WORLDNET: George W. Bush’s Foreign Policy Dialogue
02 August 2000
Transcript: Television "Dialogue" Program on Republican Convention
Thomas Mann, Robert Zoellick August 2
Thomas Mann, an author and political scholar with the Brookings Institution in Washington, and Robert Zoellick, senior policy advisor to Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush, spoke about the American political process, with a special focus on the Republican Party's ongoing national convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during a broadcast of the American Embassy TV Network program "Dialogue" August 2.
Journalists in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, and Kiev, Ukraine, participated in the broadcast.
Zoellick, speaking from Philadelphia, and Mann, speaking from Washington, answered questions about Bush's position on numerous foreign policy issues: the START treaties, national missile defense, non-proliferation, the role of the military, relations with Russia, aid to Russia and Ukraine, Iraq, China, terrorism, and a comparison of Republican and Democratic approaches to foreign policy.
Following is a transcript of the "Dialogue" broadcast:
AMERICAN EMBASSY TV NETWORK "DIALOGUE" UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of Broadcast Services, Washington, D.C.
GUESTS: Thomas Mann, Political Scholar, Brookings Institution Robert Zoellick, Senior Policy Advisor to George Bush
TOPIC: Election 2000: Republican Convention
POSTS: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev
HOST: Judlyne Lilly
DATE: August 2, 2000 TIME: 8:00-9:00 EDT MS. LILLY: Welcome to this special Republican Party National Convention edition of "Dialogue." I'm your host Judlyne Lilly.
The main business of this week's convention will be the nomination of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney as the Republican Party candidates for president and vice president of the United States. The two will face the presumptive Democratic Party nominee, Vice President Al Gore, and his yet to be named vice presidential selection in the general election in November.
On today's "Dialogue," we have two special guests for you today. With me here in our studio in Washington is Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution. A noted author, Mr. Mann is one of the leading political scholars in the United States. Mr. Mann will discuss with you how the political process works in America, as well as take any questions you may have on the 2000 U.S. presidential election campaign.
Joining us from the Republican convention site is Robert Zoellick, a senior foreign policy advisor to the Bush campaign. Mr. Zoellick was the undersecretary of State for economics from 1989 to 1992. He later served as the deputy chief of staff at the White House during the presidency of George Bush. Mr. Zoellick will take your questions regarding the foreign policy implications if the Republicans win the presidential election in November. Thank you both for joining us today.
At this time we would like to welcome our participants in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kiev. Moscow, we will start with you. Could we have your questions or comments, please?
Q: Yes, I represent Novashim (ph). My question is the following. On Tuesday, Condoleeza Rice spoke at the convention about foreign policy. She said specifically that the American armed forces can't be turned into policemen for the whole world. I have a question, Mr. Zoellick: What could you say about what conflicts should the U.S. be involved in and what not? What is your point of view?
MR. ZOELLICK: Well, I think what Dr. Rice was trying to emphasize is that U.S. forces have been spread around the world in a whole series of humanitarian, civil war and other interventions. In fact, we did a count and there is an average of a new deployment about once every nine weeks during the Clinton administration. And while the United States has a very strong military, we are finding that that is starting to have an effect on morale, on recruitment, on retention.
So I think Governor Bush's belief is that the primary focus of the United States military should be to deter major conflicts in the world, and if necessary -- we hope it wouldn't be -- but to win them. And those are the key areas of U.S. national interests. Obviously this deals with the Gulf, it deals with Northeast Asia, and to a degree Europe, but obviously Europe today is a much more peaceful environment.
So what the concern is that in places like East Timor, whether we might be able to rely on others -- for example the Australians, with U.S. support -- but I think also in the Balkans over time there is a role Europeans can play with U.S. back-up.
MR. MANN: I think Bob Zoellick is exactly right. This is one of those areas where we can anticipate some difference in approach between a Bush and a Gore administration. The vice president is much more open to the possibilities of humanitarian intervention in parts of the world that would not be seen as strategically critical to the U.S. That includes, for example, Africa. So it is a difference in emphasis. It's difficult to know now how it would come into effect in particular situations that might arise, but one of those differences in orientation and approach that is clearly present.
Q: And one more question about foreign policy. I would like to ask your position about the national missile defense. Condoleeza Rice said that the U.S. must build an anti-missile shield as soon as possible. Nevertheless, we have gotten several documents signed between Clinton and Putin in Moscow, multilateral documents, and by the aide recently in Japan where it was indicated that it was very important to have the ABM system as a foundation of strategic stability. How does one correspond to the other between these two issues? Thank you.
