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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DRAFT RESOLUTIONS SPLIT THE U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL
U.S. and Britain are circulating a carefully drafted second resolution
in the Security Council which deftly declares Iraq in violation of previous
U.N. resolutions, but stops short of openly declaring war. The resolution
is intended top provide the justification for a U.S. attack without forcing
a veto from France, Russia or China. The U.S. needs Britains support
to proceed with the war, and Britains Prime Minister Tony Blair
needs another U.N. resolution to counter growing resistance to the war
from the British public. Any hopes that the resolution would pass without
a fight disappeared Monday when France and Russia began circulating their
own counter resolution. The French version states clearly that Iraq has
to do more, but it is premature to resort to war at this point in time.
The U.S. & British Draft resolution is available from the BBC website.
French and Russians alternative plan
is clearly aimed at undercutting the U.S. initiative. An excerpt: "
Full and effective disarmament in accordance with the relevant (U.N. Security
Council) resolutions remains the imperative objective of the international
community. Our priority should be to achieve this peacefully through the
inspection regime. The military option should only be a last resort. So
far, the conditions for using force against Iraq are not fulfilled
While suspicions remain, no evidence has been given that Iraq still possesses
weapons of mass destruction or capabilities in this field
maneuvering behind closed doors at the U.N.
Guardian looks at the consequences in Britain
A FRIEND WHOSE HELP IS VITAL
Bush took a risk in asking for a second UN Resolution on Iraq, but he
had to do it help his only supporter in Western Europe, Tony Blair. It
was not a generous act. Without Blair, the U.S. will go into an unpopular
war completely isolated.
Patrick Tyler analyzes the situation in the New York Times Feb 25, 2003
IS SELLING THE WAR?
one agrees with it or not, the obsession with edging the United States
into an unpopular war with Iraq, is only part of a much larger reorientation
of American foreign policy. That reorientation is being conducted with
little or no meaningful national debate. In fact, President Bush emphasizes
that he doesnt believe in being swayed by public opinion, or by
the public at allwhich raises an interesting question: if the American
people are not influencing American policy, who is?
Some would argue that it is a small group of neo-conservative radicals,
who until recently were on the fringes of the U.S. diplomatic establishment.
Their goal is an audacious revolution in Americas relationship to
the rest of the world. It calls for the current administration to extract
the United States from 50 years of international cooperation, and to exploit
Americas super power status to impose peace by force the ultimate
Pax Americana--on the rest of the world. PBSs Front Line has compiled
what may be the most comprehensive collection yet of interviews, essays
and analysis on the new direction in American policy, with the key administration
players, observers and critics. The Front line documentary, THE WAR BEHIND
CLOSED DOORS, is viewable on-line as of February 25, 2003.
PBS Front Line, February 25, 2003
TIMETABLE FOR THE ATTACK
demonstrations are OK, but the fact is that the Pentagon is still far
from ready to invade Iraq. The real danger is that with nothing to lose,
Saddam might jump the gun and launch his own preemptive assault against
Saudi Arabia, or another unsuspecting neighbor before U.S. troops are
ready to go into action. Paul Rogers analyzes the militarys schedule
in foreign Policy in Focus, February 24, 2003.
UPS THE ANTE
small flotilla of U.S. ships has spent the last week or so waiting for
permission to land troops in Turkey. Despite a U.S. offer of $6 billion
in outright grants and another $20 billion in loans, the Turks say they
want more. The real problem, however, is that the Turkish public, like
most of the rest of the world, is dead set against the U.S. launching
a war against Iraq. The Turks point out that they received the brunt of
the instability created by Desert Storm in 1991, including an influx of
a half million refugees. There are other considerations. One reason that
the U.S. wants troops in Northern Iraq fast is to keep the Turks from
capturing Iraqs northern oil fields. The prospect of U.S. troops
caught in a stand off with troops of a key NATO ally is a prospect that
no one wants to contemplate right now. Zeyno Baran, Henri Barkey and retired
Marine Lt. Gen. Bernard Trainor discuss the implications on the Jim Lehrer
TURKEY, THE REAL PRIZE COULD BE KIRKUK
Kurdish city in northern Iraq sits on top of an estimated 10 billion barrels
of oil, and would be just the thing to sponsor a Kurdish rebellion that
would almost certainly attract the oppressed Kurds of Turkey. On the other
hand, if the 12,000 to 20,000 Turkish troops already in Northern Iraq,
get there first, the oil could offset the estimated $28 billion that George
Bushs war is likely to cost Turkey.
