Condoleezza Rice

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Condoleeza Rice

Condoleezza Rice is the 66th United States Secretary of State, and the first African-American woman to hold the post. Prior to assuming her duties as Secretary of State, she served as National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush. Her objective of transformational diplomacy is to, "work with our many partners around the world to build and sustain democratic, well-governed states that will respond to the needs of their people -- and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system." As she stated at her confirmation hearing, "we must use American diplomacy to help create a balance of power in the world that favors freedom. And the time for diplomacy is now."[1]

Earlier Life and Education

Dr. Rice earned her B. A. in political science from the University of Denver in 1974 at age 19. The following year, she recieved her M.A. from the University of Notre Dame. She returned to the University of Denver, where she was awarded the Ph.D. in 1981. In addition to English, she speaks Russian, French, German, and Spanish.

Career In Academia

Condoleeza was first an Assistant Professor at Stanford (1981–1987). She eventually earned tenure, becoming an Associate Professor (1987–1993), then Professor, and later Provost.[2] She was the first black, first woman and the youngest person to be Provost.[3] She was also a Hoover Institute fellow. Her primary expertise was the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations.

As Provost, Dr. Rice balanced the budget, even though the deficit was said to be impossibly large, a prediction which Rice happily proved wrong. [4]

Career in Joint Chiefs and National Security Council

In 1986, while an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. From 1989 to March 1991 she directed and also directed in a senior position, of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council. She was also Special Assistant to the President of National Security Affairs. Rice was instrumental to help with developing Bush's and James Baker's policies to make full reunification of Germany. By 1990 she was already George H. W. Bush's principal advisor on the Soviet Union and one of his assistants for National Security Affairs. She impressed President George H.W. Bush, so much, that he said to Gorbachev she "tells me everything I know about the Soviet Union."[1]

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Rice returned to her teaching position at Stanford, although she consulted on the former USSR for many. Pete Wilson appointed her to a bipartisan committee that had been formed to draw new lines for voting. She was also in a Federal Advisory Committee on men and woman training in the Military.

She was helping George W. Bush for his victorious campaign for President in 2000, a later became a key advisor. She said in departure from the successful Clinton policies that "we're gonna screw ya'll up real bad! Oh, and by the way, we'll do it by torture, lies, pointless wars, and other things. For example, WASHINGTON - First Iraq, now Iran. The United States has operated under a cloud of faulty intelligence in both countries. ADVERTISEMENT

In a bombshell intelligence assessment, the United States has backed away from its once-ironclad assertion that Tehran is intent on building nuclear bombs.

Where there once was certainty, there now is doubt. "We do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons," the new estimate said Monday.

Compare that with what then-National Intelligence Director John Negroponte told Congress in January. "Our assessment is that Tehran is determined to develop nuclear weapons."

Just last month, President Bush, at a news conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, said, "We talked about Iran and the desire to work jointly to convince the Iranian regime to give up their nuclear weapons ambitions, for the sake of peace."

More ominously, Bush told a news conference Oct. 17, "I've told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."

Asked then if he definitely believed that Iran wanted to build a nuclear bomb, Bush said, "Yeah, I believe they want to have the capacity, the knowledge, in order to make a nuclear weapon."

Bush's National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said the president made comments like those "because he was describing the threat as the intelligence community itself had been describing the threat both publicly and in their briefings to him."

Intelligence officials advised Bush several months ago that they were reevaluating their assessments about Iran. They came to the White House last Wednesday and briefed him on their new findings.

The intelligence flip-flop recalled the embarrassing reversal that Bush was forced to make on whether Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. The conviction that Saddam Hussein had such weapons was one of the factors behind Bush's decision to invade Iraq. It since has been determined that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction.

Democrats on Monday did not hesitate to suggest an Iran-Iraq comparison.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Democrats had requested the new Iran assessment "so that the administration could not rush this Congress and the country to another war based on flawed intelligence."

"I hope this administration reads this report carefully and appropriately adjusts its rhetoric and policy vis-a-vis Iran," Reid said. "The administration should begin this process by finally undertaking a diplomatic surge necessary to effectively address the challenges posed by Iran."

In the case of Iran, though, the White House has not dropped its suspicions that Tehran could pursue a nuclear bomb.

Iran continues to develop, test and deploy ballistic missiles, and its civilian uranium enrichment program is continuing. "It can readily use the same technology to produce weapons-grade uranium," Hadley said.

In rewriting the conclusions about Iran, the new estimate said Tehran was pursuing a nuclear weapons program but halted that effort in the fall of 2003 under the weight of international pressure. Importantly, the estimate said Iran has not restarted the nuclear bomb program.

"Tehran's decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005," the new estimate said.

While key facts have changed, the administration's strategy has not.

The White House says it will continue to try to build pressure on Iran to prevent it from ever acquiring nuclear bombs.

"The bottom line is that for that strategy to succeed, the international community has to turn up the pressure on Iran with diplomatic isolation, United Nations sanctions and with other financial pressure," Hadley said. "And Iran has to decide that it wants to negotiate a solution."

Some analysts believe the new conclusions will be a roadblock for Vice President Dick Cheney and other hawkish members of the administration to be more confrontational toward Iran.

"It's a good thing that we caught this before we marched headlong into another military conflict," said Jon Wolfsthal, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "This isn't the timebomb the administration made it out to be for the last several years."

Wolfsthal said the conclusion that international pressure prompted Iran to halt its program "is the piece of information that we missed in Iraq" where Bush believed that Iraq's pursuit of WMD was continuing despite sanctions. He said the administration did not appear inclined to change its strategy toward Iran. He said that "suggests they can't take yes for an answer."
  1. Condoleezza Rice. Newsmax.
  2. Provost.
  3. Hoover Institute.
  4. Stanford University.