etat d’Israël soit reconnu ? Qu’elles déclarent aspirer à une intégration dans la région ? Alors qu’en réalité, la seule réponse ou la seule manière d’agir face à ces voisins a si souvent été l’expression de la force brutale, de la voix des armes ? Comment expliquer que l’Initiative de Paix de la Ligue arabe a été ignorée par le gouvernement israélien après qu’elle a été entérinée à l’unanimité des pays membres en mars 2002 ? Qu’elle a subi le même traitement lorsqu’elle a été renouvelée en 2007 ? Faut-il rappeler une fois de plus le contenu de ce document historique qui propose à l’Etat d’Israël la fin du conflit, la normalisation des relations avec tous les pays arabes, l’ouverture de relations diplomatiques et commerciales ? Qu’elle demande que l’Etat d’Israël évacue les territoires occupés depuis le 4 juin 1967 (avec des échanges mineurs de territoires pour lui permettre de conserver des blocs de colonies dans lesquelles vivent des dizaines de milliers d’Israéliens), que la partie arabe de Jérusalem devienne la capitale de l’Etat palestinien et qu’une solution « agréée » (donc négociée) soit trouvée au problème des réfugiés palestiniens.
Plutôt que de choisir une fois encore l’option militaire qui ne solutionne rien, le moment n’est-il pas venu de se tourner vers l’option qui est la seule porteuse de vie, d’avenir et d’espoir pour toute la région ?
Il est inutile de compter sur les politiques israéliens. Aucun ne semble avoir la stature requise ou la capacité de voir plus loin que son propre avenir politique. Les responsables de l’Autorité palestinienne ont été marginalisés durant ces années de « négociations » qui n’ont apporté aucune amélioration dans la vie des Palestiniens de Cisjordanie et de Jérusalem-Est, et alors qu’ils ont perdu le contrôle de la bande de Gaza suite au coup d’Etat du Hamas en juin 2007.
L’Union européenne a prouvé qu’elle n’avait rien à offrir, si ce n’est son argent pour reconstruire ce que l’armée israélienne avait détruit, payer les salaires des fonctionnaires palestiniens et pour couronner le tout, elle a accepté sans la moindre condition de rehausser le statut de l’Etat d’Israël le mois dernier.
Les regards et les espoirs de tous ceux qui aspirent à une paix juste et durable dans cette région se tournent dès lors vers la nouvelle administration américaine. Barack Obama, le nouveau président américain, qui a promis d’apporter le changement, qui symbolise ce changement, aura-t-il la vision et le courage requis pour forcer les principaux protagonistes du conflit à négocier des accords de paix définitifs ?
Fera-t-il de ce dossier une priorité de sa politique étrangère dès le début de son mandat, fort de la conviction qu’une paix israélo-arabe l’aidera à affronter le retrait américain d’Irak, l’engagement renforcé en Afghanistan et des négociations nécessaires avec l’Iran ?