MS. LILLY: Mr. Zoellick?
MR. ZOELLICK: Well, this is Bob Zoellick, I'll try to take that question first. I think that you probably saw a statement that Governor Bush made a couple of months ago where he proposed a new approach to nuclear security for the United States, which combined the role of missile defense, but also substantial cuts in offensive weapons, and particularly for those in Russia a recognition that with 10 years at the end of the Cold War we have been too long in restructuring our nuclear forces, recognizing that Russia is no longer a nuclear enemy.
However, we do face a different set of threats in the world, and the type of situation that the United States is concerned about is one where you might have a repeat of an incident like we did in the Gulf War where a person like Saddam Hussein threatens key security interests, but this time he or his successor would have weapons of mass destruction and missiles. And the concern then would be: Would we be able to put together the Gulf War coalition if capitals in Paris and Rome and Berlin and London were threatened by those missiles? Would we be able to bring our forces in to the key ports if they were threatened by those missiles? And also, would we get support among our own public? So the strategic context for Governor Bush's approach is to have a defensive system that protects forces, allies, but also the U.S. homeland. And that's not really the way the Clinton administration had structured this system.
Now, Governor Bush said at the time that we need to have a missile defense based on the most effective options, and here again there was a concern that some of the ideas that are discussed -- without getting too technical -- one related to sea-based systems that would be able to target missiles early in their launch, called a "boost phase," might be more effective for missile defense, and might also deal with some of the anxieties among some about a shield just for the United States.
Some of those possibilities are precluded under the ABM Treaty. And so what Governor Bush has said is that he would want to discuss with Russia the possibilities of changing the treaty so that he can focus on new threats that frankly put both the United States and Russia and others at risk -- we no longer need to see each other as enemies. But ultimately, if Russia were unable to make those changes, then the United States would feel under that treaty, there is a provision to give six months notice to leave the arrangement. But, again, I was encouraged by the statements of President Putin about a few weeks or months ago when he talked about Russia's interest in a boost-phase missile defense. This signaled to me, while I know there is a debate in Russia, that Russia recognizes that it too faces threats from missiles. And the question may not be whether there is a missile defense or not, but what type of missile defense. And I know this is playing out in the Russian debate right now, for example the debate between your defense minister and the chairman of the joint chiefs in Russia in terms of the role of your strategic rocket forces versus conventional forces. So I suspect a new president would engage closely with our allies, but also with Russia on the types of threats we see, and why we hope that Russia will agree with us that we no longer need the thousands of nuclear weapons that we have targeted at one another, because the last thing I think either country has in mind would be a nuclear strike against one another.
MR. MANN: I think this question has highlighted another very important issue in American foreign policy and in the debate that's ensuing here. I think it's fair to say that both Vice President Gore and Governor Bush are open to a national missile defense system, but I would say Vice President Gore is a little more reluctant to move ahead quickly and aggressively. He questions the technical feasibility of the system. I think he is concerned about the diplomatic difficulties associated with it -- with Russia and with our European allies. I do think now, however, developments suggest that President Clinton will not make a decision regarding the limited system based in Alaska, and that this issue will be resolved by the next president and the next Congress.
But it is fair to say that while there is some area of agreement, once again there are differences and approaches on national missile defense between the two major presidential candidates.
MR. ZOELLICK: This is Bob Zoellick. If I could just comment on one thing Tom Mann said. I think one has to be a little careful about saying that Vice President Gore is now wary of the system. Remember, he's part of the administration that developed the system we are now debating, and he is part of the administration that has handled this -- not very effectively in my view -- with both Europeans and Russians.
And I think the reason that he got into the trouble that he and President Clinton got into is that I do believe they moved a missile defense because they saw the political impetus for it in the United States, and they hadn't really thought through its strategic implications. And that's why I emphasized a point that Governor Bush has made, which is that the reason we need this type of system is not to try to protect the United States from someone who wakes up in the middle of the night and decides to put a missile here, but rather so that the United States continues to play a stabilizing role by being able to project forces abroad. And that means you need a missile defense that relates to your forces, to your allies, and also to the U.S. homeland. And frankly, Governor Bush has said this is an area where I think we could seek cooperation with Russia if Russia recognizes that the threats we face are not one another but a different set of threats; but in doing so we would have to try to resolve some problems about whether Russia's own proliferation policies -- its support for example for Iranian programs -- would enable us to share the type of secrets that we would need to share. But at least then we would be talking about the real nuclear security issues as opposed to ones dating back to 1972.
