The world may be breathing a sigh of relief that the conflict in the Persian Gulf is over, but it isn't over entirely.
According to William B. Quandt, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and former National Security Council adviser on the Middle East, other issues must still be resolved."If we can tackle these issues with the same commitment that we attacked Iraq, things can be solved," said Quandt, who spoke to students and faculty at Brigham Young University Tuesday.
Questions of continued security in the Middle East top the list of issues.
"We must decide the conditions under which U.S. troops should leave the Middle East," Quandt said. If the United States maintains the forces it has there now, the region will not stabilize.
The next security problem concerns arms control, Quandt said. In the past, the United States and Europe have been heavily involved in arms sales to Middle Eastern countries.
"It would not be good if the United States and its allies went back to business as usual (in arms sales)," he said.
Another area of concern is in the Arab/Israeli peacemaking process.
"Since 1979, we (the United States) have not made an effort to move Arab/Israeli peacemaking to the front of the international agenda," Quandt said.
The questiion of the Palestinians and their homeland will also have to be addressed, as well as economic issues and the idea of democratization in a land that does not have a democratic history.
To facilitate the process, "there are some pluses that Bush and his team have to work with," Quandt said. Good relations have been developed with Israel and other Arab countries.
And the United States has learned some lessons from the Persian Gulf conflict.
"The end of the Cold War does not mean the world will not see more ethnic and regional conflict," Quandt said. Military might is still relevant in world affairs.
"But the military instrument is blunt," he said. "It can do certain things very well, but it cannot bring peace to the Middle East."
Quandt also said that the United States has learned that, even with all of its power, it needs partners and allies.
"We cannot pay the bills alone that go with this kind of military conflict," he said.