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G.W. Bush's International Policy Team

George W. Bush's lack of knowledge about international affairs renders him very reliant upon his 
international policy advisers.  While international policy figures like Henry Kissinger do make 
public appearances with G.W., Bush relies on a team of less prominent individuals to advise him on 
international affairs.  To anyone who wishes to try to make Iraq a campaign issue, or to those with 
an eye toward the U.S.' post-election Iraq policy, it is worthwhile to investigate those who 
primarily shape Bush's international policy and outlook.

The article below focuses on Stanford academic Condoleezza Rice.  Scroll to the article's end to 
see short bios on the other members of Bush's current international policy team.

Copyright 2000 The New York Times Company   
The New York Times 
June 16, 2000, Friday, Late Edition - Final 
SECTION: Section A; Page 1; Column 2; Foreign Desk  
LENGTH: 2079 words 
HEADLINE: Bush's Foreign Policy Tutor: An Academic in the Public Eye 


Arrayed behind George W. Bush as he unveiled his nuclear policy initiative last month were two 
former secretaries of state, two former national security advisers and a former secretary of 

But once Mr. Bush and his formidable lineup of older men left the stage, the foreign policy expert 
who fielded questions on the
specifics of the Texas governor's proposal was not Henry A. Kissinger or Colin Powell. It was 
Condoleezza Rice, a
45-year-old university professor who is tutoring a presidential candidate who concedes that he has 
much to learn about the

The nuclear policy speech provided the ideal platform for Ms. Rice, Mr. Bush's chief foreign policy 
adviser. Russia, its nuclear arsenal, and America's defense posture are areas that she has studied 
for years, both as a professor of political science at Stanford University and as a Russia 
specialist on the National Security Council in the first two years of the Bush administration. 

Now she plays what she calls "quarterback" for a disparate foreign policy team, the "Vulcans," 
whose mission is to prove that Mr. Bush has enough global brainpower to be president. (The advisers 
take their name from the ancient god of the forge,
whose statue is a symbol of Birmingham, Ala., Ms. Rice's hometown.) 

Among the Vulcans, Ms. Rice is closest by far to Mr. Bush, whom she is leading in a grand global 
tutorial as she tries to
convince others that what he lacks in international knowledge and experience he makes up for in 
what she calls "good instincts."

But a series of interviews indicate that Ms. Rice is much less sure-footed when the terrain is 
unfamiliar. Her silky voice becomes choppy, her crisp sentences vague. 

She takes a dim view of American military intervention, particularly for humanitarian reasons, but 
declines to specify the circumstances in which the use of force would be justified. She proposes 
"perhaps skipping a generation" of weapons
technology to build armed forces that are "lighter and more lethal," but won't say which hardware 
and weapons systems could
be sacrificed. 

Speaking before the summit meeting of the leaders of South and North Korea, she labeled North Korea 
a "rogue state" but did
not lay out a scenario for dealing with it except to say that "the North Koreans should know that 
this is not all positive carrots, that there's a potential stick out there." And she calls 
America's one-China policy, a linchpin of American foreign policy that regards Taiwan as part of 
mainland China, a "holding device." 

Ms. Rice herself admits that there are vast swaths of the world that are new to her. "I've been 
pressed to understand parts of
the world that have not been part of my scope," she said. "I'm really a Europeanist." 

Her first book was a learned work on the Czechoslovak Army; another she co-authored on the 
reunification of Germany in
1995 was extremely well-received. Ms. Rice is talked about in Washington circles as a shoo-in for 
national security adviser if
Mr. Bush makes it to the White House, perhaps twinned with General Powell as secretary of state. 
When Mr. Bush was asked
in a telephone interview about the possibility of having two African-Americans leading his foreign 
policy team, he said, "It's way too premature." When Ms. Rice was asked the same question, she 
replied, "It's really not appropriate to talk about a cabinet
until he's won." As for General Powell, his answer was more concise: "Nice try." 

Ms. Rice, an only child raised in a segregated, bourgeois district of Birmingham, and originally 
destined to be a concert pianist, can dazzle on many a stage. At a recent Republican fund-raising 
reception in Silicon Valley, she sang part of the Star Spangled Banner (the obscure second verse). 
She played The Battle Hymn of the Republic on a grand piano. She showed off snippets of fluent 
Russian. And she delivered -- with no notes -- a 20-minute speech praising the potential of Mr. 
Bush to lead the world. 

She knows how to be stridently self-confident. ("I have a really good memory." "I am a really fast 
writer." "There was a time in
my life when I knew the general staff of the Soviet Union better than it knew itself.") 

