GWEN IFILL: And joining me is Jim Hoagland, a foreign affairs columnist for the Washington Post. Jim, I'm going to walk you back through some of the words you've written through to September 11. I'll try not to throw too many of them in your face. Overall, how has September 11 from your post, from your perch, how has it changed America's role in the world?
JIM HOAGLAND, Washington Post: Well, it's reconnected America with the world. We've gone through a period in the 1990s very much concentrating on the domestic front and on home affairs and particularly on the economy. And we had not paid a lot of attention to the rest of the world. But September 11 came with a very grim center and found our foreign policies for us.
GWEN IFILL: Immediately on September 12, you wrote that the terrorists had come to destroy the aura of America's power in the world. Did they succeed, looking back over this three months later?
JIM HOAGLAND: Thankfully, they did not. I think this will be one of history's great miscalculations that Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaida gang and their allies in the Taliban made. They thought that this would make America very fearful. They thought this would make America paralyzed in world affairs. I think we've seen that the result has been something of the opposite. The first part of this, the first phase, the military operation, has met with success. We now move on to the more difficult problems of the political reconstruction in Afghanistan and expanding the war on terrorism to other areas where al-Qaida or other terrorist organizations could operate from.
GWEN IFILL: Hindsight being what it is, I wonder if you look back at some of the things early on or what you expected of this war, this action early on, and find out that it's turned out entirely different than you expected.
JIM HOAGLAND: Well, American air power has been in fact more effective than even I had expected. And I did think that it would be effective but over a longer period of time. If you look on the ground in Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance turned out to be a more cohesive and effective military organization than anyone I think outside of Afghanistan had expected. And the Taliban, for reasons that are not totally clear to us yet, essentially melted away rather than stage a fight. So those are some of the surprising tactical things.
GWEN IFILL: But once again your words. You wrote a couple of days after the attacks on September 14 that "The U.S. stumbled into this with no clear vision of the consequences of its sustained engagement." Do we have a clearer vision of that yet?
JIM HOAGLAND: I would hope so. I think so. In that sentence, the "it" in that sentence was, in fact, a series of overlapping power struggles in the Persian Gulf and in Central Asia. Having to do with loyalist forces fighting radical extremists, having to do with a civil war that is still going on inside Islam. When we intervened in the 1980s tactically to help Iraq against Iran, we weren't making a religious statement but the effect of our actions there, as well as the effect of protecting the Saudi regime later on against our friends in Iraq, had an effect on the religious dynamic, the political dynamic of that whole region that we did not fully understand. I think we're coming to the point of being able to understand the effect of our actions and the need to be very focused in that region.
GWEN IFILL: You predicted or advised earlier on that this should be a three-phase war. Take it one phase at a time and tell us how it's doing -- the hunt for Osama bin Laden being the first.
JIM HOAGLAND: Well, it's not over, unfortunately. This is something that is probably going to have to continue for some time to come. I pointed out in that article that we might well reach a situation where we would have to pursue Osama bin Laden in the same way that the Israelis pursued Adolph Eichmann for 20 years in a variety of settings overseas, but with a certain determination. That's phase one. That will stretch on as long as we haven't captured him and his operational allies in the Taliban who created the horror of September 11.
GWEN IFILL: Phase two is "draining the swamp." Explain what you meant by that and whether we've made any progress on that front.
JIM HOAGLAND: Phase two really talks about denying sanctuary in other countries to al-Qaida and to terrorists who have chosen America as their target, who have declared war on the United States. To do that you have to also cut their financial networks. You have to deny them the ability to operate out of Europe and even out of the United States. And I think we've made significant progress, but that is going to be where we have to make some shifts in our emphasis in the near future in involving other countries much more, sharing authority and responsibility with them for international criminal justice, international law enforcement, international financial regulation once we move beyond the purely military part of it.
GWEN IFILL: Phase three, as you described it, was reengaging the United States in the Middle East peace process, something which has happened.
JIM HOAGLAND: Again, this is something that is not done all at one time in one phase. It stretches through different phases. And we have reengaged much more seriously than was the case in early September of this year. We haven't found a solution yet. But I think we've indicated to the rest of the world that we are serious about trying to find a way to resolve the immediate Israeli-Palestinian conflicts that we see played out every day, but also the broader questions of Israel's existence in the Middle East, of the Arab regimes and the political system that is under great stress and strain throughout the Middle East and indeed the relations of developed countries to the poor and developing countries of the third world.
