|DISARMAMENT: WEAPONS CONTROL AND VERIFICATION ISSUES|
Global Issues of the Twenty-First Century
Morton Abramowitz & Thomas Pickering "Making Intervention Work: Improving the UN's Ability to Act"(100-108) Foreign Affairs Vol.87/No.5(Sep/Oct 08):-official summary:"In the face of grave humanitarian crises in countries such as Myanmar and Sudan, the international community has failed to back up its rhetoric with deeds. To adequately address such situations, the United Nations must streamline its decision-making, strengthen its peacekeeping capabilities, and create a crisis-response force". Emphasized extracts:"International clamor must produce results, not simply more clamor". "The UN needs a limited force to respond to humanitarian disasters and prevent conflicts from spiraling out of control". Abramowitz is a Senior Fellow at the Century Foundation and former US Ambassador to Thailand and Turkey. Pickering is Vice Chair of Hills & Company and has served as US Ambassador to six countries and the UN.
James Adams, The Next World War: Computers Are the Weapons and the Front Line Is Everywhere(New York: Simon & Schuster 98):-not primarily about technology, but rather warning about (un)anticipated effects of accelerating revolution in many-faceted field of information warfare(IW). Uses many original sources to explain fundamental changes in nature of combat. Weapons can be disabling, non-lethal, long-distance, unmanned, multi-use, minuscule... Wars may be battlefield-less, electronic, adversary-ambiguous, instantaneous... Intelligence and surveillance will be pervasive/often decisive. At same time, vast technical lead -and complexity - of rich countries' forces/societies also creates immense (cyber)vulnerability. In global North-South terms, implies economically-advanced states will prefer to fight by exploiting their technology, while any less-advanced opponents will tend to concentrate their attackson that technology's weak points.[World community/UN will find "violent conflict" (formal inter-state war now very rare)not only creates multiple new diplomatic/legal issues(time/space limits, sanctions, intervention, lethality, causes, costs, crimes)but, most difficult of all, is increasingly ambiguous, in terms of "participants" (both initiators and intended enemies/victims), location(e.g. if electronic, disease-inducing, and/or delayed-action), aims(already true of terrorism), even very existence(e.g. cyber-, resource- or bio-conflict; deliberate/ accidental?).One major consequence then is that entire concept of conflict-resolution transformed.]
Salman Ahmed"No Size Fits All: Lessons in Making Peace and Rebuilding States"Foreign Affairs Vol.84/ No.1(Jan/Feb 05):-Review Essay by Senior Political Officer, Office of UN USG for Peacekeeping Operations who served in Cambodia, South Africa, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Afghanistan and Iraq. Providesanalysis of the argumentation of three books: Roland Paris At War's End: Building Peace After Civil Conflict(Cambridge: Cambridge Univ.Press 04); Kimberly Zisk Marten Enforcing the Peace: Learning From the Imperial Past(New York: Columbia Univ. Press 04); John Mueller The Remnants of War(Ithaca: Cornell Univ.Press 04). All three draw"attention to important lessons that deserve serious consideration from policymakers and practitioners...Still, these authors make too much of similarities among cases they study and not enough of differences. And by using them to extrapolate bold models for state reconstruction, authors belie inherent complexities of task...Specifics of...conflicts - their scale as well as their historical geopolitical/socioeconomic roots - should inform how peace brokered/maintained. Yet none...pays enough attention to such fundamental considerations."Essay is worth reading - as a survey of all the issues faced by the UN when easing post-crisis problems.
John B.Alexander Future War: Non-Lethal Weapons in Twenty-First Century Warfare(New York: St. Martin's Press 99):-excellent study of immense potential of non-lethal weapons, and impact of global trends on aims of security. Assumed US/NATO must(via UN)be world police force. Emerging threats for armed forces/police are: powerful criminal/terrorist organizations, together with transnational/religious bodies/ groups seeing themselves as politically, economically or socially deprived. Wide range of non-lethal weaponry includes acoustic, biological, chemical, electromagnetic weapons, physical restraints, low-impact projectiles, information warfare. Useful scenarios: peace support(UN)operations; technologicalsanctions; strategic paralysis; hostages or barricades. Issues addressed: practical limitations, strategicimplications, moral opposition, legal considerations, and constraints on "winning".
Graham AllisonNuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe(New York: Owl Books/Henry Holk & Co 05):-extremely expert/influential report argues in INTRODUCTION that:"Given the number of actors with serious intent, the accessibility of weapons or nuclear materials from which elementary weapons could be constructed, and the almost limitless ways in which terrorists could smuggle a weapon through US borders, [i]n my own considered judgment, on the current path, a nuclear terrorist attack on US inthe decade ahead is more likely than not"(15). First chapter concludes:"What all [major terrorist] groups have in common is a hatred of the US or the West, along with sophisticated organizational structuresand access to technical know-how. [U]ncomfortable fact is that being the world's only superpower isinevitably going to breed resentment of one form or another - and it is impossible to mollify every single group. Challenge to US is to prevent these organizations from acquiring the means to threaten us with nuclear attack"(42).Then describes"unique destructive power of these terrible weapons", how/where they could be obtained, and where/when/how attacks might take place(43-120). Then describes policy changes to reduce chance of attack. List: priority to issue; standard for secure nuclear weapons/material; globalalliance against nuclear terrorism; global clean-out of all dangerous fissile material; stop new national production of fissile material; shut down of nuclear black markets; block emergence of nuclear weaponsstates; full review of global nonproliferation regime; revise nuclear weapons' postures/pronouncements;global prosecuting war on terrorism(205). Emphasis is on US but essential involvement must be global.
Graham Allison"Nuclear Disorder: Surveying Atomic Threats"(74-85) Foreign Affairs Vol.89/No.1 (Jan/Feb 10):-this is the first of a complementary pair of topical essays on nuclear weapons problems and options. Official summary of Allison's:"The current global nuclear order is extremely fragile, threatened by North Korea's expanding nuclear weapons program, Iran's nuclear ambitions, and Pakistan's increasing instability. US President Barack Obama has put these threats at the top of his national security agenda, but the effort to prevent catastrophe will encounter serious obstacles and stubborn adversaries". Emphasized extracts:"Over the past eight years, the Pakistani government has tripled its arsenal of nuclear weapons". "Obama's mission is to bend the trend lines currently pointing toward catastrophe". Final paragraph: "The international community has crucial choices to make, and the stakes could not be higher. Having failed to heed repeated warning signs of rot in the US-led global financial system, the world dare not wait for a catastrophic collapse of the nonproliferation regime. From the consequences of such an event, there is no feasible bailout". Allison is Douglas Dillon Prof. of Government and Director of Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Univ.'s Kennedy School of Government. For annotated guide to this topic, see "What to Read on Nuclear Proliferation" at www.foreignaffairs.com/readinglists/nuclear-proliferation. Second essay: Charles D.Ferguson "The Long Road to Zero: Overcoming the Obstacles to a Nuclear-Free World"(86-94):-Official summary:"The Obama administration has embraced the goal of a world without nuclear weapons, but many political and economic obstacles stand in its way. If there is any hope of reducing the world's nuclear arsenals, US government will have to assuage the fears of nonnuclear states, diminish the presumed prestige that the ultimate weapon confers on its owners, and address the risk of proliferation posed by civilian nuclear energy programs". From first paragraph:"Over the past three years, a remarkable bipartisan consensus has emerged in WashDC regarding nuclear security. The new US nuclear agenda includes renewing formal arms control agreements with Russia, revitalizing a strategic dialogue with China, pushing for ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, repairing the damaged nuclear nonproliferation regime, and redoubling efforts to reduce and secure fissile material that may be used in weapons... In past year, President Obama has made this goal a priority for his administration..." Ferguson is President of Federation of American Scientists. From 2004-09 he was Senior Fellow for Science and Technology at Council on Foreign Relations, where he served as Project Director for the CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force on US Nuclear Weapons Policy. For annotated guide to this topic, same source as Allison.
Kofi A. Annan, "Two Concerns of Sovereignty: International Intervention in Humanitarian Crises" The Economist18 Sep 99(49-50):-UNSG gives his views on basic issues. Inaction in Rwanda and interventions in Kosovo(no authority) and East Timor(too little too late)all justify criticism. We need consensus "not only... that massive and systematic violations of human rights must be checked...but also on ways of deciding what action is necessary, and when, and by whom." Critical points: "intervention" should not be understood as referring only to use of force; we need redefinition of sovereignty and broader definition of national interests that "would induce states to find greater unity in pursuit of common goals and values...today,collective interest is national interest" ;if force is necessary, Council must uphold Charter; act "in defence of our common humanity" ;ceasefires do not end commitments (disarmament).
Kofi A. Annan, "Preventing War and Disaster: A Growing Global Challenge" , Annual Report on the Work of the Organization 1999, by the Secretary-General of the United Nations(New York: DPI/ 2058; Sales No: E.99.1.29-Sep 1999):-after a convincing plea for more cost-saving global efforts to foresee, prevent, or reduce human and natural crises, Annan summarizes all major UN activities over year to Sep 99, and selected plans and problems(in 130pp). Chapters address: peace and security; development; humanitarian issues; globalization; legal order; human rights; administration. Overall impression: hard-won progress implementing UN obligations/reforms/savings are frustrated by Members' selfishness/lack of political will/financial irresponsibility. On DISARMAMENT, discussion of UN issues(37-40)is sombre -and written priorto US rejection of CNTB treaty. Preventive disarmament initiatives are supported(mainly small-arms) but little progress reported elsewhere, except in banning anti-personnel landmines, and related activity.
Kofi A. Annan, "Common Destiny, New Resolve" , Annual Report on the Work of the Organization 2000, by the Secretary-General of the United Nations(New York: DPI/2153;Sales No.E.00.1.22-Sep 99):-UNSG begins by noting report to Millennium Summit, "We the Peoples: The Role of the United Nations in the 21st Century" (op.cit.), includes his assessment of humanity's progress and challenges at turn of millennium,and suggests ways in which international community can work together to" better lives of people still left behind" .Introduction, summarizing 130-page report on major UN activities over year to Sep 00, highlights: (1)Demands on UN humanitarian agencies far exceeded worst-case predictions; (2)Living standards in sub-Saharan Africa still declining; (3)AIDS pandemic spreads with frightening rapidity; needs stronger commitment to action; (4)Three new peace missions were created, straining UNHQ resources. (5)Reviewsanalysed UN failures in Srebrenica and Rwanda; offered recommendations. (6) controversial economicbenefits of globalization must be more inclusive/equitably shared. (7)Must be cooperative management ofglobal economic affairs through more effective governance. (8)Informal global policy networks involving governments, international institutions, civil society and private sector have great potential. Chapters: Peace/Security; Humanitarian Commitments; Development; International Legal Order/Human Rights; UNManagement.
Kofi A. Annan "Courage To Fulfil Our Responsibilities" The Economist 04 Dec 04(23-5):-UNSG offers global action-urging essay built on his immediate reaction to report of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. Following his urgent introduction is a brief summary of Annan's alreadyconcentrated and rearranged version of the panel report's many concerns/proposals. Its value is less to summarize the panel's views than to identify subjects they and/or he discuss. "We face a world of extraordinary challenges - and of extraordinary interconnectedness. We are all vulnerable to new security threats, and to old threats that are evolving in complex and unpredictable ways. Either we allow this array of threats, and our responses to them, to divide us, or we come together to take effective action to meet all of them on basis of a shared commitment to collective security. I asked the 16 members of [panel]- eminent people representing many nations and points of view - to analyse the threats to peaceand security our world faces; to evaluate how well our existing policies and institutions are meeting them; and to recommend changes to those policies and institutions, so as to ensure an effective collective response to those threats. Their report...makes 101 far-sighted but realistic recommendations. If acted on, they would address the security concerns of all states, ensure that UN works better, strengtheninternational rule of law and make all people safer" . First: threats. Event/process leading to deaths on large scale/lessening life chances or undermines states, should be viewed as threat to innatl peace/security.Clusters: economic/social, including poverty/disease; inter-state conflict/rivalry; internal violence: civil war/state collapse/genocide; nuclear/radiological/chemical/ biological weapons; terrorism; innatl crime.Threats interconnected to unprecedented degree; no state alone can defeat. Highly enriched uranium at size of 6 milk cartons could level medium-sized city as nuclear device. Such attack in US/Europe isstaggering cost for world economy. Security of developed states only as strong as ability of poor statesto respond to/contain new deadly infectious disease. Incubation period for most is longer than most air flights, so any one of 700m who travel airlines in year could unwittingly carry lethal virus to unsuspecting state. Today, virus similar to 1918 influenza could kill tens of millions in fraction of a year. In today's worldany threat to one is truly threat to all; applies to all categories of threats. Since real limits on self-protection,all states need collective-security system, committing all to act cooperatively against dangers. Givengravity/interconnectedness of threats, world needs more active prevention. Prevention can be highly effective(Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty);WHO helped halt SARS. Best prevention agents: capable states, acting/cooperating with others. Best preventive strategy: is development support. Millennium Development Goals to halve poverty/hunger by 2015 states' best security investment. It will save lives/reduce violentconflict and radicalism/bolster state ability against threats before real harm. HIV/AIDS shows danger ofinadequate prevention. Slow/ineffective global response allowed 20m killed/20 years; spread continues andworst to come. Ultimate cost will include shattered societies. Still not taking all needed steps to bring under control. Also need public-health facilities built in poor world. Not only poorer states benefit diseasetreatment/local prevention; whole world has better defence against bio-terrorism/large-scale naturalepidemics. UNSC should work with WHO to strengthen biological security via prompt, effective responses.Equal: greater environmental collective action, including beyond Kyoto protocol to better resources management in states at risk. Prevention also vital to protect against terrorism. New isrange/scale/intensity of threat(al-Qaeda can kill around world/has struck in 10+ UN members).Could acquire instruments of massive destruction: unprecedented danger. UN must better use assets in fight against terrorists: articulate a strategy respectful of laws/human rights. Definition of terrorism offered: any action intended to kill/seriously harm civilians/non-combatants, with purpose of intimidatingpopulation/compelling action by government/innatl organization. States should use to build consensus andstrengthen UN response to deadly scourge. Also urgent recommendations on non-proliferation/disarmament/ curbing supply of materials to reduce risk of nuclear/chemical/biological attacks by states/terrorist groups. States encouraged to end development of domestic uranium enrichment and urgedto voluntary time-limited moratorium on reprocessing plant construction. IAEA ability to monitor compliance with Non-Proliferation Treaty strengthened by standards in protocol for safeguards inspections. Since Cold War, UN far more engaged in preventing/ending civil wars; ended more through negotiation since 90 than in previous 200 years; developed expertise/learned hard lessons. As demand for UN blue helmets grows, need to boost peacekeeper supply/avoid 90s worst failures. Rich states should hasten efforts transforming existing forces for UN peace operations. UN must invest in mediation/support peace agreementimplementation. Demobilize combatants/reintegrate into civil life; otherwise civil wars not successfully ended/other goals(democracy/justice/ development) remain unmet. Often innatl community lost focus if crisishigh point past/peacekeepers left. Propose UNSC create Peacekeeping Commission; to give strategicfocus for work in states under stress/emerging from conflict. If prevention/peaceful resolution fails, UN must be able to rely on force. Whatever reason: all states/UNSC should bear in mind basic guidelines/ questions: (1)Seriousness of threat: does it justify force?(2)Proper purpose: does proposed force halt/ avert threat?(3)Last resort: all non-military options explored/exhausted? (4) Proportional means: force proposed minimum necessary?(5)Balance of consequences: clear action not worse than inaction? No need to amend Art.51 of UN Charter: any state's right of self-defence against armed attack/pre-emptive action against imminent threat. However if states fear threats, neither imminent nor proximate, but which could culminate in horrific violence if left to fester, UNSC already powered to act/must be prepared to take action earlier than past, when asked/reliable evidence. Protection of civilians inside states long fraught with controversy. Yet recognized more widely that question better framed, not as intervene-right butprotection-responsibility - borne first/foremost by states. Panel agreed principle of non-intervention in internal affairs cannot protect committing genocide/large-scale ethnic cleansing/other comparableatrocities. I hope UN members agree/UNSC will act. UN(now nearly 60)born in very different time/world, so has under-appreciated record of adapting to new dangers, e.g. peacekeeping in world's civil wars/response to attack of Sep 01. Clearly needs far-reaching reform to prevent/respond to all current threats. Some propose via-UN collective response too difficult/not necessary. But all anti-threat actions impact beyond immediate context/all states benefit from shared global framework. Not mean UN needs to do everything. It must learn of share burdens/welcome help from others/work with them. Already does so; report recommends strengthened UN partnerships with regional organs/individual states. Great attention: UNSC reform. Objectives: make UNSC more effective/authoritative. Permanent membership devised(1945)to ensure active engagement of big powers to maintain peace/security. New permanent members matter of controversy/debate. Two suggestions, both expanding membership to 24; aim at: add those who contribute most to UN financially/militarily/diplomatically; ensure UNSC represents UN as whole; not expand veto, which would render decisions more difficult. Proposals offer chance breakthrough in year ahead. If acted on, UNSC more representative/better equipped for decisive action. Need strengthened UN secretariat that can support Peacebuilding Commission; implement UNSC/ committee decisions better on peacekeeping/mediating civil wars. Report envisages more concerted-action secretariat, with UNSGmore responsible for management/ accountability. Equally important: ECOSOC overhaul to strengthen role in social development/ improving knowledge on economic-social dimensions of security threats. Also, recommends Human Rights Commission better defender of rights of all. After 60 years, once again findworld mired in disillusionment and all too imperfect. Easy to stand at sidelines and criticise/talk endlessly about UN reform, but world no longer has that luxury. Time to adapt collective security system so it works efficiently/effectively/ equitably. Next year UN states reviewing progress on Millennium Declaration; world leaders' summit in Sep. Appropriate moment to act on some of most important recommendations in report.I will indicate which call for decisions at that level. Fervently hope world leaders will rise to challenge. Have all lived through period of deep division and sombre reflection. Must make 05 year of bold decision; all share responsibility for each other's security. Let's summon courage to fulfil responsibility." Complete text of "A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility" Report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, plus initial comments by requester/addressee, UNSG Kofi Annan, can be read and even copied(99pp Acrobat Reader)from Secretary General's part of UN file (www.un.org). Executive Summary(8pp Acrobat)also available at same address. Capturing the 21st Century Security: Prospects for Collective Responses(Oct 04)collects reports from six Stanley Foundation conferences in 04 that dealt with UNSG panel. Report at http://reports.stanleyfoundation.org. Council on Foreign Relations "Q&A: Reforming the United Nations" 01 Dec 04:-originally available either by NYT>CFR>International>[title] or via CFR directly. This is expert interview with Lee Feinstein who" has spearheaded Council work on the United Nations" and studied the important UN report and its UNGA prospects.
"Anonymous"Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror(DullesVA: Brassey's 04):-author is a senior US intelligence official with nearly 20 years experience in national security issues related to Afghanistan and South Asia. This strong critique of arrogant US/allies' policies towards Osama bin Laden/al Qaeda, and military action against Afghanistan/Iraq, proved quickly influential in many respects, and advocates less US loyalty to Israel/corrupt Muslim regimes or presence in Mideast. Motivation of Muslim terrorists is identified not as hatred/fear of Western national systems but of their broadly negative actions against Islamic peoples. All complex chapter titles: (1)Some Thoughts on the Power of Focused, Principled Hatred. (2) An Unprepared and Ignorant Lunge to Defeat - The US in Afghanistan. (3) Not Down, Not Out: Al Qaeda's Resiliency, Expansion, and Momentum. (4) The World's View of bin Laden: A Muslim Leader and Hero Coming into Focus? (5) Bin Laden Views the World: Some Old, Some New, and a Twist. (6) Blinding Hubris Abounding: Inflicting Defeat on Ourselves - Non-War, Leaks, and Missionary Democracy. (7) When the Enemy Sets the Stage: How US's Stubborn Obtuseness Aids Its Foes. (8) The Way Ahead: A Few Suggestions for Debate. Epilogue: No Basis for Optimism.
Associated Press, "UN Council Endorses Gun Control" New York Times 24 Sep 99:-on 24 Sep Security Council unanimously endorsed report by SG Annan on ways to reduce global stock of 500m handguns, rifles, shotguns and assault weapons. "Sweeping gun-control measures" reportedly included ban on private ownership of assault rifles presumably in wording US could accept. Nevertheless purpose of action while not binding, is "to increase pressure on world governments to impose stricter gun control measures and reduce arms trade." Significant, with 200m+ firearms owned by US citizens, that Annan stated clearly: "easyavailability of small arms has in many cases contributed to violence..." US Secretary of State apparently only spoke of tightening international/illicit arms traffic. Over 3m, mostly civilians, have been killed since 89in conflicts fought with only small arms.
Associated Press, "Activists Seek Cluster Bomb Ban" New York Times 08 Aug 00:-British arm of International Campaign to Ban Land Mines has called for global moratorium on use, manufacture and sale of cluster bombs, pending in-depth review of their legality and impact. While designed to scatter immediately-exploding "bomblets" over large area, significant numbers of bomblets fail to explode on first impact; so effectively become land mines. By causing civilian casualties for years after hostilities end, charged their use is "indiscriminate and in clear breach of international humanitarian law." Group calls for laws requiring clearance after combat, compensation of civilian casualties and deployment records.Reuters, "UK Anti-Land Mine Group Seeks Ban on Cluster Bombs" NYT 8 Aug :- gives similar facts, but adds bomblets can blight farmland, impede economic recovery, grow in lethality over time.
Associated Press "U.S. Troops in Asia Undergo Transformation"New York Times 16 Nov 05:-"North Korea's military power hasn't suddenly changed. It claims to have nukes and its million-man army is ready to roll. China, meanwhile, is engaging as the new Asian military leader, and terrorism is flaring upall over the region. But at US' s major Asian outposts, some serious downsizing under way... US position isn't weakening, say officials and analysts; cutbacks will be counterbalanced by improved equipment, organization and cooperation... In its biggest reorganization in two decades, US will shed 12,500 of its32,500-strong force in Korea over next 3 years, reduce its number of bases by about 75% and hand overmajor elements of troops' mission to their Korean counterparts, who will 'play larger and larger role', US Defense Secretary said on recent Asia tour. Similar restructuring afoot in Japan, where nearly 50,000US troops are stationed. US and Japan just agreed to most sweeping changes in deployments there..., plan that... includes withdrawal of about 7,000 of 18,000 Marines on crowded island of Okinawa... Ananalyst...says aim is to streamline, but not undermine, the alliance... Changes in Korea in line with shifts now taking place within entire Army, moving toward combat teams 'smaller but fully capable and fully lethal packages that can be deployed faster', said [chief of force development and plans for 8th US Army in Korea]... By end of 2005, 8th Army will have shed 8,000 troops. Another 3,500 will leave by 2008, along with 1,000 Air Force... Facing increased demands on its own troops in Iraq/elsewhere, Washington pushing Seoul and Tokyo to assume bigger role in regional security and in their own defense - and both appear willing... Under new accord... Japan will defend itself, deal with such threats as ballistic missilesand commando attacks and invasion of its own islands. US will deploy latest missile defense radar".
Associated Press"Maritime Authorities OK Tracking Measure"New York Times 19 May 06:-"Maritime authorities have agreed upon new legislation that will allow for long-range tracking of merchant ships - a key measure in tackling the threat of seaborne terrorist attacks, the UN International Maritime Organization said [19 May]. A total of 166 countries have agreed to the new rules for merchant vessels, which would also allow countries to conduct surveillance on vessels suspected of carrying illicit cargo.Organization said signatory governments had provisionally agreed to the changes in the Safety of Life at Sea convention... 'Ships will be required to transmit their identity, location and date and time of theirposition to be tracked by satellite', said UN shipping agency's external relations officer... New legislation will mean a ship's position can be identified up to 1,000 nautical miles from shore. Current systems arelimited to a range of a few hundred nautical miles... Merchant vessels trading in international waters willneed to switch to new long-range system by Jan 08, offering maritime authorities a system similar tothat used by air traffic controllers";
Associated Press "U.S. Says Missile - Defense System Limited" New York Times 22 Jun 06:- "US said [22 Jun] missile-defense system under development has 'limited operational capability'to protect against weapons such as the long-range missile North Korea is said to be near firing. National Security AdviserStephen Hadley underscored US calls for North Korea to abandon any plans for testing the missile believed capable of reaching US soil. 'We're watching it very carefully and preparations are very far along', Hadley said... In Washington, a top Pentagon official said that a missile launch would be 'aprovocation and a dangerous action'that would lead US to impose 'some cost'on North Korea. [Tough UNSC resolution was later passed after a short flight by Taepodong-2 missile.] Hadley, who briefed reporters while traveling with President Bush in Europe[to G8 summit],.. spurned a suggestion by former Defense Secretary William Perry that US launch a pre-emptive strike against the North Korean missile...US has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on missile defense systems during the past few decades.'We have a missile defense system... what we call a long-range missile defense system that is basicallya research, development, training, test kind of system', Hadley said. 'It does... have some limited operational capability. [P]urpose, of course, of a missile defense system is to defend... the territory of US from attack'" . AP "U.S. Military Intercepts Missile in Test" "A Navy ship on [22 Jun] intercepted amedium-range missile warhead above the earth's atmosphere off Hawaii in the latest test of the US missile defense program, the military said. Missile Defense Agency said test had been scheduled for months and was not prompted by indications that North Korea was planning to test launch a long-range missile. USS Shiloh detected a medium-range missile after it was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, then fired a Standard Missile-3 interceptor. Interceptor shot down the target warhead after it separated from its rocket booster, more than 100 miles above the Pacific Ocean and 250 miles northwest of Kauai, the agency said in a statement. The test marked the seventh time in eight attempts the military has successfully shot down a missile target with an interceptor fired from a ship.It also was the second successful attempt by a ship to shoot down a separating target. Medium- andlong-range ballistic missiles typically have at least two stages, increasing the challenge for interceptors,which must distinguish between the body of the missile and the warhead... Japan agreed to jointly develop missile defense technology with US late last year, broadening an earlier bilateral research pact" .
Associated Press "North Korea Knows How to Get Attention" New York Times 08 Jul 06:- "North Korea is well practiced in getting some of what it wants through provocation. Bullying through a bullhorn has worked time and again for a small nation with an outsized military force and an even bigger capacity forbluster and threat. It's called coercive diplomacy. North Korean-style, it has involved antagonizing everyone on and over the horizon, foes and allies alike, and then pulling back. Sometimes just in the nick of time... That's the case now... 'When diplomacy is stalled, North escalates tension to break thedeadlock', Wonhyuk Lim, Brookings Institution fellow,.. says in analysis... Risk is that North's attention-grabbing actions may bring bombs in reprisal instead of diplomacy, as almost happened in Clinton [era].In 2003, North pulled out of a nuclear arms treaty, vowing to bring 'defeat and ruin'on US, warning of WWIII and declaring, 'Let us see who will win and who will be defeated in the fire-to-fire standoff'. This was followed by the first substantive talks between the two nations since President Bush came to office.As a propaganda gambit, the missile tests [04 Jul 06] were hardly a smashing success... North's starlong-range missile is said to have failed like a bum firecracker on its mission of defiance and military advancement. Half-dozen tests of shorter range missiles were conducted to uncertain effect, but no failures as far as known. Results, in short, spoke to North's apparent ability to wreak havoc in its region and its inability any time soon to reach US mainland with missile. For US, 'main risk seems to be that North is beginning early testing of a missile that could throw equivalent of a rock at Alaska', said AnthonyCordesman of Center for Strategic and International Studies. Yet North has massive combat forces on border with South; long-range artillery capable of reaching Japan and destroying up to 40% of Southeconomy; and huge stocks of chemical weapons as well as its rising nuclear weapons capability. [North]fields world's fifth largest army, behind China, US, Russia and India. It is considered no match in any protracted fight with South Korea's lethal modern forces, US' s unmatched power or a devastating combination of both. Still any conflict could bring horrific consequences to both sides and risk pittingChina against US [like 1950-53 Korean War?].Cordesman protests tendency to regard Kim Jong Il as areckless poseur without a purpose. 'North... has reminded everyone of just how serious a threat Northcan be, how limited most military options are, and how serious the risks of any major war would be',Cordesman said. North's declaration in 1993 that it would pull out of NPT brought peninsula close to war and isolated the country through international censure, in the process leading to breakthroughnegotiations with Washington that produced agreement to freeze North's nuclear activities in exchange for US energy assistance. North's first test of a multistage rocket in 1998, also a flop, spurred bilateraltalks. Current framework of six-nation negotiations set up after North resumed its plutonium program in 2002 and expelled international inspectors [IAEA]. That pattern of edging toward confrontation, then edging back, has persisted, always accompanied by tough words. More are being heard now" .
Associated Press "Rumsfeld Cautions on Missile Shield" New York Times 27 Aug 06:- "[US] Defense Secretary Donald H.Rumsfeld sounded a note of caution about expectations that interceptors poised in underground silos [in Fort Greely, Alaska] would work in the event of a missile attack by North Korea...Ten silos house single 54-foot-long missile interceptors. If ordered by [US] president,.. one or more ofthe rockets would blast into the sky and race at more than 18,000 mph to launch a small 'kill vehicle'atan enemy warhead as it soared through space. An 11th interceptor is to be installed. [Asked whether ready for use against a North Korean missile,] Rumsfeld said he would not be fully persuaded until themultibillion dollar defense system has undergone more complete and realistic testing. [He said] some elements of the missile defense system are yet to come on line, including some of the radars and other sensors used to track the target missile,.. but stressed that advisors... have told him they believe it will work as designed in the event of an actual missile attack. [On 31 Aug] an interceptor based at a second site [in California] is scheduled to be tested against a target missile launched into the Pacific from Alaska's Kodiak Island. That will be the first full-up test of the latest version of the interceptor and its 'kill vehicle', a device attached to the nose of the interceptor. [T]he 'kill vehicle'is designed to use its own propulsion system and optical sensors to lock onto its target and, by ramming into it at high speed,obliterate the warhead and any payload it might carry. [This] test also will be first use of an early-warning radar... to provide the data required to put the interceptor on a proper path toward its target... A furthertest, now scheduled for Dec, will try for an intercept. At a news conference, Rumsfeld said that North Korea's leaders showed, by their test-launch of multiple missiles on 04 Jul 06, a determination to'continue to improve their capability and to threaten and attempt to blackmail other people'. He said theyalso are a threat to spread missile technology to terrorists. 'I think the real threat that North Korea poses in the immediate future is more one of proliferation than a danger to South Korea', he said... Rumsfeld said US intelligence about the intentions of North Korean leaders is not very good, but he said it is clearthat the overall condition of the North Korean military has deteriorated" ; David S.Cloud "Rumsfeld Sees Some Progress in Missile Plan" New York Times 27 Aug 06:- "Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said [in Fort Greely, Alaska] that while the fledging US ballistic missile defense system was becoming more capable,he wanted to see a successful full-scale test before declaring it able to shoot down a ballistic missile...Bush administration has taken the unusual step of deploying the system which is designed to shoot down a limited number of missiles before testing is completed and before all radars and sensors necessary to track incoming missiles are in place. Rumsfeld [said] system was aimed at protecting against attacks from North Korea and Iran, which he called 'rogue states that are intent on developing long-range ballistic missiles' ... The goal this week is to see if sensors in the so-called kill vehicle can recognize an incoming warhead, not to actually hit it... But... it employed a target that in its size andspeed was representative of missiles that might be fired at US. In last two flight tests, the system haltedthe firing sequence before the interceptor missile left its silo... Even so, after the second failed test in Feb 05, the system was taken down until Dec 06. [A]s many as 40 are supposed to be installed by next year. The other interceptor site is... in California, where two interceptors are in silos... Bushadministration is also looking at locations for an interceptor site in Europe that would protect US and parts of Europe from missiles launched from Mideast. [C]ould be in place in four years if Congressprovides the money... Sergei Ivanov, defense minister of Russia, [also in Alaska] did not directly criticize US system, but called for 'transparency'by Bush administration, a term meant to convey Russia's concern about any modifications to the system that could take its capabilities beyond stopping a small number of missiles" ;
Associated Press "Annan Paints Grim Picture to Assembly"New York Times 19 Sep 06:-"Addressing world leaders for last time as UNSG, Kofi Annan painted a grim picture of an unjust world economy, global disorder, widespread contempt for human rights, and appealed for nations/peoples to truly unite. As theannual UN General Assembly [UNGA] ministerial meeting got under way, 192 UN member states facedambitious agenda including trying to promote Mideast peace, curb Iran's nuclear ambitions, get UN peacekeepers into conflict-wracked Darfur, promote democracy... Annan, whose second five-year term ends 31 Dec 06, said the past decade has seen progress in development, security, rule of law - the threegreat challenges he said humanity faced in first address to UNGA in 97. But UNSG said too many still exposed to brutal conflict, and fear of terrorism has increased clash of civilizations/religions. Terrorismbeing used as pretext to limit or abolish human rights, and globalization risks driving richer and poorer apart, he said. 'Events of last 10 years have not resolved, but sharpened, three great challenges - unjust world economy, world disorder, and widespread contempt for human rights and rule of law', Annan said.'As result, we face world whose divisions threaten very notion of an international community, upon which this institution stands. I remain convinced that only answer to this divided world must be a truly United Nations' , he said. In annual report, UNSG touched on some of most difficult issues confronting leaders... [Arab-Israeli conflict; Iraq; Afghanistan; Sudan/Darfur]. 'Together we have pushed some big rocks to top of the mountain, even if others have slipped from our grasp and rolled back. But this mountain... is best place on earth to be',UNSG said.'I yield my place to others with an obstinate feeling of hope for our common future', Annan said. [UNGA] loud applause/rose in sustained standing ovation".
Associated Press "China to Continue Modernizing Military" New York Times 29 Dec 06:- "China said it will strengthen its military to thwart any attempt by Taiwan to push for independence, but vowed that it wascommitted to the peaceful development of the world's largest army. A report issued by the State Council,China's Cabinet, also said the country's defense policy will focus on protecting its borders and sea space, cracking down on terrorism and modernizing its weapons. 'China will not engage in any arms race or pose a military threat to any other country', the 91-page white paper said. 'China is determined to remain a staunch force for global peace, security and stability'. The communist nation's 2.3m-strong military is the world's largest but has been criticized for its lack of transparency about its buildup. Its reported 2006 budget is $35b, but analysts believe the true figure, which doesn't include weapons purchases and other key items, is several times higher... One of Beijing's key short-term goals has been to take a firm stand against any independence efforts by Taiwan... It has hundreds of missiles pointed in its direction across the Taiwan Straits. China has also spent heavily to beef up its arsenal withsubmarines, jet fighters and other high-tech weapons. 'The struggle to oppose and contain theseparatist forces for Taiwan independence and their activities remains a hard one', the report said. Itindirectly criticized US for promising Beijing that it will adhere to the 'one-China'policy, 'but it continues to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan, and has strengthened military ties with Taiwan'. Washingtonswitched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979 but remains Taiwan's major foreign backer, and is committed by law to providing it weapons to defend itself against possible Chinese attack. [Report] highlighted what it said was 'growing complexities in Asia-Pacific security environment'.[It] said China 'remains firmly committed to the policy of no first-use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances' . All this taking place with backdrop of North Korea's first nuclear test,uncertainty surrounding Iran's nuclear ambitions and continued turbulence in Mideast, it said".
Deborah Avant "THINK AGAIN: Mercenaries" Foreign Policy No.143(Jul/Aug 04):-a correction of ten public (mis)concepts about the current activities and value of (mainly US-employed) PRIVATE SECURITY FIRMS vs (traditional) MERCENARIES. (See also Sarah V.Percy op.cit.) Avant first offers widely-believed view about such firms ("Quoted/Under-lined Phrases"); then states a FIRM ONE/TWO-WORD REACTION; then says at length her views of the actual truth. "Private Security Companies Are Mercenaries" -NO. "'Mercenary'describes wide variety of military activities, many of which bear little resemblance to those of today's... corporate endeavours that perform logistics support, training, security, intelligence work, risk analysis, and much more". "The Bush Administration Has Dramatically Expanded Use of Military Contractors" -WRONG. "US ramped up military outsourcing during 1990s, after end of Cold War brought reductions in force size and numerous ethnic and regional conflicts emerged requiring intervention" ."Contractors Don't Engage in Combat or Other Essential Military Tasks" -FALSE. "Although... Rumsfeld said Pentagon would outsource all but core military tasks, these tasks are changing, and military contractors perform many of them. Contractors have technical expertise to support increasingly complex weapons systems [and intelligence services for war on terrorism]". "Military Contractors Are Cheaper than Regular Soldiers" -PROVE IT. "Two conditions must be present for private sector to deliver services more efficiently than government: competitive market and contractor flexibility in fulfilling their obligations. [G]overnments frequently curtail competition to preserve reliability and continuity [and] impose conditions that reduce contractors' flexibility" . "Contractors Are Accountable to No One" -AN EXAGGERATION. "Many governments regulate security contractors to greater or lesser degrees ... Contractors are accountable to range of employers and respond most effectively to market incentives... Use of contractors to avoid governmental accountability is more worrisome. "Contractors Value Profits More than Peace" -NOT ALWAYS. "Although many critics argue that military contractors have economic interest in prolonging conflict rather than reducing it, employees of private military companies rarely have been accused of aggravating conflict intentionally to keep profits flowing". "Contractors Operate Outside the Law" -FREQUENTLY "Legal status of contractors varies considerably. Sometimes they are subject to laws of territory in which they operate and other times to those of their home territory, but too often distinction is unclear... Status of contractors is even more contentious under international law. Most... activity falls outside purview of 1989 UN Convention on Mercenaries" . "Only Governments Hire Private Security Companies" -WRONG. "Security contractors work for governments, transnational corporations, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Oil, diamond, and other extractive industries hire contractors to guard their facilities, and UN and NGOs employ convoy guards. In Iraq, nearly every foreign entity... requires private security". "UN Should Outsource Peacekeeping to Private Contractors" -NO. "Those who advocate that UN hire private contractors are not looking to replace UN peacekeeping forces. Rather, they hope to make them more flexible and easier to use... Outsourced peacekeeping is... unlikely. UNSC and UNGA have been reluctant to consider it because of weak governments' concern that private security forces could be used against them". "Private Military Contractors Undermine State Power" -NOT ALWAYS. "Contractors undermine states' collective monopoly on violence. Fact that US, Britain, Australia and UN hire private security makes it hard for nations that oppose military contracting to restrict security firms based in their country" . For another excellent (different) description of current use of mercenaries, see The Economist 04 Nov 06"Mercenaries: Blood and Treasure" (70-1) :-Highlight is: "In recent decades, mercenaries... pushed to the wilder edges of global conflict: the 'dogs of war' who fight nasty little campaigns in Africa. But for a new kind of soldier of fortune, the fighting in Iraq has proved to be a pot of gold". Item's own summary:"After the windfall of Iraq, where is the next fortune to be found?".
Lloyd Axworthy and Sarah Taylor, "A Ban for All Seasons: The Landmines Convention and Its Implications for Canadian Diplomacy" International Journal Vol.LIII/No.2(Spring 98):-almost entirely on techniques used to persuade 122 governments to sign Convention(Dec 97)to eliminate the manufacture/use/export of anti-personnel landmines. Thrust: "Ottawa process" required governments and civil society to work together as team. This "soft power" approach is more appropriate because of changed international issues/relations/outcomes that also call for more focus on human(vs state)security and humanitarian law.(See Hampson-Oliver op.cit.)The Economist 04 Dec 04 "Lifting Landmines: Easy To Lay, Hard To Dig Up" (46):-describes how one of world's worst minefields being cleared, and reports on techniques/global issues, at the time of an international landmine conference in Nairobi. "Rats, sniffer dogs and armour-plated bulldozers can help, but most mine-clearing still done by hand, usually by man with pointed stickand plastic mask." Those in Angola use no metal detectors since ground scattered with bullet casings as well. De-miners are rarely killed. "In five years since global ban agreed in Ottawa, nearly 40m landmines ...destroyed. Most were in stockpiles, but some 4m were painstakingly found and dug up. Nonetheless,devices still kill or maim 40 people/day...Some armies, such as Sudan's, continue to plant them.Guerrillas and rebels respect no treaties. Only complete destruction of existing stocks and end to manufacture would cut off supply. But that would require all countries to sign up to Ottawa treaty. So far144 countries have, but China, Russia, Pakistan, India, US still refuse. China...considering signing, butUS will not, mostly because minefields help keep North Koreans out of South Korea...US plans to switch to using mines that self-destruct after a few weeks(though not always reliably)will be used as excuse never to sign treaty. Men...will be prodding gingerly for long time yet."
Lloyd Axworthy, Debbie Grisdale et al. "The Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons" Newslink, Group of 78, Issue 27/Feb 99:-three texts which together provide useful and official update on Canadian policy regarding nuclear disarmament.(1)Letter from executive committee of Group of 78 to Prime Minister Chretien regarding1998 UN General Assembly draft resolution "Towards a Nuclear Weapon Free World: The Need for a New Agenda" .(2)Reply from Foreign Minister Axworthy concerning Canada's nuclear disarmament policy, and noting information about Canada's arms control and disarmament policies can be found at http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca.(3)Recommendations of Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade submitted to House of Commons 10 Dec 99. Canada's instrument of ratification for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty was deposited 18 Dec 98.
Robert Baer"THE FP MEMO:- Wanted: Spies Unlike Us"Foreign Policy No.147(Mar/Apr 05):- former CIA case officer 1976-97, and author -See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism(New York: Crown Publishers 02), drafts a MEMORANDUM from himself to Porter Goss, U.S. Director of Central Intelligence, entitled"Getting the CIA Back in the Game". He writes"CIA is clearly broken, and you have a chance to fix it... Reform is needed across the board, but the Directorate of Operations(DO) should be your first target. Its mission - recruiting and running foreign spies - should be the agency's core function.Give DO the tools it needs, and intelligence analysis will take care of itself...Here are my suggestions(forming remainder of the MEMO under following headings): Reform the Promotion System; Know Your Sources;Recruit on College Campuses; Lower the Retirement Age; Stop Relying on Foreign Governments;Change the Security Clearance System; Recruit on the Dark Side. [I would myself disagree with the proposed total lack of cooperation with the world's 200 or so "Foreign Governments". Even the US could not gain unilaterally all the global information it is going to need. The global danger of all types/sources of terrorism in the world can only be constrained if all governments ideally/ostensibly work together.Genuine intelligence activity abroad could/would lie on top of that.]
Scott Barrett Why Cooperate? The Incentive to Supply Global Public Goods (New York: Oxford Univ Press 07):-surprisingly well written -considering the complexity of issues- in: (1) describing the existing global challenges (e.g. climate change, nuclear proliferation, worldwide pandemics) and those that threaten the entire planet (e.g. terrorism, physical/chemical/biological instabilities, asteroids); and (2) reporting on how such problems have been successfully or badly handled in the past, the rationales involved, and the various cooperations that would/might work best in future. Barrett's "threat" approach differs from my item "EARTH MUST COOPERATE...", mainly in stressing "Global Public Goods" actions of the recent past (e.g.often successful United Nations; wonderful "Montreal Protocol" ozone treaty), whereas my gloomy and concentrated "page" is designed almost solely to identify: (1) the exploding scale/variety of global threats; (2) the human tendencies that have created/will create them; and (3) why we must change a number of very old human views/feelings. Both press broader global diplomacy as essential tool. Most chapters focus on distinct types of issue/solution. [Even a study of brief bit(s) of 275p would be valuable.] Titles: Incentives to Supply Global Public Goods [GPG]; (1) Single Best Efforts: GPG that Can Be Supplied Unilaterally or Minilaterally; (2) Weakest Links: GPG that Depend on States that Contribute the Least; (3) Aggregate Efforts: GPG that Depend on Combined Efforts of All States; (4) Financing and Burden Sharing: Paying for GPG; (5) Mutual Restraint: Agreeing What States Ought Not to Do; (6) Coordination and Global Standards: Agreeing What States Ought to Do; (7) Development: Do GPG Help Poor States?; Conclusion: Institutions for Supply of GPG.
J.Marshall Beier & Steven Mataija edit. Cyberspace and Outer Space: Transitional Challenges for Multilateral Verification in the 21st Century (Toronto: Centre for International and Security Studies, York Univ. 97):-based on papers commissioned for/presented at 14th Annual Ottawa NACD Verification Symposium, sponsored by Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Titles of 21 Papers/Chapters as follows: Keynote Address: Meeting the Multilateral Proliferation Challenge Through United Nations Actions(Gustavo Zlauvinen);(1)Where Are We Now; Where Are We Going in Arms Control? (Jonathan Dean);(2)The 1997 Multilateral Arms Control Agenda and ACDA Priorities(Thomas Graham, Jr.);(3)The Interface Between Treaties and Regimes: Challenges for Evaluation, Verification, and Implementation(Patricia Bliss McFate); (4)Significant Multilateral NACD Agreements: The Scope and Challenge of Implementation(Richard Guthrie); (5)Multilateral Control Regimes: Diverse Purposes and Congruent Processes(Gordon K.Vachon); (6)Non-Weaponisation of Space:An International Imperative(F.R.(Ron)Cleminson);(7)Proliferation Challenges of Cyberspace (David Mussington);(8)Information Revolution, Military and Arms Control(Jeffrey R.Cooper; Christopher Burton);(9)Virtual Security: Technical Oversight, Simulated Foresight, and Political Blindspots in Infosphere(James Der Derian);(10)Arms Control and Future of International Security(Brad Roberts);(11)Verification: An Active Role for UN(Alan Crawford);(12)Aerial Surveillance in Sinai Field Mission, Multinational Force and Observers, and UN Special Commission on Iraq: Issues and Commonalities(Rene Unger); (13) Spaceborne Imagery: A Universal, Effective, and Cost-Efficient Tool for Ongoing Monitoring and Verification(Phillip J.Baines); (14)Summary of Results from 1996 Workshop on Use of Satellite Overhead Imagery in Verification(Peter Stibrany);(15) "93+2" (IAEA)Critique(Jason Cameron);(16)Light Weapons: New Focus for Arms Control and Disarmament(David DeClerq);(17)Russian Crisis and Prospects for Arms Control(Sergei Plekanov);(18)Future Challenges for Multilateral Arms Control: A Case Study on Korea(George Lindsay; Jim Bayer);(19)The Multilateral Dimension of'Korean Problem'(George Lindsay);(20)Symposium Summary(Jacqueline Simon).Editorial Foreword offers brief outlines.
