Madeleine's War

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Do Kosovo and other morally inspired interventions represent a new view of American interests after the cold war? "I think threats to our national interest come from a variety of problems, [including] the creation of chaos and instability that come about as a result of ethnic cleansing." How do we pick and choose such fights? Why Kosovo and not Rwanda? "I don't think you can make a very simple matrix. You have to look at the immensity of what is happening. I happen to believe, and argued so at the time, we should have done more in Rwanda. We get involved where the crime is huge, where it's in a region that affects our stability--the stability of Europe is something that has been essential to the U.S. for the last 200 years--and where there is an organization capable of dealing with it. Just because you can't act everywhere doesn't mean you don't act anywhere. We're evolving these rules. There's not a doctrine that really sets this forth in an organized way yet."

For someone so proud of being tough, she seems touchingly eager for approval, anxious about how the article on her will turn out. (Rest assured, I say, the pictures are good.) Yet both in her mind and heart, she betrays no self-doubt about her views. Madeleine's War? "Well, I don't think it's solely mine. But I feel that we did the right thing, and I am proud of the role I played in it." Now, after a week that advanced the possibility of peace, her challenge is to show that she is as good at getting out of a war as she is at getting into one.

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