Will the latest diplomatic engagement between India and Pakistan lead to lasting peace, or simply be another in a long string of disappointments?
The failure to find weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq is frequently portrayed as the result of either intelligence failures or misrepresentation of the intelligence by others. In fact, both were involved. It appears that a third factor was involved as well: misrepresentation of intelligence by the intelligence community itself. One week before lawmakers were to vote on the use of force in Iraq, the CIA released an unclassified version of its just-completed National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). As the intelligence community's definitive judgments on key issues, NIEs are always important documents on which great care is expended. However, this NIE was unusually important because it was the authoritative assessment of the Iraqi threat available to members of Congress on which to base a decision whether to support or oppose a war.
The proliferation of unconventional weapons is the most serious national security threat the United States faces today. While chemical weapons can kill hundreds of people and biological weapons can potentially kill thousands, nuclear weapons are incomparably dangerous in scale of destruction and strategic impact.
The historic events in Libya, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran and North Korea have raised several key questions that help frame the proliferation debate over the future direction of U.S. non-proliferation policy.
The political progress in Taiwan and Hong Kong is good news. Ever since Taiwan began its transition to democracy in the late 1980s, optimists have hoped that its opening would serve as a shining beacon for the mainland. But only democratization within China can transform the country.
The Bush administration, in the face of increasing criticism that it misled the public and Congress about the threat posed by Iraq's weapon programs and the ease of the occupation, last week began a broad defense of the decision to go to war in Iraq. Below we present key excerpts and commentary on the administration's major points. They are: 1) the war was a continuation of Clinton policy; 2) everyone thought Saddam had illicit weapons; 3) officials just repeated what the intelligence agencies told them; 4) they never said the threat was imminent; and 5) they never asserted an operational link between Al Qaeda and Iraq.
The Bush administration is preparing to launch a "Greater Middle East Initiative" at the G-8 summit meeting in June. The time is indeed opportune for engagement on regional reform, but as planned, the initiative fails to establish a basis for genuine partnership and does little to address the real challenges of Arab democratization.
For hundreds of years, dictators have ruled Russia. Do they still? Did the processes unleashed by Gorbachev and continued under Russian President Boris Yeltsin lead eventually to liberal democracy in Russia?