The 2008 election, more than any election in decades, will turn on questions of foreign policy and national security–from our failed occupation of Iraq to the regional ambitions of Iran and the rising power of China. And the election is not just about who wins the presidency, as important as that is. It is about who controls the agenda–what issues get discussed and how those issues are framed and debated. Despite the enormous damage its policies have done, the Bush Administration and its ideological allies and enablers continue to shape the ’08 foreign policy agenda.
Progressives thus find themselves with a double challenge: on the one hand, we must counter the many dangerous assumptions that shape the debate on Iraq, Iran and Islamic extremism by proposing saner policies. On the other hand, we must enlarge the agenda beyond these issues and offer a vision of America’s role in the world that would truly break with the failed policies of the past decade. This special issue takes up that dual challenge, beginning what must be a collective effort to rethink America’s global role and what a progressive foreign policy should look like. –The Editors