Submitted by MikeChalberg on Mon, 2012-03-05 13:12
Missile defense. It's been talked about for decades, some of us even grew up watching Patriot missiles shoot down Iraqi Scud missiles in the first Gulf War. But where do things stand today? Is it still needed? Should I care? Those questions and more are answered in the FAQ below.
Submitted by MikeChalberg on Mon, 2012-03-05 12:53
Ostensibly, the term "missile defense" refers to a system that allows one nation to shoot down or destroy in-flight missiles launched by a hostile nation or force before those missiles can do harm to the defending nation. President Reagan notably spurred the United States to begin developing a missile defense system in the 1980s to protect the country from inter-continental ballistic missiles armed with nuclear warheads launched by the Soviets. Here's an example of how it works:
Submitted by MikeChalberg on Mon, 2012-03-05 12:53
A strong missile defense system theoretically protects the United States from the most dangerous missile attacks, including those armed with nuclear warheads. Today, a nuclear missile attack (even accidental) could eliminate a major U.S. city causing millions of deaths and untold damage to the economy. Additionally, a nuclear missile could be detonated higher in the atmosphere to cause what is called an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) attack. An EMP attack destroys all electronic devices in its wake, which would render our electrical systems, food networks, water supplies, transportation systems, and more useless. If that were to happen, millions and even tens of millions of Americans could die over the course of several months.
"It is the policy of the United States to deploy as soon as is technologically possible an effective National Missile Defense system capable of defending the territory of the United States against limited ballistic missile attack (whether accidental, unauthorized, or deliberate) with funding subject to the annual authorization of appropriations and the annual appropriation of funds for National Missile Defense."
Detractors, though, advocate caution. They claim that strong missile defense systems will only push the world to the brink of nuclear war; that there are few imminent missile threats within range of hitting the United States; and that since 1987 the number of ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States has drastically decreased, as shown below:
Based on those arguments and a few others, detractors of missile defense argue against its further development.
Proponents, on the other hand, argue that if the most powerful nations in the world all acquire adequate missile defense technology, the threat of nuclear holocaust will decrease and a more stable international community should emerge. Additionally, they argue that the United States government has a Constitutional mandate to defend the country against all threats, including nuclear missile attacks. Furthermore, supporters of missile defense will argue that, as the chart shows, while the numbers of long- and medium-range missiles may be decreasing, more hostile regimes, such as North Korea and possibly Iran, are attempting to acquire more long-range missile capabilities.
Nuclear missile attacks may be accidental or unauthorized, and defenses should be put in place against them, supporters argue. Because of the potential devastation posed by a missile attack (nuclear or EMP), they argue that we should continue to develop the technology to be able to protect ourselves against rising threats and future challenges. (Source: Heritage Foundation)
Submitted by MikeChalberg on Mon, 2012-03-05 12:54
Generally speaking, there are two types of nuclear missile threats: Strategic nuclear missiles and tactical nuclear weapons.
Strategic nuclear weapons are long-range missiles that can reach a target between 3,500 and 9,000 miles away.
Tactical nuclear weapons are generally considered as short-range missiles, capable of hitting targets 300 to 400 miles away. Medium-range missiles (somewhere more than short-range, but less than long-range) are sometimes called tactical or non-strategic.
Submitted by MikeChalberg on Mon, 2012-03-05 12:54
Many countries, including some American adversaries, possess a variety of different missiles (short-, medium-, and long-range). Therefore, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency focuses on three types of defense: against intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), theater missiles, and tactical missiles. All of these weapons pose great potential danger. Missile defense systems are usually multi-layered and combine ground-based radar, satellites, and, depending on the type of missile that needs to be intercepted, ship-based, land-based, and truck-based anti-missile missile stations.
Below is a diagram of how the U.S. missile defense system is designed to operate:
Submitted by MikeChalberg on Mon, 2012-03-05 12:55
Nuclear weapons were originally delivered simply by an airplane. The nuclear warhead was attached to a “gravity bomb” which would explode on impact. This is still a feasible means of delivery and a potential threat to the United States. Any of the three main types of missiles (tactical, theater and ICBM) can be delivered with a nuclear warhead attached. Though technologically more difficult to deliver, these missiles can be launched quickly, travel extremely fast and are very difficult to stop. At this point, if such a missile were launched at the United States there would be a strong probability that it would successfully detonate.
A nuclear detonation could take place at high-altitude which would cause an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) to spread out across much of the United States, likely shutting down all unprotected electronic devices in its path. If an EMP attack were to take place, it's quite likely that a large part of our food, water, and health care networks would be partially or entirely crippled because of our high-dependency upon electronics. As such, an EMP could lead to many millions of deaths. To learn more about EMPs, click the image below:
For more information on EMPs, please refer to the Intellectual Takeout EMP library topic and FAQ.
Submitted by MikeChalberg on Mon, 2012-03-05 12:55
Like all ballistic missiles, the tactical missile is sent temporarily out of Earth’s atmosphere before reentering and detonating at a predetermined location. This point cannot be changed mid-flight. This is one of the simpler ballistic missiles, and several dozen countries possess the technology to deploy it.
This weapon has very limited range and is generally used only during a relatively localized battle, often times used to target ships or small bases. Despite this, they made up a large portion of the U.S. and Soviet missile stockpiles of the Cold War. Tactical missiles are inexpensive, very mobile, and can carry a variety of warheads. Though only able to travel up to short- and medium-range distances, tactical missiles can be launched from a mobile launcher, such as aircraft, ships, submarines and Club-K crates. Below is a video detailing how the Club-K delivery system works:
Treaties throughout the Cold War, particularly those in 1980s, focused on eliminating long-range weapons, but largely ignored tactical missiles such as the Soviet SCUD. Despite the large number of tactical missiles, some argue that they are not a serious concern for the United States because potential U.S. adversaries are located too far away for their missiles to hit the United States. Others argue that in a changing environment of transnational terrorism and "rogue" states, tactical missiles could be used in different and more innovative ways to attack the the United States domestically, its navy while abroad, or other interests and military installations. The United States has taken steps to develop defences against tactical missile attacks with systems such as THAAD, featured below:
Submitted by MikeChalberg on Mon, 2012-03-05 12:56
Many countries have tactical missiles with short- or medium-range capability, but not nuclear warheads. For the most part, the United States does not have to worry about such countries attacking the domestic U.S. Those missiles could be used to attack the U.S. Navy or military bases in other regions.
The list of countries which have nuclear weapons (or are believed to be developing them) and could be an adversary of the United States are listed below:
Despite the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia remains heavily armed with nuclear weapons capable of hitting the domestic United States. Like China, a big problem is Russia’s past and current arming of other nations, including North Korea, Iraq, Syria, and Iran. Fearing too much U.S. control in the Middle East, Russia has become very involved in the missile development programs, particularly short-range tactical missiles.
China is a nuclear power with missiles capable of reaching the United States. It's also believed that China has sophisticated capability with short-range tactical weapons. These are mainly used for regional power plays in Asia and as a threat to any movement toward true Taiwanese autonomy. Perhaps the greatest concern is the Chinese willingness to sell ballistic weapons and technology to countries like North Korea and Iran. Currently, China is believed to have around 200 nuclear-armed ballistic missiles. (Source: Heritage Foundation)
Pakistan possesses dozens of nuclear warheads and short- and medium-range tactical ballistic missiles. Like Iran, Pakistan has received ample support from China and North Korea. Also like Iran, they are unable to deliver any long-range missiles. The greatest concern regarding Pakistan and its nuclear capabilities is the stability of the government as well as the potential for terrorists to acquire nuclear weaponry from it.
North Korea has developed rather advanced missile systems, and has nuclear weapons. Its tactical missiles are able to reach any part of South Korea as well as much of Asia and the Pacific. The U.S. Department of Defense believes that the North Koreans are developing weapons capable of hitting the continental United States.
