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


(Lecture outline at the University of Virginia's Jefferson Institute for Life-Long Learning (JILL))

December 2005

Changes in key personnel:

  1. Condoleezza Rice becomes Secretary of State; Robert Zoellick as her deputy, John Bolton goes to UN
  2. Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith leave top Pentagon posts. Rumsfeld remains
  3. VP Cheney's chief of staff, "Scooter" Libby, is indicted and resigns post
  4. Michael Chertof becomes Secretary of Homeland Security
  5. John Negroponte becomes first Director of National Intelligence

Renewed collaboration with allies

  1. On Iran nuclear issue, support for EU-3 (Britain, France, Germany) and IAEA
  2. On North Korea nuclear threats: work with China, Russia, Japan, South Korea
  3. On Israel and Palestinians, diplomatic pressure and work with Egypt, Jordan
  4. On Afghanistan, encourage NATO to assume larger role
  5. On India and Pakistan's border dispute, diplomatic assistance and aid
  6. On Syria and Lebanon, collaboration with France

Changes in Iraq policy

  1. Hold referendum on constitution (October.), and national elections (December)
  2. Pressure Shiites and Kurds to include Sunni leaders in coalition government
  3. Plans for withdrawing U.S. troops, beginning in 2006
  4. Continue pressure to build democracy in Iraq, elsewhere in Middle East
  5. Admit early mistakes in handling of insurgency

Will personnel, foreign policy changes improve Bush's public support? Key issues:

  1. Does new team at State Department and Pentagon reassure public opinion?
  2. Will a reduction in troops and casualties in Iraq influence elections in 2006?
  3. Do most Americans care about negative foreign opinion of the United States?.
  4. Will economy or foreign policy be key factor in assessing Bush's standing?
  5. What will be impact if oil prices continue to rise, to $3-$4 per gallon of gas?
  6. To what extent will war on terrorism be a top national concern in 2008?


George Bush has three more years to serve as president. Unforeseen events, both domestic and foreign, will test his leadership and determine his legacy as US president.

Keeping a clear focus on overall objectives is a key to his success...

File last modified on Saturday, 15-DECEMBER-2005 2:17 PM EST

Feedback to Author