The American public remains deeply skeptical of missile defenses. ABC News reports in a recent poll that "most Americans support the concept in principle, but that support dissipates dramatically in the face of counter-arguments on the price, workability and ramifications of the project."
In Geneva, negotiations have stalled on a verification mechanism for the treaty banning biological weapons. Talks are deadlocked over both the draft text and negotiation procedures. Jenni Rissanen, an analyst at the Acronym Institute, analyzes current obstacles facing the Biological Weapons Convention.
Project Director Joseph Cirincione outlines the three possible outcomes of the new strategic nuclear review ordered by President Bush and describes the conflicts that will shape whatever policy emerges. If done right, the review could help the president implement sweeping arms reductions and negotiate new agreements more effectively than President Clinton.
Bush administration efforts to promote a new national missile defense (NMD) plan have met with skepticism, hostility and uncertainty abroad. The Non-Proliferation Project has gathered recent quotes from the governments and leaders that will determine the outcome of the international debate on NMD. For further resources, visit the Project's resource page on <a href="http://www.ceip.org/files/nonprolif/weapons/weapon.asp?ID=5&weapon=missiledefense">missile defenses</a>.
USAID and the State Department operate under two distinct philosophies on how to promote democracy abroad. USAID underwrites technocratic democracy aid programs and sees democratization as a long-term developmental process. In contrast, the State Department focuses on politicians and political events, not on developmental processes, and wants immediate results.
Civil society is not the only group of actors which recognizes the potential political power of the Internet. Authoritarian governments are wary of the political communication the Internet makes possible. Many have pushed measures to control the technology and shape the Internet's development to their needs.
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.
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.
Alexander Pikayev spoke on the George Bush administration, the ABM Treaty and NATO expansion.
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.