NATO will celebrate its 50th anniversary this spring--a long run for a political-military alliance, as for a marriage. In preparing to renew their vows, some partners, such as Germany and Canada, would like to adjust the alliance to post-Cold War changes. Unfortunately, the U.S. revealed last month that it is determined to keep the world in the dark about NATO nuclear affairs.
In the Byzantine twilight of Russian political life it is ironically now the Communists (long-time treaty detractors) who seem ready to give the green light for the ratification of the START II treaty. The recent ascendancy of several prominent Communists into the cabinet of Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov has turned the tide in favor of ratification.
Amidst the debris left by the final days of the 105th Congress may be our best chance to stabilize a dangerous situation on the Korean Peninsula. Congress is balking at providing $35 million for the shipment of fuel oil to North Korea in exchange for the shipment of plutonium out of that country.
This week, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will try to gather support at the United Nations to counter Iraq’s defiance of the Security Council-mandated inspections regime. If inspections were to cease permanently, how quickly could Iraq reconstruct its prohibited weapons programs?
When George Bush and Boris Yeltsin signed START II in the snows of Moscow in January 1993, Yeltsin called it "the treaty of hope." It was the most sweeping arms reduction pact in history, slashing in half the number of deployed nuclear missiles and bombers and eliminating the most dangerous and destabilizing weapons of the Cold War, the multiple-warhead land-based missiles.
For some two years there have been public concerns about Russian firms – and perhaps elements of the Russian government – assisting Iran to develop ballistic missiles. Last month Iran conducted the first flight-test of its Shahab-3 missile. Some analysts suspect that Iran is a few years away from fielding the Shahab-4 missile, which could reach most of Egypt and some of Central Europe.