Chapter II. Champion Aspirations for Human Dignity
Section B. Successes and Challenges since 2002
Since 2002, the world has seen extraordinary progress in the expansion of freedom,
democracy, and human dignity:
· The peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq have replaced tyrannies with democracies.
· In Afghanistan, the tyranny of the Taliban has been replaced by a freely-elected
government; Afghans have written and ratified a constitution guaranteeing rights
and freedoms unprecedented in their history; and an elected legislature gives the
people a regular voice in their government.
· In Iraq, a tyrant has been toppled; over 8 million Iraqis voted in the nation's first
free and fair election; a freely negotiated constitution was passed by a referendum
in which almost 10 million Iraqis participated; and, for the first time in their
history, nearly 12 million Iraqis have elected a permanent government under a
popularly determined constitution.
· The people of Lebanon have rejected the heavy hand of foreign rule. The people of
Egypt have experienced more open but still flawed elections. Saudi Arabia has taken
some preliminary steps to give its citizens more of a voice in their government.
Jordan has made progress in opening its political process. Kuwait and Morocco are
pursuing agendas of political reform.
· The "color revolutions" in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan have brought new hope
for freedom across the Eurasian landmass.
· Democracy has made further advances in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, with
peaceful transfers of power; growth in independent judiciaries and the rule of law;
improved election practices; and expanding political and economic rights.
The human desire for freedom is universal, but the growth of freedom is not inevitable.
Without support from free nations, freedom's spread could be hampered by the
challenges we face:
National Security Strategy 2
· Many governments are at fragile stages of political development and need to
consolidate democratic institutions and leaders that have won democratic elections
need to uphold the principles of democracy;
· Some governments have regressed, eroding the democratic freedoms their peoples
· Some governments have not delivered the benefits of effective democracy and
prosperity to their citizens, leaving them susceptible to or taken over by demagogues
peddling an anti-free market authoritarianism;
· Some regimes seek to separate economic liberty from political liberty, pursuing
prosperity while denying their people basic rights and freedoms; and
· Tyranny persists in its harshest form in a number of nations.