Spring 1991

Spring 1991
70, 2


Peter W. Rodman

The USA is in a good position to contribute to progress on the central issue of the Palestinians, provided that both the Arabs and the Israelis give concrete indications of 'new thinking' instead of going for a 'dramatic new deadlock'. "Today the parties are nowhere near that degree of conceptual consensus", and while the USA has some diplomatic leverage in respect of other regional security concerns (arms levels, water resources), it stands in need of a solution to the problem of Palestinian representation.

Ze'ev Schiff

"Now that the Gulf War is over, Israel will have to take a hard look at its security doctrine and ask itself a number of key questions about its future security" (1) whether its passive acceptance of the Iraqi Scud missile strikes has not damaged the credibility of its deterrence (2) whether it would not have been faced with a Pyrrhic victory, or possibly even defeat, had Iraq directed its invasion against Israel: "many Israelis, including senior army officers, know that... Saddam Hussein's mistake was to turn on Kuwait first" (3) whether it can safely rely on its links with the USA for adequate intelligence of the region, or should expand its own capabilities, especially in respect of satellites (4) what to do against the long-term threat of proliferation of missile and warhead technologies to potential enemies. The central defence policy goal must be to repair Israel's power to deter a future aggressor in the Saddam Hussain mould.

Bruce R. Kuniholm

The decision of Turkish president Turgut Özal, to join the anti-Iraq coalition, was a political gamble, but is likely to produce long-term benefits to outweigh the substantial short-term costs of lost trade, diminished popularity at home and increased terrorism -- enhanced international respect, economic and military assistance, and improved chances of admission to EC membership. "Turkey has earned the right to join the EC".

Carl E. Vuono

The chief of staff of the US Army explains how the USA should allocate its defence resources to deal with the threats of the post-Cold War world: "the critical issue is how to shape US conventional forces". Given the inevitable down-sizing forced by harsh economic reality, the US military must retain four qualities essential to national security -- versatility, deployability, lethality and expansibility. Provides an analysis of these terms, and of the budget and procurement commitments that they imply. Concludes with an assessment of the summary defeat of Iraq, in which these four factors were "the keys to the US response".

Bruce Russett and James S. Sutterlin

The UN's need for means of military enforcement was foreseen by the Charter, and the post-Cold War international scene is likely, as the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait showed, to require such means to be available. However, the lack of a standing force means that enforcement has always had to be improvised. However, in cases involving major commitment, such as the Gulf war, such an approach "is not likely to be viable unless the vital interests of one or more major military powers is at risk", a limitation which detracts from the global security missions of the UN. A more promising alternative is to create a system for the provision of forces under contract between member states and the UN. A discussion of the contractual and operational command issues involved in such a proposal.

Michael J. Glennon

Examines the course of the Bush administration's decisions on despatch of US forces to the Gulf, and the 'near-complete irrelevance" of Congress thereto, in order to demonstrate that the War Powers Act of 1973 should be repealed or revised, as Congress clearly lacks the weighty role in the matter of declaration of war that the Constitution intended for it.

John Lewis Gaddis

The aftermath of the events of 1989 may have invalidated the simple division of the world, into democratic and totalitarian camps, which formed the basis of the Truman doctrine, "but another form of competition has been emerging that could be just as stark and just as pervasive... it is the contest between forces of integration and fragmentation". Forces for integration, or the breaking-down of barriers between nations which conduces to peace, include the communications revolution, growing economic inter-dependence and collective security. Forces of fragmentation, which conduce to war, include nationalism, certain types of religion, and socio-economic inequalities. Yet it is not clear that integrationist forces are generally benign, or fragmentationist forces generally malign, to US national interests, which has historically rested on the balancing of fragmented power. This should indeed remain the key principle of US and allied foreign policy, but henceforward the balance to be kept is not between entities, but between competing processes.

William J. Crowe, Jr. and Alan D. Romberg

Reviews the dominant features of the APR (Asia-Pacific region). "The major strategic issue is still the USSR. It is unclear how the United States should cope with the remaining, and in some respects growing, Soviet military capability in the Asian-Pacific area"; it therefore behoves the USA to maintain its strong naval presence in the APR, while exploring naval arms reduction with the Soviets. In addition, the USA should preserve its commitment to South Korea (while encouraging rapprochement between North and South Korea), and retain close security ties with Japan. Regional security co-operation should be encouraged in SE Asia, though not over-optimistically: "Southeast Asians are likely to favor a US presence for some time to come". As for the unpredictable regional policy of China, the US objective should be to promote political and economic links which maximize China's co-operation with its neighbours, as well as with the USA.

Zvi Gitelman

There is a dark side of freedom in the USSR, and 'glasnost' has released the expression of sentiments, notably anti-Semitism, that communism claimed to have eradicated. Emigration to Israel is a safety-valve, but perhaps intensifies the risk to Jews who remain.

Robert G. Kaiser

Explains why Gorbachev must succumb to the power of the political forces he himself set in motion.

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