Concern abounds regarding North Korea and its weapons, particularly in light of the death of its leader, Kim Jong Il, and his replacement by his son Kim Jong Un. Unlike most other countries in the region, North Korea has shown a willingness to use them, the last attack taking place in the fall of 2010. It has shown a willingness to help other potential U.S. adversaries such as Iran. It's estimated that North Korea has roughly 1,000 ballistic missiles of varying range. (Source: Heritage Foundation)
Iran, with the help of China, Russia, and North Korea, has been greatly improving its missile systems as well as working toward nuclear capability. It has short- and medium-range SCUD tactical ballistic weapons, some stationed in the Persian Gulf. Though they are constantly improving the mobility and range of the weapons, there is little evidence that they have a sophisticated guidance system or long-range capacity.
There has recently been growing concern over the Shahab-class missiles, which reportedly have an increased range of up to 2,000 km. Iran is supposedly developing the Shahab-6, an ICBM which has a range up to 1,800 miles (Source: NTI.org), but this has not been verified. Additionally, it is believed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.S., Israel, and other nations that Iran has been and continues to pursue nuclear weapon capabilities, though it does not currently possess such weapons.
In May of 2011 a report came out that Iran and Venezuela had been in the process of discussing the sale of short- and medium-range tactical missiles and building missile installations in Venezuela. The concern was that these missiles would be able to target the continental United States. Shortly after the report came out, both the U.S. and Venezuelan governments denied the report. What is known is that the Venezuela's President Chavez and Iran's President Ahmadinejad have close ties and many agreements between the two countries.
Nevertheless, there is concern over what Venezuela may attempt to do in the future. For some, the idea of a Venezuela armed with missiles capable of hitting the United States conjures past memories of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Submitted by MikeChalberg on Mon, 2012-03-05 12:57
By most accounts, tactical missile defense is effective. As described earlier, these weapons have a limited range and are easier targets than ICBMs. Many U.S. ships and bases have tactical missile defense technology. Though not foolproof, the system generally works
Submitted by MikeChalberg on Mon, 2012-03-05 12:57
The long-distance ICBM defense is much more controversial. This advanced technology has remarkable defense potential, but is still very young. The anti-ballistic missile must be able to combat different types of approaching missiles at different altitudes and different speeds. Depending on the time of detection of an oncoming missile, the anti-ballistic defense missile must also be capable of hitting its target at various points in it trajectory.
Recently there have been several successful tests completed, but critics have long argued that the technology is something out of science fiction. When Reagan released his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) plan, its opponents quickly coined it “Star Wars,” a name that has stuck. Astrophysicist Yousaf Butt wrote a strong and concise critique of the current missile defense system.
Despite the current shortcomings of this defense technology, proponents point out that every president since Reagan has continued significant funding for it. Successful tests have been run and, if a bigger success rate is achieved, anti-ballistic missiles could become the U.S. Defense Department’s most treasured assets. To be sure, it remains much easier to hit a stationary target on the ground, but many believe that a more all-encompassing defense strategy is necessary in our volatile world.
For more details on the test records of the Missile Defense Agency, click here.
Submitted by MikeChalberg on Mon, 2012-03-05 12:58
Within the last couple of years, a Russian company has developed the Club-K missile system, aptly marketed as “Pandora’s Box.” It allows powerful sea or ground-launched cruise missiles to be hidden in shipping containers and then inconspicuously transported around the world. Russia has been notorious for selling weapons to any buyer interested ($7.8 billion in weapons sold in 2010 – second largest arms exporter in recent years behind the United States), and many in the United States fear that these missiles could fall into the wrong hands. Controlled remotely, the weapons can be deployed at any time from their shipping container. Each crate can carry up to four missiles. Each missile can be armed with nuclear warheads with EMP capability. With such a vast number of crates moving around the world every day, an attack would be nearly impossible to detect and would come with no warning.
Iran, Syria, Venezuela, China, India, United Arab Emirates and several other countries have shown interest in Club-K. Though a powerful and dangerous weapon, Club-K is quite expensive ($10-20 million/shipping crate) and therefore more easily kept out of the hands of smaller and more belligerent terrorist groups (unless they are state-sponsored, as some are). Here is the Club-K promotional video, showing the opportunities the system could provide to smaller nations under attack or to their permanent military force:
Submitted by MikeChalberg on Mon, 2012-03-05 12:58
Given the ability to deliver a nuclear attack without a missile, it has become increasingly more feasible that individuals or small groups could successfully deliver a nuclear weapon. Though such a threat is often exaggerated, it is still a possibility. Physicist Li Bin wrote a technical article on the ability of “young” nuclear capable nations to deliver the weapons: ”Nuclear Missile Delivery Capabilities in Emerging Nuclear States.”
Currently there are five nuclear-weapon nations under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty:
Russia – 11,000
United States – 8,500 weapons
United Kingdom - 225
France - 300
China - 240
There are three nuclear-weapon nations not under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty:
Iran and Syria are believed to be working on nuclear capabilities, but have not yet succeeded. Even if they were able to enrich uranium, they would not be able to launch a long-range missile attack against the domestic United States. They could deliver an attack against the U.S. navy, U.S. military installations within various regions, smuggle a weapon into the United States, or take advantage of weapon systems such as the Club-K to be within range of the United States. The same goes for Pakistan and North Korea. Only the five nuclear-nations under the NPT currently are able to attach nuclear warheads to ICBMs.
There is serious debate throughout the world over which nations, if any, should be able to develop nuclear weapons. The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) was designed to prevent the spread of nuclear technology and to encourage disarmament among the already nuclear-capable nations, while allowing nations to peacefully use nuclear technology as an efficient energy source. Only Israel, Pakistan and India have never signed the treaty, while North Korea signed but withdrew in 2003.
Submitted by MikeChalberg on Mon, 2012-03-05 13:07
Because of the reduced range of tactical missiles, an attack on American soil remains unlikely unless a Club-K delivery system or something similar were used or tactical missile installations were built in South America. That said, U.S. military basis, naval fleets, and other installations located abroad are within range of tactical missiles. If the tactical missile is non-nuclear than the damage would be rather limited. If, on the other hand, the tactical missile is armed with a nuclear warhead, then the damage, though less than what a ballistic missile could do (due to payload capacity), would be quite severe.
It is hoped that the destructive capabilities and certain retaliation/mutually assured destruction (MAD) that would come from a nuclear attack (particularly long-range) will keep nations in check so long as rational actors are in charge. Advocates of missile defense systems, nonetheless, argue that the United States needs to be able to defend itself against a long-range missile attack, accidental launch, or unauthorized launch as well as tactical missiles launched from systems such as the Club-K.
Some argue that the smaller, tactical nuclear missiles pose a bigger threat to worldwide stability. They are easy to use, and though they cause less destruction, they are still tremendously dangerous weapons. This may open the door for some nations or independent groups to use these weapons in the future.
For the last 50+ years, scientists have speculated what the world would look like if there ever was nuclear war. So far, we have only witnessed the use of two (comparatively weak by today’s standards) nuclear bombs. Those bombs were dropped by the United States in 1945 during World War II on the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The poisonous aftermath remained dangerous for decades. Hence, since the advent of nuclear power, numerous treaties and armament agreements have been signed. An image of the aftermath from Hiroshima is below:
The nuclear bomb that destroyed Hiroshima (named "Little Boy") was approximately 15 kilotons in size. The Nagasaki bomb (named "Fat Man") was roughly 21 kilotons. (Source: Strategic-Air-Command.com) Today, a tactical nuclear weapon is 6 to 20 times the power of the Hiroshima bomb. A strategic nuclear weapon can be hundreds of times more powerful. (Source: Brookings Institute)
If a nuclear weapon were to be detonated in a U.S. city, the deaths would likely be in the millions and the destruction would be immense. If a nuclear weapon were to be detonated in the atmosphere above the United States it would be considered an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) attack. If that were to happen, there would be less immediate destruction of life, but the EMP would destroy nearly all electronic equipment in its wake, rendering most of our modern civilization useless. Because food, water, sanitation, and health care networks would likely be knocked out, many believe that such an attack could kill tens of millions of Americans over several weeks as food, water, health care, and more would be limited to local supplies.
Submitted by MikeChalberg on Mon, 2012-03-05 13:08
Certainly. Many treaties have been signed over the years with the hope of reducing and eventually eliminating nuclear weapons. Practically speaking though, nuclear weapons are immensely powerful and now that they are available it is unlikely we will ever be able to get them back into pandora's box, so to speak.