COMMENTAIRE DE DIVERCITY
ENERGY POLICY IS FOREIGN POLICY
Une fois n’est pas coutume, nous avons opté pour la publication outre de la carte blanche de Simone Susskind de deux articles rédigés en anglais. Tirés de la célèbre revue Foreign Affairs. Le second est signé Barack Obama en personne, le premier est de la plume de Richard N. Haass et Martin Indyk.
Il nous donnent une idée très précise de ce que seront les grands axes stratégiques de la politique extérieure de la nouvelle administration. Prenons donc conscience une fois pour toute que Obama est le président des Etats Unis et non pas un hypothétique président d’une Europe incapable de parler d’une seule voix. Son silence, il vient il vient de le briser un bref instant, a déjà suscité beaucoup de critiques. Ses déclarations après le 20 janvier risquent d’en susciter plus encore. Certes, il se dit « très affecté par la perte des vies humaines » mais il considère qu’il n’y a qu’un seul président des Etats Unis et que ce n’est pas encore lui. C’est une manière un peu lâche de gagner du temps. Israël on profite pour avoir les mains libres et poursuivre sa politique guerrière sanguinaire. D’ici le 20, Obama gardera sans doute le silence sur son analyse du conflit israélo palestinien. Mais quelle sera sa position le 20 janvier et au-delà ?
Rien de bien spectaculaire en principe (à moins d’un SCENARIO TOTALEMENT NOUVEAU mais peu probable), et Hillary Clinton, réputée proche de Israël ne se démarquera guère de la politique de Condolezza Rice de façon spectaculaire. Nous ne partageons donc pas l’impression de Hubert Védrine pointée par Le Figaro : «Ce qui paraît certain, c'est qu'en politique étrangère, il fera quelque chose de tout à fait différent» (H. Védrine).
Il ne faudrait pas oublier que Obama est un politicien pragmatique très discipliné, qui va, en bon Américain à la messe tous les dimanches. Un président noir et non pas un noir président US qui a été élu avec le soutien financier de Wall Street et des lobbyistes de toutes farines. Surtout qu’il aura des priorités au niveau international : Cuba, l’Irak, la Syrie surtout l’Afghanistan, la Chine dont le destin est de plus en plus lié à celui de son fournisseur américain, les relations avec la Russie. Sa toute première priorité, selon toute vraisemblance, sera l’Iran. La Palestine , devait normalement figurer en quatrième ou cinquième position parmi les objectifs urgents ; autrement dit un dossier pour le second mandat présidentiel, comme ce fut le cas pour Clinton. Mais voilà que, en raison de la guerre de Gaza, ce dossier international vient soudain se placer de lui-même en priorité d’urgence. Sauf coup de théâtre toujours possible, il faut s’attendre à ce que ces déclarations soient très différentes de celles qu’on peut attendre d’un président US. On peut s’attendre à un plaidoyer à la Bush pour un double état israélo palestinien et à une confirmation de l’amitié israélo américaine. Suspense donc. Ce qui est indéniable c’est « que les Etats unis doivent éveiller de nouveaux espoirs dans le cœur d’une jeunesse tentée par les visions mortifères d’extrémistes religieux. »
(the United States needs to focus on supporting efforts to provide a vast and growing young generation in the region with hope for the future and reason to resist the dark visions purveyed by religious extremists).
Si vous voulez tout savoir sur la nouvelle politique américaine, faites l’effort de lire les extraits qui suivent, mieux, allez lire les analyses complètes sur Foreign Affairs. Il y a de fortes chances que vous y détecterez ce que seront les accents forts dans le discours d’investiture très attendu du président Obama, orateur de grand talent. Jamais discours d’investiture n’aura été suivi avec autant d’attention et d’appréhension par autant de terriens.
MG

