Category: The American Interest

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Consequences of E.U. Enlargement

The European Union underwent a major transformation last May.  It was enlarged to 25 states when eight former communist countries—Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, and three Baltic republics—were formally admitted, as well as Malta and Cyprus.  The union

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Failing America

The Soviet Communist Party used to devote a lot of attention to the problem of inefficient agriculture.  The party’s Agrarian Policy Commission debated endlessly, throughout the final quarter-century of the Soviet state’s existence, how to improve the system.  Should the

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The Victory of Fear in Spain

If, as appears certain, Islamic terrorists planted the bombs that killed over 200 commuters and wounded 1,400 others on Madrid’s trains on March 11, the operation was singularly successful in achieving its political objectives.

Until that morning, the Popular Party

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Pakistan’s Nuclear Proliferation

In a speech at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., on February 11, President Bush warned against the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and suggested measures to dismantle a growing black market in nuclear fuel and technology. 

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The Balkan Terror Threat

A chain is as strong as its weakest link.  In President Bush’s “War on Terror,” that weak link is not in the Middle East or North Africa or the Subcontinent but in Europe.  For years, Chronicles has been warning that

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Lord Ashdown’s Balkan Fiefdom

For 200 years, the Balkan states have been manipulated by the powers of “Old Europe” to slow and control the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.  They were created, enlarged, and shrunk as the need arose.  During the two world wars,

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Out of Korea

Another futile round of the six-nation talks on North Korea’s nuclear program ended in Beijing last September.  The communist authorities in Pyongyang subsequently declared that further negotiations involving both Koreas, China, Japan, Russia, and the United States were pointless, but

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Reforming the Military

On August 25, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced that he would look into ways to strengthen U.S. combat power without increasing the size of the military.  While the “end-strength” of 1.4 million should stay the same, he intends to

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Out of Africa

But for the death and suffering it has caused to thousands of innocents, the Liberian imbroglio would have an almost farcical quality—Graham Greene meets Lehar.  On one side, there was the LURD (Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy), a ragtag

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Exiting Iraq

It is sometimes necessary for a great power to keep a distant small country under military occupation—if need be, for a very long time.  The Romans could not contemplate an “exit strategy” from Palestine in the first century A.D.—or from

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Fragile Empire

There have been strong empires with weak currencies, but not often and not for long.  The Soviet Union, Spain after Philip II, the Ottoman Empire after Suleiman, and an impoverished Britain after Versailles all come to mind.  That financially fragile

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A Road Map to Nowhere?

In the aftermath of the war in Iraq, its most determined advocates predictably claimed that the United States should proceed with her alleged mission of bringing democracy to the Middle East.  The advocates of this approach seek to push the

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Turkish Delights

Four weeks before the latest war against Iraq, President George W. Bush declared that it would be motivated by a “vision” of democracy and liberation for the entire Middle East.  A U.S.-sponsored regime change in Baghdad, he proclaimed, would “serve

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Turkey Goes Islamic

On November 3, Islam triumphed politically in Turkey, rendering the entire U.S. strategy in the Middle East tenuous and causing dismay in Europe.  Recep Tayyip Erdogan, barred from public office for Islamic agitation, led his Justice and Development Party (AKP)

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Baghdad or Pyongyang?

Last October, North Korea announced that it has a nuclear-weapons program.  Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld confirmed that North Korea already has a “small number” of nuclear weapons, and a Pentagon official later added that the United States thought Pyongyang had

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Serbia’s Presidential Election

The current president of the soon-to-be-defunct Yugoslav Federation, Vojislav Kostunica, has won the initial stage of Serbia’s presidential elections, the first held since the fall of Slobodan Milosevic almost exactly two years ago.  Kostunica garnered 31 percent of the vote,

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Corporate America in Crisis

The ongoing turmoil in America’s stock markets and a series of corporate scandals have attracted considerable attention from commentators and editorialists all over the developed world, who fear that economic instability in the United States may plunge the world’s top

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Transatlantic Rifts

In the immediate aftermath of September 11, Europe was closer to America, politically and emotionally, than at any time since World War II.  For a moment, the threat of Islamic terrorism had rekindled a dormant awareness on both sides of

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Milosevic on Trial

There are contests in which a decent person prefers not to take sides, such as the bloody wars between Mafia families or Stalin’s disputes with Trotsky and Tito.  The war between Khomeini’s Iran and Saddam’s Iraq also comes to mind,

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We Are the World

In the aftermath of September 11, the chairman of the House International Relations Committee noted that the war on terrorism has revealed the need to overhaul U.S. foreign policy.  “Can anyone doubt that the sum of our efforts has been

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Time for Arafat to Go

It is not necessarily a bad thing for a national leader to remain at the helm for a very long time, provided that he is successful.  Otto von Bismarck’s 28 years as Prussia’s and then the Reich’s chief minister were

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Afghanistan and Oil

Writing in the New York Times on September 26, Paul Krugman insisted that the war against Afghanistan would not be “a war on behalf of the oil companies; not even a war on behalf of SUVs and McMansions.”  It was,

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Memorandum to President George W. Bush

In the aftermath of September 11, you have done a reasonably good job managing the crisis, symbolizing the nation’s unity, restraining the laptop bombardiers, and preparing a military response that was neither hasty nor disproportionate. Now that two months have

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Averting War With China

No foreign-policy issue facing the United States is more important than our longterm relationship with China, the most populous nation and the fourth-largest country on Earth. If we think in terms of uninterrupted statehood, China is the oldest nation-state, accustomed

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NATO, R.I.P.

At the European Union summit in Nice last December France initiated plans for a new European military structure. While the stated purpose of the emerging 15-member alliance is to complement NATO rather than replace it, there is growing concern in

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A European Defense?

Be careful what you wish for, goes the old adage. You just might get it. So it is with America’s desire that the Europeans do more for their own defense.

The E.U. has proposed the development of a European rapid