Project For The New American Century

I guess, If we are going to discuss the PNAC, we should start with an examination of the mission statement of the PNAC. There are several signatures at the bottom of this statement … including, interestingly enough, Francis Fukuyama.

This was, of course, before his ant-Bush “Road to Damascus” experience and his book, America at the Crossroads.

It is important to point out, though, that Francis Fukuyama still claims to hold to his neocon beliefs … he just feels that they have been abandoned, or lost, by the Bush administration.

Here is the mission statement from the PNAC website:

Statement of Principles

June 3, 1997

American foreign and defense policy is adrift. Conservatives have criticized the incoherent policies of the Clinton Administration. They have also resisted isolationist impulses from within their own ranks. But conservatives have not confidently advanced a strategic vision of America’s role in the world. They have not set forth guiding principles for American foreign policy. They have allowed differences over tactics to obscure potential agreement on strategic objectives. And they have not fought for a defense budget that would maintain American security and advance American interests in the new century.

We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership.

As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world’s preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?

We are in danger of squandering the opportunity and failing the challenge. We are living off the capital — both the military investments and the foreign policy achievements — built up by past administrations. Cuts in foreign affairs and defense spending, inattention to the tools of statecraft, and inconstant leadership are making it increasingly difficult to sustain American influence around the world. And the promise of short-term commercial benefits threatens to override strategic considerations. As a consequence, we are jeopardizing the nation’s ability to meet present threats and to deal with potentially greater challenges that lie ahead.We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan Administration’s success: a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States’ global responsibilities.

Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership or the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of this century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.

Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:

• we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global
responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;

• we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;

• we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;

• we need to accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.

Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.

Elliott Abrams Gary Bauer William J. Bennett Jeb Bush

Dick Cheney Eliot A. Cohen Midge Decter Paula Dobriansky Steve Forbes

Aaron Friedberg Francis Fukuyama Frank Gaffney Fred C. Ikle

While mission statements and purposes in any movement can become corrupted, or lost in the shuffle, or temporarily misplaced … I see nothing in this mission statement I strongly disagree with. I do see, however, where areas could lead to abuses of power by certain individuals … but that is always the case in any underlying or guiding policy developed by any political body.

If anyone thinks that, given her track record, Hillary Clinton does not abuse her political power, or would not abuse her presidential power, were she elected president … they are monumentally naive.

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One thought on “Project For The New American Century”

  1. The signators also included Scooter Libby, Paul Wolfowitz, and Donald Rumsfeld and most of the crowd ended up in the Bush Administration. The authors are the ones who corrupted the words.

    The much larger issue with PNAC is its premises. First that American foreign policy was adrift at all. It certainly was not demanding enough military spending ($400 billion under Clinton and now over $ 600 billion plus an extra $ 150 billion unbudgeted for Iraq and Afghanistan). At $ 600 billion the US defense budget is larger than the rest of the world’s combined.

    The world order is changing all around us and for some, it is a surprise that reality is not the old cold war. China and India, with 2 1/2 billion people represent economic challanges and opportunities that can topple America from global economic leadership. We don’t need more guns, we need more scientist and engineers who make things.

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