Christopher de Bellaigue "THINK AGAIN: IRAN" Foreign Policy No.148 (May/Jun 05) (18-24):-like other FPissues, correction of nine public concepts; here: about Iranian nuclear weapons production/use or its positive response to stiff US pressure. Author first outlines widely-held views( "Under-lined Statements" ); states FIRM REACTIONS; and then provides his view of actual truth. He first provides summary: "Tehran's desire for nuclear bomb has put it in Washington's cross hairs. But neither President George W.Bush'srepeated condemnations of Iran's clerical rulers, nor the threat of military force will advance cause ofdemocracy there. When Iran reforms, it will happen because its youth - not the United States - demands it." "If Iran Gets a Nuclear Bomb, Iran Will Use It"-VERY UNLIKELY. "Iran almost certainly does not intendto brandish a nuclear bomb in an attempt to intimidate...Israel/US... Further, clerics have blessed a partial detente with their Arab neighbours and...EU.[Yet] there is plausible circumstantial evidence ...to suggestthat Iran's nuclear program is not civilian. [N]uclear ambiguity is calculated, a reaction to the vulnerability it feels. Iran probably intends to gather all the elements necessary for bomb making, so that it can gonuclear the moment that it feels an attack is imminent." "Iran Has No Use for Nuclear Power"-False."Energy needs are rising faster than [Iran's oil/gas] ability to meet them... Its capacity must nearly triple over 15 years to meet projected demand[,and the electricity cannot all come] from the oil sector. [Output] has stagnated at around 3.7mbd since late 1990s. Almost 40% of Iran's crude oil is consumed locally [and the natural] gas reserves are only just being tapped. It makes sense for Iran to free up its hydrocarbons for export [and] Iran contends that US may pressure foreign sellers into stopping the flow. [Hence] Iran'sdesire for a complete fuel cycle is most suspicious aspect of nuclear program"."The Iranian People Support Their Leaders' Nuclear Program"-NOT REALLY. "Iranians who vocally support...nuclearambitions...minority[;] never witnessed spontaneous discussion of nuclear program among average Iranians...Unlikely many Iranians willing to put up with economic/diplomatic isolation...if Iran insisted on enriching uranium"."Only the Threat of Force Can Dissuade Iran from Advancing with Its Nuclear Plans"-DOUBTFUL."Threat...could also...encourage Iran to leave NPT and develop a nuclear weapon ASAP...[N]ever abandons goal of achieving a nuclear fuel cycle... Iran is more flexible than it appears...[It might] revise its nuclear plans if US abandoned its [hard policies] ...Ultimately it might refuse to publicly relinquish nuclear goals, preferring instead to extend current negotiations indefinitely"."U.S. Military Action Would Embolden Dissidents to Topple the Islamic Republic"-WRONG. "Workers...keeping their heads down andmouths shut... Iranians don't want Iraq's wretched conditions... Iranians opposed to Islamic Republic lack a unifying ideology... Possible some Iranians would cheer a US invasion, but not for long". "Criticizing the Islamic Republic Helps Dissidents Inside Iran"-NO. "Bush's repeated statements of support for Iranian people do not help normal Iranians... Publicly defending beleaguered reformists simply allowed clerics to accuse reformers of being US lackeys...US criticism has perverse effect because US has no diplomatic or economic relations with Iran, and hence no leverage. EU and others [have] some modest leverage with Iran's clerical rulers". "If Iraq Becomes a Democracy, so Will Iran"-WISHFUL THINKING. "Border is about all they share...Few Iranians...question Iran's integrity within its current borders. Same is not true in Iraq...Iran set up a semi-democratic, anti-Western, Shia theocracy... Clerics today enjoy considerable prestige"."Iran Cannot Be Reformed from Within"-WRONG AGAIN. "Iran can and will be reformed from within. Demographics make that course inevitable. Some 70% of Iran's 70m citizens under age of 30, and young Iranians are more reform-minded than older groups... Young people resent existing political restrictions more than their elders, and are less religiously observant... Spread of material values and sexual freedom is palpable, as is desire for smaller families...Young people display little animus for once-hated US...[Yet]reform-minded millions lack common ideology/leadership... New generation will... spur further reform. Process would benefit from critical dialogue with US, rather than current, glowering standoff".
A. LeRoy Bennett International Organizations: Principles and Issues (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall 91):-mostly on UN. Focus is on its philosophy and principles, not structure; the breakdown is by broad issue, not organization: League of Nations; Genesis of the UN; Basic UN Principles and Organization; Basic UN Issues; Peaceful Dispute Settlement; Collective Security and the Alternatives; Justice Under Law; Regionalism; Arms Control; Transnationals and IOs; Economic Welfare; Global Resources and the Environment ; Social Progress; Human Rights/Self-Government; Administration/Leadership; the Future.
Samuel R.Berger"Foreign Policy for a Democratic President"Foreign Affairs Vol.83/No.3(May/Jun 04):-aimed at those concerned about weaknesses in US foreign policy of Bush regime, and needs/ opportunities in modified policies of any Nov 04-elected Democratic(or amended)regime. Most issuesdiscussed of global relevance, and many stress US relations with foreign entities, particularlyNATO/UN/international law. This mentions those of global importance discussed in some detail. US administration's "high-handed style and its gratuitous unilateralism" about its military, economic and cultural aims, embittered even those abroad most likely to embrace US values. New US regime "no moreurgent task than to restore...global moral and political authority, so when we decide to act we canpersuade others to join us. Achieving reversal will require forging new strategic bargain with closest allies...Democratic approach to resolving disputes with Europe over treaties should be pragmatic, focused on improving flawed agreements rather than ripping them up" .US policy towards Israel-Palestine conflictmust return with energy/urgency. Regarding Afghanistan/Pakistan and Iraq," Bush administration's unilateralist approach has let allies off hook: given them excuse to shirk these and other global responsibilities. Democratic administration would not be so dismissive of allies on issues that matter to them" since exercises truly international rather than exclusively US. Similar approaches are relevant to spread of weapons of mass destruction(WMD)." Democratic administration should use every tool at disposal to prevent WMD threats from arising before force becomes only option" . Listed issues include Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program with Russia, and "global effort to secure nuclear materials at all such sites" .Others sites described are North Korea and Iran. Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT)might add "new bargain" helping non-nuclear countries develop nuclear energy. Many more issues are brief.
Bruce D.Berkowitz "War Logs On: Girding America for Computer Combat" Foreign Affairs Vol.79/No.3 (May/Jun 00) :-reports that attacking an opponent's computer networks(and defending your own)have become matters of interest and concern as natural elements of warfare. Several developments make opportunities/dangers both obvious and irresistible. (1)Computers are now involved in every aspect of world's armed forces - a dependence making them vulnerable, and creating multiple targets. (2)Civiliansociety depends more on computers, too, using networks even more vulnerable than military systems. (3)Modern telecommunications are linking world's computer systems, so any data-processing devicelinked to communications networks is vulnerable. (4)Weapons/ technology usable for computer warfarekeep improving; lasers/microwaves for electronic attack may be replaced by(false?)electronic data. (5)Strategy/tactics are also being improved, to deceive, confound and confuse opponents. Computer warfare must be fully integrated into planning, perhaps years ahead, and involves very complex policyissues concerning targeting, secrecy, oversight, and defense.
Sheri Berman"From the Sun King to Karzai: Lessons for State Building in Afghanistan"(2-9) Foreign Affairs Vol.89/No.2 (Mar/Apr10):-official summary:"The US's mission in Afghanistan will not be accomplished until a central government exists there that can control the country's territory. History shows that such state building is possible but is not a job for the squeamish, the impatient, or the easily frustrated. Policymakers should look to Louis XIV and the development of France's ancien régime for guidance". Berman: Associate Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia Univ. For an annotated guide to this topic, see "What to Read on State Building" at www.foreignaffairs.com/readinglists/state-building.
Christoph Bertram, "Multilateral Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution" Survival Vol.37/No.4(Winter 95-96):-examines potential role of UN etc. through study of recent military conflicts. Seeks to determine most successful conditions to prevent or halt conflict, and how military force can best be used to this end.
Richard K.Betts "The New Politics of Intelligence: Will Reforms Work This Time?" Foreign Affairs Vol.83/ No.3(May/Jun 04):-while relates to optimal improvements to US top-level intelligence use, much of discussion/ advice relevant to relationship between policy-makers and intelligence-commanders in any country. "Danger stems from gap between urge to do something and uncertainty about just whatsomething could be...At end of day, strongest defense against intelligence mistakes will come less from any structural or procedural tweak than from good sense, good character, and good mental habits of senior officials" .Not mentioned in FA, but relevant to both intelligence and diplomatic/defense/securitystaff effectiveness is ability to speak relevant foreign languages. The Economist 15 May 04 "ARABIC: Speak Up" (56):-how British and other governments need to ensure sufficient national facilities to train civil servants/university students that need special language ability. Economist 17 Jul 04 "Sincere Deceivers" (Edit.11-2)and "Intelligence Failures: The Weapons That Weren't" (23-5):-both US and British governments analysed positions of intelligence forces in giving President Bush and PM Blair respectivelyreports that made their bosses announce need to attack Iraq because it constituted regime both able to use/pass to terrorists weapons of mass destruction(WMD)and, in case of Bush, willing to support attacks by al-Qaeda. Both governments' reports criticize their intelligence forces as hinting more positive threats than should have been derived from their information, influenced by views/desires of heads of government. But US system considerably worse in this respect. Gives full information about two analyses and comments on politically inclined intelligence, and mentions future effects. Efraim Halevy "In Defence of the Intelligence Services" Economist 31 Jul 04(By Invite 21-3):-author was head 98-02 of Mossad, Israel's intelligence service. Essence of well-written thesis: "Committees of inquiry into US and British intelligence failures may have left West less secure." Basic critique is that of professional intelligence officer, and views are of expertise/relevance. However, one does get background implied of support for attack on Iraq, even if intelligence is ambiguous - an Israeli need? Economist 07 Aug 04 "New Non-Fiction: The al-Qaeda Code" (69):-favourable review of famous government document published as book 567pp long: The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (Norton).Something to be emulated by all future government reports. Economist 14 Aug 04 "The CIA: The Right Man?" (26):-short item regarding politically hot issue in US. Criticism of intelligence produced recently by CIA resulted in: (1) criticism of CIA director who also had acted as coordinating national head of all US intelligence groups; (2)resignation of CIA director in reaction to criticism. President Bush has nominatedCongressman Porter Goss as friend and experienced eight-term Republican, once CIA agent and recently chairman of House Intelligence Committee. Already controversy over Goss' appropriateness, although Bush agreed coordination of all US intelligence services will in future be carried out by another, new, separate position. Economist 28 Aug "The CIA: For the Scrap-Heap?" (28):-another short item reports on proposal of Pat Roberts, Republican chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee. He recommended new National Intelligence Service "run by hugely powerful director, backed by four assistant directors, each responsible for different phase of intelligence process. CIA would be dismantled, and its departments assigned to relevant assistant director. Control over other intelligence agencies would be wrested from Defence Department and FBI." Many experts claim proposals are wrong; some prefer more: diverse recruits, work with foreign agencies, and human intelligence-gathering.
Bruce G.Blair, Harold A.Feiveson and Frank N.vonHippel "Taking Nuclear Weapons Off Hair-Trigger Alert" Scientific American Nov 97(74-81):-on current status of US/Russian strategic nuclear forces. Many still on high alert status: 5,000+nuclear weapons ready to fire at each other within 30 minutes. Also, much Russian equipment in dangerously deteriorated condition -accidental/mistaken launches more likely.Proposes US unilaterally "de-alerts" missiles/ increasing time needed to prepare them for launch/allow verification of their status. Russian historical precedent would be: follow suit. For almost identical proposals to put missiles "in escrow" see Frye/Manning/Turner(op.cit.).
Newton R.Bowles United Nations: Less is More? A Report on the Fifty-Third General Assembly: September-December 1998(Report to Group of 78/United Nations Association in Canada)(New York:www.unac.org 99):-author is inter alia UNICEF Senior Advisor on Children/War/closely involved in UNGA/other UN meetings. Excellent report covers not only highlights of 98 UNGA but variety of related UN issues over year e.g. Security Council developments. Topics covered selectively but analytically:Overview; General Debate(tone/highlights);Globalization (dialogue/business-liaison);ODA/FDI Resources;Human Rights/development/UN casualties; Humanitarian Intervention; Security Council(evolution);Conflict Prevention(education); Peacekeeping; Disarmament(new trends);Africa(war/ poverty); Crime(ICC/ Tribunals/terrorism/drugs);NGOs/Civil Society; UN Management/Funding.
Newton R. Bowles, United Nations: Hedge or Taels? A Report on the Fifty-Fourth General Assembly: September-December 1999(Report to Group of 78/United Nations Association in Canada)(New York:www.unac.org 00):-valuable impressions of tone/highlights of UNGA Regular Session/related developments, particularly in Security Council. Subject titles(and main points): World in 99(better prospects than 98; praise for UNSG/UNGA President; radical UNSG speech: humanitarian law before sovereignty(text: Annex 1);no UNSC reform but more open; progress on UN human rights and development role); General Debate(main value: networking/stage-setting; main theme: massive human rights violence, armed conflict within states; major points of notable speeches);Human Security Issues(follow-up to "Agenda for Peace" particularly prevention; key: broad "international approach to poverty, human rights and social/economic development" (UNGA President Statement: Annex 2);UNSC renewed activism but no progress on membership or veto; special problems of Africa); HIV/AIDS(stress on Africa where death toll 10 times that of wars; Statement by UNAIDS Executive-Director: Annex 3); Conflict Prevention(improved early-warning/prevention strategies; seek social/economic root causes); Peacekeeping(major forcesin Kosovo, Sierra Leone, East Timor, DR Congo total well over 30,000 in 00(Operations in Annex 4);International Justice(international criminal law fairly controversial compared with civil law; Yugoslavia and Rwanda Tribunals started from scratch but improving; International Criminal Court: 30 Jun deadline will be met; current: new convention on terrorism financing, working on conventions re nuclear terrorism and comprehensive anti-terrorism; planning international conference and transnational crime convention;Disarmament(gloomy: START II stuck in Duma; CTBT refused by Congress; ABM may be weakened or ignored; Conference on Disarmament is paralysed; Special Assembly Session on Disarmament unlikely;NPT review conference also unlikely; Resolution on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space passed, but US resumed anti-missile tests; practical progress on implementing/completing agreements on Chemical and Biological weapons, Landmines, Heavy Weapons register, Small Arms Trade; Development(of LDC needs-investment, markets, debt relief, only ODA is responsibility of UN proper(and aid is declining),but UN-Bank/Fund relations closer; North-South dialogue also less confrontational; "Agenda for Development" stresses good governance/ accountability/participation/social security; UNSG WTO speech(Annex 5)highlights LDCs' need to share globalization; 01 all-issue conference on financing development will bring in all stakeholders); UN Aid(of $50b annual ODA, $5b through UN and $5b World Bank; UN stresses social concerns/human development; UNDP major effort to coordinate multilateral aid better); Business and Labour(UNSG challenged big business at Davos to "Global Compact" tocooperate with UN on human rights/labour standards/environment; positive response from ICC; ICFTUalso undertook to support);Humanitarian Activities(natural disasters cost $500b in 90s; armed conflicts cost $200b in external aid, so probably over $1 trillion overall; UN priority to avoid or mitigate natural disasters or conflicts);Human Rights(most humanitarian law written since WWII; much being added; all aspects of human (mis)behaviour come together at UN under human rights; UNSC adopted strong/comprehensive policy on protecting civilians(Annex 6); in Kosovo/East Timor, UN creating entirecriminal justice and human rights systems; UNHCHR investigating standards in 21 fields worldwide);Women's Advancement(Special UNGA Session on Women(Jun 00)will examine implementation of BeijingConference decisions; UNGA studied new report on role of women in development);Children(Tenth Anniversary of Convention on Rights of Child; UNSC resolution "strongly condemns targeting of children in situations of armed conflict" );Finance and Management(main focus again US budget arrears followed by highly-conditional part-payment; 00-01 biennium budget $2,535m, up a symbolic $3m; staff managementstill slow/cumbersome; excellent final report of 5-year "Internal Oversight" (quoted));Civil Societies(getsmore into basic issues of development-globalization; UNSG for tripartite "Global Compact" :UN-business-civil society);(Annex 7:Current Membership of UN Organs).
Paul Bracken, "The Second Nuclear Age" Foreign Policy Vol.79/No.1(Jan/Feb 00):-many authors see global power balance moving from "West" to" East" or from" Atlantic" to" Pacific" , their view usually based on economic trends. Essay (adapted from book Fire in the East)mainly stresses changing arms capacities. Essential thesis: "rise of Asian military power heralds beginning of second nuclear age...World that West createdbeing challenged - not just in military ways but in cultural and philosophical terms as well" .Key fact:Ballistic missiles, carrying conventional warheads or WMD "now within reach of as many as ten Asian nations" . "Major shift in world's balance of power" ; Asian missile capacity/deployment constitutespotential, not actual, threat; and diverse nations have no political, economic, cultural views/interests in common, even "anti-West" .
Hans Gunter Brauch, Czeslaw Mesjasz & Bjorn Moller"Controlling Weapons in the Quest for Peace: Non-Offensive Defence, Arms Control, Disarmament, and Conversion"(15-53) in Chadwick F.Alger edit.The Future of the United Nations System: Potential for the Twenty-First Century (New York: United Nations Univ. Press 98):-while giving special emphasis to peace research, offers fine summary of disarmament/arms control history, concentrating on UN post-Cold War events. Some points made: UNGA has negotiated/ implemented most UN arms treaties(even UNSCOM's role in Iraqi derived from NPT); S-G's 1992 Report emphasized integration of arms regulation into peace/security agenda, globalization of disarmament process, further WMD reductions, more proliferation control, arms trade limitations, more transparency in arms and other CBMs; relative failure of conversion; several disarmament research proposals.
Christopher Bright, "Invasive Species: Pathogens of Globalization" Foreign Policy No.116(Fall 99):-essay summarizes Life Out of Bounds: Bioinvasion in a Borderless World(New York: W.W.Norton & Co. 98). Bright claims: "World trade has become primary driver of one of most dangerous and least visible forms of environmental decline: thousands of foreign, invasive species are hitch-hiking through global trading network aboard ships, planes, and railroad cars...This' biological pollution'is degrading ecosystems, threatening public health, and costing billions" (50). Counter-policies largely ineffective, control mechanisms(UN?)relatively undeveloped, global integration makes situation ever worse. Offers much information: animal, plant, insect, pathogen species; means of transport; various costs. Agenda:controlballast release(IMO);fix Sanitary/Phytosanitary Measures act(WTO);build global database(UN).
William J. Broad, "Giant Leap for Private Industry: Spies in Space" New York Times 13 Oct 99:-described as "one of most significant developments in history of space age" with potential to be "revolutionary" ,Space Imaging Inc., private company owned by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, recently exhibited photograph, taken by Eastman Kodak camera and telescope system, from its own satellite orbiting at 400 miles that shows details only meter in size. Hailed as world's first private spy satellite,image sharpness reportedly rivals acts of military spy satellites. Pentagon expected to be main customer: such photos canaid detection of countries trying to set off underground nuclear explosions in secret, as well as help geographers, urban planners, etc. Other 3 companies plan to put similar satellites in orbit in a year, and perhaps dozen may fly in next decade. Photo prices already quoted. [Most difficult aspect of ensuring compliance with disarmament treaties: possibly great isolation/small size of WMD research facility.]
William J. Broad and David E. Sanger "As Nuclear Secrets Emerge, More Are Suspected" New York Times26 Dec 04:- extraordinary article, over six printed pages long, that contains so much fascinating material thatsummary is not feasible. Following material from item's beginning and end, however. "When experts fromUS and [UN's]International Atomic Energy Agency[IAEA]came upon blueprints for 10 kiloton atomic bomb in files of Libyan weapons program earlier this year, they found themselves caught between gravity/pettiness. Discovery gave experts new appreciation of audacity of rogue nuclear network led by A. Q. Khan, a chief architect of Pakistan's bomb. Intelligence officials had watched Dr. Khan for years andsuspected he was trafficking in machinery for enriching uranium to make fuel for warheads. But detailed design represented new level of danger, particularly since Libyans said he had thrown it in as deal-sweetener when he sold them $100 million in nuclear gear...Nearly a year after Dr. Khan's arrest, secrets of his nuclear black market continue to uncoil, revealing a vast global enterprise. But inquiry has beenhampered by discord between Bush administration and nuclear watchdog[IAEA], and by Washington'sconcern that if it pushes too hard for access to Dr. Khan, national hero in Pakistan, it could destabilize ally. As result, much of urgency has been sapped from investigation, helping keep hidden full dimensions of activities of Dr. Khan and his associates...Worried about what is still unknown, IAEA quietly setting up...Covert Nuclear Trade Analysis Unit, agency officials disclosed. It has about half dozen specialists looking for evidence of deals by Khan network or its imitators. "I would not be surprised to discover thatsome countries pocketed some centrifuges," Dr ElBaradei[IAEA]. "They may have considered it a chance of a lifetime to get some equipment and thought,'Maybe...good for rainy day.'"
Stephen G.Brooks & William C.Wohlforth"Reshaping the World Order: How Washington Should Reform International Institutions"(49-63)Foreign Affairs Vol.88/No.2(Mar/Apr09):-official summary :"The current architecture of international institutions is so out of sync with the modern world that it must be updated. But skeptics question whether US is up to the task. They need not worry: US still possesses enough power and legitimacy to spearhead reform". Emphasized quote: "In a 2007 address to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, [Barack Obama, now US president,] stressed that 'it was America that largely built a system of international institutions that carried us through the Cold War... Instead of constraining our power, these institutions magnified it'. 'Today it's become fashionable to disparage the United Nations, the World Bank, and other international organizations', he continued. 'In fact, reform of these bodies is urgently needed if they are to keep pace with the fast-moving threats we face'"(50). Brooks is Associate Professor of Government, and Wohlforth is Daniel Webster Professor of Government and Chair of Department of Government, both Dartmouth College. Article adapted from their: World Out of Balance: International Relations and the Challenge of American Primacy(Princeton Univ 08).
Michael E.Brown, Sean M.Lynn-Jones & Steven E.Miller, edit. East Asian Security: An International Security Reader(Cambridge: MIT Press 96):-East Asia is major locus of post-Cold War arms build-up and of potential interstate war. Essays' consensus is that an effective regional security system or arms reduction(including PRC nuclear) are not imminent, but that same is true for revival of Japanese military. Anticipatesmore positive UN role for PRC, which is critical to disarmament progress, and for Japan.
Zbigniew Brzezinski "Hegemonic Quicksand" The National Interest Winter 03/04(5-16):-long article on future instability excerpted from The Choice, Global Domination or Global Leadership. Claims unstable but new "Global Balkans" (developing similar to past "European Balkans" )is region between Europe and Far East. "For next several decades, most volatile and dangerous region of world - with explosive potential to plunge world into chaos - will be crucial swathe[from approximately Suez Canal to Xinjiang, and fromRusso-Kazakh border to southern Afghanistan]...Here that America could slide into collision with world of Islam while American-European policy differences could even cause Atlantic Alliance to come unhinged. Two eventualities together could then put prevailing American global hegemony at risk.[C]hallengeAmerica now confronts, dwarfs what it faced half-century ago in Western Europe [since]to promote global security will be pacification and then cooperative organization of region that contains world's greatest concentration of political injustice, social deprivation, demographic congestion and potential for high-intensity violence. But region also contains most of world's oil and natural gas...In 2020 area projected to produce roughly 42m barrels of oil per day - 39% of global production total...No self-evident answers to such basic questions as how and with whom America should be engaged in helping to stabilize area, pacifyit and eventually cooperatively organize it." Then notes that some states in area could be US potential key partners: Turkey, Israel, India, and Russia. All four are then examined in detail but ruled out for various reasons. "Ultimately US can look to only one genuine partner...:Europe. Although it will need help of leading East Asian states like Japan and China...neither likely at this stage to become heavily engaged. OnlyEurope...potential capacity in political, military and economic realms to pursue jointly with US task of engaging various Eurasian peoples...US and Europe together represent array of physical and experientialassets with capacity to make decisive difference in shaping political future of Global Balkans...European engagement will not occur, however, if expected to consist of simply following US lead" .Latter portionof paper discusses whether and how US and Europe can work together in improving issues of area. Specific attention made to problems: Arab-Israeli peace, Iraq, Iran, Gulf states, Caucasus and Central Asia, Caspian Basin. Final comments relate to" need to contain both proliferation of WMD and terrorist epidemic." Paper ends:" One should not forget that struggling alone makes quicksand only more dangerous."
Zbigniew Brzezinski"An Agenda for NATO: Toward a Global Security Web"(2-20) Foreign Affairs Vol.88/No.5 (Sep/Oct 09):-official summary:"In the course of its 60 years, NATO has ended the 'civil war' within the West for transoceanic and European supremacy, institutionalized the United States' commitment to the defense of Europe, and secured the peaceful termination of the Cold War. What next? To live up to its potential, the alliance should become the hub of a global-spanning web of regional cooperative-security undertakings". Emphasized extracts:"In the vulnerable decades after World War II, conflict was avoided largely because NATO remained united". "WshDC's arrogant unilateralism in Iraq and its demagogic Islamophobic sloganeering weakened the unity of NATO". "NATO has the means to become the center of a globe-spanning web of cooperative-security undertakings". Brzezinski was US National Security Adviser 1977-1981. His most recent book: Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower.
Zbigniew Brzezinski"From Hope to Audacity: Appraising Obama's Foreign Policy"(16-30) Foreign Affairs Vol.89/No.1 (Jan/Feb 10):-while this leading/positive essay is about US policy, the subjects are all of global importance. Official summary:"In his first year in office, President Barack Obama has reconceptualized US foreign policy and demonstrated a genuine sense of strategic direction. But so far, Obama's foreign policy has generated more expectations than strategic breakthroughs. Three urgent issues - Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran's nuclear ambitions, and Afghan-Pakistani challenge - are posing an immediate test of his ability to significantly change US policy". Emphasized extracts:"Obama has shown a genuine sense of strategic direction and a solid grasp of what today's world is all about". "US is already losing the renewed confidence of the Arab world that Obama won with his speech in Cairo". "Sanctions against Iran must punish those in power - not the middle class, as an embargo on gasoline would do". "So far, Obama's foreign policy has generated more expectations than strategic breakthroughs". Brzezinski was US National Security Adviser 1977-1981. His most recent book: Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower.
Robert Buckman, Can We Be Good Without God? An Exploration of Behaviour, Belonging and the Need to Believe (Toronto: Penguin 01):-while author both medical doctor/atheist, not designed to criticize religionor to scientifically support atheism. One major concern: religions generate specific/competinginterpretations of "goodness" , developing critical link between "good and god." Also offers perspective "onconnection between behaviour and belief - connection between ethics and religion." Such diversified convictions held by each faithful group have produced unrealistic and unjust frictions. "The world will be better place if we all believe whatever we wish, but behave as if there is no deity to sort out humankind's problems." Global issues described may indeed become worse or easier.
Barry A. Burciul, "UN Sanctions: Policy Options for Canada" Canadian Foreign Policy Vol.6/No.1(Fall 98):-thorough, global effort to improve sanctions, in response to tough facts:(1)sanctions rarely achieve ends, and often cause unnecessary pain;(2)serve as relatively cheap and risk-free ways to meet pressurefor "action" ;(3)targeted sanctions often work better than comprehensive. Priorities: discourage sanctionsif more constructive, humane alternatives exist; ensure strong/targeted; always consider innocentcivilians. Ideas: wider range of threats, but sanctions high-cost, so need broad multilateral coalition plus regional/NGO support; humane sanctions more effectively gain essential support; target states/personsmust be fully understood, to avoid counterproductive action and find optimum means (travel, sports, culture ban, arms embargo, even violence); better as deterrent/preventive/threat than as coercion; "sanctions forum" studies options/support/strategic planning using pooled intelligence to judge hot spots/timelimits/temporary tariffs/lessons learned/finance levers; "humanitarian limits" must protect NGOs, determine and police exemptions; enforcement must be rapid/specific/ coordinated/committed/informed, and include border surveys.
Jason Burke"Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror"(New York: I.B.Tauris & Co 03):-while I read this book long after summarizing Burke‛s valuable article in 04 Foreign Policy(op cit), many of author‛s FP views also stated/implied in book, so aren‛t repeated. Book, however, is a valuable - and concentrated(300 pp) - report on the origins/members/relationships/aims of "al-Qaeda" in global terms, plus involvement of bin Laden to events of 11 Sep 01. Material is derived from both author‛s extraordinary interviews/experience and information from many other personal sources. Advice in book‛s conclusion is of special importance - and has much in common with "Christopher Spencer" item: "We [West] need to counter the twisted vision of world that is becoming so prevalent. Every time force is used it reinforces that vision by providing more evidence of a ‛clash of civilisations‛ and a ‛cosmic struggle‛... ‛War on terror‛ should have a military component [:] hardened militants cannot be rehabilitated[; b]ut if we are to win battle against terrorism, our strategies must be made broader and more sophisticated. [G]reatest weapon available in war on terrorism is the courage, decency, humour and integrity of the vast proportion of the world‛s Muslims [-] restricting the spread of ‛al-Qaeda‛ and its warped worldview. [B]attle between West and men like bin Laden...is not a battle for global supremacy. It is a battle for hearts and minds [-] battle we, and our allies in the Muslim world, losing. [Yet all] modern Islamic terrorism... can be acted on by well-judged, properly executed policies. Causes of terrorism must be addressed, careful analysis of...threat...undertaken, moderate Muslim leaders engaged, spread of hardline strands of Islam rolled back, and enormous effort to counter growing sympathy for ‛al-Qaeda‛ worldview must be made... All terrorist violence, ‛Islamic‛ or otherwise, is unjustifiable/unforgivable/cowardly/contemptible. But just because we condemn does not mean we should not strive to comprehend. We need to keep asking why"(249-50).
Jason Burke"THINK AGAIN: Al Qaeda"Foreign Policy No.142(May/Jun 04):-summarizing (global) public (mis)concepts about current capacities and aims of al Qaeda forces and ideas, and its future strength, Burke, chief reporter of Britain's Observer and author of Al Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror(New York: I.B.Tauris 03)(op cit),offers nine widely believed views about issues, and then denies accuracy of each. "Al Qaeda Is a Global Terrorist Organization" -NO. "It is less an organization than an ideology...Today, structure that was built in Afghanistan has been destroyed... There is no longer a central hub for Islamic militancy. But al Qaeda workview... is growing stronger every day." "Capturing or Killing Bin Laden Will Deal a Severe Blow to Al Qaeda" -WRONG "If...he surrenders without a fight, which is very unlikely, many followers will be deeply disillusioned. If he achieves martyrdom in way that his cohorts can spin as heroic, he will beinspiration for generations to come. Either way, bin Laden's removal from scene will not stop Islamic militancy. "The Militants Seek to Destroy the West So They Can Impose a Global Islamic State" -FALSE "Islamic militants' main objective is not conquest, but to beat back what they perceive as an aggressive West. [S]econdary goal is establishment of...single Islamic state, in lands roughly corresponding to furthest extent of Islamic empire." "The Militants Reject Modern Ideas in Favor of Traditional Muslim Theology" -NO "Islamic hard-liners...have little compunction about embracing tools that modernity provides... [M]ilitants are framing modern political concerns ...within mythic and religious narrative. They do not reject modernization per se, but...resent their failure to benefit from that modernization." "Since the Rise of Al Qaeda, Islamic Moderates Have Been Marginalized" -INCORRECT "Al Qaeda represents lunatic fringe of political thought in Islamic world. While al Qaeda has made significant inroads in recent years, only tiny minority of world's 1.3b Muslims adhere to its doctrine." "The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Is Central to the Militants' Cause" -WRONG "Televised images... reinforce militants' key message that lands of Islam under attack, and that all Muslims must rise up and fight. However,...resolution...would not end threat of militant Islam...Two-state solution...would still leave 'Zionist entity' intact." "Sort Out Saudi Arabia and the Whole Problem Will Disappear" -NO "Inequities of Saudi system... continues to create sense of disenfranchisement that allows extremism to flourish...Saudi Arabia is one of many causes of modern Islamicmilitancy, but it has no monopoly on blame." "It Is Only a Matter of Time Before Islamic Militants Use Weapons of Mass Destruction" -CALM DOWN "Although Islamic militants...have attempted to develop basic chemical or biological arsenal, efforts have been largely unsuccessful due to technical difficulty...Islamic militants far more likely to use conventional bombs or employ conventional devices in imaginative ways." "The West Is Winning the War on Terror" -UNFORTUNATELY, NO "If countries to win war on terror, must eradicate enemies without creating new ones...Invasion of Iraq...has made task more pressing... Ben Laden's aim to radicalize/mobilize. He is closer to achieving goals than West is to deterring him".
Jason Burke"It May Well Take 20 Years. But al-Qaeda‛s Days Are Numbered"Guardian 10 Sep 06:-Special Report by expert/famous journalist, published five years after "9/11", claims: "Osama bin Laden waits in vain for a Muslim ‛awakening‛. The lure of the West is just too powerful a force". Full Burke text (plus 70 optional pages of the item‛s wide Email reactions) is available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/alqaida/story/0,,1869182,00.html. Highlights: "There is a sense that history, far from ending, is accelerating. That the centre cannot hold. That the individual counts for nothing. [Burke‛s reactions to some of bin Laden‛s 01 claims: H]e was wrong. Yes, there is increasing radicalisation. Yes, a new and powerfully globalised ‛Muslim‛ identity is spreading, aided by communications technology that renders national frontiers obsolete. Yes, there is a small, if growing, number of Muslims who are attracted to ‛al-Qaedism‛ in its largest sense. But truth is that out of a total of 1.6b Muslims, very few have joined terrorist organisations. In [some Muslim] countries... there has been strong counter-reaction to the atrocities... World‛s Muslims are not behaving as bin Laden wants them to... The [London] bombs were a strike against a continuing and largely successful process of integration on a national scale. The attacks across the world in the past five years are strikes against a similar process of integration on an international scale. This process is largely driven by the continuing popularity and attraction of the Western model of secular liberal democracy, Enlightment values, and capitalist economics. It is the success of this model that has provoked the violence against it, not its failure. [N]eed to ask why so many people... recently came to view the apparently ineluctable process of Westernisation. [T]he arithmetic of terrorism means that you only need a small shift in public opinion to create enough angry individuals to cause a major problem... The appeal of the West is founded not just on a dream of a high level of material comfort but also on the satisfaction of basic and universal human values such as dignity, protection of life and justice. This gives West considerable moral capital,.. a fragile commodity... profligately spent in recent years... But for all the clumsiness with which the misconceived ‛war on terror‛ has been handled, the attraction, however conflicted, of ‛the West‛ for billions of people remains our greatest strength. Remember that and, over 10 or 20 years, it will become clear bin Laden‛s life or death will indeed have no significance. He and his kind will have been consigned to the history books". Related Burke volume is:On the Road to Kandahar(Bond Street Books 06 or St. Martin‛s Press 07)"From one of world‛s leading experts..how we are to get to grips with radical Islam/what it really means".
Richard Butler "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered: Repairing the Security Council" Foreign AffairsVol.78/No.5 (Sep/Oct 99):-former UNSCOM Executive Chairman(Iraq disarmament supervision)on most urgent problems facing UN Security Council. Sees as particularly dismaying last 12 months, "during which council was bypassed, defied, and abused" by misuse/threat of veto. This was granted to permanent members(P5)solely" to allow them to prevent council decision authorizing use of force against them[yet they]weighted their narrow national interests over collective responsibility." Council must address two key areas:(1)new informal rules should reduce matters subject to veto(US initiative critical);(2)P5 should not judge Council's ultimate role in enforcing arms control treaties on subjective political basis. Must also keep their NPT promises.
Mayra Buvinic and Andrew R. Morrison "Living in a More Violent World" Foreign Policy No.118(Spring 2000):-valuable survey of steeply rising global rate of combat-unrelated violence, its probable causes, likely trends, economic and social costs, and possible control policies. Average global homicide rates, naturally the most complete, and derived from a 34-country sample over various regions, rose from5.82/100,000 in 1980-84 to 8.86/100,000 in 1990-94, a more than 50% increase in a decade(OECD:15%; Latin America:80%; Arab world:112%). Limited victimization (assaults/threats)trends seem similar. Moreover rate of increase appears to be accelerating: latest rates include Latin America 23/100,000; sub-Saharan Africa 40/100,000, with Johannesburg 115/100,000. Causes include: aggressive cultures orupbringing; ineffective justice systems; high ratio in LDCs of persons 18-24(group most inclined to violence)perpetuated by reduced social inhibitions; high population density, anonymity, poverty and urban social disintegration; greater(awareness of)national/local income inequalities through globalization;media emphasis on violence or at least aggression; the increased quantity and availability of drugs and guns. Costs include: significantly lower economic growth through foregone investment, less tourism, reduced productivity, higher security/medical expenses. Policies include: prevention programs throughbetter and focused social care/policing/education, urban regeneration, handgun and alcohol controls. Above all, local initiatives.
Daniel Byman “How to Handle Hamas: The Perils of Ignoring Gaza’s Leadership”(45-62) Foreign Affairs Vol.89/No.5 (Sep/Oct 10):-official summary:“Hamas is central to Israeli security and Palestinian politics, yet the international community refuses to work with it. This is a mistake. Hamas might possibly be convinced not to undermine progress on a peace deal. To accomplish this, Israel and the international community would have to exploit Hamas’ vulnerabilities with a mix of coercion and concessions - including a further easing of the siege of Gaza”. Emphasized extracts:“The siege has not weakened Hamas, which has by now crushed or outflanked its political rivals”. “Hamas has shown itself to be pragmatic in practice, although rarely in rhetoric”. No longer can Hamas simply be a resistance group, criticizing and undermining Abbas”. “Peace would push Hamas to emphasize governance more and strengthen the group’s moderates”. Final sentence: “At stake is not just the failure of the peace process but also the possibility of another war and of Israel occupying Gaza again”. Byman is a Professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and a Senior Fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. He is author of forthcoming book A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism.
Kevin M.Cahill edit. Preventive Diplomacy: Stopping Wars Before They Start(New York: Basic Books 96):-unusually valuable/varied source of information/views on UN issues by 20 top experts in their fields. While "preventive action" and medical parallel provide unifying theme of sorts, each(UN/diplomatic/NGO/ government/medical, etc. background) provides unique and often unexpected focus. A good trend!
Frances Cairncross The Death of Distance: How the Communications Revolution Will Change Our Lives(Boston: Harvard Business School 97):-superb survey for non-experts. Major globally-relevant points:distance will no longer determine costs of electronic communication; location will no longer be key in most business decisions; most people will get access to omni-address, two-way, picture-capable, selective filterablenetworks; global bonds will join like-minded; roles of home and office will become blurred; distanceeducation will be easy; there will be rapid and global information dispersal; qualified people will become ultimate scarce resources; state info-control and privacy will both be reduced; while there will be global pay levelling for similar work, there will be more divergence by job; global/urban migration will lessen as standards level; taxes will be harder to collect, so they will be lowered to attract skills; cities will concentrateless work but more culture; English will strengthen its global role, but cultures will generally be reinforcedby new opportunities; written communication will improve in quality; governments will become moresensitive to public views; cause of peace will be helped by mutual experience/needs among people. Many trends will stress increased global cooperation. See also Brief: TV globalization Economist 29 Nov 97(71-2). In the disarmament field, such developments will change the "threats" to be controlled/eliminated(cyberwar? biowar?)and the processes of avoiding/ensuring compliance with treaty obligations.
Canadian Council on International Law and The Markland Group edit. Treaty Compliance: Some Concerns and Remedies(London: Kluwer Law International 98):-papers/recommendations from meeting on "Compliance Systems for Disarmament Treaties" held under editors' auspices, Toronto 95. Papers revised/expanded/updated. Essence of Recommendations: (A)Biological/ Chemical Weapons Treaties:(1)guidelines on limitations of defensive research; (2)CWC national penal legislation should also bind governments;(3)study whether mid-spectrum agents fit BWC or CWC;(4)UN Center for Disarmament should be able to tabulate/disseminate CBM data for BWC;(5)BWC scrutinize compliance reports after technical analysis;(6)citizen compliance concerns should be recognized;(7)BWC/CWC parties should disseminatetreaty obligations using NGO/foundations' help;(8)legal assistance treaties to combat anti-BWC/ CWC transnational conspiracies.(B)Nuclear Treaties:(1)IAEA should reinforce special inspections;(2)increase IAEA budget;(3)security assurances against WMD threat/use;(4)help involve public/science community inverification.(C) Humanitarian/Human Rights Treaties: (1)compliance/verification: be expert, automatically triggered, and respond to citizen/NGO/government information; (2)NGOs: participate fully in review conferences; (3)national legal regimes: ensure: treaty implementation; individuals/groups get effective access/redress; legal profession knows scope/ availability of international legal standards; (4)arms control treaties: provide for NGO information; (5)compliance/sanctions: use trade mechanisms, weapons producers, financial institutions; (6)effective dissemination of human rights/arms agreements: be monitored by independent global body. Papers' Essence: Kim S. Carter, Apply Humanitarian Law Compliance/Enforcement to Arms Treaties; James F. Keeley, Compliance and the NPT: Safeguards/Supply Controls; Christine Elwell, Trade/ Environment Compliance Measures Enhance Conventional Arms Treaties(Landmines-UN Peacekeeping); Douglas Scott/A. Walter Dorn, CWC Compliance Regime-Summary/ Analysis; Nicholas A. Sims, Strengthen BWC/CWC Compliance Regimes.
Canberra Commission"Report of the Canberra Commission On the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons"inArms Control Today Aug 1996:-provides Executive Summary of report submitted to the UN General Assemblyby 17 international government officials, scientists, disarmament experts and military strategists. Commission appears stronger on procedure than on persuasion, and tends to slight non-official and non-admitted nuclear threats, at a time when other experts are paying them more attention.
Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict: Final Report(New York: Carnegie Corporation 97):-while containing little particularly original or radical, concentrates on making well-argued and convincing case for much more and earlier preventive diplomacy, particularly by UN. Among proposals(all op.cit.)from well-qualified and independent membership: better intelligence for/by UN; more S-G personal initiatives; better-targeted economic sanctions; "inducements" for peace; use of conditionality; preventive deployments; UN rapid reaction force; non-deployed nuclear weapons( "in escrow" );tighter verification for all arms treaties; making development more sustainable; rule of law; involvement by NGOs, religions, science, schools, business, media.
Ashton Carter, John Deutch & Philip Zelikow "Catastrophic Terrorism: Tackling the New Danger" Foreign Affairs Vol.77/No.6 (Nov/Dec 98):-distillation of Universities Study Group on Catastrophic Terrorism reportpublished by Stanford University. Version will also appear as chapter in forthcoming Preventive Defense: An American Security Strategy for the 21st Century by Ashton Carter and William Perry. All(distinguished) members of Study Group are listed in footnote. Conclusions are: terrorism using weapons of mass destruction has moved "from far-fetched horror to a contingency that could happen next month" ; particularly with biological weapons, "technology is more accessible, and society is more vulnerable" ; elaborate "networks have developed among organized criminals, drug traffickers, arms dealers, money launderers, [thus]creating infrastructure for[such]terrorism around the world" . While recommendations directed mainly at urgent US action, all fall into universal categories: intelligence/warning; prevention/deterrence;management of crises and consequences. All needs international/global cooperation.
