HOW GEORGE W. BUSH CAN CHANGE THE WORLD IN FOUR YEARS
Love him or hate him, the administration of George W. Bush has already made a significant mark on history. Here's how he could solidify his legacy while reshaping the world:1. CREATE AN EAST-ASIAN COUNTERPART TO NATO
Asia has several strategic flashpoints and balance of power problems that require resolution if the region is to grow peacefully into the Core in the coming decades. Obviously there is North Korea and the Indian-Pakistani nuclear rivalry and the perennial China-Taiwan standoff. Aside from these immediate problems, three longer range structural dilemas require consideration:
a) Integrating the regional Gap - Vietnam, Laos, Burma, North Korea, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Central Asian states.
b) Preventing the emergence of Sino-Indian, Sino-Japanese, Japanese- United Korean and Sino-Russian military rivalry with or without an anti-American power bloc aspect. Either is bad though the latter is even worse from a strategic standpoint.
c) Preventing al Qaida's transnational Islamist insurgency from taking root and destabilizing the Muslim states of Central Asia.
This Asian NATO
would include Australia, New Zealand, India, China, Russia, South Korea, The United States and Japan as the " Leviathan " members and bring in the smaller or poorer states like Singapore or Thailand in as " System Administration" contributors under the the protection of the organization. Regional security would be the focus but the organization could easily put pressure on states like Indonesia and Pakistan to reform in order to qualify for membership.
Since mutual suspicion and a history of weak regional international entities ( SEATO anyone ?) must be overcome the Bush administration could use the same strategy that Acheson and Truman used with the Schumann Plan for a European Coal-Steel Community that grew into the EU by sponsoring a modest advisory security and cooperation organization
that could become the cornerstone of an Asian NATO
.2. CONCLUDE A TREATY FOR A FREE TRADE ZONE OF THE AMERICAS
Momentum for a " Super-NAFTA" have stalled in recent years
but the economic logic remains for what would become the largest free trade zone in the world. The Bush administration is correct to be advancing piecemeal, in the manner of Cordell Hull, nation by nation what could not be gotten in one grand hemispheric bargain.
Such an agreement would set up two subsequent possibilities for future administrations. A dollar-based currency union that would be attractive to Latin American nations that already peg to the dollar or seek to hold the line against inflation and an inter-bloc " North Atlantic Free Trade Zone " with the EU.3. FOUND A MIDDLE-EASTERN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Perhaps as a subsidiary of the IMF that would encourage economic development with an eye to promoting private markets, transparency, reduction in tariffs and environmental management ( particularly water resources and desalination) on a regional planning basis.
Formally linking this new organization to long-established international monetary institutions would enhance its credibility and independence while insulating it somewhat from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Middle-Eastern political and " bazaari " business culture that is inhibiting market function and development.4. CREATE A PERMANENT AFRICAN HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION FORCE
Africa has the greatest problems of any region inside the Gap ranging from nasty civil wars, failed states, dictatorships, famine, disease, genocide, poverty, kleptocracy and the world's highest HIV infection rates. While a permanent intervention force could only be effective if used to address one acute problem at a time, there usualy is at least one problem of significant magnitude in Africa at any given moment that screams for international crisis intervention
The Humanitarian Intervention Force could consist of say, three divisions of highly mobile Aircav and Paratroops and an umbrella " Peace Corps " type, System administration organization 2-3 times that size to assist coordinate and facilitate the relief efforts of international agencies and NGO's. Intervention decisions might be left in the hands of the UNSC in consultation with the OAU or NATO, perhaps with " trigger" requirements so that cases of genocide can no longer be swept under the rug.5. MAKE THE INFORMATION REVOLUTION A GLOBAL COMMONS
This is not a call for government control of the internet, far from it, but a subsidizaton of making wireless, unimpeded and extremely inexpensive access to online communication and secure monetary transactions ubiquitous. This means a system where a person living in a Gap regime that seeks to control access via gatekeepers, censorship and coercion only needs pocket-sized piece of hardware to link up to the free world. It also means the United States determinedly thwarting UN, EU or statist regime attempts to contract international conventions to preserve and extend gatekeeping controls and taxation to the internet