Here is a small list of nuclear treaties and agreements as well as attempted agreements:
Submitted by MikeChalberg on Mon, 2012-03-05 13:08
The United States has spent billions of dollars since the onset of the Cold War on building sophisticated missile defense technology. But it wasn’t until 1983 that there was a separate missile defense program. President Reagan began the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) in 1983. This plan was initially mocked as being wildly impossible, with many coining the program “Star Wars.” The effectiveness of this program continues to be widely debated, but some trials and real-world scenarios have proved successful. In his announcement of the plan, the President laid out the need for a missile defense program and its ultimate goal:
I know that all of you want peace, and so do I. I know too that many of you seriously believe that a nuclear freeze would further the cause of peace. But a freeze now would make us less, not more, secure and would raise, not reduce, the risks of war. It would be largely unverifiable and would seriously undercut our negotiations on arms reduction. It would reward the Soviets for their massive military buildup while preventing us from modernizing our aging and increasingly vulnerable forces…
I am directing a comprehensive and intensive effort to define a long-term research and development program to begin to achieve our ultimate goal of eliminating the threat posed by strategic nuclear missiles. This could pave the way for arms control measures to eliminate the weapons themselves. We seek neither military superiority nor political advantage. Our only purpose--one all people share--is to search for ways to reduce the danger of nuclear war.
Its name was changed to the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) in 1993 and is currently named the Missile Defense Agency. These programs have attempted to replace the defense ideal of mutually assured destruction (MAD).
Unfortunately, missile defense is not cheap and requires a serious investment by an country wishing to protect itself against nuclear missiles, whether launched in aggression or by accident.
If a country is willing to make the investment, the goal of missile defense technology is to be able to disable a missile at any time in its flight. For more detailed information on its capabilities, the U.S. Defense Department outlines the different missile defense strategies and technology.
Proponents of missile defense believe the following steps should be taken:
A commitment to spend between 2 percent and 3 percent of the defense budget on ballistic missile defense;
A consistent program of development and testing;
A layered missile defense concept;
A plan to expand the role of the services in ballistic missile defense;
The development and fielding of space-based elements;
A program for cooperation with U.S. allies; and
Recognition that ballistic missile defense has been the least developed component of the forces necessary to protect and defend the U.S. and its allies.
For a chronology of missile defense programs, click here.
Submitted by MikeChalberg on Mon, 2012-03-05 13:08
Reagan began the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) in 1983. Its goal was to completely protect the U.S. from any possible Soviet attack. This received considerable debate in Congress before a partisan passing. Despite this new program, the U.S. was allowed to remain part of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972.
The Clinton administration kept a missile defense program, but made it a bit less ambitious and shifted focus to preventing acts of terrorism from small groups or a rogue nation.
In 1999 the United Nations passed a resolution calling for the end of the U.S. national missile defense system and the continuation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. In 2002, after some debate, the U.S. decided to withdraw from the treaty and further develop missile defense technology.
The Bush administration began to seek military bases for missile defense throughout Europe. Several tests were run but few were successful. Over the last decade there has been substantial criticism over the large and expanding budget for missile defense combined with its very modest successes in long-range defense. Moreover, the recent initiative to install the missile “shield” in Eastern Europe has irked Russian leaders, at least enough for Putin to threaten the onset of another Cold War. Despite this and significant public objection in Poland and the Czech Republic, an agreement for a defensive shield between the U.S. and Poland was signed in 2008. However, the agreement was thrown out by the Obama administration in 2009.
President Obama also signed the New START Treaty with Russia in 2010. Some argue that the New START Treaty limits the United States' ability to develop missile defense technology. (To learn more about START, click here.) He would like to see a world free of nuclear weapons. In response to Iran, he signed the Iran Sanctions Act in 2011. Not without controversy, President Obama cancelled programs to place missile defense interceptors in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic.
Many Republicans, including most of those vying for the 2012 presidential nomination, argue that it is necessary to return to a strong missile defense system like those proposed under Reagan and Bush. Mitt Romney strongly criticized New START for limiting America's ability to develop missile defense systems. Newt Gingrich believes the U.S. must have a strong missile defense and is also a very outspoken opponent of New START. He argues that China, Iran, North Korea and Pakistan all pose considerable threats to U.S. interests and safety. Ron Paul believes U.S. policy on nuclear power is hypocritical. He disagrees with the national missile defense system due to its expense amongst other reasons.
Submitted by MikeChalberg on Mon, 2012-03-05 13:09
Simply put, there are literally hundreds of nuclear-armed missiles pointed at U.S. cities right now. Additionally, the future potential for more adversarial nations to acquire nuclear weapons and the capability to deliver them to the United States is certainly there as well as developing threats such as the Club-K missile system mentioned above. While we can try to work toward a world free of nuclear missiles, we should also consider whether or not it should be a priority for the United States to be able to defend itself against a nuclear attack, even an accidental one, that could either directly hit a major U.S. city or detonate in air to create an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) that may cripple much of our food, water, sanitation, and health care infrastructure by potentially destroying electronic devices.
"Just another tidbit of Easter European reaction to President Obama's missile defense decision, to drop Bush-era plans for a missile shield with radar based in the Czech Republic and missiles based in Poland: a news headline (not an op-ed) on page 1 of major Czech newspaper Mlada Fronta Dnes today read 'There Will Not Be Radar. Russia Won.'"
"If Washington continues on its present course, the result may well be spectacular policy failure that manages both to weaken America's only strategic ally in the Middle East even as it worsens Arab-Israeli tensions."
"The ramifications of dumping the third site deployment will reach far beyond Warsaw and Prague. The Heritage Foundation's Sally McNamara notes: this is 'a decision on which the future of the transatlantic security alliance itself rests. If the United States chooses to abandon its Central and Eastern European allies as well as its obligations to NATO, it will hand the European Union a blank...
"Arab recognition of Israel's Jewish nature must have top diplomatic priority. Until the Palestinians formally accept Zionism, then follow up by ceasing all their various strategies to eliminate Israel, negotiations should be halted and not restarted. Until then, there is nothing to talk about."
"President Barack Obama's decision to drop plans to deploy a ballistic-missile defense shield in Central Europe -- drawing immediate cheers in Moscow and criticism elsewhere -- is a gamble by the U.S. that scaling back its defense ambitions will improve security in the long run.
The U.S. explained the reversal by saying it would lead to a more effective defense because the system that...
"American leaders seem to be in denial about what is happening in various allied countries. How clueless Washington has become was apparent when the Obama administration issued its first National Security Strategy document last May. The United States, the NSS stressed, cannot afford to be the world's sole policeman; it needs partners who are willing and able to meet security challenges.
"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned home without receiving an American endorsement for an Israeli attack on Iran. Neither did he find much support for the Israeli government's assertion that the window to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons is about to slam shut. In fact, the U.S. military and intelligence community did not budge from its unified conclusion that Iran...
"Over the past 60 years, the United States has accumulated a remarkable number of alliances. Today, nearly all of Europe, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia and a range of other nations peer out at the world from behind America's skirts. America's allies bring a multitude of liabilities and few assets to the table, however, and it is unclear how today's global archipelago of alliances...
"President Barack Obama's rollback of the European-based ballistic missile defense system is a strategic blunder that will incentivize Russian intransigence at the negotiating table, erode relations with loyal U.S. allies in Central and Eastern Europe, and ultimately place the American homeland at greater risk."
"'To mark the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Koran War, a resolution to further strengthen the bilateral alliance between South Korea and the U.S. was submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives last week,' reported an April 22 editorial of the Korean Dong-A Ilbo daily (US Congress Resolution on the Korean War). Of course, 'the resolution got bipartisan support.'
"The government has called on Bahrain to respect the right to peaceful protest. The move follows claims that families of students studying in Britain, who were photographed attending a peaceful protest in Manchester in solidarity with the country's pro-democracy movement, had been targeted."
"Bahraini authorities have failed to carry out the key recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), which submitted its recommendations on accountability and other human rights issues a year ago."
