Essays on American politics and foreign policy

By Donald E. Nuechterlein

Donald Nuechterlein is a political scientist and writer who resides near Charlottesville, Virginia. He is the author of numerous books on American politics and foreign policy, including

  • Defiant Superpower: The New American Hegemony, 2005
  • America Recommitted: A Superpower Assesses its Role in a Turbulent World, 2000
  • A Cold War Odyssey, 1997


Donald Nuechterlein



(Summary of talk given by Dr. Donald Nuechterlein to the Association of General Contractors of Virginia, Piedmont district, on October 18, 2001, in Charlottesville.)

Five weeks ago America's view of the world changed, probably forever. These are some of the changes we already see:

Our homeland was attacked, the first time this has occurred since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

Congress has just approved sweeping new powers for the FBI and police across the country.

Washington, the nation's capital, resembles a city under siege, not a traditional tourist attraction.

Russia, a former enemy, is now cooperating like an ally.

NATO for first time invoked Article 5, which pledges that "an attack on one is an attack on all".

Economic warfare has become as important as military operations in fighting international terrorism.

"Coalition building" has replaced "Unilateralism" as a theme in U.S. foreign policy.

Official and public fears about internal security are starting to resemble America's fear of Japanese residents in California 1941-42.

Human rights has dropped as a foreign policy theme as the U.S. enlists Russia and Muslim states in the war on terrorism.

Significant changes also occurred in the domestic political environment.

Balancing the federal budget is no longer a top priority.

Bipartisanship has largely replaced the sharp conflicts that existed between Congressional Republicans and Democrats before 9-11.

Some of George Bush's priorities--education, health care, aid to charitable organizations--have been sidelined since september.

Public fear of flying affects travel, tourism, and the economy.

Biological warfare has now joined bombing as a deep public fear.

The White House rebuked the media for airing Osama Bin Laden's TV appeal.

President Bush and New York's Mayor Giuliani, instead of Congress, dominated the news in the weeks after September 11.

Bush's performance earned him unparalleled public support (92%).

How should the United States deal with Islamic terrorism?

We need to build a worldwide coalition to stop terrorism.

Political, military, economic, and covert operations are needed to oust Afghanistan's Taliban government and crush the Al-Qaeda terrorist network.

We need NATO's military support, but in a supporting role to avoid confusion found in Kosovo operation.

We need Pakistan's crucial support regarding our military-political aims in Afghanistan.

It is imperative that a new war is averted between India and Pakistan in Kashmir so as not to impair the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan.

Russia and China are needed to support us aims in Central Asia, as they sit on U.N. Security Council

Israel and the Palestinians must engage in serious peace moves if war against Islamic terrorism is to make progress.

Iraq's Saddam Hussein should be forced to accept U.N. inspectors, which he ousted three years ago.

Efforts should now be made to improve relations with Iran which also opposes the Taliban government.

We should assure Saudi Arabia that once terrorism is contained, including in Iraq, there will be no need for U.S. bases

The American public needs to be assured that they will be safer because of the war on terrorism.

What have we learned from the disasters of September 11?

The U.S. is not the invincible superpower that we once thought.

We need good allies and should heed their concerns and views.

We should be willing to accept more government interference in our lives in order to enhance national security.

We need to greatly strengthen U.S. immigration laws and their enforcement.

Bipartisanship in foreign policy is highly desirable.

More responsible news reporting by the media, particularly television, is needed.

Finally, the current outpouring of patriotism is a sign of strong our national spirit.

File last modified on Thursday, 13-AUG-2004 08:30 PM EST

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