(As Prepared for Delivery)
REMARKS BY DR. CONDOLEEZZA RICE,
ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS
THE MANHATTAN INSTITUTE'S WRISTON LECTURE
New York City
I am honored to deliver this year’s Wriston
Lecture. And happy to be in New York. It is important for
government officials to venture beyond Washington, to get
out, talk toand listen toAmericans from every corner
of our vast, great country. The President said it best when
talking about the National Security Strategy that he sent
to Congress ten days ago. He was very clear that he wanted
the document written in plain English, not academic jargon.
He said, "This is the ... Security Strategy of the [entire]
United States. The boys in Lubbock ought to be able to read
it." Manhattan is not Lubbock, but it is that same spirit
that brings me here tonight to speak plainly about some
of the great issues facing our country.
Lecturers are an eclectic group, but this is the first time
you've ever had a National Security Advisor, and it may
seem like an odd fit. The Manhattan Institute's expertise
is not foreign policy, but domestic policy, with a special
emphasis on America's great cities. Yet there is a crucial
intersection between what you do and what I do.
Foreign policy is ultimately about securityabout
defending our people, our society, and our values, such
as freedom, tolerance, openness, and diversity. No place
evokes these values better than our cities. Here in New
York, about a third of the population was born abroad. Across
the street from here is St. Bartholomew's, a Protestant
church. Go three blocks to the east from here and there’s
the Sutton Place Synagogue. Go a couple of blocks to the
west, and you’ll come to St. Patrick's Cathedral. Over the
bridge in Queens, you’ll find a Hindu temple. Go uptown
a few blocks from where we are and you will come to the
Manhattan Won Buddhist Temple on East 57th. Keep
going north and you will run into the Islamic Cultural Center
on East 96th.
Go further up and into the Bronx and you will come to a
neighborhood that used to be called "Banana Kelly" because
it was a mix of immigrants from the Caribbean and Ireland.
And there, a Jamaican-American family raised the boy who
became the man who is now our Secretary of State.
These facts stand as living rebukes to the extremism of
our enemies, and the mindset that prevails in too many parts
of the world that difference is a reason to hate and a license
to kill. America is proof that pluralism and tolerance are
the foundations of true national greatness. And today
385 days after September 11, 2001it is clear that our
commitment to our ideals is stronger than ever.
The fall of the Berlin Wall and the fall of the World Trade
Center were the bookends of a long transition period. During
that period those of us who think about foreign policy for
a living searched for an overarching, explanatory theory
or framework that would describe the new threats and the
proper response to them. Some said that nations and their
militaries were no longer relevant, only global markets
knitted together by new technologies. Others foresaw a future
dominated by ethnic conflict. And some even thought that
in the future the primary energies of America's Armed Forces
would be devoted to managing civil conflict and humanitarian
It will take years to understand the long-term
effects of September 11th. But there are certain
verities that the tragedy brought home to us in the most
Perhaps most fundamentally, 9/11 crystallized our vulnerability.
It also threw into sharp relief the nature of the threats
we face today. Today's threats come less from massing armies
than from small, shadowy bands of terroristsless from
strong states than from weak or failed states. And after
9/11, there is no longer any doubt that today America faces
an existential threat to our securitya threat as great
as any we faced during the Civil War, the so-called "Good
War", or the Cold War.
President Bush's new National Security Strategy offers
a bold vision for protecting our Nation that captures today's
new realities and new opportunities.
calls on America to use our position of unparalleled strength
and influence to create a balance of power that favors freedom.
As the President says in the cover letter: we seek to create
the "conditions in which all nations and all societies can
chose for themselves the rewards and challenges of political
and economic liberty."
This strategy has three pillars:
We will defend the peace by opposing
and preventing violence by terrorists and outlaw regimes.
We will preserve the peace by fostering
an era of good relations among the world's great powers.
And we will extend the peace by seeking
to extend the benefits of freedom and prosperity across
Defending our Nation from its enemies is the first and
fundamental commitment of the Federal Government. And as
the world's most powerful nation, the United States has
a special responsibility to help make the world more secure.
In fighting global terror, we will work with coalition
partners on every continent, using every tool in our arsenal
from diplomacy and better defenses to law enforcement,
intelligence, cutting off terrorist financing, and, if needed,
We will break up terror networks, hold to account nations
that harbor terrorists, and confront aggressive tyrants
holding or seeking nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons
that might be passed to terrorist allies. These are different
faces of the same evil. Terrorists need a place to plot,
train, and organize. Tyrants allied with terrorists can
greatly extend the reach of their deadly mischief. Terrorists
allied with tyrants can acquire technologies allowing them
to murder on an ever more massive scale. Each threat magnifies
the danger of the other. And the only path to safety is
to effectively confront both terrorists and tyrants.
For these reasons, President Bush is committed
to confronting the Iraqi regime, which has defied the just
demands of the world for over a decade. We are on notice.