"On his visit to Washington last week, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder did his best to show that he could get along with the new Bush administration. Asked to comment on this relationship, Schroeder diplomatically stressed the many areas where Germans and Americans agree, and mentioned only Bush's rejection of the 1997 Kyoto agreement, designed to curb global warming, as an area of disagreement...
"The United States and Bahrain are close allies. In fact, according to an April 2008 U.S. diplomatic cable, one of several released by WikiLeaks this week, the two countries have 'about as good a bilateral relationship as anywhere.'"
Pollack briefly compares the goals of American Constitutional Law and Jewish Law (halacha); while American law strives to give its citizens privacy and "freedom," halacha works to produce holiness in everyday actions by doing the exact opposite.
"Many are concerned that conditions could worsen in Iraq once the US military has withdrawn its forces from the country. Troops are required to leave by the end of the year and the pullout is already well underway. Hundreds of transport vehicles are currently snaking their way south towards the Kuwaiti border. Most of the troops are likely to have left the country by Christmas. Concerns are...
Medved compares the history of the United States with Israel's, and concludes that to question Israel's right to exist would be as ludicrous as questioning the same of the United States. Both are controversial republics, founded by idealistic patriots, whose people share common goal, but not a common ancestry, and must continue to defend their right to exist every...
"As America's economic recovery continues to lag, politicians and pundits are scrambling to find ways to kick-start growth. One of the oddest such proposals appeared recently in the New York Times. Paul V. Kane, a Marine and former international security fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, argued that the United States should agree to 'terminate the United States-Taiwan defense arrangement...
"For years, the United States and its allies have accused Iran of being a major nuclear threat because it has violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Ironically, the real violators of the NNPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] are the same nations accusing Iran. The U.S. and its allies have never been able to confirm their accusations with concrete proof since they are based entirely...
"Education is a fundamental human right which should be directed to the full development of the human personality. ... Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the second Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and the second Education for All (EFA) goal, the Government of Iraq is committed to ensuring that, by 2015, children everywhere in Iraq, all boys and girls alike, are able to complete...
"When the political party representing El Salvador's former Soviet-backed guerrillas won the presidency in 2009, some of its opponents took comfort in the separation of powers dictated by the Salvadoran constitution. Despite the Marxist roots of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), and the uncertainty about what it might do with its new power, there was an independent...
"After two decades of sometimes fervent Atlanticism in the ex-communist world, disillusionment (some would call it realism) is growing. At its height the bond between eastern Europe and America was based, like the best marriages, on a mixture of emotion and mutual support. The romance dates from the cold war: when western Europe was sometimes squishy in dealing with the Soviet empire, America...
Barry R. Posen lists and describes the various reasons why it is important for us to leave Iraq. He does this not on an ideological ground but rather emphasizes the inability for the Iraqi people to gather motivation to protect themselves when the United States is doing it for them.
Michael Novak retells stories from early American history to highlight the importance of religion and the influence of both Judaism and Christianity on the formation of American government. He stresses the emphasis on Old Testament language and values in order to keep the various Christian denominations united.
"Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has asserted that his recent visit to the United States raised US-Georgian strategic ties to a 'new level.' American officials have been much more reticent on bilateral defense issues, raising questions about what exactly was discussed in Washington."
"Honduras is becoming notorious. The country now has the highest murder rate in the world. In 2011, more people were killed per capita in the industrial center of San Pedro Sula than in Mexico's Ciudad Juárez, where the drug war rages on the U.S. border. It has also become one of the most dangerous places to be a journalist: At least 23 have been killed in the past three years. And according to the World Bank, 60 percent of the population lives in poverty, a statistic outmatched in the Western Hemisphere only by Haiti."
"The United Nations human rights chief today called on Honduras to take urgent steps to combat impunity for crimes against lawyers and journalists, stressing that recent killings reflect the 'chronic insecurity' that these professions are subject to in the country."
"The Iraq war has become one of the most polarizing issues in American politics. Most Democrats, including Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.), want large, early troop cuts; most Republicans, including Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), want U.S. troops to stay until Iraq's stability is guaranteed. Years of bad news from the front have hardened these divisions along partisan lines and embittered many on...
"If the world sniggered to see Kim Jong Un, with his fat-faced boyishness, thrust forward as the dictator-to-be of North Korea, it is not laughing now. A 65-minute-long artillery barrage on November 23rd rained down upon the tiny South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, marking the first time since the war of 1950-53 that the North has fired shells at civilian targets on land.
"In the midst of heated debate over nuclear proliferation, missile defense and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Rendall strongly criticizes U.S. policy on the issue as well as several mainstream publications for their bias in blindly backing Washington's policies."
"ON the morning of May 6, 1783, Guy Carleton, the British commander charged with winding down the occupation of America, boarded the Perseverance and sailed up the Hudson River to meet George Washington and discuss the British withdrawal. Washington was furious to learn that Carleton had sent ships to Canada filled with Americans, including freed slaves, who had sided with Britain during the...
"The head of US intelligence has warned that there is an increasing likelihood that Iran could carry out attacks in America or against US and allied targets around the world.
The warning from the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, reflects rapidly rising tensions over Iran's nuclear programme after the US and EU announced embargoes on the Iranian oil trade in the past few...
"Iraq would be drastically affected should Iran block the Hormuz Strait. Most of the oil Iraq produces is exported via the Strait. The scenario is seeing Iraq, distinct because of its good relations with both the US and Iran, practice its new diplomacy again."
"Poland’s decision to join the 'coalition of the willing' has left the military stretched beyond capacity, the society in serious mistrust of their leaders and perception of a joint effort for a good cause seriously damaged. It took 25 lives 5 years and 3 governments to rethink and withdraw.
With more than 15,000 troops in 10 tours of duty so far Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) remains...
John Paul Rossi describes the similarities between the Iraq and Vietnam wars. Rossi writes, "Although the final chapter on the Iraq War is yet to be written, the Vietnam experience suggests that exiting the Iraq quagmire poses serious challenges."
Nevertheless, let us hope that Iraqis take advantage of the opportunity they now enjoy. It will take enormous statesmanship and restraint to accommodate those of different faiths and ethnicities, forgive past crimes committed by Sunni and Shia forces, eschew violence for retaliation and revenge, resolve even bitter disagreements peacefully, and accept political defeat without resort to arms.
"Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the U.S., argues that Israel is first-tier strategic ally of the United States, and he criticizes the so-called foreign policy realists who have intermittently dominated Washington, in a piece in Foreign Policy:
'(Israel's) prominence on the eastern Mediterranean littoral, at the nexus of North Africa and Southwest Asia, has enabled the...
"Which is the less trustworthy ally, the United States (vis-à-vis Taiwan), or China (vis-à-vis North Korea)? My answer: the United States.
Geography is a big part of the reason why. The Korean Peninsula is a half-island appended to the Asian mainland not far from the Chinese capital city, it shares a frontier with China, and it overshadows sea lanes connecting north China with the...
"Israel's attack on Gaza rests on an assumption that it can suppress Hamas and thereby remove an obstacle to a negotiated deal with the Palestinians. That assumption in turn requires the conflict to remain limited."
"There has been very little work by orthodox Jewish scholars on the relationship among socialism, capitalism, and Judaism. Careful reading of the relevant literature, however, suggests that it is possible to posit five basic axioms of Jewish economic theory from which many economic policy implications can be deduced. Although not exhaustive, our five axioms...
"What does Judaism require in the political realm? Except for a few liberal rabbis, whose understanding of and commitment to Judaism is commensurate with the dedication of the National Council of Churches to Christianity, the subject will be ignored. In an effort to rectify this lack of critical analysis, I would offer some observations on the essential...
Former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger analyzes the potential options for exiting Iraq and the some of the consequences of each. He does so by comparing the current situation in Iraq to the situation the U.S. faced in Vietnam.
"The record of past U.S. experience in democratic nation building is daunting. The low rate of success is a sobering reminder that these are among the most difficult foreign policy ventures for the United States. Of the sixteen such efforts during the past century, democracy was sustained in only four cases ten years after the departure of U.S. forces. Two of these followed the total defeat...
The Iraq War was one of the key issues in the 2008 presidential election. In this article, McCain argues that the U.S. cannot abandon the mission in Iraq. To do so would be costly, both for the United States and for Iraq.