BEYOND IRAK
A New U.S. Strategy for the Middle East
By Richard N. Haass and Martin Indyk
From Foreign Affairs , January/February 2009(excerpts)
Summary: To be successful in the Middle East, the Obama administration will need to move beyond Iraq , find ways to deal constructively with Iran , and forge a final-status Israeli-Palestinian agreement.
On taking office, U.S. President Barack Obama will face a series of critical, complex, and interrelated challenges in the Middle East demanding urgent attention: an Iraq experiencing, an Iran approaching the nuclear threshold, a faltering Israeli-Palestinian peace process, weak governments in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories challenged by strong militant Islamist groups, and a U.S. position weakened by years of failure and drift. He will also discover that time is working against him.
For six years, U.S. policy in the Middle East has been dominated by Iraq . This need not, and should not, continue. The Obama administration will be able to gradually reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq , limit their combat role, and increasingly shift responsibility to Iraqi forces.
The improved situation in Iraq will allow the new administration to shift its focus to Iran , where the clock is ticking on a dangerous and destabilizing nuclear program. Obama should offer direct official engagement with the Iranian government, without preconditions, along with other incentives in an attempt to turn Tehran away from developing the capacity to rapidly produce substantial amounts of nuclear-weapons-grade fuel. At the same time, he should lay the groundwork for an international effort to impose harsher sanctions on Iran if it proves unwilling to change course.
Preventive military action against Iran by either the United States or Israel is an unattractive option, given its risks and costs. The U.S. president should also spend capital trying to promote peace agreements between Israel and its Arab neighbours, in particular Syria . Damascus is currently allied with Tehran , and an Israeli-Syrian deal would weaken Iran 's regional influence, reduce external support for Hamas and Hezbollah, and improve the prospects for stability in Lebanon . On the Israeli-Palestinian front, there is an urgent need for a diplomatic effort to achieve a two-state solution while it is still feasible. What all these initiatives have in common is a renewed emphasis on diplomacy as a tool of U.S. national security policy, since the United States can no longer achieve its objectives without the backing of its regional allies as well as China , Europe, and Russia .
Managing contemporary global challenges requires managing the Middle East .
The vast majority of Middle Eastern states still look to the United States as the ultimate guarantor of their security and the power most able to help them achieve their objectives. Many people in the region still admire and identify with American values, and Obama's election victory will do much to remind them why. His ability to gain their respect will be vital to convincing the publics in the Arab and Muslim worlds to support their leaders in working with the United States .
The Obama administration should take advantage of the willingness of regional and global powers to work with the United States by renewing Washington 's commitment to diplomacy. The Obama administration should strike a more sustainable balance between U.S. interests and U.S. values. Above all, the United States needs to focus on supporting efforts to provide a vast and growing young generation in the region with hope for the future and reason to resist the dark visions purveyed by religious extremists
The dependence of the U.S. economy on oil is a key reason that the United States worries so much about the problems of the Middle East in the first place, and U.S. oil consumption also helps extremists in Iran and elsewhere. Had gasoline prices remained high, many Americans may well have changed their habits. But now that oil prices have declined dramatically, so will the perceived urgency of the problem; the Obama administration will therefore need to redouble efforts to increase energy efficiency, reduce consumption, and promote alternative energy sources. These policies would further diminish the demand for oil, slow the pace of climate change, and reduce the transfer of wealth to countries such as Iran , Russia , and Venezuela . The lesson is clear: reducing oil consumption can alter the strategic environment in the Middle East ; energy policy is foreign policy...

TACKLING TEHRAN
At the same time, the Obama administration needs to turn its attention toward Iran . The Bush administration succeeded in ousting the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, but in the process it removed Tehran 's most threatening enemies and inadvertently opened the door to an Iranian bid for regional primacy. (…) Bahrain and Saudi Arabia . Israel , Turkey , and Arab regional powers see Iran embarking on an aggressive effort to acquire a nuclear capability that the international community seems powerless to stop. And in the war of ideas, Iran and its proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah, have made some headway with the argument that violent radicalism is the way to liberate Palestine and achieve dignity and justice for Arabs and Muslims.
If the Obama administration could show that there are real payoffs for moderation, reconciliation, negotiation, and political and economic reform, it would recoup considerable U.S. influence throughout the region.
Unfortunately, recruiting Russia has become an even greater challenge since its use of force in Georgia in August 2008. Of course, getting Russia to support what the United States regards as its vital interests in the Middle East may require tradeoffs on issues that Moscow considers vital. The Obama administration will thus need to decide what its priorities are in the U.S.-Russian relationship.
China 's interest in the free flow of oil from the Persian Gulf is growing alongside its energy requirements. Nevertheless, Beijing currently prefers to pursue its commercial interests with Iran rather than increase economic pressure on it. The challenge for the Obama administration will be to make Chinese leaders understand that a crisis with Iran will have adverse consequences for China 's economy and, as a result, the country's political stability.

A PRESSING ENGAGEMENT
To alter Iran 's behavior, particularly on the nuclear issue, the Obama administration should engage the Iranian government directly. Why? Because the alternatives are even less promising.(…)
The Iranian state is capable of realism and compromise, but the revolution views the United States as "the Great Satan." In the past, when forced to choose, Iran 's leaders have been prepared to put the state above the revolution.
(…)Success will be extraordinarily difficult to achieve. Before the Obama administration embarks on such an effort, however, it will need to secure Arab, Israeli, and Turkish backing. Egypt , Jordan , and the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council fear that their interests will be sacrificed on the altar of a U.S.-Iranian détente. uld have devastating consequences.
To allow more time for diplomatic engagement to work, therefore, the Obama administration will have to persuade Israel not to strike Iran 's nuclear facilities while U.S.-led diplomatic efforts are unfolding.
(…) Tehran might see a diplomatic initiative by a new, young U.S. president as an opportunity to play out the clock until Iran can cross the nuclear threshold. (…)Likewise, the United States will need to issue a statement making absolutely clear that any use or transfer of nuclear weapons or nuclear materials by Iran will have devastating consequences.

THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS
Syria is the principal conduit for Iran 's influence in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. Israeli-Syrian negotiations threaten to sever these ties. Drawing Syria away from Iran would also deprive Tehran and its Hamas and Hezbollah proxies of a critical ally. Such a strategic realignment would weaken Iran 's influence in the region, reduce external support for both Hamas and Hezbollah, and improve the prospects for stability in Lebanon . Negotiating peace with Syria should be less complicated than resolving the Palestinian problem.
Obama should offer to partner with Turkey in promoting Israeli-Syrian peace and dealing effectively with the challenge from Iran .
Syria will not abandon easily its strategic relationship with Iran unless it knows that normalized relations with the United States are in the offing.

SALVAGING THE TWO-STATE SOLUTION
The plight of the Palestinians remains a sensitive issue across the Arab and Muslim worlds. A majority of Israelis have come to see the occupation as a dangerous burden and of millions of Arabs and Muslims who see the Palestinian issue as a symbol of their own humiliation. Moreover, failure to resolve this issue allows Arab leaders to divert public scrutiny from their own failings.
Second, the Obama administration should encourage the Palestinians to honour their commitment to fight terrorism and encourage the Israelis to honour their commitment to freeze settlement activity. Both sides took partial steps toward fulfilling these pledges under the road map for a two-state solution proposed by the Quartet (the European Union, the UN, the United States , and Russia ).
Obama will have to decide what to do about the conundrum posed by Hamas, which won the Palestinian elections in January 2006 and then took control of Gaza through a military putsch in June 2007. Hamas rejects both Israel 's right to exist and the agreements the Palestinians have already entered into with Israel . It also advocates and practices violence and terrorism (which it calls "resistance") against Israel . Nonetheless, given Hamas' control of Gaza and its support among at least one-third of Palestinians, a peace process that excludes it could well fail.
If the cease-fire breaks down irreparably and the Israeli army reenters Gaza , the United States should then work with others to create and insert an Arab-led international force to restore PA control and bring about Israel 's withdrawal. Obviously, it would be highly desirable to avoid such a scenario. One way to do this would be to ensure the kind of progress in the negotiations that would create a dynamic in which Hamas feels pressured by Gazans not to miss the peace train that is beginning to move in the West Bank .

STAYING ON COURSE
For these initiatives to succeed, Obama must make them a personal priority. The secretary of state will have to take the lead in the diplomatic effort, but because this ambitious Middle East agenda will require intensive engagement with many parties, all conducted simultaneously, Obama should appoint special envoys to manage both the Iran and the Arab-Israeli initiatives, with each reporting to the president through the secretary of state.
Time is short for the Israeli-Palestinian initiative as well, because Israeli and Palestinian support for a two-state solution is evaporating. It will be difficult to reach an Israeli-Palestinian accord, and even if one is agreed on, it could only be implemented in phases. An Israeli-Syrian agreement, by contrast, could be achieved more quickly. All three efforts should be pursued simultaneously, in any case, because progress on one will help generate progress on the others.
Renewing diplomacy in the Middle East will be a tall order for Obama. That will be especially true because the Middle East is bound to have some unwelcome surprises in store for him. Only an integrated strategy (one that anticipates the consequences of action in one arena for what the United States is trying to achieve in others and that can be kept on course despite the inevitable distractions ) stands a chance of success.

