Clinton's last-minute grandstanding has caused real damage. Even as the American-brokered negotiations crumbled and violence erupted earlier this year, Clinton had his people lobbying the Nobel committee for his peace prize. In the end, it was all about Bill Clinton.
Ted Turner and former Senator Sam Nunn announced on 8 January the establishment of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a private foundation committed to reducing the risks posed by nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The organization will focus on easing the "pressure on the nuclear trigger" and actively promoting the "trust, transparency and security that are preconditions to the fulfillment of the Nonproliferation Treaty's goals and ambitions," Nunn said.
Colin Powell endorsed it. The Joint Chiefs endorsed it. Now, three former secretaries of defense have urged the Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, with periodic reviews. In an op-ed published in the New York Times on 7 January 2001, authors Harold Brown, Melvin R. Laird and William J. Perry endorse a bipartisan approach to nuclear nonproliferation as one of the principle goals of the new Congress.
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.
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.
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.
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.