Ashton B. Carter "How To Counter WMD" Foreign Affairs Vol.83/No.5(Sep/Oct 04):-ex-US Assistant Secretary of Defense (under Clinton)and currently Co-director, Harvard Preventive Defense Project, writes just when:most are concerned that US attacked Iraq by mis-claiming WMD threat; US presidential election imminent. Concerned that since 11 Sep crisis, US "counterproliferation policies have not been overhauled" ,and" it has made no new efforts to prevent nonstate actors such as terrorists from getting their hands on WMD." He truly decrees much reliable advice on countering the serious terrorist/WMD dangers to the entire global audience, and not to Washington only. His basic view:" WMD generally applies to nuclear, biological, chemical weapons; ballistic missiles; more recently'dirty bombs,'ordinary explosives containing some radioactive material. But this definition is too broad. Chemical weapons are not much more lethal than conventional explosives/ hardly... WMD label. Similarly, long-range ballistic missiles especially destructive only if they have nuclear or biological warhead, and so should not be considered separate category. Dirty bombs cause local contamination and costly priority. Primary focus of counterproliferation policy, therefore, should be nuclear and biological weapons...True overhaul of counterproliferation policy would recognize that, like defense against terrorism, defense against WMD must be multilayered and comprehensive. Such reforms would aim to eliminate threat of nuclear terrorism entirely by denying fissilematerials to nonstate actors and...prepare to contain scale of most likely forms of bioterrorism to minor outbreaks. It would revamp outdated arms control agreements, expand counterproliferation programs,...improve way intelligence on WMD is collected and analysed.[W]ould favor countering WMD with non-nuclear rather than nuclear measures. And it would at last develop coherent strategies for heading off...most pressing nuclear proliferation threats." Substantial article then amplifies all these points.
Nayan Chanda Bound Together: How Traders, Preachers, Adventurers, and Warriors Shaped Globalization(New Haven: Yale Univ Press 07):-this fascinating survey of the development of globalization since 6000BCE is valuable as a unique reminder - to specialists in history, politics, economics, religion, movement, technology, science, etc - of how their own knowledge relates to other specialized information, and to the present/future of the intense/expanding relations across this planet. (This aim corresponds exactly with my purpose in this information source.) Style is amusing, and novel in all areas but one's expertise, so it is delicious/constructive in all unstudied fields and hence globally constructive. Final para offers view that fits closely with that in Christopher Spencer Oct 06(op.cit.):"We benefit from all that the world has to offer, but we think only in narrow terms of protecting the land and people within our national borders - the borders that have been established only in the modern era. [All that separates us] from the rest of the world... cannot change the fact that we are bound together through the invisible filament of history. [W]e know how we have reached where we are and where we may be headed. We are in a position to know that the sum of human desires, aspirations, and fears that have woven our fates together can neither be disentangled nor reeled back. But neither are we capable of accurately gauging how this elemental mix will shape our planet's future. Still, compared to the past... we are better equipped to look over the horizon at both the dangers and the opportunities ...There is no alternative to rising above our tribal interests: over the centuries to come, our destinies will remain inextricably bound together. [W]e can attempt to nudge our rapidly integrating world toward a more harmonious course - because we are all connected".
Abram Chayes and Antonia Handler Chayes, The New Sovereignty: Compliance with International Regulatory Agreements (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995). - using neither a legalistic nor a theoretical style, the authors argue convincingly that, in the field of disarmament and related treaties, a "management" approach is evolving to replace simple enforcement in ensuring compliance with international agreements. They show that a mass of UN-system evidence in all fields illustrates how interdependence makes this feasible.
Joseph Cirincione"Why the Right Lost the Missile Defence Debate"Foreign Policy No.106 (Spring 97):-one of most difficult aspects of global disarmament is scale, source and likelihood of long-range missile attack using non-conventional warheads, and possibility of, and need for, defence against such attack. Article globally relevant, although focused on intense US debate (SDI), which continues in modified form.
Bruce Clark "A Survey of NATO: Knights in Shining Armour?" (1-18)The Economist 24 Apr 99:-extremely useful in several ways. Provides history of NATO's gradually -now rapidly- changing role(s), (un)popularity, (dis)unity. Describes how "most successful military alliance in history" suddenly lost its raison d'etre; thenaltered from new trans-European-US security entity, swamped with new applicants and proud of its Bosnian role, to frustrated military giant in Kosovo, seen by many as having acted illegally and unnecessarily, with future dependent on solving complex puzzle of own making. Also outlines functional dilemmas facing military allies equipped/trained decades apart technologically. Finally, survey covers NATO's split over whether it plays global role in(UN-sponsored) multilateral combat interventions which it alone has weapons, training, cohesion to handle. NATO's(first)use of nuclear weapons policy appears to be frozen, but also viewed as marginal.
Walter J.Clemens Jr, Dynamics of International Relations: Conflict and Mutual Gain in an Era of Global Interdependence (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield 98):-well-organized introductory text on IR, helpful to students or those first looking at global issue(s). Chapters: (1)Is IR "Winner-Take-All?" Can It Be Mutual Gain? (2)How to Win at Peace: Creating New World Orders; (3)Foreign Policy Decision Making: Do Individuals Count? (4)Why Wage War? Does It Pay to Fight? (5)Power and Influence: What Wins? (6)Why Arm?Can Swords Become Plowshares? (7)Negotiating Conflict:How Can Foes Become Partners? (8)Nationalism and World Order: Peoples at Risk? (9)Intervention and Mediation: How Can Outsiders Help? (10)Democracy and Authoritarianism: What Impact on International Peace and Prosperity? (11)Wealth of Nations: West Meets East (12)Challenges of Development: South Meets North (13) Transitions: Can Second World Join First? (14)Ecopolitics: Health of Nations (15)Organizing for Mutual Gain: UN, Europe and Nonstate Actors (16)International Protection of Human Rights:Sham or Revolution? (17)Alternative Futures.
Walter J.Clemens, Jr, "From AD 2000 to AD 2025: Six Alternative Futures" International Journal Vol.LIV/No.2 (Spring 99):- interesting/balanced exercise in futurology using relatively conservative global views to create believable: (1)Unipolar Stability: benign US hegemony extends most current/surprise-free global trends. (2)Fragmented Chaos: environmental- pandemic- autarkic fears come true; global injustice provokes anger/violence; WMDs proliferate; China turns unstable; all reflecting a low level of global cooperation. (3)Hegemon Challenged: China becomes powerful bully; either intimidates or is faced down by US. (4)Bipolar Cooperation: China turns democratic/cooperative. (5)Multipolar Cooperation: Most countries turn democratic/ prosperous. (6)Global Governance Without World Government: trans-national civil society and governments share powers at many levels. Interdependence may force the last.
David S.Cloud"Navy to Expand Fleet With New Enemies in Mind"New York Times 03 Dec 05:-"[US] Navy wants to increase its fleet.., reversing years of decline in naval shipbuilding and adding dozens of warships designed to defeat emerging adversaries, [US] officials say... While increasing fleet size is popular [in] Congress, plan faces various obstacles, including questions about whether affordable...andwhether mix of vessels is suitable to deal with emerging threats, like China's expanding navy... [F]leet reached its cold war peak... in 1987 and... steadily shrinking since then... 'Navy appears... grappling withneed to balance funding for supporting its role in the global war on terrorism against those for meetinga potential challenge from modernized Chinese maritime military forces' , said a naval analyst. [P]lan calls for building 55 small, fast vessels called littoral combat ships, which are being designed to allow Navy to operate in shallow coastal areas where mines and terrorist bombings are a growing threat. Costing less than $300m, littoral combat ship is relatively inexpensive... Choices have led some analysts tosuggest Navy is de-emphasizing threat from China, at least in early stages of the shipbuilding plan.Beijing's investment in submarines, cruise missiles and other weapon systems expected to pose major threat to US warships for at least a decade... 'This is not a fleet that is being oriented to Chinese threat', said analyst. 'It's being oriented around irregular warfare/stability operations/dealing with rogue states' .
Charles Clover, "Dreams of the Eurasian Heartland" Foreign Affairs Vol.78/No.2(Mar/Apr 99):-notes fast-growing and powerful philosophical idea used by Russian Communist Party(chair Gennadi Zyuganov: author The Geography of Victory)and radical right parties, resuscitates "geopolitics" of Halford Mackinder. Contends "earth forever divided into two naturally antagonistic spheres: land and sea.[N]atural repository for global land power Eurasian 'heartland'...territory of former Russian empire. Whoever controls heartland...forever seek to dominate Eurasian landmass and ultimately world" .With development of airpower/ICBMs/ strategic downgrading of landmass, was not very credible even during Cold War, but having lost empire/self-esteem, Eurasianism attracts many Russians(Primakov?).
Roger A.Coate edit. U.S. Policy and the Future of the United Nations(New York: Twentieth Century Fund 94):-fine essays on UN political/organizational problems and realistic proposals retain global value sinceissues remain relevant and/or reforms underway. Spiers proposes administrative/structural/ peacemaking/ financial reforms. Coate urges inter-agency/intra- government coordination of UN system. Blechman looks at new intra-state conflict/ preventive action challenges. Graham surveys IAEA proliferation/enforcement needs. Abram urges enforcement of human rights/humanitarian law. Loescher examines new scale/originsof refugees/displaced persons. Gordenker discusses WHO role/problems. Sessions/Steever explore challenges/constraints on Commission on Sustainable Development. Leonard picks UN priorities: security/ economy/ environment/ humanitarian action/human rights.
Avner Cohen & Marvin Miller“Bringing Israel’s Bomb Out of the Basement: Has Nuclear Ambiguity Outlived Its Shelf Life?”(30-44) Foreign Affairs Vol.89/No.5 (Sep/Oct 10):-official summary:“For decades, Israel has maintained an ‘opaque’ nuclear posture - neither confirming nor denying that it possesses nuclear weapons. As pressure for Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty grows and Israel’s tensions with Iran mount, the time has come to reconsider this policy of nuclear ambiguity. Israel can loosen its policy of opacity without jeopardizing its security, and doing so would burnish its credentials as a responsible nuclear power”. Emphasized extracts:“For Israelis, nuclear opacity is one of Israel’s greatest strategic and diplomatic success stories”. “Most countries have followed Washington’s lead, accepting Israel’s opaque nuclear posture and treating Israel’s nuclear program as an exceptional case”. “Opacity undercuts the need for Israelis to be informed about issues that are literally matters of life and death”. “Israel should resist the view that military action is its only option for dealing with the perceived Iranian threat to its existence”. Final sentence: “[I]n order to deal effectively with the new regional nuclear environment and emerging global nuclear norms, Israel must reassess the wisdom of its unwavering commitment to opacity and also recognize that international support for its retaining its military edge, including its nuclear capability, rests on its retaining its moral edge”. Cohen is a Senior Fellow at James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at Monterey Institute of International Studies and author of forthcoming book The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain With the Bomb. Miller is Research Associate in Science, Technology, and society Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was Senior Research Scientist in MIT Nuclear Engineering Dept and has served as consultant to US State Department and Los Alamos and Oak Ridge National Labs. For annotated guide:“What to Read on Nuclear Proliferation”at www.foreignaffairs.com/readinglists/nuclear-proliferation.
Eliot A.Cohen"A Revolution in Warfare: Technology Strikes Again" Foreign Affairs Vol.75/No.2(Mar/Apr 96):-contends that complete/real-time knowledge of battlefield(plus guided ammunition)changed warfare in virtually every sphere -including political." Might lead...to drastic shrinking of military, casting aside old forms of organization and creation of new ones, slashing of current force structure, and investment of unusually large sums in [R&D]."
Eliot A. Cohen, "History and the Hyperpower" Foreign Affairs Vol.83/No.4(Jul/Aug 04):-vast US scope, in comparison with any other state or group of states, gives it both capacities and opposition of past major empires(e.g. Rome, Britain), but its global interests/roles are unique and controversial. Author contendswell worth while to compare US positions and potential with historical styles/events/problems. "Historicalanalogy making rounds of late is notion that US today is an empire that can and should be compared with imperial powers of past...Casual talk of Pax Americana...implies that US is following pattern of imperial dominance that holds precedents and lessons. Metaphor of empire merits neither angry rejection nor gleeful embrace. It instead deserves careful scrutiny, because imperial history contains analogies and parallels that bear critically on current US predicament."
Leonard A.Cole The Eleventh Plague: The Politics of Biological and Chemical Warfare(New York: W.H.Freeman 97):-three-way view of problems raised by biological and chemical weapons. Part I reports on US attitudes towards, and activities in, developing/controlling these weapons. Part II deals with possession/use by Iraq, and varied psychological reactions of world opinion, Israelis, and Iranian/US troops. Part III completes fine account of agents/ techniques involved, physical effects, and latest users:terrorists. 96 report on major international proposals (BWC/ CWC) to control such weapons notes that WHO global disease-watch would help treaty verification.
Gwyneth Cravens Power To Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy(New York: Alfred A.Knopf 07):-valuable source at a time when nuclear power once again gaining global popularity in light of climate change threats from fossil fuel emissions. While text is 450pp long and partly technological/scientific, it appears carefully and honestly drafted, and able to be used "here-and-there" as a source. Editorial summary is itself impressive, e.g."...On the nuclear tour, Cravens converses with scientists from many disciplines, public health and counterterrorism experts, engineers, and researchers who study both the harmful and benign effects of radiation; she watches remote-controlled robotic manipulators unbolt a canister of spent uranium fuel inside a 'hot cell' bathed in eerie orange light; observes the dark haze from fossil-fuel combustion obscuring once-pristine... skies and the leaky, rusted pipes and sooty puddles in a coal-fired plant; glimpses rainbows made by salt dust in the deep subterranean corridors of a working nuclear waste repository. She refutes the major arguments against nuclear power one by one... And she demonstrates how, time and again, political fearmongering and misperceptions about risk have trumped science in the dialogue about the feasibility of nuclear energy. In the end, we see how nuclear power has been successfully and economically harnessed... around the globe to become the single largest displacer of greenhouse gases, and how its overall risks and benefits compare with those of other energy sources. [A]n eloquent, convincing argument for nuclear power as a safe energy source and an essential deterrent to global warming".
Barbara Crossette "Smuggling of Iraqi Oil Is Rising, U.N. Is Told" New York Times 24 Mar 00; "Annan Exhorts U.N. Council on 'Oil for Food'for Iraqis" 25 Mar 00; "Security Council Votes to Let Iraq Buy Oil Gear" 01 Apr 00; The Economist 12 Feb 00 "One Man's Joy in Iraq" (41-2):-summaries ignore" current events" unless text has permanent/long-term significance. UN sanctions against Iraq in 00 illustrate extremely well problems raised by chronic sanctions issues, and how they could influence both Iraq and US by 01-03. Among those either inherent from start and/or critical by 00:(1)scale/variety/severity of sanctions imposed(most ambitious UN pressure applied);(2)(dis)unity of SC members over sanctions' aims/targets/ costs/means(P5 increasingly split);(3)authority/popularity/mettle/world economic integration/ vulnerability/ value of target regime(Saddam runs tight political/media system, is personally at threat but tough about others, and holds pretty strong economic hand);(4)strategic importance of target state/its people/friends/resources/military capacity/philosophy(Iraq both very strong/very weak).
Wendy Cukier, "International Fire/Small Arms Control" (73-90)Canadian Foreign Policy Vol.6/No.1(Fall 98):-describes close links between firearms control as element of domestic crime prevention and growing body of international small arms controls, and urges more cooperation. Common strategy should include:conflict prevention/peace building; disarmament; injury prevention, safety and health promotion; crime prevention/security. After providing statistics on global/national threat posed by small arms, essay describesdifferent perspectives on intervention to prevent casualties. Then discusses data collection/surveillance;sources of firearms/small arms; various methods of controlling supply(limits on access; controls on manufacture/sales/transfers; removal from circulation by amnesties/buy-backs). "Multi-layered, comprehensive [diversified]approach is essential" .
Ivo Daalder & Jan Lodal "The Logic of Zero: Toward a World Without Nuclear Weapons"(80-95) Foreign Affairs Vol.87/No.6(Nov/Dec 08):-official summary:"US nuclear policy remains stuck in the Cold War even as the threats the United States faces - nuclear terrorism chief among them - have changed. Washington must lead the way to a world without nuclear weapons, and the first step is for US to dramatically limit its own nuclear arsenal's size and declared purpose". Daalder is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Lodal is immediate past President of the Atlantic Council of the US and a former senior Defense Department and White House official in the administrations of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Bill Clinton.
Gustav Daniker, The Guardian Soldier: On the Nature and Use of Future Armed Forces(Geneva: United Nations UNIDIR 36 95):-thoughtful analysis by Swiss military strategist of effects and opportunities brought by end of Cold War. He sees security as multi-faceted, long-sighted, and aimed at stability - not destruction.
James Dao and Andrew C. Revkin, "Machines Are Filling In for Troops" New York Times 16 Apr 02:-issue presents "A Revolution in Warfare" of informative" interactive feature offering scenes from robot battle" ;substantial survey of current US military thinking/planning on reducing both number/vulnerability of US personnel directly engaged in combat. While technology already "brought array of sensors, vehicles and weapons that can be operated by remote control or totally autonomous" stunning success in Afghanistan has accelerated existing "shift away from people...to automation." Assets are many: much smaller/lighter than manned units, making them cheaper, more fuel efficient/easier to move and have unlimited attention-spans. Most important, can both shield and augment(expensive) live soldier, while feeling neither exhaustion nor fear. "[O]ver time[such]technologies produce biggest change in warfare in generations" particularly when provided with" much greater autonomy, powerful artificial intelligence" .
Tobias Debiel, "Strengthening the UN as an Effective World Authority: Cooperative Security Versus Hegemonic Crisis Management" Global Governance Vol.6/No.1(Jan/Mar 00):-neither as academic or utopian as title might suggest, looks at very practical/pertinent issue of what UN can and should do to be more effective in peacekeeping and crisis prevention roles. Such roles increase in importance as consensus develops: national sovereignty may be curtailed in exceptional humanitarian circumstances. Argued: world, unready for legally-bound multilateralism, and widely opposed to superpower-driven coercion,must turn to cooperative security - willing collaboration of all types of bodies: interest groups/relevantstates/regional organizations. Core element UN must create "standby capacities for early warning/conflict management/peacekeeping; reform of non-military sanctions instrument; and speedy institution ofinternational criminal court" (39).
Daniel Deudney & G.John Ikenberry"The Myth of the Autocratic Revival: Why Liberal Democracy Will Prevail"(77-93) Foreign Affairs Vol.88/No.1(Jan/Feb 09):-official summary:"After years of liberal triumphalism, recently fears have grown that autocracies have found new ways to prosper. In fact, the imperatives of liberal democracy are as strong as ever. The key to defanging autocracies is bringing them into the liberal order, not excluding them from it". Emphasized extracts:"There remain deep contradictions between authoritarian political systems and capitalist economic systems". "War as a path to conflict resolution and great-power expansion has become largely obsolete". "Emerging global problems will create common interests across states regardless of regime type". Deudney: Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University and author of Bounding Power: Republican Security From the Polis to the Global Village. Ikenberry: Albert G.Milbank Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, a Global Eminence Scholar at Kyung Hee University, and author of After Victory: Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Rebuilding of Order After Major Wars.
John Deutch, Harold Brown, & John P.White"National Missile Defense: Is There Another Way?" Foreign Policy No.119(Summer 00):-three top defense politicians believe some NMD system "critical" to US future homeland defense, but initial system as planned is not best approach as it fails to address several threats faced. Propose building on theater missile defense(TMD) systems already under development against intermediate-range ballistic missiles since:(1)more balanced way to address varied missile threats;(2)offersboth technical/cost advantages; (3)more responsive to concerns of Russia, China, many USallies;(4)eases process of modifying ABM Treaty. Rationale:(1)ICBMs hardly most likely threat to US;theater missile threat particularly urgent;(2)present NMD program pursues too many options; driven byschedules rather than events; artificially separates NMD from TMD when latter can be upgraded(boost-phase)at less cost;(3)US must start budgeting against cruise missile or aircraft attack, and spend more onsurreptitious terrorist attacks;(4)impact on relations with Russia, China, allies of deploying NMD as planned likely severe. TMD would not violate ABM or threaten Russia and, if sea-based off DPRK, threaten China less. For(pro/con)LETTERS regarding article, see Foreign Policy Sep/Oct 00(new format/bimonthly).
A. Walter Dorn, "U.N. Should Verify Treaties" in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Jul/Aug 1990).- the author makes the case for one UN verification agency for all non-nuclear treaties. More specifically, his article "The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the IAEA: A Comparative Overview" in the IAEA Bulletin 3/1993, argues that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) set up under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) has benefited from the IAEA's verification experience. The Economist 22 Nov 97 (98) contains an article on a possible new form of nuclear energy that does not produce radioactivity - which demands new management.
A. Walter Dorn, Andrew Fulton,"Securing Compliance with Disarmament Treaties: Carrots, Sticks, and the Case of North Korea" in Global Governance Vol.3/No.1 (Jan-Apr 1997). - after summarizing the UN's disarmament activities, this essay provides an excellent account of the complex and unprecedented IAEA/UN/US actions to dissuade North Korea from developing any nuclear arms. The conclusion is that UN mechanisms must be strengthened.
A. Walter Dorn edit., World Order for a New Millennium: Political, Cultural and Spiritual Approaches to Building Peace(New York: St. Martin's Press 99):-selected conference statements with diverse speakers, sochapters vary by viewpoint/ideals, plus topic.Part I.Political and Institutional Approaches:Evolution ofWorld Order(conceptions (Anatol Rapoport);international law history;disarmament compliance;corporatecapitalism and/or market socialism; order by trade/investment decree);Military(Cold War nuclear mishaps;decline of major wars;Third World militarization); United Nations(world challenges(text inINTRODUCTION, with "institutional" material added); recent UN environment agreements; monitoring UN enforcement(UNSCOM); International Criminal Court; realistic UN reforms). Part II.Cultural and Spiritual Approaches: Developing a Culture of Peace(coordinating official/non-official diplomacy;civil societyplatforms;relevant UNESCO appeals;education of ethics);Spiritual Dimensions(2 Christian views, Jewishview, 2 Buddhist views, First Nations view, syncretistic view, Baha'i view, UN role). Declaration.
John J. Dowdy, "Winners and Losers in the Arms Industry Downturn" Foreign Policy Number 107(Summer 97):-valuable survey, not only of post-Cold War trends in scale and export trade of arms industry in US, Europe, Russia, but also effects on mergers/employment. FP by Solomon M. Karmel "The Chinese Military's Hunt for Profits" , covers PLA/PRC well. Also Survey "The Global Defence Industry" The Economist 14 Jun 97; update 12 Dec 98(23-6).
Margaret P. Doxey International Sanctions in Contemporary Perspective: Second Edition(London: Macmillan Press 96):-definitive guide to non-military sanctions. Describes/assesses all major cases since WWI:Italy(1935), Yugoslavia(by USSR),Cuba, Rhodesia, South Africa, Egypt(by Arab League),Iran, USSR(re Afghanistan/Poland), Argentina, Iraq, Yugoslavia/Serbia, Libya, Haiti. Includes: definition, history, types(political, cultural-communications, economic);contexts, frameworks, intentions; costs and burden-sharing;implementation; impact on targets(their vulnerability and response);UN problem areas:(a)decisions to impose/remove;(b)sharing of cost and collateral damage; (c)problems of coordination, monitoring and policing.
Margaret P. Doxey United Nations Sanctions: Current Policy Issues: Revised Edition(Halifax: Dalhousie Univ. 99):-containing information up to Apr 99. Appendix offers basic facts about all sanctions imposed under UN Charter(Chap. VII).Text examines four issues subject to debate:(1)Domestic economic costs of sanctions to "sending" states and prospects for burden-sharing. Options: financial help; tariff adjustments;technical/humanitarian assistance; specific help on sanctions enforcement.(2)Mitigation on humanitarian grounds of sanctions-induced hardships in "targets" . Ideally, punishment fits crime but scope for: improving ways to determine need; handling humanitarian exemptions; avoiding abuse through monitoring.(3)Determining scope for direct targeting of leaders and elite groups. Types of targeted sanctions: personal travel restrictions; limit/end international bodies' membership(privileges); limit air links; cultural/sportsboycotts; financial sanctions(freezing assets)-most promising, but speed/information/selection/discipline critical.(4)Improved administration/enforcement. Much effort underway to improve work of Sanctions Committees; humanitarian issues handled better, but to detect/control serious violations of sanctions regimes still strictly limited.
Margaret P. Doxey, "Sanctions Through the Looking Glass: The Spectrum of Goals and Achievements" International Journal Vol.LV/No.2(Spring 00):-expert, realistic look at recent UN experience with sanctions, and at current thinking on how they could be improved. (All Chapter VII sanctions to Jan 00 are listed.)Security Council use of sanctions has increased greatly since 1990(earlier it approved only two: Rhodesia, South Africa); hence study of optimum use has also expanded. US has been keenest supporter, but public opinion in many democracies under media pressure, has increased demands governments "do something" about human rights violations - broadening both "targets" and "goals" and changing criteria of success. Political effective might now include not only gaining compliance, but also stigmatizing orcontaining targets, and as means of preventing or deterring certain action. Success is harder to judge, particularly when multiple pressures, to both apply and satisfy. All are analysed. Finally, essay discusses means of focusing sanctions better, not only on elites but away from innocents.
Celia W.Dugger"U.N. vs Poverty: Seeking a Focus, Quarreling Over the Vision"NYT 14 Sep 05:-this itemleads a discouraging collection of inter-related historical articles, most inevitably summarized by a bit more than their strong titles/introductory sentences. All relate to a globally critical summit of some 170 heads of state/government. They marked seriously the 60th anniversary of the United Nations 14-16 Sep 05 when, vital reforms and international poverty commitments having been discussed, some are adopted- in full or vague status - but many more are both left required and postponed. Dugger:"The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) meeting today was to have been a rare moment when quest to relieve crushing poverty of a billion people took center stage. But so far that goal has been overshadowed by [current disasters] and squabbling over reform of UN itself. Even debate about world's common agenda on global poverty began on an unexpectedly sour note, centred around goals for healing world's deepest poverty that were to be in meeting's final document. US ambassador, John R. Bolton, initially proposed expunging any reference to specific goals for reducing poverty, hunger and child mortality andcombating pandemic of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Known as Millennium Development Goals[MDGs], they emerged from UN conference five years ago. He favored instead citing broad declaration from which goals were drawn. US subsequently relented, but not before US administration's opening in negotiations left some African leaders dismayed... Negotiations at UN got absorbed by issues around UN reform... It is not clear that much new will emerge at UN. World leaders are likely to affirm commitment to push forward with MDGs to halve extreme poverty and hunger, cut child mortality by two-thirds and ensure basic education of each child by 23015, among other things.Those are same broad goals agreed to five years ago"; Warren Hoge"U.N. Adopts Modest Goals on Reforms and Poverty"NYT 14 Sep 05:-"UNGA unanimously approved scaled-down statement of goals [13 Sep] that Secretary General [UNSG] Kofi Annan said would still give world leaders gathering [14 Sep] basis for recommendation to reform organization and combat poverty. Loud cheers from delegates, however, could not disguise widespread disappointment at weakening of 35-page document"; David E.Sanger & Warren Hoge"Bush Thanks World Leaders and Takes Conciliatory Tone"NYT 15 Sep 05:-President Bush, facing array of world leaders who are deeply divided on how to define terrorism or act against nuclear proliferation/poverty, struck conciliatory tone at UN [14 Sep], describing himself as grateful leader of superpower in recent days... Speech...came hours after UNGA greatly watered down what had once been ambitious plans for institutional change and for commitments to fight terrorism/nuclear arms... He balanced his discussion of need to chase down terrorists with his endorsement of set of antipoverty objectives... 'No nation canremain isolated/indifferent to struggles of others' ... He pressed for UNSC resolution commiting countriesto prosecute - and extradite - anyone seeking fissile materials or technology for nuclear devices... But Bush did not repeat his previous calls to bar any new country from producing enriched uranium orplutonium. In references to goals for poverty reduction, he cited not only MDGs but also another initiative that grew out of summit meeting in Monterrey, Mexico. There, poor nations agreed to fight corruption and improve governance, and rich nations commited to 'make concrete efforts' toward giving 0.7% national income in aid. Bush did not address aid issue, but advocates said they hoped endorsement of Monterray would make harder for US to continue to oppose such aid targets"; Reuters"World Leaders Seek to Invigorate UN at Age 60"NYT 14 Sep 05:-"Leaders explore ways to revitalize UN at summit, buttheir bluepoint falls short of UNSG vision of freedom from want, persecution and war... [S]ession marking60th anniversary of world body suffering from corruption scandals and sharp divisions among memberson how to tackle international crises... UNSG in 85p paper in Mar entitled 'In Larger Freedom', addressed challenges for 21st century that required collective action: alleviating extreme poverty, reversing AIDS pandemic, global security, terrorism and human rights. But after bitter negotiations over last few weeks,nearly every bold initiative suffered cutbacks in final 38p document approved by UNGA for endorsementat summit... Still, somewhat emasculated document saved summit from failure. UN officials highlighted initiatives, including new human rights body, Peacebuilding Commission to help nations emerging from war and perhaps most significantly, obligation to intervene when civilians face genocide/war crimes... Butnegotiators failed to agree on how to tackle nuclear proliferation or on definition of terrorism sought by Western nations, and fell short of commitments to greater aid and tearing down trade barriers developing nations wanted"; AP"Annan Appeals to World Leaders at Summit"NYT 14 Sep 05:-"UNSG Kofi Annanappealed [14 Sep] to world leaders...to help restore confidence in world body and act together to meet challenges of new century... Annan said document they will adopt at end of 3-day summit was 'good start'but not 'sweeping and fundamental reform'he proposed. He called for urgent action on tough, unresolved issues. 'Because one thing has emerged clearly from this process on which we embarked two years ago: whatever our differences, in our interdependent world, we stand or fall together', UNSG said.'Whether our challenge is peacemaking, nation-building, democratization or responding to natural or man-made disasters, we have seen that even the strongest among us cannot succeed alone'... In what he call 'a high-risk gamble', UNSG and incoming/outgoing presidents of UNGA decided to drop issues where there was no agreement, choose language for which they thought they could win consent, andpresent clean text to member states. It worked"; AP"Bush Focuses on Terror in Speech to U.N."NYT 14 Sep 05:-"Before skeptical world leaders, President Bush [14 Sep] urged compassion for the needy and pressed global community to 'put the terrorists on notice'by cracking down on any activities that could incite deadly attacks. Bush... was seeking to sell his blueprints for spreading democracy in Iraq and elsewhere, overhauling UN and expanding trade"; AP"Chiefs of U.N. Agencies Appeal to Donors"NYT14 Sep 05:-"UN refugee and food agencies' chiefs said [14 Sep] that international donors are not doing enough to help alleviate shortages of survival rations in refugee camps across Africa. Because of lack of funds, World Food Program has been forced to cut rations for hundreds of thousands of refugees, particularly in West Africa and Great Lakes region in east of continent"; AP"Mexico's Fox OK With U.N. Reform Document"NYT 14 Sep:-"Mexican President Vicente Fox said [14 Sep] that he and the rest of theGroup of 15 developing nations think UN reform document approved this week is a step in the right direction, but stressed it is only first step... The 35-page document is supposed to launch a major reform of UN itself and galvanize efforts to ease global poverty. But to reach consensus, most of text's details gutted in favor of abstract language. UNSG had hoped that in addition to addressing UN overhaul, document would outline specific actions for improving the lot of the poor and tackling genocide, terrorism and human rights. But nations couldn't bridge their difference during negotiations. Group of 15developing nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America was set up to foster cooperation in dealing withinternational groups such as World Trade Organization and the Group of Seven rich industrialized nations"; AP"Annan Seeks to Restore U.N. Credibility"NYT 14 Sep 05:-"After a year of mounting criticism,UNSG Annan defended UN [14 Sep] and urged global leaders to restore organization's credibility by adopting broad reforms needed for world to act together to tackle poverty, terrorism and conflict...Instead of a celebration of UN achievements since its founding in ashes of WWII, summit was much more a somber reappraisal of its shortcomings and a debate about how to meet the daunting challenges ofa world becoming moreand more interlinked"; Reuters"World Leaders United on Terrorism"NYT 14 Sep 05:-"World leaders united [14 Sep] on need to ban incitement of terrorism but fell short of ambitions forfundamental reform of UN...Negotiations on the summit document world leaders are to endorse dropped disarmament proposals from Norway and South Africa, backed by about 80 nations. US objected to calls for nuclear disarmament but stressed danger of terrorists and rogue states obtaining unconventional weapons... In veiled criticism of US, world's richest nation, Dutch PM... said Europeans had agreed to boost development aid spending but 'we need to see more equal burden-sharing'"; AP"Annan Seeks to Restore U.N.'s Credibility"NYT 15 Sep 05:-"Bitter differences among UN member states have blocked many crucial UN reforms, and nations must act boldly to restore the world body's credibility, UNSG told summit of world leaders... Coming into the summit, diplomats had to dilute a document on goals for tackling rights abuses, terrorism and UN reform because they couldn't settle their disputes"; Financial Times"Shifting Positions at the UN World Summit"NYT 15 Sep 05:-"Fact that US and China have both become simultaneous aid donors and recipients says much about changing global society. World ismuch more diffuse in power than traditional stereotypes allowed... US is rich, and its military power iscommanding, but US ability to impose its will on world is limited... China, as well as India, Brazil and some other developing countries, is gaining economic power, especially through rapid absorption ofadvanced technologies and emergence of home-grown scientific prowess... [E]verything points to vastinternational diffusion of scientific expertise in coming decades... US will likely become more rather than less engaged as donor country in Africa and elsewhere... [I]dea of a US empire astride the world in 21st century will go... [C]ertainly the most important issue, hardly noted at [UN] world summit, is that rise of China, India, and other regional powers will intensify growing and multiple pressures on global environment and resource base... As a crowded world of 6.5 billion on its way to 9 billion people by mid-century, and with rising risks/complexities all around us, we are all both donors and recipients now. We are all in this together, and we had better get used to that reality"; The Economist 15 Sep 05"United Nations Reform: Better Than Nothing"(p.33 in 17 Sep NA issue):- "Annan sought to explain why a draftdeclaration on UN reform and tackling world poverty, to be endorsed by some 150 heads of state/government... has turned into such a pale shadow of proposals he himself put forward. 'With 191 member states' , he sighed, 'its not easy to get agreement'. Most countries put the blame on US, in the form of its abrasive new ambassador, John Bolton, for insisting at end of Aug on hundreds of last-minute amendments and line-by-line renegotiation of a text most others had thought was almost settled. Buta group of middle-income developing nations... also came up with plenty of last-minute changes of their own. Risk of having no document at all... was averted only by marathon talks... The 35-page final document not wholly devoid of substance. It calls for creation of a Peacebuilding Commission to supervise reconstruction of countries after wars; replacement of discreditied Commission on Human Rights by supposedly tougher Human Rights Council; recognition of a new 'responsibility to protect'peoples from genocide and other atrocities when national authorities fail to take action, if necessary by force; and 'early'reform of UNSC. Although much pared down, all these proposals have at least survived.Others have not. Either...so contentious they were omitted altogether, such as sections on disarmament/non-proliferation/ICC, or they were watered down to little more than empty platitudes: no longer evenmentions vexed issue of pre-eminent strikes. [M]eanwhile, section on terrorism condemns it 'in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes' , but fails to provide clear definition US wanted... Now up to UNGA to flesh out document's skeleton proposals and propose new ones. But its chances of success appear slim"; Steven R.Weisman"A Frustrating Week at the U.N. for the White House Team"NYT 16 Sep 05:-"[R]ebellion by countries outside the ambit of Europe and US appears to have thwarted some of the changes sought at UN. Bush officials insist that they arepleased with some of the changes adopted by UNGA, notably a broad definition of terrorism. They saytried to address wishes of developing world by agreeing at last minute to endorse specific goals to increase foreign aid. But when it came time to adopt stringent budgetary changes at UN,cementing fiscaland personnel authority with Secretariat under Kofi Annan and taking some of it away from UNGA, thevotes were not there. Neither were there enough votes to scrap UN Human Rights Commission and replace it with a council that would not be led by countries like Sudan or Cuba, which US and its allies consider bad actors in human rights sphere. The scandals of last couple of years in oil-for-food problem in Iraq, with favoritism and corruption in awarding of contracts, might have been avoided if UNSG's office had exercised greater control over the budget and personnel, now in hands of a committee made up of all members of UNGA. 'The way UN is run, the vast number of less developed countries sitting in UNGA hold the power of the purse', a diplomat at UN said. 'A lot of developing countries see giving moreauthority to UNSG as ploy by US and Europeans to take more control of UN'"; AP"Rice Urges 'Revolution of Reform'at U.N."NYT 17 Sep 05:-"UN must make itself more relevant to tackle 21st century problems... Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said [17 Sep]. 'In this new world, we must again embrace challenge of building for the future'. World leaders...adopted watered-down version of proposed reforms...'Time to reform UN is now', she said. 'And we must seize this opportunity together'... 'No cause, no movement, and no grievance can justify intentional killing of innocent civilians and noncombatants. This isunacceptable by any moral standard'. UNSG [had] said condemnation of terrorism must be unqualifiedand that... should 'forge a global counterterrorism strategy that weakens terrorists and strengthens international community'... Rice called on rich countries to help poor ones with development assistance... She said new [human rights] council... should have more credibility. [That] means should 'never, never empower brutal dictatorships to sit in judgement of responsible democracies' ... Rice has locked arms with Annan on reform, declaring him an effective manager, with whom she can work closely. 'I havenever had a better relationship with anyone than Kofi Annan', Rice said, thereby separating US concerns about management flaws and corruption from world body's top diplomat"; Warren Hoge"Bolton and U.N. Are Still Standing After His First Test"NYT 17 Sep 05:-"Fellow ambassadors say they are impressed with[John] Bolton's work ethic, his knowledge of his brief, clarity in declaring it and his toughness as anegotiator... Some delegates, however,faulted him for emphasizing what US would never accept, saying it ended up encouraging more active opposition to US positions. They complained he devoted too much time to talking about US 'red lines' and about the red pen he had in his pocket at the ready. Those who feared Bolton came with devil's horns thought they saw them spring forth 3 weeks ago when he submitted more than 400 substantive amendments and deletions, and ordered up a line-by-line renegotiation of summit document. One of recommendations was to eliminate all mention of a series of antipoverty measures called MDGs. Surprise attack on cherished standard sent shock waves across UN where officials had grown hopeful that Bush administration's hostility to UN had significantly lessened,particularly after supportive comments from [Rice] and State Department opposition to calls for US to withhold its UN dues. A week later, phase was restored at Rice's direction, and Bush declared in his speech to UNGA, 'We are committed to MDGs' . So a question arose about whether Bolton had beencarrying out traditional mission of executing State Department policy or originating his own more assertive view... John G.Ruggie,...Harvard... said he thought Bolton's approach had emboldened opponents of US priorities, like reforming UN management structure to give more power and flexibilityto UNSG. 'After Bolton's bombshell, they were able to make case that this is why we have to stand firm, because if we give great discretionary authority to UNSG, danger US will roll over him, and behind him always stands Congress willing to withhold funding', he said. Bolton said purpose in calling for line-by-line renegotiation was to avoid having text by 'nameless, faceless textwriters' , a reference to writing staff of UNGA president Jean Ping of Gabon. But in the end such a text proved to be only way to get consensus. Three weeks of wrestling with language had left document on [13 Sep a.m.] with 27 unsolved issues and 149 phrases in brackets, meaning they were still in dispute. Decision was made to presentambassadors with final version refined by Ping, and it was that text UNGA endorsed [13 Sep p.m.], just hours before arrival of world leaders. Much of positive reaction to Bolton has come from how he did not live up to his negative reviews"; AP"Chavez Criticizes U.N. Reforms in Speech"NYT 17 Sep 05:-"Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez criticized UN reforms [17 Sep] saying they [section of Peacebuilding Commission] would permit powerful countries [to] invade developing ones whose leaders are considered a threat"; Reuters"Annan Defends Summit"NYT 17 Sep 05:-"UNSG put brave face on [17 Sep]on modest reforms to the work of UN, but [Rice] said world body needed nothing short of revolution to become real force... Annan sought to highlight the positive... 'Scale of this achievement seems to have been missed by some...So let's make sure we live up to our promises to the world's poor'. Among gainswere unprecedented agreement on international responsibility to intervene to protect civilians from genocide, establishment of peace-building commission to help nations recover from war and areaffirmation of goals set in 2000 to halve poverty by 2015. But the document fudged definition of what constitutes terrorism, reached no agreement on how to deal with spread of weapons of mass destructionand did little on far-reaching reforms to UN's bureaucracy or its decision-making. 'UN must launch lasting revolution of reform', [Rice] said. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who chairs 53-memberAfrican Union, said terrorism could not be 'justified under any circumstances' . But he said a dangerous correlation existed between grinding poverty and political instability"; Reuters"Like Fixing the Weather, Council Reform Eludes UN"NYT 18 Sep 05:-"Closest UN came to expanding 15-member UN Security Council(UNSC) was considered a plan by Germany, Japan, India and Brazil last spring. But moment came and went without a vote. National rivalries across and within each regional group run high, although...pledged to do something by end of year... Leaders from four candidates, known as Group of Four(G-4)... decided to put their resolution back on table. But participants at the session said there was no strategy of how or when to do this... UNSG, after decade of debate, urged UN members in Mar to come to decision world leaders could endorse, arguing that UNSC, which decides on war and peace, sanctions and peacekeeping, still reflected balance of power at end of WWII. But 35-page document world leadersendorsed on UN reforms had only one sentence on need for 15-member UNSC to become 'more broadly representative, more efficient and transparent'. On this, compromise nearly impossible as UNSC seats meant winners and losers, with each candidate having drawn enough opposition to prevent resolution from gaining two-thirds vote in 191-member UNGA. UNSC currently has 10 nonpermanent seats, rotating for two-year terms, and five permanent members with veto power - US, Russia, Britain, China, and France, considered WWII victors. To begin UNSC expansion, 191-member UNGA must approve a framework,without names of candidates, by two-thirds vote, with each member casting one vote. Last step in process is UN Charter change, which must be approved by national legislatures, and here current five permanentmembers have veto power... Brazil, Germany, India and Japan, whose plan also called for two permanent seats from Africa [Egypt? South Africa?], had hoped for deal with 53-member African Union, which has a similar proposal. But Africans insisted new permanent members have veto power, which the four aspirants dropped because of opposition from current five UNSC powers"; AP"Leaders at U.N. Seek Anti - Terror Treaty"NYT 19 Sep 05:-"Leaders at UNGA urged quick adoption of comprehensive global treatythat would put words into action. But one issue in particular is causing trouble - how to define terrorism amid concern independence struggles would be targeted. [R]esolution accepted unanimously by UNSC on sidelines of UN summit last week also called upon all states to prohibit and prevent terrorism and deny a safe haven to anyone considered guilty of such conduct. But delegates stressed need for abroader convention that would serve as a framework for governments to work together to curtailinternational terrorism"; AP"U.N. Assembly Focuses on World's Poor"NYT 19 Sep 05:-"Leaders fromdeveloping nations took speaker's platform on second day of annual UNGA debate to criticize rich countriesfor not doing enough to ease plight of world's poorest people. Speakers from Africa, Asia and Latin America said [18 Sep] they were encouraged by document adopted at three-day summit renewing commitments to alleviate poverty, but said they would withhold final judgment until rich nations make good on their vows... Leaders of poor nations made clear that they were not impressed with progress made so far. A week ago, UN report said about 40% of world's people still struggle to survive on less than $2/day. Jamaica's PM, speaking on behalf of Group of 77 developing countries, repeated what has been largely acknowledged by many UN and outside officials: world nowhere close to meeting the development goals"; Reuters"UN Refugee Boss Says World Tackling Past Failures"NYT 27 Sep 05:-"International community has woken up to tragedy of the millions who are refugees in their own country and begun to act, head of UN refugee agency[UN High Commissioner for Refugees] said. Internal refugees - known as internally displaced people (IDPs) - number 20-25million, more than double the nine million refugees who are recognized as such because they have crossed a border, and their plight is often just as bad, said UNHCR... UN was finalizing a more vigorous approach to a problem which is particularlyacute in sub-Saharan Africa... Crux of the new policy was that for first time UN agencies, and otherhumanitarian organizations, given specific roles and responsibilities - for which they could be held to account - in handling any IDP crisis. In case of UNHCR, which already handles some IDP situations on an ad hoc basis, it would manage camps, provide shelter and tackle issues of protection for those considered to be in danger of persecution. Move should also be seen in context of changing international attitudes to sovereignty, with recent UNGA resolutions stressing obligations governments had to protect their citizens - indicating a more assertive stance on the part of global body"; AP"U.N. Envoy Says Reforms Have Started"NYT 28 Sep 05:-"President Bush's hard-charging ambassador to UN, [John R.Bolton,] told skeptical members of Congress [28 Sep] US 'didn't get everything we wanted'in agreement to reform UN bureaucracy, but it is a start... Bolton cast US vote for watered-down reform document with obvious disappointment after weeks of wrangling. Document backed off bureaucratic and other changes... Bolton is expected to follow up with new resolutions, but it is not clear how muchappetite UN diplomats will have for subject now. The House has passed measure... that establishes a timetable for reform and ties progress to payment of US dues. Senate has not passed measure. Bushadministration does not want to use dues as leverage"; AP"Japan Rethinking Plan for Security Council"NYT 30 Sep 05:-"Japan has warned Congress that US legislation seeking to withhold UN dues could lead Japanese lawmakers to take similar action, possibly resulting in loss of millions of dollars to world body...Japan pays 19.5% of annual UN budget of about $2billion, second only to US, which pays about 22%".
The Economist 08 Mar 97 "The Future of Warfare" (21-4):-although many specialized/technical sources on subject, text beautifully summarizes current military capacities and implications. In part complementary to James Adams(op.cit.).
The Economist 28 Jun 97 "Only the Bangs are Genuine" (68):-rare subject: proliferation of counterfeit weapons, including why, where and how they are made. Subject relevant to land-mines since they can befully effective even if home-made [Afghan?],and perhaps even more so if "mine-field" consists entirely offakes or is sheer bluff.
