As the Senate Foreign Relations Committee begins two days of hearings on Iraq on July 31, it is useful to review what we know and what we don't know about Saddam's efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Baghdad's pursuit of WMD and its refusal to permit UN weapon inspectors to carry out their Security Council mandate is a critical issue as Washington debates possible military action against Saddam Hussein. Weapons inspectors were able to destroy more facilities, missiles and weapons after the Gulf War than the allied military during the actual military operation.
This testimony examines "minor crimes" under Chinese law and how they are punished. It focuses on re-education through labor, a mechanism of punishing "minor crimes," by discussing its legal background, the legal and human rights problems it presents, the current debate in China about its future, and the reasons for recommending its abolition.
Drawing China into the nuclear and missile non-proliferation regimes has been a long-term process. Since opening a dialogue with China in the early 1970s, the United States has used a range of positive incentives and disincentives to encourage China to sign on to the various unilateral and multi-lateral commitments that make up the international non-proliferation regime. During the 1980s and 1990s, China's nuclear-related exports, particularly to Pakistan, were of major international proliferation concern. China, however, made notable strides in the 1990s by joining formal arms control and non-proliferation regimes.
Talk in Europe of a possible U.S. invasion of Iraq has been shifting lately. The panicked incredulity of a few months ago is turning into nervous resignation. Europeans increasingly consider an American invasion all but inevitable, and if the United States stubbornly insists on going forward, European officials privately acknowledge, their governments probably won't protest much.
The Bush administration had three security priorities with regards to Russia when it assumed office: withdraw from the ABM Treaty, pursue its vision of nuclear arms reduction, and stop Russian assistance to Iran's nuclear and missile programs. Having achieved the first two, the Administration is poised to turn its attention to the issue of Russian assistance to Iran's nuclear weapon and long-range ballistic missile programs. Secretary of State Powell noted as much during his July 9 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, stating that the issue of Iran would be at the top of the agenda when Powell and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld met with their Russian counterparts in September as part of the newly established four party group.
President Bush and his administration opposed negotiating a binding arms control agreement to limit nuclear force. President Putin wanted a legally binding document. Each side got what they wanted with the Treaty of Moscow; a legally binding document that fails to control or reduce anything.
President Bush and the other G-7 countries have agreed to spend up to $20 billion over the next 10 years to fund a new "global partnership for the destruction of weapons of mass destruction." The funds will help Russia better control and eliminate its vast stocks of nuclear materials, as well as chemical weapons and biological weapon agents. The pledge is a major step forward, especially for Europe, Japan and Canada, whose support for threat reduction efforts in Russia have not come any where near to matching the $5 billion contribution made by the U.S. since the collapse of the Soviet Union.