Ian Urbina sketches the background to that scenario in The Asia Times,
Feb. 1, 2003.
ORGANIZATIONS CONCERNED THAT IRAQ WILL BE FAR MORE DIFFICULT THAN OTHER
received assistance from hundreds of non-government organizations willing
to help the civil population. Iraq is a different story. Only seven aid
organizations have been operating there on a regular basis, and the surrounding
countriesSyria and Iran, especiallyare almost as difficult
to access as Iraq. Reuters Alertnet gives a run down of current
Reuters alertnet, February 2003
ADDS UP THE COST
Egyptian parliament spent most of last week exploring war scenarios. When
you count the loss in tourism, disrupted business in the Middle East,
stopped remittances from Egyptians working in the Gulf and lost revenues
from the Suez Canal, the war is projected to cost Egypt around $8 billion.
Al Ahram, 20-26 February 2003
ANYONE STILL BELIEVE THAT THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE TO WAR?
International Crisis Group analyzes the alternative scenarios for dealing
with Iraq and takes a hard look at the reasons and dangers of launching
an attack. The bottom line is that the ICGs analysts remain almost
as divided in the end as the public at large. Nevertheless, the discussion
helps to clarify the issues.
ICG, February 24, 2003
PROFESSOR ACCUSED OF BEING THE KEY PLAYER IN A PALESTINIAN TERRORIST ORGANIZATION
have been trailing South Florida University professor Sami Al-Arian for
years. After his arrest last week, Attorney General Ashcroft insisted
that the details are in an 118-page indictment filed by the Justice Department.
story in the New York Times
ADDS TWO GERMAN SUBMARINES TO ITS FLEET
Satisfaction with four German subs it bought earlier is one reason for
the purchase, another may be a new determination to move Israels
nuclear deterrence from a land-based operation to one that is undersea
and harder for emerging middle eastern nuclear powers to target. Think
Mutual Assured Destruction with shaky third world governments sharing
responsibility for pushing the button. The subs wont be deliverable
until 2008, and to make the deal a reality Israel will probably need to
find $850 million in new financing from the U.S.
By Amos Harel in Haaretz, February 24, 2003
CHANGE IN ISRAELS STRATEGY THAT HAS BEEN IN THE WORKS FOR MUCH OF
initial purchase was at the end of the 1990s. In an article in 1998, Haaretz
explores the issues of Israels use of submarines as part of its
strategic defense. George Bushs father initially hesitated at fueling
a new middle eastern arms race, but eventually gave in. In the current
climate, George W. Bush is likely to prove a much more willing donor.
Haaretz, June 9, 1998.
BUYS GAS FROM CHINA THAT IS A CRUCIAL ELEMENT IN BUILDING AN ATOMIC BOMB
Atomic Energy Agency chairman, Mohamed ElBaradei, visited Tehran over
the weekend to look into Irans possession of UF6, a gas used to
enrich weapons grade uranium. Iran purchased the gas two months ago, but
kept it secret until a short while ago.
Haaretz, February 24, 2003
Force Deployment in the Middle East, as of February 21, 2003
Center for Defense Information, feb. 21, 2003
DANGERS OF FAILED STATES
Center for Strategic and International Studies publishes its study of
post conflict reconstruction. The danger of abandoning a failed state
is that it is likely to become a breeding ground for the next Al Qaeda.
The commission was convened by the CSIS and the Association of the U.S.
Army. The 25-page report is downloadable as a pdf file.
IN THE MIDDLE
targeting by U.S. immigration officials has led to a massive flight to
Canada. As the New York Times describes Jalil Mirzas case, refugees
often find they cant win. Mirza, 45, wanted to ask for political
asylum from Canadian authorities but was told to come back in two weeks.
