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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Newsday Editor Discusses U.S. Grand Strategy

    The last of the Provost Lecture series on global issues was given by JamesM. Klurfeld. The lecture was entitled ‘U.S. Grand Strategy After September11’ and provided a succinct discussion of the United States policies afterthe Sept. 11 tragedy. Klurfeld is the Vice President and editor of the editorialpages of Newsday. He also received a Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for his journalisticwork on Public Service in Newsday.

    Klurfeld, who calls himself a ‘reporter of ideas,’ directed his speechto a general discussion on foreign policy. He set out to ‘provide a contextof events now and in the weeks and months to come,’ but started with abit of history.

    Klurfeld posed the question, after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, whatchanged? We no longer had an enemy, he said, adding the Grand Strategy of U.S.government policy changes during times of war and times of peace. In the 1990s,claimed Klurfeld, ‘We lost the American foreign principle of ‘#145;we havea demon.’#146; Between the Cold War and Sept. 11, we had no enemy anymore. Foreignpolicy was not that important.’

    The Gulf War certainly was part of our vital interest, Klurfeld said, but notpart of the Grand Strategy. Klurfeld believed there was no overriding grandstrategy at this time. The people of the United States, according to Klurfeld,simply believed that, ‘We’#146;re big and powerful,’ and that ‘nobodygives a damn anymore.’

    Klurfeld believed these ideas go beyond the United States, however. Klurfeldsaid we now follow a Wilsonian ideal, which embodies self determination andmaking the world safe for Democracy. This is the driving force of the U.S. GrandStrategy, according to Klurfeld, and is shared by many countries throughoutthe world.

    Klurfeld explained that the greatest effect of recent and the Cold War is thatwe feel vulnerable. When the Russians made intercontinental missiles, we indeedfelt susceptible, Klurfeld said. Now we have another enemy, the terrorists.Klurfeld drew parallels between the Russians during the Cold War and the terroristswith whom we are in conflict today.

    Apart from Klurfeld’#146;s Grand Strategy, however, politics still have tofollow economic liberation. In 2000, Bush’#146;s administration feared isolationism,Klurfeld explained. It went ‘out the window,’ according to Klurfeld.Since then, our grand strategy has focused on the Wilsonian principles of ensuringan independent state for all nations, and thus catalyzing out internationalinvolvement, Klurfeld said.

    Klurfeld closed with a declaration that, ‘There is a new Grand Strategy,’which comes out of the previous Cold War strategy. Klurfeld said this policyis governed by the Wilsonian ideal. Klurfeld also expressed his opinion that,’The challenge we face from terrorism, while a serious challenge, is notas terrible as the challenge we faced from communism.’

    Stony Brook sophomore Brent Rogers believed the lecture interesting.

    ‘It was educational and insightful,’ Rogers said. ‘I personallyenjoyed it.’

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