The Economist 02 May 98: "Chemical Weapons: Just Checking" (42-4). -this article makes the appraisal that the first year of the Chemical Weapons Convention has gone well. The CWC had been signed by 168 countries and ratified by 107. Over 200 inspections had already been carried out in 25 states, including Russia and China. Significantly, North Korea, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Egypt had not signed, but are all under strong pressure to do so. Among similar treaties, the CWC includes tight and unprecedented inspection obligations.
The Economist 2 May 98: "Landmines: Clearing the Killing Fields" (73). - this article reports on the development in New Zealand of a method of locating plastic or other mines imperceptible to metal detectors. A microwave scanner exploits the fact that mines, unlike their surroundings, contain no water, and so are unheated by microwaves. Infra-red cameras are used to "see" these anomalies. If proven, this method could greatly speed mine clearance.
The Economist 16 May 98: "Hey, Anybody Want a Gun?" (67-8).- a report on the embryonic state of attempts to control the "cascade" from one conflict zone to another of the huge number of small arms that have been produced (Kalashnikov: 35-50m; M-16: 8m; G3: 7m; FN FAL: 5-7m). The G8 supports a global agreementto stop the illegal trafficking in hand-held weapons ($5b+ annually). There was in 1998 both an OAS agreement to cooperate in clamping down on the export of illegal weapons, and UN agreement to work on a small-arms traffic protocol. The EU is discussing an ethical code of conduct governing all legal arms exports including rifles. The author feels ammunition restrictions may be more realistic.
The Economist 06 Jun 98 "Bombs, Gas and Microbes" (23-5):-concise view of current world disarmament/control moves against weapons of mass destruction. NPT: 186 in; India, Pakistan, Israel, Brazil, Cuba outside. Inspection protocol(97)so far binds few. Trade control: Zangger Committee and Nuclear Suppliers' Group. CTBT(96): 149 signed; 13 ratified, with major holdouts. Fissile-materials cut-off held up in UN. CWC(97): 168 signed; 110 ratified; again major holdouts but Convention tough: chemical weapons outlawed/destroyed; trade limits; short-notice inspections. BWC(72): 130+ ratified; biological/toxin weapons prohibited, but no built-in checks. "Spread of weapons technology seems inexorable...[so hit]roots of regional disputes" [and reduce dangers from stocks?].
The Economist 5 Sep 98:"Chemical Weapons: Burning Away the Horrors" (24-5). - two articles deal with theUS program for implementing the CWC by destroying its stocks of chemical weapons and cleaning up their sites (the estimated minimum cost is $15 billion). The sites are found in eight locations on the US mainland, and the articles describe the plans and problems at two of them. Both of these contain stocks of GB(sarin)-filled M55 rockets, the nerve agent carriers considered the most dangerous to store. The issuesraised include the best method of destruction (incineration or neutralization), the local socio-economic impact of the activities, and the controversial administrative and security systems entailed.
The Economist 09 Jan 99 "A Personal Eye in the Sky" (73-4):-US Defense Department sponsoring development of hard -to-detect micro air vehicles(MAVs)which(it is hoped)will provide detailed tactical intelligence in real time at low cost($1000 each).Early models: shaped like tiny aircraft; powered by miniature gas turbines/small fuel cells/batteries; propelled by tiny flapping wings/propellers; guided by miniature gyroscopes/air-flow detectors; positioned within cms via Global Positioning Satellites; carry payloadsof miniature video cameras/transmitters soon creating 1m pixel pictures. Size: 15cm any direction; weight: 85 gms; endurance: 1hr. Designed for battlefields but valuable for local conflict prevention/peacekeeping/anti-terrorism/verification/health/structure/environment surveillance all UN relevant.
The Economist 01 May 99 "The End of Privacy: The Surveillance Society" (Edit.15-6;21-3):-the power of computers to gather personal information, and store/analyse/retrieve/disseminate it electronically/globally, will continue expanding. New capacities will involve:government/marketing/banking/surveillance(for state/private intelligence/ arms verification/lawenforcement/security control)/personal health/DNA/work/movements/contacts/tastes/credit/legal records. Policing the data is not feasible; data "gates" or encryption doubtful; intense debate inevitable. "People [must] just assume one simply has no privacy[-]one of greatest[modern]social changes.[L]aws will be used not to obstruct recording/collecting information, but to catch those who use it to do harm[,thusproducing]more lawful security."
The Economist 06 Nov 99 "Bandwidth from Thin Air" (85-6); "How to Look Through Walls" (86):-first function of International Telecommunication Union, UN agency: "Allocation of radio frequency spectrum and registration of radio frequency assignments." As global exploitation of spectrum multiplies exponentially and increases(with satellites)in range, ITU fills its time(re)allocating fixed and so ever-more scarce/valuable global resource. Article reports two emerging technologies promise to make vastly more use of limited "bandwidth." One allows multiple simultaneous transmissions on same frequency(Bell Labs Layered Space-Time: BLAST); other transmits on huge range of frequencies at once(Ultra Wide-Band:UWB).Both create "unforeseen reserves of valuable bandwidth...at cost of increased computational complexity." UWB used as radar "can employ significantly longer wavelengths [to] penetrate wide range of materials(e.g. brick/stone)." Potential military, police, disarmament, intelligence uses vast.
The Economist 11 Dec 99 "The Non-Governmental Order: Citizens' Groups" (20-1):-how and why "citizens' groups" (NGOs) are increasingly powerful at corporate, national, international level, and whether representmove towards "international civil society" or "dangerous shift of power to unelected and unaccountablespecial-interest groups" . Their growth was enabled by: communism's fall; democracy's spread; technological change; economic integration. Reflects concern over: environment; labour-human-consumer rights; poverty; jobs; etc. Rapid, mass news dispensing or joint action are promoted by: democratisation; technology.Number: international NGOs: 26,000; national NGOs: US - 2m; India - 1m; East Europe - 0.1m. Membershipin one NGO can exceed .5m. Roles: deliver services(NGOs dispense more aid than UN system); others stressadvocacy. "Technical groups" specialize providing expert analysis/ information and assist planners, decision-makers, negotiators, advocates at all levels. Governments can be helped, manipulated or blocked; some international organizations/corporations can co-opt such NGOs(World Bank); others may fail(controversial IOs and MNCs).
The Economist 22 Jan 00"Nuclear Waste: A Torch Song" (81):-probably the biggest political, environmental and cost problem with nuclear fission power (and disposal of nuclear weapons) has been how to handle the radioactive nuclear waste, particularly thousands of tonnes of spent fuel and other radioactive by-products. Luckily, thus-far-unsuccessful attempts to generate energy-economical non-radioactive fusion power has left a number of moth-balled experimental reactors, all designed to produce gas heated to about 10m degrees C, known as plasma. Dr. Bernard Eastlund proposes that plasma be again produced in old reactors and mixed with nuclear waste. This would instantly produce a "soup" of electrons and nuclei. Theelements/ compounds in the soup could then be "sorted" using the different temperatures at which they become solids. Such residue is not radioactive and less in quantity/cost than that from planned chemical reprocessing.
The Economist 26 Feb 00 "Russia's Nuclear Industry: The Time-Bombs of Tomsk" (29-34):-factual information about Russian nuclear industry explains both US concern and largesse. Above all, convincing case that decrepit state of industry "threatens whole world" . "Plutonium-producing reactors[at Tomsk]present most immediate problem. All...plants...at least 40 years old. Two[working]reactors aregraphite-moderated and water-cooled, precursors(sic)of design used at Chernobyl. Enormous stacks of[swelling/cracking]graphite blocks surround vertical rods containing fuel.[N]o containment vessels, no emergency core-cooling systems.[I]f rods or tubes in core begin to buckle, engineers cannot control speed of reaction by withdrawing fuel rods...Closing reactors would help on three fronts. It would reduce Russia's output of plutonium; it would remove danger of serious accident; and it would reduce amount of Russian nuclear waste" .
The Economist 25 Mar 00 "Russia's Arms Industry: Ivan the Lethal" (68-9):-partial recovery of Russian arms exports, particularly super-quiet submarines/missiles/fighter aircraft, to level where" Russian armsindustry has not looked so healthy for over decade" .Defence procurement just rose 50%(to $2.2b)and former Soviet republics may restore military-industrial links. Arms exports likely to reach $4.3b in 00through:(1)low-priced sales of simple weapons(guns/tanks)to poor countries;(2)advanced-weapons sales to big countries(China/India).Problems: unreliable aircraft engines, quality control, after-sales service. Once huge 89 stocks running out - and getting obsolescent. Since R&D also stopped at that time, and allnew funds needed to maintain current deployment (including nuclear),best 89 weapons must now be sold. Designing own weapons, China or India won't help. For summary of Putin's apparent position re all matters nuclear: Celestine Bohlen "Putin Vows Russia Will Invigorate Its Nuclear Force" New York Times 01 Apr 00. For information on arms industry in Eastern Europe particularly Czech Republic(aircraft; anti-stealth radar)see Peter S. Green "Where the Armorers No Longer Thrive" NYT 02 Apr 00.
The Economist 08 Apr 00 "All Wrong in Iraq" (20-2); "Iraq and the West: When Sanctions Don't Work" (23-5):-UN sanctions against Iraq -most comprehensive ever imposed- clearly not working. Severely hurt innocent; failed to disarm in key areas, let alone unseat, target: Saddam Hussein; damaged UN's reputation. Yet ending them would damage UN, and global stability, even more. Essay offers account ofwhy and how sanctions were set up, modified, and are failing(original terms/aims/successes; disastrous cost for ordinary Iraqis, and resulting flawed reform; how Hussein insulates himself).Editorial examinesUN's options(1)Make easier for Iraq to import innocuous, necessary goods, monitoring dual-use items. Already tried/manipulated/proved imperfect.(2)Oil exports freed but arms-making/related imports banned. Monitoring constrained/laborious; military funds unlimited.(3)As for(2), plus as much internal/import monitoring as possible(Iraq pays)and warning of "prodigious" air retribution for cheating or threatening activity.
The Economist 06 May 00 "Satellite Pictures: Private Eyes in the Sky" (71-3):-plans of companies hoping to sell satellite-produced images with spacial resolution of less than metre(smallest features that can be distinguished) and speculates on their global impact(see also NYT story by W. J. Broad).Such resolution,previously limited to US and Soviet intelligence use, can distinguish cars from trucks, recognize types of aircraft and tanks, and identify buildings for target selection. Firms launching commercial satellites in coming months foresee billion-dollar markets for detail comparable to aerial photography combined withglobal coverage and high-speed delivery. Probable consumers include most government agencies, mineral/oil prospectors, utilities, urban/transport planners, real estate/insurance companies, farmers, fishermen, NGOs. While governments hope to restrict image sales/ coverage, it will prove impossible - and force for verification, stability and hence peace.
The Economist 02 Sep 00 "The Price of Paying Ransoms" (Edit. 17):-recalling large number of highly publicized hostage-takings recently(Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, Fiji, former Soviet Union, India, Nigeria, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Yemen)confirms global trend upwards. Those taken in 1999 increased by 6% over 1998, number has been growing at that rate for several years - producing total increase of 70% over eight years. Ransom by Libya of Jolo Island hostages at $1m each taught kidnappers:" holding few hostages keeps army away; grabbing more keeps money rolling in" ,as well as someglobal politics(for Libyan motives/source of funds: "Qaddafi, Floating Like a Butterfly" (41)). Whilekidnapping has many causes( "inequalities of wealth, availability of guns, rebel armies looking for funds, underpaid police" )main reason is rewards. Hence universal lesson: hostage-taking must be seen not to pay. Short of capturing/punishing kidnappers[absence of any safe haven may be critical], it may also meanmaking it illegal to pay ransom.[Editor might add: such rules work best if applied/enforced globally.]
The Economist 04 Nov 00 "India's Nuclear Dilemmas" (45-6):-very few widely-read, current analyses ofworld's most unstable nuclear confrontation. Identifies India's motives in demonstrating nuclear capacityas: political calculation, fear of China, and" feeling that India should not be denied prestige enjoyed by fivedeclared nuclear powers" .While PM Vajpayee has" since danced skilfully away from diplomatic mess[China, Pakistan, US]created by tests, hard-won goodwill depends partly on India's keeping low nuclear profile that threatens neither neighbours nor international efforts to stop spread of nuclear weapons." Vajpayee's dilemma is to be caught between those whose argument is that any further nuclear development would only weaken India's security by goading its neighbours, and his desire for deterrent that could survive a first strike. India's policy of "no first strike" and "minimum credible deterrent" is backed by deployment/decision-making system that is "missing or invisible" . Even if simply prudent/passive, India should discuss CBMs with Pakistan(and China?), not leave things gravely ambiguous.
The Economist 11 Nov 00 "Look, No Pilot: Pilotless Combat Aircraft" (101-2):-testing Boeing X-45A, first example of unmanned combat aerial vehicle(UCAV). Long used for surveillance, unmanned aerial vehicles(UAVs)have never carried weapons, whereas X-45As can carry bombs, decoys or Joint Direct Attack Munitions(smart weapons)plus all most advanced avionics: synthetic-aperture radar/satellite communications equipment. Advantages over manned combat aircraft: lessweight/size(stealth)/cost(build/(re)use/maintain)/training/control; better endurance/transport/ manoeuverability/storage. Initial role: suppress enemy air defence/air superiority. Challenges: controllinglarge numbers in limited airspace; jamming/interception of control signals; target assessment. Future: 90%combat aircraft unmanned by 2025. Verification of disarmament agreements greatly strengthened if defensively-armed UCAVs could conduct no-notice, lengthy, low-level, day or night inspection patrols, using hi-tech surveillance equipment.
The Economist 03 Feb 01 "Air Terrorism and International Law: The Long Trail Twisting From Lockerbie" (45-6):-Scottish judges unanimously found Libyan intelligence agent guilty of mass murder of 270 people by exploding bomb in Pan American flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 88. Also offersexcellent summary of precedent-setting international trial, and of US-UK options regarding further action against Qaddafi, including removal of UN sanctions on Libya(Doxey 99 & 00 op.cit.).For US attitude/actions towards Qaddafi/Libya, and Qaddafi's attitude towards US, see combined item: Tanter 98 "Rogue Regimes..." and Viorst 99 "The Colonel..." (op.cit.).Several media reports clarify broader implications of Lockerbie trial. Associated Press "U.N. Chief Releases Letter on Bomb" NYT 25 Aug 00:-describes UK-drafted letter from UNSG to Qaddafi, assuring him trial is purely legal and not manipulated political process.AP "Lockerbie Verdict Expected..." NYT 30 Jan 01:-summarizes unusual structure/course of trial. Donald G.McNeil Jr. "Libyan Convicted in Lockerbie Trial" NYT 31 Jan 01:-reports verdict(one defendant found guilty of mass murder, while co-defendant freed for lack of proof),and legal rationale behind it. David Johnston "News Analysis: Courts Are a Limited Anti-Terror Weapon" NYT 01 Feb 01:-comments on relativeeffectiveness of "criminal law as weapon against horrific act of international terror." Greatest limit in case was inability to punish those viewed by many as really responsible: Qaddafi's regime. Some experts argue such national security threats should be dealt with by military force(e.g.Tripoli, Sudan strikes).AP "Gadhafi Fails on Lockerbie Evidence" ;Reuters "Qaddafi Defies West Over Lockerbie Bombing" NYT 05 Feb 01:-both report on Qaddafi's attempt in long speech/press conference to make good his promise to reveal at that time new, "proven evidence that[convicted man]innocent" - "revelations so grand they could drive trial judges to suicide." But he merely read from published reports expressing skepticism about verdict, and then claimed "I refuted whole case, destroyed it." Reuters "Libyan Riot Police Break Up Anti-Britain Protest" NYT 06 Feb 01:-after having been stirred up, demonstrators tried to attack British and UN(sic)officesin Tripoli, and were harshly treated.
The Economist 09 Jun 01 "Mr Bush Goes to Europe" (Edit.9); "Special Report - America and Europe; Wanted: New Rules of the Road" (25-7):-in connection with Bush II's first official visit to Europe(EU/NATO)essays cite many US-European disputes and divergent attitudes(in terms of global perspectives, preoccupations, and images of each other)but conclude common values/interests will overcome. Defence raises genuine differences over US missile defence proposal(with prefix" national" now being downplayed)and its threat to ABM Treaty. Europeans' "worries might recede" if they(and Russia)could be persuaded its sole purpose/use would be against "rogue" regimes. Also" lurking disagreements" overconventional forces: prospect of US redeployments from Europe to Pacific and real effects(on NATO)and motives of EU rapid-reaction force. Trade disputes: chronic, moving into(previously-domestic)regulatoryissues, sometimes bitter and reflecting even cultural differences(GMO). Behind all lie major worries about prospects for new WTO trade round. Serious perceptual problem: if things go badly, both sides" fall back on some surprisingly negative stereotypes.[US]stereotype is of Europe that is economically sclerotic, psychologically neurotic and addicted to spirit-sapping welfare schemes and freedom-infringing state. European stereotype is of gun-slinging, Bible-bashing, Frankenstein-food-guzzling, behemoth-driving, planet-polluting[US]in which politicians are mere playthings of mighty corporations" (25). Most striking, Europeanassessments of Bush himself(prior his visit)were "strongly hostile" though not unprecedented. "More important, structural changes in world politics are driving wedge between Europe and US" .Among Europe's four big powers only Italy's new government shares Bush's conservatism. In terms of security, US and Europe each need other less than in past(even Clinton past). "Upshot of consolidation of Europe has been to tugEurope and America in opposite directions[and to]look at world in increasingly different ways" (26). US looks at Asia and Americas; Europe looks at Europe. Europe is inclined to apply principles of multilateralism;US, and Bush in particular" tend to see world in traditional great-power terms. National interest, diplomatic leadership and protection of military might are what matter. International treaties and global norms merely constrain America's sovereignty" (27). Europeans see this as unilateralism, while Americans often see Europeans as" grandstanding free-riders, willing to lecture America about death penalty but less willing than they should be to spend money to make their troops effective" .[For example of worry that antagonism towards US also helps Europeans define their own identity, Economist cites Kissinger. Up-to-date: Gregg Easterbrook "Europe Builds Itself Up at Bush's Expense" New York Times 17 Jun.] "At this point,transatlantic relationship is at point of divergence[but unique]institutional, economic and cultural ties...set limit to further deterioration" .May be further drift, or revival of transatlantic alliance as "partnership of equals" . Remember how much US and Europe "still have in common, and what they could do together if they put their minds to it" (27).
The Economist 22 May 04 "Suicide Bombers: Shireen and Others Like Her" (76-7):-article is dedicated to analysing what drives suicide bombers "to their ghastly deeds" . It consists of the reviews of three books: Christoph Reuter, My Life is a Weapon: A Modern History of Suicide Bombing (Princeton Univ. Press), 200pp, $24.95; Barbara Victor, Army of Roses: Inside the World of Palestinian Women Suicide Bombers(Rodale Press), 320 pp, $25.95; and John Fullerton, Give Me Death (Macmillan), 352 pp, 16.99 pounds.
The Economist 29 May 04 "Dubai: Arabia's Field of Dreams" (61-2):- "One of the world's most successful business ventures is a small city state" . Here are excerpts from the extraordinary survey: "Dubai has someoil and gas, but they contribute barely 6% of its economic output and are due to run out in about 10 years. [Yet it]has been wisely using [this] income over the years to invest in a different sort of future, replacing hydrocarbons with people as it has expanded to be the tourism and business hub of a regionwhere 1.5 billion people are within two hours' flying time. Thirty years ago there was nothing in Dubai but a creek, a sheikh's palace and a dodgy reputation as the smuggling capital of the Arabian Gulf. The traditional Arab dhows remain , and there were recent echoes of its smuggling past when it emerged, amidrumours of terrorist money-laundering, that much of Pakistan's illegal trade in nuclear materials passed through Dubai. But in other respects, the sheikhdom has been magnificently transformed, and is now a beacon for legitimate, non-oil business in the Arab world - where shining examples of capitalism are rare...Emirates Airline has played a crucial part in Dubai's development. From the start, Dubai has run an open-skyapproach, welcoming any foreign airline that wants to fly in competition...Now 100 airlines link Dubai to 145 destinations [and] Emirates has thrived on competition...As the city-state built huge tax-free shopping mallsand launched sporting events,...so it became a holiday destination, offering attractions such as desertsafaris and dhow cruises...Dubai is remarkably open to foreigners. Of its 1.5m people, over 80% areexpatriates...Dubai's easy-going style...has made it such a positive place to live and work that success feeds on itself.
The Economist 05 Jun 04 "Al-Qaeda: Amorphous But Alive" (42-3):-since 11 Sep 01 "al-Qaeda [attacks] killed more than 1,000 people in more than a dozen countries. [E]xpert on group 'reckons that Mr. bin Laden is closer to achieving his goals than the West is to deterring him'.[IISS institute claims]only way to'depress recruitment and motivation'...would be to find 'currently elusive'solutions to messes such asIraq and Palestine. It guesses that 18,000-odd people, who were trained in terrorist tactics by[Afghan]Talibanregime...but escaped...may be...ready to help al-Qaeda" . Not including Iraq, US State claims fewer terrorist incidents in 2003 than for decades, and that coordinated police took "more than 3,400 suspected al-Qaeda people out of action, including two-thirds of [its] leaders" .But "[W]orld's security specialists are almost unanimously gloomy. They say it is no longer a question of if but when al-Qaeda will hit a western city again. Many expect it to explode a 'dirty bomb'- a device that scatters radioactive material. [It] has simply been forced to change its structure and tactics. For reasons of logistics and security, Mr. bin Laden nowappears to act mainly as a figurehead, ceding operational control to his chief lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri" . Preceding this: "Saudi Arabia: Why Terrorists are Targeting Islam's Holiest Land" (41-2). In Economist 26 Jun 04 "Al-Qaeda: Setbacks for Terror" (49-52), tactical update on some Muslim governments' successes against serious jihadi terrorists. In Riyadh, Saudi police were able to kill four of country's most wanted terrorists, including al-Qaeda's local head, and netted further dozen suspects. Algerian army cornered al-Qaeda-loyal cell and killed seven guerrillas, of which four were identified senior leaders including group's commander. "In Bahrein and Morocco, police claimed to have rounded up two local jihadi cells. InPakistan... missile fired from helicopter killed Pushtun tribal leader known to have succoured al-Qaedafugitives. But if jihadi are down, they are certainly not out...al-Qaeda will soon strike back, if only to proveit is still punching" . Economist 14 Aug 04 "Chasing al-Qaeda: Plots, Alarms and Arrests" (22-4):-description of US "orange warning" due to "high risk" of terrorist attack on several institutions. "Though based on new-found intelligence, threat to US financial establishments was not new.[C]ache of al-Qaeda computer files...at least three years old." While large scale and immediate defence of reported targets was felt inappropriate by many, practice may be useful and political experience. "Such lessons will probably take another terrorist threat or two to master, but mastered they may eventually have to be. Because, as most al-Qaeda watchers agree, quick end to war on terror is very hard to envisage." Currentlimitations/inclinations of al-Qaeda, and activities of its opponents, discussed at some length.
The Economist 05 Jun 04 "United States Battling Proliferation: Win Some, Lose Some" (25-6):- "Bushafter[11 Sep] attacks, promis[ed]to face down threat from spread of weapons of mass destruction.[He]will be pressing hard for curbs on proliferation to be treated as epoch-shaping issue.[M]essage...helpedconvince Libya...to speed its exit out of elicit mass-destruction business.[A]larming tales since emerged of..wholesale auctioning off of Pakistan's nuclear technologies, not just to Libya, but to North Korea, Iranand possibly others, led UN Security Council[at Bush's urging]to pass resolution obliging all governments to criminalise illicit weapons and technology transfers...Yet despite these diplomatic successes, andmoney being spent on securing'loose nukes' ,...strategy still has plenty of critics.[While US was focused on Iraq,]North Korea went on building more bombs[,]Iran thumbed its nose at[IAEA and otherswere]encouraged...to redouble their bomb-building." Many other relevant US activities and inconsistencies reported towards India/Iraq/Iran/Israel/North Korea. "Stricter enforcement of anti-proliferation rules has been hallmark of[Bush, since bin Laden/al-Qaeda positions]cast problem of treaty-breaking by roguegovernments with terrorist links in alarming new light.[S]trategy has had some success" :EO and Russian anti-proliferation action. "Bush wants to see greater restrictions on dangerous uranium-enrichment and plutonium-reprocessing technologies[,yet wants to keep US nuclear]test-site bit readier." Economist 03 Jul 04 "North Korea: Nuclear Chess" (35-6)and "Europe and Iran: A Common Flop" (42):-both comment on US' s differing history/negotiations with these two nuclear-threatening states. Regarding North Korea, concludes "may be hoping for deal to its liking if John Kerry wins US presidential election in Nov. MeanwhileGeorge Bush in no rush either.[S]cotched criticism from allies and Kerry alike by showing...negotiating seriously. He has not yet sacrificed anything in nuclear game with North Korea, and maybe gained a little." Second article, dealing with both European and US negotiations, concludes "Iran and Europeans seem now to be playing for time, awaiting outcome of Nov's presidential election in US. But whoever wins,US is unlikely to tolerate nuclear-arming Iran. Some Europeans hope that new administration might try talking to Iran. But, with US tied up in Iraq, Iranians may calculate time is on their side and - so long as IAEA finds nothing new - that Europeans will never agree among themselves to tougher line. If so, far from being success for Europe's common... policy, Iran could become big irritant in relations between US and Europe" .
The Economist 10 Jul 04 "Weapons of Mass Destruction: If You Push, I'll Shove" (40-1):-gloomy report on Middle East nuclear prospects. Arabs fear Israel of possessing 200 nuclear bombs plus new deliveryforms; Israel points at chemical- and possibly biological-tipped missiles in neighbours. Balance of insecurity always uneasy, and may be eroding, even though Iraqi and Libyan nuclear developments wereundone. Head Mohamed ElBaradei of IAEA in Israel suggested it hold talks on nuclear-weapons-free zonein Middle East - before too late. He wants security talks in parallel with diplomacy, but opportunities so faroutweighed by threats. "Libya...helped expose vast global black market in uranium enrichment and other militarily useful skills centred on Pakistani scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan. Since Iran tapped into same illicit network, all this helped IAEA expose its 18 years of nuclear-safeguards violations: illegal nuclear experiments set out in series of reports for all to see. Yet, troubingly, Iran shows no sign yet of giving up dangerous technologies it has developed...Although Khan had admitted to selling his nuclear wares only to Iran, Libya and North Korea...suspicions others may have availed themselves of his services. Although all supposedly bound by their non-nuclear promise under NPT, few Arab governments have accepted more intrusivesafeguards and inspection regime [Economist 05 Jun "United States Battling Proliferation:.." op.cit.]. Saudi Arabia has no safeguards agreement with IAEA...Having helped..to finance both Libya's and Pakistan's nuclear weapons pursuits...it may have bought itself option on Pakistani bomb...Syria, which already has chemicaland biological weapons,...may now have covert uranium enrichment capability[and raises fears it could]acquire plutonium. If Iran[gets]bomb, it is not only Israel that might be alarmed. Egypt has potentially militarily useful nuclear skills and increasingly sophisticated missile programme. Algeria has suspiciously large nuclear reactor in Sahara, surrounded by missile defences.[E]ven Turkey...could reconsider non-nuclearpledge, should others in region seem about to renege on theirs. Much depends on whether Iran's nuclear ambitions can be checked before it has bomb.[F]inger-pointing could yet turn deadly."
The Economist 24 Jul 04 "Russia's Armed Forces: Heads Roll At Long Last" (48-9):-excessive cost ofUSSR armed forces - in attempt to match US as superpower - played critical role in bringing end to Cold War. Yet their gradual and reluctant, but vast financial, constraint had dangerous effects on intricate weapons, disarmament, and personnel - and gained US safety assistance. Some long-overdue actions havenow taken place, and may have positive impact. "Anatoly Kvashnin, Russian armed forces' chief of staffwho was fired...had spent most of his seven years in job in conflict with people meant to be his bosses[,civilian defence ministers. He]had blocked President Vladimir Putin's attempts to start transition fromconstrict army to leaner, professional one. But his civilian opponents outmanoeuvred him...when Duma passed law handing operational control of army to defence ministry and leaving generals in charge only of strategy.[R]umours of...dismissal began;...he asked to go." His reactionary acts had included: seizure ofKosovo airport during war; chronically sour relations with NATO; world view/threats as if Cold War had barely ended;" ran impressive exercises designed to repulse massive invasions from east and west" ; losses in Chechnya issue." [R]eplacement Yuri Baluyevsky seen as opponent of his mercurial, stubborn ex-boss; more desk man, strategist and military historian, who watches his words, stays out of politics and pragmaticabout co-operating with former foes. He has led disarmament talks and parleyed with NATO.[A]lso joint author of reform plans, which would slim ministry and military command. But what next?" Clean armed forcescorruption? Create volunteer army?
The Economist 31 Jul 04 "International Law and Genocide: Must Intervention Be Legal?" (40):-brief, usefully stated, item on whether/how world community could intervene in Darfur, west Sudan, where black Muslims attacked with authority of Arab Khartoum. Legal/political complications are well described, and unfortunately will be facing(or ignored by)global justice, perhaps for decades. "Under UN Convention on Genocide 1948, state signatories undertook to'prevent and punish'genocide[carefully defined].States may act alone or call on UN to take'appropriate'measures...Though Sudanese Arab militias have been targetingthree black African tribes, some Arab groups have also been attacked and some African ones spared. US Congress has called attacks genocide...African Union and various human-rights groups argue that threshold for genocide has not yet been crossed. It may not matter much, for under international law, there is no inherent right of armed humanitarian intervention, even to stop genocide. UN Charter only sanctions force in self-defence(Article 51)or when authorised by Security Council to prevent breach of peace or act of aggression(Chapter VII). It specifically forbids intervention'in matters which are essentially within domestic jurisdiction of any state',though this injunction can be overridden by Chapter VII authorisation...UN has, of course, intervened in past to stop gross violations of human rights...But it has only ever done so under Chapter VII in name of preserving peace." Darfur military intervention would draw vetos(as would have Kosovo). "Many governments, particularly poor and despotic ones, argue that national sovereignty should always trump humanitarian issues. Most western ones argue opposite. One way round possible veto would be to invoke UN'uniting for peace'resolution...UNGA may'recommend'measures, including use of force, tocounter threat to peace, if UNSC unable to act. But many reluctant to invoke instrument that they fear wouldundermine UNSC authority." Chad vital role in location uncertain. Without going through UN "need not beas drastic assault on international law as some legal sticklers fear.[I]ntervention could be justified with reference to NATO's campaign in Kosovo, which proceeded without UN approval. That might even set useful precedent for dealing with future catastrophes." [I would object to last.]
The Economist 21 Aug 04 "Russia: A Matter of Russian Honour" (Edit.13); "Former Soviet War Zones: The Hazards of a Long, Hard Freeze" (40-1); "South Ossetia: We Don't Want War, But..." (41):-Editorial/articlereflect justifiable concern: number of post-WW II states is still suffering ability even to survive, and hurting their populations as result. One group of newly-independent states is those once part of dictatorship USSR.Both their own governments and that of Russia are often inclined to suffer instability. Items relate to three such states facing four rebel units whose imperfect status has been supported by Moscow. In Editorial, both President Putin and the West are urged to take corrective action: "Russia is working hard to regain respect and authority...But...Russia must respect other countries too, including places once ruled from Moscow. It will prosper more with friendly, confident countries around it - not weak, frustrated ones...Byoffering unconditional support to rebel regimes in Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia,Russia dishonours itself/destabilizes its neighbourhood...Crisis needs delicate handling...South Ossetiais not viable state. It lives on crime. Its government needs to be closed down as part of generous settlementwhich Georgia now offers. Abkhazia, Georgia's other breakaway province, is tougher problem, and its local government even less legitimate. It speaks for even fewer of region's lawful residents.[Another]'frozen conflict'in region...is in Moldova, where another rebel statelet, Transdniestria, lives on smuggling and Russian guns. Then there is far bigger stand-off: over Nagorno-Karabakh...where decade ago Armenians broke free from Azerbaijan...All these conflicts destabilise countries." In Major Items, the origins,complexity, current situations of the four rebel movements are described. Long article concludes: "It may be time for the world to slop them out" .
The Economist 04 Sep 04 "Iran: Decision Time Approaches" (Edit.14-5); "Defiant Iran: The World of the Ideologues" (23-6):-items emphasize ultra-religious power over nation, conservative majority outnumberingreform representatives. Most serious global implication is Iran's development of nuclear weapons, despite deals with both IAEA/EU visitors. Ayatollahs' " grip again crushing breath out of would-be reformers. Critics in press are locked up. Human rights are trampled. New conservative-dominated parliament hassquelched plans for much-needed economic reforms. With hard-liners in ascendant, hope of turning aside Iran's troubling nuclear ambitions fading too...Would it matter if Iran did get bomb? It no longer attempts to export revolution, and it lives in dangerous neighbourhood...Iran fires off rhetorical salvoes, not missiles. Wouldn't nuclear-armed Iran be similarly deterred, since any attempt to use its weapons would invite devastating response?...Nuclear chain reaction could quickly see Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria and even Turkey follow suit...Iran's[NPT]violations would also fatally undermine treaty...Outsiders now have two options: more diplomacy or force." These are discussed in Editorial, while major essay concludes: "Meanwhile, the nuclear clock ticks on." Economist 25 Sep "Iran's Nuclear Ambitions: Still Heading for a Showdown" (58):-adds discouraging facts, options and implications to serious situation. Although Pres. Khatami just re-emphasized" have made our choice: yes to peaceful nuclear technology and no to nuclear weapons" , few are convinced. IAEA" inspectors turned up more evidence of past wrongdoing, and Iran has turned more belligerent." IAEA Board will decide on latest report in Nov whether to send Iran's case to UNSC, which could apply sanctions. Iran already constrains IAEA inspectors, andwould then drop from NPT. It has already back-tracked on previous agreement to suspend uranium-enrichment-related activity, and "work already under way to convert 37 tonnes of uranium ore into gasthat could later be fed into fast-spinning centrifuge machines to produce enriched uranium - enough forseveral bombs if diverted to military use...Iran still seems keen to avoid being reported to UNSC,[but] seemsdetermined to hang on to nuclear option" . Economist 06 Nov 04 "Iran: The Nuclear Debate" (48-9):-another description of how "Iranians are still in nuclear bind." Descriptions are essentially of short-term difficultiesand possible proposals, so "future" relevance is unchanged. Even transfer of issue to UNSC might be ineffectual since China(buying Iranian oil and gas)and/or Russia(Iran's main civilian nuclear supplier)might use vetos. US fears EU proposal to persuade Iran to freeze its nuclear fuel cycle would again let Iran "develop their program secretly." Also, "Iran's parliament, now dominated by hardliners, approved framework for bill to compel government to develop fully a nuclear capability - including, says parliament's speaker, nuclear fuel cycle...Only US, it seems, might dissuade Iran from pressing ahead with enrichment/reprocessing plans. [But even]military strikes on suspected nuclear installations in Iran, perhaps by Israel, feeling most directly threatened by prospect of Iranian nuclear bomb, are fraught with risk(Shia chaos sowed across Iraq/Afghan borders).Economist 13 Nov 04 "Europe and Iran:The Nuclear Route" (13); "Iran:The Nuclear Squeeze" (51-2); "Iran-EU Agreement on Nuclear Programme" [Text of Agreement]IAEA.ORG 14 Nov; Elaine Sciolino "Britain, France and Germany Announce Accord With Iran" New York Times 15 Nov; "UN Partly Clears Iran on Nuclear Issue, Doubts Remain" Reuters 15 Nov; "U.N. OKs Iran Deal to Suspend Enrichment" Associated Press 15 Nov; "IAEA Director General Report on Iran Nuclear Verification Sent to Agency's Board" [Text Restricted; Can be made public by IAEA Board]IAEA.ORG 15 Nov; "Iran: Nuclear Ambitions Delayed" Economist 18 Nov;Richard Beeston "Powell Says Iran Is Making Nuclear Missiles" The Times 19 Nov;Elaine Sciolino "U.N. Official Says Iranians Seem to Curb Atom Activity" NYT 23 Nov:-EU has negotiated another Agreement whereby Iran is hoped to stop its preparation of nuclear weapons at least for a time. Reports are complementary with each other, and easily accessible. They are listed rather than summarized since rationale/text/popularity/effectiveness of Agreement complex. Economist 11 Dec 04 "Iran: Still Failing, Still Defiant" (23-5):-meets important needraised by Agreement with EU: provides relatively detailed/estimated description of Iran's current regime/economy/motives/stability/future prospects. Summary of Special Report: "In the short run, Iran is getting grimmer. One day ruling ayatollahs will lose their deadening grip on power. But not soon." Item notes many are unhappy with tough conservative religious authority, some so miserable an estimated200,000 emigrate annually. In addition 16% are officially jobless. "As things stand, Iran will probably attainthe capacity to make a bomb and, after Indian-style period of'strategic ambiguity',break out of the NPT. It would be unlikely ever to use this weapon. But it would be safer, perhaps, from the sort of attacklaunched on it by Saddam Hussein 24 years ago."
The Economist 20 Nov 04 "Aid Agencies: More Dangerous Than Ever" (48-9):-aid work is one of the most dangerous professions in the world." In past decade, more than 200 UN civilian staff...killed by'malicious acts' in 45 countries. Nearly 300 more civilians/peacekeepers taken hostage. International Committee of Red Cross(IDRC)lost 40 staff on mission over same period. Hundreds of other unarmed aid workers...killed/maimed/abducted/assaulted as tried to help people in some of world's most benighted places.[N]ew is deliberate way they are now targeted, particularly in Iraq/Afghanistan. Three UN aidworkers in [latter still under decapitation threat].Suicide attack on ICRCHQ Baghdad killed ten.[S]uicidebomb in UNHQ Baghdad killed 22...Five Medecins Sans Frontieres murdered in cold blood in Afghanistan.And so...on. Most big relief agencies...have now left Iraq. ICRC remains...without cover of red cross. UN, supposed to oversee Iraq election.,.still operating in Baghdad but with expatriate staff of just 35[300+until attack. UN flag/ICRC cross offered protection until 1990s.]Instead of accidentally killed because...in wrong place/wrong time, clearly identified aid workers began to be murdered - in Balkans/Sierra Leone/Africa Great Lakes region/ Chechnya/Colombia.[Deaths more local factors]than personal affiliation.[But i]n Afghanistan/Iraq UN/aid agencies ...deliberately hunted down. Mostly based in rich countries.,.come to beregarded by many...as part of a western plot to subjugate Muslim world-though more than half[UN/ICRC]beneficiaries Muslims. Blurring...between humanitarian/ military roles, with coalition forcesin Afghanistan/Iraq perceived handing out...food one day/dropping bombs next, has not helped." Aid people see their neutral operating space much limited, as now seen as semi-official distributors of west-government relief; not as impartial agencies meeting local need. UNSG asked for top-priority new anti-risk safety measures. "But will they prove any more effective against targeted terrorist attacks than blue flag?"
The Economist 20 Nov 04 "Afghanistan: After the Taliban" (46):-UN counter-narcotics agency(UNODC) reports huge rise in Afghan opium production for third year: export value $2.8b - equal to 60% of 03 GDP, and providing 95+% of heroin reaching Europe. "This year, 131,000 hectares sown with opium seed- 64% increase;...yet harvest, 4,200 tonnes of opium resin, up only 17%" ,due to bad weather/crop disease,rather than effort to destroy/dissuade. "Spending around $150m/year, Britain has formed array ofcounter-narcotics departments and law enforcement agencies, which began functioning only this year.Money also spent on persuading poppy farmers to grow alternative crops, like fruit trees or saffron.UN...advocated floriculture - hoping...bed of roses. But, in absence of almost any law enforcement[orroads to markets]such schemes hopeless...In fact opium cultivation has no financial equivalent. Last year,each hectare under cultivation yielded 45 kilos of opium, which earned farmers $283/kilo. This year, price was $92." Then argues that only US has capacity to enforce law and is only just starting to undertakeaction/funds against opium. "Persuaded Taliban using opium cash to buy arms, US waded in... Government ordered provincial governors to destroy 25% of poppy crop...Few did so...Helmand is ideal drug country. US also[financed/trained] Afghan eradication team[which]caused chaos. Farmers firedrockets...and sowed poppy fields with land mines. Yet it destroyed 1,000 hectares...and should be expanded next year...US announced $780m for drug control efforts. Britain trained top-level interdictionforce[which]destroyed over 51 tonnes of opium and 32 heroin-producing labs. Also arrested 20 mid-leveltraffickers, but...none has been convicted. Drugs squad within Afghan police force faces greater obstacles...Drug traders will surely thrive if no-one ever punished...UN plans to train judges and advocatesspecially to try traffickers.[D]istant glimmer of hope...although opium making return[in Pakistan]too." Nat Ives "Karzai Plans to Destroy Poppy Fields in 2 Years" New York Times 13 Dec 04:-reports Afghanistan's newly-confirmed president firmly undertakes to destroy country's flourishing drug production, a critical(if very difficult)aim as UN Office on Drugs and Crime officially claims nation has become source for 87% of world's opium. US military review expresses concern Afghanistan's poppy cultivation/opium production will increase and expand influence of drug magnates at all levels of government. It also claimed that, "by strengthening their ties to drug traffickers, Taliban fighters/other militants will be able to use intimidation and play on ethnic/tribal allegiances to try to undermine government. [Hence, at] narcotics conference in Kabul, Karzai called on countrymen to declare holy war against fast-growing opium trade." Carlotta Gall "Armed and Elusive, Afghan Drug Dealers Roam Free" NYT 02 Jan 05:-much detail on drug shipping across Margo desert, sprawling "across far southwestern corner of Afghanistan towards borders with Iran and Pakistan.[It] is favored route of drug traffickers taking opium, heroin and hashish produced in Afghanistan to Iran for smuggling to Turkey and Europe. They cross in armed convoys of 10-20 pickup trucks, at such high speed that police officials say they cannot catch them...Scale of problem and deadly seriousness of smugglers have been confirmed by Iranian authorities and UN. Iran has lost more than3,000 police officers battling drug smugglers in 10 years...In effort to improve Afghan border control, Iran building/equipping 25 border checkpoints for Afghan authorities along their common border, and hasdonated 100 motorbikes to Afghan police."
The Economist 20 Nov 04 "The United Nations: Time For A Re-Think" (Edit.15-6) "United Nations: Fighting For Survival" (25-7):-this historically important Special Report provides a careful, yet positive, summary of a realistic but strongly positive set of recommendations, agreed on by a panel appointed by Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General. The 16-member group, composed of top-level but independent worthies from all regions of globe, was instructed to submit UN-reform proposals related to Organization's effective coordination of collective security in face of unprecedented global threats. Editorial supports reforms carefully but as essential. UN" embodies collective will and wisdom of imperfect world...Report on how UN might in future better contribute to international security - mobilizing its own and world's resources, to prevent crises where possible and to deal with them more resolutely and effectively where necessary - is due...Yet the thoughtful debate such proposals deserve risks getting lost in poisonous war of words.[Those]who brush against UN as irrelevant in today's world are...dangerously short-sighted.World's most powerful country/top gun has its problems. With global interests and global reach, US is most often called on to right world's wrongs. It should have keen interest in rules-based system whichkeeps that burden to minimum and finds way for others, including UN, to share it...Agreed rules for all to play as much as possible makes strategic sense too.[Yet]system of international rules/treaties/laws is stilla hodge-podge. Some, like UN Charter, deemed universal, though...sometimes ignored.[P]rohibitions against proliferation of...weapons accepted by many but not all. Some disputes can be settled in court...but only where governments give nod...UN Security Council is where most serious disputes end.There trouble can start. UNSC not moral conscience of world. It is connection of states pursuing divergentinterests, albeit...with sense of responsibility. Where it can agree, consensus lends legitimacy toaction...Getting UNSC to mean what it says would help restore some lost credibility. Getting it to evolve collective thinking about international legal niceties in tune with evolving threats...is vital too. It has latelylearned to lean harder on genocidal dictators...Now it needs to contemplate earlier and sometimes evenforceful action by itself or others against threats...where delay[,including if too many members,]couldinvite catastrophe ...All the more reason why Annan's eminences deserve proper hearing." Council on Foreign Relations "Q&A: Reforming the United Nations" 01 Dec 04:-originally available either by NYT>CFR>International>[title] or via the CFR directly. This is an expert interview with Lee Feinsteinwho" has spearheaded Council work on the United Nations" and studied the important UN report and its UNGA prospects. Complete text of "A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility" Report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, plus preliminary comments by its requester/addressee,UNSG Kofi Annan, can be read and even copied(99pp Acrobat Reader)from the Secretary General's part of the UN file(www.un.org). Executive Summary(8pp Acrobat)is also available at the same address.