RENEWING AMERICAN LEADERSHIP
By Barack Obama
From, July/August 2007
Summary: After Iraq , we may be tempted to turn inward. That would be a mistake. The American moment is not over, but it must be seized anew. We must bring the war to a responsible end and then renew our leadership -- military, diplomatic, moral -- to confront new threats and capitalize on new opportunities. America cannot meet this century's challenges alone; the world cannot meet them without America .

COMMON SECURITY FOR OUR COMMON HUMANITY
At moments of great peril in the last century, American leaders such as Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy managed both to protect the American people and to expand opportunity for the next generation. We stood for and fought for the freedoms sought by billions of people beyond our borders.
As Roosevelt built the most formidable military the world had ever seen, his Four Freedoms gave purpose to our struggle against fascism. Truman championed a bold new architecture to respond to the Soviet threat -- one that paired military strength with the Marshall Plan and helped secure the peace and well-being of nations around the world.

A NEW VISION
Today, we are again called to provide visionary leadership. This century's threats are at least as dangerous as and in some ways more complex than those we have confronted in the past. They come from weapons that can kill on a mass scale and from global terrorists who respond to alienation or perceived injustice with murderous nihilism. They come from rogue states allied to terrorists and from rising powers that could challenge both America and the international foundation of liberal democracy. They come from weak states that cannot control their territory or provide for their people. And they come from a warming planet that will spur new diseases, spawn more devastating natural disasters, and catalyze deadly conflicts.
To recognize the number and complexity of these threats is not to give way to pessimism. Rather, it is a call to action. These threats demand a new vision of leadership in the twenty-first century, a vision that draws from the past but is not bound by outdated thinking. The Bush administration responded to the unconventional attacks of 9/11 with conventional thinking of the past, largely viewing problems as state-based and principally amenable to military solutions. It was this tragically misguided view that led us into a war in Iraq that never should have been authorized and never should have been waged. In the wake of Iraq and Abu Ghraib, the world has lost trust in our purposes and our principles.
After thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars spent, many Americans may be tempted to turn inward and cede our leadership in world affairs. But this is a mistake we must not make. America cannot meet the threats of this century alone, and the world cannot meet them without America . We can neither retreat from the world nor try to bully it into submission. We must lead the world, by deed and by example.
The American moment is not over, but it must be seized anew. To see American power in terminal decline is to ignore America 's great promise and historic purpose in the world. If elected president, I will start renewing that promise and purpose the day I take office.

MOVING BEYOND IRAQ
To renew American leadership in the world, we must first bring the Iraq war to a responsible end and refocus our attention on the broader Middle East . Iraq was a diversion from the fight against the terrorists who struck us on 9/11, and incompetent prosecution of the war by America 's civilian leaders compounded the strategic blunder of choosing to wage it in the first place. We have now lost over 3,300 American lives, and thousands more suffer wounds both seen and unseen.
Our servicemen and servicewomen have performed admirably while sacrificing immeasurably. But it is time for our civilian leaders to acknowledge a painful truth: we cannot impose a military solution on a civil war between Sunni and Shiite factions. The best chance we have to leave Iraq a better place is to pressure these warring parties to find a lasting political solution. And the only effective way to apply this pressure is to begin a phased withdrawal of U.S. forces, with the goal of removing all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008 -- a date consistent with the goal set by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group.
(…)Changing the dynamic in Iraq will allow us to focus our attention and influence on resolving the festering conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, a task that the Bush administration neglected for years.
For more than three decades, Israelis, Palestinians, Arab leaders, and the rest of the world have looked to America to lead the effort to build the road to a lasting peace. In recent years, they have all too often looked in vain. Our starting point must always be a clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel , our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy. That commitment is all the more important as we contend with growing threats in the region, a strengthened Iran, a chaotic Iraq, the resurgence of al Qaeda, the reinvigoration of Hamas and Hezbollah. Now more than ever, we must strive to secure a lasting settlement of the conflict with two states living side by side in peace and security. To do so, we must help the Israelis identify and strengthen those partners who are truly committed to peace, while isolating those who seek conflict and instability. Sustained American leadership for peace and security will require patient effort and the personal commitment of the president of the United States . That is a commitment I will make.
Throughout the Middle East , we must harness American power to reinvigorate American diplomacy. Tough-minded diplomacy, backed by the whole range of instruments of American power, political, economic, and military could bring success even when dealing with long-standing adversaries such as Iran and Syria . Our policy of issuing threats and relying on intermediaries to curb Iran 's nuclear program, sponsorship of terrorism, and regional aggression is failing.. At the same time, we must show Iran , and especially the Iranian people, what could be gained from fundamental change: economic engagement, security assurances, and diplomatic relations. Diplomacy combined with pressure could also reorient Syria away from its radical agenda to a more moderate stance, which could, in turn, help stabilize Iraq , isolate Iran , free Lebanon from Damascus ' grip, and better secure Israel .

