Beijing would ultimately rather confront the United States rather than permit Taiwanese independence; an expression of democratic self-determination is insufficient to establish territorial sovereignty; and it is not necessarily immoral, or fundamentally contrary to U.S. interests, to oppose any manifestation of democracy in Taiwan. Accordingly, it is prudent to maintain the status quo.
With all the turmoil surrounding the failure to find stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons in Iraq, it is time to return to first principles, and to ask the question: Was it right to go to war?
There are lessons in Haiti's collapse that seem starkly relevant to the "larger" foreign-policy issues of our day, particularly postwar Iraq and Afghanistan. These lessons should reduce partisan finger-pointing and remind us that the secret to success in U.S. overseas interventions is mustering the will to stay until the job is done right.
In the past few weeks we have witnessed remarkable changes in some of the most difficult and dangerous global nuclear proliferation threats. Rather than heading toward military conflicts, the United States seems to be moving toward negotiated solutions that could end the nascent nuclear weapons programs in Iran, Libya and possibly also North Korea.
Like an investor watching his returns plummet, President Bush is rebalancing his proliferation portfolio. The huge cost of the Iraq war and his sinking poll ratings seem to have convinced the president that he has invested too heavily in military operations and unilateral initiatives and that it is time to move some political capital to international organizations and cooperative ventures.
The coming years will witness the creation of new political structures and parties on the liberal and leftist flanks in Russia. A "total re-arranging of the old political blocs" is in progress. Expelling Russia from international groups such as the G-8 to encourage domestic change is a bad idea, because "totalitarian, authoritarian regimes flourish in isolation."
In early January, my Carnegie Endowment colleagues and I released a report detailing systemic flaws in U.S. intelligence and decision-making regarding weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq.
Countries with a combination of a large land mass and a sizeable population tend to be chronically unstable politically and economically. Allowing their problems to fester, the case all too often in the past, is a source of continuing hardship to their citizens and neighbors alike. The international community needs to consider a new approach to the problems of these nations.
It's been a poorly kept secret for several years that Pakistan helped develop nuclear programs in Iran, North Korea and probably in Libya. For the United States, however, Pakistan's help in the war on terror has been more important than its peddling of nuclear technology to rogue states.