War & Peace

Somalia At Crossroads of American Foreign Policy

Somalia and the U.S. are apparently doomed by fate to collide at critical moments in global politics. The collision has never brought anything but trouble to both parties. We are about to crash into one another again, this time in an expanded war on terrorism.

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Roadmap to Unilateralist Nuclear Policy

In the past year and a half, we’ve heard George W. Bush talk about the need to move beyond the cold war paradigm of U.S. security policy. Specifically, Bush repeatedly discussed reducing the number of nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal to “the lowest possible number consistent with our national security” and taking these weapons off hair-trigger alert. In mid-November, Bush reiterated that position in meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin saying, “We are talking about reducing and destroying the number of warheads to get down to specific levels.”

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Fighting Terrorism, Undermining Democracy in Pakistan

It was a speech foretold. After being compelled to make the “Friend-or-foe” choice after the September 11 attacks, Pakistan’s General Pervez Musharraf in his policy address on January 12th set about redefining the role of religion in Pakistani society and its domestic and external politics, with a special reference to Kashmir and terrorism. Islam, he said, has been misused and the Pakistani people exploited in its name. The general condemned acts of terrorism and in particular September 11, October 1, and December 13–the last two dates are of suicide attacks in Srinagar the capital of Indian-administered Kashmir) and on the Indian Parliament in New Delhi.

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Somalia as a Military Target

The east African nation of Somalia is being mentioned with increasing frequency as a possible next target in the U.S.-led war against international terrorism. Somalia is a failed state–with what passes for the central government controlling little more than a section of the national capital of Mogadishu, a separatist government in the north, and rival warlords and clan leaders controlling most the remainder of the country. U.S. officials believe that cells of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network may have taken advantage of the absence of governmental authority to set up operation.

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A New Marshall Plan for 2002: Advancing Human Security and Controlling Terrorism

As the endgame nears in the fighting in Afghanistan, with Taliban power collapsed and Al-Qaeda members dead or on the run, it is tempting to believe that military success has decided the outcome of the war on terrorism. The Bush administration has already made it clear that it has limited interest in the long and arduous task of rebuilding Afghanistan. But Washington decisionmakers may want to heed this advice from a senior U.S. military officer and statesman from an earlier era, General George C. Marshall. In outlining the so-called Marshall Plan to rebuild a war-ravaged Europe on June 5, 1947, he warned that there could be “no political stability and no assured peace” without economic security. Europe, much like Afghanistan today, was torn by war, poverty, disease, and hunger, and risked “disturbances arising as a result of the desperation of the people,” and thus deserved American attention and funds to recover and rejoin the world community.

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Another One Bites the Dust

U.S. envoy to the Middle East, retired marine general Anthony Zinni’s announcement of his decision to end his cease-fire mission, following his meeting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, adds yet another blunder to the numerous failed attempts by the U.S. to act as a genuine peace broker between Palestinians and Israelis.

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It’s the Occupation

In the wake of the horrific suicide bombings in Israel over the past 48 hours, hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made his address to the nation as he simultaneously increased, by yet another step, Israel’s part of the violence in the ensuing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Sadly, no end is in sight and it is likely to get worse, much worse. If this statement sounds like a broken record, it’s because it is.

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Israel’s True Intentions in Removing Arafat

It may be time–yet, then it may be too late–for Israel to confess to its true intentions in the Palestinian territories. The sustained and myopic focus on the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, has little to do with stopping “terrorism.” What removing Arafat will do is induce a Palestinian civil war and, by extension, give Israel a pretext for re-occupying the Palestinian territories. The campaign behind this strategy has been ongoing, but it has rapidly intensified since the U.S. military action in Afghanistan. As the U.S. focuses its efforts on Osama bin Laden, Israel appears to be making parallel moves against Arafat.

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