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Brzezinski Grades Presidents, U.S. Foreign Policy

The most optimistic note in Zbigniew Brzezinski's book about current U.S. foreign policy is the title, Second Chance.

Washington has squandered its first chance at global leadership, says Brzezinski, who was national security adviser under President Jimmy Carter.

In his book, Brzezinski assesses the foreign policies of the three most recent U.S. presidents — the only three leaders who have led the country after the Cold War and Washington's Soviet rival imploded.

Brzezinski tells Robert Siegel that George H.W. Bush merits a B, while Bill Clinton receives a C and the current president, George W. Bush, an F.

There is still opportunity for America to regain its prestige, Brzezinki says, but he warns that the next 20 months will be crucial. If the U.S. war in Iraq worsens and if it expands to Iran, then Brzezinski warns the era of American global pre-eminence in the world will prove to be historically very short.

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