Don't believe all the tough talk. The recent opening of simultaneous "consultations" in Moscow between the United States and Russia on nuclear cutbacks and missile defense is the latest sign the Bush administration prefers engaging Russia on nuclear issues rather than going it alone. <br> Visiting Scholar Lee Feinstein provides an analysis in the Baltimore Sun.
State Department Director for Policy Planning Richard Haass describes the Bush Administration rejection of key international treaties as "a la carte multilateralism." New York Times reporter <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/31/international/31GLOB.html">Thom Shanker </a> says administration officials reject pacts that limit U.S. actions but favor those that restrain others, such as missile technology restraints, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Non-Proliferation Treaty. But can the whole survive with just some of its parts? Can global security be maintained piece-meal? Project Director Joseph Cirincione warned of the dangers of precisely this approach in Foreign Policy magazine last year.
The announcement on July 22 by President George Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin to begin simultaneous "consultations" on nuclear cutbacks and missile defense is the latest sign that the new administration is having to adjust its policies in the face of continuing concern about the go-it-alone approach to strategic issues that has been promoted by many key advisors to the president.
The initial western reaction to the new Russian -Chinese "good neighbor" treaty signed in Moscow was to ask if the pact signaled a new anti-U.S. alliance. The question itself shows how far relations between the United States and the two Asian powers have deteriorated and how the missile defense issue may worsen relations and prevent the development of the very type of "new framework" President Bush hopes to form with Moscow.
U.S. trade negotiators should include the environment or sustainable development in overall trade policy objectives.
Bush administration officials have launched a barrage of view-graphs and talking points against international and domestic opposition to their missile defense plans. It is, in part, a strategy designed to restore an aura of inevitability around plans to deploy missile defenses and abrogate the ABM Treaty. It is part prophylactic, guarding against a possible failure of the July 14 test. Officials released charts depicting multi-billion dollar plans to test and deploy a wide-range of systems. Prototype land, air and sea weapons, they say, could be tested just once and then rushed into "emergency deployment." So, what's wrong with that?
The Nunn-Lugar program is a tool, a means to an end. Nunn-Lugar has prospered when U.S. policy towards Russia has been guided by a firm hand and a logical policy prescription. Nunn-Lugar cannot take the place of effective and coherent policy; in fact, it cannot operate without effective policy guidance.
Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind) argues that it is vital to maintain and strengthen cooperative threat reductions programs with Russia even as the administration moves away from negotiated nuclear reduction treaties. Missile defense, he says, is important, but it provides what he calls "the fourth line" of defense behind active measures to reduce and prevent threats. We provide below excerpts from his keynote speech at the 2001 Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference.