A stray remark by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld caused confusion and concern in parts of Europe on Monday, September 24. When he would not explicitly rule out the use of nuclear weapons in the war on terror, headlines and television featured stories on a new "Rischio Atomica," (Atomic Risk) Joseph Cirincione reports from Italy. While support for America is strong, there is concern that the U.S. might go too far in its new war.
Focusing on Russia's three top leaders since 1985, this book examines their goals, evolving ideas, styles of rule, institution-building, and impacts on policy.
Immediately after the terrorist attack on New York and Washington, President Putin made a statement about giving America political and moral support. Now, on the eve of America's anti-terrorist response, the Russian leadership faces a serious choice-either to go into battle along with the Americans, or cool its heels on the sidelines. The stakes are extremely high.
The US is the target of a serious act of war. In the short term, fierce unilateral American action is necessary to punish the perpetrators. But in the longer term, a continuation of American unilateralism would be a mistake. The real threat to the world order comes not from states, but from below - combating terrorism has to involve economic and social programs, not simply military strikes.
Tuesday's terror attacks on New York and Washington DC should bring about a major shift in US nonproliferation policies. Until now, the main goal of US nonproliferation policy has been to prevent the emergence of new nuclear nations. After Tuesday's terror attacks, however, the focus of US efforts is to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. In most ways these policies are complementary and not in competition. But making the shift will pose risks and require tradeoffs.
The horrific September 11 attacks will change forever the way we assess threats to the United States. This catastrophe crossed the line from conventional terrorism to terrorism with weapons of mass destruction. The terrorists caused thousands of casualties not with chemical, biological or nuclear agents, but with aviation fuel. As the victims are recovered and remembered, the attacks should force a painful reappraisal of the threats all nations face in the 21st century.