"Condi's entire life has been a high wire act," said Coit Blacker, a fellow professor at Stanford, 
a former Russia specialist on the Clinton administration's National Security Council and a close 
friend of Ms. Rice. "She can stand up in front of a crowd and wing it. I have been with her any 
number of times when she's about to give a speech and she writes it on the back of an envelope on 
the drive over. It springs from deep confidence but also a tendency to engage in death-defying 

Ms. Rice has been performing since her parents pushed her onto the stage for her first piano 
recital at the age of four. When
she realized she was not good enough for a concert career, she turned to academic pursuits, 
becoming a professor and
eventually provost at Stanford. 

Ms. Rice and Mr. Bush seem to share a similar view of the world. It is a balance-of-power, realist 
Republican approach that is
generally short on details and might be summed up like this: strengthen America's military, scale 
back military commitments
abroad and focus on the big powers. 

Under the Clinton administration, Ms. Rice argued in an article in Foreign Affairs, "national 
interest" was too often replaced by
"humanitarian interest" or the interests of "the international community." Instead, she suggested, 
the United States should take
the attitude that what is in its own interest -- spreading democracy and free trade, for example -- 
is good for the world. 

Mr. Bush has unabashedly shown his dependence on Ms. Rice, the daughter of educators who started 
her political life as a
Democrat, switched sides in 1982, informally advised Democrat Gary Hart on foreign policy in his 
1988 bid for the presidency,
and has called herself "an all-over-the-map Republican." Ms. Rice is a fit for Mr. Bush. "There's a 
real chemistry between
them," said Dov S. Zakheim, one of the Vulcans. 

"I like to be around her," Mr. Bush said. "She's fun to be with. I like lighthearted people, not 
people who take themselves so
seriously that they are hard to be around." Besides, he said, "She's really smart!" 

Mr. Bush feels comfortable asking her the most basic questions. He has identified Ms. Rice as the 
person who "can explain to
me foreign policy matters in a way I can understand." Karen Hughes, Mr. Bush's communications 
director, said that when she
recently showed him a news article about the strife in Sierra Leone, Mr. Bush told her to "call 
Condi and see what she thinks." 

Ms. Rice's role is all the more critical because Mr. Bush doesn't like to read briefing books on 
the nuts-and-bolts of national
security, and his lack of experience in foreign affairs has raised questions about his preparedness 
for the White House. 

When a writer for Glamour Magazine recently uttered the word "Taliban" -- the regime in Afghanistan 
that follows an extreme
and repressive version of Islamic law -- during a verbal Rorschach test, Mr. Bush could only shake 
his head in silence. It was only after the writer gave him a hint ("repression of women in 
Afghanistan") that Mr. Bush replied, "Oh. I thought you said some band. The Taliban in Afghanistan! 
Absolutely. Repressive." 

Of course, Afghanistan is also not Ms. Rice's primary area of expertise. Asked in an interview to 
support her assertion in her
recent article in Foreign Affairs that Iran is trying to spread "fundamentalist Islam" beyond its 
borders, she replied, "Iran has
been the state hub for technology and money and lots of other goodies to radical fundamentalist 
groups, some will say as
far-reaching as the Taliban." 

When reminded that Iran was a bitter enemy of the Taliban and that the two countries had almost 
gone to war in late 1998, she
replied, "They were sending stuff to the region that fell into the hands of bad players in 
Afghanistan and Pakistan." She did not identify "the bad players." (In a subsequent conversation, 
she said that of course she knew that Iran and the Taliban were

On Iraq, she believes that President Saddam Hussein is an evil man, but declined to say what a 
George W. Bush administration
would do to get rid of him. 

Despite her deliberate vagueness in areas with which she is unfamiliar, she has a reputation for 
being a quick study. 

For the nuclear policy speech last month, which called for building a national missile defense 
system combined with reductions and possibly unilateral cuts in America's nuclear arsenal, Ms. Rice 
said she played a central role. She began working on what she called "a sustainable position on 
nuclear policy" at a Vulcans retreat a year ago and continued developing ideas with the 
eight-member group, which includes former senior Pentagon and State Department officials such as 
Paul D. Wolfowitz, Robert B. Zoellick, Richard L. Armitage and Richard Perle. 

She spent endless hours with Mr. Bush himself, going over the speech line by line, explaining the 
implications of every issue.
When he didn't want to read the questions and answers about the speech prepared for him, she and 
Mr. Wolfowitz drilled him
verbally instead. 