"The rejection of the proposed extension of the Philippines-United States (PH-US) Military Base Agreement (MBA) in 1991 that saw the closure of the sprawling US military bases – Clark Air Force Base and the Subic naval base – was a short-sighted decision by the Philippine Senate."
"The situation in Bahrain continues to boil. Every week brings new reports of protests and police abuses, and the gap between the Sunni royal family and the mostly Shia population is by all accounts widening."
"President Obama has decided to sell a new arms package to Taiwan that will likely include weapons and equipment to upgrade the island’s F-16 jets, according to administration and congressional officials.
Congress will be briefed Friday on the arms package, worth an estimated $4.2 billion, said officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity. A formal announcement is expected soon."...
"President Barack Obama declared Thursday that the United States will take an expanded role in shaping the Asian Pacific region, with an increased military presence one step of that policy.
'Our enduring interests in the region demand our enduring presence in this region,' Obama said in a speech to the Australian Parliament. 'The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay...
"During an exclusive campaign fundraiser on New York’s Upper East Side tonight, President Obama offered reassurances to some of his most loyal Jewish supporters about the administration’s commitment to Israel.
Speaking about the 'enormous tumult' in the Middle East brought by the Arab Spring, Obama said the U.S. stands 'on the side of democracy' but remains unwavering in its support for...
"The Obama administration is not known for its pro-British track record, but this is by far the strongest indication yet that the current White House has little regard for the Special Relationship and its unique role in modern American history. During a White House photo-op with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, President Obama had this to say:
"One in three U.S. veterans of the post-9/11 military believes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting, and a majority think that after 10 years of combat America should be focusing less on foreign affairs and more on its own problems, according to an opinion survey released Wednesday.
The findings highlight a dilemma for the Obama administration and Congress as they...
"After Kim Jong-il’s death, U.S. defense officials have consulted with their South Korean counterparts as they monitor the ongoing developments in North Korea.
Pentagon Press Secretary George Little says that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called South Korean Defense Minister Gen. Kim Kwan-jin Monday morning to reaffirm America’s 'strong commitment' to stability on the Korean...
"The president of the Philippines made a direct pitch to the White House Friday to help bolster his country's relatively weak defenses as the island nation increasingly finds itself tangled in territorial conflicts with China."
"The president’s decision to reverse Bush-era foreign policy in Eastern Europe by scrapping plans to build a missile defense shield and radar system in Poland and the Czech Republic resulted in disparate and polarized responses last week.
Seventy years ago to the day that the Red Army invaded Poland, the Obama administration announced the major foreign policy shift to cries of 'betrayal...
"More Americans consider Great Britain, rather than Canada, to be the United States' top ally, according to a recent Gallup Poll.
The telephone survey of 1,023 adults found that although Canada is the United States' most important trading partner, 36 per cent of respondents believe Great Britain to be their country's 'most valuable ally.'
"It was an extraordinary scene: President Barack Obama, sitting impassively in the Oval Office in May as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lectured him, at considerable length and at times condescendingly, on Jewish history, Arab perfidy and the existential challenges facing his country.
What was extraordinary wasn’t the message -- it was not an untypical Netanyahu sermon. What...
"American troops have been in Iraq for several years now. Although the defeat of Saddam and the Iraq military was relatively easy, the stabilization of the country in the aftermath has been anything but easy. Thousands of American troops have died, and Iraqi civilians continue to get caught in terrorist and cross-cultural attacks on a daily basis. The U.S. continues to progress in its attempt...
"Those who blame Israel and its Jewish supporters for U.S. policies they do not support are wrong. They are wrong because, to begin with, support for Israel is in our best interests. They are also wrong because Israel and its supporters have the right to try to influence U.S. policy. And they are wrong because the U.S. government is responsible for the policies it...
"The first of September, symbolic as the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II, also marked the end of an era of special closeness between Poland and the United States.
The dignitaries jostling for space near the Gdansk memorial where the opening shots of WWII were fired included Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The U.S. was...
"Over the Past Five Years, Iraq has become one of the most divisive and polarizing issues in modern American history. It is now a subject on which Republicans and Democrats tend to disagree fundamentally about the past (the reasons for going to war), the present (the impact of the 'surge' in American forces), and the future of American policy (how quickly, and in what way, American forces...
"Japan and Turkey form an alliance to attack the US. Poland becomes America's closest ally. Mexico makes a bid for global supremacy, and a third world war takes place in space. Sounds strange? It could all happen."
"Washington cannot make a deal for the Israelis and the Palestinians, but it can and should help them do so themselves. At the very least, it should not make matters worse by allowing itself to be distracted yet again from the main task at hand. If anything, successful U.S. efforts to achieve a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians would make it...
"David Cameron was warned last night by America that damaging secrets of the ‘special relationship’ are about to be laid bare.
The U.S. ambassador to London made an unprecedented personal visit to Downing Street to warn that whistleblower website WikiLeaks is about to publish secret assessments of what Washington really thinks of Britain."
"A United Nations assessment team will head to Bahrain in early December, at the invitation of the Government, to discuss the judicial system and accountability for present and past human rights abuses, it was announced Friday."
"The United States and its British and Canadian allies are preparing to roll out a coordinated set of sanctions against Iran on Monday amid growing concern that Tehran is pursuing a nuclear weapon, sources tell ABC News.
U.S. officials familiar with the plans say they target Iran’s nuclear sector as well as plugging key gaps that have allowed Iran to work around existing sanctions on...
"With America’s push for democracy in the Arab states, groups with radical Islamic links are lining up to fill the power vacuums which are emerging. Amid the current instability, the ramifications for America's closest Middle East ally could be huge.
Israel is keeping quiet during the current chaos in the Middle East and North Africa, while Hamas gunmen are upping the stakes just that...
In one of the biggest national security reversals of his young presidency, Mr. Obama canceled former President George W. Bush’s plans to station a radar facility in the Czech Republic and 10 ground-based interceptors in Poland. Instead, he plans to deploy smaller SM-3 interceptors by 2011, first aboard ships and later in Europe, possibly even in Poland or the Czech Republic.
"For some time now, Republican hawks like Sen. John McCain and Rep. Howard P. 'Buck' McKeon have been saying that our military budget is inadequate for the threats we face. They like to gripe that President Barack Obama is orchestrating the decline of American power.
Some of this is pure partisanship. Republicans criticize Democrats just as Democrats criticized President George W. Bush...
"For a town entangled in a national controversy, Waegwan's streets give off an eerie languor. Ask residents in this South Korean burg about Agent Orange — the code name for a poisonous blend of herbicides that three U.S. Army veterans allege they buried near there in 1978 — and nearly all sigh wearily. The accusation isn't surprising, bemoans Chang Jung-hun, a 69-year-old melon farmer. He says...
"The alliance system was started by Bismarck, the German Chancellor from 1871 to 1890. After the Franco-Prussian War, Bismarck held that Germany was a 'satiated state' which should give up ideas of further conquest. Thus Bismarck organized a system of alliances designed to maintain Germany's hegemony on the European continent. France was determined to challenge the hegemony of Germany because...
"Research has found that the rate at which British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan is almost four times that of their US counterparts, and double the rate which is officially classified as 'major combat'."
"The following graphic lists the ten most/least corrupt countries based on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2011. The Corruption Perception Index assigns countries and territories with scores between 0 (highly corrupt) and 10 (very clean)."
"The United States has appropriated or otherwise made available $61.83 billion for Iraq reconstruction efforts since 2003, primarily through five major funds.... Figure 1.2 shows current and requested funds that may be used for new projects from the five major funds."
"The purpose of this paper is to trace the way in which Deuteronomy seeks to create the civic community that undergirds institutions of collective governance: how does Deuteronomy call forth unity within the society; how does it mediate the relationships between different parts of the society."
This survey, administered by YouGov (formerly Polimetrix) from April 26 - May 2, 2012, examines public attitudes on U.S. foreign policy, especially U.S. alliances and security commitments in regions such as East Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
There are periods when the international system undergoes radical shifts in a short time. The last such period was 1989-1991. During that time, the Soviet empire collapsed. The Japanese economic miracle ended. The Maastricht Treaty creating contemporary Europe was signed. Tiananmen Square defined China as a market economy dominated by an unchallenged Communist Party, and so on.