Q: I would like to ask another question in more detail. Mr. Zoellick, you just said the U.S. and Russia must not have so many warheads aimed at each other. What number of warheads from your point of view is desirable to have? More specifically, what parameters of a START III should there be that should be started for a discussion between the two countries? Thank you.
MR. ZOELLICK: Well, as you undoubtedly know, we basically are at about six or seven thousand offensive warheads at each level. The START II treaty was to get that down to 2,000 to 2,500.
One of the problems with the START treaty reduction process is the time that it takes. And this is another point that Governor Bush has made. When I was in President Bush's administration, I was part of the group that negotiated the START II treaty. That was almost 10 years ago now. The U.S. Senate ratified it. The Duma has finally acted on it, but with conditions. So we still haven't even moved ahead on START II, and that's one reason why Governor Bush made I think what many people here saw as a rather bold proposal by saying that rather than start another negotiation that might take us another decade to negotiate and get through, we don't need all those nuclear weapons today. And so he has suggested to moving to significantly lower levels based on the assumption that the Pentagon no longer needs to have a nuclear targeting program based on the idea that Russia is our enemy.
Now, he didn't come up with a precise number, because frankly I think that would be a mistake in the course of a political campaign -- we don't have the detailed targeting information, and this is something that his national security team should do once he's in office. But he was trying to signal a number of points. One is to get beyond something we should have gotten beyond long ago, which is to continue to base our nuclear security policies on the assumption that Russia is a nuclear enemy -- which it isn't -- we are more likely to give money to Russia than we are to send a missile in its direction. Second, to pick up on some signals that we have heard from Russians that Russians would also like to reduce their offensive forces. This is a very costly element for Russia, and you have had your own debate about whether that money is better spent on conventional forces or perhaps on domestic needs, rather than spending billions of dollars on maintaining an offensive nuclear force. And frankly the same is for us -- we can save some money on this.
And, third, he pointed to an experience that I was involved with, which is one that President Bush used to reduce tactical nuclear weapons in 1991 and '92 unilaterally, but calling on Russia to follow the example, which Russia did. Russia didn't get rid of those tactical nuclear weapons, but it did pull them back. He also combined this with one other idea, which is to try to move some of our weapons off the hair-trigger capabilities they have, because again, both our forces are still left in a mind-set that is 10 years out of date. So I do believe that he would move for significantly lower recessions. People have talked about those as being below the numbers that people have talked about in the START III discussions, which as you know range from 1,500 to 2,500. But I think the key point is we would no longer set that number based on Russia's level, because we don't see Russia as a nuclear threat.
MS. LILLY: Mr. Mann?
MR. MANN: I think Bob stated it well. I really have nothing to add to that.
Q: One more question. Mr. McKenzie (ph) said yesterday that Russia must stop its actions in Chechnya, which is unacceptable. I have the following question: In case Bush comes to power, if the war in Chechnya continues, what will be the reaction? What will the United States do in order to stop this war? Thank you.
MS. LILLY: Mr. Zoellick?
MR. ZOELLICK: Well, I am not sure what the United States can do to stop it. I think this is going to be a question of Russia's own decisions. And I think that if the war continues this will be a problem for President Putin, whom many of us feel rode to power on the Chechen war -- if that war continues could erode his position.
But I think what's important for Russians to recognize is that while people respect the concerns for terrorism and for Russia's territorial integrity, the brutality of the Chechnya war I think has frightened many people in the United States and Europe about Russia's overall policies. It was seen as extreme. Frankly some of the actions that President Putin has taken against the media are also worrisome as a rollback from some of the freedom and liberties that President Yeltsin encouraged.
Now, at the time of the attack on Grozny and some of the brutality there, Governor Bush said that we should withhold some of the financial support, the Ex-Im and other credits that we provided. I don't think that that is going to be a determinative issue for President Putin. I think he is going to have to make his own decisions. I hope he realizes in Russia's own interests that he is going to have to come to terms with some group in Chechnya, unless he plans to have an ongoing guerrilla war, which would be good for neither side, for a very long time.
MR. MANN: Well, I'd simply say that the position articulated by Bob Zoellick is one that is broadly held in the United States, and I wouldn't anticipate any great departure between a Bush and a Gore administration on this matter.
MS. LILLY: And thank you, Moscow. We will be right back for more discussions.
MS. LILLY: We now invite St. Petersburg for your questions or comments. Go ahead please.
Q: Litertari (ph) Gazette -- (inaudible). I would like to ask a more general question. Right now in Russia we have political stability and we pay great attention, and are expecting the presidential elections in the United States. The presidency of Vice President Gore right now for us this is something that is known. But what changes can occur in case Governor Bush is elected president with regard to relations with Russia? What changes can there be in American policy as a whole?
MR. MANN: Mr. Zoellick.
MR. ZOELLICK: Well, I think the first change you have already started to see somewhat under President Clinton, and I think there was a period early in the '90s where U.S. policy towards Russia got too deeply involved in Russia's internal affairs, and then some of Russia's problems frankly got blamed on the United States. Now, in my view this was well intentioned by the Clinton administration -- it just wasn't very realistic and wasn't very practical, and it was associated with some group of reformers in Russia that were a very noble group, but they were not connected with their own domestic political base. So I think that Governor Bush frankly would emphasize this trend even more, which is to respect Russia as a sovereign country, recognize that it is a great power and one that can be very influential in the world, while there may be aspects of internal developments, like Chechnya or freedom of press and liberties that the United States and others would comment on, that we would basically try to focus our policies on areas where we saw either cooperation or potential conflict with Russia on national interest foreign policy grounds.
So, for example, the area of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction -- President Putin has removed the decree that President Yeltsin had in place to stop the sale of nuclear components to other countries. That is a worrisome sign, and I think one that a Bush administration would focus on very early along with the dangers of missile proliferation. A second will be people will watch very closely what Russia's policies are towards its neighbors. Russia is facing a challenge that other former great empires have had to face in the past, which is letting go of the former countries of its empire and focusing on its own development. So I think that Governor Bush would look very closely at Russia's relations with its sovereign and independent neighbors. And, frankly, the strength of those neighbors is important for Russia.
Third, on the economic front I think that there have been some elements of the program that President Putin has outlined that could be very good, but the question will be: Will they be implemented, and what priority will be placed on them in terms of his relations with the Duma? And here I think Russia still needs to move ahead with some of the key building blocks of a private market economy -- property rights, contract rights, reasonable and fair taxation system, trying to deal with some of the issues of corruption. Those ultimately have to be decisions that Russians make. But if Russia makes those decisions, I think people in both parties in the United States feel that Russia is a country that has great resources, it has great human capabilities, great skills. It is 150 million people. It can and should be an influence in the world, if Russia takes these actions on its own.
So, in sum, I think that the United States, whoever is elected, is going to recognize Russia's importance in the world. I think we are beyond an era that perhaps was overly romantic and perhaps created some of the seeds of its own destruction as a policy. And now we are going to be into a phase of greater realism on both sides.
MR. MANN: I would pick up on Bob's last point to underscore what I believe to be the case, namely I would not expect any substantial departures in U.S. foreign policy toward Russia whoever is elected president, be it Governor Bush or Vice President Gore. It's quite true the Clinton-Gore administration has made a heavy investment in trying to nurture a market economy and transition democracy in Russia with mixed success. I think a Bush administration, as Bob Zoellick has indicated, would be less inclined to engage in internal matters, more inclined to relate to Russia as a sovereign power, and be making judgments about our own interests, and occasionally shared interests. But I don't believe this would lead to any substantial departure in the policy as it exists right now.
MR. ZOELLICK: One other point on this, is that since the questioner said that Vice President Gore was a known commodity to Russians -- I mean, frankly, if you look at a number of the people around Governor Bush, these are also known people. Condie Rice was obviously a specialist on the Soviet Union and Russia; Colin Powell, who I think is a good prospect for a senior position in the Bush administration, knows Russia very well, including his experiences as NSC advisor. There's many people in various Russian ministries that I dealt with or Paul Wolfowitz or Bob Blackwill dealt with. And so I know from my own personal contacts that this will not be a team around Governor Bush that will involve a lot of personal surprises. We have been touch with the Russians when we were in government in the Reagan and Bush administrations, and frankly have been in touch for the past eight years as well.
MR. MANN: I think that is a very important point. In the United States we oftentimes elect governors who are not well known when they come to the White House to many foreign audiences -- that was true to some extent of Ronald Reagan, of Jimmy Carter, of Bill Clinton, and it certainly would be true if Governor George Bush of Texas were to be elected president. He is not well known personally in terms of foreign policy, but he has assembled a team of foreign policy advisors who are respected and well known throughout the world.
Q: Can I ask another question from -- (inaudible) -- Gazeta? Apparently this is more directed to Mr. Zoellick. As I understood, you worked in the Bush administration, and from that point of view you could evaluate Governor Bush to what extent he is the son of his father, and to what extent according to his personal qualifications his political views are different? Thank you.
MR. ZOELLICK: That's a very interesting question. And as people in Russia may know, in addition to President Bush being a known commodity, his wife Barbara Bush is also a very known individual in the United States. And I think as you would expect, Governor Bush has some of the traits of both. I frankly think that obviously he's of a different generation -- he's had different experiences. He actually has had significant experience as a chief executive, which President Bush did not, since his career operated more in terms of fist the Congress and then various appointed positions. Texas is one of the largest states in the United States. Through that he has probably had more experience on domestic policy issues. He is a strong executive who has developed the ability to work with the legislature of both parties in Texas. This I think reflects his operating style. I also think that he is an individual that if elected it would be the first time that we would have an MBA, a master of business administration, as a president. And I actually see some of those traits combining chief executive skills with also that of a very knowledgeable politician.
I also think, however, one point particularly important for international audiences is that in our conversations he has reflected a number of the attitudes that I think were inherent in his father's approach. And that is while he recognizes the United States as an extremely powerful country, he is very sensitive to the fact that the United States can cause trouble for itself around the world if it acts with arrogance and a sense that we always know best. His father and his father's administration was very skilled at putting together alliances and coalitions to deal with problems from the end of the Cold War to the Gulf War. And I think that it's Governor Bush's inclination and personal style to try to operate the same way. He has been somewhat negative about some of these descriptions we have heard in recent years about the United States as the indispensable nation -- not because the United States is unimportant or unpowerful, but he just think it's better to speak a little more softly but still carry a bit stick.
MS. LILLY: Mr. Mann?
MR. MANN: I'd simply add a couple points that are of special interest to me in contrasting the senior Bush with Governor Bush. George W. Bush, the governor, obviously has had much less public service experience than his father had when he became president. Governor Bush has been involved as a governor of Texas for six years, and that is the extent of his public service experience. He had other executive experience in the private sector. So President Bush obviously spent almost decades in various positions in the government, in the domestic and foreign policy arena, and brought almost a lifetime of knowledge and a record in foreign policy and public policy more generally. Governor Bush is someone who has a record in Texas, but that tends not to involve foreign policy. So it is during the course of this campaign that we are learning much more about Governor Bush's foreign policy orientations. As I said earlier, we learned something about that from the people he has brought to serve him as advisors.
I think the other contrast I'd make is that the younger Bush is a more natural politician -- he's more affable, likeable -- he does well in small and medium-sized groups in winning people over. He probably has in general a better relationship with the press. And one of the reasons why all those delegates in Philadelphia are so optimistic about November, whether that's justified or not, is because of the personal qualities of Governor Bush, a belief that he's simply more likeable.
MR. ZOELLICK: I think he's a more natural politician, Tom, don't you think so?
MR. MANN: Yeah, that's what I said. That's exactly what I said. He is a more natural politician.
Q: (Inaudible) -- newspaper. At the U.S. Republican Party convention there is a Russian delegation representing the Unity Party. How could you comment on its presence there, what results, and how did you like them?
MR. ZOELLICK: Well, I'm afraid I haven't had the opportunity to meet them. I've been up here for a couple of days, and I have been talking to a number of American state caucuses. And also we have had some events that had invited people from all over the world, including some for the press and some more generally. So while I know of the party, I am afraid I haven't been able to meet its representatives here.
MR. MANN: Nor have I in my single day in Philadelphia. I am sorry I can't be responsive to that question.
Q: (Off mike) -- arguments, in fact talking about the threat for the United States. An example was given of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. But, however, after all the sanctions Hussein is probably not very dangerous. So in the opinion of Republicans and Governor Bush, where can the greatest threat come in the near future from the U.S. and its allies?
