History of the Nuclear Age Series
The information revolution marks a fundamental change in the nature of power, the interaction between people and their governments, and the functioning of economies. Despite the revolutionary nature of these changes, there has been little effort within the U.S. government to understand and adapt to their large-scale implications.
President Clinton is correct that the decision to grant China permanent most-favored-nation trading status will have a historic significance equal to Richard Nixon's opening to China and Jimmy Carter's normalization of relations. But if that's true, why is the president rushing Congress to make a hasty decision, with almost no time to consider the merits and consequences of this momentous step?
The present danger is that the United States will shrink from its responsibilities as the world's dominant power and--in a fit of absentmindedness, or parsimony or indifference--will allow the international order that it sustains to collapse. The present danger is one of declining strength, flagging will and confusion about our role in the world.
China's White Paper on Taiwan and Jiang Zemin’s desire to make reunification his legacy indicate that Taiwan will be attacked soon. A massive, coordinated air strike using short-range ballistic missiles could cripple Taiwan's air defenses and early warning systems, neutralizing its air force as well as naval ports. The U.S. military has no capabilities for defending Taiwan in such a scenario.
These are not happy days for global arms-control advocates. As far back as the early 1960s, policymakers warned that the true threat to the United States was not only that third-world despots might acquire the bomb but that advanced industrial countries might do so.
Foreign policy is playing a big role in the 2000 Republican primary contest. Bigger than education. Bigger than campaign finance reform. As big as Social Security. Public interest in foreign policy is one big reason John McCain is giving George Bush a run for his money. McCain has convinced many Republican voters that he will be a stronger world leader. The difference is biography.
George W. Bush's November 19 speech at the Reagan Library represents the strongest and clearest articulation of a policy of American global leadership by a major political figure since the collapse of the Soviet Empire. In his call for renewed American strength, confidence, and leadership, Bush stakes a claim to the legacy of Ronald Reagan.
Part II of a conference series organized by the Self-Governance at the Borders project