Published November 20, 2003
WASHINGTON – As protesters organized against President Bush's trip to London, Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark (search) is calling for a new Atlantic Charter (search) that stresses cooperation between the United States and its European allies.
"We must be a country that listens and leads again," Clark said in remarks prepared for delivery Thursday at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York.
The Atlantic Charter was a statement of common principles reached between British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (search) and President Franklin Roosevelt (search) just before the United States entered World War II.
Clark, the former supreme allied commander of NATO forces (search) in Europe, said his new compact would focus on meeting threats of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. He has said the agreement would stipulate that although the United States will not give up the right to act alone, working together with European allies should be the first option.
Clark said Bush has made pre-emptive military force the defining characteristic of his national security strategy. He said the president rejected the advice of friends, left the country an isolated nation and compromised the "foundation of moral authority for the United States."
"That foundation has been splintered in a few short years," he said. "This administration has been all bully and no pulpit."
Clark, a retired four-star Army general, said the military must be adapted for peacekeeping and post-conflict operations besides fighting wars. He said the United States should take up Secretary General Kofi Annan's call to reform the United Nations (search) so it can respond to the threats of terror and weapons of mass destruction.
In Asia, Clark called a regional strategy to deal with North Korea's potential emergence as a full-fledged nuclear power and the threat of war between China and Taiwan. He also called for corporation to address AIDS and democratic development in Africa and threats to the rise of democracy in Latin America.