Stealth Foreign Policy

What is the foreign policy of the United States? And who’s running it?

• Is it still Clinton’s? For the moment, many Clinton administration policies remain in effect-in the Balkans, in Europe, in China, in Colombia, in Iraq, against rogue nations, and lackadaisically in those places in Africa where there was never much of a policy in the first place.

• Is it Bush’s? Flashy start notwithstanding, the top level of the president’s foreign-policy team has gone undercover for clarification after the intra-Republican flap that greeted Secretary of State Colin Powell’s first trip to the Mideast. In the face of a failing sanctions policy, Powell’s talk of "smarter" sanctions against Iraq rather than arming opposition groups unhinged some Republicans. So, who’s in charge? Powell? Condoleezza Rice? Vice President Richard Cheney? The midlevel team is in transition: sub-cabinet posts are still being filled and it will be some time, as the news reports say, before the appropriate reviews have been completed and policies confirmed or revised.

Yet even as the foreign-policy makers battle it out, a new policy is taking shape. But it’s not the State Department that is doing it. The Pentagon and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld have jumped into the opening created by the diplomats’ sluggishness or slugfest.

Take the outbreak of fighting in Macedonia: NATO has thirty-seven thousand soldiers in...

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