U.S.-Tajik relations have developed considerably since September 11, 2001. The two countries now have a broad-based relationship, cooperating in such areas as counter-narcotics, counterterrorism, non-proliferation, and regional growth and stability.
"In early 2002 rumors circulated that Saudi Arabia was considering asking the United States to withdraw its troops from the gulf kingdom. Outraged denials arose in both Washington and Riyadh. But even before the September 11, 2001, terrorist assaults, Saudi Arabia was among Washington’s more dubious allies."
"China and Taiwan, while in practice maintaining a fragile 'status quo' relationship, periodically grow impatient with the diplomatic patchwork that has kept the island separate from the Communist mainland since 1949."
"The rise of China poses grave challenges to U.S. security. Beijing implements a mercantilist trade policy and artificially sets a low value on its currency to promote exports, thus creating a large U.S. trade deficit with China year after year."
Rabkin compares and contrasts the inheritance practices, loan practices, and other interactions between the law and economics in ancient Israel (before and after the Babylonian exile respectively), early America, and Christian Europe up to the American Founding. All claim some basis in Old Testament law.
"Alliances, we had always felt, were not our sort of thing. They would involve us in obscure quarrels and sordid rivalries which were none of our concern. They seemed to be both undesirable and unnecessary in view of our special geographic and political circumstances."
"Virtually all key sectors of the economy have contributed to this growth, in contrast to the development of countries richer in natural resources. This suggests that President Mikheil Saakashvili's policy of increasing economic liberty was the decisive factor in Georgia's transformation."
"When Israeli soldiers rescued hostages in Entebbe, they honorably manifested a manly concern for the weak and dependent. Conversely, when Israeli leaders made promises that they could not keep in fighting Hezbollah in 2006, they acted dishonorably. The problem with Zionism is not that Zionists have fought for Israel; the problem is that they have not always ...
Since emerging from the shadow of communism at the Cold War's end, Poland has undoubtedly been one of the most spirited Atlanticists in Europe. Following its 1999 admission to NATO, Poland's enthusiastically pro-American stance was evidenced by a strong preference for US leadership in defense and security matters, as well as robust support of American foreign policy.
"It is time to ask a fundamental question that few in an official or political position in the United States seem willing to ask. Has it been a terrible error for the United States to have built an all but irreversible worldwide system of a thousand or more military bases, stations and outposts?"
"At a time of rising dependence on oil, the potential for supply disruptions and the stability of energy-rich regions pose major concerns. While disruptions can happen anywhere along the supply chain, certain areas are particularly vulnerable."
This paper will examine Polish National Security Strategy and its Homeland Security Policy in response to the growing worldwide terrorism threat. Moreover, it will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of Poland's engagement in the anti-terrorism world coalition.
With mounting evidence showing that the Bush Administration's surge policy has made significant military progress, the congressional debate has shifted to focus on the need for political progress toward national reconciliation in Iraq.
Robert Kaplan, correspondent for The Atlantic and author of Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power, is interviewed by Foreign Affairs on China and how America's relations with it might look in the near future.
As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration's miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily 'victory' but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.
"But make no mistake about it: despite his reluctance to mention Saudi Arabia by name, the president's words were aimed squarely at Riyadh. Proclaiming that 'the status quo is not sustainable,' the president boldly endorsed a new democratic future for the Middle East and placed America unequivocally – and unconditionally – on the side of change."
"Washington’s objective was to encourage the formation of a 'trans-Atlantic bridge across which DoD [U.S. Department of Defence] can take its globalisation policy to Europe. …Our aim is to improve interoperability and war fighting effectiveness via closer industrial linkages between U.S. and allied companies.'"
"America’s alliances have been a bulwark of stability and prosperity for the Asia-Pacific region since the end of World War II. Yet the rise of Asia as an economic and military power in its own right is changing the fundamental power dynamics of the region and the strategic calculations that underpin these alliances."
"Extended nuclear deterrence has been one element of the broader United States security policy towards East Asia. Because Washington has been willing to threaten the use of nuclear weapons against adversaries of its allies, those allies have felt less compelled to pursue a nuclear option."
"The longstanding U.S.-South Korea alliance, originally established during the Cold War as a bulwark against the communist expansion in Asia, has undergone a series of transformations in recent years."
"The risk to America might have been warranted when the ROK was unable to defend itself and the Korean confrontation was tied to the Cold War, but there no longer is any cause to maintain a defense commitment that is all cost and no benefit to the United States."
"What is the definition of an American ally? On an ideological level, an ally is a country that shares America's values, reflects its founding spirit, and resonates with its people's beliefs. Tactically, an ally stands with the United States through multiple conflicts and promotes its global vision."
"Because many elements of this strategic relationship are kept secret - particularly in the intelligence field - it is difficult for academics and pundits to assess the true value of U.S.-Israel ties."
"Winston Churchill once said that the only thing worse than having allies is not having them. It was an apt description of the tensions that existed between Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States during World War II."
"South Korea became a defense dependent of Washington decades ago. Like America's other alliances around the globe, the 'mutual' defense treaty with Seoul does not protect the U.S. Given the South’s recent economic success, Americans should ask: When will this prosperous and populous friend begin defending America?"
In this audio clip, George Galloway interviews Charlie Wolf about the alliance between the U.S. and U.K. Though the relationship has long been friendly, it is not enjoying the popular support it once did.
"Following the 2008 war, the United States has struggled to redefine its relationship with Georgia. While the Bush administration deemed Georgia a 'beacon of democracy' and identified it as a key ally, the new administration has changed the rhetoric, stripping Georgia of its special status even as policy has remained largely the same."
"The United States pledges to defend our NATO allies under Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty. Why, and in what ways, do the allies reciprocate? Jason Davidson will present evidence from his unique analysis of transatlantic burden-sharing to explain why Britain, France, and Italy provide or refuse military support for U.S.-led uses of force. Sixty original interviews with top policymakers...
"When President Barack Obama cited cost as a reason to bring troops home from Afghanistan, he referred to a $1 trillion price tag for America's wars.
Staggering as it is, that figure grossly underestimates the total cost of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the U.S. Treasury and ignores more imposing costs yet to come, according to a study released on Wednesday.
"In this address made on September 17, 1978, President Jimmy Carter reminds the public that at the beginning of these negotiations, he asked the people of the world 'to pray that our negotiations would be successful.' He adds, 'Those prayers have been answered far beyond any expectations.' After 13 long days at Camp David, Carter commends Sadat and Begin's 'determination, vision, and...
Under George W. Bush's administration, the United States decided to place its third missile defense site in the European nation of Poland. This clip, however, details President Obama's plan to scrap the Polish missile defense site and pursue a different course in missile defense.
"The events began in Tunisia in January 2011 . . . shook the political, social, and intellectual foundations of the Middle East. The tremors can still be felt, and no one is quite certain when the aftershocks will end, or when another shock wave of popular unrest might occur. Nevertheless, enough time has passed to try to make sense of what has happened so far and, perhaps, gain an inkling of...
In this interesting presentation/debate, the authors of The Israel Lobby present their primary arguments and discuss the reactions they have received from across the academic and media worlds. The third participant, Bruce Riedel, has worked alongside former presidents on the peace...
"Speaking at the 25th anniversary celebration of the national media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, world-renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky analyzes the U.S. response to the popular uprisings sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. 'Across the [Middle East], an overwhelming majority of the population regards the United States as the main threat to their...
What do America's allies think of America? International approval was very low during the heart of the Iraq War. The rest of the world's opinion has slightly improved in recent years, but many still believe the United States is one of the biggest threats to world peace. Do you agree? Why or why not?
"'It's very clear that most Muslims don't consider working women or whiskey or movies or elections in America a dire threat to their families and a life and death issue for themselves. But they clearly see our support for Israel, our support for the dictators that rule them as an offense against both themselves and against their faith.
...If you go through the corpus of the rhetoric of...
"China has vowed to suspend military exchanges and security talks with Washington and to impose sanctions on US firms involved in a deal to sell arms to Taiwan.
