Alexander Pikayev spoke on the George Bush administration, the ABM Treaty and NATO expansion.
But now Bush is about to become president and he shows signs of understanding that his presidency cannot mostly be about continuing to let the good times roll. Nowhere is the need for change, supported by steely determination, greater than in American foreign and defense policy. The need for a radical change of course is clear on four issues: the defense budget, missile defense, China, and Iraq.
Press reports that Iraq has rebuilt chemical and biological weapons plants bombed by the United States in late 1998 present newly-inaugurated President George W. Bush with a serious non-proliferation challenge. A <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/22/world/22IRAQ.html">New York Times report</a> that Iraq has rebuilt chemical and biological weapons-capable plants at Falluja demonstrates the continued threat posed to regional stability by Saddam Hussein.
On Wednesday, January 17, India conducted a successful test of the 2000 km-range Agni II nuclear-capable ballistic missile. The test demonstrates that India's nuclear weaponization program continues to progress, albeit in slow-motion. According to Indian officials, this was Agni II's first test in "its final operational configuration," and the mission's objectives were met "satisfactorily." With only two successful tests nearly two years apart, Agni II is still not ready to deploy, although it is a step closer.
Clinton's last-minute grandstanding has caused real damage. Even as the American-brokered negotiations crumbled and violence erupted earlier this year, Clinton had his people lobbying the Nobel committee for his peace prize. In the end, it was all about Bill Clinton.
Ted Turner and former Senator Sam Nunn announced on 8 January the establishment of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a private foundation committed to reducing the risks posed by nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The organization will focus on easing the "pressure on the nuclear trigger" and actively promoting the "trust, transparency and security that are preconditions to the fulfillment of the Nonproliferation Treaty's goals and ambitions," Nunn said.
Colin Powell endorsed it. The Joint Chiefs endorsed it. Now, three former secretaries of defense have urged the Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, with periodic reviews. In an op-ed published in the New York Times on 7 January 2001, authors Harold Brown, Melvin R. Laird and William J. Perry endorse a bipartisan approach to nuclear nonproliferation as one of the principle goals of the new Congress.
Italy has urged NATO to investigate the deaths of six Italian solders who died of leukemia after serving in the Balkans. Prime Minister Giuliano Amato believes they may have died from contact with depleted uranium munitions used by NATO forces. There are many ways to die in combat; but exposure to depleted uranium is probably not one of them.
A large swath of Africa has been engulfed by war for several years. The situation is unlikely to improve because the conflicts arise from the disintegration of postcolonial states—the order that was imposed on Africa by outside states. Wars will continue to flare up until a new order emerges, either imposed by the international community or based on new territorial and political arrangements.
Ten years after the end of the Cold War, it is time to liberate ourselves from Cold War attitudes and to remember that whether as journalists or academics, our first duty is not to spread propaganda but to hold to the highest professional standards.
Ukraine is facing its most serious political crisis since independence. President Leonid Kuchma has been accused of involvement in the murder of a leading investigative journalist. Western governments should treat Kuchma as a pariah unless he is cleared. A presidential coup would isolate Ukraine from the West, while an orderly investigation would bring Ukraine closer to the West.