MR. ZOELLICK: Well, let me take this in two parts. One is, I was using the example of Saddam Hussein in Iraq as an example not just related to Iraq, but the general problem of crises that could take part in areas of national interest, whether it be the Gulf and the Middle East or Northeast Asia or other areas where the whole calculation of how to deal with aggression would have to be changed if people have missiles and weapons of mass destruction. And frankly I think the nature of this problem is one where it's going to increase rather than decrease if one is looking out 10, 15, 20 years. I think this technology will spread. And one of the things we even learned in the Gulf War in 1990 was I think all of us were taken by surprise about the nature of where aggression could occur. I actually remember at that time being with Secretary Baker in Irktusk, having just been on Lake Bacall (ph) with Foreign Minister Shevardnadze. Foreign Minister Shevardnadze was surprised and didn't believe even with the then-Soviet Union's relationship with Iraq, that Saddam Hussein would make that invasion.
But, to broaden the point, I think one problem is this question of proliferation in states that might threaten stability or their neighbors.
I think another problem that affects both the United States and Russia and Europe as well could be that of terrorism. And here again, terrorism is combined with weapons of mass destruction we are dealing with a whole different level of problem.
And a third issue is one that people often take for granted, but I think they do so at their peril, and that is we are at a point of shifting power relations, in some ways crudely reminiscent of that at that turn of the last century. While the United States is very powerful today, there are other changes -- China is on the rise. Russia, which in my view remains a very important country, is obviously struggling with the events of the past 10 years. I think Europe is moving into a different position, or at least trying to. Japan is trying to determine its future course. And from a U.S. perspective, and I hope a Russian perspective, it is very important that the large powers of the world manage these adjustments in a way that doesn't cause an upheaval either in their immediate region or more widely in the world. And of that set, I think the one that is one of the greatest question marks in my mind is China. China has changed enormously over the past 20 years -- it's become more open. But I think it's also still going through its own political transformation. And frankly I think it's important to try to integrate China into the international system we have created. That's why I hoped that China will come into the World Trade Organization. But I think also from a Russian perspective these are the two great land powers of Eurasia, and it's going to very important what relationship they develop in the future.
MR. MANN: Perhaps I could add just a couple of points to Bob's response there. I think there is agreement between the two candidates for the presidency that some of the greatest potential threats, the areas of greatest concern are to be found in Asia -- on the Taiwan Straits, on the Korean Peninsula, in the instability of Indonesia, in relations between India and Pakistan. This is a focus of attention that has implications around the globe, and I think both Vice President Gore and Governor Bush, if elected president, would be attentive to those potential threats and hotspots.
I'd say the other area -- this time more of a difference in emphasis goes to what are sometimes called the softer issues of foreign policy. I think Vice President Gore is more inclined to emphasize issues like AIDS and other diseases, the problem of drugs, problems of global warming. I think Governor Bush is more inclined to focus on a limited set of priorities that go to our alliances and the sort of major powers that we have to deal with, and not try to fill the agenda with these other issues. So there is a contrast in emphasis and a belief that threats to the U.S. and to the world order might very well come from somewhat different places and on different kinds of issues between the two candidates for president.
MS. LILLY: Thank you, St. Petersburg. We'll be right back for more in a moment. (Break.)
MS. LILLY: Thank you, St. Petersburg. Kiev, if we could now have your questions or comments please. Go ahead.
Q: I am Johann Setchinkov (ph) from STB Television. My question is: What is the difference, if any, in the foreign policy approaches of Democratic and Republican Parties? In what ways do their positions differ in regard to the future cooperation of Ukraine? If elected, will Bush try to avoid the mistakes done by Bush Senior in respect to Ukraine's future as a state and its place in the world?
MS. LILLY: Mr. Mann?
MR. MANN: Oh, I'm going to pass that one to Bob Zoellick -- (laughter) -- at least as far as relations with Ukraine.
MR. ZOELLICK: I think there were three questions there, and let me just start on them, but then maybe stop so that we can have Tom continue on them.