The Economist 19 Feb 05"Anti-Americanism: The View From Abroad"(24-6):-Special Report just prior toUS President George Bush's politically important visit to Europe argues that he "will encounter a more complex animosity than is often portrayed when he ventures abroad". It reports that Pew Research Centerconcluded "'Anti-Americanism is deeper and broader now than at any time in modern history'. But though it spans the globe, the phenomenon is not everywhere the same. It mutates according to local conditions, and it is seldom straightforward. No wonder. Most people's feelings about US are complicated... It is easy to be for some[US aims]and against others, and some may wax or wane in importance according to time, circumstance, propaganda or wishful thinking. So it should be no surprise that some people can hold two apparently contradictory views of US at once." SR then describes US views of selected countries/groupsin following order: France, Iran, Muslim world(first Indonesia, then Arabs), Greece, Spain, European far left and far right, Latin America, Congo, Angola, Philippines. Then report "suggests that intensity of [experience with US] may be the decisive factor in the creation of lasting anti-Americanism. [Canada is listed as unusual country that "is perpetually critical of US" despite having"never(sic) suffered anything worse" than US"cultural imperialism, ignoration and disdain". Such a position is also clearly ignorant of Canadian experience. Two bloody miltary invasions to conquer us took place in 1775 and 1812-14, plus other invasion threats; the(vast?)majority of immigrants into Canada entered specifically to avoid or escape US; and Canada fought bloodily in WWs I and II for three years each time before US entered, even though we (both?) felt North America was also threatened.] Specific bad historical experiences for other countries are listed briefly. "Vigour of anti-American feeling varies strongly even among peoples who, to the casual observer, seem to have no good reason for their differing reactions... Certainly, hostility to US is often mitigated by feelings of friendship and gratitude... A US diaspora may also have a mollifyingeffect in the old country... This background of ties, aspirations and shared values means that in some places anti-Americanism can be dissipated quite quickly with a visit...or some other gesture... In other places, though, it would take much more to change attitudes... In some places it may well be impossible for US to do very much." In final section, the strong views about recent Bush-initiated actions and policies are summarized - mainly the negative ones - with their strong effects on past US role as sample.Anne Applebaum"In Search of Pro-Americanism"Foreign Policy No.149(Jul/Aug 05):-article is summarized by FP: "There has never been a more popular time to be anti-American. From Beijing to Berlin, from Sydney to Sao Paulo, US' s detractors have become legion. But not everyone has chosen to get on the anti-American bandwagon. Where - and among whom - is US still admired, and why? Meet the pro-Americans." Steven Kull"It's Lonely at the Top"Foreign Policy No.149(Jul/Aug 05):-reports that "A new poll of nearly 24,000 citizens from 23 countries, conducted by international polling firm Globe-Scan and the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the Univ of Maryland, suggests that the tectonic plates of world opinion are shifting. People around the world are not only turning away from the US; they are starting to embrace the leadership of other major powers." Poll asked leading countries who is having a mainly positive or negative influence in the world among: China, France, Russia, Britain, US. Results are shown in a chart that displays percentage breakdowns from each of the five plus Brazil, Canada, India and South Africa.
The Economist 19 Mar 05"Reforming the Intelligence Services: The Spy Game"(Edit.13);"America's[US] Intelligence Reforms: Can Spies Be Made Better?"(29-31); "Britain's Intelligence Services: Cats' Eyes In the Dark"(32-4):-Editorial concludes:"In both Britain and US, the spies remain on watch. Current trends -terrorism and proliferation - have made their work both more important and much harder. Meanwhile, comforting idea that technology would make spying more of a high-tech science was blown apart by 11 Sep and Iraq fiasco; it is now a more risky, more human affair where real eyes and ears matter. So farspooks have been given much of what wanting: more money/more power/relatively gentle reorganisation.Now need to prove their worth." Item on US intelligence reforms:"Truth is, no one knows how the reforms will proceed. [John Negraponte, first director of national intelligence (DNI)] may gain a modicum of controlover the agencies. At best, he may ensure that the information channels opened within and between theagencies after the hijack attacks stay open. Yet, on his own at least, he will not be able to fix the agencies' most grievous problems, highlighted by their performance on Iraq... Further organizational reform would not eliminate problem. US spies do not necessarily need shifting; a good few need sacking." Item onBritish intelligence reform: "Can challenging and questioning be made part of the spy culture?... Britain'sintelligence services have been feeling their limitations lately. The [11 Sep 05 terrorist attacks and the invasion of Iraq] have forced a rethink in the way things are done - and have led to the most substantial reshaping of the intelligence community since 1946-48... Terrorist-related intelligence... now has to bepassed to Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre(JTAC). [Post-Iraq,] the new system is intended to givetechnical specialists more weight, to engender greater scepticism about the material gathered, and to licence every member of the British intelligence community, when necessary, to speak truth to power".
The Economist 26 Mar 05"The United Nations: Kofi Annan's Reform Plan"(Edit.12); "America[US] and the United Nations: Love At Second Sight"(31):-Editorial reports:"Some good ideas, but no revolution in therunning of the world"... "Some of Annan's reforms are designed expressly to address [chronic] failings. Possible remedies include adding new permanent members to UN Security Council [e.g.Germany, Japan, Brazil, India] to make it more representative, and making the rules on using force more flexible, so thatattack does not have to be under way or imminent before self-defence can be invoked; UNSC could alsorespond to'latent'threats...These ideas have been put together in good faith by experienced diplomats. They deserve a hearing. And yet they do not - indeed cannot - solve underlying problem... It is absence of [agreed] will, not some legal quibble, that is holding [UNSC]back now. None of this means Annan's ideas ought to be rejected, or that UN is not worth improving." Item on US views:"Bush's people seem to like: new intergovernmental peace-building commission;...replacement of Human Rights Commission by smaller, elected Human Rights Council; agreed definition of terrorism;... attempt to confirm a nation's right to launch'pre-emptive'strike in face of 'imminent'threat... Most contentious part of Annan's package...concerns UNSC [expanded] from 15 to 24. [Even former Republican critic wants]'"credible UN" because'US cannot be world's sole saviour. It needs to share its burden'".Economist 06 Aug 05"America's New UN Envoy: Lethal Injection, Or Healthy Tonic?"(24-5):-US president "bypasses the Senate to send John Bolton to the UN [,which] is unlikely to be the same again. Ignoring fierce opposition from civil liberties groups, Democrats and even some Republicans, Bush has chosen to bypass normal Senate confirmation procedures to appoint... outspoken advocate of US global hegemony... In past, Bolton seemed to treat UN with something less than full respect... [He has spoken for] "those neo-cons who regard UN as costly, corrupt, anachronistic impediment to the free exercise of US power...But [some UN forces] believe choice of such outspoken, hard-driving heavyweight ...could actually provide the 'kick up the pants' UN needs. [Appointment]could also help bring some of UN's most ferocious critics behind[its Rice-supported] reforms. [Rice aide] sounded astonishingly supportive of UN, praising its many achievements in bringing economic development, security and peace to world, and pledging US backing for most [UNSG] Annan's proposed reforms, to be endorsed... at UN summit...'Therefore vital... US lead UN, that we have faith in UN,pay our dues, promote reform and contribute to strengthen UN for all the many challenges ahead. [Bolton]role will be more to execute policy than to formulate it.... He could be rather good at that."
The Economist 09 Apr 05"The International Criminal Court: Lengthening the Arm of Global Law"(38):-item explains "Consequences of referring Darfur to ICC... UN-appointed commission 'strongly recommended'referral of 'heinous' crimes in Darfur to ICC[, and] UNSC has finally agreed to act, despite US hostility to ICC. Sealed list of 51 prime suspects, drawn up by commission and including names of Sudanese officials, members of state-sponsored militias and Darfuri rebels, handed to ICC's chief prosecutor [who] plans to start immediately to investigate two -year conflict... Three ways ICC can launch investigation. (1) Country where war crimes [may] have taken place can ask ICC to look into them. (2) ICC chief prosecutor can take initiative so long as alleged crimes took place in one of 98 countries which ratified [ICC] treaty. (3) UNSC can make referral, regardless of where crimes took place... If ICC deems Sudan's investigations to be bogus... it will dismiss Sudanese challenge and unleash its prosecutors... US had wanted a blanket immunity from ICC prosecution. But this denied by the nine UNSC members... signed up to ICC...[N]ext time[similar evil], US will find it harder to explain why ICC should not go after it".
The Economist 16 Apr 05"Special Report: Nepal: Himalayan Horrors"(21-3):-"Nepal, sandwiched between [China and India], continues its slide into chaos". Its strategic location - along the world's greatest mountain range and splitting the two most populous states, both liable to become superpowers - meansspecial Nepalese instability could become a global issue. Bulk of Special Report provides authoritative but discouraging information about Nepal's recent history and its many serious political, economic, and security problems. Summary of its final section: "Sooner or later, it seems likely the king will have to climb down. Already most politicians detained during the [king's] coup... have been freed. And... Nepal agreedto accept human-rights monitors from UN. Move was dismissed by some activists as intended to avoid condemnation [but] it does at least give a chance to test claims made by army and [Maoist rebels] alike, that they want to respect human rights. It also sets precedent for limited foreign intervention, which Nepaldesperately needs. Aim of foreign governments is to persuade king to restore power to the parties andassume largely ceremonial role so that 'constitutional forces' united against Maoist foe... Such platformneeds to include strategy for engaging Maoists in talks. Few believe rebels can achieve a military victoryeither... They say want to join mainstream politics, but demanding 'constituent assembly'to discuss new, republican, constitution. Optimists argue they, too, in trouble: loathed, feared, and with a leadership boasting no spectacular successes to appease its self-sacrificing cadres. But to end war, republic might come to seem fair price to pay. King...has gambled with the monarchy itself". Economist 26 Nov 05"Nepal: Three Into Two"(52):-although there have been many - and discouraging - media reports on Nepal's chronic problems since mid-Apr 05, this one offers possibly-republican news. Officially described as: "A novelty for King Gyanendra: a united opposition", it announces that "two of the three sides - theMaoist insurgents and the mainstream political parties - announced 22 Nov they were ganging up onthe monarchy. King.., who seized absolute power in Feb, is as isolated at home as he is unpopular with Nepal's main allies abroad. But he is still solidly in charge [controlling both army and government].Agreement...calls for a boycott of elections king has called for next year, and formation of a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution... Foreign governments - especially India's - encouraged by accord".Economist 29 Apr 06"Nepal: Knights and Pawns Check King"(44):-"People power wins in Nepal - for themoment... Nepal's army finally called time on King Gyanendra's disastrous attempt at absolutism. Facedwith the prospect of either mowing down unarmed demonstrators or seeing palace stormed, the generals went to the opposition and asked them to form a government. [I]t was almost certainly army that broughtthe news to Nepal's deluded sovereign that the game was up. [H]e restored the parliament that had beendissolved four years ago [and] implicitly accepted the opposition's policy of securing peace with Maoist rebels by rewriting the constitution... For the first time in many years, outlook for Nepal seems hopeful...Maoist ceasefire was announced on 27 Apr, for three months to begin with... after a decade-long civil warthat cost some 13,000 lives... [D]ynasty has nothing to offer and [king], man of blood, may have to go".
The Economist 07 May 05"Russia and the West: Victory Day Remembered - But Parades in Moscow Should Not Stop the West Confronting Russian Autocracy"(Edit.10):-"Not surprising that history of so cataclysmic an event as WWII should still cast a shadow everywhere today. But at least in most countries of Europe [as well as in Australia, Canada, NZ and USA], people have come to terms with, and in many ways moved beyond, that history - something EU by its very existence seeks to symbolise. Germany hasfully admitted the sins of its past.[See: "Germans and Jews: Uncertain Normality - Some Forgiving, Not Much Forgetting"(48).] Even Japan, slow as it is to accept its faults [to particular annoyance of China and Korea], has repeatedly apologised for its wartime record. The exception... is Russia. Its failure to come clean about the iniquities of its own past is part of a wider story that helps to explain why post-Soviet Russia remains so prickly and troubling. [Russia's President Vladimir] Putin calls himself a democrat. Yethe recently declared collapse of Soviet Union was greatest geo-political catastrophe of 20th century... Hardly uncommon for nations to glorify their wartime histories,... and perhaps it is forgivable. But in the memory of too many Russians, a justified pride in having vanquished Hitler is mingled with a misplacednostalgia for the days of 'greatness' (and terror) under Stalin's own dictatorship. [See: "Victory Day, 60 Years On: The Uses and Abuses of History - Russia's Complicated Attitude to the Best and Worst of Times"(45-6).] Tearing-down of iron curtain and dissolution of Soviet Union achieved remarkably peacefully.Moscow harrumphed when former vassals joined NATO and then EU, but it did not seek actively to stopthem. Nor was Putin able... to prevent spread of 'democratic revolutions' ... But Russians still interfering, politically and militarily, in string of neighbouring countries that were once under Soviet control. Still notsigned border treaties with two of three Baltic countries. [See: "Baltic Borders and the War: Frontier Justice - Why Russia's Borders With the Baltic Countries Remain Disputed"(46).] To neighbours, Putin's Russia looks dangerous - even if, to West in general, weakened Russia is far from threat it was in cold-war days... Russia's failure fully to acknowledge its past is more than case of post-imperial twitching in itsnear-abroad. It is also part and parcel of Putin's shift from liberal democracy towards authoritarianism... Independent media have been muzzled, elections rigged and any hints of opposition neutered, This might seem matter primarily for Russians to fret over, but it also troubles neighbours that have too often suffered from Russian attention. [See: "Charlemagne: Taking On the Bear - Russia's Awkward Position in Europe's Jigshaw"(50).] Foreign investors are worried too. Government... has demonstrated with awful clarity bothlack of any independent rule of law and arbitrariness of Russian state's intervention in business. To westernEuropeans , increasingly reliant on Russia for energy, this too should be matter of great concern. [See; Op.Cit summary: "Russian Oil: King Solomon's Pipes - The Benefits of Keeping Japan and China Guessing"(59-60).] Russia has its pride and special sensitivities. But countries of West would be doing both themselves and Russian people favour by speaking firmly, with one voice, on human rights,democracy, rule of law and brutal war in [Caucasus]. Should urge Putin to confront and transcend the dictatorship of memory by normalising Russia's borders...and to abandon any atavistic dreams of empire".
The Economist 11 Jun 05"UN Security Council Reform: Curb Your Enthusiasm"(30):-on gloomy prospect of the key body's needed membership update:"A useful proposal and US rebuff". Highlights:"Reform of UNSC [just] advanced a longish step forward... Four countries with most hope of winning new permanent seats - Japan, Germany, India, Brazil - agreed to put off discussion of veto rights... for another 15 years at least... US is unenthusiastic [since] thinks expansion of UNSC should come a definite second to other reforms, such as streamlining UN bureaucracy... Many [members] still doubt UNSC can ever be reformed. [It] has evaded any attempt at real reform. Too many vested interests/national rivalries have been at stake. The G4, as they are known, are proposing that existing 15-member council of five veto-wielding permanent members (US, Russia, Britain, China, France - known as P5) and 10 non-permanent members should be expanded to 25. First six new permanent members would be added, then four non-permanentones, with special attention paid to including countries from Africa and Latin America. [G4] now agree thatnew permanent members' 'right of veto'would not be exercised, at least until whole veto question had beenexamined by UNGA 15 years after planned reforms. [As G4 plan] involves amendment of UN Charter, itrequires approval of at least two-thirds of member states. Countries interested in obtaining a permanent seat would then be asked to submit their candidacies to a vote by a secret ballot of members... Each [of G4] has its own fierce opponent(s). Pakistan cannot abide idea of India getting permanent status; China isappalled that Japan, its old enemy, might join it at top table; jealous neighbours oppose Brazil, already Latin America's most powerful nation; Italy, always feeling left in the cold by Europe's 'big three', has conducted vigorous campaign against Germany. None of these opponents, on their own, could block selection. ButUS attitude will be critical. At present, US is officially supporting only candidacy of Japan".
The Economist 16 Jul 05"In Europe's Midst"(Edit.13-4):-"Four young British Muslims became zealots, and the zealots became suicide-bombers.";"Muslim Extremism in Europe: The Enemy Within" (Special Report24-6);-"What turns a man into a terrorist, and what can be done about it?";US:"Fighting Terrorism: Imagining Something Much Worse Than London"(27-8):-"The unwieldy Department of Homeland Securityhas a timely reorganisation, aimed at focusing on most dangerous threats."; "Jihadists in the Middle East: Cradle of War, School of Jihad"(41-2):-"Al-Qaeda's allies turned Iraq into new Afghanistan.";"Israel's Suicide-Bombing: Ploughing on Regardless"(42):-"Suicide-bombers try to derail the Gaza pullout.";"Italy and Terrorism: The Next Target?"(44-5):-"Terrorism is 'knocking at Italy's door, says the interior minister. Most Italians need no persuading."; "London: After the Bombs"(52-3):-"How four suicide attacks by British citizens have changed Britain."; "Ethnic Relations: One Step Back"(53):-"Attacks in London will test analready-embattled group."; "Terrorism Insurance: Change of Calculation"(71):-"The bombings in Londonmay affect a US debate.":-after the serious suicide-bomber explosions of 07 Jul in London, Economisteither collected from professionals, or at least presented in valuable forms, a vast and expert variety of related - and serious - information in the nine good articles listed here. Following each title, their official summaries are offered, since they are both clear and succinct. I particularly stress the Special Report, not because it is critical of Muslims/Islamic doctrine (it isn't), but since it describes how and why young men can become mass killers. (Young) people with twisted/frustrated attitudes can gain/use mass weapons relatively easily in virtually any state on earth and regardless of their religions. (My concern about gradual but inherent global trends of this sort, started this future-looking bibliography over ten years ago...)
The Economist 23 Jul 05"Myanmar: How To Save It"(Edit.12); Myanmar: The Mess That the Army Has Made"(23-5):-Special Report offers a thoughtful account of how "Brutality and neglect by Myanmar's military regime have created a pariah state with a wretched and desperate people...Country is stuck in such a rut that the prospect of a foreign invasion is a fond hope, not a fear... Indeed, the junta looks more entrenched than at any point in the 17 years since it took power[, while] the life of ordinary Burmese is becoming ever more miserable... [When elections] were held in 1990, the junta refused to honour the result, a landslidewin for National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Aung San Suu Kyi. Instead, the generals simply locked up their political opponents and continued as a military dictatorship... In 2003, the [junta, calling itself the State Peace and Development Council or] SPDC unveiled a seven-point 'road map'to democracy. But the road, predictably, is long and winding... Instead, [SPDC] appears to be digging in, literally: the army is shifting its headquarters to a series of underground bunkers in... remote, hilly region of central Myanmar".Editorial concludes"it would not hurt to spell out exactly what steps outsiders would like generals to take,how quickly they should be taken, and what consequences of each stage of compliance or defiance would be [via UNSC?]. For example, foreigners might agree to restore full diplomatic relations if junta releasedMiss Suu Kyi. Next, they could trade big infusion of aid for, say, an effective ceasefire in various war-torn corners of the country. Then they could offer to drop sanctions, should junta ever cut some sort of power-sharing deal with its opponents... None of these steps would be irreversible, and there[could]be plenty ofother penalties.Even Miss Suu Kyi herself has already conceded that an absolutist approach not practical."
The Economist 23 Jul 05"Counter-Terrorism in Europe: The Fight Within"(45-6):-"In fits and starts,European countries are learning to co-operate more closely, and to share intelligence, in battle against terrorism... EU members made copious promises to co-operate in fight against terror. An 'action plan', including 150 separate measures, was launched in [Jun 04]. Some two-thirds of these have been translated into political decisions...'Situation centre'in Brussels, where EU members share intelligence assessments, has begun looking at domestic threats as well as external ones... European Commissionproposed more measures, including making explosives more easily traceable and restricting sales of farmfertiliser. EU's embryonic law-enforcement institutions - Europol police agency, and Eurojust, through which prosecutors co-operate - are heavily engaged in anti-terrorism work, building relations with their much bigger brothers in US... Important decisions will come this autumn, such as making personal data more easily available to investigators while also introducing an EU-wide system of data protection. Treading delicately in sensitive territory, the commission is preparing a paper on 'radicalisation'- politelanguage for discontent among young Muslims that prompts a few to become terrorists. But officials stress this will describe problem, not prescribe solutions; only national governments can do that. Nor is there any guarantee that common threats will translate into common action... At everyday level, barriersto co-operation are rarely insuperable... Individual acts of co-operation between European countries areone thing. Longer-term efforts to turn counter-terrorism into a pan-European activity are something else...Moreover, problems are not just legal and technical, but political and ethical. In all European countries,hard questions have been posed by the twin challenges of terrorism and Muslim disaffection."
The Economist 23 Jul 05"India and America: Now We Are Six"(Edit.13); "India and America: Together At Last"(37-8):-Both relate to the visit of India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Washington, andselective but significant improvement of relations. Latter description summarized:"US adds substance to its professions of friendship for India";and comments:"Change in US attitude reflects both India's emergence as economic force to be reckoned with, and the rise of neighbouring China. India's economy is only about 40% the size of China's, but its fast growth and young population mean that its global role is increasing, not least because of its thriving information-technology and outsourcing industries".Editorial is concerned: "Has US just destroyed the non-proliferation treaty(NPT), set up 1968 to halt spread of nuclear weapons? [India's PM] walked off with... access to US civilian nuclear know-how and nuclear fuel, despite fact that India has been a declared holder of nuclear weapons since 1998. India not signatory to NPT, and not bound by its provisions, which restrict right to possess nuclear weapons to five original nuclear powers...and impose extensive safeguards on civilian nuclear programs of other member states. But even so, it has always been a tenet of US foreign policy, enshrined in law, that only countries that areNPT members should share in benefits of US civilian nuclear expertise. Being able to buy US reactor components and fuel rods was supposed to be specific reward for renouncing nuclear weapons, not favour to be handed out at will... Danger now:...other friendly countries that considered acquiringnuclear weapons, but decided not to do so because help with their civilian programs was judged to matter more, might think that they too can have it both ways. Another danger:... non-nuclear countries will havemore reason than before to see NPT as charade which lets powerful hold on to their own nukes andallows their friends to acquire them, while excluding everyone else... On balance...it seems US eagerness to cement better relationship with India has led it to damage the effort to contain the spread of nuclear weapons... India might better have been offered something it values even more highly than nuclear help, and deserves far better: US support for its quest to win a permanent seat on UN Security Council". For description of current global debate for creating new permanent/non-permanent UNSC seats: Economist30 Jul 05"The UN Security Council: United We Stand"(27-30)."An unexpected agreement on expansion".
The Economist 10 Sep 05"The United Nations: The Oil-For-Food Fiasco"(Edit.12-3); "Special Report: The United Nation: Can Its Credibility Be Repaired?"(30-2):-Both items deal with how a decision on UNSG Kofi Annan's program to constructively reform the UN coincides with the release of a serious critique against UN management. The reform program was to be debated/drafted before, and then submitted to, a special UN global summit in New York in Sep 05. Editorial argues:"After more than a year of investigation, Paul Volcker... chose this [week] to publish his report on what went wrong with UN's oil-for-food program in Iraq... Program...basic aim...was to allow Iraq under sanctions to sell...oil so that some basic food/medical needs...could still be met. But Volcker's team confirms that program was riddled with waste, inefficiency and corruption. [Yet] Volcker has found no evidence at all that UNSG himself did anything corrupt [and argues] Annan not responsible for everything that went wrong... UN Security Council tried to keepcontrol through a sanctions committee of national diplomats. Having neither UNSC nor secretariat in clear command was recipe for 'evasion of responsibility at all levels' ... Annan should not be fall guy for US' s failure to muster [UNSC Iraq-invasion] consensus in its favour". SR first reports on Volcker's belief that"failings it found are symptomatic of 'systemic problems' throughout [UN system, which hence]needs thoroughgoing reform - and urgently...Recent studies...come to identical conclusion, including High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change set up by UNSG himself[, which] forms basis for reform that over 170 heads of state/government to endorse in NY 14-16 Sep... There has been enormous trouble in drafting so-called 'outcome document'which, based on panel's proposals, to be presented to summit. Bargaining had been mired in furious wrangling between member states, with US pitched against group of developing countries... [Then John Bolton, new US ambassador (op.cit.)] threw negotiations into further crisis by insisting on hundreds of last-minute changes to 39-page draftdocument that everyone else had thought was pretty near complete. [Some alterations demanded] toreinto the delicately balanced 'grand bargain'between rich and poor...Plan was: poor to have Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) reaffirmed, along with promises of more aid and debt relief, pledge to tackle climate change and progress on disarmament. Developed world: to get clear definition of terrorismincluding those considered 'freedom fighters' by some, agreed right to humanitarian intervention, powerfulnew human rights body that would exclude human-rights violators, creation of new 'peacebuilding commission'to help reconstruction of post-war states and UN management reform". Essence of UNSG proposals had been preserved. "But Bolton's line-by-line amendments, including his widely reportedinsistence on deletion of all specific references to MDGs, the International Criminal Court, and Kyoto summit, along with what were perceived as his bullying tactics, opened a Pandora's box. Developing countries retaliated with a string of their own amendments which, if adopted, would have emasculatedwhole document". A rescue operation involving 'core'group of 30 countries was negotiating day and nightat time of publication. Latter half of document offers special analyses on following issues: Use of force and collective security; Humanitarian intervention; The Security Council; Terrorism; Human Rights Council;Non-proliferation; Is Annan to go or to stay?
The Economist 24 Sep 05"Afghanistan's Parliamentary Elections: Putting Steel Into Karzai"(Edit.17);"Afghanistan's Elections: Democracy, Sort Of"(54):-Overall conclusion: "A relatively peaceful vote, butAfghanistan's future still not secure... Parliamentary and provincial elections held 18 Sep were violent, with19 polling stations attacked by Taliban insurgents and a dozen people killed. Intimidation and fraud wereevident, compounded by confusing voting system, whereby each candidate stood as independent. Butthis was much less chaos than had been predicted... [T]urnout...at around 50% nonetheless bespoke strong support for democracy and accountable governance[; but] promised recovery lies further ahead than ruination lies behind... By preventing... political parties President sought to ensure weak opposition...Of 207 'commander-candidates' identified before poll, merely 32 disqualified...Karzai to blame [and] must now undo harm his weakness has done, and ensure no elected candidate/other official maintains a militia. To persuade Karzai to do this, allies must add steel to their assurances. [U]ncertain whether [NATO] allies would fill the breach US would like. Must do so. [At stake] are fights against Taliban, al-Qaeda and drugdealers... Ultimately no western power can end insurency raging in southern/eastern Afghanistan... Will take years, [b]ut... Pakistan could reduce the killing...and must arrest its old friends, Taliban leaders";
The Economist 08 Oct 05"Terrorism: The Bomber Will Always Get Through"(Edit.12-3); "Indonesia: Bali, Again"(51-2):-Editorial addresses general threat of terrorism in Indonesia, South-East Asia, and world."Once again,a balmy Bali night has been ripped apart by bombs, aimed at innocent foreign holidaymakersthough mostly killing innocent Indonesians... This latest outrage may have succeeded in reminding world of region's vulnerability, but its perpetrators losing. Caliphate was always a crazy vision, and bombersare failing to achieve even their more modest ambitions... If caliphate is unrealisable dream, what do terrorists in South-East Asia seek to achieve? One purpose of terror is to force governments intorepressive measures, which alienate people and then, supposedly, generate support for causes terrorists espouse. There is not much sign of this happening anywhere in South-East Asia, with exception of ham-fisted reponse of Thai government to its separatist movement. Constraints of democracy have mostly keptresponse to terror proportionate... Another of aims of terrorism is to inflict economic damage, soweakening target government. Yet there is little sign of this happening either. All of South-East Asia'seconomies, even that of Philippines, are more or less booming, growing at 4% a year or better. Indonesia's grew by 5.2% in second quarter of this year. Most terrorists can hope for is to hurt notoriously nervy tourist trade. But tourism is only about 5% of Indonesia's economy, lower figure than for most other countries in region... Terrorists will always manage to kill people, if they are cunning enough or pick easy enough targets... But for terrorists, this is far cry from victory". Article stresses:"Indonesia resolutely unspooked".
The Economist 24 Dec 05"Japan's Humanoid Robots: Better Than People"(58-9):-thrust of major essayconcentrates on one society's special needs and wishes in a vital area: "Why the Japanese want their robots to act more like humans". However, if civilization of planet continues, Japan's robotic future willnot be unique: eventually all global societies will - more and more - both want and need humanoids to do jobs that ultimately humans won't or can't do. Highlights: "With too few young workers supporting anageing population, somebody - or something - needs to fill the gap, especially since many of Japan's youngpeople will be needed in science, business and other creative or knowledge-intensive jobs... Consensus among Japanese is that visions of a future in which immigrant workers live harmoniously and unobtrusivelyin Japan are pure fancy. Making humanoid robots is clearly simple and practical way to go. Japan certainly has the technology. It is already world leader in making industrial robots, which look nothing like... people but increasingly do much of the work in its factories... Japan will need workers, and it is learning how to make robots that can do many...jobs. But... keen interest in robots may also reflect something else: it seems that plenty of Japanese really like dealing with robots. [M]ost Japanese view robots as friendly and benign.Robots like people, and can do good.;. and native religion...does not make clear distinctions betweeninanimate things and organic beings... Japanese popular culture has also consistently portrayed robots in positive light... Japanese public [may even] hope that real-world robots will soon be able to pursue good[global assistance]...Japan free to make use of a great new tool, just when its needs and abilities happilyabout to converge. [ Since robots can avoid the complexity of Japanese personal contacts,] researchersforging ahead with research on human interfaces. [I]nteractive robots' ... advantages for... users willmultiply... Eventually interactive robots going to become more common, not just in Japan but in other rich countries as well...What seems to set Japan apart from other countries is that few Japanese are all thatworried about effects hordes of robots might have on citizens". [Accelerating speed/scale of human travel, in my view, may globally complicate social relations, but perhaps eased by language/culture-aiding robots.]
The Economist 07 Jan 06"Congo: A Giant Leap Forward"(49):-"Congo held referendum in Dec [although] has not held an independent election in over 40 years. After decades of dictatorship, war and chaos, referendum was not so much huge step as giant leap in right direction. [O]ver 80% of Congolese accepted a draft constitution that sets up new institutions, paving way... to functioning government/bureaucracy. Vote also relatively dry-run for clutch of delayed local/parliamentary/presidential elections... Congo's elections most complicated [UN] ever been involved in[, as] Congo is vast... but has scarcely any decentroads... UN also maintains nearly 17,000 soldiers in Congo, supposedly trying to control the thousands of militiamen used by various factions in civil/other wars, and who continue to roam around east of the country. Vote presented problems[: lack of public information about purpose of the exercise;] heavy-handed government tactics... In end, however, international observers... said referendum was free and fair. Over half the 25m registered voters cast a ballot, mostly for first time, and the bands of gunmen didnot disrupt the polls. Much remains to be done, however... Analysts say graft may not be quite as spectacular now, but problem remains serious. And the east is still lawless... About 10,000 Rwandan Hutu fighters... remain at large in the east. Disarming the gunmen is urgent. But there is also an entire state to rebuild. National army is a mess, law and order is non-existent and no ordinary Congolese receivesmedical care unless lucky enough to get it from an international aid agency. Even so,.. head of UN mission in Congo [argues] high turnout for referendum showed 'extent of desire of population for change'".
The Economist 14 Jan 06"Nuclear Proliferation: Misreading Iran"(Edit.16); "Iran's Nuclear Programme: When the Soft Talk Has to Stop"(Special Report 29-31); "Iran's Psychology: Whistling in the Gloom"(30):-Special Report is summarized by the essence of the global dilemma when a medium-sized state appears determined to create nuclear weapons either for military or terrorists' use: "Now that Iran is crossing a clear red line, what can the world do?" Editorial highlights:"In truth, [Iran under President Ahmadinejad] is not irrational. It has so far played a shrewd and winning hand both in Iraq and in its nuclear game of cat-and-mouse with the West and IAEA. Nor unpredictable [-its] long-standing plan to put itself [closer to] building an atomic bomb(see SR. So]Iran is dangerous. [Israel would see itself threatened by a nuclear Iran, but more likely dangers are that it] might feel emboldened to pursue a more adventurous foreign policy [and that] many other countries [in Mideast] will be sorely tempted to follow... Iran's [foreign] fearsare understandable [although it] no longer faces a threat from its historical foe[: Iraq. Yet it] may be thatIran just isn't the status quo power the soothers want to think it is. Its leaders... remain loyal to Khomeini's legacy - intent on mastering their region and fulfilling Iran's destiny as vanguard of militant Islam. If that is the case, it is not only Israel that has much to fear if Iran breaks out of NPT to go nuclear. So does US,which in Iran may come to face an even more potent opponent than al-Qaeda... So do the Arab regimes...Maybe there are two Irans, oscillating between fear and ambition. Whichever.,. it is clear by now thatrelying on talk alone to stop Iran from going nuclear has failed. It is time to go to UNSC and try sanctions".Economist 06 May 06"A Nuclear Iran: Unstoppable?"(Edit.13-4); "Iran and the Bomb: A Government That Thrives on Defiance"(Special Report 25-6); "The Neighbours: A Sequel Nobody Wants"(Special Report 26-7):-Editorial updates the above and is summarized by:"Be tough now, to prevent military conflict later". It concludes: "A combination of tougher penalties and juicier carrots may still not be enough to avoid a crisis. But they are surely worth a try". The two elements of Special Report are thoughtful about political trends/thinking in/by both Iran and its varied neighbours. The first concludes:"In this time of uncertainty, the [Iranian] authorities see their job as that of managing public opinion. Military attacks might make it easier, since would surely galvanise Iranians against the foreign aggressor. The impact of new sanctionsis harder to assess. Ahmadinejad's pugnacious optimism, however, may soon be tested. The second concludes:"Given the choice between eventual acceptance of a nuclear Iran and the more immediatedanger of a vicious backlash, most of the region's regimes would opt for appeasement".
The Economist 28 Jan 06"Another Nuclear Revolution: Rethinking the Unthinkable"(31-2);"The Nuclear Clean-Up: Locking Things Down"(31);"Nuclear Power: Technology Transfer"(54-5):-although all three deal with nuclear issues from different points of view, they all reflect changes in nuclear policies thatimply significant global situations in coming decades. First item updates US nuclear weapons policy:"In days before Iraq, Bush...scrapped once-hallowed anti-ballistic missile(ABM) treaty with Russia, startedexploring new missile defences, opposed ratification of comprehensive test-ban treaty and beganlooking for ways to develop new nuclear 'bunker-buster'bombs. Now... some Bush ideas look normal[:]ABM treaty unlamented[; Russia-US] agree by 2012 [to] have no more than 1,700-2,200 deployed strategic warheads each[; US] also cut numbers of extra warheads in reserve[; and US released] 200 tons of highly enriched uranium (enough for 8,000 weapons) for more peaceful purposes. [Bush] still thinks bunker-busters would deter proliferators by making it harder to hide [WMD, but others fear] theirradioactive fallout, [and that would] make it harder for US to argue that North Korea [see mass RECENT DEVELOPMENTS chapter] and Iran [see many article summaries] should halt any weapons-tinkering... Instead, [Congress has voted] $25m for a different project: the reliable replacement warhead(RRW). Ideais redesign new parts for ageing US stockpile that would make warheads more reliable/longer-lived/safer to maintain... RRWs open up plenty of possibilities. Some of them are good[:] if warheads more reliable,safer and easier to maintain, US could get rid of even more [held] in reserve...But more difficult questionsarise[: would nuclear tests be needed?; and it's] not as if RRW kills the bunker-buster". Second item: "Ever since [11 Sep 01] attacks, Bush... has piled money into effort to prevent nuclear weapons/materials/skillsfrom falling into terrorist hands. US now spends $1b/year on nuclear clean-up in former USSR - sum which allies from G8 group of richer countries have pledged to match... Main obstacle is not lack of US cash but Russian foot-dragging... Two Russian reactors still making plutonium will at last be shut downby late 2008, and third by 2010. In general, Russia's armed forces have been cooperative... Difficultycomes with Russia's civilian sites [: 80% of these sites, containing about half country's highly enriched uranium(HEU) and plutonium stocks, have had security upgrades, but Russia's Atomic Energy Agencyblocking access to 4 large sites. Another risk comes from research reactors that USSR... supplied to itsfriends - and which now packed with HEU... Still more than 100 research reactors in 40 countries with more than 20 kg of HEU". Third article: "Purchase and sale [to Toshiba] of Westinghouse, a US builder of nuclear reactors, by state-owned British Nuclear Fuels(BNFL) may prove lucky... That's because thenuclear industry is in its most optimistic mood for years. Worries over climate change, energy securityand high fossil fuel prices have encouraged several countries to consider (re)investing in nuclear power. Bush has called for new reactors in US. China is committed to building dozens of new plants by 2020, and several European countries are flirting with the idea as well. Indeed, British government launched consultation phase of its energy review which many think is designed to prepare the groundfor a new set of nuclear plants. International Energy Agency reckons that around $200b will be spent on new nuclear power stations over the next 25 years".
The Economist 04 Feb 06"Special Report: Political Islam: Forty Shades of Green"(22-4):-essay argues:"Islam's main political arms differ greatly in both tactics and aims".Highlights:"[US] president has called Islam a peaceful religion, bringing 'hope and comfort'to over billion people. [But] many Muslims[differ] about Bush's attitude to faith[, and he] may not be right when says broad clash of civilisations can be avoided. [P]lenty of new evidence to support [imminent clash. Iran's] president vows to destroy Israel, its nuclear researchers back to work, and it is sponsoring terror. [L]eaders of al-Qaeda... tell supporters that war against 'crusaders' and Jews very much alive. [B]in Laden warns that deadly attacks on US stillbeing planned [;] deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri declares has survived attempt on his life...Islamic movement[Hamas won] victory in Palestinian elections [, bringing] delight to all fellow members of international...Muslim Brotherhood. [Hence] observers might be forgiven for thinking political Islam on march against West. In fact Islamist movement ...highly quarrelsome/diverse, and in many ways its internal divisions aredeepening... Hamas victory... was disturbing in at least[:]corridors of power in Arab states [that fear Brotherhood; and] al-Qaeda terrorist network[, furious with Hamas playing] democratic game... Two best known forms of political Islam..have common ideological origins [b]ut differ hugely over politics/tactics.Al-Qaeda rejects division of world into modern states[;] only boundaries that matter: between Islam...and infidels. Hamas/Brotherhood[accept real] national boundaries...Vast religious differences[separate Sunni and Shia, who] still give sharp edge to conflicts of present day[Iraq]. In doctrine and ethos, simple, back-to-basics Sunni Islam from which Brotherhood/al-Qaeda sprang is about as different as any Muslim practice could be from sophisticated scholarly world of Iranian Shias. But when it comes to [their terrorism, groups] have no qualms about tactical cooperation... Yet doctrinal differences matter[e.g. elections]. NowHamas ...must decide how much more of 'western game'it is prepared to play [,and] will need theological licence ...for political choices[; and] Brotherhood has huge stake in success of Hamas government which could be model of political Islam... Al-Qaeda and Brotherhood are entirely different [in that al-Qaeda supports violence] anywhere it can hit back at western enemy[, while Brotherhood/Hamas justifyviolence] only in exceptional circumstances of 'self-defence'and 'occupation'[Israel/Iraq]. [Next sectionoffers history of organizations and origins/views of current leaders.] Stated aim of Brotherhood: to re-Islamise society, and only thereafter the state. Sharia...into being...only when people freely convinced of its virtues... Occupation of Iraq has made it appear, to many people in Mideast, that US is now main arbiter in balance of power between different components of Islamic world... Contrasts between different varieties of Islam, and Islamism, are not trivial - either in their teachings or the behaviour they inspire.Western world needs to know about them, if only to know which outcomes and shifts of policy areconceivable, and which are not. [But West should avoid being newly] blamed for divisions". Closely related articles in same issue: "Democracy and Islam: The One Thing Bush Got Right"(Edit.9):-"For all his other foreign-policy mistakes, Bush right about democracy.[N]o obvious reason why Arab world must remain exception [among Muslim areas]; "Dealing With Iran: A Rare Diplomatic Unity"(11):-"Defiant Iranwill not be convinced by words alone"; "Afghanistan: Heading South"(12):-"[N]eeds more and betterforeign involvement. Above all, it needs security"; "[US] State of the Union:Running on Empty"(25-6):-"Bush still struggling with consequences of invading Iraq/unleashing democracy in Mideast...Repeat[ed]familiar theme about democracy being alternative to terrorism. [T]owards Palestine, Bush made good pointthat more to democracy than just elections: wider challenge of building civil society. But... still seemsflummoxed about what to do when Muslims use elections as opportunity to elect extremists. [C]ondemned Iran's nuclear ambitions.[C]alled for Iranian people to solve own problems, but didn't suggest ways to foment popular resistance to clerical rule"; "Afghanistan: Taming the Badlands"(37-8):-"After painful prevarication, NATO gets serious about peacekeeping"; "Palestine: To Whom Will Hamas Listen?"(41-2):-"Hamas' s win in Palestine's general election has landed it with heap of problems/preciousfew ideas, yet, about how to solve them";"Religion and Free Speech [in Britain]: Propheteering"(52):-"[B]ill against religious hatred was in trouble";"The Iraqi Insurgency: What's Really Going On?"(74-5):- Review of Ahmed S.Hashim Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq(Cornell Univ Press/Hurst 05):"Agrim view of the violence in Iraq from inside the US camp".
The Economist 11 Feb 06"Syria: He Doesn't Know Where To Go"(43-4):-essay's summary:"Bashar Assad is unsure which way to jump, while the West, especially US, is unsure how or where to push him".Highlights: "Assad... between two contrary methods of survival[:] proffer the hand of friendship to Turkey, the West , EU, even to US and foes at home[; or] wave a furiously defiant Baathist fist at most of... world[;] flaunt friendship with Iran[;] praise Palestinian rejectionists[;] promote Hizbullah[;] scorn UN commission[; be] last bastion of pan-Arab pride in face of plodding/bullying of evil, Zionist-led West. In last few weeks, [#2 prevailed:]Danish/Norwegian embassies were torched[;]Assad ostentatiously embraced Ahmadinejad[;] Assad casigated the West for a range of sins[; re Hariri death], Assad still sounds loth to come to terms, [with] no willingness to consider sacking, let alone hand over for trial, family members. Plainly, Assad isin a bind - and cannot see how to wriggle out of it. [R]eform-minded Syrians have argued he would helphimself if he loosened system, winning popularity/room for manoeuvre. [But] nothing fundamental [has]happened[; he] has dashed optimists' hopes he will take bolder strides towards general liberalisation.Tone has become surlier/more confrontational. [Factors (details all op.cit.): anniversary of Hariri's death;Ghazi Kanaan's suicide(?); Abdel Halim Khaddam's fury. State-run Syrian press habitually accuses Westof waging war on Arabs/Islam, with Syria as a chief victim. To a degree, this may work. Syrians do feelunfairly isolated [and] Assad may still personally be quite popular...Yet drab economy... feeds a well ofresentment. Opposition weak/divided but has been gaining courage, especially since release of five prominent figures [in prison since] 2001. Syrian Muslim Brotherhood branch still almost certainlystrongest underground opposition... Most potent change among opponents[:]Islamists/secularists seem more willing to build joint front... Many independent-minded Syrians doubt whether system so corrupt/ centralized capable of reform without collapsing...US unsure how to proceed..Recent Assad oscillations,most recently rhetorical confrontation, suggest despair, even panic. [N]o sign he has any plan at all.
The Economist 25 Feb 06"The Global Nuclear Energy Partnership: Reactor Dreams"(38-40):- attempt tocombine global need for vastly more nuclear energy with restraint on global nuclear WMD. "[US President]Bush's problem is how to deal with proliferation risks while promoting nuclear power. His solution: getcountries that already have advanced nuclear industries to 'lend'nuclear fuel to poorer countries thatneed it, then recover spent fuel from them for recycling and burning down, getting rid of dangerousnuclear wastes... Harder to do covert nuclear dabbling [Iran? North Korea?]. [B]y 2050... there will be 1,000 nuclear power stations about the globe[450 today. So] proliferation risks will grow too. Bush hopes new safer/smaller/simpler reactors for [poorer] countries, and new technologies extracting more energy from fuels [plus reduced waste problems.] If GNEP technologies...move to production, plutonium stockpileseventually eliminated. [I]dea has had good hearing in London, Paris, Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo (potentialpartners) and Vienna(UN IAEA). But will they also chip in to huge cost of making technology work? Bushincluded $250m in next budget for R&D,with larger sums promised for 10-year effort to produce pilot fast-burner reactor. Danger basing policy on technology that may never work/be exorbitantly costly. [Also]problem of where waste will go. [Even] recycled fuel wastes take 1,000 years[to pass radioactivity peak].
The Economist 18 Mar 06"Radioactive Waste Disposal: A Modern Philosopher's Stone"(76-7):- proposal is complex but of global importance. Item's own summary:"It may be possible to destroy much of the world's long-lived radioactive waste, if new experiment in Japan proves successful". Essence: "Nuclear[power] reactors...break uranium atoms...into lighter...'fission'products such as technetium. Thisreleases energy, along with sub-atomic particles called neutrons [which release more neutrons i.e. chain reaction. Some]neutrons, however, are captured by uranium nuclei that makes them heavier still [i.e. intoneptunium, plutonium, americium, curium]. All these by-products are radioactive, and many will remain so for thousands/millions of years. They are thus difficult to dispose of. But Kyoto Univ. has dusted off[old Geneva scheme to transmute nuclear waste so it] can be disposed of safely... About 95% of used nuclear fuel is [still uranium, so first the 5% waste is extracted. These] radioactive elements to be transmuted are then turned into a target for protons fired out of a particle accelerator... The main role of protons is to knock neutrons free from nuclei in the target. These neutrons should, if all goes well, beabsorbed by technetium and other fission products, transmuting them into new elements. They will alsobreak up the elements heavier than uranium into products similar to those from uranium fission.Although, initially, the new elements will be more radioactive than the spent nuclear waste was, thatradioactivity will last only a few hundred years. This means that the dumps into which they are put neednot be as secure (or as expensive) as those envisaged for long-term waste-storage. As bonus, the whole process should generate more energy than it consumes. [So such] transmutation is worth considering".