GWEN IFILL: You had been pretty adamant about what the United States should be doing vis-à-vis Iraq, whether the United States should be spreading this war to include tying up loose ends, which were left from 1991. How have you... How has your thinking evolved as the war has proceeded?
JIM HOAGLAND: I began in 1989 actually to identify Saddam Hussein and his regime as a threat to American interests in the region and globally. It's a uniquely evil regime that has used weapons of mass destruction against its own citizens and against enemies, Iran in a specific case. This is a regime that we cannot legitimize, find a place for. It's a regime we have to confront. Now the United States must proceed carefully in this. In coming out of Afghanistan you don't immediately go and pick another Muslim country as a target. You have to establish the international cooperation, the international leadership that the United States is capable of. I think the problem essentially with our policies over the last decade has been that those policies communicated to our friends in the area in the Middle East and to the rest of the world that we were not serious in opposing Saddam Hussein, in trying to bring him down. It's time to change that.
GWEN IFILL: Has that changed?
JIM HOAGLAND: I think it's beginning to change. One of the first things that President Bush did in coming to office was to authorize a complete review of our policy toward Iraq. That review was underway when September 11 came along. It would be ironic and in fact tragic if what happened on September 11 were in any way to deter us from doing what we were beginning to conclude that we had to do in Iraq anyway.
GWEN IFILL: You have also been very skeptical of Pakistan's role as a critical ally in all of this. Today we heard where General Musharraf, President Musharraf said that he would condemn terrorism in all its forms. Does that begin to calm you down about Pakistan or does it make you as skeptical?
JIM HOAGLAND: I think it's a good step. I think everyone should welcome that statement from General Musharraf. And hold him to it and make sure that he doesn't water it down. Earlier over the weekend in the summit conference that he was attending he said yes terrorism is bad and we're against it but by the way he support acts of liberation -- clearly talking about Kashmir. Until you can resolve the conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, or at least bring it into a manageable proportion, you're going to have a problem that doesn't end with Afghanistan, it doesn't end with simply making statements about terrorism and putting some Kashmiri activists under house arrest. Musharraf still has a big test. I wish him well. I hope he succeeds. He has reduced some of my skepticism, Gwen but we're not there yet.
GWEN IFILL: You've also written about two other allies -- one old and one new - Vladimir Putin in Russia, Tony Blair in England. Britain having helped us but not necessarily for the same reasons.
JIM HOAGLAND: I think these are the two, two leaders who see most clearly that September 11 really did end the Cold War, ended a certain phase of history and launched us into a changed world. Putin is a judo master. He has understood very well that Russia does not have the strength to impose its own will and its policies abroad. He will try to use the strength of others and particularly the United States to improve Russia's positions. And he's doing it with some skill, as he did in Central Asia where the Russian position has actually been improved by establishing American military presence there. This was a heretical thought during the Cold War. But Putin understands the world is very different and we're going to have to approach it very differently. Tony Blair, who by the way works quite closely with Putin, I think who has a strong working relationship with the Russian president also sees the world as taking radically different turns. He wants much more involvement of the industrial countries, the affluent countries, in trying to help countries of the third world. I don't think he's made that case totally convincingly yet to the Bush administration. But I can guarantee you Tony Blair will keep trying.
GWEN IFILL: You described in your last column of the year, the year 2001 as a "hinge year." I would like to know what you meant by that if you could explain that for us, and also what does that make 2002?
JIM HOAGLAND: I compared it to years like 1945, 1968, 1973 and '74 where dramatic events changed the direction in which the world is going. I don't think September 11 changed everything, but it did change perspectives mightily in this country, certainly, and I think abroad as well. It changed a certain emphasis. We were kind of obsessed with information and speed. September 11 brought us back to perspective and the importance of judging things.
GWEN IFILL: And 2002?
JIM HOAGLAND: 2002 like the years that followed those other hinge years, will be essentially a year of consolidation and continuing momentum. What's important is not to let the momentum overtake the judgment, not to have us moving ahead so fast that we don't think about where we're going.
GWEN IFILL: Jim Hoagland, thank you very much.
JIM HOAGLAND: Thank you, Gwen.