Raging violence between Israelis and Palestinians has raised fears of a wider war in the region. For background on the possible use of weapons of mass destruction in future conflicts, this analysis summarizes on the chemical and biological weapon capabilities of countries in the Middle East.
NOT SINCE Secretary of State Warren Christopher returned from Europe with egg on his face in May 1993 has a high-ranking American official had such a bad week abroad as Vice President Dick Cheney just spent in the Middle East. At least that's the way it looks from the outside.
After the September 11 attacks, the global threat of radical Islamist terrorism gave the United States an opportunity to rally much of the world behind it. But by mixing up the struggle against terrorism with a very different effort at preventing nuclear proliferation, and by refusing to take the interests of other states into account, the US risks endangering itself and its closest allies.
NGOs frequently call on oil and mining companies to not only improve their own practices but also those of the countries in which they operate. But private corporations cannot reform developing-country governments; neither can the governments of industrialized countries, the World Bank, or the NGOs. Much of the change can only come from inside, and the process will be slow and convoluted.
Mending the sad state of relations between Israel, Palestinians, and Arab countries is not merely an issue of peace-making, but rather of reconciliation. And this simply cannot be achieved without addressing the deep-rooted feelings of hatred which have become socially ingrained over the years.
Time and again, US officials have stated that they do not want America to become the policeman of the world. Yet the one institution that can help the United States from being placed in that role-the United Nations-has been treated shabbily by the United States. The United States must re-affirm the UN’s mission with concrete action, beginning with the payment of long-overdue UN dues.
Democratic transformations are never simple, linear processes. If it wants to promote democracy, the international community will have to accept the messy, compromise–driven policymaking process with which the citizens of democratic countries are familiar.
At the ongoing NPT review conference, Arab states have strongly expressed their resentment over Israel's barely concealed nuclear arsenal, and have signaled their displeasure at the "discriminatory" approach of the United States towards nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
During the 1990s, more than fifty new episodes of sanctions occurred. The conventional wisdom is that sanctions are ineffective and merely serve to placate public demands for action. David Cortright and George Lopez presented the findings of their book, The Sanctions Decade: Assessing UN Strategies in the 1990s, which develops a set of criteria for judging the full impact of sanctions.
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.