When he tried to return to the American side of the border, he was arrested
along with his two teenage sons. American immigration officials left his
wife and five other children wailing in the cold with no help or recourse.
By Susan Sachs, The New York Times, Feb. 25, 2003
Wilson headed the U.S. embassy in Baghdad during Desert Storm. Wilson
thought Desert Storm was necessary. "The goal was explicit and focused,"Wilson
says." war was the last resort." In contrast, Wilson thinks
that war this time is a different matter. "This war is not about
weapons of mass destruction," says Wilson. "The underlying objective
of this war is the imposition of a Pax Americana on the region and installation
of vassal regimes that will control restive populations." Wilson
notes that while hawks compare the war to Japan and Germany, it could
look a lot more like Lebanon, Northern Ireland and Somalia.
Joseph Wilson in The Nation, March 2003.
MERGA: PREPARED TO DIE?
By clearing the way for up to 60,000 Turkish
troops to enter Northern Iraq with the express purpose of preventing Kurdish
independence, the Bush administration risks making the Kurds look on Saddam
as the lesser evil. The Kurds have enjoyed 10 years of de facto autonomy,
and it is understandable that they are hesitant to surrender that to Turkey,
especially since Turkey has systematically suppressed the ethnic identity
of its own Kurdish minority. So much for liberating Iraq to turn it into
a democracy. The U.S. insists that Turkish troops will leave when U.S.
troops pull out, but given past history, the Kurds are understandably
nervous.The BBC explains the issues.
closes its borders with Iraq
listens to U.S. explanations
the Kurds trust the U.S. this time?
REGIME IS BEING CHANGED?
National Security Archives' John Prados notes that Iraq's government is
not the only regime that is likely to be different after a new Gulf War.
Prados explains in the current issue of TomPaine.com: "The present
course of the Bush administration quite plainly threatens regime change.
Not changes in Iraq's regime, although American military power may well
bring that about, but a transformation of the entire pattern of the United
States' relationships with the world. Americans have long been taught
that international alliances and cooperation form the bedrock of our standing
in the modern world. Global economics depends on that kind of cooperation;
global politics builds on it. Talking about the United States as a "hyperpower"
obscures the fact that we exist within an international system. That system
required decades to craft, but now finds itself under threat after only
two short years of the Bush administration. The juxtaposition of the current
war on terrorism with a near-certain conflict in Iraq throws these developments
into sharp relief. Americans need to pay attention to Bush administration
demands on the international system, as these strains are triggering subtle
changes that are not in our best interests...
today's situation is unprecedented, and possibly irreparable; one need
only look to the Bush administration's foreign policy actions for glaring
evidence. Rather than defying the system on a single demand or issue,
George W. Bush has shocked America's friends on multiple counts. Bush's
renunciation of the Kyoto standards, U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic
Missile treaty, and the administration's "unsigning" from the
treaty establishing an international war crimes tribunal (actually illegal
under applicable international law), plus its disputes over commodities
and preferences within the World Trade Organization -- all these posed
direct challenges to our global partners. Separately and together, these
issues were sparking conflict before September 11, 2001. Politically,
Bush actually profited from the 9/11 attacks, which diverted everyone's
attention from the growing discord within NATO...
The looming question is, how long will America's allies put up with Bush's
behavior? Europe -- and this is a hidden development -- is stronger and
more united today than ever before, with increasing reason to resent American
arrogance. A European political move to the right will be about building
an autonomous superpower -- not about cooperating more fully with the
United States. At the same time, another round of U.S. pocketing support
then rejecting European concerns -- which looks likely if a "coalition
of the willing" attacks Iraq -- will push our traditional alliance
partners in the same direction. Meanwhile the issues in the European-American
relationship that were masked by 9/11 have not disappeared; they are simply
submerged at the moment. Those issues will resurface to disturb a harmonious
alliance, and push our friends toward independence in the form of a United
States of Europe. It's ironic that the net result of the Bush war could
do more for European integration than decades of economic and political
efforts; it will be doubly so if a strengthened Europe supplants a United
States weakened by war and economic recession as the new world hyperpower.
TomPaine.com, February 2003
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