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Everybody wants to believe that expanding NATO won't cost much, but they are wrong. Extending military guarantees is a big, and expensive, step.
Greece is adopting a more internationalist outlook, and Turkey will have to follow suit if it wants to be part of Europe. Business ties between the two are a good start.
The Polish elections may signal the dawning of a political force in Central and Eastern Europe-Christian democracy, with emphasis on both words.
The waning use of Russian in the old Soviet bloc is a gauge of the severity of the Soviet collapse. What is prized now is German and, above all, English.
The risk of a catastrophic exchange of nuclear missiles has receded. Yet the chances of some use of weapons of mass destruction have risen. Chemical weapons are a lesser threat, but more likely. A vial of anthrax dispersed over Washington could kill as many as three million. Traditional deterrence will not stop a disgruntled group with no identifiable address from striking out at America. The United States must pull back from excessive foreign involvements and begin a program of civil defense to reduce casualties in the event the unthinkable happens.
The Dayton Accord is a bold attempt to create a nation in the face of ethnic hatred and fear, and it just may succeed-but only if U.S. troops stay and the coalition overseeing the peace puts the security of Muslims, Serbs, and Croats before their integration. For now, each group feels safe only with their own kind, and their self-created partition should be allowed to stand while the trauma of war fades. Material need and the desire for profit may bring the three peoples together in time. Meanwhile, the international community must rectify the gross disparity between the reconstruction aid and military supplies flowing to the Muslims and the crumbs and punitive attitude that are the Serbs' lot.
Despite disagreements over troops in Bosnia, all sides want an exit strategy. That concept, however, dating back only to the ignominious U.S. withdrawal from Somalia, has nothing to do with military requirements and everything to do with post-Cold War politics. Exit strategies harm a mission's chances of success, and had they been required the United States would not have defended the armistice after the Korean War, kept the peace on the Sinai Peninsula after Camp David, or undertaken NATO. The real question is not when American troops will be out, but why they are going in.
Critics of the Clinton administration's engagement policy toward China are largely unaware of the last two decades' profound political changes in the Middle Kingdom. Deng Xiaoping received his due for his economic reforms, but not for the kinder, gentler politics that helped reduce elite backstabbing, broaden the backgrounds and outlook of government officials, strengthen the legislature, and improve the legal system. But even if the pace picks up, Washington should not expect a rapid expansion of democratic participation.
The Dalai Lama's international campaign against China has pushed Beijing to modernize Tibet, resulting in an influx of non-Tibetans seeking economic opportunity. If the Dalai Lama wants to preserve Tibet as a homeland, he must either acquiesce in violence by militants or compromise. He will resist either course, so the United States should facilitate negotiations. Full autonomy is out, but the Dalai Lama can obtain a greater emphasis on the Tibetan language and a larger number of positions for Tibetans in the administration.
Asia's economies are in trouble, as a contagion of plunging currencies and economic instability has taken hold on the continent. But the miracle is not necessarily over. Asia's leaders must move beyond economic liberalization and address the deep-seated problems of the other Asia-not the rich, booming Asia, but the poor, rural, ignored one. To keep the miracle going, the entire population must be brought into the action. That will mean making difficult choices, like investing in agricultural productivity, education, and social services, but the region's leaders can't afford not to.
The "war on drugs" and its prohibitionist, punitive strategy have failed to solve America's drug problem. In fact, they bear much of the blame for drug-related crime, epidemic use of crack cocaine and the spread of aids through dirty syringes. Washington must begin developing policy that seeks first to reduce the harm drugs do users and society. Officials need only look at successful innovations in Europe and Australia like needle exchange, addiction treatment and supervised maintenance, and decriminalization. Public health rather than politics should be paramount.
Reviews & Responses
Sunil Khilnani rightly praises Nehru's idea of modern India. But his stylish book glosses over the flaws in that vision.
Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw's story of the rise and fall of government intervention in the marketplace is colorful, but they are not sure what comes next.
The newest outbreak of books on emerging diseases are little help to policymakers.
Michael Ignatieff's report on ethnic and other bitter mini-wars is evocative but only sporadically illuminating.
Foreign minister in some of the most pivotal years of the Cold War, Hans-Dietrich Genscher became a master of equivocation. Unfortunately, as an author, he still is.