Vice President Cheney’s speech at Davos was widely covered in the world press. He focused on the risk of “new and far greater terror” than that of September 11 itself, which itself he called “only the merest glimpse of the terrorism that threatens us all.” In artful language, he argued that freedom and democracy everywhere would overcome those risks; in the interim, however, and as a last resort there might need to use force.
CGD Policy Blogs
The mood in Davos is consolidating at moderately upbeat. The feeling is encouraged by good showings from President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan and Prime Minister Paul Martin of Canada yesterday and today. President Musharraf impressed participants with his readiness to respond to tough questions, including on democracy in Pakistan, with some humor and candor.
In contrast to Davos-in-NY in 2002, when the post-Sept. 11 talk was of the risk of terror and Davos 2003 when the corridor discussion was mostly about Iraq and the impending war, there is no grand obsession this year. There is sensible and mildly worried talk about whether the global economic recovery will be sustained. Most attention is given to the imbalances in the world economy – particularly U.S. budget and current account deficits; the Europeans’ tepid growth and stolid Central Bank reluctance to stimulate; and the Chinese resistance to letting their currency appreciate.
In the 2004 State of the Union address, President Bush set out for the American people, indeed for the world, his vision of "A Nation with a Mission." Last year, President Bush announced in his State of Union address a new $15 billion initiative to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa and the Caribbean. This year, there was no mention of the U.S. role in fostering prosperity in the world's poor countries. Despite dedicating a large portion of his address to foreign policy, President Bush’s focus on the international arena was too narrow.