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.
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.
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.
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.
On December 20, Pakistan announced a partial withdrawal from the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, responding to India's extension of a cease-fire against Kashmiri militants. India's Prime Minister Vajpayee cited "encouraging developments" in announcing the decision to extend the cease-fire beyond the original December 28 deadline to January 26, 2001. The latest developments suggest that the Indian cease-fire against the militants and Pakistan's commitment to exercise "maximum restraint" along the LoC have succeeded in creating a new dynamic in the region.
In the 1990s, the Clinton administration led the international community in pursuit of a grand vision of reforming African countries into modern free-market democracies. That vision, however, was a poor match for the reality of conflict and stagnation on the ground. U.S. resources fell short of the rhetoric, and the policy yielded few results.
Go slow on defenses, negotiate any deployments, and devalue nuclear weapons. That was the message Secretary of State-designate Colin Powell sent at his December 16 press conference. For those who have pushed to abrogate the ABM Treaty and for a crash program to deploy national missile defenses, it was not welcome news.
Much of Argentina's problems stem from an inefficient tax system, which taxes too little and spends too much.
China is slowly modernizing its strategic nuclear forces. There is no evidence to suggest either an acceleration of the program or any near-term threat to the United States. Chinese doctrine is centered around the maintenance of a "limited nuclear deterrent" capable of launching a retaliatory strike after an adversary's nuclear attack. The design and deployment of China's nuclear forces have been shaped by two key concerns: the survival of a second strike capability and the potential deployment of missile defense systems.
The way out of the Israeli-Palestinian impasse may be two sets of unilateral steps: a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from most of the Palestinian territories still under its control, coupled with both consolidation to most of the larger and contiguous Israeli settlements and abandonment of the smaller and isolated ones–and, on the Palestinian side, a unilateral declaration of independence.
Background Note for December 8-9, 2000 Conference, Airlie House, Warrenton, Virginia
In a major new report, An Agenda for Renewal: U.S.-Russian Relations, senior Carnegie Endowment experts call on the new U.S. administration to review its approach to dealing with Russia in several key policy areas.