Chapter VIII. Develop Agendas for Cooperative Action with the Other Main Centers of Global
Section C. The Way Ahead
The struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological conflict of the
early years of the 21st century and finds the great powers all on the same side opposing
the terrorists. This circumstance differs profoundly from the ideological struggles of the
20th century, which saw the great powers divided by ideology as well as by national
The potential for great power consensus presents the United States with an extraordinary
opportunity. Yet certain challenges must be overcome. Some nations differ with us on
the appropriate pace of change. Other nations provide rhetorical support for free markets
and effective democracy but little action on freedom's behalf.
Five principles undergird our strategy for relations with the main centers of global power.
· First, these relations must be set in their proper context. Bilateral policies that ignore
regional and global realities are unlikely to succeed.
· Second, these relations must be supported by appropriate institutions, regional and
global, to make cooperation more permanent, effective, and wide-reaching. Where
existing institutions can be reformed to meet new challenges, we, along with our
partners, must reform them. Where appropriate institutions do not exist, we, along
with our partners, must create them.
· Third, we cannot pretend that our interests are unaffected by states' treatment of their
own citizens. America's interest in promoting effective democracies rests on an
historical fact: states that are governed well are most inclined to behave well. We
will encourage all our partners to expand liberty, and to respect the rule of law and
the dignity of the individual, as the surest way to advance the welfare of their people
and to cement close relations with the United States.
· Fourth, while we do not seek to dictate to other states the choices they make, we do
seek to influence the calculations on which these choices are based. We also must
hedge appropriately in case states choose unwisely.
National Security Strategy
· Fifth, we must be prepared to act alone if necessary, while recognizing that there is
little of lasting consequence that we can accomplish in the world without the
sustained cooperation of our allies and partners.