The debate about international financial architecture is ending in a whimper. This is too bad for Asian voters and for Asian democracies. Financial faults both at home and abroad were the seeds of the Asian crisis. But it was nurtured by unfortunate politics in Thailand, Indonesia and Korea. The end of the crisis should not mean the end of efforts to make political life a part of the solution.
The congressional Republican party hit bottom last week. A majority of Republican House members cast two deeply irresponsible votes on the U.S. military action against Yugoslavia. No amount of Republican support for increased defense spending can cover up the shame of that vote. As GOP presidential front runner, Bush should lead and reiterate his position that America must win this war.
Why has Russian law not got stuck, although plenty of laws have been promulgated and all the legal bodies have undergone substantial reform? So why do not Russians trust and use the judicial system to a greater extent?
The partition of Kosovo--let alone Macedonia--and the acceptance of solutions involving partition for the Caucasus will take courage on the part of Western leaders, because it would require deals (especially with Russia) which will be unpopular with Congress. But at a time when servicemen are being required to show courage in the field, it is not inappropriate to ask their leaders to do the same.
Much of the world sees Africa as one of two extremes. Either it is a continent beset by genocidal warfare, corrupt leaders, and rampant poverty or it is a region that is about to enter a renaissance. But Africa is neither on the verge of widespread anarchy nor at the dawn of democratic and economic renewal.
A major intraparty battle is now shaping up over the issue of Kosovo. The outcome of this intra-GOP battle may shape the course of Republican foreign policy for years to come, and it will certainly shape the contest in 2000. If the Republicans want to run against Al Gore as the party of responsible leadership in foreign policy, the time to start is now.
For lasting peace, the colonial powers must leave the warring nations of Africa to find their own solutions: most conflicts are about internal failure, not simple border quarrels.
The Chinese, assumed to be ignorant of American politics and culture, have proved over the years to be skilled manipulators. Americans, in turn, have been acquiescing to Chinese stipulations about the subject, manner, timing, and location of negotiations. In About Face, Mann has brilliantly catalogued how American policy-makers have made the least of a strong hand in dealing with Beijing.