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Condi Rice — Manager, Global Security

How does the U.S. National Security Advisor look at foreign policy?

June 10, 2003

How does the U.S. National Security Advisor look at foreign policy?

U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice has long been President George W. Bush's window to the world. As the United States expands its role around the world, Dr. Rice is increasingly taking on a more global profile. Our Read My Lips examines the views of this former Stanford University provost — and past director of Soviet and East European Affairs in the first Bush Administration.

Is the United States too powerful?

"It's a good thing for the world that the most powerful country in the world is one that has the values that the United States has. What would have happened if the Soviet Union had won the Cold War?"
(June 2003)

How is U.S. power seen from abroad?

There were times that it appeared that American power was seen to be more dangerous than, perhaps, Saddam Hussein.”
(June 2003)

What is your view on the debate about U.S. unilateralism vs. multilateralism?

“A multipolar world, what does that mean? We should be a world in which we’re united around a set of common values.”
(June 2003)

How relevant do you think this debate is?

“I know the theories about multipolarity. That’s a different world than the United States recognizes, than this president recognizes.”
(June 2003)

What shapes your sense of political reality?

“In real life, power and values are married completely.”
(May 2003)

How should diplomats prepare for their meetings?

“You have to let people know what isn’t negotiable.”
(September 2002)

What was one of the most defining moments in your political life?

“The lesson of September 11: Take care of threats early.”
(November 2002)

Why did you support war against Iraq so strongly?

“History is littered with cases of inaction that led to very grave consequences for the world.”
(January 2003)

What do observers see in Ms. Rice's efforts to oust Saddam?

“For former Sovietologists like U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Iraq is a ready substitute for the conventional foes.”
(Tony Judt, director of the Remarque Institute at New York University, October 2002)

How would you define the U.S. policy for the Middle East?

“The United States is committed to the democratization — or the march of freedom — in the Muslim world.”
(September 2002)

Do people from the region subscribe to this view?

“Is she dreaming?”
(Senior Arab official, October 2002)

What is the U.S. foreign policy approach on the global stage?

“The United States is simply ensuring a balance of power that favors freedom.”
(September 2002)

Does the UN still have a role to play in that?

“We need the Security Council, but we need it to be strong and to be consequential.”
(February 2003)

And finally, what does the U.S. President value about his national security advisor?

“A very thorough person, constantly mother-henning me.”
(U.S. President George W. Bush, November 2002)