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With Zbigniew Brzezinski, Samuel Huntington, Francis Fukuyama, George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Joseph Nye.

Zbigniew Brzezinski was national security advisor to U.S. President Jimmy Carter; Samuel Huntington is a Harvard professor and author of "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order"; Francis Fukuyama is author of "The End of History and the Last Man"; George Soros is chairman of the Soros Fund; Hillary Clinton, the former first lady, is now a senator from New York. Their comments are adapted from a session at the World Economic Forum in New York last month.

Joseph Nye is dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and author of "The Paradox of American Power: Why the World's Superpower Can't Go It Alone." His comments are excerpted from the upcoming (spring) issue of New Perspectives Quarterly.

Three main trends inform the power paradigm of the future:

-- The United is the paramount power in the world today. In the foreseeable future, the disproportion between the U.S. and other states will widen.

-- A reversal of the trend of concentration of power in the hands of states is taking place. Instead, we see the increased capability of small groups to inflict mass violence. What we've seen in the World Trade Center attack and, earlier, with the Aum Shinrikyo attack in the Tokyo subway is just the beginning. Small groups are now able to engage at a level of violence that was once the exclusive preserve of states.

-- There is a growing disparity in the human condition, not only in wealth, but in the development of science and technology. This in turn leads to a vast disparity in the quality of life -- millions are dying of AIDS in Africa, while therapeutic cloning is taking place in the United States.

In this context, fighting terrorism must involve more that just a coalition of nation-states. It must be fought, like fascism, with an appeal to a better future. Terrorism must be fought not just with force, but by grappling with the social and political problems that surround it.

When the militant Black Panther movement arose in the U.S. in the 1970s, for example, it was defeated not primarily by police action, but by civil rights legislation, such as affirmative action and anti-poverty programs. This same approach must be taken with terrorist groups globally.

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON: Without question, religion has intensified politics on the world scale today. It has become more important everywhere in the world but Europe (except among immigrant communities). But there is also something else that stands behind the clash of civilizations and the backlash against globalization: resentment by many people in the world at being misruled by others, instead of being misruled by themselves.

FRANCIS FUKUYAMA: Religion and culture will play an increasing role in shaping the future. On this point I agree with the ideas of Sam Huntington. The militant Islamists have rejected modernity in its essence -- the separation of the secular and religious in political life.

This is essential to grasp, because terrorism is not just the result of poverty and disparity. If that were so, all terrorism would be coming out of sub-Saharan Africa. The terrorist attacks against America are largely about culture, about the backlash against modernity that takes its sharpest form in Islam.

GEORGE SOROS: Since the United States is the unparalleled power that far outdistances even the closest challengers, we must use that power to manage the emergent global system -- particularly the financial system -- so it doesn't break down. The U.S. must use the power it has to lead the world -- not withdraw from it -- by creating a global open society.

HILLARY CLINTON: What can the West, and the U.S. in particular, do? It is clear that there is a conflict with modernity that is long-standing, but the problem now is that we are more interdependent than ever. And there is little consensus globally on the social and political goals that come in the wake of economic liberalization.

In much of the world, the U.S. is seen as selfish, aggrandizing ourselves and leaving the rest out in the cold. The U.S. needs to take up more challenges on the global stage in eradicating disease, preventing environmental degradation and advancing women's rights. These must be the priorities of hegemony.

JOSEPH NYE: America's grand strategy must first ensure our survival, but then it must focus on providing "global public goods." We gain doubly from such a strategy: from the public goods themselves, and from the way they legitimize our power in the eyes of others. That means we should give top priority to those aspects of the international system that, if not attended to properly, would have profound effects on the basic international order and therefore on the lives of large numbers of Americans, as well as others.

The United States can learn from the lesson of Great Britain in the 19th Century, when it was also a preponderant power. Three public goods that Britain attended to were maintaining the balance of power among the major states in Europe; promoting an open international economic system; and maintaining open international commons, such as the freedom of the seas and the suppression of piracy.

Today we must broaden the definition of the "international commons" to include new issues, such as global climate change, preservation of endangered species and the uses of outer space, as well as the virtual commons of cyberspace.

There are also three new dimensions of global public goods in today's world.

First, the United States should help develop and maintain international regimes of laws and institutions that organize international action in various domains -- not just trade and
environment, but weapons proliferation, peacekeeping, human rights and terrorism.

Terrorism is to the 21st Century what piracy was to an earlier era. Some governments gave pirates and privateers safe harbor to earn revenues or to harass their enemies. As Britain became the dominant naval power in the 19th Century, it suppressed piracy, and most countries benefited from that situation. Today some states harbor terrorists in order to attack their enemies or because they are too weak to control powerful groups.

If our current campaign against terrorism is seen as unilateral or biased, it is likely to fail, but if we continue to maintain broad coalitions to suppress terrorism, we have a good prospect of success. While our anti-terrorism campaign will not be seen as a global public good by the groups that attack us, our objective should be to isolate them and diminish the minority of states that give them harbor.

Second, we should also make international development a higher priority as an important global public good as well. Much of the poor majority of the world is in turmoil, mired in vicious circles of disease, poverty and political instability. Large-scale financial and scientific help from rich countries is important not only for humanitarian reasons, but also, as Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs has argued, "because even remote countries become outposts of disorder for the rest of the world."

Third, as a preponderant power, the United States can provide an important public good by acting as a mediator. By using our good offices to mediate conflicts in places such as Northern Ireland, the Middle East or the Aegean Sea, the United States can help in shaping international order in ways that are beneficial to us, as well as to other nations. It is sometimes tempting to let intractable conflicts fester, and there are some situations where other countries can more effectively play the mediator's role. But often the United States is the only country that can bring together mortal enemies as in the Middle East peace process. And when we are successful, we enhance our reputation and increase our power of appeal at the same time that we reduce a source of instability.

The United States can learn useful lessons about a strategy of providing public goods from the history of Pax Britannica. If the United States plays its cards well and acts not as a soloist but as the leader of a concert of nations, the Pax Americana, in terms of its duration, might become more like the Pax Romana than the Pax Britannica.

As Henry Kissinger has argued, the test of history for the United States will be whether we can turn our current predominant power into international consensus, and our own principles into widely accepted international norms. That was the greatness achieved by Rome and Britain in their times.

(c) 2002, NPQ/Global Viewpoint. Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate International, a division of Tribune Media Services
For immediate release (Distributed 3/4/02)