Isenberg's critique of Homeland Security and recommendations for improvements
[click on image to go to the executive summary]
SEARCH FOR A NUCLEAR WEAPON FOR LIMITED CONFLICTS
Bromley and David Grahame report on the Pentagon's search for a nuclear
FUTURE OF NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL
an interactive assessment
of nuclear disarmament after the Moscow Summit,
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SADDAM TO LEAVE QUIETLY
the last few weeks the Pentagon has done everything possible to intimidate
Saddam into stepping down, or, failing that, to encourage a coup. Now,
Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice are openly suggesting
that the easiest way out is for Saddam to go into exile, thus sparing
the United States and the rest of the world a particularly messy war.
If that sounds like wishful thinking, it probably is. What really makes
Middle Eastern countries nervous is the suggestion that the U.S. is simply
stirring the pot in the hopes of unleashing an internal power struggle
without any clear notion of who is likely to be the winner, or guarantee
that the next dictator will be any better than Saddam. In a region that
controls much of the worlds energy, it is a high-risk gamble.
For a discussion with Robin Wright, retired Egyptian diplomat Mohammed
Wahby, and Judith Yaphe, who specialized in the Middle East for 20 years
at the CIA, (Jim Lehrer's News Hour,January 20, 2003),
For the News Hour, click here.
the Washington Post's report
the report in the New York Times
chief, Prince Nawaf, denies that the Kingdom has been trying to trigger
a coup in Baghdad.(Arab News, January 20, 2003)
TIME.com story which sparked the Saudi denial
(TIME January 16, 2003)
fences with Pentagon reporters over fine points concerning Washington's
strategy. (Pentagon, January 15, 2003)
FROM IRAQ: WAITING FOR AMERICA AND HOPING NOT TO WRITTEN OFF AS COLLATERAL
Roberts reports for the Nation from Baghdad. Sometimes it is easy to forget
who is really being targeted by a national strategy. Writes Roberts: "Amal,
an educated middle-class woman, lives near a bridge over the Tigris River.
Her house was hit by a bomb in 1991. I asked if she had a bomb shelter.
"No, bomb shelters are no good--we will just sit together in a room
so if something happens we will all go together." Her daughter reminds
me of the Aamayria air-raid shelter in Baghdad, which was hit by a US
missile in the Gulf War, killing 415 mothers and young children. Now there
is the general suspicion that the United States will deliberately target
bomb shelters, so few people plan to use them. .."
(By Elizabeth Roberts in The Nation, January 16, 2003)
IRAQI CHEMICAL ROCKETS
of the 12 122-mm rockets discovered 90 miles south of Baghdad were empty.
The twelfth required additional evaluation. The rockets were similar to
those imported during the 1980s for use against Iran at a time when the
U.S. was helping to organize the Iraqi offensive. The indication that
the rockets were intended for chemical use was a plastic liner. Washingtons
response, so far, is cautious.
By Dr. Michael Donovan, CDI Research analyst,
(Center for Defense Information, January 17, 2003)
NEXT SECRET WEAPON, AN ARMY OF CHILDREN
Nazis had their Hitler Jugend. Saddam has the "Ashbal Saddam "(Saddam
Lion Cubs), composed of boys from 10 to 15 years old, and formed after
Desert Storm to provide a new line of defense. At least 8,000 are believed
to be operating in Baghdad, and if U.S. troops invade, they could provide
an emotionally troubling adversary.
(By Peter Singer, the Brookings Institution, January 14, 2003)
DOES RUSSIA COME IN, POST-SADDAM?
in Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Professor Georgy Mirsky notes that "Saddam's
dictatorship will leave behind it a scorched social zone with demoralized,
frightened and befuddled people
Economically, Russia is an old, experienced
and tested partner of Iraq that knows - much better than the Americans
do - the local specifics, the troubles and requirements of the country..."
By Georgy Mirsky in Rossiikaya Gazeta, January 2003
(CDI, January 2003)
THE SPREAD OF BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS
U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction Program has spent $1 billion a year
over the last ten years to denuclearize Kazakhstan, Belarus and the Ukraine,
and it has dismantled some 6,000 nuclear weapons. But at least 20,000
warheads are still stockpiled at 123 sites, and 40,000 tons of chemical
warfare weapons are left. The collapse of the Soviet Union has created
surplus of cheap supplies, and the new vogue for terrorism is fast creating
a market. The Center for International and Strategic Studies has just
published a 4-volume "action agenda" for countering the threat.
(Available on-line as pdf files).
By Robert Einhorn and Michele Flournoy (CSIS January 2003)
CIA REPORTS TO CONGRESS ON WHO IS GOING AFTER WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
list of countries trying to obtain weapons of mass destruction includes
the usual suspects-Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, North Korea and Sudan. But
it also includes more moderate players: India and Pakistan. The CIAs
list deals with activity in 2001, but it still makes fascinating readingespecially
the observation that since 9/11, some 30 international terrorist organizations
have expressed interest in obtaining chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.
Another observation: as the unmanned "Predator" drones have
demonstrated that they can be effective assassination tools, the terrorists
may also be exploring the usefulness of pilotless aircraft to carry out
attacks by remote control.
(From the Federation of American Scientists and the CIA, January 2003)
REDEFINES THE POST COLD WAR WORLDAT LEAST FOR THE MOMENT
Bin laden has already won at least one crucial battle: he has tipped the
balance in favor domination rather than conciliation. Thanks largely to
Bin Laden, U.S. national security is now based on raw military power rather
than international cooperation. That promises a bleak future for America.