The Economist 13 May 06"Special Report: Japan and its Neighbours: A Giant Stirs, A Region Bridles"(25-7);"Japan's Succession: After He's Gone"(51):-"More and more Japanese want their country to have a normal foreign and defence policy. US agrees. China and South Korea aren't so sure... Security perceptions in East Asia are fluid indeed, and so are the realities. China's attempts to modernise itsarmed forces have brought big increases in defence spending... Lack of openness that accompanies[this] may reflect the backwardness more than potency of army... Profound changes also under way in armed forces of Japan and US[, and they] have at last reached agreement on how to refresh their long-standing alliance...New agreement completes most sweeping reorganization of US forces in Pacificsince Vietnam war... US believes it will be able to react faster to wider range of possible emergencies - a crisis involving North Korea, say, or Taiwan, or an act of terrorism that might perhaps threaten crucial shipping of South-East Asia... While US keeps Japan as its main base in Asia, Japan will play a muchgreater part in its own defence[, which] could mean equally profound transformation of Japanese armed forces[: their] sweeping reorganisation...puts navy/army/air force under single command for first time since WWII... Japan now says considers Taiwan to be security concern shared in common with US...Yet Japan's military modernisation is rubbing up against limits of constitution...Japan's leaders now see that national interest may sometimes lie far from home... So constitutional debate, including possible rewriting pacifist Article 9, now on political agenda. [But] closest neighbours view prospects of a more activist Japan with rising alarm. Policymakers in China and South Korea claim to detect in Japan's push for 'normalisation'the dangerous rearming of historical foe/colonial overlord. Much of this isoverblown... Problem is that normalisation of Japan's defence not matched by what could be callednormalisation of its nationalism...Consequence is that Japan unable to take any regional initiative...Plainly, repairs needed, and suggestions been forthcoming. Include joint history projects that might attempt to reach consensus about past; more regional forums; national debate in Japan about how tohonour [war]dead and guard sense of national identity without inflaming neighbours...So there's chanceJapan and neighbours could start to put their problems behind them. But no more than that for now".
The Economist 10 Jun 06"Nuclear Disarmament: The Fewer the Better"(Edit.11-2);"Special Report: Nuclear Disarmament: The Long, Long Half-Life"(21-3); "China and US: Out of Their Silos"(38);"Iran and Nuclear Diplomacy: Risky Bargaining"(45-6);"Politics in Iran: Shadows of Uncertainty"(85):-all five relate to seriousness and complexities of existing/threatened nuclear weapons. Last two: on political policies of Iran, world's powerful and perhaps most determined nuclear weapons developing state. Penultimate:analyses Iran's threat to stop its oil exports; last: reviews Ali Gheissari & Vali Nasr Democracy in Iran: History and the Quest for Liberty(New York: Oxford Univ.06). [The other"developing"nuclear state: Helene Cooper & Michael R.Gordon"North Korea May Test Long-Range Missile"New York Times 17 Jun 06.] Disturbing item on China, one of five officially recognized nuclear powers(others: US, Russia, Britain,France) under Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT), who all promised disarmament, reports China's "nuclear arsenal on verge of a big upgrade... shifting to new types of missiles that harder to detect and can belaunched much more quickly... A longer-range version [that] could be in operation next year... wouldbring all of US within reach". Editorial stresses serious global nuclear weapons situation described in fine Special Report. It argues "making world safer from nukes not a job just for suspected proliferators.Official nuclear powers...need to acknowledge [that] the five promised to work to get rid of their nuclear weapons, as part of a process of general disarmament. [Belief] among many governments that the fiveare not holding up their end of the bargain, exposes them to charges of hypocrisy, adds to NPT's woesand make it harder to encourage the three treaty outsiders - India, Pakistan, Israel - to curb their nucleararsenals...What counts...is that nuclear 'haves' find ways of moving purposely in right direction. [C]uttingnuclear tallies (even to numbers far from zero) is in the interest of all. [T]ighter controls make for safer world, come what may. That means pushing nuclear numbers as low as possible... Meanwhile, US [andChinese] refusal to ratify Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty makes it hard to press India, Pakistan, Indiato do so. Treaty banning production of fissile material for bombs been stuck in UN's Conference on Disarmament...Tighter stewardship of fewer weapons, and technologies/materials that go into them, willnot...usher in nuclear-free world. But to most, would be welcome steps that could help turn recent chain reaction of suspicion/rivalry that is damaging the NPT, into one that could improve the security of all. That is surely the least that the official nuclear powers owe the rest".
The Economist 24 Jun 06"Philanthropy: Give and Make"(Edit.12);"How To Save the World: Bolton v Gore"(38):-both deal - in very different flavors - with the world's vast/quick need for responsible aid from therich/smart. [My own deep feelings are at end of this item.] Editorial makes case that "Admirably, Bill Gatesseems as serious about giving his money away as he was about making it...No matter what inspiration,philanthropy is good for doing all sorts of things governments fail at. Free of vicissitudes of votes/public opinion, philanthropists can take on causes that are unpopular or neglected... So applaud Gate's decisionto make giving away money his day job, and to work at Microsoft part-time... Gates Foundation, whichalready does a fine job, will do even better. He is also setting an example to those, such as his friend, William Buffett,.. who look likely to leave the task to someone else. [See particularly following major articles/essays: Timothy L.O'Brien & Stephanie Saul"Buffett to Give Bulk of His Fortune to Gates Charity"New York Times 26 Jun 06; Donald G.McNeil Jr. & Rick Lyman"Buffett's Billions Will Aid Fight Against Disease"NYT 27 Jun 06; Landon Thomas Jr."A Friendship: A Gift Between Friends"NYT 27 Jun 06; David Leonhardt"How To Give Money as Buffett Does"NYT 28 Jun 06.] Not every donor needs to become a full-time philanthropist - a growing industry of intermediaries can help sort deserving schemes from the rest.What matters is that giver should do more than simply hand over money...Capitalism has demonstrated it is best system for creating great fortunes. More capitalists should show it is best for getting rid of them, too". Bolton/Gore item reports on extraordinary plot by US amb to UN to justify Bush administration'srefusal to implement UN's Kyoto agreement to begin initial global action against the fatal weather crisisby introducing:"A question of priorities: hunger and disease or climate change?" US amb Bolton effectively drew attention of selected UN ambs to the specialized results of "Copenhagen Consensus"(op.cit.) which analysed the relative cost/speed/ effectiveness of various forms of international 'crisis' activity. "Given a notional $50b [only, seven UN ambs were asked how to] spend it to make the world better place. [T]hey drew up list of priorities [and] top four were basic health care, better water/sanitation,more schools and better nutrition of children. Averting climate change came last. Ambs thought it wiser to spend [strictly limited funds] on things they knew would work". Result would have upset former US VP and presidential candidate against Bush, Al Gore(op.cit.), who "calls global warming 'onrushing catastrophe'and argues vigorously that curbing it is the most urgent moral challenge facing mankind". [My own views:There are both massive-enough rich-nations' assets, and rapidly- expanding factual/technical facts, available for the 'rich'to fully address any global or globally-relevant needs, withoutfeeling uninformed constraint or substantially-lowered self-standards. Much more important, the entireplanet is now massively and increasingly inter-dependent. It is also now living in an unprecedented planet-wide situation where basic global knowledge is both wide and expanding/accelerating fast - often via social TV. Hence all human beings, however poor/backward, are often now knowledgeable about thegreater power/riches - and apparent misdeeds - of some others, so many groups can feel hurt/frustrated/ religious against others; and might be able to organize terrorism of some sort against selected people/ facilities anywhere. Any terrorist group is ultimately able to use a vast variety of existing/developable weaponry/poisons in any society on earth. An essential way to reduce this world-wide threat - apart from correcting current complaints asap - can only be to reduce serious/perceived pain/poverty, and obtain -through cooperative intelligence/law among all governments everywhere - advanced information about relevant threats -since all societies may somehow be threatened. But the most defensive and selfishly-beneficial (plus deeply moral) means of easing this situation is for the rich and informed to provide allthe funds/goods/skills necessary to accelerate equity - both obtaining and offering relevant knowledge.]
The Economist 08 Jul 06"North Korea's Missiles: Rocket Man"(Edit.9);"North Korea: Kim Jong Il Goes Ballistic"(36-7):-though drafted before 5-veto-affected United Nations Security Council(UNSC) seriously criticized the missile-showoff/threatener unanimously, the text identifies its Pacific/relevant intentionsand fears. From Editorial: "North...launched Taepodong rocket/half a dozen others...calculated to blasta hole in diplomatic effort... to get Kim Jong Il's regime to give up its nuclear bomb-building. Bigger worry[:]will incinerate wider efforts to stabilise region full of dangerous rivalries...Hermit Kingdom often seems more tragi-comic than threatening. [C]hief dangers regime poses to outsiders often accidental: thatrockets will unintentionally hit Japan or that North's economy will collapse... Yet still grounds for worry[:]latest Taedopong missile, if it can be made to work, might reach parts of North America. Unlikely [Kim]would be able to put a nuclear warhead on such a device[, b]ut no one knows for sure... So what is Kim up to?.. Display partly a rocket-fuelled raspberry at [US]. May...have been...demonstration for [sale of]North Korean missiles. But Kim's biggest target surely the six-way talks[: he] wants to be treated morelike Iran or India [and] accepted by US as a nuclear power and still rewarded. Where things go from here depends largely on China [- which] could shoulder some real responsibility for security in East Asia/close ranks against Kim. Could start with clear condemnation from UNSC [as China ensured]. But should go further...China props up Kim regime. Holding back largesse would show him that he cannot destabilise neighbourhood and get away with it. A lot more than the awkward Kim's future depends on it".
The Economist 08 Jul 06 "Security in Asia: The Trouble With Pakistan"(Edit.10); "A Survey of Pakistan: Too Much for One Man To Do"(1-12); "Special Report: Afghanistan: A Geographical Expression in Search of a State"(22-4); "The Army in Afghanistan: Taliban Time for Britain"(50):-the four items are inter-related in their discussion of many problems that are both similar and found in two neighbouring states.Following is derived essentially from single Editorial commenting on both states. "Terrorism has many sources and claimed justifications, but if it can be said to have a centre, it lies in the training camps,madrassas and battlefields of northern Pakistan and south-eastern Afghanistan. There the Taliban andtheir ally, al-Qaeda, were both formed. From there, in hellish diaspora, jihadis have fanned out acrossthe globe... [C]lear why what happens in those two places is of huge importance to the rest of the world. From neither place is there much good news. The West has invested a huge amount in Pakistan's General Pervez Musharraf, who seized power Oct 99... After 11 Sep 01 he was recast as a provider of relative stability in a dangerous neighbourhood and essential ally in 'war on terror'... In past 5 years, he has not done very much to make Pakistan a less dangerous place... [P]erhaps most damning criticismof Musharraf is that he continues to do grave damage to the long-term political health of Pakistan (seeSurvey)... It would not be fair to blame Pakistan for everything that is going wrong in Afghanistan.Government of Hamid Karzai is weak and corrupt; because of West's continued failure to live up to itspromises, much of country, outside the big cities, is in the grip of bandits and warlords. But Pakistan's contribution...should not be underestimated. Both Taliban and remnants of al-Qaeda are able to take refuge on Pakistani soil, which makes job of the soldiers from Western countries who have beenstruggling to eliminate them for past 5 years much more difficult. Taliban... were in part a creation of Pakistan.., which saw in them a way to establish a friendly state on their western flank [since] locked inperpetual conflict with India to its east... As for al-Qaeda,.. Osama bin Laden is generally reckoned to beholed up in Pakistani soil... An unstable, nuclear-armed Pakistan, intertwined with a chaotic and Taliban-dominated Afghanistan: it is not a settling prospect. It has all happened before. Result was 11 Sep 01".
The Economist 15 Jul 06 forward on ISRAEL-LEBANON CRISIS:-My aim is to offer just titles/summaries of selected articles and books which provide valuable information and/or views on global issues. Hence, I have offered for years a special 'chapter'on Lebanon/Syria under RECENT DEVELOPMENTS because of their unique developments/potentials. But the outbreak of very serious violence between Israel and Lebanon-located Hizbullah 12 Jul 06 was a true 21st century crisis, and, for at least weeks, generated hundreds of articles a day. I do not have the time or speciality even to list all their titles. Instead, there follow short references to all the related information/views of one publication alone: Economist is a reliable source regarding the various problems involved. The issues of 15 Jul 06 and later dates contain very thoughtful Editorials, Special Reports and many other articles relating to the serious violence, political concerns and many complex discussions of terrorism, major missile-firing, peacekeeping, and Mideast stability, that all concern/affect the crisis in relations between Israel, Palestine, Lebanon and Hizbullah. Since they cannot all be summarized, but are all worth drawing to your attention, this item will include just essential information on all such material for the time being, quite separate from any summaries of selected articles. Titles and their own summaries from issue of 15 Jul 06 are as follows:"[US Policy Regarding]Terrorism: In Retreat"(29):-"George Bush's climb-down over the Geneva Conventions";"Israel, Palestine and Lebanon: The Crisis Widens" (45-6):-"The capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hizbullah militants on the border with Lebanon has made an already dangerous crisis even more frightening";"Islam in Europe: Culture Clash"(52):- "Some new thinking on the future of European Islam"; Titles and their own summaries from issue of 22 Jul 06 are as follows:"Israel and Lebanon: The Accidental War"(Edit.13-4):-"A pointless war that no one may have wanted and no one can win. It should stop now"; "Special Report: The Crisis in Lebanon, Israel and Palestine: Ending Will Be Harder"(29-32):-"How Israel's latest two-fronted war, in Lebanon and Gaza, started - and why it may not finish soon"; "Arabs and Democracy: Not Yet, Say the Arabs"(79-80):-"Why democracy will not sink roots in the Arab world, at least in a hurry"; Titles and their own summaries from issue of 29 Jul 06 are as follows: "Israel and Lebanon: Stuck in Lebanon"(Edit.12):-"Why this war is likely to be long, unless US tries harder to shorten it";"The Lebanese Crisis: Can Diplomacy Be Given a Chance?"(41-2):- "The first signs that Israel's attack on Hizbullah is losing momentum could give a fillip to the diplomacy now getting under way, but timing is crucial";"Lebanon's Government: So Who's Running the Show?"(42-3):-"As Israel tries to destroy Hizbullah, Lebanon's government is floundering";"The Ethics of War: Mind Those Proportions"(43-4):-"As the war in Lebanon shows, there are several ways to make a moral judgment". The essential/final argument of this second Editorial is, once again,"The right thing for US is to call foran immediate stop to the fighting, postponing its plans for the reordering of Lebanon until the period after the guns fall silent"; Titles and their own summaries from issue of 05 Aug 06 are as follows: "The Middle East: The War Beyond the War"(Edit.13-4):-"The Lebanon war is also about US, Iran and the Palestinians"; "Special Report: The Lebanese Crisis: Trying in Vain to Find a Way Out"(22-4):-"UN is desperately looking for a peace plan but no one seems to know how it would work"; "France and Lebanon: Once Again, a Leading Light"(23):-"The French are back in the fray"; "The Arab World: A Surge of Anger"(24-6):-"The longer the war goes on, the stronger the Islamists and those who reject peace with Israel are becoming across the region"; "Iran: The Regional Manipulator"(26):- "It is unclear on what terms Iran would press Hizbullah to cease its fire"; "United States: Middle East Policy: To Israel With Love"(27-8):-"Why US gives Israel its unconditional support"; Titles and their own summaries from issue of 12 Aug 06 are as follows:"American Foreign Policy: Lost in the Middle East"(Edit.9-10):-"It just isn't that easy to find the right way";"The Lebanese Crisis: The Search for Peace - And a Way to Rebuild a Country"(36-8):-"Hopes for a ceasefire are rising, but the war may get even bloodier before it stops";"Arabs in Israel: Caught in a Bind"(38):- "Israel's Arab citizens face a nasty dilemma"; Titles and their own summaries fromissue of 19 Aug 06 are as follows:"Lebanon and Israel: Nasrallah Wins the War"(Edit.9):-"Bad news all round, especially if more of Israel's neighbours come to believe in Hizbullah's methods";"After the Ceasefire: Divided Lebanon"(41-2):- "'Victory' for Hizbullah is not quite the same as victory for Lebanon, whatever its divided politicians feel they have to say";"The UN's Deployment in Lebanon: Robustly Complicated"(42):-"Rounding up a posse of peacekeepers will be hard"; "Israel's Flawed Campaign: The Blame Game"(43):-"Unity certainly ended when the fighting died"; "The Plight of Israel's North: Rockets Fell on the New Tuscany"(44):-"Peeping out after the war";"Europe and the Middle East: To Israel With Hate - And Guilt"(45-6):-"Why Europe, unlike US, finds it so hard to love Israel"; Titles and their own summaries from issue of 26 Aug 06 are as follows: "Lebanon: Hold Your Breath"(Edit.11):- "Ways to make the fragile peace take hold"; "Special Report: Air Power: An Enduring Illusion" (20-1):- "Israel hoped air power would avoid the need for a ground war against Hizbullah. It was not the first to be beguiled by bombs"; "Lebanon: A Dangerously Edgy Peace"(36-7):-"The ceasefire is still holding-but for how long?"; "Lebanon and Regional Diplomacy: Arab Neighbours Thinking Ahead" (37-8):- "The impasse in Lebanon may prompt Arabs to pep up their diplomatic efforts";"Israel: Peace Now With Syria?" (38):-"After the Lebanon war, none of Israel's choices looks promising"; "The European Union in the World: Abroad Be Dangers"(41-2):-"Doubts over sending troops to Lebanon say much about the European Union's aspirations to play a bigger role in the world"; Titles and their own summaries from issue of 02 Sep 06 differ from previous issues in being less directly concentrated on Israel-Lebanon (except for item on Lebanon's difficult financial situation) but all report on critical elements of local Mideast situation as follows:"The World Since September 11th: Five Years On"(Edit.9-10):- "How George Bush fought back against al-Qaeda's assault, and what he got wrong";"The Kurds: The Riddle of Self- Determination"(Edit.12):-"The Kurds have been ill-treated, but autonomy, not independence, looks sensible for now"; "Special Report: September 11th 2001: [US]'s Longest War" (22-4):- "A nation once joined together in shock and vulnerability is now riven by failure and recrimination"; "Special Report: Civil Liberties: The Freedom Paradox"(24):-"Liberty has been the first victim of the war fought in its name"; "Special Report: The Middle East: A Big and Then a Bigger Mess"(25-6):-"Chaos in Iraq, a war in Lebanon, stalemate between Israel and Palestine, new boldness in Iran and only faltering growth in democracy"; "Special Report: Al-Qaeda: Not On All Cylinders, But Still Firing"(26):-"Osama bin Laden and his men are, alas, still very much at large"; "Turkey's Kurds: The Real Challenge to Secular Turkey"(47-8):-"Turks remain stoical in the face of bomb attacks by Kurdish separatists - but extreme Islamism may be a bigger threat to their republic"; "Turkish Kurds in Iraq: We Want Peace, They Say"(48):-"Turkish Kurds in Iraq are under pressure from all sides"; "Charlemagne: Just a Moment, Or Possibly More"(51):- "Europe now has a chance to play more than a marginal role in the Middle East"; "Lebanon's Economy: Debt and Destruction"(65):-"To add to its woes, Lebanon's economy is saddled with high debts"; "Dealing With Iran: What To Do"(75-6):-Reviews of: Ray Takeyh Hidden Iran: Paradox and Power in the Islamic RepublicTimes Books; Ali M. Ansari Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Next Great Crisis in the Middle East Perseus; Titles and their own summaries from issue of 09 Sep 06 identify items of significant -if indirect/parallel- relevance to Israel-Lebanon as follows:"Afghanistan: InMeltdown" (14-5):-"Reinforcements are needed, [as from NATO in Lebanon] but so too is more flexible Western policy, and some humility"; "Afghanistan: Taking On the Taliban"(44):-"NATO fights a battle against extremists, and plans subtler strategies [with some parallel to NATO-Hizbullah subtler relations]"; "Gaza: Death and Disintegration All Round"(47-8):-"Gaza Strip is more chaotic than ever, with greater risks to Israel too [many parallels to Lebanon government- Hizbullah strains]"; "Qatar: A Bouncy Bantam"(48):-"A Gulf state asserts itself in the world"[key points:(1)pledge of up to 300 troops to UN peacekeepingeffort in Lebanon. It thus"broke ranks with other Arab states that remain wary of interposing Muslim bodies between Israel and Lebanon's Hizbullah guerrillas [and] made easier for other Muslim countries,such as Indonesia/ Turkey, to begin joining the force";(2)"first Arab country to heed Lebanese pleas to break Israel's blockade... by launching daily flights to Beirut in defiance of Israel's demands"]; "Shia Muslims: A Fiery Crucible"(80):-Review of: Vali Nasr The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam will Shape the Future Norton; Titles and their own summaries from issue of 16 Sep 06 includes one specially relevant item and several partly but significantly relevant as follows:"United States Foreign Policy: In the World of Good and Evil"(37-8):-"US foreign policy seems strongly influenced by religion. But that influence is much more complex than its critics suppose"[key points:"[Bush] insists Islam is a 'religion of peace' [and] makes a point of visiting Islamic religious centres/involving mosques in faith-based initiatives. [Item notes] influence of religious groups on [US] policy toward Israel. Americans support Israel for lots of secular reasons too"; "Lebanon After the War: Hizbullah's New Offensive"(55-6):-"With politics and clearing-up at full tilt, Lebanon is struggling back to normality - except that Hizbullah is more prominent than ever"; "Palestine: National Unity, At Long Last"(56-7):-"But will this end the world's siege of the Palestinian Authority?" [key implication: very issues reported led to Israeli and Hizbullah violence]; "Iran and Israel: Milking the Holocaust"(57):-"Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's revisionism is aimed at the wider Islamic world"[Iranian president emphasizes strong views on both Israel and Hizbullah]; "Germany and Peacekeeping: Afghan Angst"(60-1):-"A fierce debate about whether to stay in a country racked by violence"[item reports debate on German involvement in Lebanon as well as Afghanistan peacekeeping]; Title and its own summary from issue of 11 Nov 06 constitutes first major and directly relevant Economist item in almost two months - but an excellent description mainly of Lebanon's domestic - globally hot - problems:"Lebanon: Freeing the Cedars From Western Blight"(51-2):-"As Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbullah's leader, may see his task" [key points:"The 33 days of fighting... exacerbated stark divisions between those who envision Lebanon as a neutral and open marketplace and those who see the country as a vanguard of 'resistance' to Israel and its Western supporters... With its 18 sects, all of them minorities, its stark class divisions, and its constantly clashing world views[,.. ] the country is a recipe for discord"]; Titles and their own summaries from issue of 18 Nov 06 again includes one specially relevant item and two partly but significantly relevant as follows:"United States in the Middle East: Reaching Out To Iran and Syria"(Edit.14):-"Worth a try, but it would be a mistake to expect too much" [key points:"The aims of Syria's President Bashar Assad are to survive as dictator, restore his control over Lebanon, escape investigation of Syria's part in the murder of that country's former PM and block progress towards a deal between Israel and Palestinian moderates by supporting the rejectionists of Hamas"]; "Special Report: Germany's Place in the World: Merkel as a World Star"(27-9):- "Germany's chancellor wants Europe's economic powerhouse to play a bigger role on the world stage. But how many Germans are ready for that?" [key points:"The Bundeswehr... has lot of trouble mustering/equipping its peacekeepers. And these troops have rarely been at centre of the action:..in Lebanon, they patrol at sea, not on land... Germany found that it, too, is not entirely safe from Islamist terrorism... Two Lebanese students placed bombs on regional trains, though these fortunately failed to explode".]; "Lebanon: Pulled Every Which Way"(48-9):-"Shias and Sunnis, plus their respective patrons, tug at a tired country" [conclusion:"[I]t may be that,almost as perverse result of all these pressures, Siniora's government will survive. Lebanese have experienced disaster before, and few wish to go through it again. The endurance, so far, of the ceasefire with Israel, despite Shia dislike of the presence of thousands of UN peacekeepers, and despite Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace, is one sign of a slackened will for confrontation"]; Titles and their own summaries from issue of 25 Nov 06 again includes one specifically relevant item and one significantly - although only half-relevant - as follows:"The Middle East: The Next Little War, and How to Avoid It"(Edit. 14-5):- "Even after the assassination of Pierre Gemayel[, Lebanese cabinet minister], fighting is likelier in Gaza than Lebanon"[key point: "It testifies to general fragility of Mideast that... after Gemayel assassination, Lebanon is... the second-likeliest location for the region's next violent clash"]; "Lebanon: Who's the Assassin?"(44-6):-"If it was Syria, it will have done itself no favours"[key points:"Pierre Gemayel.,.minister of industry and scion of a famous Christian political dynastry, gunned down... by assailants... It was 16th violent assault in two years against opponents of Syria... Perhaps most damagingly for Syria, murder may silence those who have called for Western powers to stop shunning Syria"]; Titles and their own summaries from issue of 02 Dec 06 again includes one specifically relevant item plus three only partly relevant as follows: "Special Report: US and the Middle East: Blood, Tears and Still No Victory"(27-8):-"After meeting 'the right guy' for Iraq, George Bush mocks the idea of a graceful exit"[key point:In this special section we look at four [daunting problems in the region]: actual civil war in Iraq, potential civil war in Lebanon, the stalemate in Palestine and the hostility of an Iran that seems intent on acquiring nuclear weapons".]; "Iran and US: What Hope of a Grand Bargain?"(28):-"Two countries, never in tune" [key point: "Iran...arms Hizbullah in its face-off with Israel, and funnels cash to militant Palestinian factions, including Hamas. It supports Syria's meddling in Lebanon... The extent of Iran's military support for Hizbullah in its war with Israel earlier this year alarmed Arab neighbours"]; "Israel, Palestine and US: Where Mr Bush Chose Not to Go"(28-9):-"Can the ceasefire survive?"[key point: "Israel's misadventure against Hizbullah in Lebanon this summer ruined Ehud Olmert's credibility as PM"]; "Lebanon and US: That Let-Down Feeling"(29):-"How gratitude turned to suspicion"[key points:"Plenty of Lebanese see things differently [than Bush]. They think [PM] Siniora's government greased its wayinto office with money, and is being used as a spearhead for Western influence... Even for those allied to Siniora, faith in the superpower took a rough shaking as his erstwhile US friends dawdled diplomatically while Israeli bombs systematically demolished the country's infrastructure... Last summer's war completed a growing polarisation between two factions of roughly equal number... Government supporters blamed Hizbullah for igniting conflict with Israel and so exposing the fragile country to ruin. But suffering of Shias... hugely strengthened party's claim to leadership... Hizbullah has capitalised on suspicion of US to broaden its appeal beyond its core Shia constituency."]; Title andits own summary from issue of 09 Dec 06 involve only one specifically relevant item, followed by major highlights:"Lebanon: A Battle for the Nation's Heart" (51-2):"Outcome of bitter struggle in streets ofcapital could affect balance of power in wider region". Highlights:"Lebanon not moving. It is stuck". Title and official summary from Economist of 20 Jan 07 identify directly-relevant inaction essential for regional peace, with description from selected highlights:"Israel and Syria: Why Can’t They Just Make Peace?"(55):-"A back-channel peace plan between Israel and Syria may be more hype than substance but optimists say it could be a harbinger of negotiations to come". Highlights: "Sticking point always been Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967. Talks through 1990s, but finally collapsed ...in 2000: Israel’s PM... wanted to keep a 10-metre-wide strip... bordering Sea of Galilee to guarantee ...fresh water. [Under Bashar Assad,] Syria has made repeated overtures. [T]his month,.. Syrians' top legal advisor reiterated Syria now ready for talks without pre-conditions and [reportedly] said 'negotiations mean we will come to table with all that we have, including our relationships', ie ties to Iran/Lebanon’s Hizbullah/Palestinian Islamists of Hamas all up for discussion... Israeli PMs have constantly rebuffed Syria’s advances [and] Israeli establishment is sharply divided... Moreover,..Israel’s war with Hizbullah so destabilised Lebanon that there is talk of another war soon[, so] talks with Syria look like only alternative to more fighting. [Yet] while general shape of a peace deal quite easy to draw, the hard part is political will to try it out"; Title and official summary from Economist of 27 Jan 07 identify again a situation that is both chronic and ominous:"Lebanon: Don’t Blink First"(46-7):-"There have been frightening signs of a slide back to civil war". Highlights:"The danger of a collision has risen steadily since the opposition pulled ministers out of the coalition government in Nov 06, then sent protesters to besiege the office of PM Fouad Siniora, Beirut... This week... nationwide strike paralysed most of the country; vigilantes blocked arterial roads/prevented most from going to work. [P]ro-government mobs struck back. Violence threatened to spread into all-out clashes. [Meanwhile,] 30 donor countries/agencies gathered in Paris to promise sorely needed debt relief/more aid [debt tops $40b - equal to 180% GNP]. It was the opposition coalition led by Hizbullah that blinked [and] called off strike(3 killed/100+ injured)... Siniora showed he cannot yet be physically ousted,.. but his foes also sought to show he has lost the consent of half his country [and] opposition leaders grimly threatened further escalation. Both sides [often seem] justified in the accusations they hurl at each other. Government ministers charge protesters with threatening to wreck Lebanon’s chances of securing debt relief. Opposition counters that these same ministers created the debt. Conundrums point up the peculiar make-up/intractability of opposing forces. Siniora coalition includes Druze and Christian warlords, much of business elite and bulk of Sunni Muslims. Hizbullah, aligned with and armed by Syria and Iran,.. has found allies in old-time leftists, Arab nationalists, Syrian-backed feudal lords and the... Christian populists of Michel Aoun, former general... against Syria... Missing is a leader who might rise above the mudslinging and find common ground. Siniora... has failed to project a grand vision that would have to include... fresh elections under a fairer system. Some weary Lebanese now pin hopes on foreign mediation, with... flurry of talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia... But disillusion is all the more sharply felt because it is less than two years since a massive, peaceful and joyous movement promised a better deal for all"; Title and official summary from Economist of 03 Feb 07 describe an intra-Islamic split that is both chronic and ominous in/for Lebanon:"Shia and Sunnis: The Widening Gulf"(45-6):-"Amid Sunni fears of a growing 'Shia arc', tensions between the main Muslim sects are widening, while some governments are exploiting them". Related highlights:"In Lebanon, a row in a college cafeteria snowballed into running street battles between followers of rival Sunni and Shia parties; four were killed. The preacher at a slain Sunni youth's funeral described him as a 'martyr to Arabism' - a subtle jibe at the ostensibly 'Persian' Shias and their leading party, Hizbullah... [R]ecent editorial in the staid Cairo daily, al-Ahram, charged the Islamic Republic [Iran] with undermining chances for peace in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon. The goal, it suggested, was to weaken Sunni Arab states so as to realise 'Safavid dreams' of Shia expansion... Saudi intent to thwart Iran's regional ambitions is clearest in Lebanon. The kingdom has lent strong financial and diplomatic support to government of PM Fouad Siniora, whose coalition... has been deadlocked in a duel with grouping headed by Hizbullah. But what has squeezed the Shia party most is loss of the stature it recently gained among a wider Arab public. Seen last summer as the vanguard of the struggle against Israel, now viewed by many Sunnis as little more than a cat's paw for Iran... A message from a senior Lebanese Shia cleric , Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, provided a useful cold shower. If Sunnis and Shias did not cease their wrangling, he said, Muslims would end up turning to secularism as their saviour". Editorial in same issue,"The Middle East: Where Moderates Fear to Tread" (14-6), includes on Lebanese-Syrian problems:-"A discordant Lebanon is in danger of being torn apart all over again... Israel may be able to help break the logjam... Hizbullah, Shia Islamist movement seeking to overthrow Lebanon's beleaguered pro-Western government, cannot just be whacked into submission... But Israel could wrong-foot Hizbullah by offering to vacate Shebaa Farms,.. claimed both by Syria and Lebanon. An Israeli exit from Shebaa would remove the pretext under which Hizbullah says it must remain armed... in defiance of UN - and which is bone of contention with Lebanese government. Israel should then try to draw Syria itself... into the equation, with Israeli-occupied Golan Heights as main price of a peace treaty with Israel. [I]f Israel, the Palestinians, Lebanon and Syria were to start horse-trading in earnest,.. it would be a great start. There is no time to lose"; Two titles and official summaries from Economist of 05 May 07 relate to the belated effects of Israel's unsuccessful "war", ostensibly against Lebanon but actually against Hizbullah. "Israel: A Prime Minister on the Edge"(57):-"Ehud Olmer seems to have ridden out the storm caused by a damning report on last summer's war in Lebanon - for now". Its only specific comments on that violence are:"A scathing official report on the first few days of Israel's war in Lebanon... has set off a game of brinkmanship for power. The commission... criticised the whole government and military establishment. But... the judge who headed the commission reserved his strongest censure for Olmert, the defence minister, and the then head of the army, for going to war immediately after the Islamist militants of Hizbullah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers. There had been inadequate preparation, bad planning and no clear objectives. The report revealed little that had not already come out in the Israeli press". The bulk of the article is then on resulting Israeli politics. "Israel and its Neighbours; When's the Next War?"(58):-"The risks of a new conflagration". Relevant points:"Warning [regarding new violence] took on more urgency last week after the armed wing of Hamas... launched a baggage of home-made rockets (known as Qassams) and mortars from Gaza at Israel... However, short of a full-scale military reinvasion similar to 'Operation Defensive Shield' in the West Bank in 2002, it is hard to see what Israel could do... The real threat is that Hamas, Hizbullah and its helper, Syria, are all stockpiling heavier weapons but keeping what Israel's security men call 'a deceptive quiet'. UN forces supervising the present ceasefire in Lebanon have failed to prevent fresh Iranian weapons reaching Hizbullah via Syria... There is always a risk that Gaza may blow up again, perhaps after lethal Qassam strike, drawing Hizbullah in again too. If war breaks out again and if this week's report on the war in Lebanon is right, Israeli politicians look barely capable of handling it". Hence relevant items located only on dates.
The Economist 15 Jul 06 "Living With a Strong Russia"(Edit.9); "Special Report: Russia: Richer, Bolder - and Sliding Back"(23-5); "Muslims in Russia: Mosque and State" -Review of: Robert D.Crews For Prophet and Tsar: Islam and Empire in Russia and Central Asia(Harvard Univ Press 06)(80-1);Shamil Basayev(Obit. 84):-Editorial suggests world's 7 big democracies should approach St.Petersburg G8 summit's host with"wary engagement" i.e."[H]ow to live with strong, but increasingly undemocratic, Russia. Since Vladimir Putin president in 2000, Russia has in many ways been a remarkable success. [With] high oil prices,economy has grown by average of 6.5%/year. Living standards have improved; sizeable middle classemerged; stockmarket boomed; huge current-account surplus is paying off last of debt; rouble fully convertible. Russia hopes to join World Trade Organisation. Russians grateful[:]like stability; welcomebounceback from 1998; once more count for something in world. Putin popularity 70%... Yet...becomeclearer Russia moving in wrong direction. Economy... has bred corruption/inefficiency; serious politicalopposition crushed; broadcast media shut down or taken over; regional governors squashed; parliament emasculated - continuing Kremlin's drive...to monopolise power. Truth is there was no particular moment when Putin 'started to go wrong'. [H]e was determined from outset to control TV channels and stamp out political opposition. His background as KGB officer [means] not wishy-washy... over democracy/human rights. So what can West do? [N]ot a lot... Russia will almost certainly change only from within - or not at all. [Yet] Putin is sensitive to outside criticism[, so] Western leaders...should speak out: against moves away from democracy; against policy in Chechnya [Basayev]; against use of energy to bully neighbours. [H]elp NGOs; press for free/fair elections. [Not: expel from G8; push for more NATO among ex-Soviet.]Russia...still matters and West could care about where it is going. Best policy now is 'wary engagement'".
The Economist 22 Jul 06"Israel and Lebanon: The Accidental War"(Edit.13-4); "Special Report: The Crisis in Lebanon, Israel and Palestine: Ending Will Be Harder"(29-32):-essence of Editorial is:"A pointless warthat no one may have wanted and no one can win. It should stop now". Highlights:"[I]t started with apinprick[:] decision of Hizbullah's leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, to send his fighters on cross-borderraid into Israel on 12 Jul, where they killed several soldiers and captured two... Israel says timing - 3 days before G8 summit - was no coincidence[:] Iran was using Hizbullah to deflect attention...Equally plausible explanation is[:] Nasrallah..doing nothing new... Hizbullah has mounted several similar raidsinto Israel. It got away with them[: Israel's] reactions astonishingly mild. Reason, as Nasrallah constantly boasted, was his arsenal of around 12,000 Iranian/Syrian rockets/missiles. With [such]deterrent[, he]felt free to pursue intermittent cross-border war against much stronger neighbour... This time too, Nasrallah may have expected usual token response. If so, he miscalculated[: capturing two Israeli soldiers].Hamas movement had [just] mounted equally daring raid into Israel from Gaza[,] killing two soldiers,nabbing another. Perhaps precisely because his non-military background required him to look strong,Israel's new PM Ehud Olmert decided this double humiliation was more than he could survive or Israel could bear. So he has chosen to go to war [see Special Report]. Conditions for it have been building,in slow motion, for years. [S]ince Israel's invasion of 1982, Hizbullah has emerged as strongest local military force in Lebanon [,] cannot be disarmed [by] Lebanese army [and] has shown little interest in UNSC Resolution 1559 which calls...for disbanding of all Lebanese militias... Hezbullah is political party in parliament and government, but militia does not take [their] orders[, probably taking]ideological/tactical advice from Iran, its chief armourer and mentor. [B]y giving Hizbullah all thoserockets and missiles, Iran has transformed a small militia into a strategic threat to the Jewish state [and]it was utter hubris for Hizbullah to believe that, with its rockets in reserve, its fighters could keep crossing into Israel with impunity. A war that starts by accident is not necessarily easy to end... Stakescould hardly be higher for both sides[; hence] both have rushed...up the ladder of escalation".
The Economist 29 Jul 06"The Ethics of War: Mind Those Proportions"(43-4):-terrible Israeli-Lebanese violence raises 21st century views that apply globally. "As this war shows, there are several ways to make a moral judgment... [A]rgument between Israel and its detractors in the world [shows] both sides presume that proportionality in war has some broadly accepted meaning...Are they right?. [T]heory of 'just warfare'[jus ad bellum] has provided a framework for debate over the 16 centuries since [Augustine]. [P]roportionality is one of the things you should consider, [others being] probability of success andwhether warfare is a last resort[, and] is a concept most Israelis can live with. They argue that the good[s achievable] by smashing Hizbollah...outweigh the travail of Lebanon's civilians. But proportionality [now]covers only half of debate about military force... Since 1945, new emphasis [is on] jus in bello - law in war. Question here is: by what methods/weaponry is it legitimate to wage your war? How careful must you spare civilians/non-combatants? That is what 4 Geneva Conventions (rev.1949) and 3 'additional protocols' are all about. [Tribunals/NGOs] block out questions about jus ad bellum and concentrate efforts entirely on jus in bello... One of the tests human-rights analysts use to make judgements isproportionality[, and] a key piece of language is Article 51 of first additional protocol to Geneva Conventions. This outlaws attacks that 'may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life'which would be 'excessive in relation to the concrete/direct military advantage'[-] seen as guide to spirit of customary humanitarian law. Trouble is that measuring civilian woes against military gain is a tall order,especially in a densely populated place like Lebanon [-] almost any piece of 'infrastructure'...can servesome military purpose, but also helps keep civilians alive. [Some] say no military advantage could outweigh the harm caused to Lebanese innocents. Indeed, not clear Israeli army is achieving declared aim of removing Hizbollah's military threat to Israel's security[, so killing/displacement] cannot even be weighed in moral balance...Israel's actions will surely be adjudged disproportionate in effect, if not by intention... In the end, debate about ethics of war will have to reintegrate two ancient questions - right to go to war, and methods that may be used - which have become artificially separated in modern times... Augustine saw jus ad bellum and jus in bello as intertwined - and so, probably, should modern man".
The Economist 12 Aug 06"American Foreign Policy: Lost in the Middle East"(Edit.9-10);"The Lebanese Crisis: The Search for Peace - And a Way to Rebuild a Country"(36-8):-while these titles and their official summaries are included under"ISRAEL-LEBANON CRISIS"of 15 Jul 06 forward, these two items containsome sections on long-term issues; following offers summaries of them. "American Foreign Policy..."states:"Faced with choice between [Lebanon] and longstanding ally [Israel], US showed prime sympathystill with Israel. Arab leaders...did not get their wish. Around world went up a wall of protest: US onceagain allowing its protege to get away with murder. That is not quite fair. From moment it started, thiswar looked like ending in stalemate. If Israel hoped to knock out Hizbollah, it has failed. If US hoped thatby knocking out Hizbollah, Israel would help US to weaken Iran, it will be disappointed. US should have called a halt earlier. But even if it were not Israel's special friend, it would be mistake for it to push Israel back in circumstances that let Hizbollah return to the border and renew its provocations. Idea that feeble Lebanese army on its own can control Hizbollah is absurd. For Israel to gain nothing from its fight would be abject humiliation. Better to call for an immediate ceasefire, followed by whatever international arragement can ensure that Hizbollah does not attack again". "The Lebanese Policy..." includes: "[I]n some sense, Hizbollah, by simply holding out and bloodying Israel's nose, has already achieved its own aim, which... bears no relationship to actual costs of the war. Its goal instead... is to create a 'new psychological state'by embedding the notion that Israel can indeed be hurt and perhaps even brought down. Even if its offensive military capacity is crippled, Hizbollah will remain best representative ofLebanon's largest sect (around 40% population) and its best armed, trained and motivated force. [It's]been faster and more efficient than everyone else at arranging relief. Shia refugees being told Iran will pay for rebuilding their homes...Nasrallah riding high on region-wide wave of popularity. Yet in aftermathof war, many Lebanese may drop their mask of solidarity with the 'heroic resistance'and begin asking if the devastation of the war was worth the fight. Even among Shias, whose unanimity in calamity has been striking, there are rumbles of dissent about movement that claimed its arms were a sort of sacred deterrent against Israel but instead provoked ruin. Hizbullah's critics in Lebanon fear that combination of economic disaster, friction between displaced Shias and their hosts, and Shia anxiety that other sectsmay take advantage of a weakened Hizbollah, could reignite a civil war... That is one reason whyLebanon's beleaguered and divided government has been loth to accept a peace deal that does not offer it some prestige-saving rewards... Also why Lebanon's government been careful to get Hezbollah to approve such initiatives as an offer to send 15,000 troops from Lebanon's ill-equipped regular army to fill a buffer zone in south. And why PM Siniora has won near-unanimous backing from other Arab states,which fear the weakening, across the region, of secular and modernizing trends to the advantage of militant Islamists, who have been tremendously inspired by Hizbollah's example. Syria is exception.Having armed Hizbollah and cheered its successes, government of President Assad appears determined to gain from Lebanon's continuing suffering. It has hinted, subtly, that it might be willing to helppersuade Hizbollah to desist, but only in exchange for a broader deal that would include talks to returnGolan Heights to Syria. Some Israelis agree, arguing that only realistic way to seal peace is by engaging Syria so as to block resupplies to Hizbollah. But just now, imperative to crush enemies seems todominate Israel's thinking. As for Lebanon, it may muddle through the complicated aftermath of war,with its delicate sectarian balance preserved, as in past, by a mutual fear of collapse. Massive aidalready been promised, with both Arab and Western donors determined that they, and not Iran or Hizbullah, should win credit for reconstruction".
The Economist 19 Aug 06:-selective additions to"ISRAEL-LEBANON CRISIS"of 15 Jul 06 forward. "Lebanon and Israel: Nasrallah Wins the War"(Edit.9):-final section argues:"The trouble for Israel is that in peacemaking, as well as in war, the enemy gets a vote. [This war] followed a bigger blunder: Israel'sfailure to work seriously with... Mahmoud Abbas... Hizbullah has now killed stone-dead the idea of Israel giving up territory again without cast-iron security assurances. So there will be no leaving any of theWest Bank until there is a deal. Israel must find some way to re-engage with the Palestinians"."After the Ceasefire: Divided Lebanon"(41-2):- "At best, it seems, Nasrullah will allow the Lebanese army to deploy to the south, aided later perhaps by the new international force. But his consent will be based on anagreement to conceal Hizbullah's weapons, not actually to remove or hand them over. [A]ll theconditions will exist for a resumption of the war"."The UN's Deployment in Lebanon: Robustly Complicated"(42):- "[A] lot has changed since the Bosnia days, say senior officials in the UN's Department of Peacekeeping Operations. Rules of engagement have toughened a lot... How it will use it to help the Lebanese government restore its control in the south remains to be seen. But it will havethe authority to respond if attacked, or thwarted, or to protect civilians under threat"."Israel's Flawed Campaign: The Blame Game"(43):-"Israel has not obviously weakened Hizbullah, nor beaten it back tothe Litani River, nor got back the two soldiers whose capture started it all. Few Israelis believe theLebanese army and an expanded UN force will keep Hizbullah out of the south, much less disarm it or block its weapons supply from Syria. Although most Israelis still think they were right to go to war,many fear that sooner or later there will have to be another round"."The Plight of Israel's North: Rockets Fell on the New Tuscany"(44):- "[T]hough the destruction [in Israel] is nothing like that which Israelwreaked on Lebanon, the effect on the economy will be far-reaching. The north lives off tourists. [I]f thepeacekeeping deal in Lebanon looks shaky, the north may never recover fully"."Europe and the Middle East: To Israel With Hate - And Guilt"(45-6):-"Why has Europe become so reflexively anti-Israel, justwhen US has become so reflexively pro-Israel? Europe has no equivalent of US' s powerful AIPAC Israeli lobby, and it also has a disgruntled (and growing) Muslim population. But neither is enough to explain all the difference in attitude... European Union is supposed to have traded in war, nationalism andconflict for love, peace and federalism. But Israel now reminds Europeans of darker forces and darker days. [In media,] at least, transatlantic gap is widening".
