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Or, Mr. Bush has another option: creating a bipartisan consensus around his vision to guard it against a change of party in the White House. This is perhaps as great a challenge to face him as anything beyond the shores of this country. There is currently a full-throated rebellion among Republicans on Capitol Hill, and the Democrats and other critics in both parties are lying in wait to outmaneuver the president on national security issues at every turn.

Yet, as an overarching guideline for where U.S. foreign policy should be moving in the years ahead, NSS 2006 sets a course that Americans can believe in. There is work ahead for the White House, though, in making the sale.