Writing in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Michael Krepon points
out that it is ultimately impossible to create a new international order
reflecting American values as long as Washington insists on trashing international
treaties. At the same time, the "conciliators" are doomed unless
they can produce new policy alternatives that the public finds credible
in a post 9/11 world.
(Michael Krepon in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, January-February
MUCH DID THE CIA KNOW ABOUT NORTH KOREA AND WHEN?
Hersh, writing in the New Yorker, notes that the CIA warned President
Bush about North Korea last Junenot only that, but the CIA national
intelligence estimate explicitly warned that the North Koreans were receiving
sensitive information about nuclear technology from Pakistanthe
administrations key ally in the war against terror. Administration
aides kept the warnings quiet throughout most of the summer and fall.
They were afraid that it might distract from plans to go after Iraq. Despite
the calm response from the White House, sources predict that North Korea
can expect to be next on the administrations hit list, once Iraq
is out of the way.
(By Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker, January 20, 2003)
WAS THE KEY TO TRACKING NORTH KOREAS NUCLEAR WEAPONS
monitoring intended to track N. Korean nuclear activity was built in America,
it took Russian agents to install it in Pyonyang. In a remarkable example
of post-cold war collaboration, the CIA trained the Russians to use the
equipment and then shared the data.
(The New York Times, January 20, 2003)
DEBATES THE NORTH KOREAN CRISIS THAT ISNT A CRISIS
panel discussion attempts to clarify the situation
(Brookings Institution, January 2003)
ARE BUSHS REAL OBJECTIVES?
Klare points out in Foreign Policy in Focus that few of Washingtons
reasons for attacking Iraq hold up under close scrutiny. The real goal
seems to be to insure American supremacy by guaranteeing its own access
to oil. If not every American gets the picture, most of the rest of the
world does. If we continue on the present trend, Klare advises against
future travel abroad unless one is accompanied by a phalanx of bodyguards.
The other drawback, Klare notes is the conversion of the U.S. from a democratic
republic to an empire. "Empires tend to require the militarization
of society," Klare warns," and that will entail putting more
people into uniform, one way or another. It will also mean increased spending
on war, and reduced spending on education and other domestic needs. It
will entail more secrecy and intrusion into our private lives. All of
this has to be entered into the equation. And if you ask me, empire is
not worth the price."
(Michael Klare in Foreign Policy in Focus, January 16, 2003)
FROM ANIMALS ABOUT URBAN WARFARE DECEPTION
technology has taken a number of cues from the animal kingdom: radar and
sonar from bats, heat-seeking missile sensors from rattlesnakes, camouflage
from just about everything. RAND now suggests that military strategists
can also learn from the way animals perceive their environment. If adaptation
is a key element in defense, preventing adaptation on the part of ones
enemy may be a high priority for the predator, or in urban warfare, for
a light infantry brigade. Rands intriguing study on the subject
is available on-line.
(RAND, January 2003)
IS BACK IN STYLE
University professors Margaret and Melvin DeFleur have updated their study
of attitudes about America in different countries of the world. Click
here to see the an interactive guide.
here for the full report as a pdf file
WANTS TO PROJECT A NEW IMAGE
Muamar Qaddafi and Ronald Reagan had an almost symbiotic relationship
in the 1980s. Reagan puffed Qaddafi up as the "Mad Dog of the Middle
East" until the Libyan dictator became a suitably impressive strawman
who was easier to take a swipe at than more serious terrorist factions
operating out of Syria, Lebanon and Iran. If Reagan found Qaddafi useful,
Qaddafi also relished Reagans attacks. The attention allowed him
to play the role of a third world David against Americas Goliath.
With Reagan out of office, Qaddafi disappeared from the radar screen,
but as Scott Anderson writes in the New York Times Magazine, the Leader
from the great Libyan Desert is now anxious to reinvent himself, if anyone
is prepared to listen.
(By Scott Anderson in the New York Times Magazine, January 19, 2003) click
journalist Sergei Duvanov thought he had scored a major scoop when he
reported that Kazakhstans wily president, Nursultan Nazarbayev and
other Kazak officials had secretly deposited massive foreign oil company
payments in foreign bank accounts. For his enterprise, authorities maintained
that Duvanov was guilty of "insulting the honor and dignity of the
president." The charges had already appeared elsewhere, and in fact
they had become the subject of a grand jury investigation in the U.S.
But in Kazakhstan, certain topics are not discussed in the media, even
if they are true. The authorities felt that Duvanov should have known
better than to try to write about them for publication. An unrepentant
Duvanov was due leave for the United States to report on human rights
in Kazakhstan at a conference in Washington on December 29. A day before
his departure, police arrested him for allegedly raping a 14-year old
girl. Duvanov says that the girl and her girlfriend visited his house
with her parents, who used the sauna in the house and then left. The girls,
who were helping to clean up the house, served Duvanov a cup of tea which
tasted strange. Duvanov lost consciousness. When he awoke, he was in a
police station. One of the girls claimed that she had been raped. In keeping
with local tradition, Kazak authorities have refused to let reporters
cover the trial.
For the account by the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, January
Net filed an earlier report on thecase.
American lawyer points out inconsistencies, including reports that authorities
apparently knew about the alleged rape before it was supposed to have
(EurasiaNet October 29, 2002
EurasiaNet also reports on the original scandal in which U.S. oil
companies under investigation for possible bribery.
EurasiaNet, March 26, 2002
Hersh originally reported the oil deals in the New Yorker (New Yorker,
July 9, 2001)
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