The Economist 26 Aug 06:-selective additions to "ISRAEL-LEBANON CRISIS"of 15 Jul 06 forward."Lebanon: Hold Your Breath"(Edit.11):-"Fighting in Lebanon over [1,500 dead, mostly civilians] but peace is fragileand fight could easily resume. [D]espite UNSC Resolution 1701, which calls for Israel's withdrawal anddisarmament of Hizbullah, neither...likely achieved soon. [U]nclear what changed since latest round of conflict erupted except Hizbullah looks stronger and Israel weaker/less loved... Most pressing need: beefed-up UN peacekeeping asap. [S]ooner Israelis leave the better, but not do so if... Hizbullah can reinsert itself... Even if solid UN force of 15,000 rustled up, its task will be hard. Though...must help Lebanon army to ensure no other force carries arms, no one expects UN to disarm [Hizbullah] by force.Could make it harder to rearm by watching border with Syria, ports and airports. UN force, however big, will not stop Hizbullah or Israel from fighting each other again. [Can only dissuade them.] UN/outsiderscan bring useful diplomacy to bear"[:(1)Bolster Lebanese government;(2)Get Syria to stop armingHizbullah or face UN sanctions, and maybe negotiate Shebaa Farms/Golan Heights with Israel; (3)Press for peace between Israel and Palestinians];"Lebanon: A Dangerously Edgy Peace"(36-7):-"[P]lenty ofscope for the conflict to resume... Israel says...will leave only once a beefed-up UN force is in place...Hizbullah shows not the slightest inclination to disarm... So far, ceasefire has held, but only just. Biggestthreat to it was Israeli commando raid on a village near Baalbeck... Hizbullah may not be able to restrainitself[, although e]ven Hizbullah's own Shia constituents...are loth to back any action that could invite renewed attacks on their devastated villages... Plainly, this precarious peace needs to be upheld by alarge peacekeeping force to take over the buffer zone...letting Israel leave... Meanwhile, Lebanon's beleagured government has struggled to match Hizbullah's impressive post-war relief andreconstruction efforts [but] Hizbullah still opposes many decisions taken by the majority of cabinetministers";"Lebanon and Regional Diplomacy: Arab Neighbours Thinking Ahead"(37-8):-"[A] cloud ofacrimony still fogs region. So-called Arab moderates - led by governments of Egypt/Saudi Arabia/Jordan- had quietly counted on a swift Israeli victory [against Hizbullah/Iran, but] are reeling under a wave of... enthusiasm for a return to armed opposition to Israel. [F]or most Sunnis, Hizbullah's perceived triumph...has largely cancelled fears of a Shia bogey... In fact, such mainstream Sunni groups as Muslim Brotherhood have warmly embraced the Lebanese fighters as fellow strugglers against the hegemonisticWest... Yet while popular feeling has weakened pro-Western governments and made US politically toxic,it has yet to strengthen opposition forces aligned to the 'rejectionist front'of Iran/Syria/Hamas/Hizbullah. [S]ome moderate voices now speak of need to draw lessons from Lebanon. Main one not that Israel can be defeated by guerrillas inspired by faith, but rather that Israel can never impose peace on its ownterms. [R]egion's unsettled questions, particularly question of Palestine, cannot be allowed to fester any longer. [M]oderate governments may be rousing from their long diplomatic torpor"; "Israel: Peace Now With Syria?"(38):-"From time to time,.. Israel has toyed with having another go at making a formal peacewith Syria. Now seems another good moment... As doubts grow in Israel about the UN-brokeredceasefire in Lebanon,... many Israelis are becoming convinced that the only way to stop Hizbullahrearming... is via Syria itself... Hamas' s top leadership, based in Damascus, has been preventing themore moderate Hamas leaders in Gaza/West Bank from reaching compromises... So cosying up toSyria's president, Bashar Assad, could isolate both Hamas and Hizbullah - as well as Iran, Hizbullah's chief sponsor and Israel's chief enemy. [But Israeli] government officials... downplay the idea of a Syrian deal. It is hard to see it happening soon[:] Israel must return the Golan heights [and] Syria itself may not be ready. [I]n the end, if Israel want to remove Hizbullah's threat, the only alternative to peace with Syria may be war... Palestinian leaders... take the prospect of Israeli-Syrian talks seriously - and many areworried". "The European Union in the World: Abroad Be Dangers"(41-2):-historic two-page article is not primarily about EU involvement in the UNSC 1701 Lebanon peacekeeping force, and what it does offeron that subject is necessarily a report on rapidly changing developments. The general thrust is EU's past and current positions regarding its own, agreed foreign policy. Some key bits: "The EU is not about to emerge as the great power that some have hankered after... But there are more plausible objectives to play for than trying, ineffectually, to set up a rival pole to US. [Its] 'effective multilateralism'...is shorthand for trying to create a world in which countries bind themselves into a network of laws,obligations and institutions - a world rather like the EU itself, in fact [and, of course, the United Nations].Although the record is limited, what evidence there is suggests that effective multilateralism is something the EU can actually deliver... Indeed, most EU peacekeeping missons have been labelled as supporting UN or NATO operations... If the Europeans cannot quickly resolve concerns, it will not beonly the Middle East [i.e. Lebanon] that suffers - it will be the EU's entire foreign-policy credibility".
The Economist 26 Aug 06"Special Report: Air Power: An Enduring Illusion"(20-1):-the unusual nature of much post-Cold War combat has involved novel tactics and weaponry by both sides. These special - andglobal - precedents are described regarding the Israeli attacks on Lebanon. Item's aim is to explain failure of the initial air-power exercise against Hizbullah, although preceded by a (somewhat biased) survey of faults since WWI in air-bomb tactics. Highpoints:"Israel's chief of staff... persuaded...PM Ehud Olmertthat task of destroying Hizbullah in Lebanon was perfect job for aircraft. [But] insurgents and terrorists' rarely present lucrative targets for aerial attack'. Air power used to greatest effect in such campaignsonly indirectly: to gather intelligence, move troops or maintain communication. And as others besides Israelis have found, trying to wage an air campaign against irregular forces is especially vulnerable to backlash that invariably arises as civilian casualties mount. Since terrorists and guerrillas blend into civilian population, fight in small units and rely on surprise and mobility, accurate and timelyintelligence is crucial, and bad intelligence always results in civilian casualties, sometimes lots.Moreover, dropping a bomb in an urban area, even when bomb is precision-guided, is likely to kill innocent neighbours. Israel's excellent intelligence in the occupied territories has enabled it to carry outlethally successful precision air strikes against leaders of Hamas and other outfits there. But even theseattacks have often resulted in casualties to bystanders. In Lebanon, Israeli air force found itself in theworst of both worlds, killing civilians without achieving military objectives. No crucial Hizbullah leaderswere killed and almost none of their mobile rocket-launchers were destroyed. Only the fixed launchers for their longer-range missiles north of Litani river appear to have been much damaged".
The Economist 02 Sep 06"The World Since September 11th: Five Years On"(Edit.9-10);"Special Report: September 11th 2001: [US]'s Longest War"(22-4):-"Essence of [al-Qaeda] idea..is that Islam is everywhere under attack by the infidel and that every Muslim has a duty to wage holy war, jihad, in its defence...Jihadists are hungry to topple...superpower. [S]ince 11Sep01, number of jihadists and their sympathisershas probably multiplied, partly as result of way US responded... Al-Qaeda operated openly in Afghanistanand enjoyed protection of its noxious Taliban regime, which refused US request to hand Osama bin Laden over. US invasion...therefore enjoyed broad international support... By 04 a first-ever free electionhad legitimated presidency of Hamid Karzai; parliament took office in 05. Now plagued by warlordism andopium trade, and Taliban mounting a challenge in the south. But not yet look capable of dislodging new government in Kabul. [I]nvasion deprived al-Qaeda of a haven for planning/training. [H]owever, invasion of Iraq in Mar03 providing jihadists with both a banner around which to recruit and a live arena in whichto sharpen their military skills... Like most Sunni extremists, some in al-Qaeda regard Shia Muslims asvirtual apostates[, and] organised so many attacks on Shias/holy places that Shias at last struck back,turning into a bitter sectarian war... In [Iraq] the battle for world opinion...had calamitous consequences. [M]illions of Muslims now think US real aim in Iraq was to grab its oil, help Israel, or, as bin Laden saidall along, wage war on Islam... Bush/PM Blair refused after the war to be embarrassed by the absence ofthe [Iraqi] weapons that had so alarmed them beforehand. [Their] arguments no longer sell in the West,let alone the Muslim world... Hussein's was a secular dictatorship in which Islamists of all stripes kept their heads down... But portraying the whole enterprise as if it had from the start been all about anexperiment in democracy just makes Muslims crosser. [Now] poll after poll shows deep distrust amongtraditional US allies... Bush has played straight into anti-US hands. One vast mistake has been his neglectto push seriously for creation of a Palestinian state... But worse has been his disregard for civil liberties[Abu Ghraib/Guantanamo. So US] won more recruits for the jihadists. Still, not everything has gone al-Qaeda's way either. [I]f bin Laden's aim was to topple pro-US regimes in Muslim world, he has failed...Saudi regime...is still standing, and so far... the violence has served mainly to strengthen it. Another prize to have eluded al-Qaeda is Pakistan. [Also,] all of al-Qaeda's efforts to kill Musharraf, or to deflect from US alliance... have so far come to naught... [J]ihadists' grandiose aims and gruesome methods haveprevented them from turning a resentment of US into an appetite for revolution at home. Most of [Iraqi]victims of al-Qaeda have been fellow Muslims,[while] attacks inside such as Indonesia/Turkey/Jordan,where the victims were mainly Muslim, have turned local people away from al-Qaeda's cause. If anything, that cause may have fared better in the West, among those whose identity as Muslims has come to takeprecedence over loyalty to the host country [Britain/Canada].To many susceptible Muslims the message that the faith is everywhere under attack is evidently compelling. Jihadists are skilled at weaving the'resistance'in Palestine/Lebanon/Kashmir/Chechnya/Iraq/Afghanistan into single narrative of persecution by the infidel. [H]ijackers proved in US/Madrid that small numbers of terrorists can produce devastating results. [J]ihadist notion that the faith is everywhere under attack looks absurd [cf. Palestine/Caucasus/Kashmir/Balkans/East Timor]. In Kosovo, NATO [protected] Muslims from Christians. [Y]et a troublingrecent development is emergence in US of an equal and opposite distortion[:] idea that West and its values are everywhere under attack, and everywhere by the same seamless front... It is wrong to look atpost-11Sep world this way, as if every local conflict is part of a civilisational clash [cf. Hamas/Hizbullah/Iran]. [T]errorism was the background noise of the second half of 20th century. But 11Sep seemed toportend something new... Al-Qaeda's fantastic aims - sweeping away regimes, reversing history andrestoring the caliphate - are married to an appetite for killing that knows no limits. It boasts openly that it is seeking nuclear weapons... The world must still strive to destroy al-Qaeda and, even more, the idea it represents. But it had better do so with cleverer means than those Bush has used so far".
The Economist 02 Sep 06"Special Report:The Middle East: A Big And Then a Bigger Mess"(25-6):-"Bombing of Beirut's suburbs was ugly episode in the latest of many nasty Mideast wars... Al-Qaeda's attacks did not themselves change Mideast, but...more now share [Osama] bin Laden's feeling Islam isunder attack, and that US is their enemy. [S]wift intervention in Afghanistan Nov 01 bothered many Muslims, if only because it evoked memories of colonial invasions. But...most quietly glad to seeobscurantist Taliban defeated... Determined US policies produced some tangible results... Yet severalthings went wrong. 'Crusade'to describe war on terror [created] damage... When Bush said you are eitherwith us or against us, he in effect pushed fence-sitters into enemy camp... Iraq turned into crucible for terrorism[: US] so like Israelis stomping on Palestinans that many Arabs/Muslims grew simply to equateoccupations as twin assaults. Guanatanamo/Abu Ghraib silenced US remaining fans. [R]eason for USinvasion [seen as:] to control Iraqi oil/build military bases/help Israel[,and frightened] those who opposed US policy/ emboldened Iran... Hizbullah felt encouraged to escalate its hostility to Israel.Currency of anti-US [views] boosted Islamists[, including] Muslim Brotherhood. Most dramatic Islamist advance came in Palestine. Despite Bush's declared wish to see creation of Palestinian state, US did little to make it happen. Bush was disenchanted with Arafat... Israeli settlement accelerated. In Mar 02 all 22 Arab heads of state... agreed to end conflict if Israel withdrew to its pre-67 borders. However...ArielSharon reoccup[ied] West Bank, and idea went nowhere [except] evacuat[ion of] Gaza Strip. [L]ikelihood of resolution looked further away than ever. Palestinians voted in Hamas. Israelis elected...plan forunilateral withdrawal behind controversial 'security barrier'until peace. [S]oon clear that plan would not suit Israel after all[: t]o many, recent war in Lebanon, and Hizbullah's rain of rockets, proved that anydisengagement with Arab neighbours in absence of political guarantees would be big mistake. Meanwhile, suffering of most Palestinians continued to mount[, so] Arabs said it was hypocritical to promote democracy and then balk at its results. Within this gloomy picture, [dizzy oil price] stands out".
The Economist 16 Sep 06 "Lebanon After the War: Hizbullah's New Offensive" (55-6):- "[V]olume/nastiness of rhetoric between Lebanese politicians has risen inexorably. Hizbullah...accuses government of collaborating with Israel/its Western backers to 'destroy the resistance'and thereby expose Lebanon to further Israeli attacks. [R]uling coalition, grouping Sunni Muslim/right-wing Christian/Druze partiesand liberal independents, blames Hizbullah for having started war that killed 1,200 Lebanese, scorched dozens of villages, shattered much of infrastructure - 'battleground used by Iran to improve its[international] position...and by Syrian regime to exercise its hegemony'. [F]iery tone might suggest[ceasefire] in danger of imminent collapse. In fact, UNSC Resolution 1701...has proved increasingly effective [and UNSG] reported 'significant progress' . [B]y Feb, peacekeepers could reach target level of15,000 [and already] flotilla patrolling shoreline is one of largest ever assembled in peacetime. [UNSG]has appointed secret mediator to negotiate prisoner swap...and says will address Lebanon's claim to Shebaa Farms... With lifting of blockade and arrival of torrent of international aid, battered economy isbeginning to recover - roads/bridges patched enough to ease traffic. [Generators/water tanks] provide basic services to southern villages. Massive quantities of rubble already cleared. [Hizbullah playingvaried/active role.]Yet task still enormous: direct structural damage cost estimated $3.6b[;] destruction of personal belongings/indirect losses,..amounts to perhaps three times as much[ -] about equal to halfof GDP. In south, Israel's [huge] scattering of unexploded cluster bomblets hampered reconstruction,as well as farmers' access to fields[, and] killed 12 since conflict ended. Some 130,000 lost their homes...Speed, efficiency and propaganda savvy of Hizbullah's reconstruction offensive have caught flimsygovernment off the mark and helped bolster party's popularity beyond its core Shia support... Backingfor party remains strong from Iran and Syria, as well as from Islamist opinion across region. But some$1b pledged in aid likely to flow through other channels [and] many predict Hizbullah will sooner or laterhave to tone down its militancy. In strictly military terms, party's potential already diminished [and]replacing [longer-range rockets] not easy. [UNSC] force... makes it unlikely Hizbullah able to reactivateits front-line forces with...effectiveness used to enjoy. [To force them] to surrender their arms...remains most contentious issue... UN and EU understand this would not be good for Lebanon. [So UNSG] urgedspeeding of 'political process to define time-line for Hizbullah's full disarmament through dialogue'. [V]illage militias could be incorporated into national gendarmerie [and] rockets go to army. Ultimately,only guarantor for solid peace is wider regional deal that would pacify or neutralise Hizbullah patrons" .
The Economist 30 Sep 06"The War on Terror: That Winning Delusion"(Edit.16);"Terrorism and Iraq: Stating the Obvious"(35):-both stress the impact of critical intelligence analysis on coming US elections, but influence of its major views will be felt over imminent world relations and stability. From latter:"[N]ew report makes plain case that invading Iraq counterproductive. War in Iraq has 'made the overall terrorism problem worse'. Many Islamist extremists consider it to be first front of a total war against Islam. It hasgalvanised jihadists, [and] contributed directly to increasing recruitment of violent Islamist terrorists.Terrorist threat is now more acute than it was before 11 Sep 01 attacks on US. These blunt conclusions,leaked last week to New York Times/Washington Post, are part of a classified National Intelligence Estimate(NIE)on global terrorism trends, consensus opinion of 16 government agencies, including CIA,FBI, State Department and all four branches of the armed forces. [NIE also reported] al-Qaeda's operations had been disrupted by US efforts and its leadership damaged, while jihadism was fuelled by corruption/injustice in Muslim countries... Iraq war is one of several 'underlying factors...fuelling thespread of jihadist movement'. But new cells/websites are carrying the message that the Iraq war is aWestern attempt to conquer Islam. If this movement keeps growing, says report, 'threats to US interestsat home and abroad will become more diverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide'. Military top brass also been joining this chorus. [T]his leak is double blow to president. It shifts attention away fromthe general war on terrorism...and puts question-mark against last remaining justification for that warof choice, that is making US safer". Editorial's additional points: "The release... confirms a depressing truth: George Bush is not... winning the war on terrorism, he is losing it. Instead of vindicating his prosecution of the war, the assessment is dreadful indictment of it. [US needs to send more troops toIraq and Afghanistan.] Finding these extra troops will be difficult and costly [but US] should increasethe army's authorised size by at least 30,000... With luck, by time those troops are ready, they will nothave to be sent to Iraq or Afghanistan. But they will still be needed. US aims to be able to fight two wars and several smaller operations simultaneously. On current form, it clearly cannot".
The Economist 30 Sep 06"Egypt and Nuclear Power: Nuclear Succession"(57):-item argues: "Why Egypt's unofficial crown prince has staked his country's claim". Highlights:"Gamal Mubarak, the son of Egypt's president, announced his country's intention to pursue atomic energy... As long ago as 1970s, Egyptian leaders declared dwindling oil reserves would make nuclear power a necessary option. But both thetiming of initiative and its messenger were significant for the wider region as well as for Egypt. [While]Egypt is most populous, culturally prolific and strategically situated Arab country, in recent years its political clout diminished, partly as result of poverty compared to oil-rich Gulf states and because Hosni Mubarak's rule marked by too-close ties with increasingly discredited US. In exchange for $60b in US aid, Egypt has given quiet but crucial military/diplomatic backing to US regional policies. President...wants his son to succeeed him[, although] head of ruling party's policy secretariat [hinted] modestambitions... But by announcing Egypt's nuclear power drive... during period of high regional tension over Iran ambitions, [Gamal] clearly staking out a more assertive role for both himself/Egypt. [D]ecisionis not in itself controversial[:] country is signatory to NPT[, and] nuclear power fairly good economics.Building reactors...expensive, but operating costs low/stable, and increasingly competitive as fossil-fuelprices rise... Besides, Egypt is not alone in starting to think nuclear[:] Turkey... plans to build 3 nuclear power plants by 2015; Morocco and Yemen also say interested. [A]ll united by relative scarcity of energy reserves[, but] Egypt and Turkey are Iran's historic rivals[, so] their sudden interest...also prompted byfear and envy. Fear [is that any nuclear-armed Iran] will start to throw its weight around[;] envy is of fact that Iran's regime more popular domestically and has brought certain respect...abroad. [Initiative alsosends another message:] Arab states impatient over West's perceived double standards regarding Israel's [regional] monopoly of nuclear weapons. [At IAEA, Egypt's FM deplored Western blocking of]Arab-Iranian resolution calling for Israel to join NPT and for Mideast to be declared nuclear-free zone".
The Economist 07 Oct 06 "Japan and China: Talking At Last" (Edit.12); "Special Report: The Cold War in Asia: In Dangerous Waters" (29-31):-Editorial's essential argument: "A welcome thaw in East Asia's cold war would be even more useful if North Korea felt some of the heat" . Related highlights: "Announcingthis week that he will 'in the future'go ahead with a long-threatened nuclear bomb-test, Kim Jong Il seems bent on upstaging the first formal summit handshake in five years between estranged leaders of Japan and China... Visit by Shinzo Abe, Japan's newly installed PM, to China's Hu Jintao is enormous step forward. [T]he prospect of the end of [Japan's] 'cold war'with China [the main subject of Special]offers hope of progress on all sorts of issues [and] the most pressing problem [is] belligerent Kim.Nobody has benefited more from the recent tensions [and] worked to exacerbate them. [T]hereforeincensed in Jul when China, his semi-friend of last resort, finally backed toughly worded UN resolution,sponsored by Japan, that condemned his provocative missile tests... But he also knows China is leery of tough economic sanctions, and that South Korea would like to keep trade/aid flowing to his regime at almost every cost... Kim may be gambling that... detonating a bomb would blow [neighbours] and US apart again. It is in no one's interest that he be allowed to succeed. China needs regional stability to underpin its continued economic growth. A North Korean nuclear test would add to pressure for Japan,Taiwan and even governments...well beyond East Asia to reconsider their anti-nuclear commitments. [T]o mount his nuclear bombs on his ever-farther-flying missiles, Kim would be a danger to all... BothAbe and Hu therefore have reason to turn symbolic handshake into a bigger diplomatic opportunity. [I]t is surely time for rich Japan, increasingly prosperous South Korea and more powerful China to shoulder more of security burden among themselves. That means ending their debilitating private cold war - andletting North Korea's Kim be the first to feel the heat" .
The Economist 14 Oct 06 "North Korea: Who Can Stop Him Now?"(Edit.11); "Special Report: North Korea: The Nightmare Comes to Pass"(25-7); "Proliferation: A Regime as Rickety as Kim Jong Il's Own"(27):-aim of Special is to probe:"Now that North Korea has carried out nuclear test, can anything be done topunish it? Or would the collapse of the regime be even more dangerous?" Item describes serious fact: "Kim Jong Il mocks the bargain between the nuclear haves and have-nots". Both dilemmas in Editorial: "US, China and Russia must all make sacrifices to stop a nuclear arms race in Asia and Mideast... Kim's hermit kingdom is likely to hang grimly on to its bomb[, believing that] a nuclear arsenal is [his] ultimate insurance policy...North Korea...must be punished even if unlikely to change its ways because other...proliferators now watching to see whether it is really as easy as Kim has made it look, to go nuclear in defiance of [US/UN/Russia/China]. UNSC denounces test[, with Bush] implying readiness to react withmilitary force[, despite Kim holding]Seoul hostage:his conventional rockets/artillery could rapidly flattenmuch of city, killing tens of thousands... Hopes of applying tough new pressure...rest mainly on China[,which could starve North's people and switch off its lights. But Kim... is shrewd tactician, [betting] Chinawill not in the end want to blow his regime down - and may be right. [Sanctions' weaknesses: Kim] cares little about the suffering of his people[, and] China anxious to ensure regime does not collapse [since,like South,] would face immediate consequences if regime imploded [-] spilling millions of desperate refugees and lumbering both with vast, unwanted expense of rescue or reunification. [Bush's] anti-proliferation policy [against Iraq, Iran and North Korea] has been a colossal failure... If the world is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, Russia and China will have to give up some serious interestsin order to cause real pain to proliferators... Both China and South Korea ought now to follow Japan andback tough sanctions, even if these do topple [Kim]. US may need to make sacrifices too[: t]oughsanctions must be coupled with clearer incentives. [I]n an imperfect world, [that] may be the price of preventing dictators from controlling the weapons that could kill millions".
The Economist 21 Oct 06 "Iraq: Between Staying and Going"(Edit.12); "Special Report: The Arab World: Coalitions of the Unwilling"(25-8); "Moderates and Rejectionists: The Palestinian Test Case"(28):-whilethe three items' emphases vary, the main problems stressed are interrelated. Editorial's own summary:"Asearch for new ideas should not blind Americans to the stark choice they face in Iraq". Highlights:"[They]long for a middle way. Why not split the country into Shia, Sunni and Kurdish statelets? Instead of going right now, why not set a timetable, to galvanise the warring parties to settle their differences before afree-for-all? One far-fetched idea...is said to be to withdraw 'over the horizon'and control Iraq from aneighbouring country. Another is... to be less fastidious about establishing democracy, and concentrate on smaller aim of establishing a government that works. [N]one of these...stands up to scrutiny... At end of day, the three-pronged policy US is already pursuing may very well be the best of a bad lot. Stated briefly, this consists of trying to keep the lid on the violence, build up Iraq's own security forces, and prodIraqi politicians into making a power-sharing deal... If US willing to stay... for a few more years, successis still possible... Only honest alternative is indeed probably just to go, and let one side win... But just going would be a fantastic gamble, not only with US' s global power/prestige, but also with other people's lives. Better, still, to stay". Special's own summary:"Resistance to the West, and rejection of Israel, are the pillars of a rapidly strengthening alliance in the world's most volatile region". Thissubstantial essay offers the following introductory arguments: "Some [of Mideast's] imagined threats to the global order have been leftist and nationalist, some reactionary and religious, some radical and violent. Yet all have drawn their mobilising power from... urge to challenge the dominant perceivedinjustice of the day... Most reliable populist cry today remains 'resistance': [Sudan, Iraq, Hizbullah].Clearly, although times have changed, this dynamic has not. What has changed is that the call to resist now inspires unprecedented enthusiasm, galvanizing many disparate political streams at once, secular and nationalist as well as Islamist. Religious element, boosted by the great revival that has swept Muslim societies across the globe, adds a scriptural drumbeat to the call. Lately the impulse to resist also strengthened by failing prestige of traditional countervailing forces - US, moderate governmentsin region, and liberal-minded minority of their citizens". These points are then well-amplified. Itconcludes:"[C]lear that a powerful sector of Islamist opinion is so fundamentally rejectionist that it willnever change. Best the West can do may be to ensure does not push more moderates into that camp.Could start by remembering that people choose to 'resist'when they feel threatened". Palestinian item'sthrust: "Pressures on Hamas build from both sides...In recent months, poor Palestinians have, not for first time, found themselves used as rope in tug-of-war between Mideast 'accomodationist'and 'rejectionist'governments. [Yet] split would truly render PA ungovernable and peace talks impossible.
The Economist 21 Oct 06"Nuclear-Weapons Proliferation: Going Critical, Defying the World"(69-70);"Sanctions: History Lessons"(70-1);"North Korea: Pinched Bellies"(52):-Nuclear item's own summary: "A big-power stand against North Korea and Iran? Or rivalry as usual?" Highlights:"North Korea and Iran, past partners in missile roguery, seem bent on testing world's anti-nuclear rules to destruction...Whether Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT) survives this combined assault depends on how big powers rise to challenge: by cooperating to press both regimes to abandon their nuclear exploits anduphold the rules, or by competing in the wider struggle for regional influence... China...has no wish to see Japan or South Korea frightened into going nuclear too, but North Korea may test credibility of US' sdeterrence pledge...[I]t calls new [UNSC] sanctions 'declaration of war'. Ms Rice's task: to win agreementfrom the neighbours on a sanctions regime 'unlike anything [North has] faced before'. Japan has banned ships...and halted trade/financial flows. But China wants to avoid economic collapse in North [which]would enable US to throw its weight about too much. [Yet] China is livid that Kim [Jong Il] brushed asiderepeated warnings not to test... His nuclear antics have also upset South Korea's president,.. whose 'sunshine'policy towards North is in tatters...Traditional sanctions have their limits,..but UNSCresolution 1718 gives new backing to US-led Proliferation Security Initiative, posse of like-minded countries that share intelligence and intercept cargoes of suspected proliferators... North is dangerous, but isolated.An Iran with nuclear weapons...would be a 'game-changer'. Virulence of regime's revolutionary ardour,its role as 'central banker of terrorism'to organizations like Hamas and Hizbullah that preach and practise violence against Israel, and its ambition for dominance in the region and Islamic world, all makeit imperative, from West's viewpoint, to stop Iran before it gets bomb. Sight of a nuclear-armed Shia Iranwould probably encourage Sunni regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and elsewhere to want their own finger on a nuclear trigger... Sanctions are supposed to become steadily tougher if Iran carries on enriching...Helps Iran that, just as world gears up to enforce anti-nuclear rules, the rules may be changing. Spread of weapons of mass destruction is a clear threat to international peace and security. It remains to be seen whether tackling proliferation is something world's big powers are ready to put ahead of their own rivalries". Sanctions offers history of varied aims, effects and targets of past/continuing sanctions, bothUN and US. Pinched covers fact: "Fresh sanctions on North Korea are not supposed to hurt its people,but may do[:] A nuclear capability may be toast of North's leaders, but blight on their poor countrymen'sbellies... To feed itself, North needs 5.5m tonnes of grain/year. Cannot produce anything like this, evenwith bumper harvest last year... As if this not bad enough, 10 days after its offending missile tests, North suffered worst flooding in recent memory... To alleviate crisis, South said it would make flood relief anexception to its suspension of aid. But only half of promised 100,000 tonnes of grain had arrived beforethe nuclear test, whereupon South suspended the rest... Western powers seem unfussed by thisshortage... Last year North imported over $1billion-worth of Chinese goods. New UN sanctions against it may change that... A barbed-wire fence going up along the border; China is taking no risks".
The Economist 28 Oct 06 "South Korea and the North: Testing Times" (49-50):-item officially argues: "North Korea's nuclear test leads to political confusion in the South" .Highlights: "[South's] point of engaging North was to coax Kim Jong Il and his regime to behave better [and] supposed to bring economic benefits[, thus] to lessen its threat. These assumptions badly upset...when missile tests[, and blown away by nuclear test. B]oth defence minister and minister for unification offered to resign. Quite right too, say [President] Roh's opponents. [Even] thoughtful critics say the sunshine policy was originallya sensible one, meant to transform North with a view to reunification[, b]ut engagement became an end in itself [and t]hereby policy changed South more than North. How much money it has cost South maynever be known[, although opposition claims] some $2.1billion of government cash has gone to North since 98 [-] not counting humanitarian aid. [N]o full audit trail exists. [US' s] Condoleezza Rice [and]Christopher Hill... are critical of the Mount Kumgang resort, which they believe generates cash for WMD... US negotiators [also] made it plain that imports from North through Kaesong zone could playno part in [any bilateral free-trade] deal - thereby undermining the zone's rationale. Yet Roh and ruling party continue to defend [both projects.] Though Roh's government has given its approval to stiff US-ledsanctions... passed by UNSC, [it] shows little appetite for confrontation. That is partly because many South Koreans share a blind faith in the ultimate benign nature of the North's brutal regime [and m]ost think North's crude nuclear capability does not represent a big new threat to them... Meanwhile, South's predominant political consensus... is to seek gradual change north of border in ways that mighteventually narrow the vast income gap... Tightening the screws too far risks goading Kim to strike back.A collapse of the regime, followed by reunification, would impose unbearable costs on the South. [M]aintaining dialogue with North, while adding some pressure,.. is a path likely to lead Southincreasingly into conflict with US, which wants stiffer confrontation with North" .
The Economist 04 Nov 06 "North Korea's Bomb: Talking Again" (50-1):- "On 31 Oct, North agreed to resume talks on dismantling its nuclear-weapons program. US says no conditions attached. Breakthrough came at secretly arranged meeting in Beijing between Hill and his North Korean and Chinese counterparts.Hill expects six-party talks... to resume [Nov/maybe Dec]. Remarkably, North no longer insisting US first end campaign against...North Korean counterfeiting... Blacklisting led [Macau] bank to freeze some$24m-worth of North funds, and to similar measures by other banks. Hill agreed to set up 'mechanism'within six-party talks to discuss this issue. North also not insisting that, before talks, UN drop sanctionsit imposed after nuclear test, or milder one adopted after missile tests... One reason for North's apparent change of heart may be that UN officials still finalising a list of items to be covered by the sanctions.Losing access to imported luxury goods could upset Kim Jong Il, rumored to use them extensively to buy support from senior officials [and pamper self]. State Department said sanctions would remain in force. But after North's announcement, South said it might resume food/fertiliser aid...Japanese officials...more diffident[:]their country's sanctions remain in place. [US] Bush said 'very pleased'with 'progress being made'and praised role played by China. But unclear whether Beijing, whose lack of clout over its neighbour was exposed by the nuclear test, has found a more effective means of persuasion...Chinese FM spokesman said...not heard of any change in China's policy of helping North cope with itsshortages of food/energy. [In] Pyongyang its special envoy... appealed return to talks. North maybe also encouraged by US willing to talk directly. Hill's discussions in Beijing involved some bilateral talks with North... One main aim North foreign policy has been to engage US without intermediaries. Hill said talks in Beijing were within a trilateral 'framework'and that told North US did not recognise as a nuclear state.But North's news agency said 'main emphasis' of the talks was bilateral. North's habitual mood swingsmay yet scupper the talks. Nor any hint it may be ready to offer concessions... With its bomb-makingability now demonstrated, North may well feel little to lose by appearing more talkative" .
The Economist 11 Nov 06"Lebanon: Freeing the Cedars From Western Blight"(51-2):-its own summary:"AsHassan Nasrallah, Hizbullah leader, may see his task". Globally relevant points:"The 33 days of fighting, which killed 1,200 Lebanese, destroyed 15,000 homes, and cost its economy some $12b, exacerbated stark divisions between those who envision Lebanon as a neutral and open marketplace and those who see the country as a vanguard of 'resistance'to Israel and its Western supporters. [Also] war made clearthat this small country has become a focal point in a burgeoning region-wide contest that pits US and its allies against Iran and Syria. [T]his week top political bosses [are] trying to hash out a power-sharing formula to stave off civil strife. Gathering... a make-or-break affair, with tensions raised not just by thewar but by a mysterious spate of attacks on the security forces. What most immediately prompted meeting, however, was a threat by Hizbullah to take to the streets unless PM Siniora forms a national unity government... Hizbullah wants a bigger say for itself and its allies... In most democracies,threatening riots to unseat a large parliamentary majority, such as PM currently holds, would beconsidered outrageous. But Lebanon is far from a normal democracy. With its 18 sects, all of themminorities, its stark class divisions, and its constantly clashing world views - extremely cosmopolitan against extremely parochial - the country is a recipe for discord". [Hizbullah] senses that its own broader regional alliance is gaining in strength as a result of Israel's lack of political direction and flagging US influence. Now it is not a moment when it is likely to concede anything, just when its founding mission of freeing Lebanon from the perceived menace of Western hegemony perhaps seems achievable" .
The Economist 11 Nov 06"Nuclear Power: Half Life"(71-2):-official summary:"The nuclear industry ispredicting a rapid expansion - but that will not happen without government help". Highlights: "International Energy Agency(IEA) [new report] overturned IEA's previously pessimistic view of prospects for nuclear power. It now estimates nuclear generation will grow by at least 13% by 2030, andperhaps as much as 40%... General Electric(GE)...predicts that 66 gigawatts of new capacity - equivalent to output of about 44 big reactors - will be ordered by 2020. Areva, French nuclear firm, foresees 130 new plants by 2030. Several reasons for this optimism[:] prices of rival power sources, including coal/natural gas, have risen dramatically[;] nuclear power is 'carbon free'[i.e. climate-changing carbon dioxide;] uranium comes from stable sources such as Canada and Australia so interruptions to suppliesunlikely[;] GE/Areva/Westinghouse also touting new designs that they say are safer than existing nuclear plants. [Only two reactors currently under construction(Finland)/firmly planned(France).] Main problemseems to be 'regulatory risk'- euphemism for fear politicians/planning officials/protesters will hold upor entirely derail construction of new plants. Another worry[:]new reactors, on unproven technology,will cost more than expected to build/run. Construction accounts for as much as 75% of cost of nuclear generation, since fuel/other operating costs relatively low. [Hence the] big initial outlay leaves profitssusceptible to delay. [Item then describes several national nuclear power situations, and ends:] In most countries... future of nuclear power rests more on political situations than commercial or technologicalones. Investors will be reluctant to commit themselves without a big shift in public opinion or pledges from governments to push through planning approval or defray the cost of any delays".
The Economist 18 Nov 06"Lebanon: Pulled Every Which Way"(48-9):-official summary: "Shias and Sunnis,plus their respective patrons, tug at a tired country". Highlights:"[B]ecome a zone of contest between pro-Western forces...and the Syrian-Iranian 'resistance'axis that backs Hizbullah [which] emerged bruised but politically strong from what it portrays as US-orchestrated war. [I]ts demands for a bigger share of power have grown more strident[:] threatening street demonstrations unless 14 Mar[anti-Syrian group]grants the party/allies a veto over cabinet decisions. Ruling coalition, made up of Sunni Muslim, Druzeand some Christian parties, offered Hizbullah supporters more cabinet seats, but balked at ceding power to push through key projects [and] accuses [of blocking] approval of an international tribunal to try suspects fingered by UN investigation into series of assassination attempts... Reason for this, say Hizbullah's critics, is that any trial is likely to implicate the party's main conduit for weaponry, Syria, or at any rate some of Syria's former proxies... Even as it denied these charges, Hizbullah/its allies pulled six ministers out of cabinet, [to] handicap Siniora's government by stripping it of Shia [30% population], and so open to charges of failing constitutional duty to represent all 18...sects. [R]ump cabinet called bluff by swiftly approving UN's terms for setting up tribunal [but drew strong political/law reactions fromboth Hizbullah chief and pro-Syrian President - and] many Lebanese fear that some small incident couldspark clashes. [Meanwhile] country struggling to recover from war [-] thousands remain homeless [and]far more suffer loss of livelihoods. [N]early half of all Lebanese hope to emigrate. Economist 25 Nov 06"Lebanon: Who's the Assassin?"(44-6):-directly/strongly follows above item. "Something sinister wasbound to happen... Pierre Gemayel.,.minister of industry and scion of famous Christian political dynasty,gunned down 21 Nov by assailants who rammed his car, then drilled it with bullets from silenced machineguns... He was fifth Gemayel to meet violent death[, y]et few saw latest killing as personal[:] 16th violent assault in two years against opponents of Syria... Some amounted to nothing more specific thanpipe-bombs planted in Christian areas. Some missed intended targets: two sitting cabinet ministers aresurvivors of recent car bombers. But attacks killed many people [Hariri died with 22 others.] Gemayel's Phalange Party... was to avenge attempted assassination of senior Gemayel in 1975[, while] Phalangistmilitiamen massacred busload of Palestinian football fans, act that ignited the civil war... Gemayel'sdeath further whittles [cabinet] majority [and] removal of just one more minister may force government to resign. [While]UNSC has now fixed mechanism for international tribunal, formal Lebanese government approval needed. [So] is Syria the assassin? Syria's defenders point out Syria/allies have paid the higher political price for Lebanon's troubles[,but]Gemayel killing has reinvigorated pro-government sympathies[and] rendered it impossible for Hizbullah to hold demonstrations it had promised... Perhaps most damagingly for Syria, murder may silence those who called for Western powers to stop shunning Syria";Titles and their own summaries from Economist 02 Dec 06 includes one specifically relevant itemplus three only partly relevant as follows:"Special Report: US and the Middle East: Blood, Tears and Still No Victory" (27-8):- "After meeting 'the right guy'for Iraq, George Bush mocks the idea of a graceful exit"[key point: In this special section we look at four [daunting problems in the region]: actual civil war in Iraq, potential civil war in Lebanon, the stalemate in Palestine and the hostility of an Iran that seems intent on acquiring nuclear weapons".]; "Iran and US: What Hope of a Grand Bargain?"(28):-"Two countries, never in tune" [key point: "Iran...arms Hizbullah in its face-off with Israel, and funnels cash to militant Palestinian factions, including Hamas. It supports Syria's meddling in Lebanon... The extent of Iran's military support for Hizbullah in its war with Israel earlier this year alarmed Arab neighbours"];"Israel, Palestine and US: Where Mr Bush Chose Not to Go"(28-9):-"Can the ceasefire survive?"[key point:"Israel's misadventure against Hizbullah in Lebanon this summer ruined Ehud Olmert's credibility as PM"];"Lebanon and US: That Let-Down Feeling"(29):-"How gratitude turned to suspicion"[key points:"Plenty of Lebanese see things differently [than Bush]. They think [PM] Siniora's government greased its wayinto office with money, and is being used as a spearhead for Western influence... Even for those allied to Siniora, faith in the superpower took a rough shaking as his erstwhile US friends dawdleddiplomatically while Israeli bombs systematically demolished the country's infrastructure... Last summer's war completed a growing polarisation between two factions of roughly equal number....Government supporters blamed Hizbullah for igniting conflict with Israel and so exposing the fragile country to ruin. But suffering of Shias... hugely strengthened the party's claim to leadership... Hizbullah has capitalised on suspicion of US to broaden its appeal beyond its core Shia constituency."]
The Economist 25 Nov 06"The Future of NATO: The Test in Afghanistan"(Edit.12);"Special Report: NATO's Future: Predictions of its Death Were Premature"(24-6):-official summary of Editorial:"Thanks to some shortsighted European politicians, the world's foremost military alliance is at risk". Highlights: "[W]ith demise of Soviet communism,.. alliance has grown bigger,.. is busier than it ever was during cold war[and] faces many tricky questions about the future... NATO's leaders must find unity of purpose on one issue above all others: overcoming the weaknesses of mission in Afghanistan [where] for first timeengaged in bloody ground combat. Task made even harder by two failures[:] to modernize... armies for expeditionary operations [or] to send soldiers... to dangerous regions where most needed. Although have 2.4m men under arms, NATO's European members...struggled to meet requests for extra 2,200...British and Dutch have put troops at sharp end in southern Afghanistan, heartland of Taliban[, while]Canadians...spearheaded NATO's assault on entrenched Taliban fighters. [But] too many others... areworking in safer areas and refused to be deployed as NATO commander would like... It is difficult for any government to expose soldiers to danger in far-away lands; harder still to watch one's soldiers die while allies look the other way. No excuse for such half-heartedness. In Afghanistan, as distinct from Iraq, there should be no quarrel about the lawfulness of the mission. NATO is in the country under a UN mandate, operating in defence and at the behest of an elected government. The stakes are high: failure would not only bring back the Taliban and al-Qaeda, but embolden jihadists around the world. Militaryalliance that stretches across Atlantic will not always be able to unify around such a clear cause... NATO and EU do not need to see each other as competitors... Nor should a stronger NATO mean a weaker role for UN... May even be a case for UN one day to recruit military forces of its own, capable of intervening in conflicts under a UN mandate. [Now] NATO remains world's foremost military alliance. [Members] mayno longer face one common enemy, but they face common dangers, including terrorism, Islamic radicalism, increasingly troublesome Russia, Iran nuclear ambitions and instability in Mideast. [A]ll themore reason not to fail the test in Afghanistan".
The Economist 25 Nov 06 "North Korea: Edging Closer to the Table" (40-1):-official summary: "Talks in prospect but not end to its nuclear ambitions" . Highlights: "With a fresh round now thought imminent,cheerier mood among participants is palpable[, though] what will sustain optimism less clear... USshown some flexibility[:] agenda can include [North's] frozen accounts [and] six-party meetings can provide cover for bilateral talks[, while] Bush hinted US would still consider a peace treaty marking formal end to Korean war, long a North Korean desire. A new package of incentives would offer aid and membership of regional trade clubs... In turn, North has dropped its insistence that internationalsanctions be lifted as precondition to any new talks. [M]ood may not last [as] US, Japan, even South,insist nuclear North is unacceptable, and... will not treat with it as if it were nuclear power. North, on other hand, will feel that as nation with nuclear deterrent, however feeble, it deserves respect... Northmay also try to play off differences among the other countries[ - although narrowing:] South last weeksupported UN resolution condemning North's shocking record on human rights... North fumed that 'treacherous move by South's authorities to side with hostile outside forces gone crazy over their anti-[North Korean] campaigns creates new major obstacles in North-South relations' . This is tame stuff froma regime steeped in hysterical rhetoric" ; closely-related item: "Japan's Security: Hawks in a Dovecote" (41):-official summary: "A debate over the meaning of constitutional pacifism, and whether to drop it" .Highlights: "Ballistic/nuclear adventurism by Kim Jong Il not fundamental change Japan's calculationsabout its safety - the North Korean threat[, b]ut lent urgency to old arguments for a more muscular security policy. Japan's new PM, Shinzo Abe, [has] reason to revisit many of the taboos that constrainJapan's Self-Defence Forces [but] appears to dismiss... developing [Japanese] nuclear weapons... Japan maintains one of world's most powerful/modern military forces. Yet its operations are still hobbled [by constitution:] Article 9 has long been interpreted as denying Japan the right to defend itself outside its own territory, or to come to the aid of others... North Korean missile threat highlights the contradictions.If North readying attack on its island neighbour, must Japan stand by and wait for the attack before responding? Idea that a pre-emptive strike might be legitimate was raised by Abe, though Japan givesno sign of wishing to acquire the offensive means. A less theoretical matter has to do with co-operationbetween Japan and US over ballistic-missile defence. [They] have worked closely to develop systemsthat send interceptor missiles to destroy incoming warheads, and [are speeding] their deployment... Yetquestion is what Japan may do to help its ally. Though a North Korean long-range missile headed for continental US would probably not pass over Japan, one headed for Hawaii might. US wants to knowwhether Japan would shoot down missiles overflying Japan: constitution [legal views] seem to forbidit... Possible proliferation of [North's] weapons of mass destruction also exposes gap between Japan's desires and self-imposed shackles... Has said will back up US patrols at sea, yet its navy may not come to US aid if attacked... Change to constitution... still long way off. [Meanwhile] Abe promises close look at quite what constitution forbids - hint of reinterpretations to come.[Regular bills] could take Japan along way towards Abe's goal of being 'normal'" .
