After the 9/11 attacks and the rash of anthrax mailings, renewed attention is being paid to the risks posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD) falling into the hands of additional states and nonstate actors. The vast majority of scenarios involving WMD proliferation invariably stems from the current insecurity characterizing the state of the Russian WMD complex, particularly its nuclear complex.
Carnegie Moscow Center Event
Here, Russian scholar Alexander Pikayev gives us new insights into the collapse of the negotiated nuclear reduction process as experienced in Russia.
Last week, the Chinese navy seized a Taiwanese freighter carrying provisions to Taiwanese soldiers stationed on the tiny Taiwanese island of Matsu a few miles off the coast of the Chinese mainland. The current Chinese military activities may not be mere gestures designed to intimidate Taiwan and the U.S. They may well be the opening phase of a serious military confrontation.
The official U.S. posture of prostration before Beijing -- the China hands call it "engagement" -- would be merely pitiful, perhaps even amusing, were it not so dangerous. But the Clinton administration is now applying its strategy of appeasement to the brewing crisis over Taiwan, and the result may be to hasten the military conflict the administration is trying to avoid.
Taiwan's President Li Teng-hui sent the American foreign policy establishment into a nervous frenzy last week when he declared that Taiwan would henceforth negotiate with China as one state to another. By carefully stripping away the absurd fictions of the "one-China" policy, President Li is actually doing all concerned a big favor.
Presenter: Maryann Cusimano, Assistant Professor of International Relations, The Catholic University of America