What We Will Do in 2004.
Secretary Colin L. Powell
New York Times
January 1, 2004
As we Americans turn the last page of our calendars, many of us are
moved to review the achievements of the year gone by and to make
resolutions for the year ahead. This can be a frustrating business if
one dwells on subjects like exercise and dieting, but the twin task of
stock-taking and resolution-making is a worthy discipline — and not just
We in the Bush administration have also taken stock and made
resolutions. We do so with confidence because President Bush's vision is
clear and right: America's formidable power must continue to be deployed
on behalf of principles that are simultaneously American, but that are
also beyond and greater than ourselves.
We resolve, of course, to expand freedom, and we are focused in
particular on Afghanistan and Iraq. The Afghan people now have a
constitution, a rapidly advancing market economy, and new hope as they
look toward national elections. The aspirations of a free and talented
Iraqi nation are also taking wing, now that Saddam Hussein's murderous
and dangerous regime is no more. We are working to return sovereignty to
the Iraqi people through a fair and open process and to ensure that the
country receives the maximum feasible debt relief. As the Coalition
Provisional Authority closes its doors on June 30, in accord with the
Nov. 15 transition plan, we will open an embassy in Baghdad.
While our efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq will continue in 2004, we are
resolved as well to turn the president's goal of a free and democratic
Middle East into a reality. We will expand the Middle East Partnership
Initiative to encourage political, economic and educational reform
throughout the region. We will also stand by the Iranian people, and
others living under oppressive regimes, as they strive for freedom.
This struggle will not be confined to the Middle East. We are working
for the advent of a free Cuba, and toward democratic reform in other
countries whose people are denied liberty. And we are resolved to
support the young democracies that have risen in Latin America, Europe,
Asia and Africa. The consolidation of freedom in many new but often
fragile democracies will shape the aspirations of people everywhere,
assuring that the 21st century will be a century of liberty worldwide.
Our efforts will apply to individuals as well as nations. In 2003 we
freed thousands from oppression through President Bush's program to
combat human trafficking — whether for prostitution or forced labor or
to turn children into soldiers. We have saved lives and redeemed the
enslaved, and we will do more in 2004. Also in 2004, the president's
plan for H.I.V. and AIDS relief will help free millions worldwide from
the devastation of this horrible disease.
We resolve to promote prosperity, too. A new international consensus is
helping poorer countries develop themselves through good governance,
sound economic, trade and environmental policies and wise investments in
their people. The centerpiece of our program for development, to be
started in 2004, is the Millennium Challenge Account — an incentive
system that makes assistance contingent on political and economic
We also made important strides in 2003 toward a more open international
trade and investment climate, signing free trade pacts with Chile,
Singapore and the countries of Central America. In 2004 the president
will lead the effort to reinvigorate our global free trade strategy, and
to advance regional and bilateral free trade as opportunities arise. His
proposal to develop a Middle East free trade agreement is high on the
We are resolved, as well, for peace. Freedom cannot flourish and
prosperity cannot advance without security, and this we are determined
to achieve. Americans are safer as 2004 begins than they were a year
ago. Afghanistan is no longer a devil's playground for terrorists, nor
is Iraq an incubator for weapons of mass murder that could have fallen
into terrorists' hands.
Al Qaeda remains a great danger — the main reason for our current
heightened security posture. But its members are increasingly on the
run, in hiding, in jail or dead. Its finances and communications are
being disrupted, and closer intelligence and law enforcement cooperation
among peace-loving countries is making headway against terrorist plots.
Iran has felt our sustained pressure and that of our allies to come
clean on its nuclear weapons program, and has begun to do so. And Libya
has renounced terrorism and weapons of mass destruction thanks to the
president's robust counter proliferation strategy and bold British and
American diplomacy. In our own hemisphere, narco-traffickers and
terrorists are on the defensive thanks to strong United States support
for a resolute Colombian government.
The war on terrorism remains our first priority, but success in that war
depends on constructive ties among the world's major powers. These we
pursue without respite; America's relations with Russia, China and India
all improved in 2003. Ties with allies old and new have been
strengthened as well, despite the growing pains of adjustment to a new
era. Indeed, both NATO and the European Union will expand this year,
which is good news for international security.
Our partnerships remain strong as do the institutions of international
cooperation. We will rely on both to advance freedom, prosperity and
peace in 2004. As we work to restore a liberated Iraq to its people, we
invite the United Nations and the international community to help Iraqis
establish a new citadel of free minds and free markets in the Middle
East. With our NATO allies we will support the Afghan people as they
heal their wounds and chart their future.
With China, Japan, Russia and South Korea we will continue to tackle the
problem of North Korea's dangerous nuclear weapons programs. We seek
peace and reconciliation in the Korean peninsula, but we will not reward
threats from Pyongyang or provide incentive for blackmail. With our
quartet partners — the United Nations, the European Union and Russia —
we will help Israelis and Palestinians achieve peace, so that a free
Palestine will exist alongside a secure and democratic Jewish state in
We are resolved, too, to share the burden to bring longstanding
conflicts in Sudan, Liberia, Northern Ireland and elsewhere to an end.
Such achievements will build momentum for the success of American
Freedom, prosperity and peace are not separate principles, or separable
policy goals. Each reinforces the other, so serving any one requires an
integrated policy that serves all three. The challenges are many, for
the world is full of trouble. But it is also full of opportunities, and
we are resolved to seize every one of them. If some of us drop a few
pounds in the process, that's O.K., too.
Source: La Nueva Cuba
January 3, 2004