Let me start with the two related to Ukraine. I think Governor Bush recognizes that in many respects Ukraine is one of the most strategic countries in Eurasia. It's strategic in part because of its geography, but also because of its stage of development in the reform process. It starts with Russia, because Russia has to make a major decision about whether it is going to focus on building its new political system and maintaining a democracy and a market economy, or whether, as some Russians argue for, that it wants to return to some of its imperial status. And I think the key question will be whether Russia -- what will be the nature of Russia's relationships with its neighbors and whether it will seek to have a position of influence or even dominance. And perhaps the key neighbor is Ukraine, for reasons of history, culture and geography. And if there were any danger to Ukraine's sovereignty and independence, I think this would be seen as a very dangerous sign about the nature of Russia, and I think the shock waves would be felt in Poland, in the Baltic states and also n the Caucasus -- countries like Georgia -- and even all the way to Germany. So I think (Ukraine's ?) success is very important to the United States and rankly to Europe. There is only so much we can do. It depends ultimately on the actions of the elected leaders in Ukraine. But if the Ukrainian government takes the key steps for economic reform, I hope that the international community will back it.
So why don't I stop there. I would be happy to go into the larger foreign policy differences if you would like, but let me stop on the Ukraine issue.
MR. MANN: Let me tackle the broader question of differences between Democrats and Republicans. I think first of all it's important to say that America, whoever governs it, will not retreat into isolationism or protectionism. Both Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush are internationalists, both believe in the power of markets, in the importance of expanding trade. The Democratic Party, with union members and environmental groups attached to it, have concerns about the impact of globalization on workers, on environmental standards. And therefore a Gore presidency would have sort of more pressure placed upon it that would complicate free trade agreements more broadly. But I think it's important for everyone around the world to understand that both of these candidates are well in the mainstream of American foreign policy.
I'd say -- I would identify three areas of difference. One, on the role of multilateral institutions -- I think Democrats and Vice President Gore in particular are sort of more inclined to use the U.N. They would be more inclined to get or dues and our contributions for peacekeeping in order. But, alas, a President Gore would face the same difficulties as President Clinton in dealing with the Congress on this issue.
Secondly, as we already discussed, there are some differences in belief about the use of force and the conditions for humanitarian intervention. I think Vice President Gore would be more inclined to engage on a broader range of problems than would Governor Bush. And, thirdly, I think the emphasis on these softer issues of foreign policy would be different between the two candidates, with Vice President Gore more inclined to invest on this new emerging type of issue. I think Governor Bush would be more disciplined and focused on dealing with a limited high priority agenda of central problems of foreign policy.
Q: Okay, my second question is also about foreign policy advisors to the Bush campaign represent the older generation of the U.S. foreign policy elite, who have been very active architects over the Cold War confrontation -- for example, Mr. Powell or Madam Rice. Could this mean that in case of a Republican victory they would use their old approach rather than develop new ones required for the new post-bipolar world?
MS. LILLY: Mr. Zoellick?
MR. ZOELLICK: I am not sure that I would say that it's necessarily an older generation. I think Dr. Rice is 45. I just turned 47. I guess that's getting older -- (laughter) -- but it doesn't strike me as quite in the generation you put us. I would prefer to say that the people around Governor Bush -- Dick Cheney, his vice presidential nominee, characteristic, Condie Rice, others of us -- bring some experience, and that experience is in a number of areas. It deals with Europe and Russia and the area of Eurasia, but also East Asia -- in my case also trade and Latin American issues. And I personally believe that that experience is a basis for recognizing the need for change. And let me just bring this home with some specific examples. Tom mentioned the trade agenda. I do believe that this will be one of the more significant differences between the candidates -- not because Vice President Gore is a protectionist -- as Tom said, he isn't. But if you look at the rather weak support he has had in his party for a trade agenda, it would require him to invest a lot of political capital, and frankly we haven't seen either President Clinton or Vice President Gore do that. Now, is free trade an old agenda or a new agenda? I think it's going to be very important, given the changes in the international economy.
Another area that Governor Bush has a strong personal interest in given his background is the Western Hemisphere. Now, I think that the United States over the past few years has undermined its own opportunities in the Western Hemisphere and repeating some of the mistakes of the past of ignoring this area until the problems really get severe. In terms of relationships with allies, while these are Cold War allies, I think we all recognize those relationships need to be changed and overhauled. And take the nuclear security issue which we talked about a little earlier in the program -- I think Governor Bush and the people around him perhaps recognize more quickly than the Clinton administration about how we have to move beyond the framework that we have continued to operate on for the past seven and a half or eight years. We need to move beyond the old notion of balance of terror and mutual-assured destruction to a different combination of defense, smaller offense, but also retaining the concept of deterrence.
So I don't think you are going to see people stuck in the Cold War logic, but obviously they will bring their experience from past government service to their job. I think that's a good thing.
