Report urges changes in U.S. policies to enhance security

Author: Dennis Brown

To protect its citizens from terrorism, the United States must reaffirm both its international alliances and its commitment to nuclear weapons treaties, according to a new report on international security co-authored by University of Notre Dame political scientist George Lopez.p. The authors argue strongly against the doctrine of preemptive unilateralism in “Toward a More Secure America: Grounding U.S. Policy in Global Realities.” The alternatives they recommend are based on two years of research and the input of nearly two dozen international experts, including former U.S. military officers and government officials.p. Despite continued news coverage of Iraq and the war on terrorism, there has been little debate about larger U.S. strategy and the implications of the Bush administration’s use of pre-emptive war. The authors hope their report will spur that debate as the upcoming presidential campaign unfolds.p. Lopez is a senior fellow and the director of policy studies at Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. His co-authors on the report, all from the Fourth Freedom Forum, are David Cortright, president and a visiting faculty fellow at the Kroc Institute; Alistair Millar, vice president; and Linda M. Gerber, research director.p. The report emphasizes that American policy should not be distracted from the war on terrorism, and should focus on:p. ? International cooperation to improve the intelligence base
? Strengthening law enforcement capabilities
? Restricting terrorist access to funds and weapons
? Reducing the root causes driving people to radical violence
“Many of the challenges that the United States faces in the world today ? terrorism, weapons proliferation, crime, global financial instability, environmental degradation, infectious diseases, poverty ? are transnational in nature and cannot be resolved by acting alone,” the authors write. “A strategy that emphasizes cooperation among nations and strengthening institutions is essential to meeting these challenges and winning the campaign against terrorism.”p. With an eye toward tough cases such as Iraq, Iran and North Korea, “Toward a More Secure America” identifies policy tools that are available to meet the threats posed by terrorism, the emergence of rogue and failed states, and the spread of weapons of mass destruction.p. The 24-page report can be read on-line at Paper copies can be ordered from the Fourth Freedom Forum by mail at 803 North Main St., Goshen, IN 46528, or by phone at 800-233-6786, extension 13.p. The mission of the Fourth Freedom Forum is to encourage discussion, development, and dissemination of ideas that will free humanity from the fear of war. The Kroc Institute conducts research, education, and outreach programs on the causes of violence and the conditions for sustainable peace.

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