In a statement the foreign ministry said that in protest at the US arms sales to Taiwan it was suspending military exchanges, along with scheduled high-level talks on strategic security, arms control and non-proliferation.
"EVENTS IN EL SALVADOR assumed worldwide prominence in the late 1970s as political and social tensions fueled a violent civil conflict that persisted throughout the 1980s. The intense controversy and scrutiny accorded this diminutive nation ran counter to the relative obscurity that had characterized it during its colonial and national history. A backwater of the Spanish Empire, El Salvador...
"This Agreement establishes the rights and obligations of the Parties with respect to the use by the United States of the Closed Area on the territory of Poland in the locality of Slupsk-Redzikowo for the purpose of deployment there and use of non-nuclear ground-based ballistic missile defense interceptors."
"From May 2009 through October 2011, arrests were made for 32 'homegrown,' jihadist-inspired terrorist plots by American citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States. Two of these resulted in attacks—U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan’s alleged assault at Fort Hood in Texas and Abdulhakim Muhammed's shooting at the U.S. Army-Navy Career Center in Little Rock, AR and produced 14 deaths....
"Korea's legendary foundation by the mythical king Tangun in BC 2333 embodies the homogeneity and self-sufficiency valued by the Korean people. Korea experienced many invasions by its larger neighbors in its 2,000 years of recorded history. The country repelled numerous foreign invasions despite domestic strife, in part due to its protected status in the Sino-centric regional political model...
"In 1783, the Sunni Al-Khalifa family captured Bahrain from the Persians. In order to secure these holdings, it entered into a series of treaties with the UK during the 19th century that made Bahrain a British protectorate. The archipelago attained its independence in 1971. Facing declining oil reserves, Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has transformed itself into an international banking center...."
"The State Department is a fitting venue to mark a new chapter in American diplomacy. For six months, we have witnessed an extraordinary change taking place in the Middle East and North Africa. Square by square, town by town, country by country, the people have risen up to demand their basic human rights. Two leaders have stepped aside. More may follow. And though these countries may be a...
"Prime Minister Tusk. Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, before the visit of President Barack Obama, I learned that Ralph Waldo Emerson was your favorite American thinker. And certainly at the time I tried to search for some association, some quotations, some connections. And out of all these ideas, the one that talks about enthusiasm—that nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm—...
"After twelve days of secret negotiations at Camp David, the Israeli-Egyptian negotiations were concluded by the signing at the White House of two agreements. The first dealt with the future of the Sinai and peace between Israel and Egypt, to be concluded within three months. The second was a framework agreement establishing a format for the conduct of negotiations...
"The United States has maintained a strong interest in developments in El Salvador, a small Central American country with a population of 6 million. During the 1980s, El Salvador was the largest recipient of U.S. aid in Latin America as its government struggled against the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) insurgency during a 12-year civil war. A peace accord negotiated...
Our national conversation about Iraq needs more realism, and more focus on the future rather than the past. We need to refocus on our original goal - a stable Iraq that does not threaten its neighbors, develop WMD, export terrorism, or terrorize its own people.
In this presentation, originally delivered on the floor of the US Senate, Inhofe lays out the arguments for Israel's right to the lands it currently holds. He outlines seven reasons: Archaeological Evidence, Historical Fact, Agricultural Superiority, Humanitarian Concern, and the fact that Israel is a Strategic Ally, a Roadblock to Terror and has a Biblical...
"I appeal tonight to the leaders of the Arab countries and say: Let us meet. Let us talk about peace. Let us make peace. I am willing to meet at any time, at any place, in Damascus, in Riyadh, in Beirut, and in Jerusalem as well."
"The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), negotiated between the United States and the Russian Federation, is a follow-on agreement to the original START Treaty between the U.S. and the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan that expired in December 5, 2009. Signed by Presidents Obama and Medvedev on April 8, 2010, New START significantly advances our leadership on...
"In his April 2009 speech in Prague, President Obama highlighted 21st century nuclear dangers, declaring that to overcome these grave and growing threats, the United States will 'seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.' He recognized that such an ambitious goal could not be reached quickly – perhaps, he said, not in his lifetime. But the President expressed his...
President Obama speaks to the United Nations about the state of some of the more troubled nations of the world. He reiterates America's allegiance to the UN with the common goal of seeking peace throughout the world.
"Thank you so much. Thank you for this wonderful welcome. Thank you to the people of Prague. Thank you to the people of the Czech Republic. (Applause.) Today, I'm proud to stand here with you in the middle of this great city, in the center of Europe. (Applause.) And, to paraphrase one of my predecessors, I am also proud to be the man who brought Michelle Obama to Prague. (Applause.)
"The 112th Congress has focused on measures to reduce the federal budget deficit. This backdrop may continue to influence congressional debate over a top-ranking U.S. aid recipient, Pakistan—a country vital to U.S. national security interests but that some say lacks accountability and even credibility as a U.S. ally."
"The Partnership for Growth effort aims to rapidly expand broad-based economic growth in El Salvador under an overarching commitment to democracy, sustainable development, and human rights. In order to achieve these goals, the Governments of El Salvador and the United States acknowledge the importance of a well-functioning market economy and the critical role of the private sector in leading...
"El Salvador and the United States have embarked on a new Partnership for Growth (PFG) to mobilize the traditional and non-traditional resources of both governments to remove obstacles and identify opportunities for broad-based economic growth in El Salvador. The PFG is an unprecedented bilateral collaboration based on a focused and deliberate strategy to generate the greatest possible impact...
"The Philippine Government faces threats from several groups, some of which are on the US Government's Foreign Terrorist Organization list. Manila has waged a decades-long struggle against ethnic Moro insurgencies in the southern Philippines, which has led to a peace accord with the Moro National Liberation Front and on-again/off-again peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The decades-long Maoist-inspired New People's Army insurgency also operates through much of the country. The Philippines faces increased tension with China over disputed territorial claims in the South China Sea."
"Upon his return from London, Mr. Carter stated that Israel has a special relationship with the U.S. entitling it to special treatment in the arms sales policy he was developing. This assurance came after a series of negative decisions regarding arms sales to Israel that were viewed in Jerusalem with growing concern. In an effort to alleviate such fears, the President also said that there...
"On New Year’s Day 2012, the U.S. relief and reconstruction mission in Iraq will enter a new phase. Under the guiding polestar of the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement, the deining characteristic of this new phase will be the State Department’s complete responsibility for the full constellation of continuing eforts to assist the Iraqi government’s economic, security, and governance...
The President spoke on the long history of friendship and alliance between France and the United States in Cannes, France. After some tensions with France during the Bush administration, President Obama and President Sarkozy have been quite amicable for the past several years.
"On behalf of the people of the United States, President Obama congratulates the people and government of Israel on the 61st anniversary of Israel’s independence. The United States was the first country to recognize Israel in 1948, minutes after its declaration of independence, and the deep bonds of friendship between the U.S. and Israel remain as strong and unshakeable as ever. The...
"Tajikistan is a significant country in Central Asia by virtue of its geographic location bordering China and Afghanistan and its ample water and other resources, but it faces ethnic and clan schisms, deep poverty, poor governance, and other severe challenges. Tajikistan was one of the poorest of the new states that gained independence at the end of 1991 after the break-up of the former Soviet...
"The United States and Russia signed the New START Treaty on April 8, 2010. New START provides the parties with seven years to reduce their forces, and will remain in force for a total of 10 years. The New START Treaty limits each side to no more than 800 deployed and nondeployed ICBM and SLBM launchers and deployed and nondeployed heavy bombers equipped to carry nuclear armaments. Within that...
"El Salvador is a key partner in efforts to dampen the threats posed by transnational criminal organizations and gangs. The country has been a strong, durable partner on security and defense issues. However, endemic crime and impunity threaten El Salvador's progress by undermining the legitimacy of state institutions and impeding economic growth. U.S. policy toward El Salvador promotes the...
"The United States recognized the Philippines as an independent state and established diplomatic relations with it in 1946. Except for the 1942-45 Japanese occupation during World War II, the Philippines had been under U.S. sovereignty since the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898."
