Questions for Condoleeza Rice
George Will‘s latest WaPo column, “What to Ask the Nominee,” posts a terrific list of suggested questions for the hearings to confirm Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State. A few of them:
Is the Constitution’s war power clause (Article I, Section 8: “The Congress shall have power to . . . declare war”) an anachronism? If so, why? If not, to what sort of situation might it pertain? In January 1991 the Senate voted 52 to 47 to authorize President George H.W. Bush to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Would a formal declaration of war have been appropriate? If the Senate had defeated the authorizing resolution, and Bush had gone to war anyway, would that have been a legitimate exercise of an inherent power of the presidency? If so, return to the first question (re: anachronism).
In 2000, before becoming George W. Bush’s national security adviser, you questioned the use of U.S. military forces in peacekeeping operations: “Carrying out civil administration and police functions is simply going to degrade the American capability to do the things America has to do. We don’t need to have the 82nd Airborne escorting kids to kindergarten.” Are current noncombat operations in Iraq degrading U.S. military capabilities?
You have said that it would be “unacceptable” for Iran or North Korea to acquire nuclear weapons. What, if anything, does that commit the United States to do if negotiations continue to be unavailing? Or if, as some intelligence reports suggest, North Korea already has several such weapons?
Should the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China) be changed? Should France (population 60 million) be included rather than India (1 billion — soon to be the world’s most populous nation), Indonesia (238 million, the world’s largest Islamic nation), Brazil (184 million, the most populous nation in Latin America) or Japan (127 million, and the world’s second-largest economy)?
The European Union, the product of “pooled” national sovereignties, will soon have its own foreign policy, foreign minister, embassies, ambassadors and diplomatic service. Why not replace France with a single E.U. representative?
Terribly difficult, all. The rest of the list is worth reading and contemplating as well.