The danger from Saddam Hussein's arsenal is far more clear
than anything we could have foreseen prior to September
11th. And history will judge harshly any leader
or nation that saw this dark cloud and sat by in complacency
The Iraqi regime’s violation of every condition set forth
by the UN Security Council for the 1991 cease-fire fully
justifieslegally and morallythe enforcement of those
It is also true that since 9/11, our Nation is properly
focused as never before on preventing attacks against us
before they happen.
The National Security Strategy does not overturn five decades
of doctrine and jettison either containment or deterrence.
These strategic concepts can and will continue to be employed
where appropriate. But some threats are so potentially catastrophic
and can arrive with so little warning, by means that
are untraceablethat they cannot be contained. Extremists
who seem to view suicide as a sacrament are unlikely to
ever be deterred. And new technology requires new thinking
about when a threat actually becomes "imminent." So as a
matter of common sense, the United States must be prepared
to take action, when necessary, before threats have fully
is not a new concept. There has never been a moral or legal
requirement that a country wait to be attacked before it
can address existential threats. As George Shultz recently
wrote, "If there is a rattlesnake in the yard, you don't
wait for it to strike before you take action in self-defense."
The United States has long affirmed the right to anticipatory
self-defensefrom the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962
to the crisis on the Korean Peninsula in 1994.
But this approach must be treated with great caution. The
number of cases in which it might be justified will always
be small. It does not give a green lightto the United
States or any other nationto act first without exhausting
other means, including diplomacy. Preemptive action does
not come at the beginning of a long chain of effort. The
threat must be very grave. And the risks of waiting must
far outweigh the risks of action.
To support all these means of defending the
peace, the United States will build and maintain 21st
century military forces that are beyond challenge.
We will seek to dissuade any potential adversary from pursuing
a military build-up in the hope of surpassing, or equaling,
the power of the United States and our allies.
Some have criticized this frankness as impolitic. But surely
clarity is a virtue here. Dissuading military competition
can prevent potential conflict and costly global arms races.
And the United States invitesindeed, we exhortour
freedom loving allies, such as those in Europe, to increase
their military capabilities.
The burden of maintaining a balance of power that favors
freedom should be shouldered by all nations that favor freedom.
What none of us should want is the emergence of a militarily
powerful adversary who does not share our common values.
Thankfully, this possibility seems more remote
today than at any point in our lifetimes. We have an historic
opportunity to break the destructive pattern of great power
rivalry that has bedeviled the world since rise of the nation
state in the 17th century. Today, the world’s
great centers of power are united by common interests, common
dangers, andincreasinglycommon values. The United
States will make this a key strategy for preserving the
peace for many decades to come.
There is an old argument between the so-called "realistic"
school of foreign affairs and the "idealistic" school. To
oversimplify, realists downplay the importance of values
and the internal structures of states, emphasizing instead
the balance of power as the key to stability and peace.
Idealists emphasize the primacy of values, such as freedom
and democracy and human rights in ensuring that just political
order is obtained. As a professor, I recognize that this
debate has won tenure for and sustained the careers of many
generations of scholars. As a policymaker, I can tell you
that these categories obscure reality.
real life, power and values are married completely. Power
matters in the conduct of world affairs. Great powers matter
a great dealthey have the ability to influence the
lives of millions and change history. And the values of
great powers matter as well. If the Soviet Union had won
the Cold War, the world would look very different todayGermany
today might look like the old German Democratic Republic,
or Latin America like Cuba.
Today, there is an increasing awarenesson every continentof
a paradigm of progress, founded on political and economic
liberty. The United States, our NATO allies, our neighbors
in the Western Hemisphere, Japan, and our other friends
and allies in Asia and Africa all share a broad commitment
to democracy, the rule of law, a market-based economy, and
In addition, since September 11th
all the world’s great powers see themselves as falling on
the same side of a profound divide between the forces of
chaos and order, and they are acting accordingly.
America and Europe have long shared a commitment to liberty.
We also now understand that being the target of trained
killers is a powerful tonic that makes disputes over other
important issues look like the policy differences they are,
instead of fundamental clashes of values.
The United States is also cooperating with India across
a range of issueseven as we work closely with Pakistan.
Russia is an important partner in the war on terror and
is reaching towards a future of greater democracy and economic
freedom. As it does so, our relationship will continue to
broaden and deepen. The passing of the ABM Treaty and the
signing of the Moscow Treaty reducing strategic arms by
two-thirds make clear that the days of Russian military
confrontation with the West are over.
China and the United States are cooperating on issues ranging
from the fight against terror to maintaining stability on
the Korean peninsula. And China's transition continues.
Admittedly, in some areas, its leaders still follow practices
that are abhorrent. Yet China's leaders have said that their
main goal is to raise living standards for the Chinese people.
They will find that reaching that goal in today's world
will depend more on developing China's human capital than
it will on China's natural resources or territorial possessions.
And as China's populace become more educated, more free
to think, and more entrepreneurial, we believe this will
inevitably lead to greater political freedom. You cannot
expect people to think on the job, but not at home.