She also sought out Mr. Kissinger, General Powell, former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, 
former national security
adviser Brent Scowcroft and others, soliciting their views, sending them drafts of the speech, 
coaxing them into attending the event. 

Ms. Rice (whose first name is pronounced kahn-dah-LEE-za) and Mr. Bush got to know each other in 
1995, when she traveled to Austin at the invitation of former President Bush. She and the younger 
Mr. Bush bonded over baseball, as Mr. Bush, then a co-owner of the Texas Rangers, showed off his 
display cases full of signed baseballs. Ms. Rice, a self-described fanatical sports fan, told 
stories about Willie Mays, whom her mother had once taught in high school. "Governor Bush was very 
impressed," Ms. Rice said. 

They met again at the Bush family vacation compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1998. While she ran 
on the treadmill, he
rowed and pedaled. "What about relations with Russia, what about relations with China?" Ms. Rice 
quoted Mr. Bush as
asking. "What about the state of the military?" 

Ms. Rice is used to maneuvering among powerful men. She sits on the boards of corporations such as 
the Charles Schwab
Corporation and the Chevron Corporation, which has even named a Bahamian-flagged supertanker after 

Her mentor at the University of Denver was Josef Korbel, the father of Secretary of State Madeleine 
K. Albright, who helped
her "fall in love" with Russian history, she said. As a freshly-minted Ph.D. in 1981, she joined 
the Stanford faculty. In 1993, she became the youngest, the first female and the first non-white 
provost. Faced with a $43 million deficit, she cut services and fired staff members with only 
limited consultations with the faculty. "I don't do committees," she said. (She is on leave from 
the faculty, although she has resigned her position as provost.) 

Like Mr. Bush, Ms. Rice is a fitness enthusiast. She does strength training twice a week with 
Stanford's football coach and
endurance training with a second Stanford coach twice more. Single, she said she does not do 
recreational reading and does
not have fun by accident. "I schedule fun," she said. 

A headline in the current issue of George Magazine, which included eight photos of Ms. Rice in the 
gym, reads, "Bush's
Kissinger. She Can Kick Your Butt, Too." Indeed, said Mr. Armitage, an assistant secretary of 
defense in the Reagan
administration, "I would bet that if you look behind her, the ground is littered with the bodies of 
those who underestimated her." 

Although Ms. Rice is determined to see her star pupil make it to the White House, she insists that 
she is not wedded to the idea
of serving in government again. She lasted only two years in the Bush administration before she 
went back to Stanford. General
Scowcroft, her former boss, said in an interview that she left to find a spouse and have a family. 
Marlin Fitzwater, President
Bush's spokesman, said, "I offered to marry her every other day." 

Ms. Rice winced when told what her two former colleagues said about her, explaining that the reason 
for leaving was a bit
different. "I wanted a life," she said. "These jobs are all-consuming. And I have strong 
reservations about going back to that all-consuming life." 

GRAPHIC: Photos: Condoleezza Rice refers to herself as the "quarterback" of a disparate team of 
foreign policy experts who
are advising Gov. George W. Bush. (Associated Press)(pg. A1) 
Chart: "WHO'S WHO: Foging a Foreign Policy Brain Trust" 
Gov. George W. Bush's foreign policy team is known as the "Vulcans," after the Roman god of 
metalworking, whose statue is a
symbol of the steel town of Birmingham, Ala., hometown of the team's head, Condoleezza Rice. Here 
are the other members of
the team. 
RICHARD L. ARMITAGE -- 55. Assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, 
1983-89. President,
Armitage Associates, a consulting firm. 
ROBERT D. BLACKWILL -- 60. Specialist on European and Soviet affairs with the National Security 
Council, 1989-90.
Lecturer in international security at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. 
STEPHEN J. HADLEY -- 53. Assistant secretary of defense for international policy, 1989-93. 
International lawyer with Shea
& Gardner. 
RICHARD PERLE -- 58. Assistant secretary of defense for international security policy, 1981-87. 
Resident fellow at the
American Enterprise Institute, a research organization in Washigton. 
PAUL D. WOLFOWITZ -- 56. Assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, 1982-86. 
Undersecretary of
defense for policy, 1989-93. Dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins 
DOV S. ZAKHEIM -- 51. Deputy undersecretary of defense for planning and resources, 1985-87. Heads a 
company dealing
with defense technology. 
ROBERT B. ZOELLICK -- 46. Undersecretary of state, 1989-92. Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of 
the United States
and research scholar at Harvard University. 
(pg. A28) 

LOAD-DATE: June 16, 2000
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