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Despite the obstacles, the unwillingness of the PLO to let go, and Western and Israeli indifference, a democratic Palestinian state is both desirable and possible.
Arafat has no intention of letting democracy blossom in Gaza or Jericho. Elections would only bring Islamic fundamentalists to power.
Close economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians will only nurture Palestinian dependency and perpetuate frictions.
In a political culture where negotiations reflect personal interests and power rather than a desire to solve problems, judicious threats go further than kowtowing.
A failed Balkan policy may, through impatience or guilt, tempt the West to sue for a premature peace that rewards Serbian aggression. The West is clearly unwilling to undertake the kind of military intervention required to reverse Serbian gains. Lifting the arms embargo on Bosnian Muslims might clear Western consciences, but it will increase casualties without changing the fortunes of either side. Washington must convince its allies to take a long view and prosecute an indefinite cold war against Serbia. Sanctions and isolation, as employed against South Africa and Iraq, will force a regime change in Belgrade, and then an honorable peace.
The malaise that currently sours public opinion in Europe, Japan and North America is a manifestation of a crisis, not economic or political, but moral. The Gilded Age that accompanied the rise of new nation-states in the late nineteenth century ushered in a similar era of civic discontent. Today, exhausted by the end of the Cold War, people are disillusioned with great projects, skeptical of reform and distrustful of politicians. Populists fuel old resentments and xenophobia as they promise national renewal. This crisis of the democracies could lead to either an era of reform or disintegration. America can help prevent the latter.
In the past, Germany has redefined itself as a nation only with dramatic consequences. Today it faces four distinct foreign policy choices: a deepening of the European Community; a widening of the EU and NATO to include Germany's eastern neighbors; a partnership with Russia; or the unilateral taking on of the rights and responsibilities of a world power, with all its financial and military obligations. What should Germany do? Take the eastern route, widening Europe so that it has stable democracies on both its flanks. What will Germany do? Probably nothing. Keeping to its postwar traditions, it will choose not to choose.
Policymakers need estimative intelligence to help them understand the more diffuse and ambiguous threats and opportunities of the post-Cold War world. Ideological divisions are less likely to obstruct analysis, but greater uncertainties make analysis more difficult. The greater the uncertainty, the greater the scope of and need for estimative intelligence. Rather than trying to predict the future, analysts should deal with heightened uncertainty by presenting alternative scenarios.
The money laundering of drug cartels has become a complex high-tech business. Law enforcement officials have stepped up scrutiny of the global banking system in an effort to short-circuit these illicit financial networks. As the risks have increased, the premium that money launderers exact from cartels has more than quadrupled. The task now is for the United States to convince foreign nations and bankers that crime, even in suitcases full of small denominations, does not pay.
Around the globe, people are forming private, nonprofit and voluntary organizations to pursue public purposes once considered the exclusive domain of the state. Economically, environmentally and socially, where the state has failed, nonprofit groups are taking advantage of revolutions in communications and bourgeois values to fill these gaps for themselves. This "associational revolution" may be permanently altering relations between states and citizens and prove as important to the latter twentieth century as the rise of the nation-state was to the nineteenth.
Laissez-faire economists contend that trade barriers make domestic industries lazy, fat and greedy. But five U.S. industries afforded import relief, automotive, steel, machine tools, semiconductors and textiles, have dramatically improved productivity, boosted R&D and recaptured market share. Free trade champions who plead the case of the purportedly forgotten consumer ignore the benefits of import relief such as savings on retraining dislocated workers. Government can intelligently structure policies to give threatened industries a second chance.
Dramatic growth has occurred over the past five years in live news coverage of crises and other significant events around the globe. Enhanced media power due to technological advances is a potent new tool of diplomacy. It is also a disruptive and unpredictable force. Its immediacy and pervasiveness raise major challenges for political leaders intent on shaping the conduct of foreign policy.
Reviews & Responses
Elected leaders professing ideas of right and wrong have replaced the career diplomats who had maintained the balance of power. But The Diplomats, edited by Gordon A. Craig and Francis L. Loewenheim, does not say whether their relative success in the Cold War years can continue.