from the ABM treaty. This is hkeh’ tornhappen soon, paving the way for an aggressivernantiballistic test schedule in thernspring of 2002, In short, as one Washingtonrnsource put it, “we are on automaticrnpilot, and there’s nothing, nothing, thernRussians can do about it.”rnSuch neoconservative triumphalism—rnsaid to be particularly rampant in Rumsfeld’srnown department, where Paul Wolfowitzrnserves as his right-hand man — is nornsubstitute for coherence, and the apparentrnabilit)’ of the Bush administration torngo ahead with “son of Star Wars” is notrnproof that the policy is desirable or justified.rnIt carries hidden political and securityrncosts that may become fully apparentrnonly when it is too late to reverse the decision.rnOne key consequence of the missilerndefense project is the continuingrnimprovement in Russo-Chinese relations.rnTheir current rapprochement mayrnprovide the groundwork for the emergencernof a formal alliance, if Moscowrnand Beijing continue to feel threatenedrnby what they perceive as American unilateralism.rnForeign-affairs commentatorsrnhave taken but scant notice of the factrnthat President Putin came to the Genoarnsummit with President Bush in July onlyrntwo days after signing a landmark friendshiprntreaty with China that was obviouslyrndesigned to challenge American influence.rnHe and his Chinese counterpart,rnJiang Zemin, were careful to emphasizernthat they were not creating a militar}’ alliance,rnbut in the same breatli they issuedrna joint statement supporting the ABMrnTreaty. After the signing ceremony inrnthe Kremlin, President Jiang said that thernfriendship treaty “will bring Russian-Chinesernfriendship from generation to generation.rnI his is a milestone in the developmentrnof Russian-Chinese relations.”rnPutin and Jiang said the treaty was notrnaimed at other countries and had no secretrnmilitary clauses, but their statementrnin support of the ABM Treaty shows therndepth of concern in Moscow and Beijingrnover missile defense: “Russia and Chinarnstress the basic importance of the ABMrntreat}’, which is a cornerstone of strategicrnstability and the basis for reducing offensivernweapons, and speak out for maintainingrnthe treaty in its current form.”rnThe two nations were not reacting onlyrnto the missile-defense program, whichrnthey fear will compel them to engage in arncostly arms race they can ill afford, norrnsimply to the zeal with which Washingtonrnis pushing this particular plan, ‘^rheirrnunderlying concern is tiiat the UnitedrnStates is seeking to strengthen and indefinitelyrnperpetuate its global preeminence,rnregardless of their fundamental nationalrninterests.rnThe particular concern of the Chinesernis President Bush’s declaration that thernUnited States would do “vvhate’er it tookrnto help Taivan defend itself —whichrnamounted to the revival of the defenserntreat}’ defunct since 1979. In the aftermathrnof the spy-plane affair last April, thernBush administration also announced thatrnit would sell submarines, destroyers, missiles,rnand electronic equipment to Taiwan,rnalthough this decision is in violationrnof the Taiwan Relations Act. To Beijing,rnall this confirmed that China was facedrnwith a strategic challenge that demands arnlong-term response. China, the oldestrnnation-state in the world, takes a longrnview of foreign affairs, and the treatyrnsigned by Putin and Jiang illustrates thernpoint. It seeks to settle permanentlv therncenturies-old border disputes betweenrnRussia and China that nearK- led to warrnin 1969, since the absence of territorialrndisputes is a key precondition for effectivernalliances. Germany’s solemn recognitionrnof the Brenner frontier in 1934rnpaved the way for the Axis in 1936, and —rnless ominous!}—the Saarland referendumrnhelped Konrad Adenauer andrnCharles de Gaulle launch their own historicrnreconciliation just over two decadesrnlater.rnThe State Department was quick torndismiss the treat)’, stressing its lack of specificrnmutual guarantees and obligations,rnbut this is an example of that historicalrnshortsightedness that has prevailed atrnFoggy Bottom for far too long. The Russo-rnChinese treat}’ is comparable to I’ententerncordialle between Great Britain andrnFrance a century ago. That arrangementrnwas not a formal alliance to start with.rnNevertheless, it did have a similar underlyingrnlogic, creating a pattern of relationsrnthat was to become fully apparent in Augustrn1914.rnIn the end, perhaps, the best hope ofrnstopping “Star Wars” is not Moscow, butrnthe dwindling budgetary surplus and thernmood of policymakers in Washington. Arnfight is on the horizon between Rumsfeld’srn”Vulcans” and the Joint Chiefs ofrnStaff”over how deeply U.S. forces iiave tornbe slashed to foot the bill for the antiballistic-rnniissile shield—which will easily exceedrn$100 billion, even for a thin system.rnMost experts agree that military reform,rnincluding streamlining and lightening anrninsuflficiently mobile force, is long overdue.rnWliat should come in place of carrierrngroups and oversized divisions of yorernis a smaller, more flexible, ultra-hightechrnforce equipped to deal with everyrnconceivable challenge to America’s seeurit}’rn—not an unproved and unnecessaryrnantiballistic-missile s’stem that is irrationalrnand dangerous.rn— Srdja TrifkovicrnAMNESTY for undocumented (as wernnowadays politely say) workers from Mexico?rnIt’s just another trial balloon, andrnthe nice thing about trial balloons is thatrnyou can shoot them down. Ready, aim,rnfire.rn1 do think this one, suitably ventilated,rnwill flutter down to earth. I fancy thernBush administration, however kindly disposedrntoward Vicente Fox and the PAN,rnisn’t ready for another blind leap on immigration.rnThe administration is indeedrnexploring the matter, at Fox’s request. Irnhave the sense that this is just what ourndo for a friend like Fox: You listen attentivelyrnto his ideas without committingrnyourself to notions that simply aren’trnworkable. This one falls into that category.rnLikewise, George W. Bush is beingrnad’ised (b) such as tire Wall Street ]ournaVsrnPaul Gigot) that, if Republicansrnconsider the growing Hispanic vote important,rnsome massaging of Hispanic sensibilitiesrnmakes sense.rnMexico —blessed, in Fox, with a decentrnleader, after years of corruption andrnpolitical empire-building —needs ourrnhelp and encouragement. But in offeringrnthat help, we need not leap into st}’-rngian darkness. We can do this thing inrnthe dazzling light of day, as my seniorrnU.S. senator, Phil Gramm (R-Texas), hasrnproposed.rnDuring Phil Gramm’s long politicalrncareer, no one has ever called him arnwimp on free enterprise. He loves thernmarketplace and its workings. To lovernthe marketplace is to resist obstructions tornthose workings—but not always. In a fallenrnwodd, some obstructions, such as thernlegal requirements of citizenship, haverntheir vital uses. The ultimate free enterprisernstate would be Hobbes’ state of nature.rnGramm hopes to regularize what alreadyrnis going on without asking us torncave into lawlessness (viz., the crestingrnand crashing tides of Mexican and CentralrnAmericans entering the United Statesrnwithout a by-your-leave). “Our economyrnneeds them,” he says, “but the system ofrn8/CHRONICLESrnrnrn