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The Clinton administration's new coziness with China has left India feeling insecure, Taiwan betrayed, and Japan ignored.
Global economic chaos has made the International Monetary Fund a popular scapegoat, but the crisis shows just why the world needs a financial peacekeeper.
A little-noticed declaration of jihad by Usama bin Ladin in an Arabic newspaper underscores the Islamist's main grievance: infidel U.S. troops in Arabia.
U.S. negotiators at the International Criminal Court conference in Italy missed their chance. Washington cannot accept the court as is. Now what?
Japan faces its biggest foreign policy challenges since World War II. Its leaders must snap out of their deep funk to confront a rising China, a nuclear South Asia, a United States increasingly prone to Japan-bashing, and a world in economic free fall. Instead of sulking over the growing closeness of U.S.-China ties, Tokyo should take the initiative and propose trilateral dialogues with Beijing and Washington on a range of issues, especially Asian security, nuclear disarmament, and macroeconomic policy. Japan's pessimism threatens the world's prosperity. If Tokyo stays on the sidelines, the world will pass it by.
As economic crisis plunges Asia into chaos, old wounds may reopen. The continent still fears Japan, thanks to its World War II brutalities. By refusing to apologize, Tokyo only makes matters worse. A power vacuum results: an unrepentant Japan will never be allowed to lead a suspicious Asia. Instead, flash points may ignite, and East Asia and even America could be dragged into a war. To defuse tensions, America must push its ally to show remorse and Japan must pay its World War II debts. In turn, China and Korea -- age-old enemies of Japan -- must learn to look forward, not back.
After the Cold War, the demands on American leadership are no less stern than they were in Dean Acheson's day. Present again at the creation, U.S. diplomacy must pass a series of tests -- of vision, pragmatism, spine, and principle -- to build a foundation for a new world. This will mean encouraging democracy, stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction, working to shore up the international financial system, engaging Beijing, and standing up to Baghdad and Belgrade. But America needs resources to lead, and Congress has foreign policy living hand-to-mouth. America cannot afford to abdicate its world role.
American commentators castigate their European allies as economic dinosaurs, hopelessly incoherent in their foreign policy and shamefully irresponsible in their duties to NATO. As Europe prepares to launch its single currency, U.S. critics have found yet another target. But smug assumptions of American supremacy are wildly overdone. Europe's economies are robust and their cooperation increasingly productive. Besides, America is not so hot either. Today's Eurobashing endangers the transatlantic relationship as much as European anti-Americanism once did. America should address its own inconsistencies in foreign policy while granting its European partners the respect they deserve.
The specter of weapons of mass destruction being used against America looms larger today than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis. The World Trade Center bombing scarcely hints at the enormity of the danger. America is prepared only for conventional terrorism, not a nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons catastrophe. With the right approach and organization, however, the United States can be ready. Herewith a plan to reorganize the U.S. government to ensure that it can handle the threats of the next century.
The next great oil boom is on: four former Soviet republics on the Caspian Sea are sitting atop an economic bonanza. But they should remember the fate of OPEC, whose members squandered their 1970s windfall. Where did all the money go? The state took on too dominant an economic role and wasted the wealth at home in a rash of boondoggle projects and military buildups. All OPEC members came down with "quick-money fever." They became addicted to supposedly limitless oil revenues even as boom turned to bust. The Caspian states, too, risk going from riches to rags if they do not resist the temptations of petromania.
The Jewish state turned 50 amid a midlife crisis. With the epic drama of Israel's founding behind them, Israelis confront dispiriting existential questions. Israeli politics, always ferocious, are reeling from the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. The peace process, though flagging, is still pushing Israelis closer to a reckoning with the Palestinians, their original rivals for the land. Americanization is giving a country built by austere pioneers an identity crisis. Tensions between religious and secular are increasingly bitter, and even the army no longer unites Israelis the way it used to. As the myths fade, Israel is deciding whether a Jewish state can ever truly be normal.
Reviews & Responses
George Bush and Brent Scowcroft's Oval Office memoir shows how Bush's genius for friendship and gentlemanly instincts helped usher out the Cold War.
Christopher Patten's new book goes beyond Hong Kong to offer a sensible middle ground in the debate over the link between culture and Asia's rise -- and fall.