This confluence of common interests and increasingly common
values creates a moment of enormous opportunities. Instead
of repeating the historic pattern where great power rivalry
exacerbates local conflicts, we can use great power cooperation
to solve conflicts, from the Middle East to Kashmir, Congo,
and beyond. Great power cooperation also creates an opportunity
for multilateral institutionssuch as the UN, NATO,
and the WTOto prove their worth. That's the challenge
set forth by the President three weeks ago to the UN concerning
Iraq. And great power cooperation can be the basis for moving
forward on problems that require multilateral solutionsfrom
terror to the environment.
build a balance of power that favors freedom, we must also
extend the peace by extending the benefits of liberty and
prosperity as broadly as possible. As the President has
said, we have a responsibility to build a world that is
not only safer, but better.
The United States will fight poverty, disease, and oppression
because it is the right thing to doand the smart thing
to do. We have seen how poor states can become weak or even
failed states, vulnerable to hijacking by terrorist networkswith
potentially catastrophic consequences. And in societies
where legal avenues for political dissent are stifled, the
temptation to speak through violence grows.
We will lead efforts to build a global trading
system that is growing and more free. Here in our own hemisphere,
for example, we are committed to completing a Free Trade
Area of the Americas by 2005. We are also starting negotiations
on a free trade agreement with the Southern African Customs
Union. Expanding trade is essential to the development efforts
of poor nations and to the economic health of all nations.
We will continue to lead the world in efforts to combat
HIV/AIDSa pandemic which challenges our humanity and
threatens whole societies.
We will seek to bring every nation into an expanding circle
of development. Earlier this year the President proposed
a 50 percent increase in U.S. development assistance. But
he also made clear that new money means new terms. The new
resources will only be available to countries that work
to govern justly, invest in the health and education of
their people, and encourage economic liberty.
We know from experience that corruption, bad policies,
and bad practices can make aid money worse than useless.
In such environments, aid props up bad policy, chasing out
investment and perpetuating misery. Good policy, on the
other hand, attracts private capital and expands trade.
In a sound policy environment, development aid is a catalyst,
not a crutch.
At the core of America's foreign policy is our resolve
to stand on the side of men and women in every nation who
stand for what the President has called the "non-negotiable
demands of human dignity"free speech, equal justice,
respect for women, religious tolerance, and limits on the
power of the state.
These principles are universaland President Bush has
made them part of the debate in regions where many thought
that merely to raise them was imprudent or impossible.
From Cairo and Ramallah to Tehran and Tashkent, the President
has made clear that values must be a vital part of our relationships
with other countries. In our development aid, our diplomacy,
our international broadcasting, and in our educational assistance,
the United States will promote moderation, tolerance, and
human rights. And we look forward to one day standing for
these aspirations in a free and unified Iraq.
reject the condescending view that freedom will not grow
in the soil of the Middle Eastor that Muslims somehow
do not share in the desire to be free. The celebrations
we saw on the streets of Kabul last year proved otherwise.
And in a recent UN report, a panel of 30 Arab intellectuals
recognized that for their nations to fully join in the progress
of our times will require greater political and economic
freedom, the empowerment of women, and better, more modern
We do not seek to impose democracy on others, we seek only
to help create conditions in which people can claim a freer
future for themselves. We recognize as well that there is
no "one size fits all" answer. Our vision of the future
is not one where every person eats Big Macs and drinks Coke
or where every nation has a bicameral legislature with
535 members and a judiciary that follows the principles
of Marbury vs. Madison.
Germany, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, South Africa,
South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey show that freedom manifests
itself differently around the globeand that new liberties
can find an honored place amidst ancient traditions. In
countries such as Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco, and Qatar, reform
is underway, taking shape according to different local circumstances.
And in Afghanistan this year, a traditional Loya Jirga assembly
was the vehicle for creating the most broadly representative
government in Afghan history.
Because of our own history, the United States knows we
must be patientand humble. Changeeven if it is for
the betteris often difficult. And progress is sometimes
slow. America has not always lived up to our own high standards.
When the Founding Fathers said, "We, the people," they didn't
mean me. Democracy is hard work. And 226 years later, we
are still practicing each day to get it right.
We have the ability to forge a 21st
century that lives up to our hopes and not down to our fears.
But only if we go about our work with purpose and clarity.
Only if we are unwavering in our refusal to live in a world
governed by terror and chaos. Only if we are unwilling to
ignore growing dangers from aggressive tyrants and deadly
technologies. And only if we are persistent and patient
in exercising our influence in the service of our ideals,
and not just ourselves.
Thank you very much.
# # #
In 1987 the Manhattan Institute initiated a lecture series
in honor of Walter B. Wriston, banker, author, government
advisor, and member of the Manhattan Institute's Board of
Trustees. The Wriston Lecture has since been presented annually
in New York City with honorees drawn from the worlds of
government, the academy, religion, business, and the arts.
In establishing the Lecture, the Trustees of the Manhattan
Institute—who serve as the selection committee—have sought
to inform and enrich intellectual debate surrounding the
great public issues of our day, and to recognize individuals
whose ideas or accomplishments have left a mark on their