"The United States established diplomatic relations with Uganda in 1962, following its formal independence from the United Kingdom. Post-independence, the country saw a mix of tribal rivalries, insurgencies, military coups, dictatorships, and elections. U.S. relations with Uganda were strained by the human rights abuses of several Ugandan governments."
The father of The Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel became a close and key ally of the United States as the Soviet Union began to collapse. Havel and the Czechs worked closely with the United States as they strove for independence and a secure nation. This speech was one of his most famous in the United States.
Preparing to leave office, Washington wrote his now famous "Farewell Address" to placate American concerns that a country without his leadership could not survive. Washington stresses the importance of unity, the supremacy of the Constitution, the danger of...
"This unique volume offers an original collection of essays on the theme of America's 'special relationships.' It interrogates in an original and provocative manner the distinctive character of America's interactions with an array of allies and clients, both international and domestic.The essays vary in their focus; some are primarily historical, some are more contemporary. All consider the...
"In 2004, the European Union and NATO welcomed Central-East European nations into their ranks. As they blend in, these states are likely to be drawn closer to both Brussels and Washington. This report argues that Washington has an opportunity to strengthen its ties with the CEE states, but that the window of opportunity may be closing."
With these three nations joining NATO, Andrew Michta argues that the United States is in a much better diplomatic situation in Europe. Western Europe, aside from the United Kingdom, has been showing diminishing support for America. Michta claims that these fresh alliances, in part because of their geographic proximity to Russia, will provide increased stability in the region.
"More than a decade has passed since the end of the Cold War, but the United States has yet to reach a consensus on a coherent approach to the international use of American power. The essays in this volume present contending perspectives on the future of US grand strategy. US policy options include primacy, cooperative security, selective engagement, and retrenchment. This revised edition...
"Meticulously researched and tightly argued, Beyond Chutzpah points to a consensus among historians and human rights organizations on the factual record of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Norman G. Finkelstein exposes the corruption of scholarship and the contrivance of controversy shrouding human rights abuses, and interrogates the new anti-Semitism. This paperback edition adds a...
"Zagoria presents perspectives from Washington, Beijing, and Taipei on cross-strait tensions, exploring ways to break the current standoff. Tensions between China and Taiwan are not likely to abate in the foreseeable future. The question of Taiwan's sovereignty is the major point of friction, and the continuing impasse between China and Taiwan is worrisome. Should critical political...
"The 1996 deployment of two U.S. carrier battle groups to the waters off Taiwan in response to the firing of Chinese missiles close to Taiwan's shores brought home suddenly the genuine danger of a military clash between the United States and China over the Taiwan issue. In this timely book, distinguished analyst Ralph N. Clough assesses the intractable differences between Beijing and Taipei...
The United States has pursued missile defences since the dawn of the missile age shortly after World War II. The development and deployment of missile defences has not only been elusive, but has proven to be one of the most divisive issues of the past generation.
"Of Paradise and Power lays out the fundamental differences that currently exist between the foreign policy decisions of the U.S. and those of European nations. The U.S. tends to favor the use of force; while Europe tends to favor multilateral diplomacy. Kagan suggests that these differences represent the basic differences in global power,...
"Following his #1 New York Times bestseller, Our Endangered Values, the former president, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, offers an assessment of what must be done to bring permanent peace to Israel with dignity and justice to Palestine.
President Carter, who was able to negotiate peace between Israel and Egypt, has remained deeply involved in Middle East affairs since leaving...
"For centuries, various great powers have both exploited and benefited Taiwan, their designs for this island frequently clashing with the desire of local inhabitants to control their own destiny. Such conflicts have shaped Taiwan's multiple, and frequently contradictory, identities. Denny Roy contends that Taiwan's political history is best understood as a continuous struggle for security....
"This book examines the causes and consequences of the crisis in Atlantic relations that accompanied the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. A dstinguished group of political scientists and historians from Europe and the United States tackles these issues. The authors' collective focus is not on the war itself, or how it was conducted, or even the situation in Iraq either before or after the...
"Alan Dershowitz's detailed and penetrating analysis of the issues that fuel the continuing war in Israel should be read by everyone interested in reaching a fair conclusion as to how that tragic conflict should be ended. Every charge leveled by Israel’s opponents is dealt with lucidly and convincingly by one of the nation’s brightest minds and most effective...
"In The Case for Peace, Dershowitz identifies twelve geopolitical barriers to peace between Israel and Palestine–and explains how to move around them and push the process forward. From the division of Jerusalem and Israeli counterterrorism measures to the security fence and the...
"Soon after the Oslo accords were signed in September 1993 by Israel and Palestinian Liberation Organization, Edward Said predicted that they could not lead to real peace. In these essays, most written for Arab and European newspapers, Said uncovers the political mechanism that advertises reconciliation in the Middle East while keeping peace out of the picture. Said argues that the imbalance...
"In an iconoclastic and controversial new study, Norman G. Finkelstein moves from an interrogation of the place the Holocaust has come to occupy in American culture to a disturbing examination of recent Holocaust compensation agreements. It was not until the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, when Israel's evident strength brought it into line with US foreign policy, that memory of the Holocaust began...
"In this readily accessible study, political scientist Glenn J. Antizzo identifies fifteen factors critical to the success of contemporary U.S. military intervention and evaluates the likely efficacy of direct U.S. military mediation today-when it will work, when it will not, and how to undertake such action in a manner that will bring rapid victory at an acceptable political cost. Antizzo...
"From the bestselling authors of The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism comes a completely revised and updated edition of a modern classic that reflects the dangerous rise in antisemitism during the twenty-first century.
The very word Jew continues to arouse passions as does no other...
Missile defense. It's been talked about for decades, some of us even grew up watching Patriot missiles shoot down Iraqi Scud missiles in the first Gulf War. But where do things stand today? Is it still needed? Should I care? Those questions and more are answered in the FAQ below.
"The Center for Security Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security and then ensures that such issues are the subject of both focused, principled examination and effective action by recognized policy experts, appropriate officials, opinion leaders, and the general...
"The Embassy of Israel in Washington DC is Israel’s largest embassy in the world. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel formulates, implements and presents foreign policy of the Israeli government; the Embassy in turn works to present those policies to the United States government. Thereby the Embassy acts as a liaison to strengthen the ties between the two governments."
"The United States of America stood by the establishment of the independent and democratic state of Czechoslovakia in the year 1918. President Woodrow Wilson supported Tomas G. Masaryk and other patriots in its creation. Tomas G. Masaryk announced the creation of the Czechoslovak Republic in the so called Washington Declaration of October 18, 1918, which was inspired by the founding ideas and...
A visitor to the Iraq Embassy website is greeted by the Iraqi ambassador to the U.S.:
On behalf of Iraq and its people, I welcome you to our public relations website. The Embassy of Iraq in Washington, D.C., endeavors to serve as a link between the Republic of Iraq and the government and people of the United States of America.
"Dynamic-Korea.com is the official English homepage of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea. Dynamic-Korea.com serves as a gateway to information about Korea.
Dynamic-Korea aims to preserve and reinforce the ROK-US alliance by providing accurate and timely information about Korea. To this end, it features four main sections: News, Opinion, Korean Wave, and Archives."
The Polish Embassy is one of the most important in Washington, D.C. Its website offers a handful of relevant primary documents and Polish news, while focusing on issues that relate to both Poland and America.
"The United States cannot remain a global leader unless it modernizes its alliances and international associations. America needs international institutions, alliances, and a multilateral diplomacy worthy of a great power that is dedicated to the advancement of freedom and security."
"The ability of the United States to reassure friends, deter competitors, coerce belligerent states, and defeat enemies rests on the foundation of a powerful military. Only by retaining a 'big stick' can the United States succeed in advancing its diplomatic priorities."
"We provide information on every country in the world. For each country, you will find information like the location of the U.S. embassy and any consular offices; whether you need a visa; crime and security information; health and medical conditions; drug penalties; and localized hot spots."
"The Department of Defense is America's oldest and largest government agency. With our military tracing its roots back to pre-Revolutionary times, the Department of Defense has grown and evolved with our nation."
The governmental agency purposed to "Advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system.