REVITALIZING THE MILITARY
To renew American leadership in the world, we must immediately begin working to revitalize our military. A strong military is, more than anything, necessary to sustain peace. Unfortunately, the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps, according to our military leaders, are facing a crisis. The Pentagon cannot certify a single army unit within the United States as fully ready to respond in the event of a new crisis or emergency beyond Iraq ; 88 percent of the National Guard is not ready to deploy overseas.
We must use this moment both to rebuild our military and to prepare it for the missions of the future. We must retain the capacity to swiftly defeat any conventional threat to our country and our vital interests. But we must also become better prepared to put boots on the ground in order to take on foes that fight asymmetrical and highly adaptive campaigns on a global scale.
We should expand our ground forces by adding 65,000 soldiers to the army and 27,000 marines. Bolstering these forces is about more than meeting quotas.
Enhancing our military will not be enough. As commander in chief, I would also use our armed forces wisely. When we send our men and women into harm's way, I will clearly define the mission, seek out the advice of our military commanders, objectively evaluate intelligence, and ensure that our troops have the resources and the support they need. I will not hesitate to use force, unilaterally if necessary, to protect the American people or our vital interests whenever we are attacked or imminently threatened.
We must also consider using military force in circumstances beyond self-defense in order to provide for the common security that underpins global.

HALTING THE SPREAD OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
To renew American leadership in the world, we must confront the most urgent threat to the security of America and the world -- the spread of nuclear weapons, material, and technology and the risk that a nuclear device will fall into the hands of terrorists. The explosion of one such device would bring catastrophe, dwarfing the devastation of 9/11 and shaking every corner of the globe.
As George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger, and Sam Nunn have warned, our current measures are not sufficient to meet the nuclear threat. The nonproliferation regime is being challenged, and new civilian nuclear programs could spread the means to make nuclear weapons. Al Qaeda has made it a goal to bring a " Hiroshima " to the United States . Terrorists need not build a nuclear weapon from scratch; they need only steal or buy a weapon or the material to assemble one. There is now highly enriched uranium -- some of it poorly secured -- sitting in civilian nuclear facilities in over 40 countries around the world. In the former Soviet Union , there are approximately 15,000-16,000 nuclear weapons and stockpiles of uranium and plutonium capable of making another 40,000 weapons -- all scattered across 11 time zones. People have already been caught trying to smuggle nuclear material to sell on the black market.
As president, I will work with other nations to secure, destroy, and stop the spread of these weapons in order to dramatically reduce the nuclear dangers for our nation and the world. America must lead a global effort to secure all nuclear weapons and material at vulnerable sites within four years, the most effective way to prevent terrorists from acquiring a bomb.
Finally, we must develop a strong international coalition to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and eliminate North Korea 's nuclear weapons program. Iran and North Korea could trigger regional arms races, creating dangerous nuclear flashpoints in the Middle East and East Asia . In confronting these threats, I will not take the military option off the table. But our first measure must be sustained, direct, and aggressive diplomacy, the kind that the Bush administration has been unable and unwilling to use.

COMBATING GLOBAL TERRORISM
To renew American leadership in the world, we must forge a more effective global response to the terrorism that came to our shores on an unprecedented scale on 9/11. From Bali to London , Baghdad to Algiers , Mumbai to Mombasa to Madrid , terrorists who reject modernity, oppose America , and distort Islam have killed and mutilated tens of thousands of people just this decade. Because this enemy operates globally, it must be confronted globally. (…) Our beliefs rest on hope; the extremists' rest on fear. That is why we can, and will, win this struggle.