MR. MANN: I think it's important to remember that President Bush was in office at the time of the end of the Cold War and was really the first U.S. president to deal with the transition into the post-Cold War world. And many of the people now advising Governor Bush have had experience in government during that critical period. So I am not at all persuaded that Cold War thinking would dominate foreign policy advisors to Governor Bush; nor do I think such thinking would characterize the views of Vice President Gore and the people around him.
Listen, we all know the world is changed. There's some uncertainty and some disagreement about the ways in which it is changing and the optimal policies for the U.S. in ensuring a safer and a more prosperous world.
Q: I am -- (inaudible) -- from the TV Company New Channel. I would ask -- the representative of the Republican Party spoke out for the reduction of IMF funding. This may be a problem for Ukraine. If Bush were elected, will this have an impact on the amount of financial aid to Ukraine?
MR. MANN: Well, let me make sure I understand the question. There was a debate in the United States about the additional capital for the IMF in the Congress. And frankly these were questions raised -- they were questions raised by both Democrats and Republicans, because the IMF is an institution that also has to reformulate and retool its purposes in a post-Cold War era. It was designed, as the questioner probably know, for an era of fixed exchange rates, and it has kind of moved into other areas as crises have erupted. And there has been a legitimate debate about its performance, for example in the East Asian economic crisis.
In the case of Russia, I think there has been a concern among Republicans, but some Democrats as well, that whether the IMF programs were well designed and whether the money was well spent or whether it ended up in Swiss bank accounts. In the case of Ukraine I think your question is exactly on point however, in that if Ukraine undertakes the right economic reforms, I personally think support from the IMF as well as the World Bank will be very, very important. Now, ultimately private capital has to be what helps an economy grow and is the basis for long-term investment. But as my first comment suggested, I think the success of Ukraine's economic and political reforms is very important to the region as well as the world, and I think if Ukraine takes the right steps it needs international banking, including financial support.
And to give the Clinton administration some credit on this, I think earlier in the '90s there was a report where with one of the economic summits -- Naples as I recall -- the United States led an effort to try to give some financial support to Ukraine. But the key message for Ukrainians here is outsiders can only do so much. This ultimately has to be self-help.
MR. MANN: I'd like to respond by offering -- answering a slightly different question and perhaps taking sort of a broader perspective on the foreign policy challenges facing the next American president.
Americans now are feeling pretty good about their situation and the health of the country. There is a contentment here with our economic progress. Americans are broadly internationalists in their views, but they are deeply disengaged from politics, government and international relations more generally. I would call them "apathetic internationalists." This has prompted a series of problems. Absent a strong domestic political base for a strong assertive U.S. foreign policy, Congress tends to respond to more narrow interests and not give sufficient support or direction -- advice to the president. I think President Clinton has not fully exploited the opportunities to build broader support to break these constraints. An important question awaiting either President Bush or President Gore is whether they are going to be willing to invest some political capital in trying to build the political wherewithal to develop sort of strong effective U.S. foreign policies, and to put Congress in a position of being more constructive in dealing with a whole range of matters, including those that touch on the IMF and the U.N.
MR. ZOELLICK: Let me just comment on one thing on this, because it relates to something Tom Mann said before about the differences between the two candidates, and that is I think that one of the reasons that Governor Bush stresses priorities is, as Tom suggests, the role of the president in leading the Congress and informing the general internationalist inclination of the American public, but it's a soft inclination, to focus on particular priorities is critical. And one of the things I think that we disagree with is that when you look at Vice President Gore's speeches they cover every conceivable foreign policy topic. Well, each of those have merit, each of those are worthy, each of those are of interest to a particular group. But I think one of the weaknesses of U.S. policy over the past seven and a half years is that we claim we are doing everything, and therefore we are really not doing anything very well. And that's not Governor Bush's approach. He believes you have to set priorities, and that will be a key not only for a successful government, but going to this point that Tom mentioned -- it's the key to bringing around the Congress and the American public as well.
MS. LILLY: Mr. Mann?
MR. MANN: Well said. (Laughter.)
MS. LILLY: Well, I believe we are out of time, and we have to conclude now, as we are just about out of time.
Before we go, I would like to thank our guests, Robert Zoellick -- he is a senior policy advisor to Republican Party presidential candidate George W. Bush; and to Thomas Mann, an author and political scholar at the Brookings Institution here in Washington. We would also like to thank our participants in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kiev. For the American Embassy Television Network's "Dialogue," I'm Judlyne Lilly.