Nikolas K. Gvosdev: War Term/Peace Term


The inaugural issue of the Yale Journal of International Affairs contains an interview with David Brooks. I thought it would be interesting to post Brooks’ reply to the question, “Do you think the White House has changed its foreign policy posture in President Bush’s second term?” in light of the various comments and points that have been made this past week.

Yes, there has been a huge, huge turn. … Secretary of State Rice told me in an interview that the first term was a war term. There was a constant sense among officials in the administration that they might be killed any day by a terrorist attack, and they felt they had to break things apart because the world could not continue to go the way it was going.
The second term is a peace term, and it is time to build alliances. … The second term is much less about breaking and defeating bad guys and much more about managing relationships. It’s funny because there has been all this talk about necons and realists, yet these are the same people just acting differently when the situation changes.

Nikolas Gvosdev