The Economist 25 Nov 06"Nuclear Power: The Ghostly Flickers of a New Dawn"(59-60):-official summary:"A shift in Australia's stance is a sign of the times: all over the world, governments are rethinking thepolitics and economics of nuclear power". Highlights:"[B]y 2008... Australia may be marching towardsa new nuclear era, prompted in part by fear of climate change. [Its PM said] during a trip to Canada[world's major exporter of uranium] that nuclear power was 'inevitable'choice for Australia. In many parts of world the mood is shifting in favour of nuclear energy - often because other responses to climate change seem harder. That in turn is creating new worries over diversion of nuclear fuel to make bombs [discussed in "Nuclear Fuel: The More There Is, the Bigger the Risk"(60-1) with official summary: "Why proliferation gets harder to stop"], and making the distant dream of nuclear fusion even more attractive [discussed in "Nuclear Fusion: A White-Hot Elephant"(61) with official summary: "A costly project brings countries together, but not many nuclei".]. [A] policy review [has advised:] Australia could quadruple its 2005 revenue from exporting uranium...if it enriched/fabricated fuel first[and recommended]installing its first nuclear reactor by 2020, building up to 25 reactors by 2050.,. and cut greenhouse gasesby almost 20%... Elsewhere in world, so many nations are either building new plants, or thinking about it, that energy analysts are speaking of a nuclear renaissance. New reactors being built in 13 countries.Governments in others[eg UK, US] want to make it easier to start new plants[,and] several European statesare slowing down plans to phase out nuclear power. Asian ones... plan ever more reactors. In most places, nuclear debate hinges on safety cost, the environment and security of supply. [E]ngineering firms say their latest designs are safer. Several claim to build 'passively safe'plants that need no human or mechanical intervention to close after a fault, but rely on laws of physics to contain runaway reactions...Consensus emerging about where to put nuclear waste: most countries want to bury it underground...Nuclear fission one of cheapest ways to make power. [H]owever [were often] delays, cost overruns andbreakdowns. But utilities seem to be getting better at maintenance; some keep reactors going more than 90% of time. In democracies, politics is biggest cause of delay and financial upset. Nuclear policies can be as fickle as government coalitions. Public opinion and local planners often more sceptical than national authorities... Planning aside, nuclear plants can be hard to finance, since cost more and takelonger to build than coal- or gas-powered... If there is a rebirth, it may lie in the mere fact that nuclear power is being discussed, not in any consensus about its merits". Much earlier Economist on subjects.
The Economist 09 Dec 06 "Lebanon: A Battle for the Nation's Heart" (51-2):-official summary: "Outcome of bitter struggle in streets of capital could affect balance of power in wider region" . Highlights: "Lebanon not moving. It is stuck. Talks between faction leaders... collapsed last month. Since then,fractures between religious sects, divided political loyalties and clashing understandings of Lebanon's own history/identity widened dangerously fast... Huge crowds gather nightly for [PM Siniora's] downfall,even as he receives endless delegations of supportive dignitaries. [Showdown] shows no sign of ending soon. Protesters... insist vigil will not end until PM... appoints enough opposition ministers to grantthem effective veto. Government... has offered bigger share of posts [but] remains adamant this must fall short of veto. Siniora said to have accepted proposal to up number of cabinet posts from 24 to 30, giving 9 or 10 to Hizbullah-led opposition, 19 to anti-Syrian coalition and couple to neutrals. Not enough said Hizbullah. Siniora's lot [also raise issues of: tribunal to look into murder of ex-PM Hariri;replacement of pro-Syrian president.] In government's view, demonstrations subverting democracy[with] aim not so much to achieve sectarian balance as to bring Lebanon back into orbit of Syria and Iran[and] renew 'resistance'against Israel. Nawaf Musawi [of] Hizbullah counters that government'sacceptance of UN troops and foreign aid is whittling away sovereignty... Opposition appears stronger[:]demonstrations of more than 1m[, with] Hizbullah [lending] formidable organizing skills [plus] menace of its unrivalled guerrilla force. Siniora not bereft[:] Western powers/Sunni Arab allies[;] strong support from anti-Syrian Christian factions [plus] near-unanimous backing from Sunni/Druze minorities... In fact,striking symmetry between sides[: e]ach accuses other of being stooge of foreign powers, of stoking sectarian rivalry and of 'trading in blood of martyrs' ... Both sides claim majority backing and both seethe clash as defining moment for Lebanon - perhaps even for the wider region. Conservative Arab governments...are worried[: if] Siniora forced out,.. angry Sunni Arab fears of a new 'Shia arc'...will grow.
The Economist 16 Dec 06 "Radioactive Toxins: Choose Your Poison" (23):-seems half-way between biological techniques and radioactive poisons. Official summary: "Polonium-210 was efficient in its deadly way but needed experts to make it" . Highlights: Polonium-210 belongs to a group of radioactive poisons that can be used to kill while leaving the murderer unscathed: able to carry the toxin in a glass bottle knowing that its radioactivity would be readily absorbed by the vial itself. It cannot pass through skin... Only when substance is inhaled or swallowed does it become fatal... because radioactivityemanating from polonium-210 is in the form of highly energetic alpha particles which interact strongly with matter and so can travel just a centimetre or so in air before being halted in their tracks. Onceingested, the particles dump huge quantities of energy in the body. [T]ravels easily through body. Onceinto blood, distributed so widely it becomes whole-body dose of radiation. It kills organs, tissues andcells or else damages them to extent they can no longer function. Poisoning is relatively rapid andmillionth of a gram is sufficient to kill... Isotope in nature only extremely rarely. However, nuclear reactors generate 100 grams of substance worldwide each year. It can be bought: it is used in industryto eliminate static electricity generated by such processes as paper rolling, manufacture of sheet plastics and spinning of synthetic fibres. But the radioactive material is sealed in small beads as a safety measure before it is sold, [so] could not be inhaled [or beads dangerous if swallowed]. Background item identifying terrorist use of poison: "Special Report: The Litvinenko Affair: Murder Most Opaque" (22-4):-two official summaries in page sequence: "Polonium-210 was efficient in its deadly way but needed experts to make it" and "What a poisoned Russian agent tells us about the way that Russia is governed" .
The Economist 23 Dec 06"Dealing With Iran and North Korea: Dangerous Diplomacy"(Edit.14-6):- official summary:"China and Russia are helping make the world a much more perilous place". Highlights: "North Korea, which in Oct provocatively tested what it said was a nuclear bomb, rejoined six-way talksit has been boycotting for more than year. At UNSC, agreement seemed closer, after months of haggling,to a resolution that would impose sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt its suspect uranium-enrichmentand plutonium work... Both moves ought to signal advances in the global effort to stop the bomb's spread. In fact, both may instead end up confirming that diplomacy is failing... Kim Jong Il still showsno sign of preparing to abandon his bombs. [H]e may already have enough fissile material for up to adozen bombs. [Yet] his list of demands has lengthened[:] he wants to be rewarded [instead of punished for his recent misdeeds. T]he signs are that Kim has a different purpose than disarmament: to keep anangry China off his back while he sits out the Bush administration in the hope the next US president, andthe world, will learn to live with a nuclear North Korea. The strategy could pay off... China has been dismayingly slow to see [UNSC sanctions against North] enforced. Meanwhile, Iran's fiery president,Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been gambling that Russia will do the same for him, by helping his regimeavoid paying any real price for its nuclear defiance. [Russia's] President... argues that Iran, unlike North Korea, has not expelled nuclear inspectors, flounced out of NPT or set off a weapons test - and should be dealt with gently. All this is dangerously short-sighted... If neither North Korea nor Iran is shown topay a heavy price for breaking the NPT and defying UNSC, others nervously rethinking their nuclearambitions will be tempted to follow suit. By enfeebling diplomacy, China and Russia are taking the world into more dangerous territory". Also relevant:"Iran: A Rebuff for the President"(66).
The Economist 06 Jan 07"The United Nations: A Chance For a Safer World"(Edit.9);"Briefing: The United Nations: Mission Impossible"(20-2);"Peacekeeping: Call the Blue Helmets"(22-4):- Editorial's official summary: "How the big powers could make better use of United Nations". Highlights:"UN is derided bymuch of media as divided/bloated/ corrupt/ impotent[, and] looks incapable of dealing with dauntingproblems of day's world. [Its] Secretary-General[UNSG] takes rap for its failings[, but] is servant of often divided Security Council[UNSC] and has limited power... In 2005 [UNSG] tried to reform UN and was thwarted. Yet mistake to give up on organisation [because:] UN already does far better job than it isgiven credit for [and] some aspects of today's global politics make this good moment for the big powers to work more closely together [since] maybe able to breath fresh vitality into world body and restoresome high hopes of Charter. [UN not perfect in Darfur(Sudan) but UNSC divided so murder continues;besides, in south Sudan UN forces are keeping the peace after an even bloodier civil war for decades.]UN's World Food Program feeds millions [and] 30m people in 50 countries depend on UN relief for verysurvival. Congo just one of 18 different missions, in which about 100,000 UN peacekeepers deployed.These tell you that, although divided UNSC can paralyse UN, not always divided. Moreover, UNSC's five veto-wielding are entering period during which they may see the point of whittling away more of their differences. [T]oday's big powers have few head-on conflicts. There is [commercial] competition rather than a collision of empires of the sort that took place before WWI. Today's disorder stems... from problems all want solved: failed states, terrorism, proliferation and chaotic Mideast. Priorities/tactics differ, but room to cooperate... Iraq-entangled US shows little appetite for new battles [a]nd, although often UN's harshest critic, has come again to see... UN for help with problems. [UN] needs to run faster just to stay in same place/legitimacy[, b]ut at some point will fade unless UNSC takes at least Japan,India, Brazil, Germany and African state into permanent membership so that it reflects today's world.Also needs some military resources of its own to cope with demand for peacekeeping[:] small battle-ready force raised by UN itself... exactly what's needed in Somalia [see:"Somalia: Thank You And Goodbye"(Edit.10);"Somalia: By Dawn the Islamists Were Gone" (41-2)]. In meantime, permanent five could [show] greater willingness to work together. [N]ot going to turn UN into a world government[, b]utat moment when... most anxious about same rate of transnational threats, all big powers ought to see benefit of making better use of potential for joint, lawful international action that UN uniquely provides".
The Economist 06 Jan 07 "China: Coming Over the Horizon" (34):- "China's President Hu Jintao... appearedin military attire 27 Dec to declare that China had to build a powerful navy and 'make sound preparations for military struggles' ... Little detail,.. but tone of remarks, his insistence that China was maritime power,and prominence given by official media to the speech all seem to point to China's determination to builda blue-water navy.,. not least in order to provide security for its rapidly growing imports of oil/othercommodities shipped from Mideast/Africa. [W]hite paper outlining military posture [was] published after speech[, but] does little to cast light on China's intentions. It does not mention that China is developing aircraft carrier,..nor...discuss any of China's considerable purchases of advanced weaponry from Russia, ..includ[ing]destroyers/submarines/sea-skimming anti-ship missiles/fighter jets...Among 'security challenges' ...spelled out is Taiwan's 'radical policy'of pursuing formal independence, which it says threatens stability across Asia-Pacific region. [D]espite... hundreds of missiles on coast facing Taiwan,China has muted its bellicosity. [Its 2004 paper] threatened to crush 'resolutely and thoroughly'any major move towards independence. That threat not repeated. Hu appears far more confident now... thatTaiwan's President Chen Shui-bian lacks the political strength/daring necessary to sever ...links with mainland. On 01 Jan, Chen spoke of 'myth'of one China and said only people of Taiwan had right to decide their future [-] but did not set out any plans. Hu [reacted] would 'not compromise on Taiwan independence'[but] also said would never give up efforts to reunify the country peacefully... Even Chen...has relaxed a little. [Also,] between China and US, last year has seen a continuing thaw in theirmilitary relationship... So why is Hu... so keen on a bigger navy? Prestige could well be part of it[, but]recent report by Chinese Academy of Social Sciences argued that, since China's rapid economicgrowth... concentrated in coastal areas, now has long-range maritime interests. As result, country was in the process of changing from a continental land power into a sea power" .
The Economist 13 Jan 07"Israel and the Jews: Diaspora Blues"(Edit.14-5); "Israel and the Jews: Second Thoughts About the Promised Land"(53-6):-Editorial's official summary:-"Jews around the world should join the debate about Israel, not just defend whatever it does". Highlights: "Early settlers came for a variety of reasons:.. to escape stifling constraints of religious dogma;.. hasten the coming of Messiah;.. as anti-Semitism grew, [gain] a safe haven; after the Holocaust, save Jewish lives. Soon another role: being a potential Israeli citizen became one of the anchor points of what it means to be a Jew. Since [its establishment,] Jews have continued debating/reshaping relationships to country. Secular Jews found Israeliness a handy substitute for religious observance. Some religious Jews revived... messianic Zionism, holding that to settle in all biblical land... is a God-given duty. To...ultra-Orthodox, state should [be] subsidising Jewish learning/maintaining piety... Meanwhile, diaspora Jews have developed an even more eclectic mix of Jewish culture and attitudes to Zionism(see 53-6),partly because... growing number neither feel comfortable with always standing up for Israel, nor... invoke Israel in defining Jewish[ness]. Yet big Jewish diaspora institutions not caught up[, but] still supporting [Israel] in times of crisis/critics. [True especially of] lobby groups in US, formed to influence foreign policy in Israel's favour... Their attitude persists [in suggesting Israel's] critics are anti-Semites[, and they] have an unholy alliance with evangelical Christian groups. This knee-jerk defensiveness of Israel does not help Jewish diaspora in keeping young Jews from leaving the faith [and] many are simply drifting away. [Also,] it locks diaspora Jews out of the fateful/often bitter debates that rage inside Israel itself[, where] interests have been diverging. [Israelis] disagree on the most basic questions: borders, who is a Jew, role of religion, status of non-Jews... Israeli Jews swim in a sea of conflicting ideas about who they should be... Helping Israel should no longer mean defending it uncritically. [D]iaspora institutions should...encourage lively debate about Israeli politics[,] allowing an Israel at peace to return to its original vocation of providing a safe and democratic haven for the world's Jews. Other items in this issue offer information on Israeli attitudes towards/from some vital Mideasterners (titles/pages plus official summaries): "Israel and Iran: How Imminent Or Real a Threat?"(43):-"Israelis vary in their views of Iranian menace"; "Obituary: Teddy Kollek"(78):-"Theodor('Teddy')Kollek, mayor of Jerusalem, died on 02 Jan 07, aged 95".
The Economist 13 Jan 07"Chinese Foreign Policy: A Quintet, Anyone?"(37-8):-complements 06Jan"China: Coming Over the Horizon" item on trends in global role of a developing superpower. Official summary: "China making it clear it wants a bigger role in Mideast". Highlights:"[I]n Mideast, China is on good terms with everyone [and its] non-government seminar [of] former senior Israeli and Palestinian officials reached consensus...China should increase its influence in Mideast, and join 'Quartet'... pursuing peace efforts... To all sides, it still has much to offer. To oil-export[ers, it is] big customer/investor[; to Iran and Syria[, its] veto power at UN and shared misgivings about US make it a welcome friend. Refreshingly, China asks no questions about democracy. Israel... courts China['s] potential influence[, knowing they] share distaste for Islamic militancy [and are important military industry producers/markets]. US worries China has been hesitant to put pressure on Iran[, its] third-biggest supplier of oil, and Sudan[, where] China has invested hugely in oil. China sees advantages for itself in any diminution of US power[;] US preoccupation in Iraq strengthens China's hand in its dealings with Taiwan. In both Sudan and Iran, China has often balked at US-led initiatives in UN that could be seen as legitimising strong-arm tactics against countries deviating from international norms. China fear[ed] it might be next[, but] has recently edged closer to US position... Despite disdain for US-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan,.. it has not attempted to frustrate US operations[,] has pledged more than $300m for Afghan reconstruction, begun debt-[cancel] negotiations with Iraq[ and, s]ince 1990s, far more sympathetic to US concerns about weapons proliferation. China worries about its dependence on US military might for the security of its oil shipments from Mideast [(see 06 Jan)] so has little choice but to support efforts to stabilise the region. It may not agree with US tactics, but will share the same broad objective. In same issue, these three items (their titles/pages plus their official summaries) discuss China's equally-vital international financial/trade relations: "Chinese Business: Truth From Facts"(Edit.13-4):-"The best test of China's new accounting standards: a few public disasters"; "Chinese Accounting: Cultural Revolution"(63-4):-"New accounting rules have replaced the Little Red Book [by Mao] as China's guide to self-improvement. Can the state handle the truth?"; "Briefing: The Problem With Made in China"(68-70):-"China is choking on its success at attracting the world's factories. That has handed its Asian neighbours a big opportunity".
The Economist 20 Jan 07"Global Terrorism: On the March, Not On the Run"(69-70):-official summary: "Intelligence agencies see worrying signs of al-Qaeta’s revival". Highlights:"Western leaders until recently... thought... campaign against al-Qaeda gone quite well... Taliban regime in Afghanistan gave al-Qaeda sanctuary. After West toppled regime 2001, officials believed it was largely broken up. Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri sent video/audio messages... but did not appear to control operations ‘franchised’ to local groups. In Europe, jihadist cause taken up by home-grown extremists[, though] their outrages [eg London] could not match al-Qaeda’s spectaculars... But in Jan 07,..US... intelligence chief changed tone. Al-Qaeda’s core leadership was ‘resilient’,.. hiding places in Pakistan ‘secure’and ‘cultivating stronger operational connections/relationships’ with affiliated groups across Mideast/north Africa/Europe... In Nov 06, head [British] security agency said.:. contending with some 200 terrorist networks involving 1,600 suspects, and investigating up to 30 high-priority plots. Home-grown radicals... trained/guided by al-Qaeda on ‘extensive/growing scale’... Investigations/court cases in Britain cast light on enduring role of al-Qaeda in attacks on West, especially from Pakistan. [One planned radioactive ‘dirty bomb’...in London, plus attacks in US. Another. said to have attended training camp in Sudan, plotted to blow up 10 aircraft London-US, using liquid explosives/involved links in Pakistan. Group of Muslim citizens said to have planned to attack Canadian parliament.] Western security officials say the revitalisation of al-Qaeda partly due to ‘pressure is off’ in North Waziristan, Pakistani tribal region where army agreed ceasefire with militants. Afghan/NATO commanders complain truce has also provided cross-border safe havens for Taliban. [See"Afghanistan and Pakistan: They Walk the Line"(52):- official summary: "A border dispute disguised as a counter-insurgency strategy".] Western officials also worry about ‘blowback’ from Iraq:.. battle-hardened fighters to wage violent campaigns elsewhere in the world. [While al-Qaeda/sympathisers taken beating in Somalia,] al-Qaeda may be growing stronger in north Africa [through merger with] Algeria’s Salafist Group for Call and Combat -‘thorn in necks of US/French crusaders’. ‘Al-Qaeda not on the run’, says Bruce Hoffman, Georgetown Univ. ‘It is on the march’".
The Economist 27 Jan 07"China’s Anti-Satellite Test: A New Arms Race in Space?"(Edit.10- 11);"China and Space: Stormy Weather"(38-42):-Editorial’s formal summary: "There are better ways to manage China’s space rivalry with US". Highlights:"If new arms race in space, China in it [after] belated admission that destroyed one of its own satellites...by slamming a ballistic missile into it over 800km up in space. China’s saying it will cede control of space to no one. Feat itself not particularly impressive[, but] shows China could now blast someone else‛s out of sky [see other item; and] reflects badly on China as terrestrial power. Yet... could be turned to advantage. Satellites as vulnerable as valuable. US and Russia stopped anti-satellite tests because both stood to lose; [plus: eyes-in-the skies helped] avoid awful mishap. Today used... widely for communications/terrestrial navigation/crop monitoring/much more... China has thumbed its nose at the many satellite-dependents. As practical matter, there are better ways of dealing with redundant satellites; China‛s...smithereens... will orbit like bullets in space for years/may damage other satellites/put space-farers at risk. China [might] find its ambitions set [itself] back someday[, but] evidently calculates all this worth it. [B]last really aimed at rival US: satellites not only add to US‛s already far superior conventional fighting power [but] also aid nascent [US] missile-defence plans [which] might help protect [Taiwan] from threat of 900 missiles now pointed from mainland. Meanwhile longer-range defences could blunt deterrent value of China‛s rockets... aimed at US itself. China has [long] blocked discussion of other issues at UN Conference on Disarmament because US refused to negotiate new treaty banning ‛weaponisation‛ of space; 67 Outer Space Treaty prohibits only placing of weapons of mass distruction. [US claims] no arms race in space[;] therefore no need for a new treaty. Both China/US being disingenuous... Yet US‛s secretive space plans worry even some of its friends, [and] China‛s anti-satellite test makes a race to weaponise space more likely... An arms race in space would leave everyone... worse off. Likewise, insisting on a treaty or nothing, with interminable debates over the legal definition of space weapon... won‛t stop the emerging space competition turning ugly. Better to try something more modest: code of responsible conduct between existing/emerging space powers. Such code proposed by Washington-based Stimson Centre, think-tank working with NG experts from China/Russia/Canada/France/Japan, would rule out interfering with other nations‛ space systems, including using lasers to harm satellites... and avoid activities that create long-lasting space debris. Would also provide advance notice of space manoeuvres that might get in others‛ way. US still more powerful in space; China shown what damage can do. Their competition won‛t end there. But there are surely better ways to manage it".
The Economist 27 Jan 07"International Criminal Court: Doing Better Than Expected"(59-60):-official summary: "The world’s first permanent war-crimes tribunal is proving more robust than expected; even sceptical US is softening its line". Highlights: "When ICC struggled into being, well-wishers unsure how long this fragile creature would survive. [Now] tribunal is proving a lustier infant than many predicted. Its prosecutors have delved deeply into horrible wars in Congo/Sudan/Uganda... As court’s reputation grows, so does number of countries that have signed up - 104 at last count. They include all main European states[, Canada and soon Japan, but] the real change in the court’s fortunes stems from a gradual shift in US attitude: moved from outright hostility to some cautious signals that... it sees ICC as useful. In court’s early days [US] devoted huge energy to limiting the risk of US citizens being hauled in[, and] cajoled about 100 states into signing bilateral accords to keep [them] out of court’s grip [by vowing they] would be immune from prosecution for atrocities committed on their soil - and would in no event be sent to ICC... Despite court’s repeated assurances, US congressmen/officials feared that world’s sole superpower would become the target of politically-motivated prosecutions. Although some fears remain, the tone has undoubtedly changed. Bush recently waived restrictions on military aid to 21 countries, and curbs on economic aid to a further 14, despite their refusal to sign bilateral immunity deals. [An active] senator wants to see US in ICC; two urged US/allies ‘to use their intelligence assets, including satellite technology’ to help ICC in Darfur... Chief legal adviser State Department been driving force behind change of attitude[,thinking campaign against ICC undermines broader US aims, while Rice has urged softer line. US did not veto UNSC’s referral of Darfur to ICC, did not grumble when ICC deputy chief prosecutor appointed head of UN inquiry into Lebanon’s Hariri murder nor when UNSC voted transfer of former Liberian president to ICC for trial, and] US amb to Uganda has been urging support for ICC prosecution of rebels. [T]hese signals suggest at least beginnings of a change of heart. Mixed messages still; but vitriol has gone. [US] seems also convinced that risk of...being in the dock is less than originally feared [and] impressed by court’s carefully reasoned rejection of the hundreds of allegations it has received regarding US role in Iraq. [C]ourt’s chief prosecutor argued[: US-Iraq relations lie outside court’s juridiction; court intervenes only when country fails to do so; ‘aggression’ still undefined; no evidence of genocide; evidence cases not sufficiently widespread to meet threshold of gravity received]. Huge problems still lie ahead, but [ICC] off danger list [- sees US joining one day]".
The Economist 03 Feb 07"The Middle East: Where Moderates Fear to Tread"(Edit.14-6):-formal summary: "Bolstering the forces of moderation doesn‛t mean just bludgeoning the extremists".Highlights:"Mideast ...has rarely, if ever, been in such a mess. [F]our bloody crises[:] Israel-Palestine [no progress toward peace in 6 years]; Lebanon [danger of being torn apart again]; Iraq [mayhem continues unabated]; Iran [president hellbent on nuclear weapon: threatens Israel/terrifies Arab neighbours].No wonder ‛moderate‛ ... forces in region... desperate for Western friends to help calm things down. [S]olving Israeli-Palestinian conundrum would massively help West and fearful local friends in efforts to help forces of moderation/ modernity overcome fanaticism/backwardness. Yet omens for another push for peace... are poor [Palestinian factional war: latest"The Palestinian Territories: The Gazafication of the West Bank" (46-8) and Israel‛s domestic malaise:"Israel: A Miserable Lot"(48); for the impacts/suspicions generated by two Muslim sects, see separate summary of "Shias and Sunnis: The Widening Gulf"(45-6), although for more detail on all descriptions of the unstable situation in Lebanon, and a Syrian role for peace, see the specific summary]. But they may be realising things cannot go on... UN, US, EU and Russia talk of skipping step-by-step slog laid out in tattered ‛road map‛ ... and of going straight to ‛final status‛ talks... US may re-engage as an active broker after years... of keeping hands off:.. helping Abbas/Fatah [and] Islamists of Hamas...seek unity government...disavowing violence. Even if Israel, Palestinians, Lebanon and Syria were to start horse-trading in earnest, that would still leave more intractable problems of Iraq and Iran. [Yet any] settlement achieved in Israeli orbit,... would be a great start. No time to lose".
The Economist 03 Feb 07"Shias and Sunnis: The Widening Gulf"(45-6):-formal summary:"Amid Sunni fears of a growing ‛Shia arc‛, tensions between the main Muslim sects are widening, while some governments are exploiting them". Highlights:“[A]cross much of Mideast, the spectre of fitna, or sectarian schism, has rarely loomed larger. In Iraq, bombs deliberately targeted Shia civilians [and] Shia militias responded. Deadly attacks against Shia mosques in Pakistan added... to estimated 2,000 killed over 15 years of sectarian violence. In Lebanon,.. running street battles between followers of rival Sunni and Shia parties [: more on separate Lebanon summary.] Yet communal feelings are rising even where Shias, around 15% world‛s Muslims, have little or no presence. Sudan recently closed Iran‛s [‛Shia propaganda‛] stall at Khartoum fair. Algerian [media] say Shia... inveigling Sunni children to convert. Supporters... of Fatah,.. Palestinian party, taken to chanting ‛Shia!‛ at backers of (Sunni) Hamas in dig against strong ties to Iran. In Jordan, villagers turned back pilgrims going to local Shia shrine. [Shia communities/businesses in US ostensibly attacked by vandals.] Some of alarm appears orchestrated. [R]ecent editorial in Cairo daily charged [Iran] with undermining chances for peace in Iraq/Palestine/ Lebanon[, and] floated charges that Iranian intelligence agents responsible for... murder of Egypt‛s amb in Iraq... Saudi Arabian internet sites...widely believed infiltrated by police [for] spurious tales of Shia perfidy[, and] senior Saudi clerics issued a call to arms in defence of Iraq against ‛Crusader-Safavid-Rejectionist plot‛ that seeks to uproot Sunni Islam. Such alarmism reflects, to a degree, a desire by Sunni, US-allied governments [e.g. Egypt and Saudi Arabia] to staunch what they see as rising tide of Iranian influence. Capture of power by Iraq‛s long-oppressed Shias is perceived as having, for first time, removed main Arab bulwark against Persian expansion... Iran‛s wider assumption of leadership for Islamist ‛resistance‛ movements, underscored by electoral success of Hamas, and by Hizbullah‛s spirited... war with Israel, gives Arab leaders even worse jitters... US is demanding support for its policy of boxing in Iran [while] Arab countries appear to have chosen to exploit sectarian feelings to send a shot across Iran‛s bows... Saudi intent to thwart Iran‛s regional ambitions is clearest in Lebanon [- strong financial/diplomatic support for PM against Hizbullah]... Iraq‛s agony has made clear sectarianism is dangerous genie. With a view to cooling recent excesses, Qatar... invited some 400 top Sunni and Shia religious figures to a dialogue last month[, but the] rhetoric at conference proved embarrassingly hot. Shia cleric [warned:] if Sunnis/Shias not cease their wrangling, Muslims would end up turning to secularism as their saviour. Also on Muslim political changes:"Nigeria: Sharia Lite"(50) recalls "thousands died in clashes between Muslims and Christians".
The Economist 10 Feb 07"US and Iran: Next Stop Iran?"(Edit.11);"Briefing: Dealing with Iran: A Countdown to Confrontation"(23-5);"Israel and Iran: How MAD Can They Be?"(24);"Russia and the Middle East: The Bear is Happy to be Back"(45):-Editorial's formal summary:"Why George Bush should resist a Wagnerian exit from the White House". Highlights:"Iran and US are heading for a collision[: t]here exists real possibility Bush will order a military strike on Iran some time before he leaves two years from now. [F]our things making old antagonism newly dangerous: (1) Iran's apparent determination to build nuclear weapons [see Briefing]; (2) advent of Ahmadinejad, populist president, [calling] openly for Israel's destruction; (3) recent [Bush] tendency to blame Iran for many US troubles... throughout Mideast; (4) [Iran blamed by Bush for blocking his aims of] bringing democracy to Mideast and preventing rogue regimes from acquiring WMD[, so] may come to see pre-emptive strike on its nuclear program as fitting way to redeem his presidency... Even if clear Iran on threshold of acquiring atomic bomb, US strike on its nuclear facilities would be reckless gamble. [S]uch a strike would at best delay rather than end Iran's nuclear ambitions. It might very well rally support behind a regime not conspicuously popular at home, retaliate inside Iraq/Israel, and perhaps against US itself. Besides, far from clear exactly how dangerous a nuclear- armed Iran would be [and] already small signs [in Iran] of backlash against Ahmadinejad. [But self-deception to conclude] a nuclear-armed Iran would not be dangerous. [T]here is danger will provoke a pre-emptive strike by Israel. [Also,] Iran's going nuclear could destroy what is left of the international non-proliferation regime[, a regional] race to copy [bomb-wise] might soon be on[, and] Iran [might] feel safe to ramp up attempts to spread its revolution violently beyond its own borders. Every effort should be made to stop an Iranian bomb. But... Iran claims its nuclear program is for civil purposes only [and] Europeans called its bluff by offering trade, civil-nuclear assistance and promise of talks with US, if stopped enriching uranium. When Iran refused, diplomacy led in Dec 06 to imposition of economic sanctions by UNSC [including veto-powered Russia/China]. This is a promising approach. Required now is a further tightening of economic squeeze, coupled with some sort of incentive".
The Economist 17 Feb 07"Dealing With North Korea: Trust Me?"(Edit.14);"Briefing: The North Korean Nuclear Deal: Faces Saved All Round"(28-30):-"Most devastating criticism of nuclear 'disarmament' deal struck with Kim Jong Il‛s North Korea by US/China/Japan/South Korea/Russia is that it [might reward] an appalling dictator's serial nuclear effrontery [and] only encourage Iran's nuclear-charged/other bomb-seekers. If [that's] how things play out[, it] will compound failure with folly: encouraging nuclear wannabes to believe that the more rules they break, the bigger the eventual pay-off [-] eviscerating NPT/setting off nuclear chain reactions. [H]ard to be optimistic. [D]eal with US in 94 [won North fuel/reactor promises, and froze] plutonium work for a while[, but it] disintegrated in 02. [Kim] has gone on to amass enough... to increase his weapons stockpile...to maybe 8-10 [bombs]. Hence explosive bravado of Oct 06 [nuclear bomb test, and threats] to test more. [R]hetoric of some of Bush's officials will have encouraged Kim to duck for nuclear cover[, yet] 94 deal did encourage Kim... time and again... On paper, the latest deal does better. Kim gets a little fuel in return for re-freezing his plutonium facilities. [He gets] the 1m tonnes of fuel on offer [only] as fast as meets central obligation... Only when disarming done will far more generous aid be on offer. [See Briefing in regard to details.] Kim keeps his bombs until bitter end[, so] free to stomp out at any time/threaten another test. Maybe no intention of disarming; only of provoking division. [Hence] negotiations now... need to meet some stiff credibility tests. Strict verification[: IAEA] inspectors will need a lot of extra manpower [and] Kim's ready cooperation. [US] financial sanctions... helped get [Kim's] attention [so] should be no let-up on curtailing [North's] criminal activities... China and South Korea need to keep pressure on too[:] China [as] accuser helped shock Kim into talking again[, and] South halted most aid. Risk now is that pressure will ease[: US] to let deadlines slip... would be a terrible mistake... East Asia will never be secure while North Korea has its nuclear bomb".
The Economist 17 Feb 07"Lebanon: An Unhappy Anniversary"(48-9):-Official summary:"No peaceful end to the increasingly edgy stalemate is in sight". Highlights:"Vast throng of flag-waving mourners gathered in Beirut... for second anniversary of assassination of Rafik Hariri[ - ] an angry, defiant show of numbers... Sadly, divisions appear more dangerously brittle than at any time since civil war in 90, and meddling of outsiders is just as devilish. [D]ay before memorial, morning bomb blasts destroyed two buses packed from mostly Christian Metn region, killing three and grievously wounding 20. [B]een other attacks since Hariri, [b]ut that was first time targeted ordinary civilians, with apparent aim of maximising carnage... Tension rising since... war with Israel; latest bombs raise it even higher. [F]ighting last summer - 1200 Lebanese dead - sharply deepened internal schisms. Many Shias... felt the state had abandoned them. Their Hizbullah asserted its 'divine victory' entitled it to a bigger share of power[, but others] accused it of provoking the war in first place. [C]ountry since frozen in a constitutional crisis[, and t]he two groups have clashing visions of national identity. Government champions traditional ideas of Lebanon as politically neutral/business-friendly. Its opponents picture it as a bastion against perceived Western or Islamic attempts at regional domination. In Nov they pulled five Shia ministers out of 24-man cabinet, and insisted their absence rendered it illegitimate... These competing visions colour approaches to crucial issues [e.g.] formation of an international tribunal to try suspects in the attacks against Hariri/supporters... Opposition says [it] could trample on Lebanese sovereignty and 'politicise' prosecutions so as to punish Syria,... and perhaps implicate Hizbullah in other crimes. Dismissing such suspicions,.. government approved the statutes, but full ratification requires parliamentary vote and presidential signature. Parliament's [Shia] speaker has refused to convene legislature [and] President Emile Lahoud... refuses to sign. So far, numerous attempts at mediation... have failed. Some pinned hopes on outside intervention, particularly on talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia, [and] formulae have been floated... Yet, far from cooling their language or seeking areas of common ground, leaders... have clung to fixed positions... Twice in past month, tensions have escalated into deadly violence in Beirut, quelled only by army intervention and sobering memories of the civil war. [But fears are raised] that political bosses may not be able to control future outbreaks".
The Economist 24 Feb 07"Missile Defence: Europe's Space Wars"(Edit.17);"Russia: The Hollowing Out of Politics"(62-3);"Missile-Defence Systems: Bombs Bursting in Air"(67-8):-Editorial's official sum:"Europe should not let Russia's threats deter it from deploying a defence against rogue states [and terrorists] with rockets". Highlights:"This week missile wars returned - on two fronts. [C]ommander of Russia's strategic forces warned Poland and Czech Republic that if went ahead with plans to allow rockets/radars of US anti-missile system to be installed on their territory, Russian forces would be 'capable of having... installations as their targets'... [P]resident Putin surely knows anti-missile radar Czechs receiving, and battery of anti-missile missiles that may end up in Poland, are not aimed at Russia. [See"Russia:..Politics" on Putin authority.]They are part of defensive shield NATO has concluded help defend US/European allies from a different threat altogether: growing danger of long-range missiles, even nuclear, from countries such as Iran and North Korea... Britain has also made a bid to become European base for them[ - see":Bombs Bursting..." - since] this is already round two of the missile-defence debate[, as one radar in Britain is] a working component of US still developing anti-missile plans. [W]hen George Bush insisted - and Russia accepted - their long-standing Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty [was] scrapped. [This] left the Russians free to look more realistically to their own defences[, and] US and Russia, no longer enemies, quickly agreed to far deeper cuts in the numbers of strategic warheads.[P]utting ten interceptors... anywhere in Europe will do nothing to blunt Russia‛s vast nuclear deterrent... Indeed, it would reduce tension if US responded to Russia's request to negotiate further arms-control treaties... Other governments accept that their security is genuinely at risk from...more limited, but less predictable, threats[, and] convinced... limited defences can bolster security in Europe too. Yet, keeping in mind how limited a role[, at best] the extra defences can offer a little extra insurance in a crisis... So best way of avoiding getting to crisis-point is still to uphold and strengthen the rules against nuclear proliferation".
The Economist 24 Feb 07"India and Pakistan: Staying on Track"(Edit.18-9); "Terrorism in India: Murder on the Friendship Express"(47-8); "Pakistan: Musharraf Shows His Hand"(48-52):-Editorial's official sum:"United in anger at another atrocity, India and Pakistan should speed up their peace process". Highlights: "Every few months a bombing... in India [is] killing random unfortunates. [A]ttacks usually blamed on militant groups fighting Indian rule in part of divided Kashmir [and] set back painstaking progress.,. ending rancorous, bloody feud that has scarred 60 years since independence/partition. So far, however, none has succeeded in scuppering the 3-year-old peace process.[Latest bombing, of a train, is described in"Terrorism..." which notes: "Pakistan also seen more terrorism than usual.,. probably organised by the same militants, or by their Islamist allies".] Both countries condemned the outrage [and] insisted the peace progress was intact... Both should be urged to go further [and] make a real effort to bring it to a successful conclusion [- the] fanatics have political, religious and even financial interests in keeping [them] at odds. It would be easier to identify the culprits if India and Pakistan were to share intelligence more fully. [I]t is time to move from interminable process to possible outcome. [A]s each outrage proves, present dispensation is intolerable. [T]he outlines of a settlement acceptable to both sides are emerging. It would involve 'softer' border, some cooperative institutions, greater autonomy for both bits of Kashmir and a gradual withdrawal of Indian soldiers from Kashmir as violence decreases... Such might not bring an immediate/perpetual end to bombings, but it would dispel the murk of ambiguity where terrorism thrives... pointlessly."
The Economist 24 Feb 07"Briefing: Afghanistan's War: A Double Spring Offensive"(28-30):-official sum:"After a dreadful year in Afghanistan, a newly confident NATO is preparing itself to take on the Taliban. Success will be difficult, but not impossible". Highlights:"Over past two months,.. Taliban have been pushed back by NATO's firepower, and their continued pot-shots are, for the moment, little more than harassment... Taliban are good shots, conceal themselves well and evacuate their casualties efficiently... The problem is the wider strategy. Taliban have seemingly inexhaustible supply of recruits, enjoy sanctuary in Pakistan and almost certainly have greater staying power than the foreign troops... Just for now, [situation] is good enough for NATO. After a dreadful year of violence in 2006, when security in the south appeared to collapse, the alliance has rediscovered a sense of confidence and believes it has regained the initiative... NATO will not again be caught by surprise when, as expected, Taliban step up the fight in the spring. International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), a NATO-led coalition of 37 countries, strolled almost casually into the heart of Taliban country as it deployed for the first time in the south and east of Afghanistan last summer. It was ill prepared for the ensuing fight that cost the lives of some 3,700 Afghans and 191 soldiers from ISAF and the separate US-led coalition, Operation Enduring Freedom... All this has changed, at least temporarily. The level of violence has decreased sharply and the ring road is safer... But whether this is real progress, or the result of Taliban taking their habitual winter break, will become clear only after the snows melt... NATO is feeling bullish. Along with Afghanistan's own forces, it is preparing 'Operation Nowrouz' (new year), a spring offensive to disrupt the Taliban's spring offensive. [I]ntelligence cooperation is improving, with creation of a joint NATO-Afghan-Pakistan intelligence cell in Kabul. Above all, the alliance has been energised by US's intensified commitment. [But] NATO will still be stretched thin. [Yet] the country has seen real achievements since the fall of Taliban, not least the growth in education and health care... and the return of more than 3m refugees. The north and west are relatively stable[, b]ut the Afghan government remains weak, and this is as much of a problem as the strength of the Taliban... The Afghan army is being expanded rapidly, but desertion rates are high and the quality is often poor... The few decent Afghan army units are badly overworked [and] police are in even worse shape... NATO believes that Taliban are intimately bound up with the opium trade in the south, and that drugs money finances the insurgency... NATO officials worry that antagonising farmers with forced eradication will only strengthen the insurgency... Neither the drugs trade nor the insurgency can be controlled so long as the border remains uncontrolled [-] the Taliban still enjoy sanctuary in Pakistan". This/ previous items on major violence in south Afghanistan describe complex US/British/NATO roles. Economist 03 Mar 07"Canada: Accentuating the Positive"(46) with formal sum:"Government tries to bolster public support for the mission in Afghanistan", reports on Canadian complexity.
The Economist 03 Mar 07"South Africa: Just Lighten Up a Little"(Edit.13-4);"Briefing: South Africa: The Long Journey of a Young Democracy"(32-4):-Editorial's official sum:"Country is doing well. It would do better if there were more criticism and an opposition". Highlights: "Thirteen years after system of apartheid gave way to freely-elected black-majority government,.. on whole doing pretty well...GDP almost as big as rest of sub-Saharan Africa's other 47 countries put together, and been swelling since African National Congress (ANC) took the reins in 1994. Moreover, good example of democracy/steadiness in a continent where tyranny/bloodshed still tragically common. Contributed admirably to cause of peace in Africa's bleaker reaches, helping quell civil strife and bolster democracy... Much of credit must go to first post-apartheid president, Nelson Mandela, whose grace and magnanimity let white rule end without reprisals or ruinous flight of whites. [President Thabo] Mbeki has undertaken mission to redeem the rest of Africa by spreading word of good governance [Zimbabwe?] and liberal economics. [Briefing includes a note of sourness.] Economic job ahead is still daunting[:] a good half still live in dire poverty [and] 40%...have no jobs... Though some types of crime have dipped, others are rife... Even more devastating is plague of HIV/AIDS, which has struck 5.5m South Africans and shows little sign of abating. Government... responses have been patchy and prickly. Its policy of 'black economic empowerment'... created swathe of public-sector jobs and a new culture of patronage[, which] in long run could slow economic growth. Mbeki's response to the AIDS catastrophe has been lamentable. He now seems to accept a link between HIV and AIDS and his government is belatedly rolling out a huge anti-retroviral program, but he still seems loth to promote it properly. Biggest worry... is that a mature multi-party democracy has yet to evolve... ANC politicians seldom take criticism in good part [and] no suitable candidate for [new party leader - ] Africa's top job. One day, ANC will face a stronger opposition. [Best legacy] is a willing acceptance that ANC is not pre-ordained to rule forever and that a robust opposition is entirely desirable".
The Economist 17 Mar 07"Lexington: The American-Jewish Lobby"(38):-official sum: "These are both the best of times and the worst of times for the... lobby". Highlights:"The American Israel Public Affairs Committee(AIPAC)[has] awesome power/unnerving efficiency... Congress has more Jewish members than ever before: 30 in House; 13 in Senate. Both parties are competing...to be 'soundest' on Israel. About two-thirds [in US] hold a favourable view of the place. Yet... feel a bit nervous, too. Iraq debacle has produced a fierce backlash against pro-war hawks, of which AIPAC was certainly one. Also... awkward questions about US's alliance with Israel [and] a growing number of people want to push against AIPAC... Some of the most determined are Arab-Americans, who been growing in numbers/influence for years - probably about 3.5m of them [and] a growing political force... But so far their performance has been unimpressive. Arab-Americans are badly split between Christians(63%) and Muslims(24%). Also been late in taking to politics. AIPAC's ace is idea that it represents Jewish interests in a country generally philo-Semitic. But liberal Jewish groups... persuad[ed] Congress to water down a particularly uncompromising bit of legislation... which would have prevented any US contact with Palestinian leadership... A liberal version of AIPAC... has yet to materialise[, but] most Jews are fairly left-wing... An even bigger threat to AIPAC [is that] serious people... ask hard questions about US's relationship with Israel. [F]ormer security adviser worries that US is seen in Mideast as 'acting increasingly on behalf of Israel'... The biggest challenge facing AIPAC is how to deal with this changing climate... US needs a