Calling All Allies

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The first war of the 21st Century. That’s what president Bush is calling it. Second Day of Infamy. That’s what some newspapers are calling it. But when Pearl Harbor was bombed declaring war was relatively straighforward.

A businesslike exchange of letters between the U.S. and its enemies took care of it. But today: to whom do you write? How do you build alliances? The old Cold War alliance NATO stands shoulder to shoulder with the U.S. But in the rest of the world alliances may be more difficult to sustain. Prime Suspect Osama Bin laden operates in 34 countries and some of those nations are our allies, or at least countries we don’t consider enemies.

It’s easy to say choose sides, them or us. But in fragile democracies, teetering monarchies that choice may bring down governments and create more enemies for America.


Lawrence Eagleberger, former Secretary of State, Bush Senior Administration

Joseph Nye, Dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government

and Ruth Wedgewood, Professor of International Law, Yale University

and Joe Joffee, editor of Die Ziet, the largest German Weekly.