The following are excerpts from a speech by Anthony Lake, President Clinton's national security adviser, given on Sept. 22 at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
AS President Clinton sought the presidency, he not only pledged a domestic renaissance, but he also vowed to engage actively in the world in order to increase our prosperity, update our security arrangements, and promote democracy abroad.
In the eight months since he took office, President Clinton has pursued those goals vigorously. But engagement is not enough. We also need to communicate anew why that engagement is essential.
Let's begin by taking stock of our new era. I believe four facts are salient.
First, America's core concepts, democracy and market economics, are more broadly accepted than ever before. We have arrived at neither the end of history nor a clash of civilizations, but a moment of immense democratic and entrepreneurial opportunity, and we must not waste it.
The second feature of this era is that we are its dominant power. Serious threats remain: terrorism, proliferating weapons of mass destruction, ethnic conflicts and the degradation of our global environment. Yet none of these threats obviously holds the same immediate dangers for us as did Nazi conquest or Soviet expansionism. America's challenge today is to lead on the basis of opportunity more than fear.
The third notable aspect of this era is an explosion of ethnic conflicts. These conflicts are typically highly complex. At the same time, their brutality will tug at our consciences. We need a healthy wariness about our ability to shape solutions for such disputes, yet at times our interests or humanitarian concerns will impel our unilateral or multilateral engagement.
The fourth feature is that the pulse of the planet has accelerated dramatically, and with it the pace of change in human events. Computers, faxes, fiberoptic cables, and satellites all speed the flow of information around the globe. The world's acceleration creates new and diverse ways for us to exert our influence, if we choose to do so, but increases the likelihood that if we do not, rapid events, instantly reported, may overwhelm us.
Throughout the cold war, we contained a global threat to market democracies. Now we should seek to enlarge their reach, particularly in places of special significance to us. The successor to a doctrine of containment must be a strategy of enlargement, the enlargement of the world's free community of market democracies.
I see four components to a strategy of enlargement.
First, we should strengthen the community of major market democracies, including our own, which constitutes the core from which enlargement is proceeding.
Second, we should foster and consolidate new democracies and market economies, where possible, especially in states of special significance and opportunity.
Third, we must counter the aggression and support the liberalization of states hostile to democracy and markets.
And fourth, we need to pursue our humanitarian agenda not only by providing aid, but also by working to help democracy and market economics take root in those regions of greatest humanitarian concern.
Of course a host of caveats must accompany a strategy of enlargement. For one, we must be patient; waves of democratic advance are often followed by reverse waves of democratic setback. We must be ready for uneven progress and even outright reversals. Our strategy must also be pragmatic.
Our interests in democracy and markets do not stand alone. Other American interests at times will require us to befriend and even defend nondemocratic states for mutually beneficial reasons. Our strategy must also view democracy broadly. It must envision a system that includes not only elections but such features as an independent judiciary and protections of human rights. Democracy and human rights are inseparable. Our strategy must also respect diversity. Democracy and markets can come in many legitimate variants. Freedom has many faces. The Opinion/Essay Page welcomes manuscripts. Authors of articles we accept will be notified by telephone. Authors of articles not accepted will be notified by postcard. Send manuscripts by mail to Opinions/Essays, One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115, by fax to 617 -450-2317, or by Internet E-mail to OPED@RACHELCSPS.COM.