REBUILDING OUR PARTNERSHIPS
To renew American leadership in the world, I intend to rebuild the alliances, partnerships, and institutions necessary to confront common threats and enhance common security. Needed reform of these alliances and institutions will not come by bullying other countries to ratify changes we hatch in isolation. It will come when we convince other governments and peoples that they, too, have a stake in effective partnerships.
Our alliances require constant cooperation and revision if they are to remain effective and relevant. NATO has made tremendous strides over the last 15 years, transforming itself from a Cold War security structure into a partnership for peace. But today, NATO's challenge in Afghanistan has exposed, as Senator Lugar has put it, "the growing discrepancy between NATO's expanding missions and its lagging capabilities." To close this gap, I will rally our NATO allies to contribute more troops to collective security operations and to invest more in reconstruction and stabilization capabilities.
And as we strengthen NATO, we must build new alliances and partnerships in other vital regions.(…)
Strengthened institutions and invigorated alliances and partnerships are especially crucial if we are to defeat the epochal, man-made threat to the planet: climate change. Without dramatic changes, rising sea levels will flood coastal regions around the world, including much of the eastern seaboard. Warmer temperatures and declining rainfall will reduce crop yields, increasing conflict, famine, disease, and poverty. By 2050, famine could displace more than 250 million people worldwide. That means increased instability in some of the most volatile parts of the world.
As the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases, America has the responsibility to lead. While many of our industrial partners are working hard to reduce their emissions, we are increasing ours at a steady clip -- by more than ten percent per decade. As president, I intend to enact a cap-and-trade system that will dramatically reduce our carbon emissions. And I will work to finally free America of its dependence on foreign oil -- by using energy more efficiently in our cars, factories, and homes, relying more on renewable sources of electricity, and harnessing the potential of biofuels.
There are compelling moral reasons and compelling security reasons for renewed American leadership that recognizes the inherent equality and worth of all people. As President Kennedy said in his 1961 inaugural address, "To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required -- not because the communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." I will show the world that America remains true to its founding values. We lead not only for ourselves but also for the common good.
RESTORING AMERICA 'S TRUST
Confronted by Hitler, Roosevelt said that our power would be "directed toward ultimate good as well as against immediate evil. We Americans are not destroyers; we are builders." It is time for a president who can build consensus here at home for an equally ambitious course.
Ultimately, no foreign policy can succeed unless the American people understand it and feel they have a stake in its success -- unless they trust that their government hears their concerns as well. We will not be able to increase foreign aid if we fail to invest in security and opportunity for our own people. We cannot negotiate trade agreements to help spur development in poor countries so long as we provide no meaningful help to working Americans burdened by the dislocations of a global economy. We cannot reduce our dependence on foreign oil or defeat global warming unless Americans are willing to innovate and conserve. We cannot expect Americans to support placing our men and women in harm's way if we cannot show that we will use force wisely and judiciously. But if the next president can restore the American people's trust -- if they know that he or she is acting with their best interests at heart, with prudence and wisdom and some measure of humility -- then I believe the American people will be eager to see America lead again.
I believe they will also agree that it is time for a new generation to tell the next great American story. If we act with boldness and foresight, we will be able to tell our grandchildren that this was the time when we helped forge peace in the Middle East . This was the time we confronted climate change and secured the weapons that could destroy the human race. This was the time we defeated global terrorists and brought opportunity to forgotten corners of the world. And this was the time when we renewed the America that has led generations of weary travelers from all over the world to find opportunity and liberty and hope on our doorstep.
It was not all that long ago that farmers in Venezuela and Indonesia welcomed American doctors to their villages and hung pictures of JFK on their living room walls, when millions, like my father, waited every day for a letter in the mail that would grant them the privilege to come to America to study, work, live, or just be free.
We can be this America again. This is our moment to renew the trust and faith of our people -- and all people -- in an America that battles immediate evils, promotes an ultimate good, and leads the world once more.

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