- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 5, 2002

Former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft called on the Bush administration yesterday to "restrain" its unilateral instincts and build permanent coalitions in its fight against terrorism.
"We can't operate in coalitions of the moment, in which we use certain countries when we need them and then throw them away," Mr. Scowcroft said at the third annual conference of the Council for National Security Affairs, a virtual think tank of young professionals from various walks of life with a common interest in international affairs.
"Foreign policy has always been an option for the United States," he said, "but not any longer. We don't have a choice anymore, and we are not necessarily adjusting to it well."
While he praised the administration's "superb job" in Afghanistan, Mr. Scowcroft said that the next stage of the anti-terrorism campaign is a war of intelligence, which the United States cannot wage alone. He also noted that "combat doesn't solve problems but only decides who will solve" them.
"We appear to be acting increasingly in an arrogant and unilateral way," he said. "We need to restrain our instincts for unilateralism."
American power naturally causes resentment overseas, but other nations have to understand that "we don't need anything from the world except markets," he said.
Mr. Scowcroft served as national security advisor to Presidents Gerald Ford and George Bush, the current president's father. He is known to still be close to the Bush family.
One of the key decision-makers during the 1991 Persian Gulf war, Mr. Scowcroft defended Washington's choice not to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein after his forces were ousted from Kuwait, which they had invaded in August 1990.
Defending vital U.S. interests in Kuwait and marching on Baghdad are two completely different things, he said.
Speaking about China's increasing role as a world power, Mr. Scowcroft noted that he met Chinese Vice President Hu Jintao this week and described him as "very intelligent," "well-organized" and having a "phenomenal memory."
"He seems to leave no footprints," Mr. Scowcroft said of the man who is widely expected to succeed Jiang Zemin as China's president next year.


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