U.S.-Russian security relations have slowly deteriorated since 1993.
The certification process is resented in Latin America and elsewhere as a unilateral, sometimes arbitrary and hypocritical exercise by the world's largest consumer of illegal drugs.
When the Soviet Union abruptly ceased to exist on December 25, 1991, it seemed that the West, particularly the U.S., finally had what it had always wanted--the opportunity to introduce quick, all-encompassing economic reform that would remake Russia in the West's own image.
The environmental implications of this decade's massive movements of money into the developing world, while enormous, are also complex and somewhat contradictory.
Shaping new international rules for labor rights, environmental protection, gender equity, minority rights, sustainable development, and other social goals is a formidable political challenge in view of the forces promoting profit-above-all trade and investment policies.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has long been associated with the overthrow of governments and the installation of bloody military regimes.
The Clinton administration has put investment liberalization at the center of much of its foreign policy regarding investment flows.
Despite frequent alarms about the supposed China threat, China is not an emerging superpower.
The United States operates a vast array of foreign bases manifesting many of the same environmental problems found at domestic bases, including toxics in drinking water, explosives on firing ranges, and noise pollution.
The trade in illicit drugs is estimated to be worth $400 billion a year, and it accounts for 8% of all international trade, according to the United Nations.